12 Refreshing Dinner Dishes Perfect for Hot Weather
Good weather means grilling, family gatherings and lazy long days outside enjoying the summer sunshine. It also means you may not want to eat large servings or particularly hearty, heavy meals. This list is packed with fresh, light recipes perfect for serving at BBQs or with your family as you enjoy the grill and the summer sun. It’s also full of salads, because in my mind, BBQs don’t have to centre around burgers, buns, and hotdogs. Stray from the ordinary and experience these delicious recipes that are sure to be seasonal favorites for the whole family!
Credit: Cooking Classy
This dish caught my eye because it has pineapple – the best summer flavor there is! Plus it’s colorful, healthy, and easy to just throw on the grill and enjoy. Chicken paired with sweet pineapple, bell pepper, and tangy red onion. There’s even a marinade if you want to amp the recipe up a notch.
Credit: Happy Go Lucky
Perfect for grilling on those long lazy days, this recipe is quick yet hearty, with a combination of sausage, shrimp, and potatoes along with the fresh veggies and seasoning. The corn especially combines the taste of summer with the smoky flavors of the grill, and provides a contrasting light texture to the meat. Inspired by Cajun cooking, this is sure to become a favorite meal!
Credit: Tastes Better From Scratch
Easy, light, and fresh, the instructions for this salad are literally just one step. Combine avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and feta cheese in a bowl, drizzle on delicious dressing, and enjoy. Have as a main course of combine with an grilled protein from the BBQ for a healthy, colorful summer meal.
Credit: Chelsea’s Messy Apron
For those of you wanting your carb fix while also eating healthy, this salad is packed with veggies and also has a great (but simple to make) creamy chili-lime dressing. And alongside the avocados, lime, cilantro, jalapeños, cheese, green onions, there’s also bacon. You’re welcome, bacon lovers.
Credit: Produce On Parade
Perfect for a BBQ, a starter, or even a dip, this salad is bursting with flavor and freshness. Creamy avocado, sweet corn, tart cherry tomatoes, black beans, and cilantro all in a tangy lemon dressing, you really can’t go wrong with this dish.
Credit: Cooking Classy
If you want to switch it up and grill something other than burgers this summer, throwing pieces of salmon on the grill is a different (and healthy) alternative. And how can you resist avocado-mango salsa? I certainly can’t. Plus, this salmon and mango dish looks fancy, so if you’re hosting and want to make an impression, it’s a nice touch.
Credit: Savory Tooth
Light and low calorie, this recipe is easy and healthy (two words I know we all love). Not your usual summer fare, perhaps, but crab meat is another source of protein beyond burgers and hot dogs, and variety is the spice of life. Vietnamese and Thai inspired, this recipe combines crab meat, sliced avocado, cucumber, and carrots wrapped together in a summer roll with a spicy red dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Credit: Cooking Classy
I’m not usually one to advocate raw broccoli, but the apple in this salad caught my eye. What’s more “summer” than adding fruit to your recipe? Plus, the tart apple will definitely out weight the crunchy broccoli. Colorful and full of flavors, you can even make the dressing lighter by substituting greek yogurt.
Credit: Salt and Lavender
With only three ingredients in the marinade, these skewers are not only quick, but a bright, happy addition to your table. Sweet, tangy honey mustard and grilled chicken – simple, delicious, and summery.
Credit: Get Creative Juice
This dish has four simple ingredients: bell peppers, chicken, couscous, and cheese. During the summer, I advocate grilling as much as possible: why not take advantage of the good weather and healthy meal prep? Couscous is easy to throw in a pan and prepare ahead of time, and then everything gets thrown in the peppers and they go on the grill. The peppers and couscous keep this meal light, and you can always go easy on the cheese (I never want to, but it’s an option!)
Credit: A Cedar Spoon
Orzo pasta isn’t a stodgy starch but it does bulk up a simple salad and give you an option other than rice. With this salad mixes orzo, chickpeas, feta cheese, crisp summer vegetables, fresh herbs and top with a light vinaigrette. Pairs nicely with protein or enjoyed all by itself!
Credit: A Dish Of Daily Life
I had to include at least one burger recipe on the list, even if it is a chicken burger. This is a burger you can actually make from scratch, so you know exactly what you’re feeding your family, and it’s all natural flavor, I can assure you. Topped with mashed avocado and chipotle mayo, this will quickly become a family favorite! Head over to A Dish Of Daily Life for the full recipe!
As I mentioned before, summer is all about flavor, colorful dishes, and sticking fruit in as any recipes as possible, like this Strawberry Salsa. It also means experimenting on the grill, by throwing Grilled Peaches with Cherries, or maybe trying Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapples. Don’t let the BBQ get the best of you: you can grill out and still have some variety on your table.
Here’s to a healthy, happy summer!