Our 70+ BEST Summer Dinner Ideas

When the heat is on, we’re all looking for summer dinner ideas that don’t have us cooking over a hot stove for hours.

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Cooking in the summertime can be a challenge. First of all, most of us want to be outside or otherwise enjoy our families in the summer. But also, electricity bills make us want to avoid heating up our houses. The solution is to cook outside or prepare light meals, sandwiches, and salads.

The best summer food ideas use seasonal ingredients and light meats that don’t make us feel full and heavy after a meal.

As the days grow longer and temperatures rise, people seek out refreshing and delicious dinner ideas to enjoy during the summer months. This season is the perfect time to showcase fresh produce and vibrant flavors, while keeping the heat out of the kitchen. In this article, we will explore some mouth-watering summer dinner recipes that highlight the best of what this time of year has to offer.

Light and satisfying meals are key to enjoying the warm evenings with family and friends. Grilling plays a vital role in summer dining, as it allows for outdoor cooking and infuses food with unmatched smoky flavors. Alongside grilling, no-cook recipes and chilled dishes provide an effortless yet enticing approach to summer cuisine.

From farm-fresh salads to zesty seafood dishes and flavorful vegetarian options, there are countless ways to bring excitement to your dinner table this summer. Let’s dive into some inspiring and creative ideas that will make mealtime the highlight of the season.

On this extensive list of dinner ideas for hot days, we have healthy summertime dinner ideas like tacos and salads, and we also have some filling summer dishes that satisfy without stuffing us.

From healthy summer recipes such as Vietnamese salad rolls to slow cooker healthy summer dinner ideas that are easy to pull together, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Are you ready to dive into summer dinners? Let’s check out these 70 easy summer recipes.

Source: dinnerdishesanddesserts.com

1. Shrimp Avocado Tostadas

Avocado toast for dinner? Yep! As long as you toss in some yummy shrimp and pico de gallo.

You can make homemade tostada shells (it’s super easy!) or use store-bought ones for a quick and easy summer dinner.

Source: foodiecrush.com

2. Potato Salad

No list of summer recipes would be complete without a good potato salad recipe.

This potato salad recipe calls for classic ingredients like mayonnaise and eggs.

To make this potato salad, you can use Russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes.

Source: peasandcrayons.com

3. Shrimp Taco Salad

A taco salad with rich Mexican flavors is always a welcome treat, and this taco salad brings us some plump juicy shrimp, too.

This taco salad is loaded with so many nutritious veggies, including romaine lettuce, corn, green onions, jalapeno pepper, and red cabbage.

Serve this taco salad with diced avocado, chopped cilantro, avocado salsa, and pico de gallo.

You can make this a veggie black bean salad by adding some canned (and rinsed) black beans.

Source: thewickednoodle.com

4. Peanut Sauce Chicken Satay Skewers

To create these masterpieces on a stick, you need coconut milk, minced cloves, grated ginger, yellow curry powder, soy sauce, brown sugar, turmeric, fish sauce, avocado oil, black pepper, and sea salt.

The peanut sauce is made with lime juice, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, grated ginger, coconut milk, and honey.

Source: mygreekdish.com

5. Easy Souvlaki Greek Chicken Skewers

For flavorful healthy summer dinner recipes, you can always turn to kabobs and that’s what you have with this recipe for Greek chicken souflaki.

Spices used to create these grilled chicken skewers are dried oregano and black pepper. Other ingredients are olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.

Serve these grilled chicken kabobs with creamy tzatziki sauce for the full effect. The tzatziki sauce is made with cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, Greek yogurt, and red wine vinegar.

Serve your grilled chicken with pita bread.

Source: thecookierookie.com

6. Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

Almost everyone loves ribs in the summertime, but who knew ribs could be one of the summer dinner ideas that you can cook inside in the slow cooker?

This recipe calls for smoked paprika, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, apple cider vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes. You can use a store-bought BBQ sauce.

Source: saltandlavender.com

7. Creamy Tuscan Shrimp

This shrimp recipe is loaded with all of the wonderful flavors of Tuscany.

