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31 July Dinner Ideas that Deserve to Be Eaten Alfresco

Ah, summer: The days are long and we have a never-ending supply of chilled rosé on hand. But as much as we want to eat burgers and hot dogs for dinner every night, we also feel compelled to take advantage of the rest of the season’s bounty, including fresh seafood and warm-weather produce. Presenting 31 easy, seasonal July dinner ideas to make every night this month, so you can get back to the important stuff (unicorn-shaped pool float, we’re looking at you).

90 Easy Summer Dinners That Everyone Will Love


July 1: Caesar Pasta Salad

Crisp, cool lettuce salad or creamy pasta salad? Great news: You can have both. Chalk the dressing's creaminess up to avocado instead of traditional egg.

July 2: Sheet-pan Gnocchi With Sausage, Peppers And Onions

If you've never cooked pasta on a sheet pan, now's your chance. The gnocchi gets crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and you'll only have to clean one dish. Win-win.

July 3: Miso-tahini-glazed Roasted Eggplant With Farro

Believe it or not, eggplant doesn’t need to be fried or covered in cheese to be positively delightful. (Plus, it’s in season.)

July 4: Mini Lobster Rolls

It isn't officially summer until you've had cool, refreshing lobster salad nestled in a buttery bun. Celebrate the 4th with this adorable mini version. Go ahead and have two...or five.

July 5: Marinated White Bean And Tomato Salad

This recipe is make-ahead, gluten free, vegetarian and a cinch to double for a crowd. You'll only need seven ingredients (including salt and olive oil) and one hour to pull it off. We'll bring the wine.

July 6: Greek Turkey Burgers With Tzatziki Sauce

These are lighter and more flavorful than traditional burgers, so they’re great for warm nights on the patio. We'll be topping ours with pitted olives and pickled onions, what about you?

July 7: Tomato-poached Cod With Fresh Herbs

Set the patio table and your timer for 25 minutes, and this dinner will be on the table before you know it. Are you sure you’re not a restaurant chef or something?

July 8: Corn Fritter Caprese With Peaches And Tomatoes

’Tis the season for all of our produce favorites. Why not combine them in one ultimate summer salad, which is just as filling as it is refreshing? It's filling enough as-is, but feel free to top it with delicate strips of prosciutto.

July 9: Skillet Chicken With Apricots And Fresh Herbs

Apricots are fleeting, so take advantage when you see them at the market. Then, race home to make this summer masterpiece that comes together in your trusty cast iron skillet.

July 10: Grilled Peach And Halloumi Salad With Lemon-pesto Dressing

Dinner salads can be hit or miss, so we made sure this one was hearty enough to hold its own as a main. Save the leftovers for lunch (just don't dress them until you're about to eat, so the greens don't get soggy) and thank yourself later.

July 11: Grilled Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

You could swap the chicken thighs for any quick-cooking protein you have on hand (like chicken breasts, ground pork or tofu); just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

July 12: Blt Tacos

BLTs are already one of our summer go-tos. We transformed them into tacos for an easy upgrade because why not? Even picky kids won't mind the makeover.

July 13: Cheater’s Skillet Paella

Traditional Spanish paella is delicious but not necessarily suited for a weeknight. Our simplified version is just as tasty and ready in one hour, since we limited the meat and seafood to clams, shrimp and chorizo.

July 14: Cherry Tomato Galette With Garlic And Herbs

This savory pie has a secret: store-bought puff pastry. Serve it with a big green salad for an effortless, gorgeous meal.

July 15: Hot Honey Chicken Thighs

The chicken drippings are the secret to the sweet-and-spicy dressing. Get the thighs as crispy as possible by starting them as you would bacon—in a cold skillet over low heat—to render the fat without burning the skin.

July 16: Tomato Salad With Grilled Halloumi And Herbs

When it’s steamy outside, go for something light but filling. This refreshing tomato and cheese salad hits the spot. All that's missing is a loaf of crusty bread for sharing.

July 17: Spicy Corn Carbonara

It's our goal this month to eat corn as many ways as we possibly can, and this pasta is just one of them. Take your pick of bucatini, spaghetti or linguine—they'll all hold the creamy Parmesan sauce like a charm.

July 18: Charred Summer Squash With Whipped Feta

Cloud-like herbed cheese + smoky zucchini + pillowy naan = proof that you can make a satisfying, enticing meal *without* meat, even during grilling season.

July 19: Grilled Honey-sriracha Chicken Drumsticks With Fennel-apple Slaw

Think of these spicy-sweet drumsticks as the summer version of chicken wings. (You’re going to want extra napkins and lots of lime wedges.)

July 20: Shrimp Boil Skewers With Corn, Sausage And Potatoes

Nothing against burgers and dogs, but they don’t know what’s coming for them. Bonus: There’s hardly any cleanup when you make these on the grill, and even less so if you serve them on a newspaper-topped picnic table.

July 21: Grilled Flank Steak With Lemon-herb Sauce

Nothing wows a crowd like an impeccably grilled steak. Just think of the marinating time as a built-in cocktail hour for the chef. You’ve earned it.

July 22: Cheater’s Prosciutto Hawaiian Pizza

Alright, we’ll confess: We actually kind of love Hawaiian pizza, as long as the pineapple is grilled. It’s a game-changer.

July 23: Sweet Corn, Tomato And Zucchini Grain Salad With Peach-dijon Vinaigrette

Ready to devour in 15 minutes without a minute of cooking? Where do we sign up? It stars all your summer faves, along with sweet peach jelly and pretty edible flowers that your guests (or your roommates) will love.

July 24: Donna Hay’s Best Veggie Burgers

Most veggie burgers are dry and bland, but these are the opposite. Make a double batch and store some in the freezer if you want to go the extra mile.

July 25: Caramelized Black Pepper Trout

Give salmon a rest in favor of this ten-ingredient masterpiece relies on pantry staples you likely already have on hand. (You can also substitute tofu, Brussels sprouts or diced chicken if trout isn't your thing.)

July 26: Zucchini Ricotta Galette

It’s buttery, flaky, cheesy and ready in under an hour. Need we say more? To switch things up, feel free to swap in any summer squash you'd like, or even eggplant.

July 27: Poblano And Mushroom Tacos With Tomatoes And Goat Cheese

Skip the ground beef and make it a meatless taco night. If you can’t find poblano peppers, bell peppers would be just as delish.

July 28: Pork Milanese With Cucumber Yogurt

Finish your plate with a generous spritz of lemon and an herb salad to cut through the fatty richness of the pork chop. (The tangy yogurt sauce, which doubles as a crudité dip, does a great job of that.)

July 29: Pan-fried Polenta With Blistered Tomatoes And Burrata

Don't let its elegant appearance fool you: This dish is decidedly non-fussy. Serve it atop a bed of arugula or alongside a bowl of cold soup. Might we suggest this 15-minute cucumber-avocado number?

July 30: 15-minute Mediterranean Couscous With Tuna And Pepperoncini

Couscous is as easy to make as it is to boil water. Toss it with a few flavorful toppings (like rich canned tuna, zingy capers and juicy cherry tomatoes) and dinner is set.

July 31: Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

Prep everything the night before, then blend the ingredients (which include two summer peaches, BTW) and assemble in less than ten minutes right before serving. You won’t even break a sweat.