When you hear healthy summer dinner idea, what comes to mind? Does the word “easy” make you cringe? Perhaps. But don’t be discouraged! Making meals during the summer can actually be quite easy, and still delicious and healthy.
Need healthy summer dinner ideas? I’ve rounded up 15 delicious, easy, quick and healthy dinner ideas that are perfect for your summer dinners! Enjoy!
Healthy Summer Dinner Recipes
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Pork and Charred Pineapple Sliders
Hawaii’s traditional Kalua pork requires a beach pit, a whole hog, and a day’s worth of smoking. Our weeknight version delivers all the flavor with a fraction of the effort—no shovel required. Pineapple pulls double duty in this recipe—caramelized rings add smoky sweetness, while the just-tangy-enough pineapple juice makes the slaw a tasty stand-alone side dish. Save time by picking up a peeled and cored pineapple in the produce section—the flavor is far superior to canned rings.
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Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Your favorite appetizer just got upgraded to the dinner menu. These reinvented tacos check every craving box with less than a third of the sodium and half the fat of traditional Buffalo wings.
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Warm Pasta Salad With Tomatoes and Eggplant
Congratulations—You just found your new go-to pasta salad! This veggie-packed beauty is nice and filling, thanks to meaty eggplant. If you can’t find burrata, simply tear 6 ounces of fresh mozzarella into bite-size pieces.
Heading to a potluck? Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time; just be sure to let it come to room temperature and toss with an extra drizzle of vinegar and oil before serving. Add a few tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves for an extra layer of flavor.
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Grilled Heirloom Tomato and Feta Panzanella
This salad comes together in just 20 minutes. But spring for heirloom tomatoes—their rich flavor and vibrant color add a huge wow factor. Beans bulk it up with fiber and protein.
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Fig and Arugula Salad With Walnuts and Goat Cheese
Chickpeas, goat cheese, and walnuts pump up the protein in this arugula salad, making it a hearty meatless main. Dried figs add a big fiber boost—more per serving than any other fruit.
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Grilled Lemon-Rosemary Chicken and Leeks
Chicken cutlets get great flavor from a lemon-rosemary marinade while the leeks cook into a silky, caramelized vegetable side dish. If you’ve never enjoyed the darker green leek tops, give them a try in this recipe.
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Garlic-Miso Pork Noodle Bowl
Pick up unpasteurized miso—fermented soybean paste—for the best probiotic boost. Look for it near the refrigerated tofu products at your grocery store.
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Spicy Scallops With Watermelon Salsa
Here we season quick-cooking scallops with inspiration from Caribbean pepper pot recipes. To get a nice sear on the scallops without any sticking, be sure to thoroughly pat your scallops dry and preheat the skillet until it’s nice and hot.
The spicy scallops are cooled by the sweet, minty watermelon salsa. Ask for “dry” sea scallops at the fish counter. Other scallops have been treated with a sodium solution that prevents them from browning nicely and can make the texture of the meat less pleasant.
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What’s the secret to getting this zucchini pizza on the table quickly? Use pre-baked crusts. Cut the zucchini and mozzarella as thin as possible to guarantee tender zucchini and expertly melted cheese in under 10 minutes. If you like to make your own pizza crust and have one on hand, pre-bake your crust for about 8 minutes before flipping it over and adding the toppings.
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Corn and Crab Pita Nachos
This dish is inspired by the crab melts that New England che Ana Sortun’s mother made her when she was growing up in the Pacific Northwest.
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Grilled Vegetable Stacks With Herb Vinaigrette
Harness the abundance of summer vegetables and pair these stunning vegetable stacks with your favorite grilled protein. This show-stopping, yet simple, side dish combines grilled vegetables, fresh tomatoes, creamy goat cheese, and a bright, herby vinaigrette. The herbs are also interchangeable with other “soft” herbs of your preference—basil and dill would both work well.
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Lemon-Dill Salmon Pasta Salad
This fresh, citrusy pasta salad features chickpea pasta for a gluten-free fiber boost. Canned wild sockeye salmon is worth seeking out; it contains not only healthy omega-3 fatty acids but also a large amount of vitamin D—two nutrients that can help tamp down inflammation.
Healthy summer dinner recipes
Discover the best healthy summer meal ideas using seasonal ingredients. Try our nutritious recipes including meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan options.
- Steak & Vietnamese noodle salad – Serve up this healthy steak and noodle salad for supper and nourish your body with nutrients as well as energy from complex carbs.
