Summer is all about fun family activities and you can’t leave your family hungry for dinner. The last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen when it’s hot outside. But finding summer dinner ideas to please everyone is easier said than done. Use the collection of dinner ideas listed below to get your whole family crowding around the table. These dinner ideas are perfect for unexpected guests too.
1. No-Bake Summer Lasagna
Lasagna is a traditional and filling comfort food. Reserve your baked, cheesy versions for the winter months, and try your hand at a lighter, no-bake version when it’s hot outdoors. With a few simple ingredients and minimal cooking time, you can serve lasagna in the warmest months of the year. Mix tasty ricotta with freshly grated parmesan, salt, pepper and olive oil to make the cheese filling. Cook the pasta al dente and create layers with zucchini, corn, basil, tomatoes and your cheese mixture.
2. Balsamic Grilled Vegetables with Basil
Balsamic makes a tasty difference when it comes to grilled vegetables. The blend of sweet and tart balsamic complements almost any grilled vegetable for a unique taste that will get your kids eating. Toss the vegetables in a marinade of balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil before grilling. You can grill eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and whatever else your family enjoys. Serve the vegetables with pasta and mozzarella balls.
3. Spicy-Sweet Baby Back Ribs
If your family enjoys the challenge of eating spicy foods, then walk on the wild side with this dinner idea. The sauce gets its flavor from ketchup, lime, ginger, brown sugar, and chili sauce. Marinate the ribs overnight in the fridge and grill them up for your next family dinner. Serve the ribs with corn on the cob, potato salad, and frosty mugs of beer.
4. Maple Buttermilk Grilled Chicken
Show your family you know a thing or two about cooking when you serve up your delicious grilled maple buttermilk chicken. Southern cooks use buttermilk for fried chicken. But who wants to face a fryer on a sultry summer night? Instead, marinate your chicken in buttermilk-maple sauce and take it out to the grill.
5. Bean Burritos
Host a veggie night at the dinner table. This classic meal is easy to put together. You can even prepare the burritos ahead of time, freeze, and heat them up when you’re ready. Mix refried beans with salsa and a healthy dose of Mexican spices. Spoon the mixture on your flour tortillas, wrap and serve hot.
Quiche is a simple and light meal for the whole family. However, there are many variations, which you can dress down or up. For a perfect flaky crust, bake the shell before you add the filling. If your child isn’t keen on greens, quiche is the perfect hiding spot for veggies.
7. Grilled Vegetable Pizza
Don’t get intimated by the thought of grilling pizza. A grilled version is the best way to have pizza without lighting your oven on a hot summer day. Grills also create the same texture and flavor of pizzas baked in wood fired ovens. Brush the dough with olive oil, grill on direct heat, flip, and add your sauce, cheese and toppings, and let the pizza cook for another five minutes.
8. Brown-Sugar Barbecue Wings
Don’t reserve your barbecue wings for football season. Surprise your family with sweet brown-sugar barbecue wings served with some ranch and blue cheese and grilled vegetables. Make the sauce ahead of time, marinate the wings, cook, and serve up your easy chicken dinner.
9. Crispy Coconut Shrimp
Crispy coconut encrusted shrimp make a light, fun and delicious meal for the kids in your family. With less than 30 minutes prep time, this dinner idea is a perfect for moms on the go. Serve with a tasty sweet-and-sour sauce, summer fried rice, and vegetables.
10. Chicken Burgers
No summer is complete without juicy burgers. Chicken burgers are a healthy, low-calorie alternative to beef burgers, and they’re just as delicious. Make sure you use a lot of leafy greens in your chicken burgers. Children tend to make faces while eating leafy greens so adding lettuce or baby spinach leaves to your child’s burger can do the trick.
These simple summer meals taste fabulous and leave you more time to enjoy sun, water and fun. Both your husband and your child will thank you. If guests suddenly show up for dinner, pick a few of these ideas and you’ll have a scrumptious dinner on the table in less than one hour. Do you have any summer family dinner ideas? Share them with us please.