35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (2024)

While summer offers up some of the year's best produce and most versatile ingredients, the beautiful weather, long days, and opportunities to take a vacation mean you don't want to spend all day standing over the stove.

Each of these summer dinner recipes incorporates the best of the season's fruit and vegetables, like tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and fresh herbs, into crowd-pleasing summer pastas, grilled pizza, and one-pot meals. Most come together in less than an hour, and many require only basic cooking equipment and techniques (like a single pot or sheet pan or a few minutes on the grill). All are designed to help you get a delicious meal on the table with ease—so you can get back to relaxing at the pool, the beach, or your own front porch.

One-Pot Meals That Are Perfect for Summer Dinners

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Grilled Chicken and Eggplant With Mozzarella and Tomatoes

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (1)

Turn your favorite caprese salad into a quick, satisfying meal with the addition of grilled chicken, grilled eggplant, kalamata olives, and fresh herbs alongside just-picked tomatoes.

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Gnocchi with Sausage, Zucchini, and Tomato

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Zucchini, fresh tomato, and ground sausage—without casings—cook quickly in a skillet while gnocchi cooks separately. Toss it all together and top with store-bought pesto (or homemade, depending on how much time you have) for a full meal in 30 minutes.

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Pasta With No-Cook Puttanesca Sauce

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The "sauce" in this recipe requires fresh tomatoes, olive oil, capers, and Pecorino Romano cheese. Toss it all with warm pasta and garlic cloves for a no-sweat alternative to heavier, simmered sauces.

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Blistered Green-Bean and Corn Frittata

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (4)

Charred green beans, shallots, and corn are a savory filling for a simple vegetable frittata, while a side of tomatoes tossed with olive oil, vinegar, and parsley comes together in minutes for a pretty—and pretty easy—accompaniment.

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Grilled Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

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A balanced filling of couscous, tomato, raisins, mint, and feta highlights a Mediterranean influence in this simple recipe. After cooking the filling, the peppers need just five minutes on the grill to set.

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Chicken-Mozzarella Melts with Cherry Tomatoes

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Few meals are easier to put together on a busy summer night than an open-faced melt. This version, which includes chicken, tomatoes, peppers, basil, and arugula, is served on grilled bread and topped with melted mozzarella.

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Summer Smoked-Salmon Chowder

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Embrace the flavors of your favorite seafood shack with a rich, creamy salmon chowder, made in a Dutch oven in about 45 minutes. (Don't forget the oyster crackers!)

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Chicken Cutlets With Summer Squash and Feta

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Dredge these chicken cutlets in flour before cooking in a skillet with capers and broth to create a flavorful pan gravy that tastes like you spent all day at the stove. Summer squash, fresh spinach leaves, and creamy feta are a flavorful side.

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Shrimp Cobb With Cilantro-Lime Dressing

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (9)

Classic Cobb salad gets a dinner party-ready makeover when topped with sauteéd shrimp, cilantro, avocado, and watercress—all tasty complements to the traditional egg, bacon, tomato, and romaine.

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Orecchiette With Corn, Arugula, and Tuna

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (10)

This easy pasta dish makes the most of fresh and packaged ingredients by using fresh corn on the cob and its "milk" along with cherry tomatoes and tuna packed in oil. The 30-minute cook time includes 10 minutes of cooling before you toss the pasta with arugula and serve.

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Spinach Salad With Chicken, Corn, Tomatoes, and Feta

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (11)

This salad may be the simplest summer dinner you can make—especially if you grill the chicken in advance (or use leftovers). Toss baby spinach, tomatoes, feta, corn, and chicken in lemon juice and olive oil for a fast, light entrée.

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Baked Rice With Sausage, Peppers, and Corn

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (12)

Use an ovenproof skillet to brown sausages, sautée peppers and onions, and heat dry Arborio rice and broth, then transfer the pan to the oven for a hands-off 25-minute final cook.

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Broiled Fish With Summer Salad

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (13)

On days when it's so hot you can't pull yourself away from the pool to cook, opt for this light, healthy fish entree. It takes five minutes to broil the lemon sole or flounder filets, and the tomato-cucumber-corn salad is served raw.

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Blistered Eggplant With Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (14)

Take these colorful vegetables from garden to table in about 20 minutes; the eggplants are blistered in the broiler. After the eggplants cool, layer them with sliced tomatoes and feta, top with more feta and parsley, and serve with a crusty baguette.

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Eggplant-Mozzarella Melt

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Serve up a vegetarian sandwich alternative at your next cookout with eggplant-mozzarella melts. Grilled eggplant is served under melted cheese and a grilled onion with Boston lettuce on a brioche bun (even the non-vegetarians will be jealous).

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Pasta Nicoise

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This one-pot pasta dish of boiled eggs, potatoes, and green beans takes inspiration from the salad that provides its name. Since it can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature, it's ideal for a last-minute dinner or make-ahead summer potluck.

