20 Fresh Summer Dinner Recipe Ideas

When summertime rolls around, fresh, easy, and flavorful dinner recipes are the name of the game. This list of 20+ Summer Dinner Ideas includes everything from colorful salads and hearty black bean burgers, to seafood favorites and veggie-inspired pizzas. Gather around the patio table after a day in the sun… and let’s eat!

collage of summer dinner recipe photos including coconut shrimp, turkey burgers, strawberry chicken salad, crab cakes, and pesto pizza.

Favorite Summer Dinner Recipes

My team and I gathered 20+ Summer Dinner Recipe Ideas to keep your supper menu fresh, tasty, and fun all season long. Luckily the following recipes don’t take too much time or effort, because no one wants to stand over the stove when the temperature rises.

The recipes collected on this page highlight the season’s flavors like garden-fresh zucchini and tomatoes, fragrant basil, and hot-off-the-grill burgers.

Speaking of the grill, honey chipotle salmon, black bean burgers, and caprese chicken burgers are top choices. The black bean burgers are loved by both non-meat eaters and meat eaters alike. I usually serve them alongside corn on the cob, chicken pasta salad, zucchini fritters, or zucchini casserole.

spoonful of zucchini feta herb bake
Zucchini casserole is a wonderful veggie-loaded side dish, and a potluck favorite too!

When pizza night rolls around, try my beginner-friendly pizza dough to make pesto pizza. Homemade basil pesto tastes incredible here, especially if you have garden-fresh basil. Try a batch and use it for pesto pasta salad, too.

If you have a family of seafood lovers, everyone always raves about these Maryland crab cakes. Serve them with potatoes, vegetables, and cornbread or dinner rolls to complete the meal. You can prep the crab cake mixture up to 1 day in advance, so all you have to do is portion and bake them. They take less than 15 minutes in the oven.

Crab cake meal with corn and potatoes
Maryland-style crab cakes are surprisingly quick and easy.

I hope the following list of summer dinner ideas provides you with plenty of inspiration throughout the season. If you’re looking for a fun summery dessert to follow the main meal, what better time to try homemade funnel cakes or an ice cream cake? Or here are all my favorite BBQ cookout dessert recipes. I would never leave you hanging without dessert! 😉

vanilla, Oreo, and strawberry ice cream cake with whipped cream on white plate with fork.

20+ Summer Dinner Ideas

slices of pesto pizza made with mozzarella cheese and fresh pesto on top.

Easy Pesto Pizza

Use my popular homemade pizza dough and homemade pesto to make your new favorite summertime pizza. Top with mozzarella, cheese, tomatoes, and other favorite pizza toppings.

close-up of honey garlic soy glazed salmon with green onion, brown rice, and broccoli on plate.

6-Ingredient Honey Garlic Salmon

This is honey garlic soy salmon, a dish made from just 6 ingredients in under 35 minutes. Enjoy big flavor with minimal effort! Serve with rice and steamed seasonal vegetables to complete the meal.

spoonful of zucchini feta herb bake

Easy Zucchini Casserole Recipe

If you’re searching for an easy and flavorful side dish, look no further than this garlic and herb-infused feta cheese zucchini bake. Bursting with oregano, thyme, basil, and garlic, this simple vegetable side bakes in 30 minutes and doesn’t require any pre-cooking.

spicy turkey burger on whole wheat bun with lettuce and pepper jack cheese.

Spicy Jalapeño Turkey Burgers

My recipe promises medium-spicy turkey burgers that are plump and juicy with mega flavor from a variety of spices, herbs, and shredded pepper jack cheese right in the patty. Enjoy them fresh off the grill or sautéed, and don’t forget all your favorite burger fixings!

Maryland crab cakes with cocktail sauce and lemon

Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe

From my family to yours, here is our favorite recipe for Maryland crab cakes. They get the stamp of approval from locals and out-of-towners alike! For the best taste and texture, use lump crab meat, little filler, and bake the cakes in a very hot oven.

close-up of a chicken meatball with bite taken out of it sitting on a bed of zucchini noodles.

Baked Chicken Meatballs

Packed with flavor, baked, and then brushed with a lemony garlic herb butter for even more flavor, these baked chicken meatballs are lighter-tasting than many other recipes. Serve them on a bed of seasonal zucchini noodles.

berry quinoa salad in a glass bowl

Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad

A fresh and fruity grain salad recipe featuring spinach, basil, nutty quinoa, sunflower seeds, and lots of bright berry flavors. The perfect lighter summer dinner, or even lunch!

black bean burger with a bun, onions, cheese, lettuce, and avocado

The Best Black Bean Burgers

These are the best black bean burgers I’ve ever had—and readers around the world agree! They’re big, thick, hearty, and flavorful, and you can make them on the grill or bake them in the oven. Even meat-eaters rave that these burgers are not only tasty but satisfying, too.

close-up of 6 coconut shrimp on white cutting board.

