45 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes
Relax and enjoy the taste of summer in these easy recipes, including veggie gyros, chicken stir-fry, fish tacos, barbecue chicken, pasta, homemade pizza and main-dish salads.
Chermoula Halibut Skewers
Perfectly flaky fish, tender zucchini and not-mushy tomatoes shine in this herbaceous kebab recipe.
Summer Chicken Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Butter lettuce, poached chicken, green beans, avocado, berries, chives and basil combine for a colorful, filling summer salad. Douse with berry-pink vinaigrette for extra zip.
Chipotle Shrimp Scampi
This south-of-the-border variation on a classic Italian-American dish has a little smoky heat. It's a quick weeknight dinner, served over hot rice.
Summer's greatest hits—heirloom tomatoes, basil and sweet corn— combine in in what Tracy Singleton, owner of the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis, calls "a kitchen sink sandwich."
Pesto Veggie Gyros
Halloumi, veggie kabobs and flatbreads all get a turn on the grill and are paired with tangy pesto vinaigrette for a fast, warm-weather supper.
Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad
Meat often gets all the attention during grill season, but don't discount fruits and veggies when creating summer salads. Heat from the grill draws out moisture and intensifies watermelon's sweet flavor (especially when fruit is rubbed with a sugar mixture!). Set a grilled wedge atop a bed of arugula, top with blue cheese and hazelnuts and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Related: Delicious Summer Salad Recipes
Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant
Eat this peak-summer dish as a side or a meatless main. Eggplant and bell peppers are grilled au naturel—all the fun comes in the finish, when the vegetables are showered in mint, basil and peanuts and drizzled liberally with a sauce called nuoc cham.
Related: Top Vegetarian Recipes
Bean and Cheese Pupusas
A papusa is a flat, pan-fried pocket of corn dough traditionally stuffed with cheese, beans or meat. Top this hearty Salvadoran staple with mild salsa and curtido (a tangy cabbage slaw).
Grilled Halibut with Watermelon Salsa
A bright and fruity salsa dresses up simple grilled fish in this easy, healthful summer dinner.
Top purchased fresh pizza dough with fresh mushrooms and peppery arugula for an easy upgrade to pizza night.
Related: Homemade Pizza Recipes
Mojo Pork Chops with Fruit Salsa
Mojo is a Caribbean marinade made with citrus and garlic. If this jumbo chop cut dwarfs your appetite, cut the meat from the bone and share. The peppy pineapple and mango salsa almost hogs the spotlight—it's good enough to eat like a salad.
Grilled Fish with Lime and Tarragon
At Angry Trout Cafe in Grand Marais, Minnesota, this grilled fish is often served as a salad, atop a seasonal blend of lettuce, veggies and fruits. But the fish is equally delicious on its own.
Chipotle-Maple Chicken Thighs
We won't mince words: This is juicy, spicy, sticky, glorious barbecued chicken. One of the secrets? Chicken thighs. They cook fast, like breasts, but they have richer flavor and don't dry out. And nutritionally speaking, the two are more similar than you'd think.
Arugula-Lentil Salad with Poached Eggs
When it's too hot for lentil soup, put the quick-cooking pulse to good use in this nutritious, meat-free salad.
For a change in routine, try this light, herby ground meat or tofu salad that's eaten across Thailand. It's traditionally scooped with rice or lettuce.
Chicken Shawarma with Israeli Salad
Tuesday can have tacos. Make Saturday shawarma night, with a warm pita wrapped around spice-crusted chicken thighs, parsley-flecked Israeli salad and a swoop of the creamiest tahini.
Mango Toast with Prosciutto
Layers of cream cheese, mango, prosciutto and honey on this toast deliver an authentically sweet-savory punch. Enjoy as a light dinner or appetizer.
Cajun West African Grilled Chicken in Tomato Sauce
At Okra African Grill, this chicken is served bowl-style, with sautéed or grilled seasoned bell peppers, as well as fried sweet plantains.
Squash Blossom Pizza with Honey and Ricotta
The voluptuous blossoms that eventually turn into zucchini, pumpkins or other squash have a delicate flavor that plays well with herbs and mild cheese. Buy them at summer farmers markets or snip them in your garden to try on this beautiful, delicious pizza.
