23 Summer Dinner Recipes Your Family Will Love

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When summertime hits, vacation brain hits hard. And things like meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking can often feel like way too much effort to even think about. That’s why we’re here to help, with a list of our favorite summer dinner recipes the whole family will love!

Turn cooking into an opportunity to connect with loved ones over good food this summer. (And enjoy a great meal outside, if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard for dining). Whether you’re looking for something light and fresh or craving a more satisfying meal after a long day of summer fun, let the 23 dinner recipes below help you out when you’re racking your brain for ideas this summer!

Vegetarian burrito bowl with avocado and chipotle sauce.

1. Chipotle Lime Black Bean Burrito Bowls

This 30-minute summer dinner recipe is perfect when you’re craving something light and fresh. Drizzled with a flavorful chipotle lime aioli, the flavors of this bowl just scream summer! It’s also vegetarian, but you can easily add grilled chicken or steak to amp up the protein.

Chipotle Lime Black Bean Burrito Bowls
3 bowls
30 minutes
663 kcal
Get the recipe
Bruschetta chicken and parmesan green beans.

2. Grilled Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken

Grilled chicken is an old standby for easy summer dinners. Dress it up with fresh tomato bruschetta and a flavorful balsamic marinade with this simple recipe! We recommend serving it alongside a starch and a vegetable, like these smashed potatoes and parmesan green beans.

Grilled Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken
2 servings
45 minutes
523 kcal
Get the recipe
Three crispy fried fish tacos on corn tortillas

3. Fried Fish Tacos With Mango Salsa

Nothing hits the spot quite like fish tacos on a hot summer day! Topped with fresh mango salsa, these seafood tacos are a light and bright dinner you can make in just 30 minutes.

Fried Fish Tacos With Mango Salsa
8 tacos
30 minutes
149 kcal
Get the recipe
Two pita pockets with Mediterranean roasted vegetables and chickpeas.

4. Mediterranean Pita Pockets

This healthy dinner is one you can prepare ahead of time and dig into as soon as you get back from the pool, beach, or summer camp. Sounds too good to be true, right? But all you have to do is roast a sheet pan of veggies and make some quinoa, mix it all together, and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Bonus: everyone can assemble their own pita pockets DIY-style at the dinner table!

Mediterranean Pita Pockets
4 pita pockets
55 minutes
295 kcal
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Fried white fish and rice bowl topped with sriracha aioli and scallions

5. Asian Inspired Fried Fish Rice Bowl

Instead of fish and chips, try fried fish and rice this summer. Drizzled with a spicy aioli and fresh lemon juice, this dinner is the ideal summer comfort food. It’s light and bright, yet it will satisfy any cravings you might have for a heavier, more indulgent meal.

Asian Inspired Fried Fish Rice Bowl
2 bowls
30 minutes
810 kcal
Get the recipe
A burger topped with bruschetta and Alouette cheese.

6. Bruschetta Burger

Thinking of throwing burgers on the grill? Dress them up with fresh tomato bruschetta and garlic herb spreadable cheese for a unique alternative to cheeseburgers! Served on toasted brioche buns, this burger mimics tomato bruschetta on crostini. So it’s perfect for the nights you’re craving charcuterie but need to fill up on something more satisfying.

Bruschetta Burger
2 burgers
25 minutes
658 kcal
Get the recipe
A healthy buffalo chicken salad.

7. Healthy Buffalo Chicken Salad

These buffalo chicken salads are packed with enough protein to make them a satisfying summer dinner. You can cook the chicken on the grill, or prep it on the stove if it’s too hot to go outside. Simple and straightforward!

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Salad
3 salads
55 minutes
638 kcal
Get the recipe
Tropical pina colada chicken in a serving dish.

8. Crockpot Pina Colada Chicken

This tropical chicken is one of the best summer crockpot recipes. Let it cook while you’re out having fun in the sun, and come home to delicious pineapple coconut shredded chicken that can easily be made into tacos or served alongside cilantro lime rice and avocado.

Crockpot Pina Colada Chicken
6 servings
4 hours 15 minutes
248 kcal
Get the recipe
Spaghetti bake in a serving dish.

9. Sun Dried Tomato Basil Spaghetti Bake

Spaghetti doesn’t exactly scream summer, but trust us when we say this sun dried tomato basil spaghetti is a perfect summer pasta dinner! It bakes in the oven so you don’t have to sweat over the stove all night. Plus, it’s packed with tomato and basil for a fresh summer flavor everyone will love. Enjoy it on the patio as the sun goes down, and you might just want to eat spaghetti in the summer more often!

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Spaghetti Bake
3 servings
35 minutes
566 kcal
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A plate of parmesan panko crusted fish and chips with homemade lemon aioli

10. Parmesan Panko Fish and Chips

A quintessential summer meal, fish and chips makes a great dinner after a long day in the sun. This easy recipe uses an irresistible parmesan panko breading and bakes in the oven for hands-free cooking. The result is crispy, flaky “fried” fish you won’t be able to get enough of!

Parmesan Panko Fish and Chips
2 people
1 hour
791 kcal
Get the recipe
Hawaiian pulled pork tacos topped with cabbage slaw and mango chamoy salsa

11. Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos

Yet another make ahead dinner, pulled pork tacos always hit the spot on a summer evening. Start by making our slow cooker pulled pork overnight, then simply reheat it before serving with flour tortillas, mango salsa, and green cabbage slaw. Dinner will be on the table in 15 minutes or less, so it’s ideal for those busy summer days when you come home starving.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos
6 tacos
15 minutes
82 kcal
Get the recipe
A Caesar salad flatbread pizza.

