25 Summer Fruits and Vegetables to Eat This Season, from Apricots to Zucchini

Get in, we’re going to the farmers market

summer fruits and vegetables: triptych image of blackberry panna cotta, honeydew salad and lemon flatbread
Liz Andrew/Linda Pugliese/Liz Andrew

For most people, summer is all about hanging out by the pool with a great book and copious amounts of sunscreen. But if you’re food-obsessed (hi, same), summer means getting your hands on all the plentiful, in-season produce your heart desires, from juicy peaches that dribble juice down your chin to crunchy green beans that you can eat right out of the bag. Below, a handy guide to all the summer fruits and vegetables that will be in season from June through August—and a must-make dish for each one.

*Nutritional information sourced from the UDSA.

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summer fruits and vegetables: apricot chicken skillet
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Apricots

The season for these tiny stone fruit cuties is short, so keep your eyes peeled come August. (Yep, they’re a late summer fruit.) Small and sweet, apricots are a great source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.

What to make: Skillet chicken with apricots and fresh herbs

summer fruits and vegetables: grilled goat cheese sandwiches with balsamic beets
Colin Price/Great Grilled Cheese

2. Beets

The first crop is harvested in June, so keep your eyes out for tender baby beets at the farmers market before summer officially starts. Not only are they extremely delicious, they’re also a nutritional powerhouse. One serving contains 20 percent of the folate you’ll need in a day, plus they’re packed with vitamin C, potassium and manganese.

What to make: Grilled goat cheese sandwiches with balsamic beets

summer fruits and vegetables: greek yogurt chicken salad stuffed bell peppers
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

3. Bell Peppers

Sure, you can pick up bell peppers any time of year at the grocery store, but they’ll be at their prime (and also come with the cheapest price tag) from July through September. Stick with red, yellow or orange bell peppers to get the highest nutritional content: All three are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K and B vitamins.

What to make: Greek-yogurt chicken salad stuffed peppers

summer fruits and vegetables: blackberry panna cotta tartlets
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

4. Blackberries

If you live in the southern U.S., you’ll start seeing ripe, gorgeous blackberries popping up in stores around June, and if you live in the north, it will be closer to July. Harvesting season lasts only about three weeks, so snatch up a container as soon as you see one. These cute little guys are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E.

What to make: Blackberry panna cotta tartlets

summer fruits and vegetables: lemon pie with blueberry meringue
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

5. Blueberries

If you snooze on blackberry season, make up for it by buying extra blueberries. They’ll start making their appearance at the farmers market in May and you’ll keep seeing them until late September. Best of all, they’re a complete nutritional superfood—just a handful or two will give you a boost of vitamins A and E, manganese, choline, copper, beta carotene and folate.

What to make: Lemon pie with blueberry meringue

summer fruits and vegetables: ice cream machine mango cantaloupe slushy cocktails
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

6. Cantaloupe

From June through August, ripe, juicy cantaloupe will make an appearance at the grocery store. Get your daily dose of vitamins A and C by eating a couple slices with breakfast (or, even better, by drinking a frozen cantaloupe cocktail at happy hour).

What to make: Frozen cantaloupe cocktail

summer fruits and vegetables: ginger cherry pie
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

7. Cherries

It wouldn’t be summer without cherries, which you’ll start seeing at the farmers market around June. Sweet cherries, like Bing and Rainier, stick around through much of the summer, but if you want to get your hands on some tart variations, you’ll need to pay attention. They have a super short growing season, so they’re typically available for only two weeks. But no matter which variety you choose, you’ll be getting a huge dose of vitamin C, potassium and manganese.

What to make: Ginger cherry pie

summer fruits and vegetables: spicy corn carbonara
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

8. Corn

Do you prefer eating corn on the cob? Or maybe you cut it off to throw into salads and pasta? Regardless, there’s nothing like the real deal. (Sorry, bag of niblets—you’re hanging out in the freezer until November.) Corn grows in all 50 states, so you’ll see it at farmers markets and farm stands galore and know for sure it’s local. Corn is high in fiber, vitamin C, folate and thiamine, so treat yourself to seconds.

What to make: Spicy corn carbonara

summer fruits and vegetables: butter baked cucumber tostadas
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

9. Cucumbers

“Wait,” you say, “I’ve been buying cucumbers at the grocery store all winter.” This is true, but you’ll be seeing them everywhere from May through July, and they’ll be way tastier than those waxy, bitter ones you grab from the produce section around Christmastime. Cucumbers have a high water content, so bring them as a snack at the beach or pool to stay hydrated.

What to make: Butter-baked cucumber tostadas

summer fruits and vegetables: eggplant pasta
Abra Berens/Chronicle Books

10. Eggplant

While you can pick up an eggplant at Trader Joe’s anytime, your local farmers market will start carrying locally grown ones around July, and they’ll stick around until at least September. Grilled or baked eggplant can become bitter and soggy, so season it generously with salt and let it sit for about an hour before rinsing and cooking.

What to make: Smoky eggplant pasta with pounded walnut relish, mozzarella and basil

summer fruits and vegetables: veggie niçoise salad with red curry green beans
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

11. Green Beans

If you eat these guys only on Thanksgiving, you’re seriously missing out. From May to October, you’ll see green beans piled high on every table at the farmers market. Grab a few handfuls and take them home, because they’re fantastic in salads, lightly sautéed on the stove or eaten straight out of the bag. (They’re also high in folate, magnesium, potassium and thiamin—win, win.)

What to make: Veggie niçoise salad with red curry green beans

summer fruits and vegetables: honeydew and feta salad
Linda Pugliese/Salad Freak

12. Honeydew

Honeydew gets a bad rap for being watery and bland, but if you buy it at its prime (July through September) and pick a ripe melon, you’ll find that it’s crisp, juicy and as sweet as candy. A good source of vitamin C, a one cup serving of honeydew melon only has about 60 calories.

