Here are 30 Fresh & Healthy Summer Dinner Ideas for hot summer nights! Many are centered around the best of summer produce paired with lean proteins. Hearty summer salads, refreshing chilled soups, summer pasta recipes, light and flavorful fish and seafood recipes, and a handful of our favorite summer grilling recipes with many vegetarian options!
Summer Dinner Ideas: Salads!
These healthy summer salads are hearty enough to be the main course – light and refreshing but filling and satisfying -one of our favorite summer dinner ideas.
Grilled Salmon Salad with Avocado, Arugula, Cucumber, Pepitas, Cotija Cheese & Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing-perfect for summer barbecues and outdoor gatherings. Chock full of fresh organic produce, not only is this entree salad healthy and easy to make, 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 entree-sized salad, perfect for dinners on the patio!
This entree-sized summer salad ticks all the boxes- Lemony Chicken Arugula Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Creamy Basil Dressing- an easy low-carb, high-protein dinner salad that is full of amazing flavor!
A delicious recipe for Thai Larb Salad – a spicy, full-flavored Thai salad made with your choice of ground chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb, served in lettuce cups or with rice. Low-carb, light, and refreshing- and can be served warm or chilled.
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.
This Grilled Chicken Greek Salad is light and healthy and full of so much flavor! Make the refreshing Greek Salad and top it with Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken. A tasty dinner, perfect for hot summer nights!
I love everything about this cool and 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!
Mexican Grilled Salmon with Avocado Cucumber Salsa served over greens with creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing …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!
Summer Dinner Ideas on the grill
Need some summer dinner ideas? Here are few of our favorite grilling recipes- perfect for hot summer nights!
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.
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!
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!
Light Summer Pasta Recipes!
This Fregola with Corn, Zucchini and Basil, sprinkled with pecorino is fast and perfect for summer nights. An easy Italian-inspired meal that comes together in 30 minutes.
Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce – an easy healthy recipe featuring fresh summer tomatoes that can be made in 20 mins flat! Perfect for summer nights!
This healthy Greek Pasta Salad is the perfect make-ahead pasta salad for summertime picnics, BBQs, potlucks, and easy dinners. A hearty ratio of fresh veggies combined with tender orzo pasta, and chickpeas tossed in the tastiest Greek Salad dressing.
Summer Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto! This flavorful pasta salad is made with gluten-free rice noodles and loaded up with healthy summer veggies, then tossed in the most flavorful Cilantro Pesto…. deliciously addicting! Vegan and Gluten-free!
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad w/ cherry tomatoes, baby mozzarella, olives & fresh basil tossed in a Creamy Pesto Dressing. Vegan, gluten-free adaptable.
Tuna Pasta with Olive Tapenade & Fresh Tomatoes is a super fast, fresh pasta dish that is full of bright clean and savory flavors. An easy meal ready in 30 minutes! Healthy, quick and delicious!
Light & Healthy 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 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!
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!
Delicious Summer Lettuce Wraps, Handhelds, Sandwiches!
We LOVE making a meal out of these Mini Crab Louie lettuce Cups, 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.
Currently my favorite summer burger on the blog-Chimichurri Turkey Burgers! Seasoned with jalapeño, cilantro, lime zest, scallions, topped with roasted poblano peppers and flavorful Chimichurri Mayo, wrapped up in lettuce. Light and ultra flavorful, these low-carb burgers are perfect for hot weather!
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!
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!
Summer Sides we make on Repeat
Simple Grilled Asparagus– one of the easiest, fastest and tastiest ways to cook asparagus in under 15 minutes! A delicious healthy vegan side dish, everyone will love.
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 dinner ideas!
Stay cool and cheers! 🥂
30 Fresh & 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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