Our Top 50 Recipes for Summer
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
A sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil transform tomatoes into the perfect side dish. Or try sandwiching them between slices of your favorite whole-wheat country bread.
Zucchini Rice Casserole
We pack extra vegetables into this cheesy baked rice casserole. Plus we substitute brown rice for white, reduce the cheese by half and swap turkey sausage for pork sausage. If you're bringing it to a potluck, plan to reheat it before serving.
Corn & Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Make this spicy poblano, corn, black bean and quinoa salad recipe to serve with whatever you're grilling, or have a larger portion as a main dish. To use canned beans, skip Step 1 and add about 2 1/2 cups beans in Step 7.
Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks
Our oven-baked zucchini sticks taste every bit as good as their deep-fried brethren with only a fraction of the fat and calories. Serve with a side of your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.
Banana-Blueberry Buttermilk Bread
The slight acidity of buttermilk tenderizes and moistens baked goods while allowing you to cut way back on butter or oils. Here, it also lends a slight tanginess to the winning combination of bananas and blueberries. To make muffins instead, see Muffin Variation.
Peach & Blueberry Cobbler
This is a healthier version of a traditional cobbler, with canola oil in place of some of the butter and whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Unlike more classic biscuit-topped cobblers, the peaches and blueberries are nestled into a tender batter that swells around the fruit as it bakes. Other fruits may be substituted. It's especially beautiful when baked in and served right from a cast-iron skillet.
This makeover of a Midwestern classic tops layers of lettuce, peas, bell pepper and tomatoes with a creamy, tangy dressing. The salad stays fresh underneath until it's served and gets even better when held overnight.
Grilled Eggplant & Portobello Sandwich
Looking for a vegetarian option for your next cookout? This grilled eggplant and portobello sandwich is our answer. For extra flavor, we top it with slices of garden-fresh tomato and spicy arugula. Serve with a mixed green salad.
Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole
Chiles and cheese turn mild summer squash into a zesty, satisfying casserole. The jalapenos make this dish quite hot; if you prefer a milder version, use a second can of diced green chiles instead.
Peach Frozen Yogurt
We like to use chopped frozen peaches, but you can use frozen berries or whatever frozen fruit you have on hand in this ultra-quick frozen yogurt that is made without an ice cream maker.
Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash
Toasty rustic pesto takes simple grilled squash from ordinary to exceptional with tangy lemon and fresh garlic. Serve as a side dish or chop the grilled squash, combine with the pesto and toss with pasta for a light entree.
Creamy Potato Salad
Tossing potatoes with a little good vinegar while they are still warm infuses them with flavor. Capers, gherkins and a touch of anchovy give this old-fashioned salad a piquant finish, while red bell pepper and celery give it an appealing crunch.
A picnic favorite, this salad combines broccoli, water chestnuts, cranberries and just a little bacon for delicious results. Our version has plenty of creaminess without all the fat. Make it once and it will become a regular on your backyard barbecue menu.
Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad
Here's a great make-ahead dinner--and leftovers are welcome for lunch the next day. If you make it ahead, don't add the salt and pepper until just before serving. That way, the salt won't render the vegetables soggy and the pepper won't lose its bite. Make It a Meal: Scoop up this salad with warm corn tortillas.
Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta
Diced eggplant turns tender and tasty sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Toss with fresh plum tomatoes, green olives and capers and you have a simple light summer sauce. We like it over angel hair pasta, but any type of pasta will work. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a mixed green salad.
Enjoy this crunchy, refreshing alternative to mayonnaise-based coleslaw on a taco or on the side.
Rustic Berry Tart
The secret to this free-form tart is the layer of ground almonds under the berries: it thickens the juices, prevents a soggy crust and delivers an exquisite background flavor for the intense berries.
Old-fashioned macaroni salad sometimes contains jarred pimientos, diced ham or pickle relish, but this version is simple and deliciously plain with fresh chopped celery, carrot and onion. A combination of low-fat mayo and sour cream lightens up the dressing, and whole-wheat elbow noodles, spinach and edamame add extra nutrients.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Here's a simple recipe for low-fat vanilla ice cream. Our version has all the richness you'll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving.
Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas
Pickled jalapeños, cilantro and avocado perk up convenient canned salmon for a quick tostada topping. Skip store-bought and make your own crispy shells in the oven. Serve with: Brown rice cooked with diced tomatoes and onions or salsa.
EatingWell Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips
Here's a super-simple zucchini bread recipe. The addition of chocolate chips makes it more like a dessert than a breakfast, but you can enjoy it anytime. Skip the chocolate and try it with toasted walnuts or raisins if you prefer. Freeze 2-cup portions of shredded zucchini so you can make zucchini bread all year long.
