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Looking for some easy summer dinner ideas? These cooling summer dinners are perfect for hot summer nights! Many are centered around the best of summer produce paired with lean proteins. Hearty summer salad recipes, light appetizers, chilled soups, summer pasta salads, easy weeknight dinners, refreshing cocktails and drinks – you’ll find inspiration here.
Table of Contents
- Summer Salads for Dinner
- Summer Pasta SaladS
- Farmers Market Pasta
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Orzo Salad
- Summer Pasta Salad w/ Grilled Zucchini, Corn and Cilantro Pesto
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Asparagus Salad with olives, lemon and Couscous
- Summer Grill Recipes
- More summery recipes for the grill
- Easy Summer Dinner Recipes
- More summer dinner ideas
- Summer Seafood Recipes
- Chilled Summer Soups!
- Summer Appetizers
- More Summer Appetizers
- Summer Burgers & Sandwiches
- More Summer Burgers!
- Delicious Summer Cocktails
- Light & Refreshing summer salads
- More summer salads
- Summer Desserts
- Summer Drinks
- 75+ Light & Delicious Summer Recipes!
Summer Salads for Dinner
In the heat of summer, I can eat a salad every night of the week. These hearty summer salads are perfect for the main course – light, refreshing, filling, and satisfying.
Grilled Salmon Salad with avocado, arugula, cucumber, pepitas, cherry tomatoes, cotija cheese & creamy cilantro lime dressing-perfect for summer barbecues and outdoor gatherings. Chock full of fresh organic produce, this summer salad recipe is healthy and easy to make, and it’s bursting with delicious summertime flavor! Keto and Low-carb.
Delicious & hearty Spinach Salad with grilled mushrooms, red onions, sweet peppers, and optional grilled chicken breast, tossed with tangy French Dressing, topped with Coconut Bacon, Feta and hard-boiled eggs. A tasty dinner recipe, perfect for summer on the patio!
A delicious recipe for Thai Larb Salad is a spicy, full-flavored Thai salad made with your choice of ground chicken, ground turkey, beef, or lamb, served in lettuce cups or rice. Low-carb, light, and refreshing- this summery salad can be served warm or chilled.
Because who doesn’t love a Classic Caesar Salad with the BEST homemade Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese, and hand-torn croutons? Top it off with our Grilled Chicken or Grilled Tofu and dinner is on! Happy campers!
This Lemony Chicken Arugula Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Creamy Basil Dressing- ticks all the boxes! An easy low-carb, high-protein dinner salad that is full of fantastic flavor!
This summery vegetarian Antipasto Salad is with made with simple pantry ingredients, fresh summer veggies, and lots of herbs, tossed in a simple Italian dressing. Vegan and Low Carb adaptable.
I love everything about this cool, crisp Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Fennel Salad with butter lettuce and creamy Dill Dressing. Fast and easy, this hearty summer salad is low carbs and full of flavor!
Delicious Grilled Tuscan Bread Salad with colorful sweet bell peppers, artichoke hearts and white beans tossed in a flavorful white balsamic dressing. Make it on the barbecue for an easy outdoor summer meal with your favorite grilled protein! Vegan!
Mexican Grilled Salmon with Avocado Cucumber Salsa served over greens with creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing, and can be made in 20 minutes. A delicious, healthy low-carb meal perfect for hot summer nights.
This vegan Grilled Portobello Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Corn is tossed in the tastiest Smoky Lime Dressing. It’s vegan and low in carbs. A delicious summer salad for grilling weather!
Blackened Tofu Caesar! This Vegan Ceasar Salad is topped with Blackened Cajun Tofu and dressed in a creamy caesar dressing that is dairy-free, nut-free, and low in calories! A flavorful summer salad, perfect for warm nights!
Grilled Romaine Salad with Corn, Fava Beans and Avocado – a light and refreshing summer meal. Keep it vegan or add grilled shrimp for added protein. Either way, it’s sure to be your new favorite salad. Don’t have access to fresh Fava beans? No worries, sub edamame!
