From wholesome salads to refreshing coolers and fun finger foods, these summer recipes will make your party a huge hit.
When summer is around the corner, there’s only one thing to do: plan a vacation. After all, ‘tis the season of swimming and sunbathing!
The only problem is, the hot weather can make cooking a drag. But don’t let the sweltering heat stop you from prepping a delicious meal!
I have put together 30 recipes to help you out. These meals are easy and won’t keep you in the kitchen for too long.
Have a lot of fun in the sun with these bright and tasty summer recipes!
First on our list is a delightful salad made of spinach, peaches, goat cheese, avocado, and almonds.
The sweetness of the peaches pairs perfectly with the tartness of the goat cheese. The texture combination is also mind-blowingly delicious.
It certainly is one of the most attractive and delicious salads you’ll ever have.
Macaroni salad has been a holiday staple in our home ever since I can remember.
This nostalgic salad is made of elbow macaroni, minced onion, celery, green bell pepper, sugar, and a touch of salt and pepper.
What brings all of these together? Old school mayonnaise.
One spoonful is enough to bring you down memory lane.
Broccoli salad might not be appealing to kids, but when you make it like this, you’ll definitely change their minds.
The crunch from the broccoli and cauliflower mixed with the smokiness of the bacon and the creaminess of the cheese sauce is enough to make their jaws drop to the ground.
This family-friendly dish is perfect for your next potluck.
Watermelon and cucumbers are super juicy because of their high water content. Bring these two together, and you’ll have the most fantastic salad ever.
Aside from its bold colors, this salad boasts of flavor as well. Watermelon and cucumbers go so well with salty feta cheese and cool mint!
Salads are always pretty and colorful, but let’s be honest, not all of them are flavorful. This one, however, is sensational in both departments.
Chunks of savory chicken combined with sweet and juicy grapes and crunchy almonds are tied together by a creamy mayo dressing. This is definitely my kind of salad!
This next recipe is not only easy on the eyes, but also a treat for your tastebuds.
Beautiful vine tomatoes are seasoned with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and fired over the grill until they’re charred. Yum!
Drizzled with a basil dressing and topped with mozzarella cheese, this salad is crisp, refreshing, and so amazing.
It goes great with lemon herbed chicken breast, grilled steak, or herbed pork skewers.
The incredible colors and textures of this salad are beyond words.
The sweet peaches go so well with basil leaves and heirloom tomatoes.
The mozzarella and croutons add excellent textures, and the dijon mustard vinaigrette gives the perfect finishing touch.
Pro-tip: you can also use French bread or sourdough instead of croutons.
If Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken is your favorite, why not make it yourself? Don’t be intimidated, it’s actually pretty easy.
Tender and juicy chicken breasts are covered in a dressing of mayonnaise, sour cream, and salsa. That alone is already so rich and creamy.
But wait, there’s more! There’s also a bed of crunchy crushed corn chips underneath and melted cheese on top.
It’s the ultimate indulgence! Move over, Applebee’s.
When you have super savory dishes for lunch or dinner, you’ll want something light and refreshing to contrast all that richness.
What better way is there to stay refreshed than with a cold glass of peach lemonade?
This is no ordinary lemonade, folks. It’s loaded with sweet and fresh peaches for an extra burst of flavor.
It’s a thirst quencher that you’ll crave over and over.
I don’t know about you, but to me, pasta will never go out of season. This recipe, for instance, is the epitome of pasta goodness.
This pasta may be meatless, but it still manages to be decadent.
It’s all thanks to a combo of penne pasta, roasted pine nuts, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and corn kernels. It’s summer in a bowl!
If you want a taste of European summer, you won’t have to travel far. Just head to your kitchen and give this recipe a try!
This dish is a divine combination of salty prosciutto, sweet melon, honeydew, watermelon, and fresh mozzarella in one skewer. WOW.
The basil vinaigrette brings out the flavors of the ingredients, even more, giving you one heck of a summer snack.
If you dig stuffed recipes, you’ll love this next one.
The chicken salad is loaded with shredded chicken, onion, and avocado slices.
The dressing is a creamy blend of mayo, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and mustard.
It’s also served in a hollowed-out avocado. How epic is that? It’s one salad you won’t soon forget.
Want to take make your picnic basket the talk of the town? Soak chicken in a bowl of Coca Cola.
Coca Cola is the star of the marinade, but it can’t do the job alone. Take some Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, and you’re golden.
This recipe works no matter what cut of chicken you choose. Yes – even chicken breast!
Thanks to the marinade, it’s guaranteed to be moist and delicious.
Avocado summer rolls are beauty on a plate.
Delicate spring roll wrappers are the key to this gorgeous dish. It allows the beauty of the stuffing to shine through it, literally.
The stuffing can absolutely be anything you want, but to make this summer-worthy, using fresh fruits like peaches, avocado, cucumbers, and watermelon radish is best.
