Easy Summer Dinner Recipes for Less Stress

Summertime – the time of year that is the epitome of fun and relaxation. Prioritize healthy, home cooked meals and spend less time meal planning and cooking with these easy summer dinner recipes.

Cobb salads on an outdoor dining table next to bowls of tomatoes and olives.

I don’t know about you, but I despise meal planning – however, I also love to cook most nights of the week. Save this post and keep it on hand to eliminate some of the mental load of thinking what to make for dinner. Over 30 delicious and stress-free ideas with summer flavors in mind!

These recipes are categorized into salads, crockpot meals, easy chicken dinners, seafood, beef and pork and vegetarian options.

Feel free to take shortcuts as needed on those super busy nights – like utilizing frozen veggies or microwaveable rice. Batch cook for future meals and think about making larger quantities for meal prepping grab-and-go lunches.


With all the barbecues and get togethers that happen in the summer, salads are perfect for when you’re craving something light and refreshing.

Chili Lime Chicken Salad (Living Chirpy)

A chili lime chicken salad in a white bowl with a fork on top of the salad.

A bed of fresh shredded lettuce with little cubes of Roma tomato, deliciously succulent chili lime chicken breast, avocado, a sprinkle of cotija cheese and a drizzle of cilantro sour cream is all it takes to make this 20-minute salad.

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Maple Dressing (Delicious on a Dime)

Apple, strawberry and chicken salad with a creamy maple dressing on a large platter.

Fresh strawberries and apples are combined with chicken, goat cheese, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and a creamy maple dressing.

Also try:
Easy Healthy Grilled Chicken & Strawberry Salad (Busy Little Chefs)

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Salad (Style and Grace)

A Greek chicken salad with chopped veggies, olives, feta cheese, and a bowl of Tzatziki sauce on a plate.

A Mediterranean-inspired salad packed with fresh vegetables, feta cheese and a homemade zesty Greek salad dressing. Marinate the chicken the night before to save time, and add some Tzatziki sauce for added flavor.

Shrimp Pasta Salad (Kitchen at Hoskins)

Shrimp pasta salad in a bowl with a spoon drizzling avocado dressing on it.

An quick and easy pasta salad with grilled shrimp and a creamy, spicy avocado dressing. The shrimp can be air fried for 8 minutes, and it’s quick to assemble with fresh vegetables and a lot of flavor!

More easy salad ideas:
Easy Chicken Cobb Salad (From Valerie’s Kitchen): Use a rotisserie chicken for dinner in just 20 minutes. Full of fresh vegetables and a homemade dressing.
Lemony Couscous Salad with Capers and Tin Fish (Street Smart Nutrition): Full of fresh ingredients and only 25 minutes of prep.

Crockpot Meals

Crockpot meals make a good summer dinner option because you don’t have to turn on the oven! It’s nice to have dinner already prepared after a busy day of work, or when you want to be lazy on the weekend.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Tortellini (Cinnamon and Sage Co.)

Tuscan chicken and tortellini cooking in a crockpot on a kitchen counter.

This slow cooker Tuscan chicken tortellini provides you with a hearty and flavorful meal while still being incredibly easy to make! Just a few simple ingredients and 2-2 1/2 hours in a crockpot and dinner is on the table – with plenty of leftovers for a quick and easy lunch the next day.

The Best Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas (An Edible Mosaic)

Chicken enchiladas on a plate with a fork with a slow cooker in the background on a dining table.

This crockpot enchiladas recipe combines ground beef, vegetables, enchilada sauce, spices, tortillas, and cheese for a family-friendly enchilada casserole made entirely in the slow cooker. It’s an easy dump and go meal that’s perfect for weeknight family dinners or meal prepping.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Peach BBQ Glaze (Modern Honey)

Slow cooker peach barbecue sauce chicken on a plate next to mashed potatoes.

Just 5 ingredients are needed to make this crockpot chicken with a sweet and smoky peach barbecue sauce. Serve it with mashed potatoes, green beans, or salad for a filling meal.

Also try:
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (Hungry Happy Healthy): This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is incredibly easy to make and really juicy and tender – it’s the best way to cook pulled pork. The perfect blend of spices with paprika and garlic and a hint of sweetness, it is oh-so simple, yet oh-so delicious! Just put it all in your slow cooker and then you can forget about it until it’s ready. Pulled pork in slow cooker is great for feeding a crowd, and it freezes well too.
Pulled Pork Burger Sandwich with Special Sauce (In the Kitch)

Shredded Buffalo Chicken Meal Prep Bowls (One Clever Chef)

A buffalo chicken meal prep bowl in a storage container.

The buffalo chicken is cooked in the slow cooker, and then it’s time for assemble the bowls. This is a great recipe for meal prepping healthy lunches for the week!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (Hungry Happy Healthy)

Pulled pork that is shredded in a bowl with tongs.

Super quick to prep and freezes well for future meals. It’s versatile – so you could make a large batch and use it for tacos, power bowls or even put it on a salad all week long.

Slow Cooker Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes (The Lazy Slow Cooker)

A cheesesteak sloppy joe on a bun in between someone's fingers with a plate in the background.

Slow cooker cheesesteak sloppy Joes combines classic Philly cheesesteak flavors with the ease of a slow cooked ground beef recipe. It’s comfort food without adding any extra heat to your summer kitchen.

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken (Love From the Oven)

Crockpot Hawaiian chicken and peppers on a place on the table.

This juicy Hawaiian chicken is an easy crockpot meal packed with veggies and tropical flavors. Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa.