This Grilled Chipotle Chicken Salad is loaded up with grilled veggies- corn, peppers, and scallions over a bed of arugula and quinoa with avocado and a simple Chipotle Lime Dressing. The grilled Chipotle chicken (or sub MEXICAN TOFU ) is placed on top, for a light but hearty Summer Dinner!
This Summer Nicoise Salad Recipe can be made with grilled salmon, tuna or white fish with baby potatoes, olives, roasted peppers, french beans & a delicious lemony, mustard seed dressing. Gluten-free, super filling and full of flavor!
Summer Pasta SaladS
Love summer pasta salad as much as we do? Here are a few of our summertime favorites!
Summer Grill Recipes
This recipe for Grilled Chicken Caprese is easy to make, with simple ingredients. It’s bursting with summertime flavor and can be made in 30 minutes! Perfect for alfresco dining or outdoor gatherings.
Peruvian Chicken (Pollo a la Brasa) with Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji Verde) and Avocado Tomato Cucumber Salad. Can be made in 40 minutes- perfect for weeknights! Vegan adaptable!
Grilled Eggplant with Greek Relish and Creamy Polenta a flavorful, Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian dinner full of delicious summer flavors. Vegan adaptable and gluten-free.
Grilled Scallops with a flavorful Tomato Vinaigrette. A delicious summer dinner that is fast, easy, light, refreshing and elegant!
This Grilled Chicken Shawarma is bursting with Middle Eastern Flavors! Serve them up as a kebabs with Israeli Salad and Basmati Rice (or Naan Bread) with a side of Tzatziki or Baba Ganoush! The perfect combination of flavors.
Easy Summer Dinner Recipes
These Salmon Tacos are healthy and delicious and fun to make! The salmon is coated in cajun spice and quickly blackened in a skillet, then paired with a flavorful cabbage-fennel slaw, pickled onions and mashed avocado.
This recipe for Chicken Satay is bursting with authentic Thai flavor! Chicken (or tofu) is bathed in a fragrant marinade of coconut milk and Thai spices, then grilled to perfection and served with a flavorful peanut dipping sauce. Vegan-adaptable!
Here’s a quick and simple recipe for Zucchini Pasta. Grated zucchini melts into a flavorful succulent sauce, perfect for cradling linguini or your favorite pasta! Enhanced with lemon, black pepper and garlic you’ll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes! Vegan and gluten-free adaptable.
Zucchini Curry is a delightful dish made with Thai red curry paste and coconut milk. It’s a quick and easy dinner – the perfect meal for end-of-summer produce. Make this with chicken breast or Crispy Tofu.
Summer Seafood Recipes
On especially hot days- I often turn to Ceviche made with fresh fish, chili, lime, cilantro, avocado, tomato and cucumber. A very simple recipe -perfect as a flavorful appetizer or a light, healthy meal.
This Summer Corn Chowder with basil and halibut (or other white fish) is one of our all-time favorites! Simple ingredients come together to create a light and healthy summery dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Use any flakey whitefish- halibut, wild cod, or sea bass!
This fresh Poke Bowl ( vegan adaptable!) is perfect for hot summer evenings. Made with fresh ahi tuna (or tofu) with a flavorful Ponzu Dressing, it is loaded with fresh seasonal veggies, all over rice!
Mexican Aguachile! Similar to ceviche, shrimp is cooked in a mixture of lime juice, chiles and cilantro. Flavorful, simple and sooooo delicious!
A simple, healthy recipe for Halibut, served over Lemony Zucchini Noodles with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley, topped with sweet summer tomatoes. A quick and easy low-carb meal- perfect for summer!
Stuffed Avocado with Shrimp and Tarragon– a light and healthy summer meal perfect for brunch, lunch or a light dinner on the patio. Low carb and Keto-friendly.
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna– crispy golden on the outside and rare on the inside can be made in just 10 minutes flat! Served over our Asian Cucumber Salad and Japanese Ricefor a light and delicious summer Meal!
