35 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

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Summer Dinner Recipes

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As the sun sets later and the days grow warmer, our kitchens become a canvas for the vibrant colors and fresh flavors of summer. Imagine the sizzle of the grill, the crunch of fresh vegetables, and the sweet juiciness of ripe fruits—all coming together to create meals that are as delightful to the palate as they are to the eyes.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, enjoying a quiet family dinner, or planning a romantic picnic under the stars, summer offers an abundance of culinary inspiration. Dive into our collection of unforgettable summer dinner recipes that promise to make every meal a celebration of the season.

From light and refreshing salads to hearty grilled delights, these dishes are designed to keep your evenings delicious and satisfying. Get ready to embrace the flavors of summer and create memories with every bite!

Key Takeaways

  • Light and Refreshing: Summer dinner recipes focus on light, refreshing ingredients perfect for hot weather.
  • Quick and Easy: These recipes are designed for quick preparation, ideal for busy summer evenings.
  • Seasonal Ingredients: Summer dinners make the most of fresh, seasonal produce for vibrant and flavorful meals.

Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

1. Grilled Chimichurri Chicken with Couscous Salad

Originating from Argentina, chimichurri is a zesty sauce made from parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. This recipe pairs juicy grilled chicken with a bright chimichurri sauce, served over a light couscous salad.

The couscous, mixed with fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, and bell peppers, adds a refreshing contrast to the savory chicken. This dish is perfect for a summer evening, offering a balance of protein and fresh produce.

2. Garlic Butter Shrimp and Corn Sheet Pan Dinner

This quick and easy sheet pan dinner combines succulent shrimp with sweet corn, all tossed in a rich garlic butter sauce. Originating from coastal regions where seafood is abundant, this dish captures the essence of summer with its bright flavors and minimal prep time.

Simply arrange the shrimp and corn on a baking sheet, drizzle with the garlic butter, and roast until tender. Serve with a squeeze of lemon for added zest.

3. Slow Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

Farro, an ancient grain with a nutty flavor, forms the base of this hearty salad. Slow-roasted tomatoes add a depth of flavor, while fresh herbs like basil and parsley bring a burst of freshness.

Originating from Mediterranean cuisine, this salad is both nutritious and satisfying. Toss the farro with the roasted tomatoes, herbs, and a simple vinaigrette for a dish that can be enjoyed warm or cold.

4. 20-Minute Summer Squash Pasta

This light pasta dish makes the most of summer squash, sautéed with garlic and olive oil. The origins of this dish lie in Italian cuisine, where fresh, seasonal vegetables are often the star of the meal.

Toss the sautéed squash with al dente pasta, Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs for a quick and delicious dinner that’s ready in just 20 minutes.

5. Grilled Burrata and Tomato Pasta

Creamy burrata cheese and grilled tomatoes make this pasta dish a summer favorite. Burrata, an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, adds a rich, creamy texture, while the grilled tomatoes provide a smoky sweetness.

Tossed with pasta and fresh basil, this dish captures the essence of Italian summer cuisine, perfect for a warm evening meal.

6. Steak and Potato Kebabs

These kebabs feature tender steak and baby potatoes, skewered and grilled to perfection. Originating from Middle Eastern cuisine, kebabs have become a popular grilling option worldwide.

The steak is marinated in a blend of spices and herbs, while the potatoes are parboiled to ensure they cook evenly on the grill. Serve with a side of chimichurri or tzatziki sauce for added flavor.

7. Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Spicy shrimp paired with a sweet and tangy mango salsa make these tacos a summer delight. This dish draws inspiration from Mexican cuisine, where seafood and fresh salsas are staples.

The shrimp are seasoned with a blend of chili powder, cumin, and lime juice, then grilled or sautéed. Top with a vibrant mango salsa made from diced mango, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice, and serve in warm tortillas.

8. Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Raisins

This crunchy salad combines broccoli, crispy bacon, and sweet raisins, all tossed in a creamy dressing. Originating from American cuisine, this salad is a popular choice for picnics and barbecues.

The dressing, made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and a touch of sugar, ties all the flavors together. The addition of sunflower seeds or almonds adds extra crunch and texture.

