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90 Easy Summer Dinners That Everyone Will Love (Including Many That Take 30 Minutes or Less)

Let alfresco season begin

easy summer dinners: chipotle chicken cobb salad in a bowl
Pinch of Yum

When the weather’s warm, you belong outside in a breezy maxi dress—not in a sweltering kitchen. Luckily, these easy summer dinner recipes don’t take much time or effort to whip up. (Seriously: Many of these meals will be on the table in 30 minutes or less.) They’re fast, beginner-friendly, prime for preparing ahead and ideal for balmy nights when the sun’s still out, it’s 85 degrees and you really don’t want to be standing at the stove.

Many star summer produce, and favorites like zucchini, tomatoes, peaches and corn practically transform themselves into gorgeous, mouthwatering dishes. I'm talking skillet roast chicken with peaches, tomatoes and red onion, zoodles with summer vegetables and a savory heirloom tomato tart. The list includes light dishes, like chopped Italian salad pizza, simple seasonal pastas, like spicy corn carbonara and even no-cook gems, like yellow tomato gazpacho. If you're eager to cook outdoors, I have some options for you—try grilled peach and halloumi salad with lemon-pesto dressing, summer skillet gnocchi with grilled corn and burrata, Greek lemon chicken skewers with tzatziki sauce and other barbecue recipes. But that's far from all. Read on for 90 easy summer meals to devour in the backyard, from sweet-and-sour pork skewers with pineapple to butter-baked cucumber tostadas.

34 Summer Slow Cooker Recipes to Make All Season Long


1. Charcuterie Board Flatbread

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 6

"Crafting the perfect bite from a charcuterie board is part art and part science," explains PureWow senior food editor Katherine Gillen. "You want a bit of salty, savory, creamy, crunchy and sweet in every bite." All you need is store-bought flatbread or naan for the base: The cheese, meat and fruit are totally up to you.

2. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, vegetarian, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Now this is what I call a dinner salad. Sweet, smoky grilled peaches are just the match for salty, tangy halloumi cheese. Pine nuts and green beans offer optimal crunch to boot. You'll find it easiest to use a grill pan indoors to cook the fruit and cheese instead of firing up the barbecue.

3. Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4 to 6

Is your mouth watering yet? Bring this strawberry-topped favorite to every potluck you're ever invited to—it's sure to wow the host and their guests.

4. Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Artichoke, Ricotta and Lemon

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian
  • Serves: 4

Pizza is one of my favorite summer dinner ideas because it cooks on the grill in a flash. And this one is even easier than the rest because it starts with store-bought flatbread. Try finishing your slice with crushed red pepper flakes.

5. Zucchini Pad Thai

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: low carb, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 2

Ten minutes and you’re done. (And you have Gaby Dalkin to thank.) Substitute yellow summer squash if you prefer it to zucchini.

6. Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pan, high protein, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 4 to 6

Aka an easy but impressive way to feed a crowd. Might I suggest serving it alfresco at your next dinner party with a bottle of white? (P.S.: Chill the chicken after seasoning it to dry it out for an ultra-crispy exterior.)

7. Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, high protein, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Smashed avocado and spicy mayo take these family-friendly sammies over the top. The kids won't even notice how healthy the sweet potato patties are.

8. Summer Skillet Gnocchi with Grilled Corn and Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pan, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 6

This one-pan wonder comes together in just 30 minutes, so the recipe is prime for an impromptu BBQ. Finish the skillet with plenty of fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes.

9. Zucchini Ricotta Galette

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, vegetarian
  • Serves: 8

It tastes like you spent hours making it—but lucky for you, you didn’t, thanks to store-bought pie crust. (I also have it on good authority that this recipe works with frozen puff pastry.) Use a mandoline to cut the zucchini into uniform, paper-thin slices.

10. Sweet-and-Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, high protein
  • Serves: 6

It’s totally OK to lean on your grill pan in the off-season, but be sure to use the real deal for these skewers come summertime. It's only fair to the fresh pineapple.

11. Skillet Roast Chicken with Peaches, Tomatoes and Red Onion

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pan, special occasion-worthy, high protein, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Who knew juicy summer fruit paired so magically with chicken thighs? This is the ultimate centerpiece for your next backyard soirée. Sub plums or nectarines for peaches, if you feel so inclined.

12. Poblano and Mushroom Tacos with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Way more interesting than ground beef (and more nutritious too). Serve the handhelds with grilled mango salsa and tortilla chips at your first Taco Tuesday of the summer. You'll like pairing them with homemade guac, too.

