Wind Down From a Sun-Drenched Day With These Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

summer dinner recipes
70 Simple Summer Dinner RecipesCaitlin Bensel


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Let's face it: the last thing we want to do on the first day of summer is spend time inside in the kitchen! But just because you want to make the most of the sunshine doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor for summer sun by making lackluster salads or frozen meals. Instead, look to this list of summer dinner ideas to quell all your cravings! If you're gearing up for a barbecue or planning a delightful picnic at the park, you've come to the right place. Ahead, you'll find an array of summer recipes designed to simplify your dinner routine, including quick 30-minute meals, marinated chicken dishes, flavorful pasta salads, and creative ways to incorporate seasonal summer veggies onto your dinner plate.

If you're looking for easy grilling ideas, you can't have a roundup without plenty of burgers (beef burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, and more), plus creative ideas for hot dogs including one to make in your handy air fryer. Looking to make the most of seasonal garden produce? Try the show-stopping tomato pie, stuffed zucchini, or a summer pasta made with fresh pesto. If keeping cool is your objective, make a splash with fun pool party food ideas like sunrise fruit salad and shrimp skewers. Or skip the grill and stove completely and make a refreshing summer salad featuring creamy burrata and marinated tomatoes instead. Of course, you'll want to round out any of these meals with some frozen desserts and a batch of refreshing summer cocktails to really beat the heat.

Ratatouille

This colorful French dish is a true work of art! It features thin layers of Roma tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash on top of a thick layer of fragrant tomato and bell pepper-based sauce.

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summer dinner recipes ratatouille
C.W. Newell

Shrimp Salad Rolls

Hot summer nights call for cold summer dinner recipes like these refreshing shrimp salad rolls! Toss fresh or frozen cooked shrimp with mayo, lemon juice, celery, and fresh herbs, and then put it in a toasted bun for a delicious warm-weather meal.

Get Ree's Shrimp Salad Rolls recipe.

summer dinner recipes shrimp salad roll
Antonis Achiellos

Feta Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

If summer equates to healthier eating in your home, you'll love this balanced meal of beef meatballs and bright zucchini noodles! The tender meatballs are infused with feta for an influx of cheesy, tangy flavor.

Get Ree's Feta Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles recipe.

summer dinner recipes feta meatballs with zucchini meatballs
Antonis Achiellos

Eggplant Rollatini

Why visit an Italian restaurant when you can make Ree's cheesy and delicious eggplant rollatini right at home? It features melt in your mouth eggplant rolls filled with a creamy ricotta-parmesan mixture and doused in hearty tomato sauce and mozzarella.

Get Ree's Eggplant Rollatini recipe.

summer dinner recipes eggplant rollatini
Antonis Achiellos

Spring Rolls

Cool off from the summer heat with a crunchy plate of spring rolls! They're so easy to make using rice wrappers stuffed with a variety of colorful fruits, veggies, herbs, and shrimp. Don't forget to pair them with creamy peanut sauce for the ultimate dipping delight!

Get the Spring Rolls recipe.

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summer dinner recipes spring rolls
C.W. Newell

Pickle Cheeseburger Bites

Your summer dinner lineup probably includes burgers, but if you're looking to mix things up, try your hand at these genius pickle cheeseburger bites! In this easy recipe, mini cheeseburger patties are sandwiched between dill pickle "buns" on a skewer and served alongside a ketchup-mayo mixture.

Get Ree's Pickle Cheeseburger Bites recipe.

summer dinner recipes dill pickle cheeseburger bites
David Malosh

Grilled Sesame Pork Kebabs with Cucumber Salad

Look no further than these grilled sesame kebabs for a way to use up that pork tenderloin in your fridge! They're coated in an Asian-inspired marinade and grilled with scallions for a fragrant feast.

Get Ree's Grilled Sesame Pork Kebabs recipe.

summer dinner recipes sesame pork kebabs
Antonis Achiellos

BLT Turkey Burgers

Lighten up your normal grilling routine by cooking up some turkey burgers! These feature bacon-studded turkey patties, bacon, lettuce, and tomato and pair perfectly with sweet potato fries.

Get Ree's BLT Turkey Burgers recipe.

summer dinner recipes blt turkey burgers
Antonis Achiellos

Lobster Rolls

Whether or not you live in New England, anyone can enjoy tender, buttery lobster rolls for a taste of the seaside. These juicy rolls are inspired by cold lobster salad-style rolls found in Maine and pair wonderfully with crunchy potato chips.

