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Easy Summer Dinner Ideas to Stay Healthy (and Save Time)

This summer, the last thing you want is to spend hours in the kitchen preparing elaborate meals. It’s a time for relaxation, outdoor activities, and enjoying the bountiful seasonal produce. That’s why easy summer dinner ideas that save time and keep you healthy are invaluable.

Maintaining a nutritious diet is essential for overall well-being, and it becomes even more important during the summer when we tend to be more active and exposed to the sun. Your body needs a steady supply of nutrients this summer, and the good news is there are lazy summer dinner ideas to help you achieve this.

Are you ready to embrace the season and savor summer flavors while taking care of your health and enjoying more of what this beautiful time of year offers?

Let’s look at some dinner ideas for summer and cooking tips for the best summertime dinners.

Cooking Tips for Healthy Summer Dinners

Before we dive right into the dinner ideas for summer, here are some tips to help you make the most of your summer cooking.

Cook Outdoors

Of course, we’re not saying you should cook outdoors always; we’re saying make the most of your summer by firing up the grill under the stars.

Imagine all the fun you could have with family and friends gathered around savory meals sizzling on the grill. You’ll enjoy one of the best summertime dinners outdoors.

Plan Your Cooking

Like most things that require preparation, summer cooking is easier if you plan well. Early preparation is key to executing the best summertime dinner ideas because having all your ingredients together and ready to go saves minutes off your cooking time and simplifies the process.

Cut your vegetables ahead of time, marinate meats, and cook grains for quick and easy cooking when it’s time to prepare the main dish.

Practice Food Safety

Food infections are common during summer because the warm weather provides a favorable environment for growing germs.

So, keep food refrigerated and properly stored until it’s time to cook, and avoid leaving foods out for too long to prevent contamination or bacterial growth.

Experiment with Your Recipes and Ingredients

Cooking healthy summer dinners is extra fun when you slice things up with experimental recipes. So, ditch the old and boring and try out new flavors, recipes, and ingredients. Now is a great time to try out seasonal produce only available in summer.

Easy Summer Dinner Ideas

Now, let’s talk about some healthy summer ideas that will have you smacking your lips in anticipation. Our list includes nutritious salads, juicy meats, and of course, pasta!

Vegetarian Paella

Healthy summer dinners don’t get healthier than a tasty meal packed with nutritious and colorful vegetables.

It takes only 30 mins to cook, making it one of the best easy summer ideas. Don’t be put off by the vegan tag: it’s tasty! Follow the recipe and try it for yourself.


  • Rice: There’s a specific type of rice for paella called paella rice, and you can find it easily on Amazon or any other grocery store nearby. You don’t need to wash the rice before cooking. By the way, basmati rice, long-grain rice, and brown rice are not great substitutes for this recipe.
  • Saffron
  • Vegetable broth
  • Vegetables: this is a chance for you to experiment with your veggies. You can throw in red bell pepper, spinach, carrots, artichoke hearts, green beans, chickpeas, zucchini, asparagus, green peas, olives, and tomatoes.
  • Chopped garlic and onion
  • Lemon wedges


  • Step 1: Soak the saffron in a bowl with warm vegetable broth. This will help unlock the color and flavor. If you’re using saffron powder, you can skip this step and add the powder in step 3.
  • Step 2: Place a large skillet on medium-high heat and add some olive oil. Throw in the onions, garlic, and fry until you can see through it. Use a large pan because the rice needs space to spread and cook evenly.
  • Step 3: Add your chopped vegetables and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, then add frozen peas, black olives, and rice. Mix it well, cook for a few minutes, then add saffron.
  • Step 4: Slowly pour your vegetable broth into the pan and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, uncover the pan, and let it cook. Top with artichokes and let it cook for 15 to 18 minutes; you don’t need to stir it. If necessary, add more broth and taste after 15 minutes to check if it’s done. Increase the heat for the last few minutes.
  • Step 5: Turn off the heat and top the rice with halved cherry tomatoes, then cover with a lid or tin foil and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This step is essential because it will allow the paella to absorb any remaining moisture and enhance flavor.
  • Step 6: Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges, and you’re ready to enjoy your delicious meal.

Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Easy summer dinner ideas without pasta? No way! Pasta is easy to cook, filling, and nutritious, so it’s certainly one for lazy summer dinner ideas.

This meal contains nutritious foods like vegetables and nuts, so try our recipe if you’re thinking of the best summer dinner ideas.

easy summer dinner ideas


  • Zucchini
  • Pasta
  • Garlic
  • Nuts: you can use pine nuts, cashew, walnuts, pistachios, or almonds.
  • Basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon for extra zest and flavor
  • Salt and black pepper


  • Step 1: wash and dry the zucchini, then chop them into small cubes.
  • Step 2: In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat, then toss in minced garlic and lower the heat to medium, and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper, then cook for about 5 to eight till the zucchini is tender.
  • Step 3: Put almonds, half of the cooked zucchini, lemon zest, and basil in a food processor and blend to produce a smooth zucchini pesto sauce.
  • Step 4: Boil water in a large pot, then add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta but reserve one cup of pasta water.
  • Step 5: Add pasta and pesto to the skillet with the other half of the cooked zucchini. Stir gently and add a few tablespoons of pasta water until the pesto has a creamy consistency.
  • Step 6: Top with grated Parmesan cheese and have one of the best healthy summer dinners.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

We certainly can’t talk about healthy summer dinner ideas without discussing salads bursting with flavor and dense nutrients.

