Summer is here and it’s time to switch off that oven! If you’re ready to add some easy, no-fuss dinner recipes to your menu this summer, we’ve got you covered with 31 quick and easy summer dinners and meal ideas that are perfect for the season.
Quick and Easy Summer Dinners
The name of the game when it comes to cooking during the summer is quick and easy. I don’t want to be slaving over a hot pot of chicken soup when it’s 104 degrees outside, so I have a list of delicious meals that I can make that require minimal cooking. Some require a grill, some an instant pot, some a slow cooker, and some require no cooking at all. I can totally get behind that!
If you’re ready to minimize your time in the kitchen and maximize time relaxing with your family, you’ve come to the right place. But first, let’s talk about ways to simplify the dinner cooking routine.
Tips for Simplifying Dinner Prep
Even quick and easy dinners require a little prep but especially during the hot summer months I’m trying to get dinner on the table as quickly as possibly. Here are a few tips for simplifying your dinner routine.
- Menu Plan: If you’re having guests or just cooking for your family, plan your meal in advance so you can ensure that you have all the ingredients you need. Keep simple dinners that don’t require any cooking on your weekly menu rotation. Things like charcuterie boards with cold cuts, cheese and veggies, or chicken salad sandwiches are perfect for those night when you just don’t want to cook.
- Make ahead what you can. Pasta salad, potato salad, and fresh garden salads can all be prepared completely in advance, sometimes even a day ahead. Keep shredded chicken on hand for adding to soups, salads and sandwiches.
- Collect Ingredients: Take out all of the ingredients and set them on the counter. Group them by recipe to make them easy to grab when you need them.
- Prep: Chop veggies, boil water and open cans before you start cooking. This will keep the flow moving and speed up the process of completing your meal.
31 Summer Dinners
Some of these easy meals will be a complete meal, some of the recipes will be just the main course in which case I’ll provide some suggestions for side dishes at the end of the post.
Side Dishes for Summer Dinners
These are some of the no (or minimal) cook recipes I keep in rotation for rounding out our meals during the summer.
- Wedge Salad with Thousand Island Dressing
- Fresh Corn Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Grilled Potatoes
- Grilled Zucchini
- Slow Cooker Mexican Beans
- 7 Layer Salad
- Black Bean and Corn Salad
- Cabbage Salad
- Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- How to Cook Corn on the Cob (3 ways)