Get the Lobster Rolls recipe.

summer dinner recipes lobster rolls
Will Dickey

Grill-Fried Chicken

Classic fried chicken is a no-brainer summer dinner. This recipe makes it easier than ever to enjoy the taste of crispy chicken by opting for the grill to cook it to crunchy perfection—no oil required!

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summer dinner recipes grill fried chicken
C.W. Newell

Burrata Salad

Sweet cherry tomatoes, spicy arugula, and creamy burrata are tossed in a dreamy combination of garlic oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil. This salad is meant for summer.

Get the Burrata Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes burrata salad
Caitlin Bensel

Garlic Shrimp

How often do you get to say, "Dinner will be ready in 15 minutes?" Well, with this recipe, you can! With some Creole seasoning and a squeeze of lemon, you'll be amazed how quickly you can develop flavor.

Get the Garlic Shrimp recipe.

summer dinner recipes garlic shrmp
Caitlin Bensel

Chicken Drumsticks with Grilled Peach Salad

Grilling peaches make them extra sweet, and there's no better time to enjoy them than at their peak in the summer. They pair so well with roast chicken.

Get Ree's Chicken Drumsticks with Grilled Peach Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes grilled peach salad
David Malosh

Teriyaki Meatball-Broccoli Kebabs

Full of flavor and done so fast, kebabs really are such a great summertime solution for dinner. Serve on a bed of rice and you've got yourself a complete meal in a flash.

Get Ree's Teriyaki Meatball-Broccoli Kebabs recipe.

summer dinner recipes teriyaki meatball broccoli kebab
Ryan Liebe

Lemon Pasta

Dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes with this easy, zesty pasta dish. If you want to add protein, try grilled salmon or shrimp which is just as fast to cook.

Get the Lemon Pasta recipe.

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summer dinner recipes lemon pasta
Caitlin Bensel

Beer Brats

Crack open a cold one and get this summer cookout classic on the dinner table. You can even use regular hot dogs if that's what you've got in the fridge. The seasoning will transform them!

Get the Beer Brats recipe.

summer dinner recipes beer brats
Caitlin Bensel

Southwestern Salad

Corn, peppers, beans, avocado: This salad has a lot of good-for-you ingredients. Toss them all together with a zesty avocado dressing and you'll have everyone asking for seconds.

Get the Southwestern Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes southwestern salad
Will Dickey

Rigatoni with Summer Vegetables

Chances are you've got an abundance of corn, yellow squash, and sugar snap peas. Toss them together with a little lemon and some cheese, and you've got yourself dinner.

Get Ree's Rigatoni with Summer Vegetables recipe.

summer dinner recipes rigatoni with vegetables
Ryan Dausch

Greek Chicken Kebabs

Dinner is always fun when it's served on a stick, so fire up that grill and make this Greek-inspired dinner tonight. Don't forget to grill up a few sides of pita, too.

Get Ree's Greek Chicken Kebabs recipe.

summer dinner recipes greek chicken kebabs
Ralph Smith

Air Fryer Hot Dog

If you need a night off from the grill, you can still get hot dogs that are crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. All you need is your air fryer! Dinner will be done in no time.

Get the Air Fryer Hot Dog recipe.

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summer dinner recipes air fryer hot dogs
Will Dickey

Juicy Lucy

Take one bite and you'll know how this cheesy stuffed burger first earned its iconic name back in the '50s. Don't forget to pile it high with onions and pickles.

Get the Juicy Lucy recipe.

summer dinner recipes juicy lucy
Caitlin Bensel

Esquites

You can't go wrong with corn during the summer! This recipe gives the charred, sweet corn a burst of flavor thanks to the poblano peppers and creamy chili powder-infused dressing.

Get the Esquites recipe.

summer dinner recipes esquites
Caitlin Bensel

Upside-Down Tomato Cornbread

BBQ and cornbread go hand in hand, but this tomato-topped cornbread might just steal the show from the ribs or steaks you plan to grill.

Get the Upside-Down Tomato Cornbread recipe.

summer dinner recipes upside down tomato cornbread
Caitlin Bensel

Pretzel Dogs

Skip the traditional hot dog bun in favor of this salty, homemade pretzel bun instead. Kids and adults will both love this one.

