Our Best Healthy Summer Recipes
Hasselback Tomato Caprese Salad
Use the hasselback technique to upgrade plain caprese salad with this fun twist! Cutting partially into the whole tomato creates openings to layer in fresh mozzarella cheese, basil and a balsamic drizzle for tons of flavor in this unique vegetable side dish recipe.
Summer Squash Pad Thai
In this “spiralized” vegetable noodle recipe inspired by pad thai, zucchini and summer squash replace the rice noodles, pumping up the vegetables while reducing calories. Top with stir-fried chicken, shrimp or tofu for added protein if desired.
Herbed Tomato Gratin
Vegetable gratin recipes often have a crunchy breadcrumb or crouton topping. But summer tomatoes are too gorgeous to hide, so we tucked crusty cubes of bread underneath them instead. Plus, the bread soaks up all the juicy tomato goodness. If you can't find marjoram, fresh basil or oregano makes a good substitute.
Avocado & Shrimp Chopped Salad
The smoky flavors of grilled shrimp and corn in this healthy chopped salad recipe are a tasty match for the creamy cilantro dressing.
Garlic-Parmesan Hasselback Zucchini
Using the hasselback technique--cutting partially into a whole fruit or vegetable every 1/2 inch or so--gives you an easy way to sneak lots of flavor into this healthy zucchini recipe. To bake the zucchini instead of grilling, place in a foil-lined 8-inch-square baking pan and bake at 425°F until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Creamy Cucumber, Radish & Tomato Chopped Salad
A mix of cool, crunchy vegetables gives this healthy salad satisfying bite for a perfect potluck side.
Two-Cheese Fusilli with Marinated Tomatoes
In this healthy vegetarian pasta recipe, using the tastiest possible ingredients is key. That's why we opt for the richer flavor of whole-milk ricotta over part-skim. Pair with a big green salad and a bottle of chilled rosé for a summer meal on the deck.
Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad
Here's a healthy salad recipe to make at the height of summer when watermelon and cucumbers are at their juiciest and most flavorful. Feta adds the perfect creamy, salty, tangy edge, and mint makes this salad taste even brighter. This is one easy side salad you'll want to serve at all your summer BBQs.
Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark
Lightly sweetened Greek yogurt gets studded with fresh strawberries and chocolate chips then frozen so you can break it into chunks just like chocolate bark (but healthier!). This colorful snack or healthy dessert is perfect for kids and adults alike. Use full-fat yogurt to ensure the creamiest bark possible.
Forget mayonnaise-laden coleslaw. The bright, clean flavors in this version go well with everything from tacos to barbecue.
Grilled Zucchini with Parmesan
Grilled zucchini is one of the great food joys of summer. In this easy recipe, the crunchy, bright breadcrumbs offset the sweet, soft zucchini in the most delightful way. Serve this healthy side with grilled chicken, fish or shrimp or as part of a vegetarian summer meal. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you have a bumper crop of zucchini.
Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.
Spiralized Zucchini & Summer Squash Casserole
If you don't have a spiralizer to make this healthy zucchini noodle casserole (aka zoodles), use a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips of the squash and zucchini, stopping when you reach the seedy center. Just a few minutes under the broiler gives these ricotta-and-basil-filled nests a light golden top.
Prosciutto Pizza with Corn & Arugula
Prosciutto and arugula elevate this simple grilled pizza. If you have time, let the dough stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to make rolling it out easier in this 20-minute healthy pizza recipe. Thawed frozen corn works in place of fresh, just pat it dry before sprinkling it on the pizza.
Cucumber, Tomato & Feta Salad
This healthy summer salad is bursting with Mediterranean flavors and takes just 10 minutes to prepare. Serve it alongside grilled chicken, pork or fish or as part of a vegetarian spread. If you can't find Campari tomatoes or Persian cucumbers, feel free to swap them for whatever variety looks the best at your farmers' market.
BBQ Carrot Dogs
Shock everyone with this recipe for veggie dogs that actually taste like hot dogs. They're an amazing (and healthy!) vegan alternative to traditional meat hot dogs. Serve in whole-wheat hot dog buns and top with all your favorite toppings, such as sauerkraut, relish, ketchup and mustard, for the ultimate barbecue meal.
Spinach & Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Homemade poppy seed dressing pairs beautifully with tender spinach, crunchy almonds and juicy berries for a fantastically refreshing and easy spring salad. To make ahead, whisk dressing, combine salad ingredients and store separately. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving. To make it a complete meal, top with grilled chicken or shrimp.
