ThePrep: 20-Minute Dinners to Savor Summer

I can already feel fall creeping in, so I'm spending these last few weeks savoring summer. These dinners highlight the best flavors of the season and are ready in a quick 20 minutes.

cherry tomato pasta in blue bowls

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It feels like summer has only just begun, but I can already feel fall slowly creeping in. And as much as I love fall—it's the most beautiful time of the year here in Vermont—I'm soaking up these last few weeks of warm weather. My calendar is booked with after-work bike rides, trips to the beach, hikes and all that fun stuff. And in order to fit it all in, I'm turning to 20-minute recipes that are fast, easy and full of the flavors I'm loving right now.

Your Meal Plan

Plate of Spicy Shrimp Tacos recipe
Alison Miksch Photography / Kindsey Lower Prop Styling / Rishon Hanners Food Styling

The week begins with Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta, which is one of the many recipes I look forward to making with fresh veggies from my garden. It's perfect timing to make this tasty dish as my cherry tomato plant is full of ripe goodness. This recipe starts with sizzling six cloves of garlic in olive oil, so you can imagine how amazing your kitchen will smell as you make this dinner. The same can be said for Tuesday's 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce and Wednesday's Spicy Shrimp Tacos, both of which incorporate plenty of fragrant herbs and spices into the mix.

And what would this week of summer dinners be without a juicy burger? Monday's Vegetarian All-American Portobello Burgers are a veggie-packed take on a classic summer dinner which uses two portobello mushroom caps as the burger "buns". As a mushroom fanatic, I'm all about this dinner. Skip forward to Friday's tasty Greek Summer-Squash Grilled Pizza, which closes out this week of 20-minute dinners. With only five ingredients, this recipe is easy to make and even easier to clean up, which makes it a good one to end a busy week with.

Sunday: Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta

Monday: Vegetarian All-American Portobello Burgers

Tuesday: 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce over zucchini noodles

Wednesday: Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Thursday: Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan

Friday: Greek Summer-Squash Grilled Pizza

Get the printable shopping list here.

Meal-Prep Snack

blueberry lemon energy balls
Ali Redmond

These easy-to-make Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls are my new favorite snack for summer. The combination of blueberries and lemon are delicious in everything, from nice cream to pound cake, and combining them here with high-fiber oats makes for a satisfying mid-day snack.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls

Treat Yourself

2 Dirty Shirleys
Brittany Conerly

The Dirty Shirley cocktail, which is essentially a spiked take on a classic Shirley Temple, has shown up on menus all over the place this summer. I haven't had one since we first tested our version of this drink here in the EatingWell Test Kitchen—but that'll change this weekend. I'll be mixing up this bubby, gingery, just-sweet-enough cocktail to enjoy with friends.

Get the Recipe: Dirty Shirley

I hope you all have a great week, and if you have any questions or requests for future newsletters, please let me know by emailing!

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