Get the Pretzel Dogs recipe.

summer dinner recipes pretzel dogs
Caitlin Bensel

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

This recipe is comfort food with a summery twist! Just like loaded baked potatoes that you might enjoy in winter, this potato salad version is packed with cheese and bacon.

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summer dinner recipes loaded baked potato salad
Caitlin Bensel

Grilled Pizza

You don't need a pizza oven for this easy summer dinner. The grill gets scorching hot so it can cook up the pizzas quickly.

Get the Grilled Pizza recipe.

summer dinner recipes grilled pizza
Caitlin Bensel

Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower steaks are so versatile, you can make them your own based on your family's preferences. Try using a BBQ rub or blackening seasoning, or serve the "steaks" with fresh corn salsa.

Get the Cauliflower Steaks recipe.

summer dinner recipes cauliflower steaks
Caitlin Bensel

Feta Pasta

There's a reason why this pasta became so popular on TikTok—it's incredibly easy, cheesy, and loaded with summer tomatoes.

Get the Feta Pasta recipe.

summer dinner recipes feta pasta
Caitlin Bensel

Cowboy Steak

This must be Ladd's idea of the perfect summer dinner recipe. It's a giant steak topped with a meltingly delicious ranch-infused butter.

Get the Cowboy Steak recipe.

summer dinner recipes cowboy steak
Caitlin Bensel

Caesar Salad

Keep things simple with a homemade Caesar salad. You can serve it as a fresh side dish, top it with grilled chicken or stuff it into tortillas for a Caesar wrap!

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summer dinner recipes caesar salad
Caitlin Bensel

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is held together by a homemade ranch dressing that's full of buttermilk, parsley, dill, lemon juice, and garlic. The crispy bacon also makes the dish so good.

Get the Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes bacon ranch pasta salad
Caitlin Bensel

Chickpea Salad

Crunchy veggies, hearty chickpeas, and bright lemon juice make this salad perfect for just about any occasion. You'll definitely want to put it on repeat throughout the summer.

Get the Chickpea Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes chickpea salad
Caitlin Bensel

BBQ Salad

Give BBQ pulled pork a fresh new twist by serving it over a salad with homemade cornbread croutons. There's even pickles for that classic tangy flavor.

Get the BBQ Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes bbq salad
Caitlin Bensel

Coconut Shrimp

Bring tropical island flavor to your own backyard with this shrimp recipe that's coated in crispy coconut! Then, serve it up with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce.

Get the Coconut Shrimp recipe.

summer dinner recipes coconut shrimp
Caitlin Bensel

Asparagus Pasta

This pasta comes together in just 30 minutes! It's simple, creamy, bright, and it's a great way to show off those tender green asparagus.

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summer dinner recipes asparagus pasta
Caitlin Bensel

Beef Kebabs

You'll get your meat and veggies all on one stick with this simple summer recipe. The key is having a good marinade like this one made with balsamic, garlic, honey, and mustard.

Get the Beef Kebabs recipe.

summer dinner recipes beef kabob
Caitlin Bensel

Grilled Salmon

Grilled salmon is a fresh and healthy dinner idea for any night of the week. It only takes a couple minutes of cook time on the grill and it's perfect for serving with rice, salad, or summer veggies.

Get the Grilled Salmon recipe.

summer dinner recipes grilled salmon
Caitlin Bensel

Southwestern Pasta Salad

This smoky, veggie-packed pasta salad is delicious served alongside grilled chicken, burgers, or steak. We particularly love the fun mix-ins, like corn, avocado, and fresh cilantro.

Get the Southwestern Pasta Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes southwestern pasta salad
Caitlin Bensel

Brisket Tacos

Everyone loves taco night—even when it's not on a Tuesday! Whip up a big batch of this saucy brisket to fill corn tortillas any day of the week.

Get the Brisket Tacos recipe.

summer dinner recipes brisket tacos
Caitlin Bensel

Grilled Pork Chops

An easy marinade using pantry ingredients makes these pork chops tender and flavorful. Top them off with mango salsa for another summery twist.

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summer dinner recipes grilled pork chops
Will Dickey

Spinach and Feta Chicken Burgers

If you've never had chicken burgers before, this summer is the time to try! Simply whip up this recipe made with spinach, feta, and Greek yogurt and prepare to be amazed.