For a flavorful dish, this shrimp recipe is super easy to make. If you’ve got some sundried tomato, shrimp, basil leaves, spinach, and about 15 minutes, you’ve got an easy summer dinner on the table.

Source: cookieandkate.com

8. Vietnamese Salad Rolls Served with Peanut Dipping Sauce

If you want a light veggie summer dinner, these Vietnamese salad rolls will suit you perfectly.

To make these veggie spring rolls, you need brown rice noodles (or rice vermicelli), toasted sesame oil, butter lettuce, sea salt, red cabbage slices, sliced carrots, a Persian cucumber, sliced jalapeno pepper, and sliced scallions (green onions).

The fresh herbs to use for these spring rolls are fresh mint leaves and fresh cilantro.

Source: healthygffamily.com

9. Pesto Penne Pasta

With this gluten free pasta and veggie dish, gluten free living and summer dinner ideas never tasted so good!

You need gluten free pasta to make this easy summer dinner recipe, and believe us, you won’t miss the gluten.

You can use your favorite homemade pesto recipe or use a pesto that’s store-bought. Either one will work beautifully for this pasta recipe.

Other ingredients in this pasta recipe are rice wine vinegar, almonds, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and black pepper.

Source: wholesomeyum.com

10. Beef Taco Salad

Taco salad always makes for a nice dinner (or late lunch) and we love taco salad with either ground beef or ground turkey.

For this taco salad, you can use a store-bought taco seasoning mix or make your own homemade taco seasoning.

This taco salad is loaded with veggies like avocado, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and green onions.

Source: foodess.com

11. Fish Tacos Served with Lime Crema

For healthy summertime dinner recipes, you can’t go wrong with spicy fish tacos.

To make these fish tacos, use a white fish such as haddock, tilapia, cod, snapper, or sole.

Spices in this fish tacos recipe are smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and cumin.

For the lime crema, you need sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, and sea salt.

Source: iowagirleats.com

12. Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

Mediterranean flavors and ingredients bring this pasta salad to life.

Ingredients in this Mediterranean pasta salad include crumbled feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, orzo pasta, kalamata olives, and capers.

Source: sydneymarkets.com.au

13. Fish Burgers Served with Creamy Slaw

Fish burgers for summer dinner? Yes, please!

We absolutely love how colorful this coleslaw is. With savoy cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, mixed salad seeds, and green onions, it’s like a rainbow on a fish burger!

Source: natashaskitchen.com

14. Grilled Cajun Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp on the grill is always a good thing, and when you bring in the Louisiana flavors with Cajun seasoning, you know you’ve got a winning meal.

Other ingredients needed to cook these grilled shrimp skewers are garlic cloves, salt, and lemon juice.

You can serve your grilled Cajun shrimp with a rice dish, baked potato, or green salad.

Source: rasamalaysia.com

15. Pan-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

We love the flavor that lemongrass brings to recipes, and it’s absolutely perfect in this chicken recipe.

This chicken recipe is made with chicken thighs because they’re so wonderfully juicy. However, you can easily adapt this recipe to chicken breasts, too.

Source: reciperunner.com

16. Cheese and Marinara Baked Zucchini Boats

Zucchini is plentiful in the summer, especially if you have a garden. What better way to use up a bumper squash of zucchini than to create these gorgeous zucchini boats?

Zucchini boats are essentially zucchini cut in half, seeded, and filled with delicious ingredients such as ground turkey, marinara sauce, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.

You can use different types of cheese, including fontina or provolone.

Source: themediterraneandish.com

17. Chicken Shawarma

The secret to the perfect chicken shawarma is a shawarma spice mixture that is perfectly simple.

To make the best chicken shawarma, you should use chicken thighs, but you can use chicken breasts if you prefer.

Spices in this chicken recipe are cumin, turmeric, coriander, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground cloves, and cayenne pepper.

Serve your chicken shawarma in pita pockets and drizzle them with Greek tzatziki sauce or creamy tahini sauce.

