It's 5:00 and you're hungry and hot—here are some of the best summer dinner recipes you can put together in a flash.
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A platter of chicken tacos on a table

Summer dinners shouldn't require a lot of stove or oven time. (Who wants to heat up their kitchen even more by baking something for an hour?)

But you don't have to look at that as a limitation—there are still tons of delicious and super-easy summer dinner ideas to explore that are full of flavor, use peak summer produce (hello, corn and tomatoes!), and let you get dinner on the table with minimal fuss and cooking time.

Add a few of these to your weekly menu to make dinnertime simpler.

Quick and Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

Let's face it—in the summer, you have better things to do than spend an hour over a hot stove. These easy summer dinners come together in no time flat.

Summer Tacos With Scallion-Peanut Relish
Credit: Jen Causey

Summer Tacos With Scallion-Peanut Relish

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On those summer nights when you don't want to cook—aka every night—make these easy tacos that use rotisserie chicken as a base. All you need to do is quick-pickle carrots and daikon radish, make a quick flavorful sauce to dress the chicken, and mix some peanuts and herbs for a super easy relish. Given how simple this dish is to make, it's no surprise that it's ready to eat in just 25 minutes.

Linguine with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Credit: Greg DuPree

Linguine With Cherry Tomato Sauce

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This easy dinner recipe requires little chopping, minimal cooking—and results in a pasta dish that practically screams summer. 

Fancy Tomato Sandwiches
Credit: Greg DuPree

Fancy Tomato Sandwiches

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Fresh summer tomatoes are the show-stopping centerpiece of these tasty sandwiches, perfect for a light summer dinner.

Speedy Pork Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Speedy Pork Banh Mi Sandwiches

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While Banh Mi might seem intimidating to make, these speedy sandwiches are ready in just 30 minutes. You'll start by glazing the pork (just before roasting it), which adds flavor to the meat and helps keep it tender. Then, you'll make the quick-pickled vegetables and Sriracha mayo, both of which complete this classic Vietnamese meal.

Gnocchi and Broccoli Sheet-Pan Supper
Credit: Jennifer Causey

Sheet Pan Gnocchi With Broccoli

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Not a fan of doing tons of dishes once the temperature rises? Try this sheet pan dinner, which features gnocchi, broccoli florets, onions, and pesto all baked on one dish. What we love about this recipe is that it's extremely adaptable. For a pizza-inspired version, use marinara sauce and mozzarella instead. You can also add cauliflower and some cooked Italian sausage to make this meal even more filling.

Slow-Cooker Pulled-Pork Tacos
Credit: Kan Kanbayashi

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

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This make-ahead summer dinner takes just five minutes to pull together—and can simmer in your slow cooker while you're out having some summer fun

Salmon With Creamy Cucumber-Fennel Salad
Credit: José Picayo

Salmon With Creamy Cucumber Fennel Salad

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Salmon is an easy weeknight dinner—especially when paired with this make-ahead salad. 

Homemade nachos recipes - Cheesy Chicken Nachos
Credit: Greg DuPree

Cheesy Chicken Nachos

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Hey, it's summer—it's the perfect time to have something fun for dinner. This dish comes together in under 20 minutes, and is the perfect accompaniment to an outdoor movie night.

Vegetarian Summer Dinner Ideas

Whether you're planning for Meatless Mondays (or for vegetarians everyday), these meat-free summer dinners are healthy and satisfying.

Linguine With Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese
Credit: Gentl & Hyers

Linguine With Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese

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Use the best veggies from your garden or the farmer's market for this simple summer dinner—a crumble of goat cheese and walnuts finishes off the dish. 

Toasted Israeli Couscous With Corn and Herbs Recipe
Credit: Greg DuPree

Toasted Israeli Couscous With Corn and Herbs

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Give your standard pasta salad recipe a break and make this more modern dish instead. It features a toasted couscous base and pairs juicy summer corn kernels with a showering of fresh herbs—think basil, chives, and dill—plus some caramelized onions for good measure. If you're headed to a summer picnic or potluck, this dish is bound to be a hit.

Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado
Credit: Con Poulos

Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado

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This vegan-friendly salad is even better when you use fresh-from-the-cob summer corn. 

Japanese Cabbage Pancake
Credit: Jennifer Causey

Japanese Cabbage Pancake

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Savory pancakes for dinner? Yes, please. This Japanese dish, also known as okonomiyaki, has eggs like a frittata, but gets some added richness and body from sautéed cabbage and flour. Top the pancake with some Sriracha mayo and a Worcestershire-ketchup combo to give it some extra flavor.

Watermelon Poke Bowl
Credit: Victor Protasio

Watermelon Poke Bowls

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The Hawaiian classic dish gets a vegan-friendly tweak by using marinated watermelon in lieu of seafood. 

Vegetarian BLT With Shiitake Bacon
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Vegetarian BLT With Shiitake Bacon

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For a fast and easy summer dinner idea, try this vegetarian take on the classic sandwich. 

Stir-Fried Rice Noodles With Tofu and Vegetables
Credit: Christopher Baker

Stir-Fried Rice Noodles With Tofu and Vegetables

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If you're going to cook, make it fast—and this tasty stir fry requires just a few minutes of cooking time. 

Vegetarian Tacos With Goat Cheese
Credit: Con Poulos

Vegetarian Tacos With Goat Cheese

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The filling of these tasty tacos takes just under 10 minutes of cooking time—and you can sub in fresh corn if you have it for the perfect vegetarian summer dinner.