Also try:
Teriyaki Chicken Poke Bowl with Rice and Mango (Athlete Lunchbox)

Easy Chicken Recipes

BBQ Chicken Salad Wraps (Wholesome Made Easy)

Two BBQ chicken salad wraps on a plate.

Looking for the ultimate EASY summer dinner? Grab a rotisserie chicken and make these delicious wraps with a balance of convenience foods (like store-bought dressing) and fresh vegetables.

Pesto Chicken (Wholesome Yum)

Baked pesto chicken with tomatoes on top next to broccoli on a white plate.

This pesto chicken recipe needs just 5 ingredients + 25 minutes! Basil pesto, sweet tomatoes, and melty mozzarella make it juicy & flavorful.

Grilled Lemon Chicken (Chew Out Loud)

Grilled chicken breasts with slices of lemon on top.

A super easy and flavorful grilled lemon chicken, made with minimal ingredients and a zesty marinade for a refreshing flavor. It’s ready in just 15 minutes on the grill. Pairs well with grilled veggies and potatoes.

Baked Caprese Chicken (The Clean Eating Couple)

Baked Caprese chicken on a white platter garnished with basil.

Baked Caprese Chicken is an easy dinner recipe to make in under 30 minutes! Stuffed chicken breast with mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil. Refreshing, delicious summertime flavors!

Greek Chicken Skewers (Cook Dinner Tonight)

Greek chicken skewers with pita bread, rice, and fresh tomatoes on a plate on the dining table.

Moist and juicy chicken that’s been marinated in a yogurt sauce with directions to cook in the oven or on the grill.

More chicken skewers:
Bacon Bourbon Grilled BBQ Chicken Skewers (The Slow Roasted Italian): Just 16 minutes total to marinate the chicken with a delicious bourbon BBQ sauce and cook it on the grill! Pair it with a side of veggies and potatoes.

Seafood Recipes

Prioritize fish twice weekly for all the benefits of the essential omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Air Fryer Cod (A Cedar Spoon)

Bite-sized pieces of air fryer cod on a plate next to diced radishes.

Air fryer cod is simple to make and creates a tender piece of cod with a crispy breaded layer on the outside. This cod works perfectly on its on, as a fish fry on a bun with tarter sauce or on Cod Fish Tacos! You will love how easy this recipe is!

Also try:
Baked Flounder with Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce (Cucina by Elena)
Halibut with Lemon Butter Sauce (Wholesome Yum)

Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce (Delectable Food Life)

A salmon filet next to asparagus on a white plate with a spoonful of creamy dill sauce on top.

This salmon with creamy dill sauce takes just 15 minutes and helps you reach the recommended two servings of fish per week!

Beef & Pork

Juicy BBQ Pork Tenderloin (Baking Beauty)

Grilled pork tenderloin being sliced on a wooden cutting board with a knife.

BBQ Pork Tenderloin is made with simple ingredients and has a wonderful sweet and smokey flavor. Marinate the pork the night before or an hour before cooking. It takes about 15 minutes on the grill, and 40 minutes in the oven.

Deconstructed Big Mac Burger Bowl with Potatoes (Athlete Lunch Box)

A big mac burger salad on a bowl on the table.

Crispy potatoes take the place of the bun in this deconstructed burger bowl with a homemade creamy Big Mac sauce. You could also omit the potatoes and make this into a big salad over shredded lettuce.

Easy Pineapple Pork Chops (A Cedar Spoon)

Grilled pork chops with pineapple and a pineapple glaze on a baking sheets.

Easy pineapple pork chops combine juicy and tender pork chops with the sweet and sour flavors of pineapple, onion and garlic, and just a touch of honey for added sweetness. This quick pork skillet is the perfect quick weeknight meal.

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce (Chew Out Loud)

Two steaks on a white plate topped with chimichurri sauce.

Who doesn’t love a delicious steak in the summer? Serve it with a flavorful chimichurri sauce – all in under 20 minutes!

Easy Instant Pot (or Slow Cooker) Beef Barbacoa Tacos (Little Black Skillet)

Beef barbacoa tacos lined up on a large white platter next to a  plate of tortillas.

Tacos are a staple all year round. These beef barbacoa tacos only need 20 minutes of prep time with an hour of cooking in an instant pot for a restaurant-style meal at home.

More taco recipes:
Rotisserie Chicken Tacos (Wholesome Made Easy)
Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tacos (The Clean Eating Couple)


If you’re not doing meatless Monday yet, give these recipes a try for more plant-based meals.

Finger-Licking Veggie Fajitas (Happy Kitchen)

Vegan fajitas with black beans on a tortilla next to a steaming platter of fajitas.

This quick and easy veggie fajitas recipe is a life saver! They are loaded with plant-based protein and make a satisfying dinner meal that you can make in under 30 minutes with a handful of simple ingredients.

Mediterranean Bowls with Trader Joe’s Greek Chickpeas (Little Black Skillet)

Trader Joe's Greek chickpeas and veggies in a bowl on a dining table.

Greek-inspired flavors in a bowl! For this Mediterranean bowl, only the orzo needs to be cooked. Then, it’s topped with hummus and Tzatziki sauce.

Caprese Tortellini (Modern Honey)

Caprese tortellini and tomatoes drizzled with balsamic glaze in a bowl with a wooden spoon on a table.

Cheese tortellini is tossed with garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil and mozzarella – then drizzled with a balsamic glaze. Fresh flavors in just 15-minutes!

Related Posts:
Easy Summer Lunches with 30 Grams of Protein
Light and Refreshing Kombucha Mocktails
Mediterranean Chicken, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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