Easy Summer Meals- 15 Fresh Ideas

Celebrate the season with these 20-minute recipes using the freshest produce.


Haricots Verts and Grape Tomato Salad with Crème Fraîche Dressing

This dish turns your table into a fancy French bistro, but it requires exactly two minutes of cooking. Seek out real crème fraîche―it’s thicker and a bit less tangy than sour cream―though sour cream will do in a pinch. This dressing is excellent on any kind of salad, and you can leave out the shallots to use it on fruit salads, too, especially those with melon.



BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta Slaw

This summery crunch-tastic slaw is guaranteed to find its way into your recipe rotation for the rest of the season. Using ripe, juicy peaches, it’s the perfect sweet-salty side dish for any number of grilled or smoked proteins.


Salmon Burgers

This simple, six-minute recipe for salmon patties could easily become a regular part of your weeknight repertoire. Mix things up by varying your condiments and breads: Cut patties in half and serve on French bread with Rémoulade Sauce for salmon po-boys, or go all-American with ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise on hamburger buns.


Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

The pairing of fresh strawberries and a thick-and-sweet poppy seed dressing is a classic everybody loves. We add a bit of white wine vinegar to the dressing for a little zing, and top the salad with almonds for crunch as well as healthy unsaturated fats. Pair this salad with grilled chicken or fish, and add any other berries you like―blueberries are especially good.


Corn and Summer Vegetable Sauté

This ultra-easy recipe takes advantage of all the flavors summer vegetables have to offer. We add almost nothing―salt, pepper, and a little cilantro―and let the spicy jalapeños, sweet corn, pungent green onion, and crunchy okra speak for themselves. To make this dish a meal, add lightly seasoned cooked chicken, shrimp, or cubed tofu to the mix at the very end.


Open-Faced Prosciutto and Plum Sandwiches

Sweet fig preserves balance the tartness of the plums. Choose red or purple plums with bright, unblemished skin that are firm and plump to the touch.


Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blueberry Sauce

Substitute fresh berries for frozen when making this year-round treat in the summer. This sauce also pairs well with biscuits or as a stand-in for syrup on pancakes.


Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas

Cumin is a key spice for authentic Mexican flavor, used here to flavor chicken, corn, and zucchini atop crisp broiled tortillas with Monterey Jack cheese. The recipe only takes about 15 minutes, but you can shave even more time by skipping the broiling step and serving as soft tacos instead. Serve with extra salsa and sour cream, and add your favorite variety of beans―black, pinto, or refried―as a side.


Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches

The bright, bold flavors in this dish mean you don’t need a side with a lot of high-impact flavors. Serve over quick-cooking couscous.


Hot Dogs “Run Through the Garden”

If you thought these kiddie faves were off-limits in a healthy diet, think again. These Chicago-style dogs take about 15 minutes to cook, are covered in healthful and tasty vegetables, and weigh in at only 225 calories apiece. For a real treat, serve with our baked Seasoned Fries.


Creole Tomato Salad

This simple no-cook salad is one of the best ways to highlight heirloom tomatoes, with its counterpoint of pungent raw onion and a light Dijon vinaigrette. You can also make this salad the spotlight of a great BLT (use the dressing in place of mayo), or add sliced mozzarella cheese for a Creole Caprese Salad.


Grilled Halibut and Fresh Mango Salsa

With onion, cilantro, tomato, and mango in a lime-cider vinegar dressing, this salsa strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory. It also brings out the natural sweetness of the simply grilled halibut. Ask your fishmonger what’s freshest and use that, as this preparation will work with just about any kind of fish.


Summer Corn and White Bean Soup

The perfect summer soup is light and full of quick-cooking, fresh, and flavorful seasonal vegetables. This hearty dish features fiber-rich navy beans, spicy green chiles, meaty ham, and crunchy sweet corn, and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Other summer produce like zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley would make excellent additions.


Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

This dish looks super-summery: It’s just a heaping helping of fresh vegetables mixed with delectable crabmeat in a lovely light dressing. Show off your own garden by adding other fresh veggies like zucchini or green beans. If you don’t like crab, try chopped chicken or canned tuna or salmon instead.


Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto

Creamy pesto is the perfect cooling counterpoint to these flavorful Chicken Kebabs.


Source (CookingLight.Com)

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