13. Baked Caprese Chicken Skillet

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 6

If it were up to us, every dinner recipe would be this darn easy. The chicken is seasoned with store-bought pesto, and everything but the spaghetti cooks in a single skillet.

14. Baked Sesame-Ginger Salmon in Parchment

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: pescatarian, high protein, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Any recipe that doesn't call for using a million pots and pans is my kind of recipe, especially one starring summer zucchini. Trade parchment for foil and pop the salmon on the grill.

15. One-Pot, 15-Minute Pasta Limone

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Throw eight simple ingredients (most of which are pantry staples) in the pot and boil ’em to tender perfection. Just like that, dinner is served.

16. Chickpea and Vegetable Coconut Curry

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegan, high protein, one pan
  • Serves: 4

You only need 30 minutes to create this impressive and satisfying dinner, since the recipe leans on pantry staples like frozen peas, canned chickpeas and canned coconut milk. I like to serve this vegetarian wonder with naan or basmati rice.

17. Butter-Baked Cucumber Tostadas

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 6

Haven't you heard? Roasted cucumbers are all the rage. While the buttery spears take centerstage, TBH, you had me at sriracha mayo. Crown each tostada with homemade pickled onions.

18. 15-Minute Mezze Plate with Toasted Za’atar Pita Bread

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 4

Just the appetizer for entertaining (or the laziest, most satisfying solo dinner of all time). The only "cooking" you'll need to do to pull it off is toast the pita in a hot pan.

19. Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, vegetarian
  • Serves: 4

The squash and rigatoni cook in a single skillet, because the weather is too nice to be cooped up doing dishes. Trade ricotta for burrata or pearl mozzarella for a caprese-inspired moment, courtesy of yellow cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.

20. Lime Chicken with Corn and Poblano Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, one pan, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

File this gem under How to Feed Four People for Less Than Ten Bucks. The recipe calls for using canned corn kernels instead of fresh cobs, so you can prepare it any time of year.

21. Summer Glow Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, dairy free, gluten free
  • Serves: 4

Jess Larson clearly shares my love of hearty bowls. This one includes grilled chicken, quinoa and a sweet-and-spicy curry vinaigrette that you'll want to drizzle on *everything.*

22. Grilled Watermelon Steaks

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, gluten free, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Beautifully seasoned, a la filet mignon. The peppery arugula side salad is the ultimate foil for the sweet melon. Save the leftover spice mix for beef, chicken salmon or roasted veggies.

23. End of Summer Cobb Salad with Creamy Carrot-Kimchi Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Phoebe Lapine gives you permission to throw in any veggies you have on hand, whether it be spinach, bell peppers or red onion. Just don't skimp on the creamy, sweet-and-tangy dressing.

24. Chopped Italian Salad Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 6 to 8

Store-bought dough makes this pie a breeze. Toss the greens in the mustardy vinaigrette just before putting them on the pizza; this will help them maintain their crispness until serving and keep your crust from getting soggy.

25. Shredded Thai Salad with Avocado

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, make ahead, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4

This just might be the prettiest salad you'll ever make (and definitely one of the tastiest). Chalk it up to smoked tofu, chopped peanuts, fresh herbs, sesame-ginger dressing and all the veggies. Buy pre-sliced or pre-shredded produce to save time.

26. Savory Heirloom Tomato Tart

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 6

Ah, store-bought puff pastry—the ultimate cheat for making easy recipes look oh-so impressive. In-season heirloom tomatoes will tackle the rest (namely the aesthetics).

27. Crockpot Corn Chowder

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, slow cooker recipe
  • Serves: 6

Yes, you can (and should) use your slow cooker in the summer. After all, it beats turning on the oven and heating up the whole house. Just plop everything in the Crockpot and occupy yourself for six hours—it's that low-lift.

28. Summer Caprese Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no cook, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 6

Maria Lichty brings you this magical no-cook starter, featuring tomatoes, peaches, cucumber and balsamic glaze. Make a meal out of the salad by topping it off with prosciutto.

29. Zoodles with Summer Vegetables

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

This summer, the farmers market is your oyster. (Hi, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and corn.) I'd recommend starting with store-bought zoodles instead of spiralizing your own if you're pressed for time—your guests won't know the difference.

30. Roasted Drumsticks with Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: one pan, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, high protein
  • Serves: 6

I like to think of this impressive baked chicken dish as the summer equivalent of a casserole. Can you believe you're only six ingredients away from enjoying it?

31. Skillet Steak with Asparagus and Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, high protein, special occasion-worthy, one pan
  • Serves: 2

You only *think* you can't cook a killer steak at home, but this recipe is consistently foolproof. The trick is reverse-searing it so it's cooked through without being overdone, plus caramelized on all sides.