Grilled Chipotle Fish Tacos with a refreshing Peach Salsa. Summery and light with a little bit of heat! Such a delicious combo of flavors, perfect for warm evenings, the cooling peach salsa is super flavorful!
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Pineapple in a flavorful Chipotle Marinade served with a refreshing Jicama Mango Slaw with cilantro and lime. Healthy and Easy!
Go here for our 50 BEST Fish & Seafood Recipes!
Chilled Summer Soups!
Take your gazpacho to the next level. A quick and easy recipe for Tomato Gazpacho, a chilled, no-cook, Spanish soup highlighting ripe and juicy summer tomatoes, with an expert tip to elevate it! Vegan and gluten-free with 2 variations: chunky and smooth.
We love taking a chilled soup like this Chilled Cucumber Gazpacho with yogurt, cilantro, coriander and lime, and topping it with seafood- like shrimp, lobster or even crab! Or feel free to keep it vegetarian! So tasty.
Simple Beet Gazpacho– a refreshing and flavorful chilled beet soup with cucumber, avocado, and fresh dill. A delicious summer starter that is vegan and gluten-free.
Cool and refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho with avocado, cucumber and sprouts. An easy chilled soup for summer! Top it with shrimp or crab and make it a meal!
These Mini Crab Louie lettuce Cups, are so light and refreshing! Fresh crab, avocado, radish, and scallions are served in a lettuce cup with homemade Louie Dressing. Can be made-ahead. Gluten-free, low-carb and dairy-free.
These Teryaki Mushroom Lettuce Wraps are light yet filling! Filled with flavorful shiitake mushrooms in a homemade teriyaki sauce and brown rice- a light and healthy summer meal, perfect for hot summer nights!
Summer Burgers & Sandwiches
Thai Turkey Burgers with Crunchy Asian Slaw, Cucumber Ribbons & Spicy Chili Aioli. Light, healthy, and delicious! Easy to make.
Here’s the tastiest recipe for a crispy BBQ Tofu Sandwich topped with cool and creamy cilantro cabbage slaw, that can be made in under 30 minutes – plus it is vegan. On repeat around here!
Light & Refreshing summer salads
Summery and juicy, this Heirloom Tomato Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Smoked Blue Cheese – highlights sweet and juicy heirloom tomatoes. Serve this with Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken or Grilled Steak! Can be made in 15 minutes!
Cool and refreshing Asian Cucumber Salad is made with rice vinegar, sesame, ginger, garlic and soy, cool and refreshing and pairs well with many things. It’s vegan and gluten-free and is a nice addition to meals and bowls you are already making!
Refreshing and cooling Simple Lebanese Slaw (aka Salatet Malfouf) is made with crunchy cabbage, fresh herbs, lemon, garlic and scallions. Serve it with Lebanese Chicken with 7-Spice for a tasty Middle Eastern Feast.
Hope you enjoy these summer ideas!
Stay cool and cheers! 🥂
75+ Summer Dinner Ideas- perfect for hot summer evenings. Full of healthy veggies and lean proteins, these summer dinners are full of flavor! (Grilled Chipotle Chicken)
- 2 lbs chicken thighs or breasts ( boneless, skinless)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 chipotle peppers (canned) plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce ( juice from can)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 shallot
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt ( 1 teaspoon per pound)
Garnish: lime juice and cilantro
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Place marinade ingredients in a food processor and process into a paste. Place the chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag and massage well to mix and coat all sides well. (Or brush all sides well with marinade and place in a container.) Marinate 20 mins or up to 3 days.
- Grill each side of chicken 6-7 minutes, or until good grill marks appear. Lower heat and move chicken to cooler side of the grill and continue to grill until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165F.
- Let it rest 5-10 mins before serving and squeeze with lime. Sprinkle with optional cilantro.
See full recipe here!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 279
- Sugar: 0.3 g
- Sodium: 946.6 mg
- Fat: 15.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 2 g
- Fiber: 0.6 g
- Protein: 30.2 g
- Cholesterol: 142 mg
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