When the weather warms up, it’s only natural to want to spend less time in the kitchen. So check out these streamlined summer dinner recipes whether you’re eating in the backyard, having a picnic on the lawn, or just gathering around the dining room table. Designed to keep you cool, these quick and easy summer dinner recipes that rely mostly on pantry staples will give you more time to enjoy lazy days and take full advantage of the season and all that summer has to offer. Recipes with short ingredient lists and very little prep ensure that dinner will be ready in 45 minutes or less.
Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Bacon
Just a few ingredients — fresh rosemary, bacon, and garlic powder — add considerable flavor to this quick summer dinner recipe that recipe reviewer Country Folks says also works on a stovetop grill. By making extra portions, you will be able to use it in sandwiches and salads during the rest of the week.
Tomato Basil Salmon
Nothing quite says summer like the combination of tomatoes and basil. With the addition of Parmesan cheese, tomatoes and basil give an Italian vibe to salmon. Several reviewers also suggest adding fresh or powdered garlic to amp up the flavor and using fresh basil instead of dried, if you have it.
Crunchy French Onion Chicken
Crispy French fried onions aren’t just for green bean casseroles. Here, they form the breading for skinless, boneless chicken breasts that are baked in the oven after a quick dip in beaten egg. Recipe reviewer Ashley Hamilton suggests baking it on parchment paper to avoid any chance it will stick.
Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers
Whether you’re eating inside or out, this recipe is sure to please. Recipe creator Foodie Geek says, “These are a big hit in the summertime when everyone is tired of the same old hamburgers and hot dogs. Serve with or without buns and your favorite condiments. I like to serve these with lettuce, tomato, and Tzatziki sauce.”
Mushroom Pork Chops
You probably already have the ingredients needed for this terrific recipe. A combination of fresh sliced mushrooms, onions, and cream of mushroom soup doctored with salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic salt create loads of flavor with no fuss. The sauce is delicious with mashed potatoes, noodles, or bread.
Baked Salmon Fillets Dijon
For a picture-perfect fish dish, smear salmon with Dijon mustard and top with bread crumbs, and melted to create a crunchy crust with a minimal amount of work. It bakes in 15 minutes, and the use of aluminum foil makes it a breeze to clean up.
Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Chicken
Pantry staples come to the rescue again in this chicken dish with diced tomatoes, sundried tomato pesto, and canned artichokes. Lots of recipe reviewers put their own twist on the recipe, including adding more pesto, including garlic, adding black olives, and Italian seasoning mix. Many reviewers say it’s great served over pasta.
Easy Tuna Casserole
Raid the pantry for macaroni, a can of tuna, a can of cream of chicken soup, and French fried onions. Combine it all with grated cheddar cheese for a very quick and simple version of the ultimate comfort food, tuna noodle casserole. Recipe creator LMCDEVIT says it’s great as leftovers too.
Marinated Grilled Chicken
Did you know that Italian salad dressing makes a great marinade for chicken? While the recipe calls for skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, recipe creator Denise Boyd says you can use the same ingredients and technique with inexpensive chicken pieces or to grill a whole chicken.
Air-Fried Italian Stuffed Tomatoes
Use up your leftover tomatoes and create a simple dinner that’s cheesy, spicy, and oh-so-satisfying. Whether you love tomatoes or just enjoy using your air fryer, this delicious dinner will meet all your needs.
Kielbasa with Peppers and Potatoes
A summertime favorite, smoky sausages combine with red and yellow peppers and potatoes for an easy one-dish supper for six. Easy to adapt using what you have on hand, several reviewers suggest adding onions and swapping Italian sausage for kielbasa or using low-fat turkey kielbasa.
Taco seasoning mix along with salsa adds flavor to this simple chicken recipe. Recipe creator Faye says you can use any salsa you like — mild, medium, or hot and adds, “I usually serve it with Spanish rice and Mexican-style canned corn. Very easy and quick!”
Grandma’s Famous Salmon Cakes
There is no flour, bread, or cracker crumbs as filler in these cakes; just egg to the salmon and onion. Recipe reviewer EMoore512 says, “I’m on the Atkins Diet and this is a perfect meal for anyone who is doing the low-carb, high-protein thing.”
Barbeque Chicken Grilled Pizza
Recipe creator Kristin C says, “Use whatever toppings you normally like on regular pizza, but the barbeque chicken is always a crowd-pleaser!” It’s a great way to use leftover barbeque chicken and sauce. Recipe reviewer Tonia St says, “Instead of using dough I used naan bread, mozzarella, and used mushrooms instead of tomatoes.”
Creamy Pesto Shrimp
Pesto blended with heavy cream and Parmesan makes a rich sauce for both shrimp and linguine. Recipe creator Loretta Buffa says, “One of our family’s favorites, it’s also great when made with crab meat instead of the shrimp.” Several reviewers suggest using half and half instead of cream if you’re looking to reduce fat and calories.
When it’s too hot to cook, this cool refreshing salad makes a hearty meal that’s a bit like a wedge salad. All the ingredients from a BLT sandwich are smartly repurposed into a salad. The bread is croutons and seasoned mayonnaise thinned with milk becomes the dressing.
Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
These tacos are perfect for those who love shrimp but also don’t mind a bit of spiciness. “Really good but beware the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce are kickin’!! Don’t have to use a lot!,” says reviewer Lktigger24.
If your garden is overflowing with zucchini or a neighbor has left you some of their crops, you can use it to make this luscious soup that takes no more than 15 minutes to cook. Vegan, gluten-free, fat-free, and super low carb, it’s light, fresh, and healthy as can be.
Portobello Mushroom Burgers
“The steak of veggie burgers. Serve on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and aioli sauce,” says recipe creator Bob Cody. Perfect for vegetarians, these portobello mushroom caps get a quick marinade before being cooked like burgers on the grill. A slice of melted provolone cheese makes these burgers something special.
Portable Chinese Chicken Salad
Heading outside to dine al fresco? This salad is designed to be taken with you and is made in two steps. Prep the salad, dressing, and noodles with almonds, then combine all three when you get to your picnic spot for a crunchy light Chinese chicken salad that’s cool and fresh.
If you’ve got fresh rosemary and garlic, you can make these scallops. It only takes five minutes of preparation and five minutes to cook these scallops. Some reviewers add white wine to the pan to make a quick and easy pan sauce to accompany the scallops.
Quick and Fresh Gazpacho
There’s no cooking to make this simple favorite soup. Simply combine tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and bell pepper in the blender with some seasonings to make this refreshing soup. A Spanish classic, recipe creator pealawson says her Spanish husband taught her to make it.