9. Salmon Teriyaki

Grilled salmon fillets glazed with a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce make for a delicious and healthy summer dinner. Teriyaki, a Japanese cooking technique, involves grilling or broiling foods with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.

The salmon is marinated in the teriyaki sauce, then grilled until caramelized and tender. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables for a complete meal.

10. Cold Sesame Noodles

Chilled noodles tossed with a sesame peanut sauce and fresh vegetables make for a refreshing summer dish. This recipe draws from Chinese cuisine, where cold noodle dishes are popular in hot weather.

The sauce combines peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar, creating a creamy and tangy dressing. Add sliced cucumbers, carrots, and scallions for crunch and color.

11. Grilled Halloumi and Zucchini

Grilled halloumi cheese and zucchini slices, drizzled with olive oil and herbs, make a simple yet flavorful dish. Halloumi, a semi-hard cheese from Cyprus, is perfect for grilling due to its high melting point.

The zucchini, sliced and marinated in olive oil and herbs, complements the salty, crispy halloumi. Serve with a side of lemon wedges for a bright finish.

12. Steak Pitas with Romesco and Herb Whipped Feta

Juicy steak strips served in pita bread with a smoky romesco sauce and whipped feta make for a flavorful summer meal. Romesco, a Spanish sauce made from roasted red peppers, almonds, and garlic, adds a rich depth of flavor.

The whipped feta, blended with fresh herbs, provides a creamy contrast. These pitas are perfect for a casual dinner or a summer picnic.

13. Chipotle Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad

Spicy grilled chicken paired with a fresh mango salad creates a vibrant and healthy summer dish. The chicken is marinated in a chipotle-lime mixture, giving it a smoky, spicy flavor.

The mango salad, made with diced mango, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice, adds a sweet and tangy contrast. This dish is both refreshing and satisfying, perfect for a warm evening.

14. Strawberry Jalapeño Chicken

Grilled chicken breasts topped with a sweet and spicy strawberry jalapeño salsa make for an exciting summer meal. This dish combines the sweetness of ripe strawberries with the heat of jalapeños, creating a unique and flavorful topping for the chicken.

The salsa, made with diced strawberries, jalapeños, red onion, and lime juice, adds a burst of freshness to the grilled chicken.

15. Mediterranean Pizza

A homemade pizza topped with fresh tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and herbs brings the flavors of the Mediterranean to your table. This pizza is inspired by the rich culinary traditions of the Mediterranean region, known for its use of fresh, wholesome ingredients.

The thin crust is topped with a blend of tomatoes, Kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and a sprinkle of oregano and basil. Bake until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

This pizza is light yet satisfying, making it perfect for a summer evening. Serve with a simple green salad and a glass of chilled white wine for a complete Mediterranean experience.

16. Creamy Chicken & Corn Skillet

This one-pan dish combines tender chicken, fresh corn, and a creamy sauce for a comforting yet light summer meal. The origins of this recipe lie in Southern American cuisine, where corn and chicken are staple ingredients.

The chicken is sautéed until golden brown, then simmered with fresh corn kernels, cream, and a touch of garlic. The result is a rich and creamy dish that’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Serve with a side of crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

17. Egg Roll Bowls

Deconstructed egg rolls served in a bowl with ground pork, cabbage, and carrots offer all the flavors of traditional egg rolls without the deep frying. This recipe is inspired by Chinese cuisine and is a healthier take on a classic favorite.

The ground pork is cooked with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, then mixed with shredded cabbage and carrots. Serve over a bed of rice or lettuce for a light and satisfying meal.

18. Chicken and Summer Vegetable Stew with Couscous

A light stew featuring chicken and seasonal vegetables, served over couscous, makes for a nutritious and hearty summer dinner. This dish has its roots in North African cuisine, where couscous is a staple.

The chicken is simmered with a medley of summer vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, creating a flavorful and colorful stew. Serve over fluffy couscous to soak up the delicious broth.

19. Summer Pasta with Grilled Eggplant Sauce

Pasta tossed with a rich sauce made from grilled eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic offers a smoky and savory summer meal. This recipe draws inspiration from Italian cuisine, where eggplant is often featured in summer dishes.