Source: therecipecritic.com

18. Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata

When it comes to breaded chicken, chicken piccata in a creamy sauce is delicious.

Usually, chicken breasts are used for chicken piccata, but you can also use chicken tenderloin.

This chicken recipe calls for chicken broth, butter, all-purpose flour, fresh lemon juice, heavy cream, capers, and fresh parsley.

You can serve your chicken piccata over angel hair pasta or your choice of other pasta, including linguini, spaghetti, or fettuccine.

Source: recipetineats.com

19. Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos)

Carnitas can be cooked in the Instant Pot or slow cooker for a tasty summer dinner that won’t make you sweat. In fact, the longer you cook them, the more delicious these carnitas will be.

Serve your carnitas with warm flour tortillas, diced avocado, and cilantro leaves.

Source: isabeleats.com

20. Chicken Enchiladas

For these easy chicken enchiladas, you need shredded chicken, corn tortillas (or flour tortillas), shredded Mexican cheese, and sea salt.

You can serve your chicken enchiladas with tortilla chips and mango salsa for a refreshing summer dinner.

Source: foodielovesfitness.com

21. Mediterranean Chickpea Wedge Salad

When you want a summer salad that’s full of flavor, make this Mediterranean wedge salad with chickpeas for your summer dinner.

This Mediterranean salad is full of good protein thanks to the slivered almonds, chickpeas, and feta cheese.

Other ingredients include sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, avocado, cucumber, and tomato.

Source: kitchensanctuary.com

22. Greek Souvlaki Lamb Skewers

There are plenty of kabob and skewer recipes on this list, including one other lamb skewers recipe. However, these Greek lamb kebabs are something completely different and delightful.

Serve your kebabs with veggies on a bed of rice.

Source: cupcakesandkalechips.com

23. Souvlaki Beef Shish Kebabs

To make your beef cubes nice and tender, marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours with lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, fresh oregano, black pepper, and sea salt.

For the veggies, you can use bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Source: theclassybaker.com

24. Alfredo Shrimp Fettuccine Pasta Bake

It’s like a casserole, but this Alfredo pasta bake is so elegant it doesn’t feel like a simple casserole.

This particular recipe calls for rigatoni or penne pasta, but we love making this Alfredo bake with linguini or fettuccine.

You need shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese to make this pasta dish.

Source: carlsbadcravings.com

25. Sun-Dried Tomatoes Creamy Shrimp Pasta

What is it about sun-dried tomatoes that makes a recipe come alive and absolutely pop with flavor?

We are in love with this sun-dried tomato and pasta recipe that’s loaded with delicious juicy shrimp.

Source: juliasalbum.com

26. Baked Queso Chicken

When you’re looking for flavorful summer dinner ideas, you can rely on this recipe for baked chicken with queso.

The Southwestern flavors of this dish are complemented by green chiles, chopped tomatoes, hot queso sauce, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar cheese).

The spices in this chicken recipe are chili powder and cumin.

Source: halfbakedharvest.com

27. Greek Salmon

Is seafood on the menu? It should be with this Greek salmon recipe that’s served with lemon feta cheese and a summer salad made with orzo pasta.

The salad is made with fresh tomatoes, roasted peppers, avocado, and olives.

You can also use other fresh herbs such as mint leaves or fresh dill.

Source: laughingspatula.com

28. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

We love fajitas, and chicken fajitas give you an option that’s a little lighter than beef fajitas.

This recipe is amazing because the fajitas are cooked on a sheet pan, so you basically have a one-pan meal.

Serve your chicken fajitas with warm flour tortillas and all of the usual fajita fixings.

Source: princesspinkygirl.com

29. Sheet Pan Nachos

For easy summer dinner recipes, there’s nothing better than a one pot meal (or in this case, a one sheet pan meal).

These sheet pan nachos have layers of melty cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, beans, and delicious ground beef.

Source: lemontreedwelling.com

30. Creamy Cucumber Salad

A creamy cucumber salad in the summertime is a classic, especially if you have a garden and are lucky enough to have a bumper crop of cucumbers.

