It’s finally summer, which means you’ll be spending plenty of time outside in the sun and enjoying your local neighborhood barbecues! To make sure you’re prepared with delicious menu items, we’ve rounded up 70+ recipes that are perfect for backyard meals and potlucks alike. Just click any of the photos below to start flipping through!
Cucumber Couscous Salad
This refreshing dish combines grilled eggplant, zucchini, and sweet onion with cucumber, mint, and couscous for a healthy main-dish salad. Couscous is an easy way to dress up a side dish: Cook it in broth or citrus juice to give it some extra flavor. Make sure you read labels when buying couscous at a grocery store because varieties come seasoned already; if you want plain couscous, be sure to buy regular rather than Israeli couscous. Look for couscous in bulk bins or with other grains at your grocery store. It keeps well in a tightly sealed container in your pantry for up to two months. Or if you’ve never tried cooking with it before, there’s no better time than now!
Bright, crisp, and sweet, watermelon adds a refreshing splash to a classic slaw recipe. Topped with pepitas and feta, these flavors shine through in every bite. Watermelon and Feta Slaw Servings: 4 Ingredients 1 head of cabbage (red or green), cored and shredded 2 cups watermelon, diced into small pieces 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 1⁄2 cup crumbled feta 6 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Instructions Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss until well mixed. Chill for at least one hour before serving to let flavors mingle. Serve chilled!
Spicy Mango Chickpea Salad
Spicy Mango Chickpeas make a healthy, delicious, and naturally vegan salad that you can take to any summer barbecue or cookout. The mango keeps it sweet while chili powder, curry, and lime juice give it a nice kick. It’s hearty enough to be a complete meal with quinoa and loaded with fiber, protein, and potassium (1 cup of chickpeas contains 10% of your recommended daily intake). Spicy Mango Chickpeas are perfect for potlucks or parties where you’re looking for something to feed an entire crowd. Or just your own family because they’re super yummy! Everyone will think you slaved over these when they taste how good they are.
Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
This savory recipe is a great choice for summer nights when you want something hearty that still feels light. It’s made with avocado and corn, plus black beans to keep things rich and filling. The citrus vinaigrette adds a refreshing twist, but feel free to use your favorite dressing on any of these recipes. (via Williams-Sonoma)
Veggie Stuffed Pita Pizza with Baba Ganoush
This tasty and healthy Mediterranean-inspired dish is a great alternative to heavier dishes. Simply take your favorite pita bread, stuff it with veggies and some delicious pizza sauce, then bake it until golden brown. Next, let’s mix up a quick dip by combining diced tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, roasted eggplant, and pureed tahini into a quick dip that can be used as both a spread or a light dressing on your salad. Finish off with fresh herbs like mint or basil for an extra kick of flavor. No grill? No problem! Roast your veggies in a 450°F oven instead. Pita Pizza recipe here. Baba Ganoush recipe here.
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Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled cheese and tomato sauce (we used Classico’s Tomato Basil Parmesan) are delicious on their own but throw in fresh mozzarella, basil, and balsamic glaze, then warm it up with some salty prosciutto? It just doesn’t get any better. Yield: 1 sandwich Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Ingredients 1/4 cup Classico Tomato Basil Parmesan 2 slices provolone cheese 4 slices prosciutto 2 slices bread Balsamic glaze Salt Pepper Fresh basil Steps Place a skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of one slice of bread with balsamic glaze. Lay 3 pieces of prosciutto over the second slice of bread.
Almond Tofu Buddha Bowls
There are very few things in life that can top a fresh, juicy piece of grilled meat. Unless, of course, you’re talking about an almond tofu Buddha bowl topped with fresh veggies and an avocado oil-based dressing. The base is simple—your choice of grain (quinoa or rice), greens (spinach), and beans (black or pinto)—but it’s where you go from there that counts. Go traditional and add edamame, red peppers, corn kernels, and crunchy almonds for a tasty vegetarian meal; sub cashew butter for a dollop of almond butter if you’re looking to pump up your fats; or try adding grilled vegetables for extra texture and nutrient density. The possibilities are virtually endless!
Butternut Squash, Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna Roll-Ups
This one isn’t as heavy as traditional lasagna. By substituting butternut squash for noodles, you can make a healthier dish that is still completely delicious. Top it with some tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and bake it in an oven until bubbly hot. Serve with a side salad or some veggies for a perfect summer meal. Click here to get the recipe.
Caprese Pasta Salad with Basil Balsamic Dressing
Creamy, tangy goat cheese is flavored with fresh herbs to make a tart, flavorful spread that goes perfectly with juicy tomatoes and smoky portobello mushrooms. A dollop of honeyed yogurt adds a hit of sweet complexity that makes these tartines irresistible. Plus, tarts are so cute! If you don’t have time to make your crust from scratch, buy refrigerated pie dough from your local bakery and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before using it in place of homemade dough.
Gazpacho Spring Rolls with Lime Cashew Dip
If you’re headed to a summer party, skip your standard boxed or canned spring rolls and opt for a light and refreshing gazpacho salad. This recipe only takes about 10 minutes to make and can be served as an appetizer with a delicious dip or as part of your entree. Either way, it’s one of our top party favorites! Not only are these spring rolls quick and easy to make (after you prep everything in advance), but they’re also fun to roll up. We chose to serve them chilled, but they would work well at room temperature too! The creamy cashew-lime dip complements these perfectly without being overpowering. It also adds another level of color and texture if you use different varieties of vegetables in your rolls.
Mushroom Tartines with Herbed Goat Cheese Spread
Cap off your next cookout with these delectable mushroom tartines, topped with goat cheese and served alongside a fruit salad. Goat cheese has been shown to improve satiety by regulating blood sugar levels; it also provides bone-strengthening calcium and promotes cardiovascular health.
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