90 Easy Summer Dinners That Everyone Will Love

90 Easy Summer Dinners That Everyone Will Love

Summer produce makes every cold, dark winter day worth it. Summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn practically transform themselves into gorgeous, mouthwatering meals. And when the weather’s warm, you belong outside in a breezy maxi dress, not sweating in a hot kitchen. These easy summer dinner ideas don’t take long to whip up or use every single pan in the kitchen. So, they’re perfect for those balmy nights when the sun’s still out, it’s 85 degrees and you really don’t want to be standing at the stove. And just to ensure you’ve got plenty of options, we’re bringing you 90 easy meals to devour in the backyard, from sweet-and-sour pork skewers with pineapple to butter-baked cucumber tostadas.

RELATED: 30 Summer Slow Cooker Recipes to Make All Season Long

Corn, bacon and just a touch of Parm = one completely irresistible weeknight dinner.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, vegetarian

Now this is what we call a dinner salad. Sweet, smoky grilled peaches are just the match for salty, tangy halloumi cheese.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly

Is your mouth watering yet? Bring this to every potluck you’re ever invited to—it’s sure to wow the host and their guests.

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian

Pizza is one of our favorite summer dinners because it cooks up on the grill in a flash.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: low carb, <30 minutes

Ten minutes and you’re done. (And you have PureWow Coterie member Gaby Dalkin to thank.)

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, high protein, crowd-pleaser

Aka an easy but impressive way to feed a crowd. Might we suggest serving it alfresco at your next intimate dinner party with a bottle of white?

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, high protein

Smashed avocado and spicy mayo take these family-friendly sammies over the top. The kids won’t even notice how healthy the sweet potato patties are.

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  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser

This one-pan wonder comes together in just 30 minutes, so the recipe is prime for an impromptu BBQ.

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  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

It tastes like you spent hours making it. (Hint: You didn’t, thanks to store-bought pie crust.)

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, high protein

It’s totally OK to lean on your grill pan in the off-season, but be sure to use the real deal for these skewers come summertime. It’s only fair to the pineapple, which will be at peak deliciousness.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, special occasion-worthy, high protein, kid-friendly

Who knew juicy fruit paired so magically with chicken thighs? It’s just the centerpiece for your next backyard soiree.

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  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly

Way more interesting than ground beef. Serve them with grilled mango salsa and tortilla chips at your first Taco Tuesday of the summer.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly

If it were up to us, every dinner recipe would be this darn easy.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: pescatarian, high protein

Any recipe that doesn’t call for pots or pans is our kind of recipe, especially one that calls for summer zucchini.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian, kid-friendly

Throw all of the ingredients in the pot and boil ’em. Just like that, dinner is served.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, high protein, one pan

You only need 30 minutes to create this impressive and satisfying dinner, since it stars pantry staples like frozen peas, canned chickpeas and canned coconut milk.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Roasted cucumbers are so in right now. But TBH, you had us at sriracha mayo.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Just the appetizer for entertaining (or the laziest, most satisfying solo dinner of all time).

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  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, vegetarian

The squash and rigatoni cook in a single skillet, because the weather is too nice to be cooped up doing dishes.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, one pan

File this gem under How to Feed Four People for Less Than Ten Bucks.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, dairy free, gluten free

PureWow Coterie member Jess Larson shares our love of hearty bowls, and this one includes grilled chicken, quinoa and a sweet-and-spicy curry vinaigrette.

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  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, gluten free, beginner-friendly

Beautifully seasoned, just like filet mignon. Save the leftover spice mix for beef, chicken salmon or roasted veggies.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian

Coterie member Phoebe Lapine gives you permission to throw in any veggies you have on hand. (Just don’t skimp on the dressing.)

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Store-bought dough makes this pie a breeze. And all the vegetables on top basically make it healthy, right?

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, make ahead

This just might be the prettiest salad you’ll ever make (and definitely one of the tastiest).

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Ah, store-bought puff pastry—the ultimate cheat for making easy recipes look oh so impressive.

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  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, slow cooker recipe

Yes, you can (and should) use your slow cooker in the summer. It sure beats turning on the oven and heating up the whole house.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <30 minutes

PureWow Coterie member Maria Lichty brings us this magical no-cook starter, featuring tomatoes, peaches, cucumber and balsamic glaze. Make a meal out of it by topping it off with prosciutto.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan

This summer, the farmers market is your oyster. (Hi, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and corn.)

