It’s a recipe roundup of my favorite 5 summer dinners. These meals are everyday dinners made easy and summer friendly. What does that mean? Well, they’re dinners that don’t heat up the kitchen. And, I think you’ll be surprised at what I’ve included in this summer roundup!
Easy Summer Dinners
How about some meatloaf in the Instant Pot (or slow cooker)? I saw a great meatloaf recipe from a fellow food blogger, The Tipsy Housewife (IG @thetipsyhousewife), It’s a family recipe and looked delicious. So, I made it on Monday, and shared the prep on Instagram stories. Here’s a link to the recipe: https://thetipsyhousewife.org/meatloaf-by-helen-heirloom-recipes/, and one to my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefeatherednester/.
This Tuesday, it’s Carnitas in the Crockpot. This is a definitely a fix it, and forget it recipe. Which is perfect during the summer!
Summer dinners should be quick and easy, right? I recommend browning the pork roast before popping it in the slow cooker, but it’s optional.
All you really need to do it throw everything into the slow cooker, set your timer, and you’re set.
This is the type of roast I use. Unless we are having guests, I cut the roast into a 3.5 – 4 pound size for 4 servings.
Get the Pork Carnitas recipe here.
Wednesday Grilled Shrimp & Salad
How about a crisp, refreshing salad for Hump Day? I’m pairing it with grilled shrimp. To make things easy, we’re skewering the shrimp so turning them on the grill will be a snap.
When I think of summer dinners, the grill usually comes to mind. I usually use packaged salad, but it you’re feeling ambitious, here’s a crisp, summer salad recipe. Just be sure to season and marinate the shrimp before making the salad!
Tomato and Cucumber Salad
This tomato and cucumber salad is my favorite salad in summer. It's light and refreshing and bursting with basil flavor.
- 2 large tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 large sweet onion such as Vidalia, chopped and slivered
- 1 cucumber—peeled halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil leaves thinly ribboned
- Halve the tomatoes lengthwise and cut into bite-size wedges. In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with a pinch of salt, pepper, and vinegar. Let the tomatoes stand for up to 30 minutes.
Shortly before serving, transfer the tomato wedges to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon; discard the juices. Add the cucumber and onion, then the olive oil and toss to coat. Lastly, add the basil and toss once more. Serve promptly.
Nothing says summer like freshly grilled shrimp! And, you won’t believe how easy they are.
With these easy tips, you’ll be grilling shrimp like a grilling boss.
Grilled Shrimp with Fresh Herbs
If you don’t have fresh herbs, substitute 1 tsp of dried. Preparation time doesn’t include 15-30 minutes of optional “marinating.”
- 1 pound extra-large or jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 wooden skewers
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil for grill
Combine everything except for the olive oil and allow to marinate up to 1 hour. Thread shrimp onto wooden skewers.
- Heat the grill and brush well with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking. Grill the shrimp over direct heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, until pink. Remove from grill immediately when done.
Thursday Summer Pesto Pasta with Pancetta
This pasta dish just radiates the essence of summer. It is light, easy, and delicious!
I’ve added a little pancetta, but you can substitute bacon or even leave it out altogether.
Summer Pesto Pasta with Pancetta
Pesto Pasta with Pancetta is the perfect summer's night dinner. It's light and delicious, just like summer.
- 1 pound pasta
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/2 cup pesto (I like the Kirkland brand from Costco)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 oz pancetta, diced
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring water to boil for pasta. Start the sauce while the water is boiling. Cook pasta according to directions.
Heat olive oil over medium heat, add pancetta and cook until browned. Lower heat. Add pesto and mix well, stirring frequently. When the pesto is warmed and just a little bubbly, slowly stream in the heavy cream as you stir. Add the Parmesan Cheese.
Once sauce starts to simmer and the cheese has melted, add the pasta mixing well until creamy. Use a little reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce, if needed. Salt and pepper to taste.
Friday Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Another flexible recipe here! Substitute red salsa for the green salsa, depending on what’s your preference.
Serve over rice, tortilla chips, on tortillas, or even make enchiladas with it. It’s Friday and the living is easy!
Chicken Chile Verde (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Recipe)
This Chicken Chile Verde is a cook once, eat again meal. Make it early in the week and you can use the chicken to create other meals, such as Chicken Enchiladas or Chicken Cobb, later that week.
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
- 1 jar (12 ounce) Salsa Verde (I like Hatch Valley brand)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper
Add chicken to slow cooker, and add the other ingredients on top. Cook in slow cooker on low setting for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken and serve over rice or with tortillas.
For Instant Pot, add all ingredients to the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, then allow pressure to naturally release for at least 10 more minutes before performing a quick release. Shred chicken and serve over rice or with tortilas.
You’ll love these easy baking recipes for dessert:
Looking for more easy, summer dinners? Get these recipes:
Have a wonderful week my friends and I hope you enjoy these summer dinners!
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