32 Healthy Summer Dinner Ideas That Are Perfect for Hot Days
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.
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.
Lobster Rolls With Corn and Celery
Using frozen lobster tails makes it much easier to pull together this summer dinner favorite.
Linguine With Cherry Tomato Sauce
This easy dinner recipe requires little chopping, minimal cooking—and results in a pasta dish that practically screams summer.
Fancy Tomato Sandwiches
Fresh summer tomatoes are the show-stopping centerpiece of these tasty sandwiches, perfect for a light summer dinner.
Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich With Pickles
A tasty marinade gives tofu a punch of flavor—pair it with pickles and carrots for a satisfying crunch.
Gnocchi With Summer Squash and Feta
This simple summer pasta dish comes together in under a half hour—and you can use cauliflower gnocchi to make it a super-healthy summer dinner recipe.
Salmon With Creamy Cucumber Fennel Salad
Salmon is an easy weeknight dinner—especially when paired with this make-ahead salad.
Cheesy Chicken Nachos
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 plant-based summer dinners are healthy and satisfying.
Linguine With Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese
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.
Chickpea, Arugula, and Pickled Carrot Salad
This flavorful summer dinner idea features quick-pickled carrots, a touch of feta, and za'atar spiced pita on the side.
Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado
This vegan-friendly salad is even better when you use fresh-from-the-cob summer corn.
Lentil Fritter Pitas With Cabbage Slaw
It takes just a few minutes to fry up these tasty fritters for dinner, which are perfectly balanced with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Watermelon Poke Bowls
The Hawaiian classic dish gets a vegan-friendly tweak by using marinated watermelon in lieu of seafood.
Vegetarian BLT With Shiitake Bacon
For a fast and easy summer dinner idea, try this vegetarian take on the classic sandwich.
Stir-Fried Rice Noodles With Tofu and Vegetables
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
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.
Asian Pork Burgers With Minted Watermelon
A touch of sriracha gives these pork burgers some heat—and the minted watermelon side salad helps cool things down.
Smoky Butterflied Chicken With Garlic-Mayo Tomatoes and Herbs
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 Cheese Salad
Grilled cheese? Yes, please! This flavorful firm cheese can take the heat—and adds richness to a simple salad.
Steak With Chimichurri Sauce
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.
Mussels and Clams With Chili-Lemon Oil
Shellfish on the grill? Sure! Just like when you cook them on the stovetop or oven, they're done when they open their shells. (It takes less than 10 minutes!)
Grilled Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas
This light summer dinner comes together fast on the grill, thanks to rotisserie chicken and pre-shredded cheese.
Grilled Pork Chops and Zucchini With Mango Salsa
The summer garden staple plays the perfect supporting role for spiced pork chops in this summer dinner recipe.
Grilled Pizza With Ricotta, Summer Squash, and Scallions
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.
Lemony Shrimp Salad With Couscous
This simply satisfying (and healthy) summer dinner recipe uses precooked shrimp so you don't have to turn on the stove.
Watercress and Bean Salad With Almonds and Ricotta Salata
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
This Mediterranean-inspired salad makes a great picnic side—or can be a perfect summer dinner for a hot day.
Just a few minutes of toasting in the oven helps keep the bread toasty in this tasty take on the traditional panzanella salad. (Consider it a deconstructed BLT.)
Steak and Blackberry Salad
Don't want to heat up your kitchen? Cook the hanger steak on your grill instead for this fast and easy summer dinner.
Buffalo Tofu Salad
This easy summer salad packs the heat with hot-sauce marinated tofu—then cools it off with a tasty blue cheese dressing.
Torn Pita and Eggplant Salad With Parsley and Green Tahini
The broiler makes fast work of cooking the ingredients for this fresh, Mediterranean-inspired dinner salad.
Nicoise-Inspired Summer Salad
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!