To make this cucumber salad, you need red onion slices, sour cream, white vinegar, fresh dill, granulated sugar, garlic powder, and salt.

Serve this creamy cucumber salad with some slices of fresh tomatoes and you’ve got a light vegetarian meal that’s good enough to serve to company.

Source: yummyoyummy.com

31. Joojeh Kabob (Persian Saffron Chicken Kebabs)

It’s great to find a grilled chicken recipe that calls for saffron, and this exquisite spice is put to good use making Joojeh kabobs.

As for the chicken, you can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts to make these kabobs.

The ingredients in this recipe are white onion, garlic paste, lime juice, butter, garlic powder, saffron, lemon juice (or lime juice), cumin, cinnamon, and black pepper.

Serve this chicken dish with an onion salad or grilled tomato slices.

Source: tastesbetterfromscratch.com

32. Classic Juicy Hamburgers

How do you make the perfect juicy hamburger? Some people like to grill their hamburgers, while others prefer to pan-sear their burgers in a cast-iron skillet.

The first thing is to shape your hamburgers gently. The less you handle the meat, the better. Also, you want them to be done, but don’t overcook your burgers.

Serve these juicy burgers with French fries, tomato slices, red onion slices, American cheese (or cheddar cheese), and pickles.

Source: thefoodcharlatan.com

33. The Best Ribeye Steak

Anytime is a good time for a juicy ribeye steak, and that includes this steak recipe that you can cook when you’re looking for summer dinner ideas.

A juicy ribeye steak can be grilled, pan-seared, or broiled, but whichever method you use to cook your steaks, be sure you follow the best practices so that you don’t lose all of the delicious juices.

This ribeye steak is seasoned with butter, garlic powder, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and garlic.

Source: lecremedelacrumb.com

34. Healthy Lemon Chicken

Fresh lemon juice and honey give this chicken dish exceptionally savory and tangy flavors.

Other ingredients in this chicken recipe are chicken broth (or chicken stock), butter, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper.

Garnish your finished dish with lemon slices and a rosemary sprig.

What should you serve with this lemon chicken? You can serve this chicken dish with white rice, brown rice, pasta, or one of our delicious potato recipes.

Source: themodernproper.com

35. Falafel

What is falafel? Falafel is a delicious vegan recipe that gives you the satisfying taste of crispy fried chickpea balls.

Falafel ingredients are chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cayenne pepper, cumin, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and sea salt.

Fry your falafel in a heavy skillet. We like to use a cast-iron skillet to make falafel.

Feel free to drizzle your falafel with tzatziki sauce, tahini sauce, or serve these tasty little balls of goodness with hummus.

Source: modernhoney.com

36. Easy Tzatziki Greek Chicken Gyros

These Greek chicken gyros will help you tackle summer with grace and ease!

The chicken is marinated in a mixture of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, oregano, and red wine vinegar.

For the homemade tzatziki sauce, you need Greek yogurt, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, sea salt, fresh dill, diced garlic cloves, and grated cucumber.

Serve these chicken gyros with a gorgeous Greek salad made with fresh tomatoes, cucumber slices, red onion, Italian parsley, olive oil, and of course, feta cheese.

Source: midwestfoodieblog.com

37. Vegan Chickpea Tacos

Do you want a delicious Mexican taco meal but want to keep it vegan? No problem! These vegan chickpea tacos are perfect.

Use canned chickpeas to make these vegan tacos. Be sure to drain and rinse your chickpeas.

Spices include cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.

Source: hispanickitchen.com

38. Mexican Ground Beef Tacos

Looking for easy summer dinner ideas? Well, you know you can always cook some tacos and they will be gobbled up!

You can make ground beef tacos with a taco spice mix, or you can easily make your own with the ingredients in this recipe.

Serve your tacos with cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, guacamole, salsa, and diced onions.

Source: spendwithpennies.com

39. Asian Chopped Salad

A chopped salad is an absolute feast, and when you bring in Asian flavors, a chopped salad is spectacular.

