Dinner Ideas for Summer

Is there anything worse than being trapped in a hot kitchen during the dog days of summer? We think not. Here are our top 10 most satisfying no-sweat meals.
  1. Summertime Spaghetti Squash

    Believe it or not, this meal requires zero oven time. A microwave and about 15 minutes of prep time are all you need to bring this hot, satisfying meal to the table. Plus, spaghetti squash won’t weigh you down like pasta, but it’s just as satisfying -- especially when dressed up with ingredients like basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil.
  2. Tilapia Fish Tacos

    Photo by Hector Sanchez / The Nest
    Your broiler cooks food much faster than your oven, so the heat will be on with this recipe -- but not for long! Plus, fish -- especially white, flaky fish like tilapia -- cooks very fast as it is and is a really light choice for hot summer evenings. The scrumptious tomatillo salsa verde is what really makes this recipe, though -- and it requires only about four ingredients whipped up in a food processor.
  3. Hominy Salad

    If there’s anyone who knows heat, it’s southerners. That’s why this amazing no-cook meal is ideal for summertime supper. The dish may be almost effortless to make, but the hominy combined with a variety of veggies and spices ensures this hearty meal is big on flavor.
  4. Tuna Watermelon Ceviche

    This refreshing dish practically screams “summertime”! Just dice up a bunch of center-cut, boneless, sushi-grade tuna and mix it with ripe, juicy watermelon and a variety of spices, including, of course, cilantro. An easy-to-make marinade tops off this irresistible warm-weather meal.
  5. Grilled Flour Tortillas With Goat Cheese, Peruvian Olives, and Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers

    Break out the grill -- but don’t expect your usual barbecue fare. This light yet luscious quesadilla meal is ideal for Meatless Monday and requires just a handful of fresh ingredients.
  6. Honey and Beer Chili

    Photo by Thinkstock / The Nest
    Chili in the summer, you ask? Sure! Not only do you let this meal simmer in the slow cooker instead of over a hot stove (while you go off for a dip in the pool), but you can use your extra bottles of beer (amber is best) to give it an extra kick.
  7. Chicken Cranberry Salad

    Use leftover chicken from yesterday’s barbecue to whip up this refreshing cranberry-garnished salad with a raspberry vinaigrette and then serve it up with some crusty bread on the side. It’s light, delicious and perfect for summer’s most scorching days.
  8. Seared Ahi Tuna

    Looking for a dish to impress impromptu guests on a simmering summer evening? This is the one. Just sear a few fresh ahi tuna steaks for literally 30 seconds on each side and serve it with instant rice and just three additional ingredients. An effortless dinner never looked -- or tasted -- so impressive.
  9. Mediterranean Garbanzo Bean Salad

    Photo by Thinkstock / The Nest
    This protein-packed meal requires no cooking at all, but it’s every bit as satisfying as a dish you slave all day over. Beans, veggies and olives drizzled with a homemade feta cheese dressing make for a dinner that’s just meant to be enjoyed on the patio with fresh lemonade or a crisp summer cocktail.
  10. The Ultimate Burger

    Fire up the grill! This juicy, Worcestershire-infused beef burger is topped with tons of mouthwatering garnishes and sits inside a crispy English muffin. No summer barbecue is complete without this scrumptious staple.