Zucchini Chile-Cheddar Mash
This recipe for mashed zucchini with chiles and Cheddar embraces zucchini's tendency to become very soft when cooked.
We've lightened this popular potluck classic with a dressing of reduced-fat mayo and yogurt. To speed preparation, use shredded broccoli slaw from the produce aisle.
Quick Tuna Burgers
Turn a couple cans of tuna into a zesty tuna burger with this quick recipe. If you can't find good whole-wheat hamburger buns, whole-wheat English muffins are a great substitute. The burger mixture might seem a little soft going into the pan, but once the first side is cooked, you'll be able to flip them easily. Serve with steamed broccoli or sweet potato fries.
Garden Pasta Salad
This lightly dressed pasta salad gets lots of flavor from Kalamata olives and basil. A colorful mix of diced bell pepper, shredded carrot and tomatoes adds vitamins and minerals. Serve on a crisp bed of greens. Toss in canned chunk light tuna, cooked chicken or flavored baked tofu to add protein and make it more substantial.
This three-bean salad has far less sugar than typical versions. We opt for a combination of canned and frozen beans (for convenience) along with fresh green beans for their great taste and texture.
Tilapia & Summer Vegetable Packets
Wrapping vegetables and fish in a foil packet for grilling or baking is a foolproof way to get moist, tender results. Tilapia and summer vegetables pair with olives and capers for a Mediterranean flair.
Grilled Fish Tacos
Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don't have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.
Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust
For this tart a few tablespoons of maple syrup sweeten the blueberry topping and round out the flavor of the cream filling.
Tropical Cucumber Salad
Combine cucumber, avocado and mango with a salty-sweet dressing for a taste of the tropics.
Plank-Grilled Sweet Soy Salmon
Using a plank to grill fish keeps it from sticking or falling through the grate and imparts a subtle smoky flavor to the salmon. You could also use mahi-mahi or Pacific halibut in this recipe.
The delicate flavors of cucumber and watermelon go hand in hand to create a sweet-and-savory chilled soup, perfect as a first course on a hot night.
Smoky Corn & Black Bean Pizza
The secret to a grilled pizza is having all your ingredients ready to go before you head out to the grill. Make it a meal: Toss the extra black beans, diced tomato and some avocado with prewashed salad greens and a tangy vinaigrette and dinner is on the table in no time.
Zucchini stuffed with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil make a fresh summer side dish. For the nicest presentation, use long, relatively skinny zucchini.
Mama's Potato Salad
Tossed with mayo, celery, hard-boiled eggs, onion and relish, this is one of the most simple and traditional potato salad recipes around. Sprinkling the still-warm potatoes with vinegar infuses them with more flavor than if you had added the vinegar to the dressing.
Deviled Eggs with Relish
Deviled eggs are a perennial potluck favorite. Our recipe replaces some of the egg yolks with nonfat cottage cheese--keeping the filling velvety and rich while reducing some of the fat. No one will know the difference.
Crab Cake Burgers
These burgers have a true crab flavor that isn't masked by fillers or strong seasoning. Serve on a bun with tartar sauce or with a lemon-juice-dressed salad of greens, sprouts and sliced peaches. This recipe works best with convenient pasteurized crabmeat, usually found in the refrigerated case near the fish counter. If you prefer lump crabmeat, cut it into small, uniform pieces.
Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad
Fresh wedges of tomato, thinly sliced onion and sliced cucumber dressed simply with vinegar and oil makes the most simple salad possible--think of it as the Southern counterpart to the classic Italian tomato-and-mozzarella salad. It is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.
Tomatoes and corn have a natural affinity for one another: the slight acidity of tomatoes balances the sweetness of the corn. Here they partner in a delicious quiche-like pie. The dough is very forgiving and bakes up into a sturdy shell that's great for just about any savory pie or tart. Perfect for a summer brunch or try it with a tossed salad for a light supper.
Broccoli, Ham & Pasta Salad
A great make-ahead entree, this lightened-up pasta salad is loaded with broccoli and peppers. Smoky ham and sweet raisins give it plenty of punch. Enjoy the leftovers for a fuss-free lunch. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
BBQ Baked Beans & Sausage
Here we turn baked beans into an easy main dish by adding chicken sausage and collard greens. Serve with: Coleslaw and cornbread.
Bobby Flay's Honey-Rum Baked Black Beans
Chef Bobby Flay cooked these baked black beans, spiked with chorizo and rum, on one of his television shows, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, to compete with a more-traditional batch of Carolina baked beans. We adore the results. If you bring them along to a summer party, reheat before serving or bring them in a crock-pot and plug it in when you get to the party. Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay's Throwdown! by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron (Clarkson Potter, 2010).