Doesn’t it feel great when you open a picnic basket and see a smorgasbord of yumminess?
These pressed Italian sandwiches should be in every picnic basket! Deli meats, arugula, butter, and red peppers are all sandwiched in between crispy baguette slices!
Can you imagine all of that goodness in one bite?
These sandwiches are so pretty, you’ll want to display them for everyone to see.
16. Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a classic dish that is pleasing to the eyes and the palate.
The texture of the rice combined with the meat sauce is already phenomenal as it is.
Stuff that goodness inside hollowed-out peppers and get ready for a mind-blowing experience!
Gazpacho has such a beautiful combination of flavors. One spoonful will make your mouth drool.
This recipe is made of raw tomato, yellow onion, cucumber, red bell pepper, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.
It’s all blended into one perfect soup and chilled before serving.
It takes precision to get the taste right, though. But once you do, you’ll definitely earn some serious bragging rights.
Savory, sweet, and lip-smackingly delicious: that’s the best way to describe pineapple chicken.
Chicken and pineapple are a match made in heaven. Cooked in hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and chicken broth, the combo becomes even more phenomenal.
Garnish it with some sesame seeds and green onion, and voila: it’s a fantastic summer meal.
Want to get your body ready for the summer? Pan-seared fish is the answer.
Fish is just as filling as other proteins, but it’s definitely more wholesome.
And with this recipe, you won’t have to worry about a bland and boring dish!
A tomato wine basil sauce elevates the simple fish into a spectacular dish.
Cod takes in the fresh flavors of basil so well, and the zestiness of the lemon juice also adds a nice zing.
Mexican food is known for its colors and flavors. Use the same concept to make a Buddha bowl and you’ll be rewarded.
Presentation matters, so arrange avocados, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, chicken strips, and corn chips neatly in a big bowl.
Show off this masterpiece at your next summer party, and the compliments will roll right in.
21. Corn Guacamole
Corn and avocado in one? I’m listening.
Give the traditional guac a twist by adding charred corn kernels, red onion, and a sprinkle of cumin.
Aside from the texture, the smokiness of the corn kernels blends well with the richness of the avocado.
The onion and cumin brighten it even more. This is the guacamole recipe you didn’t know you needed.
Salmon fillet tends to dry out easily, but if you give it some extra TLC, you’ll work wonders with this fish.
Drench it in a blend of lime juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, and lots of herbs and spices. Bake it wrapped in foil to ensure it’s moist and flaky.
In as fast as 20 minutes, you’ll have restaurant-quality salmon to enjoy.
23. Root Beer Float
Did you know that root beer floats have been around for over a century? To this day, they’re still just as beloved.
They’ve been a favorite for ages because they’re so simple yet freakin’ fabulous.
Freeze your mug, fill it up with root beer and top off with vanilla ice cream. That’s it. Great things don’t have to be complicated, you’ll see!
Shrimp is a perfect summer protein because it takes less than 10 minutes to cook. Also, it’s absolutely delicious.
Give the shrimp that star treatment they deserve. Putting them in tacos makes them shine even brighter!
Shrimp is sauteed in a special taco spice mix stuffed in individual tacos and drizzled with garlic cilantro lime sauce. It can’t get any better than that.
Bruschetta is a classy yet easy finger food, and it’s perfect for your summer party.
The crunch from toasted French bread is the perfect vessel for ripe tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
The tartness of the tomatoes complements the basil so well that one bite won’t be enough.
It’s so good, even kids won’t say no to it.
The creativity of this cupcake matches its deliciousness. It’s a sweet indulgence that you cadn’t resist.
Moist cupcakes are filled with sweet raspberry jam and topped with rich buttercream frosting.
Here’s the fun part: part of the cupcake is cut out and turned into a pair of wings.
Thank God the British invented this dainty treat!
Make this smoky-sweet side dish for your next BBQ party and watch it disappear in minutes.
Slice up some nectarines and place them neatly inside foil packs.
Sprinkle it with a mix of coconut sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut oil. Seal it tightly and let the grill do the rest.
It’s sweet, juicy, buttery, and simply delicious.
I know what you’re thinking. How do you turn such a watery fruit into a cookie? Well, you don’t.
But you can decorate a cookie to look like one!
These sugar cookies are cut into triangles, slathered with creamy frosting, and decorated with green, white, and red sanding sugar.
Top with mini-chocolate chips for the seeds, and voila!
These mini-strawberry shortcakes are so addicting you’ll want to make a picnic basket full of them.
Buttery, crunchy, and crumbly biscuits are cut in half and filled with a strawberry and cream filling that’s too perfect for words.
Add some fresh strawberry slices and this treat will be a major hit.
Bring a strawberry trifle to your next picnic and you’ll be a legend. This dessert is trifle-ific!
The layers of sliced pound cake, luscious strawberries, and creamy vanilla pudding are just heavenly. It’s the ultimate summer sensation!
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