Easy Coconut Shrimp

Golden, sweet, and crisp coconut shrimp is a crowd-favorite finger food and it always flies off the serving platter, especially if you serve it with the spicy-sweet dipping sauce. The recipe and process are both simple and easy. You’ll want to make these shrimp again and again all summer!

zucchini ricotta flatbread

Zucchini & Herbed Ricotta Flatbread

Give homemade flatbread pizza a fresh summer spin with the addition of zucchini, herbed ricotta, roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil. Use my 1-hour flatbread pizza dough as the base for a quick and delicious lunch, dinner, or appetizer.

southwestern chopped chicken salad in a glass bowl

Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

My easy recipe for southwestern chopped chicken salad is packed with flavor and texture. This colorful salad comes together in a snap and features crisp corn, fresh avocado, juicy tomatoes, crunchy tortilla chips, and a zesty taco seasoning-spiced Greek yogurt dressing.

bruschetta tomatoes and cooked sliced chicken over zucchini noodles with fresh basil garnish in cast iron skillet.

Bruschetta Chicken With Zucchini Noodles

Combining a fresh basil, tomato, and garlic bruschetta mixture, zucchini noodles, and chicken marinated in Italian dressing, this dish is positively packed with flavor. It’s so easy to make, it is definitely worthy of a spot in your summertime weeknight dinner rotation.

corn fritters with yogurt dip

Easy Corn Fritters

These easy corn fritters come together in 1 bowl. They’re crispy, savory, and filled with plenty of fresh flavor like cilantro, jalapeño, and green onion. Don’t skip the cool & creamy Greek yogurt dip!

Honey garlic shrimp in a bowl with rice and broccoli

20-Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp

This 20-minute honey garlic shrimp recipe has been a reader favorite for years. It’s extra quick, very simple, and delivers with big flavor. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables, or enjoy it in a salad for a boost of protein.

chicken with creamy cilantro lime sauce in a skillet

Creamy Cilantro Lime Chicken

Another reader-favorite dinner recipe, this cilantro lime chicken simmers in a creamy, flavor-packed sauce. It comes together in just 1 pan, so cleanup is a breeze!

zucchini fritters with yogurt sauce on a white plate

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Fritters with Garlic Herb Yogurt Sauce

These are my perfectly golden brown, crispy, and light zucchini sweet potato fritters. Pair with a creamy and refreshing garlic herb yogurt sauce for a lighter dinner or side option.

sausage and rice stuffed peppers with chopped parsley on top in red casserole dish.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Sausage stuffed peppers are a fun and satisfying twist on the traditional beef version. The filling includes a handful of flavorful savory ingredients like sausage, garlic, fresh parsley, oregano, and basil, plus your favorite cheese such as parmesan, asiago, and/or cheddar.

peanut chicken zucchini noodles on a white serving tray with a fork

Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles

A reader favorite for years! This flavorful peanut chicken zucchini noodles dish is a healthier and wholesome dinner that has lean protein, plenty of vegetables, and a delectable savory peanut sauce. Feel free to make it your own by switching up the vegetables and meat, or skipping the meat and replace with more vegetables or tofu.

creamy pesto shrimp

Creamy Pesto Shrimp

This is creamy pesto shrimp, an unbelievably versatile meal you can serve with pasta, rice, vegetables, salads, and more. It’s cheesy, flavorful, and satisfying—and ready in less than 30 minutes!

homemade flatbread pizza with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and arugula on top.

Homemade Flatbread Pizza Recipe

Homemade flatbread pizza is a fun and kid-friendly savory recipe that doubles as dinner. Much quicker and easier than pizza dough with only 45 minutes of rise time needed, this flatbread can be topped any way you’d like for your next pizza night.

Fresh & Healthy Strawberry Chicken Salad

I have 1 more recipe for you, and it’s a fabulous lunch or dinner option. The following strawberry almond chicken salad has the works—juicy berries, crunchy almonds, creamy avocado, chopped chicken, and plenty of tender greens—so it’s a lighter, healthier option but keeps you feeling satisfied. Use leftover cooked chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store.

Top it with the same easy homemade poppy seed dressing that I use for creamy strawberry feta pasta salad, only halved because you don’t need quite as much!

salad in gray dish including chicken, strawberries, mandarin oranges, blueberries, spinach, and avocado with poppy seed dressing on top.

When I serve this salad for dinner, I often bake some cornbread on the side to round out the meal.


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salad in gray dish including chicken, strawberries, mandarin oranges, blueberries, spinach, and avocado with poppy seed dressing on top.

Summer Dinner Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Chicken Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
5 from 4 reviews

  • Author:

  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    0 minutes

  • Total Time:
    10 minutes

  • Yield:
    Serves 2-4

  • Category:

  • Method:

  • Cuisine:


This colorful, healthy strawberry almond chicken salad has the works! Juicy berries, crunchy almonds, creamy avocado, and chicken sit atop a bed of spinach and field greens, all drizzled with homemade poppy seed dressing.

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing


  1. Toss everything together in a large bowl, except for the dressing, until combined.
  2. Whisk all of the poppy seed dressing ingredients together. Pour desired amount of dressing on top, toss to coat, and serve immediately.


  1. Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk
  2. Dressing: You could really dress this summer salad with just about anything. Either balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette would be incredible, too.
  3. Can I Add Cheese? Yes, absolutely. Try adding 4 ounces goat cheese, gorgonzola, or feta cheese.

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