This Asian salad recipe calls for green cabbage, purple cabbage, romaine lettuce hearts, red bell pepper, snap peas (sweet peas), carrots, green onions, and bean sprouts.

For the salad dressing, you can create a homemade dressing that uses a store-bought sesame ginger dressing as a base.

Source: aspicyperspective.com

40. Korean Chicken Skewers

Are you ready for another unique chicken skewers recipe? Check out these delicious Korean chicken skewers.

This chicken recipe is low-carb and these chicken nuggets are flavored with fresh ginger, Asian chiles, and garlic.

The best part about these Korean chicken kabobs (besides the flavor!) is that this is a super easy recipe.

Here’s a tip for cooking with wooden skewers: Soak the skewers in water before you add the chicken to them.

Source: averiecooks.com

41. Chicken Teriyaki Skewers with Pineapple

We love the tropical flavor of pineapple, and when we combine chunks of juicy pineapple with chicken on wooden skewers, we have a feast that will make you feel like you’re in the islands for vacation.

These skewers are loaded with chicken breast chunks and pineapple, and they’re made with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, teriyaki sauce, and fresh cilantro.

For the full tropical effect, serve your chicken and pineapple skewers with coconut rice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Source: thecozycook.com

42. Cold Noodles Served with Peanut Butter Sauce

If you love cold pasta salad, you’re going to go crazy over this pasta dish that features a noodle bowl served cold with creamy peanut butter sauce.

This pasta salad is packed with protein thanks to peanuts, sesame seeds, and peanut butter, so it’s a great vegan or vegetarian meal.

Other ingredients are Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, white sugar, garlic, carrots, peanut oil, and green onions.

Source: dinnerthendessert.com

43. Sticky Honey Garlic Meatballs

Just imagine these sweet and savory homemade meatballs with honey garlic sauce served over a bed of rice!

The ingredients to make the meatballs are bread crumbs, whole milk, butter, onion, ground beef, eggs, garlic, black pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.

For the honey garlic sauce, you need oil, 12 cloves of garlic (!!!), sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, and ketchup.

You can also cook these juicy meatballs in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.

Are you in a hurry and need a quick summer dinner? Use this recipe, but instead of making homemade meatballs, use frozen store-bought meatballs.

Source: budgetbytes.com

44. Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Are you ready for a burger with delicious Mediterranean flavors? These turkey burgers will save your summer dinner!

The burgers are full of veggies, including sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, and spinach.

Other ingredients in these turkey burgers are dried oregano, garlic powder, and crumbled feta cheese.

Instead of serving your turkey burgers with mayo or ketchup, make the included recipe for dill lemon yogurt sauce. This sauce is so light and creamy and it really makes these turkey burgers shine.

Source: seriouseats.com

45. Skillet Neapolitan Margherita Pizza

Did you know you could cook a delicious pizza without ever turning on the oven?

This Neapolitan pizza is made in a skillet or on the grill, and there is no kneading of the dough. If you make the homemade pizza dough in the recipe, you need to let it sit in a warm area at room temperature for between 8 and 16 hours.

The ingredients in this pizza are whole peeled tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, and basil leaves.

The flame from a gas grill or a torch is used to create the charred edges on this pizza.

Source: thestayathomechef.com

46. Skillet Chicken Fajitas

There’s nothing quite like a skillet full of sizzling fajitas, and you can serve shrimp fajitas, beef fajitas, or these juicy chicken fajitas.

The seasoning mix is easy to make with ground cumin, onion powder, chili powder, sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.

For the fajitas, use bell pepper, red onion, and garlic.

Source: the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

47. Quinoa Spinach Salad

Quinoa has a ton of protein, so this delicious salad can be vegan and still bring in all of the protein you need for the day.

Other ingredients in this spinach salad are diced avocado, baby spinach, chopped cucumber, red bell pepper, and red onion.

Optional: crumble some feta cheese or blue cheese on top of this delicious quinoa salad.

Source: cookingclassy.com

48. Italian Pasta Salad

Who loves a great pasta salad on a hot summer day? We do!

