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!
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken
- Healthy Turkey Burger
- Indonesian Chicken Salad
- Gluten Free Pasta Salad
- Ranch Chicken Quinoa Salad
- Burger in a Bowl
- Sweet Potato Taco Bowl
- Spinach Quinoa Salad
- Grilled Sausage and Grilled Vegetables
- Crock Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork
- Grilled Chicken Pitas
- Zucchini Lasagna Rolls
- Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Burgers
- Healthy Grilled Pizza
- Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Corn & Chicken
- Healthy Burrito Bowl with Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma Lettuce Cups
- Air Fryer Salmon with Skin
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- Air Fryer Mahi Mahi
- How To Make Zucchini Noodles Or Zoodles
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken
- Simple One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Italian Quesadillas
- Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Best Juicy and Healthy Ground Turkey Burgers (No Egg)
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.
The strawberry salad dressing is super refreshing and the perfect way to make use of the seasonal produce this summer. Eat the salad without meat for a vegetarian option or make it with chicken for additional protein.
The BEST juicy healthy turkey burger recipe that is quick to make and ready to grill in less than 10 minutes! Serve with corn on the cob for an easy and kid-friendly meal.
One of our favorite light summer dinner ideas with the most delicious spinach and feta turkey burger recipe you’ll find! Made with ground turkey (or use ground beef) and full of hidden veggies like spinach and zucchini!
This entree salad is a great option for a no-cook summer meal.
This summer salad is full of Asian flavors and delicious textures. and colors that will help cool you down on a hot summer day.
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.
Top this recipe with some grilled chicken, air fried shrimp or salmon for a filling, yet light entree salad.
Use leftover or rotisserie chicken to make this recipe a no-cook, no-brainer for a light summer meal idea.
For the ranch dressing, you can either use a homemade version or just use the bottled kind.
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 cheeseburger bowl is low carb, keto, gluten free and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes!
This is one of the best light summer dinner ideas because it can also be breakfast or brunch!
Taco night can be during every season with this light and delicious bowl. Savory Mexican flavors dominate this delicious recipe.
A filling and delicious vegetarian summer meal that is also great when combined with proteins like grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp.
Spinach quinoa salad can easily be made ahead for a week’s worth of summer dinners! Full of textures and fresh Mediterranean flavors and done in just 20 minutes!
Grilled Sausage & Veggie Skewers with Pineapple BBQ Sauce
This is one super easy and healthy dinner made on the grill!
Fresh vegetables, pineapple, and kielbasa sausage skewers brushed with a simple pineapple BBQ sauce.
CROCK POT HAWAIIAN PULLED PORK
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.
Serve pulled pork with coleslaw, summer vegetable pasta salad or a delicious quinoa salad for a healthy weeknight meal.
ISRAELI SPICED GRILLED CHICKEN PITAS
Bursting with fresh flavor, these chicken pitas are one of the best simple and light summer dinners your entire family will devour.
This chicken can be used for pitas, in salads, or simply as grilled chicken with couscous or rice.
If you have extra zucchini growing this summer, this recipe is a delicious way to use them up!
Zucchini Lasagna Rolls are one of the easiest summer dinners to make using fresh zucchini! A low-carb replacement for pasta - but you won't even miss the noodles!
Pineapple and bbq sauce is a delicious summer combo (just like this summer crock pot meal - Hawaiian pulled pork)! These chicken burgers are a light recipe you can enjoy with delicious flavors.
Try these on your favorite gluten free bun or as a chicken burger lettuce wrap.
Grilling pizza is fun to do in the summer! This easy recipe can be done with homemade pizza crust or flatbread naan pizza.
Grab your favorite meats, cheeses and garden veggies to top this delicious and super easy to make pizza at home.
DUMP & BAKE SUMMER VEGGIE PASTA
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!
You can eat pasta in the summer! This easy and light summer dinner is filled with seasonal produce and with chicken for a family meal that is 100% kid-friendly.
HEALTHY BURRITO BOWL WITH CHICKEN
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.
Perfect for meal prepping making summer weeknight meals so quick and painless!
These mouthwatering lettuce cups call for a topping of crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and a dollop of cooling tzatziki. The perfect Mediterranean meal.
Light & delicious low carb meal for hot summer nights!
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!
Salmon is one of the easiest proteins to make in the summer months. It pairs so well with veggies and fruits.
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!
Seafood pasta is a light option for a special occasion or celebration during the summer.
This is a super quick and versatile summer recipe that works in so many meals. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
The perfect light and flaky fish for a variety of summer dinners such as fish tacos, a sandwich or chop up into bites and eat in a buddha bowl. Done in just 10 minutes!
A great base recipe for low carb pasta dishes or salads!
Zucchini noodles are a great pasta alternative that is low-carb and can be used as a low-carb noodle recipe for a variety of summer dinners.
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!
Another delicious protein that is a great base recipe for tons of summer dinners. Use this recipe in a bowl, on a slider bun or in a wrap!
Garlic and mushroom flavors are present in this delicious and easy-to-make vegetarian pasta dish.
If you're craving pasta in the summer, this is the recipe you want!
These Italian quesadillas are a great no-cook no-oven option for hot summer nights. Done in just 15 minutes.
Uses simple make-ahead ingredients (rotisserie chicken or chicken thighs work great!) to make a quick summer meal that requires no oven!
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!
Make this Salmon with Mango Salsa on the grill or in your oven for a light and refreshing summer dinner.
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!
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Best Juicy and Healthy Ground Turkey Burgers (No Egg)
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup zucchini
- 1 cup baby spinach chopped
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup breadcrumbs optional
- 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.
Thank you so much for including my Crudite Style Nicoise Salad in this delicious round-up, Lyndsey!
Thank you so much for contributing!