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45 Easy Summer Dinner Ideas


Tired of the same old recipe rotation? Change things up with these easy summer dinner ideas! They include grilling recipes, quick pastas, and more.


summer dinner ideas


If you’re looking for new summer dinner ideas, you’re in the right place! Below, you’ll find 45 of my best summer dinner recipes. They include easy weeknight pastas, fresh summer salads, quick grilled meals, and more.

These recipes are the meals I make on repeat throughout the summer. I love them because they’re packed with the best produce the season has to offer—tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, basil, and more. Using these fresh ingredients is a simple way to add bold flavor to summer meals. I’ll be cooking with them as often as I can this season, and I hope you will be too!

Our Best Summer Dinner Ideas


Lemon pasta


This 20-minute pasta is one of the easiest summer dinner recipes I know, but it still feels elegant. A lightly creamy, zesty sauce coats twirls of al dente pasta. Top it off with a shower of fresh basil!


Summer dinner ideas - Mushroom tacos


If your favorite summer dinner ideas involve grilling, you’ll love these mushroom tacos. I fill them with meaty, smoky grilled mushrooms, avocado salsa, and pickled red onions for pop. Serve them with a side of my Mexican street corn salad!


Best Veggie Burger


These veggie burgers freeze perfectly, so I love keeping them on hand for quick dinners throughout the summer. Add a side of air fryer French fries or corn on the cob for an easy meal!


Coconut rice bowl with halloumi, peach salsa, black beans, avocado, cilantro lime dressing, and fresh mint


These refreshing bowls are one of my favorite summer dinner ideas. Peach salsa, black beans, grilled halloumi, and avocado top a bed of coconut rice. My zesty cilantro lime dressing ties it all together!


Summer dinner ideas - pesto pizza


Loaded up with basil pesto, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, and MORE basil, this gorgeous pie is bursting with summer flavor.


Stuffed zucchini boats


You can never have enough summer dinner ideas with zucchini, right? This recipe is one of my favorites. A flavorful mixture of tomatoes, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese fills juicy, tender zucchini boats.


Summer dinner ideas - Corn pasta with basil


I’m obsessed with all summer dinner ideas that use sweet corn, and this corn pasta is one of the best. I puree some corn kernels to make the creamy, silky sauce and leave more whole for crunch!


Chickpea salad


When it’s too hot to turn on the oven or the stove, I make this lemony chickpea salad for dinner. Leftovers pack up perfectly for lunch the next day!


Summer dinner ideas - banh mi sandwich


My veggie riff on a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich! It’s filled with seared tofu, pickled veggies, fresh cilantro, and spicy mayo. I like to marinate the tofu and pickle the veggies in advance. That way, this recipe is quick and easy to assemble on a weeknight.


Easy Gazpacho


This gazpacho recipe is everything I want for dinner on a hot summer night. It’s a breeze to make, and it’s deeply cooling and refreshing.


Caesar salad


This hearty salad is a classic for a reason! Instead of topping mine with grilled chicken breast, I sprinkle on roasted chickpeas for plant-based protein and crunch.


Cherry tomato pasta


When you go overboard on cherry tomatoes at the farmers market (me every week), this recipe is here to help you use them up. Half the tomatoes cook down into a fresh, tangy sauce. The rest stay whole to add bursty bites to the pasta.


Stuffed peppers - summer dinner ideas


You can make these stuffed peppers two ways. Top them with cheese, or serve them with guacamole and chipotle sauce for a vegan variation. You can’t go wrong—both versions are delicious!


Healthy taco salad


Shiitake walnut taco meat, black beans, and crispy tortilla strips fill this salad with tasty taco flavor. Douse it all in cilantro lime dressing for a perfect summer meal!


Summer dinner ideas - Corn pizza


Corn on pizza?! Don’t knock it till you try it. I love its texture here. The crisp, juicy kernels play off a chewy crust, creamy ricotta cheese, and dollops of pesto.


Black bean burger


These smoky, spicy black bean burgers come together in 30 minutes flat! Serve them with a side of grilled veggies for a tasty weeknight dinner.


Nicoise salad


This vegetarian spin on a Niçoise salad is one of my favorite summer recipes. I could eat it for dinner every night! To make it vegetarian, I use creamy white beans and briny artichoke hearts instead of the traditional tuna.


Summer dinner ideas - Vegetarian lasagna


When you think of summer dinner ideas, lasagna may not be the first thing that comes to mind. This lasagna, though, is a must-try summer recipe. Between all those noodles and marinara, you’ll find a fresh, flavorful medley of roasted summer veggies.


Grilled vegetable skewers


With the right fixings, simple grilled veggies can be a satisfying summer dinner! Serve them with a hearty, flavorful sauce like tzatziki or romesco sauce and lots of pita bread.


Summer dinner ideas - Caprese Sandwiches


If Caprese sandwiches aren’t already in your summer dinner rotation, now’s the time to add them! They’re fresh, filling, and SO quick to make.


Fresh spring rolls


Just add peanut sauce for a tasty summer meal!