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Summer Corn Salad
Chicken thighs are easy on the budget and great for grilling because they stay moist in the heat. Here, they are paired with a fresh corn and tomato salad for a simple summer dinner. When grilling skin-on chicken thighs, watch for flare-ups. Move the chicken away from the flames and reduce heat, if necessary, to keep it from charring.
Strawberry Rosé Granita
Sweet strawberries and crisp rosé are a delicious match in this granita recipe. No special equipment necessary, just freeze and scrape with a fork. And don't be tempted to increase the amount of wine--too much alcohol will prevent it from freezing.
Banana Peanut Butter S'mores
Mix up the classic s'mores recipe by swapping graham crackers for chocolate wafers. We love the flavor of the banana with the chocolate and peanut butter, but apples are delicious too.
Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
A blend of whole-wheat panko and fine cornmeal gives this healthy chicken recipe the perfect amount of crunch even though it's not deep fried. Making an easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing recipe means you can skip bottled, which may have additives and stabilizers.
EatingWell's Eggplant Parmesan
This lighter take on eggplant parmesan maintains all the flavors of the classic dish but is baked instead of fried. There are also 11 grams of filling protein in this hearty vegetarian side dish.
Quick Broccoli Slaw
Use up unused broccoli stems by making your own broccoli slaw instead of using the bagged slaw in this easy potluck favorite. Trim and peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler, then cut 3 cups of matchsticks with the julienne blade on a mandoline or by hand.
One pot is all you need for this easy Low-Country boil. We added green beans to the classic combination of potatoes, corn, shrimp and sausage to boost the veggie servings for a healthier crowd-pleasing meal. Dump the whole potful out on newspaper and serve with melted butter for dipping and crusty bread to round it all off!
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.
Peach & Cucumber Salad with Pepita Pesto
Cilantro and pumpkin seeds stand in for traditional pesto ingredients in this easy salad recipe. Look for peaches in July and August, when they are at their peak. Serve the salad along with grilled chicken or fish for a healthy dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes.
Crunchy Chicken & Mango Salad
This Asian-inspired dinner salad has terrific crunch, thanks to sugar snap peas and napa cabbage. Give the dressing a kick of heat by adding a bit of sambal oelek, an Indonesian hot sauce that you can find in most large supermarkets and Asian grocery stores.
Pimm's Spritz Cocktail
A cross between the English hot-weather staple Pimm's cup and the effervescent spritz, this easy lower-alcohol drink recipe relies on club soda for its festive fizz.
Watermelon, Raspberry, and Lime Ice Pops
The combination of tart lime and sweet watermelon and raspberries will keep you refreshed on a hot summer day.
Corn Risotto with Tomatoes & Spinach
Corn and tomatoes make this risotto taste like summer itself, but you can stir in almost any vegetables that your family likes. Make this simple entree vegetarian by swapping in vegetable broth or "no-chicken" broth for the chicken broth.
Cantaloupe & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Za'atar
This juicy melon salad is seasoned with fresh oregano and thyme, sumac spice and toasted sesame seeds for a bright summertime take on the Middle Eastern spice blend za'atar.
Vegan Watermelon Fruit Pizza
Wedges of juicy watermelon topped with nondairy coconut yogurt and berries make for a crisp and refreshing dessert. To feed a crowd, leave the wedges blank and let guests add their own toppings to the yogurt.
Summer Crudites & Dip
This beautiful and healthy appetizer board will be the talk of all your summer parties. Just assemble a colorful assortment of crunchy vegetables for dunking in two dips--a cooling herbed blue cheese and a spicy avocado hummus that play very nicely together.
Simple Grilled Salmon & Vegetables
Grilled salmon and veggies make for a colorful and balanced seafood dinner that's ready in just minutes. The grill turns the salmon flaky and moist while tenderizing the crispy pepper and onion pieces. Round out the meal with brown rice or quinoa.
Simple Vegan Pesto Zoodles
Zucchini noodles, or "zoodles," are a gluten-free, low-calorie substitute for traditional pasta in this easy and fresh vegan dinner. For best results, toss the zucchini pasta with the basil pesto sauce and serve right away.
Grilled Corn Salad with Chili-Miso Dressing
Serve this Asian salad with grilled steak, chicken or firm white fish like halibut. You can also double the recipe and bring it to your next potluck. If you can find tatsoi, a peppery Asian leafy green, use it instead of mild-mannered spinach. Store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce and umami-packed white miso build fast flavor in this easy summer salad.