This pasta salad has two types of cheese: mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese.

Other ingredients are red onion, fresh basil, black olives, grape tomatoes, bell pepper, and hard salami.

For the dressing, use Dijon mustard, lemon juice, minced garlic, and honey.

Source: maebells.com

49. Grilled Orange Chicken Skewers

There’s nothing like the flavor of oranges to make any recipe pop, and when you combine juicy orange slices with chicken on skewers, you’ve got a meal that people will gobble up.

This recipe calls for chicken breasts, and the other ingredients are orange juice, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic chili sauce, minced garlic, and ginger.

While you’ve got your grill hot, go ahead and grill some veggies such as asparagus, summer squash, or corn on the cob.

Source: nourishedtheblog.com

50. Asparagus with Spring Pesto Pasta

When asparagus is in season, you know you’re in for a treat, and this pesto pasta recipe with asparagus will not disappoint you.

This recipe teaches you how to make pesto with kale and almonds, and the ingredients are roasted almonds, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, honey, olive oil, parsley, and kale.

For the pasta part, you need green peas, asparagus, pasta noodles, and lemon juice.

You can also easily use a jar of store-bought pesto to make this pasta dish.

Source: healthfulblondie.com

51. 10-Minute Pad Thai with Chicken

The main thing that keeps home chefs from trying to make dishes like pad Thai is that they believe these types of recipes are time-consuming.

Well, we’ve got something super special for you: a recipe for making chicken pad Thai in just 15 minutes.

To cook this recipe, you need brown rice noodles, olive oil (or avocado oil), chicken breast strips, garlic, a red bell pepper, eggs, bean sprouts, grated carrots, chopped scallions (green onions), cilantro leaves, and peanuts (optional).

The sauce is made with rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Source: portandfin.com

52. Szechuan Chicken Lettuce Wraps Served with Spicy Mayo

Who knew iceberg lettuce could be so very useful?

These Szechuan chicken wraps are made with chicken breast strips, panko breadcrumbs, black pepper, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.

You can whip up (or buy) a spicy mayo dressing or create the recipe that’s included with the wraps. To make this yogurt sauce, you need Chinese five spice, plain yogurt, lemon juice, and Szechuan chili pepper oil.

Serve with lime wedges and cilantro.

Source: katiescucina.com

53. Easy Grilled Shrimp Boil

It’s always a good time for grilled shrimp, and who doesn’t love a shrimp boil?

This recipe creates a delicious grilled shrimp boil that’s loaded with good stuff like plump shrimp, sausage, and corn on the cob.

The spices for this grilled shrimp and sausage recipe are fresh parsley and Old Bay seasoning.

Add some lemon wedges to the packets for some lemony goodness, and then squeeze the lemon juice on our shrimp when done.

Serve with a summer salad.

Source: tastefullygrace.com

54. Shrimp Tacos and Crema Lime Slaw

Shrimp tacos are a great way to enjoy a high-protein seafood meal in the summertime, and we love this recipe that comes with lime and cream coleslaw.

The slaw is made with savoy cabbage, red onion, sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, and garlic cloves.

Garnish these delicious tacos with cilantro and cotija cheese.

Source: sugarspunrun.com

55. Macaroni Salad

Classic macaroni salad is a summertime staple, and this recipe will give you a macaroni salad that will remind you of summer gone by.

The secret to the best macaroni salad is the salad dressing. For this one, you need both mayonnaise and sour cream. The surprise ingredient is sweet pickle juice.

This macaroni salad recipe also includes a video that will show you how to make this pasta salad step-by-step.

Source: ambitiouskitchen.com

56. Chickpea Greek Salad

Are you craving a filling and delicious vegetarian cherry tomato salad? This Greek chickpea salad may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Thanks to the chickpeas, this summer salad recipe is loaded with protein, and other ingredients are bell pepper, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes.

If you want a vegan salad, just leave off the feta cheese.

Serve this salad with the salad dressing recipe that’s included for delicious Greek flavor.

