30 Dinners You'll Want to Make Before Summer Ends
The days are getting a little shorter, breezes are blowing cooler and we've got a ton of tomatoes left to eat—which means it must be the end of summer. Make the most of your garden veggies and farmers' market finds with these dinner recipes that are chock-full of summer flavor. Recipes like our Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp and Summer Vegetable Gnocchi Salad are sure to be summer dinners you won't forget.
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.
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.
Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil
This recipe is so beautiful and yet so simple to prepare--it's perfect for entertaining. You just spread a side of salmon with minced garlic, sprinkle with fresh basil, then layer sliced tomatoes on top. Put it on the grill for 10 minutes and you're done!
Lobster & Corn Chowder
The trick to making this healthy lobster chowder recipe have tons of rich flavor is to start with great fish stock. (The best is often in the freezer case at the supermarket.) Then cook the lobsters in the stock to intensify its flavor. There is no flour added in this healthy soup, so it's lighter than a typical creamy chowder--plus it's gluten-free.
Tater Tot Casserole with Beef, Corn & Zucchini
Casseroles can be for summer too! We packed this one with peak-season vegetables—corn, zucchini and tomatoes—then topped it with crispy tater tots and gooey melted cheese, making it a dinner winner.
Ratatouille-Stuffed Peppers with Arugula-Farro Salad
This vegetable-packed dinner features the heat-loving produce that thrives before the cooler nights of fall set in.
Chicken, Pepper & Tomato Balsamic Salad
Classic tomato-balsamic salad gets an upgrade with the addition of satisfying chicken and crunchy bell peppers. This fresh salad is full of flavor—and veggies—and makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner. This delicious salad takes just 15 minutes to make and while you could eat it right away, it tastes even better the longer it sits, so plan to leave at least an hour of marinating time before serving.
Basil-Parmesan Zucchini Roll-Ups Casserole
Thin slices of zucchini wrap around a creamy filling of ricotta and Parmesan cheese and are nestled in a creamy pesto sauce in this light and summery vegetarian casserole.
Key West-Inspired Chicken
Chicken breast is marinated in soy sauce, citrus and honey and then grilled as a nod to the tropical Key West chicken. A garnish of chopped cilantro and orange slices keeps it sweet and refreshing.
Shrimp and Mango Adobado Salad with Grilled Corn-Avocado Salsa
This diabetes-friendly recipe is a reinvention of a classic dish. Remember when salsa was made only with tomatoes? This lively corn-red-onion-avocado-pepper salsa goes with grilled shrimp and mangoes, which are briefly immersed in a snappy grapefruit-lime juice marinade.
Tomato Sandwiches with Basil-Anchovy Mayo
Eating a tomato sandwich with juice and mayo gushing down your pinkies is a rite of passage in North Carolina. Typically, Duke's mayo, tomatoes and salt are the only ingredients, but this healthy tomato sandwich recipe goes above and beyond with extra layers of veggies and herbs. Opt for yolks from pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs for the mayo if you like.
Grilled Peach & Brie Smothered Chicken
This super-fast and healthy smothered chicken tastes best on the deck with a chilled glass of gewürztraminer. The fruity white pairs nicely with the peaches here.
Summer Corn & Scallop Pasta
The naturally sweet taste of scallops partners beautifully with summer corn at its peak in this corn and scallop pasta recipe. To get the most corn flavor into the creamy pasta sauce for this summer pasta recipe, we use the dull side of a knife to remove the extra bit of the corn kernels and the sweet corn "milk" from the ear after cutting off the fresh kernels. Try this technique anytime you are adding fresh corn to sauces or soups.
Shrimp Cobb Salad with Dijon Dressing
We've replaced chicken with shrimp in this delicious and easy spin on the classic Cobb salad. This satisfying salad takes just 20 minutes to make, so it's perfect for weeknight dinners, but it's elegant enough to serve to guests.
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
Zucchini Lasagna Rolls with Smoked Mozzarella
This healthy riff on lasagna rolls uses strips of zucchini instead of lasagna noodles for a vegetable-packed dinner that's fun for the whole family. This is a great recipe for kids to help make--let them get their hands dirty rolling the zucchini ribbons with the cheesy filling. Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to quickly slice the zucchini into uniform thin strips--this will ensure easy rolling and even cooking.
Easy Tomato Gazpacho
Many gazpacho recipes are thickened with bread, but this one uses just vegetables, making it a gluten-free refresher for a hot summer day. The key to any flavorful gazpacho is giving it time to rest. The flavors meld and become cohesive when the soup is allowed to sit a bit before serving.
20-Minute Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
Chicken cutlets cook quickly and are highlighted with a creamy sauce made with tomatoes, zucchini and Italian seasoning. This recipe is sure to become a new weeknight favorite the whole family will love. Serve it with whole-wheat pasta or rice to make it a meal.
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.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup with Zucchini & Hominy
This excellent chicken soup--packed with hearty, nutritious ingredients--is easy to make and may become your new standby. It makes enough to freeze a portion for easy lunches or when you need to deliver food to someone in a pinch.
Cauliflower Gnocchi Caprese
This super-easy dish is perfect for summer. Store-bought frozen cauliflower gnocchi are crisped up in a pan, then tossed with mozzarella cheese, plenty of basil and balsamic vinegar for a hearty and healthy spin on the classic caprese salad.
Trapanese Pesto Pasta & Zoodles with Salmon
Trapanese pesto is the Sicilian version of the sauce that uses tomatoes and almonds instead of pine nuts. This savory pesto sauce coats low-carb zucchini noodles and heart-healthy seared salmon to create an absolutely delicious pasta dinner.
Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki
Creamy tzatziki and crisp sliced cucumber add a refreshing twist to this easy Greek-inspired burger recipe loaded with feta, spinach and Mediterranean spices. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber.
Zucchini & Corn Enchiladas
Skip rolling and just layer these quick and easy enchiladas. This recipe uses a quick blender sauce, but if you're short on time, pick up a can of your favorite red enchilada sauce in the international aisle of your grocery store--you'll need about 3 cups.
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Chicken
This healthy summer dinner subs zoodles for pasta to help use up your zucchini bounty--as well as slash calories and carbs. Once the spiralized zucchini has time to soak up the herby pesto sauce, this chicken and pesto pasta makes particularly good leftovers.
Mojito-Marinated Chicken Kebabs
A quick mint, lime and rum marinade does double duty as a sauce for these easy grilled chicken kebabs. Using agave cuts the sugars in this recipe by half compared to granulated sugar. Plus, we love the added south-of-the-border flavor. Grill some vegetables and corn on the cob along with the kebabs and you have a healthy weeknight dinner that's special enough to serve to company.
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!
Grilled Sausage, Eggplant & Tomatoes with Polenta
Grilled eggplant and sausage are paired with chopped fresh tomatoes and served over creamy polenta in this easy summer dinner. Swap the polenta for whole-wheat pasta for a faster meal.
We took all the elements of a classic caprese--tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar--and stuffed them inside a fresh-baked eggplant. The result is a perfect vegetarian, late-summer dinner everyone will enjoy.
Pan-Seared Halibut with Creamed Corn & Tomatoes
For this healthy fish recipe, you steep corncobs in milk; the resulting "stock" boosts the intensity of made-from-scratch creamed corn, plus extra starch from the corn contributes to its thick texture. This recipe calls for halibut--line-caught from the Pacific Ocean is the most sustainable option. Can't find it? Swap in Pacific cod or U.S. farmed tilapia instead. Serve this summery combination of seared fish, corn, tomatoes and basil for weeknight family dinners or to company on the weekends.