Grilled Summer Dinner Recipes

Summertime is the perfect time to break out the grill—and these easy grilled summer dinner recipes help you avoid a hot kitchen (and a lot of cleanup). They're the perfect summer dinner ideas for hot days.

Grilled Turkey-Zucchini Burgers
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Grilled Turkey-Zucchini Burgers

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Fire up the grill to make these healthy burgers, which consist of a combination of zucchini, lean ground turkey, and an egg. Garlic powder and cumin help flavor the burgers from within, while a  honey mustard and mayo topping adds irresistible creaminess. Serve the burgers alongside sweet potato chips and you're good to go.

Smoky Butterflied Chicken With Garlic-Mayo Tomatoes and Herbs
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Smoky Butterflied Chicken With Garlic-Mayo Tomatoes and Herbs

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Butterflying a chicken before grilling cuts the cooking time in half and almost guarantees a more succulent bird—making it easy to get dinner faster on a scorching summer day. 

Grilled Halloumi Salad
Credit: Greg DuPree

Grilled Halloumi Cheese Salad

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Grilled cheese? Yes, please! This flavorful firm cheese can take the heat—and adds richness to a simple salad. 

Steak With Chimichurri Sauce
Credit: Charles Masters

Steak With Chimichurri Sauce

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This entire dish (including the corn on the cob on the side) comes together on the grill—and flavorful chimichurri helps lighten up a meaty steak.  

Halibut With Grilled Eggplant Salad
Credit: Quentin Bacon

Halibut With Grilled Eggplant Salad

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Since this recipe calls for you to grill the halibut and eggplant slices at the same time, it takes just 20 minutes to prepare. Both components of the meal get brushed with a soy sauce mixture, which adds a pop of flavor to this easy dinner.

RELATED: 19 Surprising Foods You Didn't Know You Could Grill

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas
Credit: Alex Farnum

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas

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This light summer dinner comes together fast on the grill, thanks to rotisserie chicken and pre-shredded cheese.

Sriracha Pork Chops with Smashed Cucumbers
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Grilled Sriracha Pork Chops With Sesame Smashed Cucumbers

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When it comes to grilling food, pork chops are often overlooked in favor of steak or chicken, but we're here to tell you they absolutely shouldn't be. Here, the pork chops are marinated in a spicy sesame-soy sauce, which adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat. What's more? The honey in the marinade helps give the chop a caramelized crust, which pairs perfectly with the side of vinegary cucumbers.

Grilled Pizzas With Ricotta, Summer Squash, and Scallions
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Grilled Pizza With Ricotta, Summer Squash, and Scallions

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Grill the veggies first, then cook the dough on the grill before you assemble these tasty, veggie-packed pizzas. 

Summer Salad Dinner Ideas

When the weather is really hot, salads make for perfect light summer dinners, since they're heavy on the veggies and other light ingredients.

Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad Recipe
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Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad

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Ditch your standard summer salad for this Japanese-inspired dish, which features crunchy romaine and cucumbers, juicy shrimp, healthy avocado chunks, and a creamy soy-mayo dressing. For an easy shortcut, you can always make this salad with pre-cooked shrimp, though we suggest poaching your own crustaceans using this simple method at least once.

Watercress and Bean Salad With Almonds and Ricotta Salata
Credit: Anna Williams

Watercress and Bean Salad With Almonds and Ricotta Salata

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Toss a few ingredients together for this perfect summer dish—a little crusty bread on the side makes it a meal.

Roasted Eggplant and Olive Pasta Salad
Credit: Greg DuPree

Roasted Eggplant and Olive Pasta Salad

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This Mediterranean-inspired salad makes a great picnic side—or can be a perfect summer dinner for a hot day.

Eggplant Panzanella Recipe
Credit: Andrew Purcell

Eggplant Panzanella

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A salad with bread as the main ingredient is a salad we can get behind. This dish includes cubes of deliciously toasty, grilled sourdough bread, eggplant slices, crunchy kale, fresh cherry tomatoes, and shaved Manchego cheese. The whole thing comes together courtesy of a bright, lemony vinaigrette.

Steak and Blackberry Salad Recipe
Credit: Andrew Purcell

Steak and Blackberry Salad

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Don't want to heat up your kitchen? Cook the hanger steak on your grill instead for this fast and easy summer dinner. 

Grilled Chicken and Pepper Salad Recipe
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Grilled Chicken and Pepper Salad

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Garlicky-herb-filled yogurt pulls double duty in this recipe, as both a marinade for the grilled chicken (keeping it flavorful and moist) and as a savory dressing that tops the entire meal. You'll also find plenty of greens, toasted torn pita pieces, charred mini peppers and red onion. What's not to love?

Torn Pita and Eggplant Salad With Parsley and Green Tahini
Credit: Jennifer Causey

Torn Pita and Eggplant Salad With Parsley and Green Tahini

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The broiler makes fast work of cooking the ingredients for this fresh, Mediterranean-inspired dinner salad. 

Nicoise Inspired Summer Salad
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Nicoise-Inspired Summer Salad

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This fresh take on the French classic calls for sugar snap peas in lieu of green beans, and smoked trout in place of tuna. It's an easy summer dinner recipe that comes together super quickly—especially if you have pre-cooked hardboiled eggs!