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"Delicious and Easy 25 Summer Dinner Recipes to Try Tonight!"

Summer is the perfect time to experiment with fresh, vibrant ingredients, and what better way to celebrate the season than with delicious dinner recipes that are both easy to prepare and delightful to eat. From the smoky flavors of BBQ and grilled dishes to the fresh zest of salads and chilled soups, these 25 summer dinner recipes are designed to keep your meals exciting and your kitchen cool.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore a variety of dishes including grilled meats, fresh salads, and chilled soups.

  • Incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables like peaches, corn, and tomatoes for maximum freshness.

  • Experiment with global flavors such as Mediterranean spices, Thai dressings, and Hawaiian BBQ.

  • Opt for light and refreshing dishes to complement the warm weather.

  • Enjoy the simplicity of summer cooking with recipes that are both easy to prepare and bursting with flavor.

1. Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers are the perfect addition to any summer barbecue. The key to these delicious skewers is the marinade, which infuses the chicken with a bright and tangy flavor. Here’s how you can make them:

  1. Prepare the marinade: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and herbs in a bowl.

  2. Marinate the chicken: Cut chicken breasts into cubes and marinate for at least 2 hours.

  3. Skewer the chicken: Thread the chicken onto skewers, alternating with slices of lemon and onion.

  4. Grill: Cook on a preheated grill, turning occasionally, until the chicken is golden and cooked through.


2. Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry

This Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry is a vibrant dish that celebrates the abundance of fresh produce available during the summer months. It's a quick and healthy option for a weeknight dinner, packed with flavors and nutrients. The stir-fry typically includes a variety of vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots, all tossed in a light and savory sauce.

Ingredients

  • Bell peppers

  • Zucchini

  • Carrots

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Soy sauce

  • Olive oil

Preparation Steps

  1. Chop all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

  3. Add garlic and onions, sauté until fragrant.

  4. Increase the heat to high, add the rest of the vegetables, and stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes.

  5. Pour in soy sauce and stir well to coat all the vegetables.

  6. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

3. Fresh Corn Salad with Avocado

This Fresh Corn Salad with Avocado is a deceptively simple combination of peak-season produce, making it a perfect side dish for ribs and grilled chicken. The freshness of the corn and the creaminess of the avocado create a delightful contrast that is both satisfying and refreshing.

Ingredients

  • Fresh corn kernels from 4 ears of corn

  • 1 ripe avocado, diced

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Steps

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. Gently toss until everything is well mixed.

  3. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until serving.

4. BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches are a quintessential dish for summer gatherings, combining the rich flavors of slow-cooked pork with a tangy barbecue sauce. Prepare the pork in a slow cooker, smoker, or oven, ensuring it becomes fall-apart tender. Serve these delectable sandwiches on soft buns, complemented by a side of coleslaw or a fresh salad for a complete meal.

  • Ingredients: Pulled pork, BBQ sauce, buns, optional coleslaw

  • Preparation: Slow cook the pork until tender, shred it, then mix with BBQ sauce.

  • Serving Suggestions: On buns, with or without coleslaw, or with a side salad.

5. Chilled Cucumber Soup

Chilled Cucumber Soup is the epitome of refreshing summer fare. This dish is not only crunchy and flavorful, but it also embodies the essence of garden-fresh cuisine. Perfect for hot days, this soup offers a cooling respite with its blend of cucumbers, herbs, and yogurt or sour cream. Here’s a simple way to prepare it:

  1. Peel and chop fresh cucumbers.

  2. Blend cucumbers with garlic, fresh dill, and a bit of olive oil.

  3. Mix in yogurt or sour cream for creaminess.

  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

  5. Serve cold, garnished with additional herbs or a drizzle of olive oil.

6. Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

The Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze is a quintessential summer dish that combines the freshness of ripe tomatoes, the creaminess of fresh mozzarella, and the aromatic touch of basil leaves, all drizzled with a rich balsamic glaze. Using high quality ingredients really elevates this simple yet elegant salad, making it perfect for a light dinner or as a side dish at any summer gathering.

