Looking for some easy summer dinners that are healthy and light? I've rounded up 25 of the best quick summer dinner ideas for a healthy, fresh, and light meal. Recipes like salads, protein bowls, sandwiches, meat on the grill, and even chicken, pasta, and casseroles can make hot weather cooking tolerable!
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When it's hot, sometimes the last thing we want to do is cook! Hot summer nights and days make me super lazy and no-cook, light summer dinner ideas are what I'm looking for.
On a hot day during the summer veggies and fruits are a light option to add to your meal (like this strawberry salad!) Fruits and veggies are at their best during the months of June, July, and August, making these fresh, seasonal foods an integral part of easy meals.
Rather than eating out, making summer dinners for your family may be easier than you think! Also, it is generally easier to eat healthy on a budget when you can cook at home.
Whether it's grilling pork tenderloin or smoking bbq chicken, or breaking out the Instant Pot, Air Fryer or even the Crock Pot (yes summer crockpot recipes are a thing!), these 25 recipes will inspire you to cook summer dinners at home and eat a delicious meal without turning on the oven.
All of these ideas are great for easy weeknight dinners or summer holidays like Memorial Day, the 4th of July, BBQs, and Labor Day. They are a mix of unique and classic summer dinners including vegetarian meals, kid-friendly options, and even party menu ideas.
Here are 25 simple and easy light summer dinner ideas that are delicious and refreshing! Best of all your family will love them!
This strawberry spinach salad is a light, healthy, and filling salad that’s packed with refreshing flavors and full of protein.
This entree salad is a great option for a no-cook summer meal.
One of my favorite summer dinner ideas that is light and easy to make is pasta salad! Seasonal veggies make this dish a summer delight.
If you're craving a grilled burger with a low-carb twist, this burger in a bowl is one of the easiest summer dinners.
This is one of the best light summer dinner ideas because it can also be breakfast or brunch!
This is one super easy and healthy dinner made on the grill!
The perfect easy slider that is bursting with flavor. Great for hot summer days when you want a make-ahead recipe you can put in the slow cooker.
Bursting with fresh flavor, these chicken pitas are one of the best simple and light summer dinners your entire family will devour.
If you have extra zucchini growing this summer, this recipe is a delicious way to use them up!
It's so simple and so fast because you don't even have to boil the pasta! Just stir the ingredients together in one dish and pop it in the oven!
Making a homemade healthy burrito bowl with chicken will satisfy your Chipotle cravings - and make one of the easiest light summer meals you can find! These bowls are super easy and quick to make while being cheaper and more low-calorie than Chipotle.
These mouthwatering lettuce cups call for a topping of crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and a dollop of cooling tzatziki. The perfect Mediterranean meal.
The perfect healthy base recipe lots of summer dinners like for a bowl, burger or salad when you don't feel like firing up the grill or oven!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta is a light pasta dish mixing shrimp, fresh parsley, and a lemon garlic butter sauce. Pasta definitely has its spot in this list of light summer dinner ideas!
This is a super quick and versatile summer recipe that works in so many meals. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
A great base recipe for low carb pasta dishes or salads!
One of the best light summer dinner ideas for when it's rainy and you don't want to go outside to grill, use the air fryer to make this bbq chicken!
Garlic and mushroom flavors are present in this delicious and easy-to-make vegetarian pasta dish.
These Italian quesadillas are a great no-cook no-oven option for hot summer nights. Done in just 15 minutes.
This combo of a smoky salmon rub with sweet and spicy mango salsa is easy to make and ideal for summer parties, BBQs and potlucks!
Summer is a great time to eat seasonal fruits and veggies. I generally like to stick to items I can grill like burgers or turkey burgers, lean cuts of meat, or air fry seafood like salmon or shrimp when making summer dinners.
I use that meat to either top a mixed salad or mix it into a pasta or quinoa salad.
On a hot day when you just want to be lazy and keep the oven and grill off, opt for a simple throw-together bowl like a healthy burrito bowl for easy summer dinners. You can also throw together a salad with some shrimp on top.
If you do feel like grilling, one of our favorite recipes for summer grilling is flatbread pizza on the grill!
Hot days are great to utilize appliances like the slow cooker because you can set it and forget it! Hawaiian pulled pork is one of my favorite summer crockpot meals.
Alternatively, go for items that require no heating at all - tuna salad is always a favorite for me when I'm looking for the easy route.
This list of 25 light and healthy meal ideas are some great examples of light dinners and popular summer foods. Some of the most popular summer foods include pasta salad, chicken salad, tacos, and other items that you can grill like lean meats, salmon, and veggies.
The Spruce Eats has a great resource for what fruits and veggies are in season during the different months. Eating what's in season is a great way to get the freshest flavors and not to mention, the best prices for your grocery budget!
Best Juicy and Healthy Ground Turkey Burgers (No Egg)
- Peel and grate zucchini using a box grater. Place zucchini into a paper towel and wring out as much moisture as possible before adding to the turkey burger mixture.1 cup zucchini
- Add ground turkey to a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, and garlic powder. Season with Worcestershire sauce and add in the remaining ingredients.1 pound ground turkey, 1 cup baby spinach, 2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ cup feta cheese
- If needed, add up to ½ cup of breadcrumbs. Combine using your hands and create 6 equal-sized patties. Freeze patties for 10 minutes to one hour.½ cup breadcrumbs
- Grilled: Spray grill with cooking spray and heat to medium. Grill for 7-8 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165F.
- Pan Fried: Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook patties for 7-8 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165F.
- Oven Baked: Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake patties for 25-30 minutes and temp them to 165F to ensure they are done.
- Air Fryer: Air fry at 360F for 15 minutes, flipping halfway.
- If the mixture seems too moist, add some breadcrumbs, oats, or almond flour. Use a paper towel to remove all of the moisture from the zucchini prior to adding it to the bowl.
- Do not press burgers down while cooking, this will make them dry and lose their juicy quality.
- Peel zucchini and grate on the fine side of a box grater if you have picky eaters.
- After you make the turkey patties, place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to an hour to help them stay together when grilling.
- Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
- Serving: Serve burgers in a lettuce wrap for a low-carb option, or on hamburger buns, Hawaiian rolls, or slider buns.
- Toppings: Top with mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, red onion, with mayonnaise, or avocado!
- Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the oven at 400F for 2-3 minutes per side.