Coffee and Spice Grilled Ribeye
Take your steak to new heights with this earthy, coffee-infused rub, and fight the urge to trim too much fat away. Fat dripping into the fire triggers smoke, which gives it a major flavor boost.
Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Wilted Arugula
Packed with fresh veggies and hearty shrimp, this fast, satisfying recipe plates up nicely on a warm summer evening.
This fruit-forward salad pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or pork tenderloin. The citrus juices mingle with the oil as you eat, so you don't even have to add dressing.
Tuna and White Bean Salad with Lemon
Pair high-quality canned tuna with cannellini beans and herbs for a summer salad as light and fresh and the Mediterranean.
Watermelon Poke Bowl
This version of a Hawaiian poke bowl swaps marinated watermelon for the raw fish. It's an incredibly light and fresh summer dinner—and so pretty!
Chip-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Tortilla chips provide the crispy coating for these kid-friendly chicken tenders. Serve with a ranch-Sriracha mixture or honey mustard.
Jamaican Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli-Peach Slaw
Broccoli slaw mix is the quick cheat in this colorful, weeknight-simple recipe that's festive enough to serve to friends.
Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry
Garden-fresh veggies and juicy pineapple give classic stir-fry a seasonal refresh. For an easy substitute, switch the chicken for thinly sliced boneless pork or peeled, deveined medium shrimp.
Gazpacho Verde earns its name: Every ingredient in the recipe is green.
Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos
Fresh fruit and bottled barbecue sauce lend sassy sweetness to low-cal, vitamin-rich grilled fish tacos.
Related: Great Taco Recipes to Try Tonight
Mustardy Grilled Corn and Sausage Kabobs
With just 5 ingredients and ready in less than 30 minutes, this colorful, family-friendly meal is sure to earn a spot in your summer weeknight dinner rotation.
Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Hero with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Basil Pesto
This scrumptious mess of a sandwich is every bit as satisfying as a classic Italian sub--and if you prepare the tomato sauce and pesto in advance (or use purchased pesto), the sandwiches come together super fast. The recipe comes from Cara Mangini, of Little Eater in Columbus, Ohio.
Paella-Style Rice with Ham and Shrimp
Ham stands in for sausage in this one-skillet dinner inspired by traditional Spanish paella. Sop up the juices with warm crusty bread.
Tortellini, Spinach and Mushrooms in Wine-Butter Sauce
A simple pan sauce and fresh vegetables dress up family-favorite cheese tortellini for a meal that's ready in 25 minutes.
Caribbean White Fish with Mango-Orange Relish
Lightly pan-fried white fish gets a refreshing lift from a sweet confetti of oranges and chopped mango. Pair with rice or couscous for an easy meal.
Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl
Ready in 30 minutes, this restaurant-style noodle bowl is a breeze to throw together. Coconut milk and fish sauce-Thai staples available at the supermarket-impart authentic flavor.
Skip the canned stuff and make this childhood favorite from scratch. Our simple recipe is just a starting point; try one of our variations or experiment with seasonings.
Chicken Sausage and Peppers
Pair this hearty meat-lovers' dish with quinoa or whole wheat couscous and a crisp lettuce salad for a well-rounded meal. Chicken-apple sausage lends a pleasant sweetness to this dish, but you can take it in a kickier, more savory direction with hot Italian or roasted garlic sausage.
Vietnamese Shrimp and Noodle Bowls
These bowls check all the boxes with layers of flavors, textures and temperatures. Grab your chopsticks and dig in!
Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken
Herbed lemon marinade cooks down with honey to a glossy, gorgeous glaze in our Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken recipe.
Super Simple Peachy Barbecue Chicken
Just three ingredients produce a rich-flavored, sweet-tangy barbecue sauce for drumsticks in this easy chicken slow-cooker recipe.
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
Bottled black bean and corn salsa spices up these quesadillas, ready in just 20 minutes.
Chilled Tomato Soup with Corn Bread Croutons
Creamy avocado slices give depth to this summer soup, while crumbly corn bread croutons add a nice contrast in texture. For a lighter-colored soup, peel the cucumber.
Zucchini and Tomato Frittata
Zucchini gets a flavor boost from mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and chopped walnuts in a colorful frittata.
Skillet Lasagna Toss
Use up those stray lasagna noodles in this speedy, family-friendly pasta dish.
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!