32. Mini Spanish Tortilla with Zucchini

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, high protein
  • Serves: 1

Your quest for an interesting way to cook zucchini ends here. Have this single-serve cutie with dressed greens for dinner, and save half for breakfast the next day.

33. Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 6

The creamy tzatziki sauce is not only delicious, but it's also easy to prepare a day or two ahead if desired. Serve the skewers with olives and sliced cucumber for dipping.

34. Stone Fruit Cucumber Salad with Ricotta Salata, Purslane and Golden Balsamic Miso Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no cook, vegetarian, special occasion-worthy, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 2 to 4

It’s a midsummer night’s dream. Substitute mozz or feta for ricotta salata if you'd like, or melon for stone fruit. Whatever you decide, you can't go wrong with the season's bounty.

35. Steak Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 6

Cutting steak into neat pieces, skewering it and roasting it to juicy perfection is as easy as 1-2-3, so try your hardest to not be intimidated. My tip? Cube the meat as evenly as possible so each piece cooks in the same amount of time.

36. Quick Guacamole Quinoa Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegan, make ahead, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

This one’s fast, easy, healthy and protein-rich, thanks to black beans. Make the quinoa in advance (or use last night's leftovers) so the salad can come together in a flash.

37. Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pan, pescatarian, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Psst: You can entertain a whole crowd with nothing but five ingredients and 25 minutes of your time. Turn off the heat when the shrimp just turns pink—you won't want to overcook them.

38. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Blue Cheese Crema

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Meatless doesn’t always mean meager. Rich blue cheese sauce and diced avocado take these starchy sweet spud tacos over the top.

39. Shrimp Boil Skewers with Corn, Sausage and Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 6

Our recipe developers hacked the traditional shrimp boil so it’s not only mess-free, but also elegant. The skewers are slathered in smoky Cajun butter before hitting the grill. Layer your picnic table with newspaper, toss the skewers on top and let your guests go to town.

40. Chicken and Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, high protein
  • Serves: 6

This lighter take on a Creole staple stars chicken sausage instead of andouille and brown rice instead of white. This party main is begging to be enjoyed alfresco in the backyard.

41. Easy 5-Ingredient Corn Soup

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 1

The crunchy sesame seed-brown butter topping elevates the soup tenfold. Skip it or trade it for crumbled bacon if the kiddos are skeptical (but if they give it a chance, they might be pleasantly surprised...).

42. Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, one pan, high protein
  • Serves: 8

The whole fam will be obsessed at first bite, and you won't even have to stand at the grill flipping burger patties all night. Such is the beauty of a skillet meal.

43. Moules-Frites (Steamed Mussels and Fries)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, one pan, pescatarian, high protein
  • Serves: 2

Cooked in a garlicky white wine sauce, this impressive meal is ready in just 30 minutes and guaranteed to wow the whole party. Toss any mussels that don't open in the pan—they aren't safe to eat.

44. Abundance Kale Salad with Savory Tahini Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegan, dairy free, gluten free
  • Serves: 4

And you thought that a salad couldn't fill you up. (Crispy chickpeas for the win.) Prepare the produce, chickpeas and dressing up to three days in advance, then combine them right before dinnertime.

45. Citrus and Shrimp Avocado Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: pescatarian, make ahead, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Citrus shrimp + buttery avocado + crunchy sliced almonds = a meal worth bragging to your trainer about. The shrimp are pan-seared to perfection in mere minutes.

46. Zucchini Basil Soup with Crème Fraîche and Pickled Corn

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4 to 6

Crème fraîche sounds fancy, but it lives right next to its humble cousin, sour cream, in the dairy aisle. Make a double batch of the pickled corn to serve in salads, tacos, burritos and rice bowls.

47. Marinated Salumi Sandwich

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, high protein
  • Serves: 1

Aida Mollenkamp knows how to make a dinner-worthy sammy. It's piled high with hot coppa, finocchiona, fresh mozzarella cheese and baby arugula.

48. Cauliflower-Lentil Grain Salad with Pesto and Pickled Radishes

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, gluten free, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 2

Oh, mighty cauliflower. Is there anything you can’t do? (I love you too, underrated radishes.) If you don't have a food processor, prepare the pumpkin seed pesto in the blender.

49. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: pescatarian, <30 minutes, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Cue the palm trees and a piña colada. Feel free to grill the shrimp (and the mango while you're at it) instead of sautéing it if the weather allows.

50. 15-Minute Lemony Broccolini Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

So much more interesting than jarred marinara, and a pleasantly surprising BBQ appetizer, if I do say so myself. Reserve a touch of pasta water to thicken the cream sauce even more.