Get Ree's Spinach and Feta Chicken Burgers recipe.

summer dinner recipes spinach and feta chicken burgers
Ryan Liebe

Caprese Pasta Salad

Juicy summer tomatoes are the star of this simple side, but if you want to make it more of a main course, you can always add diced grilled chicken or even rotisserie chicken.

Get the Caprese Pasta Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes caprese pasta salad
Caitlin Bensel

Stuffed Zucchini

Whether you grow zucchini in your backyard garden or you picked some up at the local farmers' market, this cheesy stuffed zucchini recipe is a must-try. It's filled with Italian sausage, veggies, and lots of crunchy breadcrumbs.

Get the Stuffed Zucchini recipe.

summer dinner recipes stuffed zucchini
Caitlin Bensel

Cheeseburger Salad

Here's a fun new way to serve burgers for dinner. Pile the mini patties (with cheese) onto a bed of greens, then add pickles, croutons, and Thousand Island dressing.

Get the Cheeseburger Salad recipe.

summer dinner recipes cheeseburger salad
Caitlin Bensel

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Hot dogs, bacon, and jalapeños? Sounds like the perfect summer dinner if you ask us!

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summer dinner recipes bacon wrapped hot dogs
Will Dickey

Chicken Primavera

Use any seasonal vegetables you can find to make this one-pot meal even easier. In the summer, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and spinach would be great additions when paired with the seasoned chicken.

Get the Chicken Primavera recipe.

chicken primavera in orange dutch oven with wooden spoon
Will Dickey

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Quick-cooking shrimp are a great alternative for meat on hot summer days. They're light, fresh, and perfect when paired with a simple salad, a bed of rice, or your favorite vegetable sides.

Get the Grilled Shrimp Skewers recipe.

grilled shrimp skewers with lemon wedges on floral tablecloth
Will Dickey

Grilled Chicken Marinade

What's the trick to the best grilled chicken? A delicious marinade, of course! This one ensures your chicken will be juicy and flavorful every time.

Get the Grilled Chicken Marinade recipe.

grilled chicken marinade on blue and white plate
Nicole Dubois

Angel Hair Pasta

It doesn't get much quicker than this 10-minute pasta recipe. You won't have to worry about spending too much time in a hot kitchen and it's a great way to showcase summer tomatoes—it's a win-win!

Get the Angel Hair Pasta recipe.

angel hair pasta with cherry tomatoes in green bowl
Will Dickey

Simple Grilled Flank Steak

You don't need much to make this grilled steak shine—just a simple wedge salad on the side will do. But if you're feeling feisty, you can also add a chimichurri sauce or your favorite salsa for topping.

Get the Simple Grilled Flank Steak recipe.

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grilled flank steak on white platter blue napkin
Nicole Dubois

Beef-Vegetable Kebabs with Orzo

This prep-ahead dinner makes mealtime a breeze. Just throw them on the grill and serve with a simple side of orzo or rice.

Get Ree's Beef-Vegetable Kebabs with Orzo recipe.

beef vegetable kebabs with orzo on white and blue plate
con poulos

Lamb Burgers

Up your grilling game this summer with a creative burger recipe that everyone will love. Instead of your typical beef burgers, these lamb burgers are loaded with bold spices and a refreshing creamy feta sauce.

Get the Lamb Burgers recipe.

lamb burgers with feta and olive on toothpick
Will Dickey

Greek Salad with Chicken

Keep things cool by making a hearty salad for dinner tonight. You can even cook the chicken on the grill to keep things completely outdoors.

Get Ree's Greek Salad with Chicken recipe.

greek salad with chicken overhead in bowl with blue background
con poulos

Crab Cakes

Bring the flavor of the ocean home with these delicious homemade crab cakes. You can serve them as a hearty appetizer or make them a meal with a crisp side salad.

Get the Crab Cakes recipe.

crab cakes with side salad and mayo on blue plate
Will Dickey

Grilled BBQ Ribs

Put your favorite BBQ sauce to work with these finger-lickin' ribs. They're a favorite when served with classic sides like coleslaw and mac and cheese.

Get the Grilled BBQ Ribs recipe.

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grilled bbq ribs on white platter with green linen
Will Dickey

Classic Cheeseburger

You can't go wrong with a classic cheeseburger! Put all the toppings out for your family to build their own perfect burger.