Ingredients

  • Ripe tomatoes, sliced

  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced

  • Fresh basil leaves

  • Balsamic glaze

Preparation Steps

  1. Arrange the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella on a plate.

  2. Scatter fresh basil leaves over the top.

  3. Drizzle with balsamic glaze just before serving to enhance the flavors.

7. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa offer a delightful blend of zesty flavors and refreshing ingredients, perfect for a summer meal. The tacos feature chile seasoned shrimp, which provide a nice kick, paired with sweet and tangy mango salsa. This combination not only tantalizes the taste buds but also adds a vibrant color to your plate.

Ingredients

  • Shrimp, seasoned with chili and other spices

  • Fresh mangoes, diced

  • Red onion, finely chopped

  • Cilantro, chopped

  • Lime juice

  • Tortillas

Preparation Steps

  1. Marinate the shrimp with chili and spices.

  2. Prepare the mango salsa by mixing diced mangoes, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

  3. Grill the shrimp until cooked.

  4. Assemble the tacos by placing grilled shrimp and mango salsa on tortillas.

8. Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

This delightful summer dish combines the sweetness of grilled peaches with the creamy texture of burrata cheese, all tossed with fresh arugula and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The contrast of flavors and textures makes this salad a perfect starter or a light main course during the warm months.

  • Grill the peaches until charred and juicy.

  • Combine with torn burrata and fresh arugula.

  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze and season to taste.

9. Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad

This Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad combines the freshness of herbs with the zest of lemon, making it a perfect summer dish. The salad features tender chicken breast, mixed greens, and a variety of Mediterranean-inspired ingredients like olives and feta cheese. The dressing, a light blend of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs, ties all the flavors together beautifully.

  • Ingredients: Chicken breast, mixed greens, olives, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, herbs.

  • Preparation: Grill the chicken until fully cooked, then slice and mix with the greens and other ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and serve chilled.

10. Lobster Rolls

Lobster rolls are a quintessential summer treat, perfect for a seaside lunch or a casual dinner. The best lobster rolls are made with fresh, succulent lobster meat lightly dressed with mayonnaise and a touch of lemon, served on a buttery, toasted bun. Here’s a simple way to prepare them:

  1. Cook the lobster in boiling water until fully cooked.

  2. Cool and chop the lobster meat.

  3. Mix the lobster with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.

  4. Toast the buns with a bit of butter until golden brown.

  5. Assemble the rolls by filling the buns with the lobster mixture.

11. Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint

This refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint is the perfect dish for a hot summer day. The combination of juicy watermelon, tangy feta cheese, and fresh mint leaves creates a delightful balance of flavors that is sure to please any palate. Here’s a simple way to prepare it:

  1. Cube fresh watermelon into bite-sized pieces.

  2. Crumble feta cheese over the watermelon.

  3. Finely chop fresh mint leaves and sprinkle them over the salad.

  4. Drizzle with a light balsamic glaze or olive oil to enhance the flavors.

Enjoy this vibrant salad as a standalone dish or pair it with grilled meats for a complete meal. The spicy onions and basil can also be added for an extra kick, complementing the sweet mint and watermelon beautifully.

12. Grilled Salmon with Herb Butter

Grilled Salmon with Herb Butter is a delightful summer dish that combines the rich flavors of fresh salmon with a decadent herb-infused butter. Prepare the herb butter by mixing softened butter with finely chopped herbs such as dill, parsley, and garlic. Drizzle the salmon with the melted butter mixture before grilling to infuse it with flavor and ensure it remains moist and tender.

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

  • Grill the salmon skin-side down for about 6-8 minutes.

  • Flip carefully and continue grilling for 3-4 minutes.

  • Serve the salmon with a dollop of the remaining herb butter and a slice of lemon.

13. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Transform your summer meals with a light and refreshing option: Zucchini Noodles with Pesto. This dish not only offers a delightful taste but also provides a healthy alternative to traditional pasta. The key ingredients include zucchini, fresh basil leaves, and pine nuts, which combine to create a vibrant and nutritious meal.