What to make: Honeydew, feta, jalapeño and lime salad

summer fruits and vegetables: lemon artichoke flatbread pizza
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

13. Lemons

There’s a reason lemonade is the official drink of summer (sorry, rosé). Starting in June, you should be adding lemon to nearly all of your dinners, from pasta to pizza and beyond. While you probably won’t be munching on a whole, raw lemon anytime soon, it can provide more than 100 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C intake. We’ll take another lemonade.

What to make: Grilled flatbread pizza with artichoke, ricotta and lemon

summer fruits and vegetables: mini key lime pies
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

14. Limes

This summery citrus fruit typically peaks from May through October, so you’ll have plenty to squeeze into your guac (and marg!). They don’t have as much vitamin C as lemons, but they’re still packed with good stuff, including folate, phosphorus and magnesium.

What to make: Mini key lime pies

summer fruits and vegetables: grilled jerk chicken with mango salsa
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

15. Mangoes

Francis mangoes (the kind with yellow-green skin and an oblong body) are grown in Haiti, and you’ll find the juiciest ones from May through July. A great source of copper, folate and vitamin C, mangoes can be added to almost anything, including yogurt and even jerk chicken.

What to make: Grilled jerk chicken cutlets with mango salsa

summer fruits and vegetables: roasted stone fruit

16. Nectarines

Peaches get all the attention, but if you don’t like their fuzzy skin, you might prefer a smooth-skinned nectarine—they pop up in late May and stick around through September. They’re typically slightly smaller and more aromatic than peaches, and nutritionally, they contain twice the vitamin A, slightly more vitamin C and much more potassium, so eat up.

What to make: Roasted stone fruit with wild-whipped cream

summer fruits and vegetables: kitchari bowl
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Heath Goldman

17. Okra

Because okra loves warm temperatures, it’s thought of in the U.S. as a strictly Southern veggie. However, okra is thought to have originated in either South Asia, West Africa or Egypt, and it’s commonly used in Indian dishes too. It’s a good source of vitamins A, C, K and B6, and it also has some calcium and fiber.

What to make: Easy Indian-inspired kitchari bowls

summer fruits and vegetables: grilled peach and halloumi salad
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

18. Peaches

Ahh, everyone’s favorite summer food. Peaches will make a grand appearance at the farmers market in mid-July, and they’ll stick around until early September. The best way to eat peaches? Grab one and bite into it. But if you haven’t had them grilled with a side of cheese, you’re missing out. (BTW, peaches are high in vitamin C and A.)

What to make: Grilled peach and halloumi salad with lemon-pesto dressing

summer fruits and vegetables: blackberry plum upside down cake
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

19. Plums

You can get plums all summer long, and the varieties you’ll find are endless. You’ll see them with red, blue or purple skin or with flesh that’s purple, yellow, orange, white or red. They’re a fabulous hand fruit (so pack a few to take to the beach), but you’ll also love them sliced up in salads and thrown on top of ice cream. Plums are also a low-glycemic food, so they won’t give you that sugar high you might get from other summer fruits.

What to make: Blackberry plum upside-down cake

summer fruits and vegetables: lemon raspberry whoopie pies
Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

20. Raspberries

These ruby-red beauties are available all summer long, both at the farmers market and the grocery store. When you buy raspberries off-peak, they can be expensive, so buy them at a great price while you can. Eat a handful and you’ll benefit from a huge boost of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and vitamin K.

What to make: Lemon-raspberry whoopie pies

summer fruits and vegetables: strawberry peach baked pancakes
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

21. Strawberries

Strawberries will pop up in warmer areas of the U.S. during spring, but they’ll be everywhere by mid-June. Like other types of berries, strawberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and they have some folate and potassium too.

What to make: Sheet-tray pancakes with peaches and strawberries

summer fruits and vegetables: summer squash skillet pasta
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

22. Summer Squash

FYI, there’s a plethora of different types of summer squash: green and yellow zucchini, cousa squash, crookneck squash and patty pan squash. You’ll recognize them by their more tender skin (as opposed to, say, a butternut). They’re packed with vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as folate, fiber, phosphorus, riboflavin and potassium.

What to make: Skillet pasta with summer squash, ricotta and basil

summer fruits and vegetables: no cook rainbow tomato bruschetta
Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Heath Goldman

23. Tomatoes

Are they a veggie? Or are they a fruit? Technically, they’re a fruit, because they grow on a vine—but whatever you decide to call them, make sure you snatch up as many varieties of tomatoes as you can at the farmers market. (We’re partial to heirlooms…the lumpier and more colorful, the better.) Add a tomato to your salad and you’ll add vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and folate to your diet.

What to make: Rainbow heirloom tomato bruschetta

summer fruits and vegetables: grilled watermelon steaks
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

24. Watermelon

If summer had an official mascot, it would be a giant, dancing watermelon. Depending on where you live, watermelon season can begin as early as May and last through September. Like cucumbers, watermelons are mostly water, so they’re great for days when you’re out in the hot sun. They’re also a great source of lycopene, antioxidants and potassium, as well as vitamins A, B6 and C.

What to make: Grilled watermelon steaks

summer fruits and vegetables: zucchini galette
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

25. Zucchini

While technically a summer squash, zucchini needs its own entry because it’s so damn delicious. Zucchini has a neutral flavor and is low in carbs, so it can be easily subbed in for pasta or grated into bread to make your sandwich a little bit more nutritious. And did you know it’s high in calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium? Swoon.

What to make: Zucchini ricotta galette

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...