32 of Our Best Healthy Summer Recipes
The start of summer means warm weather and these delicious summer recipes. These recipes highlight summer's best fruits and vegetables, like corn, tomatoes, squash and berries. Recipes like Summer Shrimp Salad and Mexican Street Corn are bright, fresh and perfect for a backyard picnic.
Baked Parmesan Zucchini Curly Fries
This healthy recipe combines two bar food favorites--fried zucchini and curly fries--into one tempting package. Serve these baked zucchini fries with a simple dipping sauce made with ranch dressing and marinara sauce for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or a side dish for burgers, chicken or pizza. No matter what you serve them with, they're a fun way to eat more vegetables for kids and adults alike. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2019
Mojito Blueberry & Watermelon Salad
Inspired by the classic mojito cocktail, this festive and healthy fruit salad gets zing from rum, lime and mint. The optional piment d'Espelette--a sweet, spicy ground pepper from the Basque region of France--adds a hint of heat that's a nice contrast to the sweet fruit. Look for this spice at specialty stores, well-stocked markets or online. You could also swap in chile-lime seasoning blend (such as Tajín) for a similar subtle kick or omit the spice altogether. Feel free to skip the rum if you prefer an alcohol-free salad. With or without the rum, this salad has summertime backyard BBQ written all over it. Source: Eatingwell.com, August 2019
Whipped Frozen Lemonade
Whipped frozen lemonade combines the creaminess of a milkshake with the thirst-quenching tanginess of freshly squeezed lemonade for an incredibly refreshing treat. And this simple frozen lemonade treat comes together with just four ingredients and a blender. You can use light coconut milk or refrigerated coconut milk in place of full-fat coconut milk, though the end result won't be as rich and creamy. Leftover simple syrup will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2020
Summer Shrimp Salad
Use an array of colorful tomatoes to make this healthy shrimp salad pop. Cooking the shrimp with fresh herbs and garlic infuses them with flavor without coming off too strong for a light dinner salad that's perfect for summer entertaining. Source: EatingWell Magazine, June 2019
Avocado & Corn Salad
In this fresh summer salad recipe, sweet corn and honey balance nicely with tomatoes, avocado and lime juice. Bring it along to your next summer picnic or pair it with grilled shrimp or chicken for an easy weeknight meal. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2020
Pesto Chicken Bake
This pesto chicken bake is easy to make as well as delicious! The chicken stays moist while the cheese on top gets bubbly and crispy. The pesto, mozzarella and tomato combination is a home run every time. Serve the chicken over pasta or your favorite grain. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2020
Grilled Red Snapper
This simple grilled snapper has clean flavors and a nice char flavor from the grill. It's well seasoned but not overly spicy. Serve along with grilled veggies or a fresh green salad to make it a meal. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2020
Frozen Key Lime Pie Margaritas
This frozen margarita was inspired by the flavors of a cool and creamy Key lime pie. Whip up a batch of these easy frozen margaritas for Cinco de Mayo or anytime you want a sweet and refreshingly tart treat! Use Key limes--which have a wonderful floral aroma and flavor--if you can find them, but common limes work as well. Freshly squeezed juice will have the best flavor, but you can also find bottled Key lime juice--just be sure to buy unsweetened juice if you go for packaged juice. If you prefer a mocktail, simply replace the tequila with water. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2020
Mexican Street Corn
Soaking the corn in its husk in water for up to two hours before grilling is definitely a new approach to cooking corn on the cob, but give it a try! The addition of salt, spices and cheese takes this side dish to new levels. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine
Summer Vegetable Gnocchi Salad
This riff on pasta salad is best served warm while the gnocchi are nice and tender. Plus, the grilled veggies taste extra-good fresh off the fire in this easy gnocchi recipe. Source: EatingWell Magazine, June 2020
Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler
Gluten-free flour makes light and fluffy biscuits in this easy gluten-free peach cobbler. Fresh summer peaches and just a few spices make this simple dessert shine. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2020
Big Beautiful Summer Salad
This gorgeous and healthy summer vegetable salad is loaded with pretty produce, including golden beets, avocado, corn, microgreens and radishes. Chickpeas and edamame add substance, and an herb-filled buttermilk-avocado dressing makes this salad really special. Serve it on its own for a light vegetarian meal or add grilled chicken for an easy weeknight dinner. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2019
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp
Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner. Source: EatingWell.com, January 2017
Pesto Pasta Salad
A creamy pesto sauce turns this simple pasta salad into a delightful dinner. Adding broccoli to the pasta cooking water just before the pasta is done is a convenient way to briefly cook it so that it turns a vivid shade of green and softens slightly. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018
Layered Strawberry-Mango Margaritas
Swirl layers of red strawberry margarita with yellow mango margarita in this skinny frozen cocktail for a festive party drink that will wow your guests. It tastes just as good as a restaurant frozen margarita, without all the sugar! Source: EatingWell.com, June 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.