Preparation Steps:

  1. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles.

  2. Blend fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil to make the pesto.

  3. Toss the zucchini noodles with the pesto until well coated.

  4. Serve chilled or at room temperature for a perfect summer dish.

14. Tomato Gazpacho

Tomato Gazpacho is a chilled, refreshing and light dish, perfect for hot summer days. Made with the freshest vegetables, this no-cook recipe is not only easy to prepare but also incredibly healthy. Here’s a simple way to make it:

  1. Combine 3 pounds of ripe tomatoes, cut into large chunks, with a large cucumber (peeled, halved, and seeded if necessary) also cut into chunks.

  2. Add chopped bell peppers, onions, and garlic to taste.

  3. Blend all ingredients until smooth and season with salt, pepper, and a dash of olive oil.

  4. Chill in the refrigerator before serving to enhance the flavors.

15. Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza

Transform your dinner into a tropical feast with this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza. The perfect blend of sweet and savory, this pizza combines honey BBQ sauce, juicy chicken, and tangy pineapple, topped with a mix of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C).

  2. Spread a thin layer of honey BBQ sauce over your pizza base.

  3. Add diced chicken and pineapple chunks evenly on top.

  4. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, sliced onions, and a generous amount of both mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.

16. Summer Squash Pasta with Ricotta

This delightful Summer Squash Pasta with Ricotta combines the creamy texture of ricotta with the fresh, mild flavor of summer squash. It's a perfect dish for a light summer dinner or a side at a gathering. The recipe is straightforward and can be prepared in one pot, making it not only delicious but also convenient.

  1. Begin by sautéing sliced zucchini in olive oil until tender.

  2. Add cooked pasta and ricotta cheese to the pot.

  3. Season with lemon zest, salt, and pepper to taste.

  4. Stir everything together until well combined and creamy.

  5. Serve warm, garnished with fresh herbs or extra lemon zest for an added touch of flavor.

17. Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Grilled steak with chimichurri sauce is a vibrant and flavorful dish perfect for summer evenings. The chimichurri sauce, a zesty blend of herbs, garlic, vinegar, and oil, originates from Argentina and pairs exceptionally well with the rich flavors of grilled steak. Here’s a simple guide to preparing this delightful meal:

  1. Prepare the Chimichurri Sauce: Combine 1 cup of fresh Italian parsley, 1/4 cup of fresh oregano leaves, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar, and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Season the Steak: Use about 1 tablespoon of chimichurri seasoning, along with kosher salt and pepper, to season 2-inch thick beef ribeyes.

  3. Grill the Steak: Grill the steak to your preferred level of doneness.

  4. Serve: Drizzle the chimichurri sauce over the grilled steak and enjoy.

18. Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Vegan Black Bean Burgers are a hearty and flavorful choice for a summer barbecue. These burgers are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients, making them a healthy alternative to traditional meat burgers. The key to a great vegan burger is in the ingredients and preparation. Here’s a simple guide to making your own:

  1. Start with mashed black beans for the base.

  2. Add finely chopped onions, bell peppers, and garlic for flavor.

  3. Mix in bread crumbs and spices like cumin and chili powder.

  4. Form the mixture into patties and grill until crispy on the outside.

19. Peach and Prosciutto Pizza

Combining the sweetness of peaches with the savory flavor of prosciutto, this pizza offers a delightful balance of flavors perfect for summer dining. Prepare a simple pizza dough, or use a pre-made one for convenience, and top it with slices of fresh peaches, thin strips of prosciutto, and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. After baking, finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a handful of arugula for a refreshing touch.

  • :

  • Fresh pizza dough or pre-made pizza base

  • Ripe peaches, sliced

  • Prosciutto, thinly sliced

  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • Balsamic glaze

  • Fresh arugula

20. Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce

Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce are a delightful summer treat, perfect for a fancy dinner or a casual backyard gathering. The crab cakes are made with large lump crab meat, which is lightly seasoned and pan-seared to perfection. The golden-brown cakes are then topped with a homemade zesty remoulade sauce, adding a burst of flavor that complements the sweetness of the crab.

