On-The-Go Summer Dinners
Whip up dinner to take on the go so you can enjoy the long summer nights outdoors rather than in the kitchen.
Whip up dinner to take on the go with these easy recipes for summer. All of the recipes can be made ahead of time (like the Pressed Tuna Sandwich and Pulled Chicken & Pickled Veggie Wraps) and are easily transportable so you can take your dinner to go and enjoy the long summer nights outdoors rather than in the kitchen. Whether you're enjoying dinner on the beach, sitting on a bleacher watching a sports game, on a blanket in the park or at a picnic table in a friend's backyard, these simple dinners make it easy to enjoy all that summer has to offer. Don't miss: The Best Gear for Epic Summer Picnics
Day 1: Pressed Tuna Sandwich
Pressed Tuna Sandwich: In this family-style sandwich, juicy dressed vegetables are piled liberally into a crusty loaf along with tuna, and hard-boiled eggs. Once made, this sandwich gets wrapped up in plastic wrap and sits in the fridge with a weight on top (like a cast iron pan), so everything gets pressed together tightly. Perfect for toting along to soccer games and concerts in the park, bring along some watermelon wedges and this easy dinner is done. Make this sandwich up to a day ahead of time and keep in the fridge until ready to eat. Looking for a meat-free option? Try this Vegetarian Pressed Italian Sandwich, made with grilled eggplant slices, artichokes and arugula-YUM.
Day 2: Veggie Spring Rolls
Veggie Spring Rolls: Consider the fillings in this vegan summer roll recipe as a starting point-here we use colorful watermelon radishes, shredded rainbow carrots and avocado but mix it up however you want. Papaya, snap peas and shrimp would all be good alternatives. The first thing you layer on the rice paper will be what shows through on the finished roll, so vary what you start with for stunning, Instagram-worthy results. Make the prep easier by buying preprepped ingredients, like shredded carrots and cabbage. Wrap the rolls in parchment paper or plastic wrap, so they don't all stick together during transport and bring the peanut sauce in a separate container for dipping. Double up the servings to 2 rolls each to make this more of a meal and serve fresh fruit for dessert.
Day 3: Tabbouleh, Hummus & Pita Plate
Tabbouleh, Hummus & Pita Plate: The premise of this Mediterranean-inspired picnic meal is that it's something you can throw together using ready-made items from the grocery store. Pick up a tub of hummus, a grain salad (like tabbouleh or a quinoa salad), olives, nuts, no-prep-needed fruits and veggies (like berries and peas, that don't need to be chopped), pita bread and a sweet treat to finish off the meal. Pick up these things on your way to an impromptu picnic during the week or even serve as an easy, healthy meal at home.
Related: How to Pack an Eco-Friendly Picnic
Day 4: Pulled Chicken & Pickled Veggie Wraps
Pulled Chicken & Pickled Veggie Wraps: A quick pickle takes the colorful veggies in this easy wrap recipe to a different level, imparting a savory, salty crunch that's oh so delicious! Wrapped up in a soft tortilla with a spicy mayo dressing, crisp lettuce leaves and shredded chicken, this tasty wrap is a great option for an on-the-go summer dinner. Simply wrap in parchment paper you're good to go. And added bonus: these can be made the day before and refrigerated until you're ready to eat.
Day 5: Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing: This Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe is the tasty centerpiece of tonight's easy summer dinner rather than a side. The creamy avocado dressing that coats this dish takes the cake as the best dressing of the summer-you'll want to put it on everything. Take this pasta salad to go and bring along plates and forks for serving. Pair with a simple side that can also be made ahead of time, like this Easy Black Bean Dip, which helps to add more filling protein to this meal. Cut up a bell peppers into thick slices to scoop up the dip rather than tortilla chips to up the veggie count of this dinner.
Day 6: Cuban Stromboli
Cuban Stromboli: Inspired by the classic pressed Cuban sandwich, we've taken the pickle-meets-cold-cuts-and-Swiss-cheese combo and rolled it in pizza dough for a fun take on a classic sandwich. Using premade pizza dough keeps this recipe quick and easy and with only 15 minutes of prep and another 15 minutes for cooking, you could whip this up before heading out for your picnic dinner and have it warm, or can make it more ahead of time and enjoy at room temperature. To turn this easy appetizer into dinner: up the servings to 2 slices each and serve with veggie sticks and tropical fruit, like juicy pineapple or mango.
Day 7: Easy Summer Picnic
Easy Summer Picnic: Grab a blanket and head to the park! This impressive looking picnic spread is actually super easy to put together-pair simple picnic staples like olives, nuts, cheese, meat and bread with roasted red peppers and sweet peaches wrapped in thin slices of ham and it's ready. Here we call for homemade roasted red peppers but you can go with a store-bought option to keep things easy. This delicious summer picnic spread is best served with a sparkling wine, such as Cava or Prosecco.