The eggplant is grilled until tender and smoky, then blended with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil to create a luscious sauce. Toss with your favorite pasta and top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

20. Spicy Cocoa Steak Rub

Steak seasoned with a unique blend of cocoa and spices, then grilled to perfection, offers a bold and flavorful summer dish. This recipe is inspired by Mexican cuisine, where cocoa is often used in savory dishes.

The steak is rubbed with a mixture of cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar, creating a rich and spicy crust. Grill until your desired doneness and serve with grilled vegetables or a fresh salad.

21. Fish Tacos

Crispy fish fillets served in tortillas with cabbage slaw and a zesty lime dressing make for a refreshing and flavorful summer meal. Originating from the coastal regions of Mexico, fish tacos are a beloved street food.

The fish is lightly battered and fried until crispy, then topped with a crunchy cabbage slaw and a tangy lime dressing. Serve with warm tortillas and a side of salsa for a complete meal.

22. BBQ Ribs

Tender ribs coated in a smoky barbecue sauce and grilled to perfection are a summer classic. This dish has its roots in American barbecue traditions, particularly in the Southern United States.

The ribs are seasoned with a dry rub, then slow-cooked until tender. They are then brushed with a rich barbecue sauce and grilled to achieve a caramelized crust. Serve with classic sides like coleslaw and baked beans for a true barbecue feast.

23. Potato Salad

A classic summer side dish with boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, and herbs, potato salad is a staple at picnics and barbecues. This dish has its origins in European cuisine, but it has become a beloved part of American summer gatherings.

The potatoes are boiled until tender, then mixed with a dressing made from mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and a touch of sugar. Add chopped celery, onions, and fresh herbs for extra flavor and crunch.

24. Macaroni Salad

A creamy pasta salad with elbow macaroni, diced vegetables, and a tangy dressing, macaroni salad is a versatile and crowd-pleasing dish. This recipe is a staple at summer picnics and potlucks.

The cooked macaroni is mixed with a dressing made from mayonnaise, vinegar, and a touch of mustard. Add diced bell peppers, celery, red onion, and pickles for a burst of flavor and texture. Chill before serving for the best results.

25. Foil Packet Grilled Salmon

Salmon fillets cooked in foil packets with lemon, herbs, and vegetables make for a simple and flavorful summer dinner. This method of cooking, often referred to as “en papillote” in French cuisine, ensures that the salmon remains moist and flavorful.

The salmon is placed on a bed of sliced vegetables, such as zucchini and bell peppers, and topped with lemon slices and fresh herbs. Seal the foil packets and grill until the salmon is cooked through. Serve with a side of rice or a fresh salad.

26. Grilled Veggie Skewers

Skewers of seasonal vegetables, marinated and grilled, make for a colorful and healthy summer dish. This recipe is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, where grilled vegetables are a common feature.

The vegetables, such as bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms, are marinated in olive oil, garlic, and herbs, then threaded onto skewers and grilled until tender. Serve as a side dish or a main course with a dipping sauce.

27. Baked Potatoes with Toppings

Baked potatoes served with a variety of toppings like sour cream, chives, and bacon make for a customizable and satisfying summer meal. This dish is a classic comfort food that can be easily adapted to suit individual tastes.

The potatoes are baked until tender, then split open and topped with your choice of ingredients. Popular toppings include shredded cheese, chopped green onions, steamed broccoli, and chili. Serve as a main course or a hearty side dish.

28. Caprese Salad

Slices of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze, make for a simple and elegant summer salad. This dish originates from the island of Capri in Italy and is a celebration of fresh, high-quality ingredients.

The key to a great Caprese salad is using ripe, juicy tomatoes and creamy mozzarella. Arrange the slices on a platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. Serve as an appetizer or a light main course.

29. Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

Grilled peaches paired with creamy burrata cheese and arugula create a delightful summer salad. This dish combines the sweetness of grilled peaches with the rich, creamy texture of burrata, a fresh Italian cheese.

The peaches are halved and grilled until caramelized, then served on a bed of arugula with torn pieces of burrata.