Here's a simple guide to making your own:

  1. Mix large lump crab meat with breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasoning.

  2. Form the mixture into patties.

  3. Pan sear the patties in a hot skillet until golden brown.

  4. Serve with a dollop of homemade remoulade sauce on top.

21. Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Grilled Portobello mushrooms are a versatile and hearty dish perfect for summer barbecues. These mushrooms are often marinated in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, onion, and garlic, which enhances their natural flavors and makes them incredibly tender. The grilling process adds a delightful smokiness that pairs well with various sauces and sides.

Here's a simple way to prepare them:

  1. Clean the mushrooms and remove the stems.

  2. Prepare a marinade of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and chopped onions.

  3. Let the mushrooms marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Grill over medium heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes on each side.

  5. Serve with your choice of sides or sauces.

22. Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad combines the vibrant flavors of tender steak, salad greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes, creating a refreshing and hearty summer dish. The salad is garnished with crushed peanuts, mint, and Thai basil, adding a unique texture and flavor profile. The spicy peppers bring a delightful heat which is balanced by the most delicious dressing, making every bite a perfect blend of savory and spicy.

  • Ingredients: Steak, salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, peanuts, mint, Thai basil, spicy peppers

  • Dressing: A savory mix of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili

23. Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

This Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad is a vibrant and fresh addition to any summer meal. The earthy sweetness of roasted beets combined with the creamy tang of goat cheese creates a flavorful contrast that is both delightful and satisfying. Here’s a simple way to prepare it:

  1. Roast the beets until tender and peel them once cooled.

  2. Slice the beets and arrange them on a plate.

  3. Crumble goat cheese over the beets.

  4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and shallots to enhance the flavors.

24. Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Jerk Chicken, a vibrant and spicy dish, is perfectly complemented by the sweet and tangy flavors of pineapple salsa. This dish is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a colorful addition to any summer dinner table. The combination of grilled pineapple and the heat from the jerk seasoning creates a delightful contrast that is both refreshing and satisfying.

  • Marinate the chicken with traditional Jamaican jerk spices.

  • Grill the chicken to perfection.

  • Prepare the pineapple salsa with fresh pineapple, red onions, and cilantro.

  • Serve the chicken topped with the generous amount of pineapple salsa.

25. S'mores Dip

Indulge in the ultimate summer treat with a Gooey S'mores Dip that's perfect for sharing. This delightful dessert features layers of melted milk chocolate and large marshmallows, all oven baked to toasted perfection. Serve it up with graham crackers for the ultimate dipping experience. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C).

  2. In a cast iron skillet, layer chocolate chips and top with marshmallows.

  3. Bake until the marshmallows are golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.

  4. Serve warm with graham crackers for dipping.

Conclusion

We hope this collection of 25 summer dinner recipes inspires you to create delightful meals that are perfect for the season. From light salads to grilled delights, each recipe is designed to make the most of fresh, seasonal ingredients while keeping your kitchen cool. Whether you're hosting a summer party or just looking for a quick and tasty dinner option, these recipes are sure to satisfy. Enjoy the flavors of summer with these easy and delicious dishes!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some light and refreshing summer dinner options?

Fresh Corn Salad with Avocado, Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint, and Chilled Cucumber Soup are excellent choices for a light and refreshing summer meal.

Can you suggest some vegetarian options from the summer dinner recipes?

Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry, Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze, Vegan Black Bean Burgers, and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms are great vegetarian options.

What are some quick summer dinner recipes?

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers and Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa are quick to prepare and perfect for a summer evening.

Are there any summer dinner recipes that are good for a barbecue?

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Grilled Salmon with Herb Butter, and Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza are perfect for your summer barbecue gatherings.

What are some unique summer dinner recipes?

Lobster Rolls, Tomato Gazpacho, and Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa offer unique flavors and are great for trying something different this summer.

Can you recommend a dessert option from the summer dinner recipes?

S'mores Dip is a delightful and easy dessert option to round off any summer meal.

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