- Masala frittata with avocado salsa – A spicy twist on a simple frittata recipe, with Masala paste, coriander and plump cherry tomatoes. Pair it with our avocado salsa for a light and budget-friendly supper
- Crispy paprika chicken with tomatoes & lentils – If you’re looking for a quick but nutritious main meal, look no further – this healthy paprika chicken with tomatoes and lentils delivers four of your 5-a-day
- Easy vegan tacos – Make these tasty vegan tacos with a smoky-sweet salsa and pack in all of your 5-a-day in one meal. Kiwi brings a moreish, fruity dimension to the salsa
- Feta & kale loaded sweet potato – Serve up this sweet potato packed with feta, chickpeas and kale for a healthy lunch. Topped with pumpkin seeds, it delivers three of your 5-a-day
- Prawn & salmon burgers with spicy mayo – These prawn and salmon burgers are not only fabulously tasty, they’re healthy too, being rich in omega-3. Make them for the family in just 25 minutes
- Roast aubergine with goulash sauce & sweet potato fries – Try aubergine for a filling veggie meal worthy of Sunday lunch. Teamed with a goulash sauce and sweet potato chips, you can pack in all five of your 5-a-day
- Chicken & lemon skewers – These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights
- Spanish rice with squid, prawn & fennel – Make this Spanish paella-style dish with squid ink for dramatic black rice – but if you can’t find it, use saffron instead for the more familiar yellow look
- Artichoke & aubergine rice – As well as being tasty, this aubergine and artichoke is low fat, low calorie and cost effective. Make a large batch and eat it cold the next day
- Herb & garlic pork with summer ratatouille – Pack in the vegetables with a fragrant herb and garlic pork dish that is not only low-fat and low-calorie but also provides five of your five-a-day
- Miso burgers with mint & pomegranate slaw – If you’re after some healthy vegetarian burgers look no further than these, made with chickpeas plus a delicious mint and pomegranate slaw on the side
- Cajun grilled chicken with lime black-eyed bean salad & guacamole – Spice your chicken with cayenne, oregano, paprika and thyme then serve on a salsa-like storecupboard salad and avocado dip – this recipe makes enough for lunch the next day
- Summer chicken stew – One-pots aren’t just for winter, try this fresh summer version with leeks, green beans, peas, new potatoes and tender chicken thighs
- Grilled aubergine tabbouleh – A vegan tabbouleh with all the flavours of summer. The coconut and tahini dressing adds a creamy, nutty element to this winning couscous
- Pesto-crusted cod with puy lentils – A light and healthy fish supper with homemade basil pesto, fresh tomatoes and a hint of chilli – ready in under half an hour
- Meatballs with fennel & balsamic beans & courgette noodles – Rich in potassium, we’ve swapped pasta for courgettes to make ultra-trendy courgetti. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart rate
- Smoked paprika paella with cod & peas – Cod is a great source of stress-busting B vitamins and magnesium, so why not enjoy this easy peasy paella that’s also packed with three of your five-a-day, iron, folate and fibre
- Creamy chicken & asparagus braise – This delightfully summery, low-calorie, low-fat dish packs in plenty of greens and has a yogurt, tarragon and garlic sauce
- Lentil ragu with courgetti – A healthy tomato ‘pasta’ dish that makes full use of your spiralizer. This vegan-friendly supper is five of your five-a-day and will fill you to the brim
- Lighter chicken tacos – The same tasty Mexican dish with half the fat of standard tacos. Pile on the chicken, salsa and guacamole, and build yourself a delicious dinner
- Spice-crusted aubergines & peppers with pilaf – This recipe is laden with tasty goodness, it’s low fat, low calorie, rich in folate, fibre, vitamin C and iron, plus it’s a delicious meat-free main course that’s 3 of your 5-a-day – what’s not to love?
- Roasted spiced cauliflower – Roasting cauliflower kicks the flavour up a notch, with sweet pomegranate seeds and earthy tahini, served in warmed pitta bread
- Satay tofu skewers with garlic & ginger pak choi – Stay full for longer with these protein-packed satay skewers served with pak choi and peanuts. They make a tasty vegan supper in just 25 minutes
lighter dinner ideas for hot summer nights
Looking for light summer meals that are quick and easy, yet nutritious? Here are 65 of our go-to summer dinners that get help us get through the hot nights.
11. Steamed snapper with sesame snow peas
This steamed snapper with sesame snow peas is a light dinner you won’t be able to resist.
12. Mexican-style mushroom mince tacos
One of the simplest dinner ideas for vegetarians or people trying to eat more vegies, these spicy mushroom mince taco recipe can be easily thrown together for a healthy dinner the family will love.
13. Zucchini fritters with cold-smoked salmon
Elegant fresh flavours come together in this simple yet bold recipe, perfect for entertaining at any time of day.
14. Pepper and thyme beef with zucchini salad
Up your salad game by cooking some veg on the barbie while you’ve got the steak, and in no time you’ll have a easy low-carb dinner for those hot nights.
15. Curtis Stone’s zucchini schnitzel melts
In 30-minutes turn zucchini into something spectacular with this parmesan-schnitzel crust.
16. Beef poke bowl recipe
No one will ever know you only bought 5 ingredients to make this delicious beef poke bowl. Follow this recipe with shortcut ingredients for a new healthy weeknight dinner option.
17. BBQ cajun salmon with mango salsa
For a good source of protein and fibre, try this cajun-spiced salmon served with fresh mango and avocado salsa.
18. Sweet potato and zucchini fritters
These crunchy sweet potato and zucchini fritters have our tick of approval. Make ahead for those busy nights for the whole family to enjoy!
19. Cauliflower rice with lime and chilli chicken
We’ve make chicken and rice healthier and low carb by subbing in cauliflower rice, and it’s delicious – the kids will love it!