Source: eatingbirdfood.com

57. Feta and Spinach Turkey Burgers

Who’s ready for some backyard burgers? With these tasty turkey burgers, you can enjoy your hamburger party with a lot less fat and calories.

However, what these turkey burgers aren’t missing is flavor, and the feta cheese can be thanked for bringing some deliciousness to the party.

Even better, you get to sneak some spinach into everyone’s diet because the spinach is mixed in with the burger mixture, along with egg, garlic, parsley, and black pepper.

Source: notquitenigella.com

58. Seafood Fried Rice

When you’re looking for a Chinese New Year dish (or a healthy summer recipe idea), you can turn to this seafood fried rice recipe.

For this recipe, you can make your rice the day before. In fact, day-old rice is better for making fried rice dishes.

The veggies in this fried rice are carrot, garlic, ginger slices, and green onions.

Other ingredients are soy sauce, oil, eggs, shrimp, cooked crab meat, and flying fish roe (or tobiko).

Source: cookedbyjulie.com

59. Creamy Garlic Shrimp

We love shrimp recipes, and when you can give us a delicious shrimp dish that’s rich and creamy, we’re in heaven.

This shrimp recipe calls for garlic, fresh spinach leaves, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, butter, and smoked paprika.

This creamy sauce is perfect for serving over pasta. Toast some garlic bread, add a green salad, and you’ve got a full meal in less than half an hour.

Source: easychickenrecipes.com

60. Baked Caprese Chicken

We love a chicken Caprese recipe, and this one is extra special because it’s cooked as a sheet pan dinner. What’s not to love?

This recipe for baked chicken Caprese has just a few easy ingredients, and that makes it even better.

To create this chicken masterpiece, you need chicken breasts, black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, olive oil, fresh tomato slices, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, and balsamic glaze (or reduced balsamic vinegar).

Serve this Caprese chicken with your favorite pasta side.

Source: simple-veganista.com

61. Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers

Even if you don’t follow a vegan diet, summertime is the perfect time to try some vegan recipes.

Meat can leave us feeling tired and full, but a light vegan recipe can fix that.

These vegan stuffed bell peppers will hit the spot, and you may find yourself making these throughout the year.

These colorful bell peppers are stuffed with veggies, including mushrooms, summer squash, tomatoes, onion, and zucchini.

Tomato sauce (or tomato paste) add some binding to the recipe, and you can use basmati rice or brown rice.

The spices in this bell pepper recipe are dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.

Source: thedefineddish.com

62. Korean Beef Steak Tacos

Fusion food is the best, and this fusion of Korean and Mexican flavors is absolutely wonderful.

This recipe calls for gochujang mayo, which you can make in your kitchen.

The meat used is skirt steak, and other ingredients are tapioca, Gochujang, white pepper, summer squash, and kimchi.

Source: lilluna.com

63. Summer Corn Salad

Corn is plentiful and extra sweet in the summertime, so why not grill some grilled corn on the cob to make this hearty and delicious grilled corn salad?

You can grill your corn or use frozen corn to make this salad. Just be sure to thaw the corn first.

Ingredients in this corn salad include cherry tomatoes, lime juice, olive oi9l, cucumber, crumbled feta cheese, and Italian dressing.

Source: frommybowl.com

64. Vegan Soba Noodle Salad

This vegan soba noodle summer salad is a pasta salad that has loads of protein because of the natural peanut butter and sesame seeds.

Use buckwheat noodles to make this cold green bean and noodle salad. Veggies include cucumber, red cabbage, and carrots.

For the peanut sauce, you need lime juice, soy sauce (you can use tamari or liquid aminos), garlic, grated ginger, and coconut sugar.

Source: seriouseats.com

65. Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers

Who can resist any type of meat when it comes on a stick from the grill?

Every nation in the world has its own version of the classic kebab, and in China, you will often find lamb skewers that have been seasoned with cumin and chile peppers.

This recipe is also known as Yang Rou Chuan, and it’s absolutely delicious!

The spices used are whole fennel seed, cumin, and red chile flakes that have been crumbled.

