Food & Drink

25 Easy Summer Dinners You Can Make in Less Than 30 Minutes

easy summer dinner ideas"
easy summer dinner ideas
Source: Love and Lemons
Source: Love and Lemons

The summer months are full of fun activities we look forward to all year, but spending hours in a hot kitchen isn’t one of them. When it comes to summer dinners, the bottom line is: They need to be easy and not take a ton of time to prepare. After all, there are so many better ways to spend your free time in the summer, but you’ve still gotta eat. What you need are a few easy summer dinner ideas that you can keep in your back pocket to whip out on nights when you need a quick, satisfying meal to fuel your summer plans.

From veggie-packed pastas to fresh-off-the-grill favorites, these easy summer dinner ideas are simple, quick, and delicious. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time out enjoying the season with these 25 summer dinners you can make in less than 30 minutes. 

1. Ahi Poke Bowl

easy summer dinner ideas
Source: The Girl on Bloor

For summer nights when it’s too hot to even think about turning on the oven, this ahi tuna poke bowl is the perfect solution. All you have to do is dice and marinate your tuna, make some rice, and then add any toppings you like for a delicious meal that tastes restaurant-ready.

2. Asparagus Pasta with Lemon

easy summer dinner ideas
Source: A Couple Cooks

The combination of roasted asparagus, zesty lemons, and fresh basil forms the best restaurant-quality summer pasta dish. Customize it to your liking with other seasonal vegetables or chicken for some protein.

3. Greek Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki

easy summer dinner ideas
Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

This recipe uses ingredients you most likely already have at home (like panko breadcrumbs and Greek yogurt) and is a great way to make a protein-packed meal in a short amount of time. If lamb is outside your comfort zone, you can easily swap for ground beef or ground chicken instead.

4. 20 Minute Ginger Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Source: Half-Baked Harvest

Stir fry is the best quick dinner option because all you have to do is chop up your ingredients and throw them in the pan. This recipe elevates your run-of-the-mill stir fry with brown butter, garlic, and Thai red curry paste for a well-seasoned dish balanced out with some tangy pineapple.

5. Spicy Mango, Black Bean & Avocado Tacos

Source: Love and Lemons

If you are trying to incorporate more plant-based protein, these tacos are a tasty option. Chili powder-spiced beans and sriracha mayo add a spicy kick, but it’s perfectly balanced by the creamy avocado and fresh mango.

6. Whole Wheat Summer Pesto Pasta

Source: The Girl on Bloor

When you need to make dinner quickly, the last thing you want is a sink full of dishes to wash when you’re finished cooking. This one-pot pasta will be on the table in less than half an hour and keeps cleanup simple.

7. Honey Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Source: Ahead of Thyme

These shrimp skewers are the ideal blend of sweet and savory flavors. The shrimp is marinated in a mouthwatering honey garlic sauce that will have you craving them every night of the week.

8. Garlic Lemon Bucatini with Crab

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

Crab may seem like a big undertaking, but this recipe only takes 20 minutes from start to finish. Plus, nothing says summer like seafood pasta.

9. Easy Chipotle Salmon Burgers

Source: Half-Baked Harvest

If you’re craving a burger but want to spice up your basic ground beef, try this salmon version. It packs in all the flavors of a classic burger but with a fresh seafood twist.

10. Zippy Orzo Summer Salad

Source: Pinch of Yum

Thanks to the addition of fresh dill and lemon juice, this zesty salad tastes like the epitome of summer. Loaded with veggies and served with chicken, it’s also a healthy, well-rounded meal that will keep you full.

11. Mexican Zucchini Boats

Source: The Cookie Rookie

This recipe is perfect for when you’re craving Mexican flavors but want something besides your typical tacos or enchiladas. Mix it up with these zucchini boats that are packed with vibrant spices, tender ground beef, black beans, corn, and gooey melted cheese.

12. 20-Minute Snap Pea Pasta

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

IMO, there’s nothing better than a light, summery pasta, and this snap pea pasta only reinforces that idea. Packed with in-season ingredients like snap peas and shallots, this will be one of your new favorite easy summer dinner ideas.

13. Crispy Lemon Chicken Thighs

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

Elevate your dinner with these irresistible crispy lemon chicken thighs. To make, you’ll coat the chicken thighs in a lemon marinade and then bake them to golden perfection, resulting in a dish with bright, tangy flavors and an incredible crunch. With minimal prep and maximum flavor, this recipe is sure to become a go-to.

14. Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Source: Fox and Briar

Super versatile and filled with refreshing flavors, this Mediterranean orzo salad works as a side dish, a light lunch, or an easy summer dinner. If you want to make it more filling, mix in some shredded chicken or crispy chickpeas.

15. Bhetki Fish in Citrus Basil Butter Sauce

Source: My Food Story

This recipe makes the flakiest buttery fish ever, and the simple but flavorful citrus basil butter makes it even better. Although it’s super easy to make, it tastes fancy enough to impress.

16. Ultimate Vegan Burrito Bowl

Source: Sweet Potato Soul

This burrito bowl will be ready faster than you can drive to Chipotle and back—and it tastes way better, too. It’s also super easy to customize with all your favorite spices and toppings.

17. Mango Chicken Teriyaki

Source: Pinch of Yum

This bowl is bursting with tropical goodness, complete with a tangy mango teriyaki sauce that you’ll want to slather on everything once you try it. It’s also quick and easy, making it ideal for busy weeknights.

18. Healthy Southwestern Chicken Bowls

Source: Lovely Little Kitchen

This healthy recipe is great for making ahead of time for a busy week, or you can put it together quickly for a last-minute dinner. It also keeps well in the fridge, so you can enjoy leftovers all week long.

19. Lemon Butter Scallops

Source: Chungah Rhee | Damn Delicious

If you’ve never made scallops at home, it’s actually surprisingly easy, and this recipe provides so many tips and tricks to make sure they turn out fabulous every time. This dish is sure to be a new summer staple.

20. Grilled Romaine Salad with Jalapeño Ranch

Source: Isabel Eats

This amazing grilled romaine salad might just make you swear off your usual Caesar. Grilling your lettuce might sound strange, but the smoky, tender result truly takes the flavor to the next level.

21. Honey Garlic Chicken

Source: Damn Delicious

This recipe is essentially the grown-up version of chicken tenders, and it will quickly become your new comfort meal. The chicken is so crispy, and the honey-garlic sauce is better than anything you can get from a drive-through.

22. 5-Minute Seared Tuna

Source: Sonja & Alex Overhiser | A Couple Cooks

Seared ahi-tuna not only makes a yummy dinner, but it also boasts lots of nutrients like protein, omega 3s, and other vitamins. When grocery shopping for this recipe, make sure to buy sushi-grade tuna to ensure it is safe to eat raw.

23. Jerk Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Source: Grandbaby Cakes

This Caribbean-inspired salmon recipe creates a sweet, spicy dinner that will outshine your normal salmon recipe. The pineapple salsa adds a pop of citrus that balances out the meal wonderfully.

24. Prosciutto and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Source: The College Housewife

This hearty salad is equal parts nutritious and delicious. With roasted summer vegetables and salty prosciutto, it boasts an incredible mix of flavors. It works well as a side dish when you’re entertaining, or you can enjoy it all for yourself.

25. Zucchini Pasta

easy summer dinner ideas
Source: Erin Clarke of Well Plated

Zucchini noodles may be healthier than regular noodles, but don’t worry, they taste just as good. With just zucchini, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, and some seasonings, you’ll have a delicious summer dinner that’s ready in just 25 minutes.