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: one pan, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, high protein

We like to think of this baked chicken dish as the summer equivalent of a casserole. Can you believe you’re only six ingredients away from enjoying it?

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, high protein, special occasion-worthy, one pan

You only *think* you can’t cook a killer steak at home. This recipe is totally foolproof, we promise.

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  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, high protein

Your quest for an interesting way to cook zucchini ends here. Save half this single-serve cutie for breakfast the next day.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

The creamy sauce is everything. Serve the skewers with olives and sliced cucumber for dipping.

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  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, vegetarian, special occasion-worthy, <30 minutes

It’s a midsummer night’s dream. Substitute mozz or feta for ricotta salata if you’d like, or melon for stone fruit.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, special occasion-worthy

Cutting steak into neat pieces, skewering it and roasting it to juicy perfection is as easy as 1-2-3, so try your hardest to not be intimidated.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, make ahead

This one’s fast, easy, healthy and protein-rich, thanks to black beans. Make the quinoa in advance so the salad can come together in a flash.

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, pescatarian, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes

Psst: You can entertain a whole crowd with nothing but five ingredients and 25 minutes of your time.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly

Meatless doesn’t always mean meager. Rich blue cheese sauce and diced avocado take these tacos over the top.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, special occasion-worthy

We just hacked the traditional shrimp boil so it’s not only mess-free, but also elegant.

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, high protein

This lighter take on a Creole staple stars chicken sausage instead of andouille. It’s begging to be enjoyed alfresco in the backyard.

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  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

The crunchy sesame seed-brown butter topping elevates the soup tenfold. Skip it or trade it out for crumbled bacon if the kiddos aren’t feeling it (but if they give it a chance, they might be pleasantly surprised…).

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  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, one pan, high protein

The whole fam will be obsessed, and you won’t even have to stand at the grill flipping burger patties all night.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, one pan, pescatarian, high protein

Cooked in a garlicky white wine sauce, this dish is ready in just 30 minutes and guaranteed to wow the whole party.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, dairy free, gluten free

And you thought that a salad couldn’t fill you up. Crispy chickpeas for the win.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: pescatarian, make ahead, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes

Pan-seared citrus shrimp + buttery avocado + crunchy sliced almonds = a meal worth bragging to your trainer about.

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Crème fraîche sounds fancy, but it lives right next to its humble cousin, sour cream, in the dairy aisle.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, high protein

PureWow Coterie member Aida Mollenkamp knows how to make a dinner-worthy sammy. It’s piled high with hot coppa, finocchiona, fresh mozzarella cheese and baby arugula.

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Oh, mighty cauliflower. Is there anything you can’t do? (We love you too, underrated radishes.)

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: pescatarian, <30 minutes, kid-friendly

Cue the palm trees and a piña colada. Feel free to grill the shrimp instead of sautéing if the weather allows.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian, beginner-friendly

So much more interesting than jarred marinara, and a pleasantly surprising BBQ appetizer, if we do say so ourselves.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, one pan, pescatarian

A speedy, single-serve dinner to enjoy solo that rivals your favorite takeout dish.

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, pescatarian, <10 ingredients

We *love* making our protein, starch and veggie in one shot, and so will you. Add a drizzle of honey to the salmon for sweetness or dill for an herby kick.

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, dairy free, kid-friendly

Spruce this veggie-rich dish up with chicken, rice or any additional produce you’re craving (or that you forgot about in the fridge…).

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, vegan, <10 ingredients

Easy, healthy and delicious? Guess dreams really do come true. Did we mention it cooks on a single sheet pan?

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: dairy free, crowd-pleaser, <30 minutes

Salad with bread > salad without bread. Don’t @ us. Take your pick of French, focaccia or sourdough.

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  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, vegan, dairy free, gluten free

These little guys have totally stolen our hearts. Picture grain-free coconut wraps slathered with hummus and curry paste, then filled with fresh produce.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, high protein, one pan

Behold, the quintessential meal for a summer dinner party. This feast takes just one hour from start to finish.