Even better, this meal comes together in simple and easy steps, making it one of the best lazy summer dinner ideas. It’s filled with plant-based protein. You can make it about thirty minutes.

Ingredients for Quinoa

  • Uncooked quinoa
  • Red onion
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Kalamata olives
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • Cucumber

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


  • Step 1: Combine quinoa with two cups of water in a saucepan, add half a teaspoon of salt, and boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 mins until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.
  • Step 2: Chop the yellow bell pepper, red onion, and cucumber into small chunks, then HC the cherry tomato and black olives in halves. Rinse the chickpeas and drain them well.
  • Step 3: To prepare the dressing, combine the olive oil, chopped basil, salt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and pepper in a bowl. Stir until it’s thoroughly mixed.
  • Step 4: In a serving bowl, add the cooked quinoa, red onions, cherry tomatoes, black olives, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, and chickpeas. Drizzle the dressing on top and mix well. Taste it, then add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Step 5: Let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the dressing to infuse the salad properly, then serve. You have just made one of the best summertime dinners.

Steak Kabobs

Remember we talked about cooking outdoors under the starlit sky? This is one of the best summer dinner ideas perfect for outdoors. Like the others, you won’t spend much time cooking.

If you want one of those lazy summer ideas that leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy your meal with your family, try this one. It’s packed with protein from beef and other essential nutrients from vegetables. Gather your family and friends because it’s going to be a party.


  • Beef sirloin cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Minced garlic red onion cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Bell pepper diced into 1-inch pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter


  • Step 1: Heat your grill to medium heat
  • Step 2: While the grill is heating up, thread the beef, pepper, onions, and mushrooms onto skewers
  • Step 3: Brush the skewered meat and veggies with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper
  • Step 4: Place your kabobs on the preheated grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side
  • Step 5: Melt the butter in a small pan and cook the garlic in it for one minute.
  • Step 6: Take the pan off the heat and stir in the parsley, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Step 7: Brush the garlic butter all over the steak kabobs, and you have one of the best summer dinner ideas ready to go.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Pasta again? Of course! You can’t have too much pasta this summer. It’s a nutritious versatile meal, so why not explore different recipes?

This is one of the best healthy summer meals because it is nutrient-dense, delicious, and filling all at the same time. The roasted red pepper pasta is a great option for best summer dinner ideas because it can last up to four days if you store it correctly. Put leftovers in an airtight corner and refrigerate.


  • Pasta: Any pasta works, but for best results, use spaghetti or penne pasta
  • Minced garlic
  • Almond milk
  • Chopped basil
  • Chopped shallots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Unsalted cashews
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a pan or skillet, then add the onion, garlic, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Let the mixture roast for a few minutes until golden.  
  • Step 2: Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to the instructions on the package, then drain very well. Be careful not to overcook it.
  • Step 3: Pour the roasted onions and garlic into a blender, and add the roasted peppers, red pepper flakes, cashews, and almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy, then taste it; add salt and pepper if desired.
  • Step 4: Pour the sauce into the pan you used to roast the onion and garlic, warm the cooked pasta a bit, then put it into the pan with the sauce. Add the chopped basil and mix everything together until it has combined well. You can now serve your healthy summer meal.

Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

This beef stir fry recipe is one of the lazy summer dinner ideas that are easy to make and nutritious. Beef is rich in protein, and that’s not all you’ll be getting.

easy summer dinner ideas

The veggies will supply essential nutrients, so this is a great way to enjoy a tasty meal and get your nutrition at the same time.

Ingredients for the Stir Fry

  • Thinly-sliced steak
  • Mixed vegetables: you have a license to experiment with whatever you like here
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced green peppers
  • Sesame seeds

 Ingredients for the Sauce

  • Soy sauce
  • Water
  • Brown sugar
  • Minced garlic
  • Minced ginger
  • Honey
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Cornstarch


  • Step 1: Prepare your sauce. In a small pot over medium-high heat, add the soy sauce, water, honey, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Stir for about three minutes until the sugar dissolves, then turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  • Step 2: Mix the cornstarch in cold water until it dissolves, then add the mixture to the sauce and boil for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens.
  • Step 3: It’s time to make your stir fry. Heat one teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over radium-high heat, then add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are brown and soft.
  • Step 4: Add two tablespoons of water to the stir fry and cook until the water has evaporated and the vegetables are crisp and tender. Remove the stir-fry mixture from the pan and set aside.
  • Step 5: Wipe the pan and heat two teaspoons of oil. Place half the steak in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Repeat the process with the other half of the beef.
  • Step 6: Add the meat and vegetables into the pan, pour the sauce on top, and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until warm.
  • Step 7: Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions, and enjoy one of the best summertime dinners.

Enjoy a Nutritious Summer With Craft Medical

This summer, staying healthy is a priority; your health depends on your diet. That’s why we’ve written this article to help you enjoy the best summertime dinners and share cooking tips for the best summertime dinners.

Whether you’re exercising this summer or just spending time outdoors in the sun, Craft Medical can help you stay safe and healthy.

Have any questions or inquiries about how we can help you? Click here or the button below to schedule a call with our qualified doctors will be glad to help.

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