Greek salad recipe


This Greek salad is one of my go-to cookout side dishes, but I also love it for dinner on hot summer nights. The juicy vegetables and tangy dressing make it so refreshing, and the briny olives and feta make it a satisfying meal.


Ratatouille


A late summer classic. Serve this Provençal vegetable stew with a generous drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread.


Easy fajita veggies - summer dinner ideas


Summer dinner ideas don’t get much simpler than this! Grill up mushrooms, onions, and peppers, and serve them in tortillas with pico de gallo and guacamole. Yum!


Summer dinner ideas - Tomato galette


Show off peak-season tomatoes in this gorgeous galette! To streamline the recipe, use frozen puff pastry dough instead of making the pie crust from scratch.


Sesame Soba Noodles - easy summer recipes


Customize this recipe with whatever summer veggies you like. Julienned carrots and cucumber, sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and green beans would all be excellent here.


Falafel


Tuck these flavorful chickpea patties into pita with hummus, tahini sauce, pickled red onions, and your favorite summer veggies.


Eggplant Parmesan Recipe - Summer Dinner Ideas


My take on classic eggplant Parmesan! Instead of frying the crispy eggplant slices, I bake them for a lighter—but no less delicious—meal.


Easy Pesto Pasta


Make your own pesto if you have an abundance of fresh basil on hand. If not, substitute store-bought for an even quicker summer dinner.


Mediterranean quinoa bowl


Fresh herbs, pickled onions, and an easy yogurt sauce make this simple grain bowl a flavorful summer meal.


Summer dinner ideas - BBQ Tofu Sandwich


This saucy sandwich is an EPIC summer dinner! Grilled BBQ tofu steaks, avocado, slaw, and pickles create its insanely flavorful vegan filling.


Cherry tomato pasta salad recipe


This stunning salad features cherry tomatoes two ways! I roast some for chewy texture and rich, savory flavor and leave others raw so that they stay sweet and juicy.


Best Vegan Pizza - Summer dinner ideas


You won’t miss the cheese on this super-veggie vegan pizza. Sun-dried tomatoes, onions, basil, and a rich cashew cream sauce pack it with plenty of flavor.


Quesadillas


Looking for summer dinner ideas that you can make in a single skillet? Quesadillas are a great option! They cook in minutes, and you can customize the filling with your favorite summer veggies.


Summer recipes - Tomato Basil Soup


Roasted and blended plum tomatoes create a lightly creamy, savory base for this 10-ingredient soup.


Vegan hot dogs


These vegan carrot “hot dogs” are a fun veggie option for a cookout! I love to top mine with mustard and pickle relish.


Stuffed poblano peppers


Spice up your rotation of summer dinner ideas with these veggie-packed peppers! I mean “spice up” literally—the poblanos give this recipe a delicious kick.


Panzanella


This panzanella, a Tuscan bread salad, is one of the summer dinner ideas I make on repeat every year. I love how the fresh tomato juices and tangy dressing infuse the bread with flavor.


Summer recipes - Roasted red pepper pasta


Jarred and fresh roasted red peppers both work nicely in this vibrant summer pasta.


Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger


Tamari and balsamic vinegar infuse these juicy mushroom caps with tangy, savory flavor. Serve them on hamburger buns with all the fixings!


Vegan tacos - summer dinner ideas


If you like to get ahead on dinner, this recipe is for you. You can cook the spicy jackfruit filling up to 2 days in advance and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, warm the filling, whip up the refreshing mango salsa, and dig in!


Zucchini Lasagna - Summer Dinner Ideas


If you have a summer surplus of zucchini, make this fresh lasagna to (help) use it up. I replace half the pasta with zucchini noodles and blend more zucchini into the creamy filling.


Summer dinner ideas - quinoa salad recipe


In the summer, I want to spend as much time enjoying the beautiful weather as possible, so I love to make packable salads like this one for dinner. It travels perfectly to the beach or a park for a picnic!


Watermelon Poke Bowl - Summer Dinner Ideas


Hot summer days call for refreshing recipes like this one. A plant-based take on Hawaiian poke, it features cooling watermelon, cucumbers, and pickled ginger.


Margherita pizza


Think of all the summer dinner ideas that revolve around tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella—this pasta, this sandwich, this salad. It’s only natural that we should pile them on pizza, too!

More Favorite Summer Recipes

If you love these summer dinner ideas, check out these favorite summer recipes next:


easy summer dinner ideas


Summer Dinner Ideas: Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

These stuffed red peppers are one of our favorite healthy summer dinner ideas!

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and membranes, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake 10 minutes. Tip out and discard any liquid that pools inside the peppers. Set the peppers aside.

  • Make the filling. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, jalapeños, scallions, lime zest, lime juice, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, and cilantro. Fold in the rice, black beans, and corn.

  • Scoop the filling into the pepper halves and top them with the cheese. Broil for 2 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browned. Alternatively, continue baking at 450°F for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with the avocado slices, lime wedges, and extra jalapenos, if desired.

Vegan version: Skip the cheese. Don’t bake the peppers the second time, and serve them with guacamole or chipotle sauce.



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