30 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes | Midwest Living
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30 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

Relax and enjoy the taste of summer in these easy recipes, including chicken stir-fry, fish tacos, barbecue chicken, pasta, homemade pizza and main-dish salads.

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Bottled black bean and corn salsa spices up these quesadillas, ready in just 20 minutes. 

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

Fresh fruit and bottled barbecue sauce lend sassy sweetness to low-cal, vitamin-rich grilled fish tacos.

Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl

Ready in 25 minutes, this restaurant-style noodle bowl is a breeze to throw together. It uses Vietnamese bahn pho noodles, which you can find at large supermarkets or Asian groceries. It's fine to substitute another rice noodle or vermicelli.

Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl

Bean-and-Rice-Stuffed Peppers

With only five ingredients, these hearty stuffed peppers assemble in a snap. Team them with corn bread or whole wheat rolls, and dinner's done.

Bean-and-Rice-Stuffed Peppers

Super Simple Peachy Barbecue Chicken

Just three ingredients produce a rich-flavored, sweet-tangy barbecue sauce for drumsticks.

Super Simple Peachy Barbecue Chicken

Linguine in Fresh Tomato Sauce With Garlic-Basil Toast

Kalamata olives add flavor to the homemade tomato sauce in this vegetarian pasta meal. And it's ready in 20 minutes!

Linguine in Fresh Tomato Sauce With Garlic-Basil Toast

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Bottled black bean and corn salsa spices up these quesadillas, ready in just 20 minutes. 

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Loaded Greek Chicken Pizza

Frozen spinach-artichoke dip is the secret ingredient in this fabulous pizza that delivers an authentically salty punch of kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Loaded Greek Chicken Pizza

Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken and Sassy Baked Beans

Herbed lemon marinade cooks down with honey to a glossy, gorgeous glaze in our Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken recipe.

Three beans mix in Sassy Baked Beans, a chunky version of the potluck standby. A touch of heat from spicy barbecue sauce and salsa adds to the bold taste of this slow-cooked side dish.

Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken

Sassy Baked Beans

North Woods Fish Tacos

We trolled the lakes for this south-of-the-Canadian-border specialty. To give extra zip to the marinated whitefish, spoon on sweet-tart Midwest cherry salsa. Roll the chunks of fish in a tortilla along with the burgundy salsa, and finish it off with tangy sour cream.

North Woods Fish Tacos

Chicken Cobb Salad

Why save this classic for when you're dining out? Rotisserie chicken makes it easy to enjoy a Cobb at home. Just add a whole-grain roll, and you've got a well-rounded meal.

Chicken Cobb Salad

Fresh Tomato Tart

Geri Boesen, creative director of Midwest Living®, combines Midwest-grown tomatoes with fresh basil in a cheesy tart that uses refrigerated piecrust for easy prep.

Fresh Tomato Tart

Short Ribs with Molasses-Beer Barbecue Sauce

Molasses and mustard perk up bottled barbecue sauce for this beef main dish.

Short Ribs with Molasses-Beer Barbecue Sauce

Potato Chips Meet Fish

How do you get your family to eat fish? By serving them tilapia coated with potato chips, herbs and honey-mustard dressing.

Potato Chips Meet Fish

Beefy Chili Dogs

The all-American chili dog is a natural for summer suppers. Stewing the hot dogs in a seasoned meat mixture makes them extra juicy. Top with cheese.

Beefy Chili Dogs

BBQ Chicken Grilled Pizza

Barbecue-sauced pizza tops the favorites list at many pizzerias. Here's our quick and easy version, which uses boneless chicken breasts, purchased barbecue sauce, smoked cheese and bottled banana pepper rings.

BBQ Chicken Grilled Pizza

Mediterranean-Style Snapper

Cook fresh snapper fillets or other firm-flesh white fish with an easy tomato-olive mixture and crumbled feta cheese. Serve with rice, pasta or couscous.

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Mediterranean-Style Snapper

Sara's Mom's Spinach Quiche

When we asked our staffers for their favorite easy dishes that taste like they took all day, Sara Reimer thought of her mom's Spinach Quiche recipe. "I mix frozen spinach and a few other ingredients, then put it in a puff pastry crust," says Sara, Midwest Living® assistant home & garden editor. Serve with a tossed salad for a quick, light dinner.

Sara's Mom's Spinach Quiche

Juicy Lucy Burger

Southside Minneapolis is home to this three-napkin burger famous for its molten cheese center. Both Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club claim its creation. No matter the lineage, it's burgerlicious.

Juicy Lucy Burger

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Hickory-Smoked Chicken

Top spinach, strawberries, blueberries, cheese, mushrooms and smoked chicken with Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette for a main-dish salad full of seasonal flavors.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Hickory-Smoked Chicken

Surdyk's Greek Orzo Salad

Purple-black Kalamata olives and feta cheese blend with rice-shape orzo, fresh herbs and tomatoes for this Greek salad from Surdyk's Cheese Shop in Minneapolis. It's been a reader favorite since we first published it in June 2003.

Surdyk's Greek Orzo Salad

Colorful Kabobs

Marinate cubed beef or chicken overnight in a mixture of barbecue sauce, vinegar, steak sauce and spices. Grill with onions, mushrooms, zucchini or peppers.

Colorful Kabobs

Chicken Chutney Salad

Jarred mango chutney and raisins add sweetness and mild spice to this chicken salad; trading the usual mayonnaise for yogurt makes it healthier.

Chicken Chutney Salad

Fast Paella

Paella is a snap when you use precooked turkey sausage, precooked shrimp and pouch rice. Serve this delicious dish with warm, crusty bread to sop up the juices at the bottom of your bowl.

Fast Paella

Shrimp Fusilli with Sweet-Pea Pesto

Frozen seafood is the rushed cook's friend--here, peeled and deveined shrimp let you skip the prep work. Peas, garlic, mint, butter and vinegar form the pesto.

Shrimp Fusilli with Sweet-Pea Pesto

Chef's Garden Salad

Prepare this layered salad a day ahead so the flavors blend. For a group, make the salad in a 3-quart clear bowl rather than individual glasses.

Chef's Garden Salad

Steamed Salmon with Lemon and Vegetables

A bed of pretty squash and carrot ribbons seasoned with lemon and herbs gently steams salmon in the oven, yielding moist, flavorful fish—with a veggie side dish built right in!

Steamed Salmon with Lemon and Vegetables

Fusilli Primavera

This recipe tosses fun curly pasta with spring ("primavera") vegetables. We added almonds and a hint of cheese for a colorful stir-fry dish with crunch. A splash of vermouth adds some tang to the sauce.

Fusilli Primavera

Easy Tortilla Casserole

This cheese-and-vegetable casserole cooks on your stove top -- no oven required. The recipe is from renowned Chicago chef Rick Bayless.

Easy Tortilla Casserole

Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce over Fettuccini

This versatile recipe is delicious over any type of pasta. A classic tomato sauce gets extra flavor from 2 tablespoons of vodka and smoothness from whipped cream. You can leave out the vodka, if you like, and experiment with different flavors of canned stewed tomatoes.

Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce over Fettuccini

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