Get the Classic Cheeseburger recipe.

classic cheeseburger with onions tomato and lettuce on teal plate
Will Dickey

Easy Taco Salad

If you're craving tacos but want to keep things a little lighter, this taco salad is a great alternative! It's still filling enough thanks to the ground beef and taco toppings, but it's also perfect for a hot summer day.

Get the Easy Taco Salad recipe.

easy taco salad with ground beef and chips
Will Dickey

Shrimp Po'Boy

This sandwich is piled high with fried shrimp, pickles, and creamy mayo so it's big enough to serve for dinner. Best of all, it's ready in just 30 minutes!

Get the Shrimp Po'Boy recipe.

shrimp poboy with tomatoes and mayo on baguette
Caitlin Bensel

Lemon-Pepper Grilled Rib Eyes

To give these grilled steaks a burst of flavor, try making your own lemon-pepper seasoning. It's easier than you might think!

Get Ree's Lemon-Pepper Grilled Rib Eyes recipe.

lemon pepper grilled rib eyes on wood board
David Malosh

Barbecue Chicken Salad

"BBQ chicken is a summer staple on the ranch," Ree says. When paired with a refreshingly crisp salad, it's every bit as tasty.

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barbecue chicken salad with salad in big white bowl and chicken sliced on cutting board
con poulos

Veggie Burger

It's hard to beat the classic beef burger, but this meatless version is perfect for any vegetarians in the family (or if you're just looking to add some more veggies to your life). It's surprisingly satisfying thanks to the sweet potatoes, grains, and almonds.

Get the Veggie Burger recipe.

veggie burger with lettuce and onion on bun closeup
Caitlin Bensel

16-Minute Shrimp Scampi

Ree has been loving shrimp scampi for years and years. It's simple, garlicky, and cooks up in just a matter of minutes.

Get Ree's 16-Minute Shrimp Scampi recipe.

shrimp scampi in blue bowl
Danielle Daly

Turkey Burgers

There are so many fun ways to top a turkey burger! Here, we've added avocado, Swiss cheese, and pesto mayonnaise (which is just 1/4 cup mayo and 1 tablespoon prepared pesto).

Get the Turkey Burgers recipe.

turkey burgers with avocado on buns on wood board
Will Dickey

Chipotle Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon

Here's a fun twist on a classic Caesar salad: Top it with a hearty filet of freshly grilled salmon! It gets even more flavor thanks to the addition of adobe sauce.

Get Ree's Chipotle Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon recipe.

chipotle caesar salad with salmon in bowl
Ralph Smith

Easy Tomato Pie

Summer is officially tomato season! And there's no better way to celebrate than with a gorgeous pie made from juicy, ripe tomatoes. Serve it up with a side of mixed greens for a simple weeknight dinner.

Get the Easy Tomato Pie recipe.

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easy tomato pie
Will Dickey

Grilled Steak Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Along with grilled, sliced steak, these easy wraps are filled with a crisp salad made from radishes, carrots, romaine, and scallions. But it's the creamy peanut dressing that makes them so special.

Get Ree's Grilled Steak Wraps with Peanut Sauce recipe.

grilled steak wraps with peanut sauce on red floral plate
Ralph Smith

Grilled Sausage and Peppers

Put an Italian spin on your weeknight dinner by making these sausage and peppers with a side of toasted Italian bread. You can also serve it up with a Caesar salad, grilled zucchini, or a summery pasta recipe.

Get the Grilled Sausage and Peppers recipe.

grilled sausage peppers with basket of rolls in back
Will Dickey

Grilled Pork Salad with Strawberries

Come summertime, Ree loves recipes that are grilled and served at room temperature, like this grilled pork salad. "It's so easy because other than the pork, none of the ingredients have to be hot," she says.

Get Ree's Grilled Pork Salad with Strawberries recipe.

grilled pork salad with strawberries in red bowl
Ryan Dausch

Pasta with Zucchini Pesto

Take one look at the farmers' market in summer and you'll likely find a ton of zucchini. There are so many ways to use the veggie—including turning it into a bright and herby pesto for pasta.

Get Ree's Pasta with Zucchini Pesto recipe.

pasta with zucchini pesto in blue bowl
Ralph Smith

Shrimp and Veggie Quesadillas

Everything about these quesadillas screams summertime: the fresh vegetables, the salsa verde seasoned shrimp, and the slices of mango on the side.

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shrimp and veggie quesadillas with sliced mango on side
Ryan Dausch

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