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Pork Tenderloin With Summer-Squash Couscous

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Grilled pork, seasoned with Dijon mustard and fennel, is served with quick-cooking couscous and grilled vegetables. But the star of this plate is the mint-scallion relish, which takes the entire dish from basic to bravo!

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Zucchini-Ribbon "Lasagna"

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Replace pasta noodles with fresh zucchini ribbons to make this seasonal vegetable lasagna, a lighter, warm-weather alternative to traditional versions. (Swapping in store-bought sauce cuts prep time—and keeps your kitchen cool.)

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Mediterranean Chopped-Chicken Pita

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Grilled chicken, cut into strips, is served on hummus-topped grilled pitas with tomatoes, scallions, and radicchio. Cut these open-face sandwiches into wedges for easier eating.

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Swordfish With Watermelon and Lime-Ginger Citronette

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (20)

Low-effort grilled swordfish gets an upscale makeover when served with crunchy lettuce, sweet watermelon, and a homemade lime-ginger dressing.

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Zucchini, Lamb, and Summer Squash With Buttermilk Dill Marinade

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Marinate lamb slices in a buttermilk, garlic, and dill marinade overnight for the most tender results; then add to skewers of zucchini and squash and let your grill do the rest.

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Summer Beef-and-Rice Casserole

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This one-pot meal allows you to cook the rice in a cast-iron skillet with meat sauce, breadcrumbs, squash, and Parmesan cheese, creating a creamy, Italian-inspired casserole with a bare minimum of post-dinner dish duty.

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Grilled Skirt Steak and Hearts of Palm Salad

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Marinate this skirt steak in red curry for 10 minutes—if you're short on time—or overnight for a richer taste. Vermicelli noodles and hearts of palm, topped with a homemade fish-sauce dressing, add savory crunch.

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Tomato and Bean Salad With Grilled Tuna

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Top a grilled tuna steak with a cold salad made from tomatoes, beans, tarragon, lemon juice, scallions, and olive oil for an easy—and healthy—main course.

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Easy Cobb Salad

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Cobb salad is a classic for a reason. This foolproof combination of flavors and textures—bright lettuce, smooth hard-boiled eggs, crisp bacon, and tangy blue cheese—are easy to source, easy to pull together, and easy to love.

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Shrimp Burgers

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Opting for seafood over red meat is a healthier choice, and an obvious one when the beef burger alternative is this savory shrimp burger, made with chopped scallions, hot cherry peppers, and basil.

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Mussels With Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, and Tarragon

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Steamed mussels in white wine with tomatoes, corn, and tarragon cook in under 15 minutes, while crusty bread allows you to soak up every last drop of broth.

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Sweet Corn-Brown Rice Risotto

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Risotto may not be a low-effort meal, but this sweet corn version is perfect for summer dinner parties where you want to show off your skills. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh basil before serving for a creamy, cheesy side dish or meat-free entrée.

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Skirt Steak and Corn With Chimichurri

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Since you can serve this skirt steak and corn warm, cold, or at room temperature, it's a go-to option for preparing dinner before a day trip or grilling right before you eat. (The green herb dressing can also be prepared the day before.)

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Grilled Vegetable Pizzas

35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (30)

Though this recipe for grilled pizza calls for mushrooms, zucchini, kale, and onion, you can sub in other fresh produce. No matter what you choose, the toppings—mozzarella and blue cheese—and mustard vinaigrette will make a finished flatbread that's tastier than anything from your local pizza place.

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Grilled Buttermilk Chicken Tenders With Dipping Sauces

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Small chicken tenders have their pros and cons on the grill: They cook quickly, in about 10 minutes, but they also dry out faster than you might expect. Marinating the tenders overnight in buttermilk and wrapping them in bacon means they're ready to hit the grill as soon as you get home from work—but won't lose their juicy flavor.

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Red Onion, Pork, and Pineapple With Sriracha-Pineapple Marinade

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Pork loin pieces, red onion, and pineapple chunks brushed with spicy sriracha and sweet pineapple juice cook in 15 minutes or less. Marinating the pork for eight hours (or overnight) results in a more robust taste.

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Grilled Pizza With Fontina and Arugula

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Peppery arugula adds a bright taste—and vibrant color—to this fontina-topped pizza. Grill the crust for four minutes, then flip, top with cheese, and grill another four minutes before adding arugula. Dinner after spending fewer than 10 minutes in front of the grill? Yes, please.

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One-Pan Pasta

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Small cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced onion, four cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and linguini cook together in this single-pot meal, so you can serve up a creamy, light pasta dish faster than you can call for delivery.

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Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

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Use a single sheet pan to broil tortillas, chicken, and vegetables for chili-spiced fajitas, then top with fresh salsa, avocado, and sour cream (and pair with icy margaritas or sangria).

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35 Summer Dinner Recipes That Are Fast, Easy, and Tasty (2024)

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