51. Ginger-Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, one pan, pescatarian
  • Serves: 1

Here, a speedy, single-serve dinner that rivals your favorite takeout dish. If you don't have fresh ginger on hand, a little bit of ground ginger will work in a pinch. Just use it sparingly because its flavor is more concentrated.

52. One-Pan Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Romaine

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pan, high protein, <10 ingredients, sheet pan recipe
  • Serves: 4

I *love* preparing my protein, starch and veggie in one fell swoop, and so will you. (Especially since it'll leave you with only one dirty pan to clean.) Add a drizzle of honey to the salmon for sweetness or dill for an herby kick.

53. Zoodle Stir Fry

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegan, dairy free, kid-friendly, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Spruce this veggie-rich dish up with chicken, rice or any additional produce you’re craving (or that you forgot about in the fridge...).

54. Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pan, vegan, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 4

Easy, healthy and delicious? Guess dreams really do come true. Did I mention this grain-based meal comes together on a single sheet pan? Thank me later.

55. Summer Panzanella Salad

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: dairy free, crowd-pleaser, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 6

Salad with bread > salad without bread. Don't @ us. Take your pick of French, focaccia or sourdough, and use a day-old loaf for optimal results.

56. 5-Minute Veggie Coconut Wraps

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, vegan, dairy free, gluten free
  • Serves: 5

These little guys have totally stolen my heart. Picture grain-free coconut wraps slathered with hummus and curry paste and filled with fresh produce. Did I mention they're no cook?

57. Cheater’s Skillet Paella

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, high protein, one pan
  • Serves: 6

Behold, the quintessential meal for a summer dinner party. This feast takes just one hour from start to finish, since the shellfish is limited to shrimp and littleneck clams.

58. Parmesan-Ranch Chicken Thighs

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, high protein
  • Serves: 6

Fun fact: These chicken thighs taste like they’re fried, despite being roasted. The secret is getting the oil and butter scorching hot before adding the chicken to the skillet.

59. Pork Scallopini with Lemon, Capers and Radicchio

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, one pan, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Bye, boring chicken breast and broccoli. This bright, briny number will shake you right out of your dinner rut. Substitute green olives, pickles or green peppercorns for capers if you don't have them in your pantry.

60. Blackberry Peach Grilled Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian, high protein
  • Serves: 1

Juicy berries give this grilled cheese an elevated, seasonal twist, as does an unexpected combination of goat, fontina and Emmentaler cheeses. I won't tell if you have a second one.

61. Salmon Bowl with Farro, Black Beans and Tahini Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, pescatarian, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 1

Also known as a power bowl. (I'll chalk it up to all the omega-3s.) In case you're new to farro, it's a toothsome, nutty ancient grain that's packed with fiber.

62. Beer Bratwursts with Dijon Coleslaw

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 8

Boiled hot dogs? Meh. These tangy, beer-soaked brats give you an excuse to pile on the toppings (like slaw, pickled jalapeños and Dijon mustard).

63. Chicken and Snap Pea Stir Fry

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly, high protein, one pan
  • Serves: 4

Soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha pack a ton of flavor into this easy 20-minute gem. All that's missing is a mound of white rice and extra sesame seeds for crunch.

64. Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: dairy free, vegan, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4

It’s corn season y’all, and I intend to celebrate every single chance I get. Top the salad off with crunchy roasted chickpeas and a spritz of lime.

65. Cucumber Quinoa Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian
  • Serves: 4 to 6

Flavorful and hydrating. It makes a stellar side for rich, savory mains, like ribs or pulled pork, but it'll also pair well with a glass of white wine and a hunk of crusty bread.

66. Thai Beef Bowls with Rice Noodles

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Way better than your average salad, if I do say so myself. I should also note that rice noodles are gluten free, healthy and irresistibly chewy. The more you know.

67. Artichoke Garden Flatbread

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <30 minutes, vegetarian
  • Serves: 8

This delightful dish is ready in just 15 minutes, thanks to using store-bought flatbreads for the crust instead of raw dough and jarred artichoke hearts instead of fresh.

68. Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, pescatarian, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4

Pretty much the epitome of summer, from the homemade slaw to the lime-kissed tilapia. You could fry the fish instead of baking it for an extra crispy finished product, but baking is definitely the least fussy route.

69. Coconut-Lime Fried Shrimp with Mango-Peach Jalapeño Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, <30 minutes, pescatarian
  • Serves: 2 to 3

The impossibly crisp panko-coconut breading is brag-worthy on its own. But it's the sweet-and-spicy dipping sauce for me, TBH.