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  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, high protein

Fun fact: These chicken thighs taste like they’re fried, despite being roasted instead.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, one pan, <30 minutes

This bright, briny number will shake you out of your dinner rut. Bye, boring chicken breast and broccoli.

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  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian, high protein

Juicy berries give this grilled cheese an elevated, seasonal twist. (We won’t tell if you have seconds.)

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, pescatarian, beginner-friendly

Also known as a power bowl. Can you guess why? (We’ll chalk it up to all the omega-3s.)

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Boiled hot dogs? Meh. These tangy, beer-soaked brats give you an excuse to pile on the toppings.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly, high protein, one pan

Soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha pack a ton of flavor into this easy 20-minute gem.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: dairy free, vegan, special occasion-worthy

It’s corn season, y’all, and we intend to celebrate every single chance we get. Top it off with roasted chickpeas and a spritz of lime.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Flavorful and hydrating. It makes a stellar side for rich, savory mains like ribs or pulled pork.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly

Way better than your average salad. We should also note that rice noodles are gluten free, healthy and irresistibly chewy.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <30 minutes, vegetarian

This delightful dish is ready in just 15 minutes, thanks to using store-bought flatbreads for the crust instead of raw dough.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, pescatarian, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Pretty much the epitome of summer, from the homemade slaw to the lime-kissed tilapia.

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, <30 minutes, pescatarian

The impossibly crisp panko-coconut breading is brag-worthy on its own. But that dipping sauce though…

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein

We love lobster rolls. Like, a lot. But these salty, crispy handhelds are totally unexpected.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

This noodle-salad hybrid is basically like a deconstructed spring roll, so you won’t have to fuss with the tricky wrappers.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, dairy free

Don’t knock cold soup until you’ve tried it. It’s naturally dairy free, but finishing your bowl with a swirl of yogurt or sour cream wouldn’t hurt.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Just pop the packets on the grill and let them cook to juicy perfection—no cleanup required.

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  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

Kale’s way tastier when it’s paired with pasta. (But you already knew that.)

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  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pot, beginner-friendly

Spaghetti with marinara sauce? Yawn. Mix things up with this Thai-inspired alternative instead.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pot, <10 ingredients, high protein, kid-friendly

This pasta wonder cooks in one pot and wants a place in your weekly dinner rotation.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, kid-friendly

Forget the sad, dry turkey burgers you’ve had before. This one is light, flavorful and impeccably juicy.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, high protein, beginner-friendly

Warning: Your guests just might think you ordered these 20-minute cuties from a nearby restaurant.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy

We can’t decide where to start, the uber-creamy, refreshing soup or the Asiago-encrusted baguette.

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  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, pescatarian, special occasion-worthy

The only way this dish could get any more summery is with an ice-cold glass of lemonade.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, pescatarian, high protein, beginner-friendly

Mayonnaise haters, rejoice. This recipe calls for a tangy lemon-Dijon dressing instead, plus tender orzo pasta, feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.

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  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, high protein, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

We’re never as eager to get our hands dirty as when we’re faced with a rack of smoky brown sugar ribs.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, pescatarian, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

A 15-minute meal has never looked this good or been this simple to make. We’re talking six ingredients (including salt and pepper), most of which you likely have on hand right now.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, <10 ingredients

Eat ’em plain, serve them with a green side salad or debone and shred the pieces to make a saucy sandwich.

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They’re essentially corn-scallion pancakes. If that isn’t enough to convince you, maybe the fresh mozzarella will.

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  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, kid-friendly

Hi, lazy dinner of the gods. All you need is store-bought flatbread or naan for the base: The cheese, meat and fruit are up to you.

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  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, special occasion-worthy

With this spatchcocked beauty on the grill, your backyard will transform into a Portuguese retreat.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegan, no cook

A “pasta” dish that’s no-cook? Sign us up. Just whisk the dressing, toss the zoodles et voilà.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, special occasion-worthy

Proof that chicken salad doesn’t need to be boring…or full of grapes and walnuts. Try this version with tarragon mayonnaise, quick-pickled onions and arugula instead.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, special occasion-worthy, dairy free

Since this cold soup calls for the juiciest yellow tomatoes and the ripest peaches you can find, it’s basically summer in a bowl.

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RELATED: 40 Quick Summer Dinners You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less

For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.