12. Caesar Salad Flatbread

Flatbread pizzas are the perfect summer dinner – they’re easy, quick, and super customizable so everyone can eat what they want! For a light and fresh flatbread dinner, try this Caesar salad inspired recipe. It tastes like garlic bread and Caesar dressing (yum), and you can make it in just 20 minutes.

Caesar Salad Flatbread
1 flatbread
20 minutes
876 kcal
Get the recipe
Cottage cheese flatbread pizza with cherry tomatoes and spinach.

13. Cottage Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Speaking of flatbreads, this is another one of our favorite easy summer recipes. Quickly whip up a creamy cottage cheese spread and slather it on a store bought flatbread, then top it with fresh tomatoes and spinach (for added protein) or basil (for more of a margherita pizza flavor). Simple and delicious!

Cottage Cheese Flatbread Pizza
2 servings
15 minutes
327 kcal
Get the recipe
A plate of grilled chicken sliders on brioche buns with lettuce, tomato, and onion

14. Grilled Chicken Sliders

Grilled chicken sandwiches, but make them mini. Because who doesn’t love bite-sized sandwiches, especially during the summer when everything should be more fun? Top them with your favorite condiments and crisp lettuce, tomato, and onion for an easy dinner you can grill in no time.

Grilled Chicken Sliders
12 sliders
32 minutes
172 kcal
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A plate of caprese pasta tossed in pesto with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil

15. Caprese Pesto Pasta

Nothing says summer like tomato, mozzarella, and basil pesto! Combine them all into one delicious pasta dinner that’s light and fresh tasting. Use your favorite store-bought pesto for ease, or make our nut free pesto with fresh ingredients from your garden for extra deliciousness!

Caprese Pesto Pasta
2 servings
22 minutes
809 kcal
Get the recipe
A California style veggie pizza topped with avocado slices

16. California Veggie Pizza

How about a Southwest style veggie pizza for dinner this summer? This is one of our favorite vegetarian recipes for summer, since it’s packed with so much flavor thanks to all the different toppings. Tip: make pizza night a fun summer activity by making dough from scratch as a family!

California Veggie Pizza
8 slices
30 minutes
209 kcal
Get the recipe
A plate of cashew crusted fish tacos with a lemon wedge

17. Cashew Crusted Fish Tacos

These upscale fish tacos look – and taste – like they’re from a fancy seafood restaurant. But you can easily make them at home in just 30 minutes! Crusted with pulverized cashews for added protein, you’re going to love digging into these after a long day at the beach.

Cashew Crusted Fish Tacos
12 tacos
30 minutes
281 kcal
Get the recipe
A bowl of burrata pasta with blistered tomatoes and balsamic vinegar

18. Burrata Pasta With Blistered Tomatoes

This dish is one of our all-time favorite summer pasta recipes! It’s bursting with summer flavors thanks to juicy blistered tomatoes and fresh basil. Plus, we can never get enough of creamy burrata cheese. Indulge in this dinner with a glass of your favorite rosé this summer.

Burrata Pasta With Blistered Tomatoes
2 people
18 minutes
743 kcal
Get the recipe
Mediterranean chicken and rice with hummus and pita

19. Mediterranean Chicken and Rice

An easy and healthy dinner of chicken, rice, and hummus will satisfy any crowd this summer. This recipe is easy to scale, so you can serve the whole family or have leftovers that can be made into lunches to-go the next day.

Mediterranean Chicken and Rice
4 people
1 hour
602 kcal
Get the recipe
Three chicken tinga tostadas on a serving tray

20. Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Shake up Taco Tuesday by serving tostadas instead! This fun alternative can be served as a build-your-own style meal at the dinner table, so everyone can customize their tostadas to their own liking. Simply make a batch of our crockpot chicken tinga while you’re out at the beach, and return home to pair it with your favorite toppings for an easy and delicious family dinner.

Chicken Tinga Tostada Recipe
6 tostadas
15 minutes
203 kcal
Get the recipe
A burger on a brioche bun topped with blueberry preserves, lemon zest, goat cheese, and arugula

21. Blueberry Lemon Goat Cheese Burger

Two of our favorite summer flavors, blueberry and lemon, come together in this decadent gourmet burger recipe. Paired with creamy goat cheese and fresh arugula, this is hands-down one of the most flavorful burgers we’ve ever eaten! Pair it with a blueberry beer to bring craft brewery vibes to your own backyard this summer.

Blueberry Lemon Goat Cheese Burger
2 burgers
25 minutes
717 kcal
Get the recipe
A bowl of spinach tomato pasta with olive oil in a bowl

22. Spinach and Tomato Pasta

The best summer pasta recipes are light, fresh, and easy to make – just like this spinach and tomato pasta! Dressed with a simple combination of olive oil, tomatoes, and sautéed spinach, this pasta doesn’t have a typical “sauce.” Which makes it light and bright for any summer evening.

Spinach and Tomato Pasta
2 servings
20 minutes
363 kcal
Get the recipe
A healthy dinner of avocado cilantro lime chicken with brown rice

23. Healthy Avocado Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice

Last but not least, this bright and zesty cilantro lime chicken with avocado crema is exactly what you’ll be craving on a hot summer day! Serve it with rice for a healthy dinner, or make it into tacos for something a little more fun. Either way, it’s delicious!

Healthy Avocado Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice
4 servings
45 minutes
653 kcal
Get the recipe
The Candid Cooks 10 quick and easy dinners ebook download.

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