70. Lobster BLTs with Sweet and Smoky Mayo

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein
  • Serves: 1 to 2

I love lobster rolls. Like, a lot. But these salty, crispy handhelds are a delightfully different riff on the original, since they're slathered in honey mustard-paprika mayo.

71. Spring Roll Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

This noodle-salad hybrid is basically like a deconstructed spring roll, so you won't have to mess with the tricky wrappers. Use ground pork or beef in place of chicken if you'd prefer.

72. Beet Gazpacho

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegan, gluten free, dairy free
  • Serves: 4

Don't knock cold soup until you've tried it. This one is naturally dairy free, but finishing your bowl with a swirl of yogurt or sour cream couldn't hurt.

73. Honey-Lime Chicken and Veggies in Foil

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Just pop the packets on the grill and let them cook to juicy perfection—no cleanup required. Leave room on the grates for charring the corn.

74. Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, make ahead
  • Serves: 6 to 10

Kale’s way tastier when it’s paired with pasta...but you already knew that. It makes the side look fancy enough that no one will suspect you used store-bought Caesar.

75. Curry Noodles with Broccoli Rabe and Purple Cabbage

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pot, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Spaghetti with marinara sauce? Yawn. Mix things up with this Thai-inspired alternative, swimming in a mix of red curry paste, lime juice, coconut milk and soy sauce.

76. Orecchiette Ragu

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pot, <10 ingredients, high protein, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

This masterpiece cooks in one pot and demands a spot in your weekly dinner rotation. It also happens to be packed with protein, thanks to Italian sausage.

77. Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Forget the sad, dry turkey burgers you've had before. This one is light, flavorful and impeccably juicy. Might I suggest adding a generous sprinkling of feta cheese to each burger?

78. Grilled Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, high protein, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Warning: Your guests just might think you ordered these 20-minute cuties from a nearby restaurant. Swap chicken for any quick-cooking protein you'd like, including tofu.

79. 15-Minute Cucumber-Avocado Blender Soup

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4

I can't decide where to start, the uber-creamy, refreshing soup or the Asiago-encrusted baguette. If you don't have a high-powered countertop blender, consider getting an immersion blender to make soups, nut butters, sauces and more.

80. Grilled Sriracha Shrimp Skewers with Collard-Peach Salad

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, pescatarian, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4

Between the peaches and collards, this shrimp dish is ridiculously seasonal. The only way the dish could get more summery is with an ice-cold glass of lemonade.

81. Italian Orzo Tuna Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, pescatarian, high protein, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Mayonnaise haters, rejoice. This recipe calls for a tangy lemon-Dijon dressing instead, plus tender orzo pasta, feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.

82. Instant Pot Ribs

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: Instant Pot recipe, high protein, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4

I'm never as eager to get my hands dirty as when I'm faced with a rack of smoky brown sugar ribs. Serve them with coleslaw, baked beans, corn on the cob and cornbread.

83. Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, pescatarian, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 5

A 15-minute meal has never looked this good or been this simple to make. I'm talking six ingredients (including salt and pepper), most of which you likely have on hand right now.

84. Grilled Barbecue Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 6

'Tis the season for all the barbecue fare. Eat 'em plain, serve them with a green side salad or debone and shred the pieces to make a saucy sandwich.

85. Corn Fritter Caprese with Peaches and Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 6

The fritters are essentially corn-scallion pancakes; even your pickiest eater would enjoy them. If that isn't enough to convince the kids, maybe the fresh mozzarella cheese will.

86. Spicy Corn Carbonara

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, high protein
  • Serves: 6

Corn, bacon and just a touch of Parm = one completely irresistible weeknight dinner. Skip the crushed red pepper flakes if you have spice-averse kids at the table.

87. Piri Piri Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 4

With this spatchcocked beauty on the grill, your backyard will transform into a Portuguese retreat. (For the uninitiated, spatchcocking the chicken means butterflying it by removing the backbone, which reduces the cooking time and exposes more of the skin for crisping.)

88. Cold Lemon Zoodles

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegan, no cook
  • Serves: 4

A "pasta" dish that's no-cook? Sign me up. Just whisk the dressing together, toss it with the zoodles et voilà—you're the hostess with the mostest.

89. Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwiches

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 4

Proof that chicken salad doesn't need to be boring...or full of grapes and walnuts. Try this version with tarragon mayonnaise, quick-pickled onions and arugula instead.

90. Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegan, special occasion-worthy, dairy free
  • Serves: 4 to 6

Or as I like to call it, liquid gold. Since this cold soup calls for the juiciest yellow tomatoes and the ripest peaches you can find, it's basically summer in a bowl.


taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...