Source: cozypeachkitchen.com

66. Avocado Basil Pesto Spaghetti

When you want a vegan pasta dish with pesto, this recipe will soothe your cravings.

Even better, it takes just 15 minutes to make this creamy pesto pasta recipe.

You can use any type of pasta or noodles you like to make this dish, and we love it with spaghetti, linguine, and more.

Other ingredients are olive oil, ripe avocado, frozen spinach, basil leaves, garlic, unsalted cashews, lemon juice, black pepper, and sea salt.

Be sure to squeeze the water out of the frozen spinach before adding it to your dish.

Source: justataste.com

67. Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi served in a decadent butter sauce over pasta is a beloved seafood dish. However, if you’re watching calories, shrimp scampi may not be your first choice.

That changes today because we present you with a shrimp scampi that is lower in fat and calories and is served with healthy zucchini noodles (zoodles).

This shrimp scampi recipe is made with olive oil instead of butter, and the white wine gives it tons of flavor.

Source: pinchofyum.com

68. 15-Minute Lo Mein

Are you looking for a healthy vegan pasta dish with Asian flavors? Check out this quick and easy lo mein recipe.

For the lo mein, you need uncooked ramen noodles, sesame oil, chopped green onions, and chopped veggies such as red bell pepper, carrots, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, and mushrooms.

The sauce has ingredients that include soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil.

This is a vegan recipe, but if you want to add some shrimp or chicken, go for it.

Source: hookedonheat.com

69. Mediterranean Chicken Patties

If you want a burger, but would prefer something lighter than beef, try the magnificent Mediterranean flavor of these chicken patties.

You can also use ground turkey to make these delicious patties.

The spices to use for that delicious Mediterranean flavor are dried mint, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, fresh chopped garlic, and fresh parsley.

Other ingredients in these chicken patties are lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, onion, and an egg.

Source: damndelicious.net

70. Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

If you love the flavor of bang bang sauce, then you’ve got to try this super easy recipe for bang bang shrimp and pasta for a summer dinner recipe as a main dish.

The ingredients in bang bang sauce are Thai sweet chili sauce, mayonnaise, pressed garlic, fresh lime juice, a dash of crushed red pepper flakes, and Sriracha sauce.

For the pasta part, you need medium shrimp that has been peeled and deveined, olive oil, spaghetti, minced garlic, smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and fresh parsley leaves.

Reheating and Storing Summer Dinners

Follow these best practices for cooking, storing, and reheating your best summer recipes.

  • Making food ahead. Many of the recipes on our list of summer meal ideas can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days. In fact, some of these healthy summertime dinners can even be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Also, you can prepare the ingredients for your dinner ideas for hot summer nights the day before (or a couple of days before) and have them ready to go in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Store your leftovers carefully. When it comes to light dinner ideas for summer, you need to keep the heat in mind and put your leftover healthy summer meals up quickly. Be sure you store your light summer meals in airtight containers in either the fridge or freezer and be sure to follow freezing and storing instructions on the individual recipes for easy summer dinners.
  • Reheat as directed. Most leftover healthy summer dinners can be reheated in the microwave in 25-second increments, on the stovetop over low or medium heat for 5-10 minutes (or until warmed completely through), in the air fryer, or in the oven for 10-05 minutes. If you’re going to reheat easy summer meals that you have frozen, you may need to allow it to thaw before you reheat it.

Do you want more summer dinner recipes? Check out the video below to learn how to make easy summer dinner ideas such as creamy taco spaghetti, tomato sausage pasta bake, chicken and broccoli gnocchi bake, creamy nacho scalloped potatoes, and peppercorn steak fries.

best summer dinner ideas

Our 70+ BEST Summer Dinner Ideas (+Potato Salad)

These options are sure to be a hit. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 6 votes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 240 kcal


  • 6 cooked Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 6 sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp. celery seed
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley


  • Cut potatoes into squares.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir until potatoes are fully coated.


Select your option.
Use in or with your favorite recipe.


Calories: 240kcal
Keyword potato salad, summer dinner ideas
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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