Drizzle with honey and balsamic glaze for a touch of sweetness and acidity. Garnish with fresh mint or basil leaves for an extra layer of flavor. This salad is perfect as a starter or a light main course, capturing the essence of summer’s bounty.

30. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Spiralized zucchini noodles tossed with a fresh basil pesto make for a light and refreshing summer dish. This recipe is a healthy alternative to traditional pasta, perfect for those looking to cut carbs or incorporate more vegetables into their diet.

The pesto, made from fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, coats the zucchini noodles beautifully. Add cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of Parmesan for extra flavor. This dish is quick to prepare and bursting with fresh, vibrant flavors.

31. Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken

Chicken breasts marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and fresh herbs, then grilled to perfection, make for a delicious and healthy summer dinner. This dish is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, known for its use of fresh herbs and citrus.

The marinade, made with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and thyme, infuses the chicken with bright, zesty flavors. Grill the chicken until it’s juicy and slightly charred, and serve with a side of grilled vegetables or a fresh salad.

32. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a chilled tomato-based soup with fresh vegetables and herbs, originating from Spain. This refreshing dish is perfect for hot summer days. The soup is made by blending ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and olive oil until smooth.

Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar for a tangy kick. Serve cold, garnished with diced vegetables and fresh herbs. Gazpacho is not only delicious but also packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

33. Watermelon Feta Salad

Sweet watermelon cubes mixed with salty feta cheese and mint leaves create a refreshing and unique summer salad. This dish is a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors, perfect for a hot day.

The juicy watermelon and creamy feta are complemented by the freshness of mint leaves and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. This salad is quick to assemble and makes a great side dish or light main course.

34. Stuffed Bell Peppers

Bell peppers filled with a mixture of rice, ground meat, and vegetables make for a hearty and colorful summer dish.

This recipe is versatile and can be customized with different fillings. The bell peppers are hollowed out and stuffed with a mixture of cooked rice, ground beef or turkey, onions, tomatoes, and spices.

Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is cooked through. Top with melted cheese and fresh herbs for added flavor. Serve with a side salad for a complete meal.

35. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob grilled and brushed with seasoned butter is a quintessential summer dish. This recipe is simple yet incredibly flavorful. The corn is husked and grilled until charred and tender, then brushed with a mixture of melted butter, garlic, and herbs.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice for a burst of flavor. Grilled corn on the cob is perfect for barbecues, picnics, and family gatherings.

35 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

Recipe by Cynthia Roberts

Summer dinner recipes focus on light, refreshing ingredients perfect for hot weather.


  • Grilled Chimichurri Chicken with Couscous Salad

  • Garlic Butter Shrimp and Corn Sheet Pan Dinner

  • Slow Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

  • 20-Minute Summer Squash Pasta

  • Grilled Burrata and Tomato Pasta

  • Steak and Potato Kebabs

  • Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

  • Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Raisins

  • Salmon Teriyaki

  • Cold Sesame Noodles

  • Grilled Halloumi and Zucchini

  • Steak Pitas with Romesco and Herb Whipped Feta

  • Chipotle Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad

  • Strawberry Jalapeño Chicken

  • Mediterranean Pizza

  • Creamy Chicken & Corn Skillet

  • Egg Roll Bowls

  • Chicken and Summer Vegetable Stew with Couscous

  • Summer Pasta with Grilled Eggplant Sauce

  • Spicy Cocoa Steak Rub

  • Fish Tacos

  • BBQ Ribs

  • Potato Salad

  • Macaroni Salad

  • Foil Packet Grilled Salmon

  • Grilled Veggie Skewers

  • Baked Potatoes with Toppings

  • Caprese Salad

  • Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

  • Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

  • Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken

  • Gazpacho

  • Watermelon Feta Salad

  • Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Grilled Corn on the Cob


  • Pick your preferred recipe.
  • Assemble all the required ingredients.
  • Make your own delicious summer dinner.


These summer dinner recipes offer a variety of flavors and ingredients that celebrate the best of the season. From light and refreshing salads to hearty grilled dishes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Embrace the flavors of summer and create delicious, memorable meals for your family and friends. Happy cooking!


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