Fast & Fresh summer meals

These quick weeknight dinners will get you out of the kitchen fast and leave you more time to enjoy the season's long days

Rib-Eye Steaks with Pistachio Butter and Asparagus

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Rib-Eye Steaks with Pistachio Butter and Asparagus

Nothing says summer like a grilled steak--and this zesty sauce of arugula and pistachios makes it something special.

Recipe: Rib-Eye Steaks with Pistachio Butter and Asparagus

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Amy Machnak

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Tzatziki is a fantastic sauce to have with a Mediterranean-inspired grilled meal. We suggest making extra so you'll have it ready for another meal later in the week.

Recipe: Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwiches

Photo by Alex Farnum

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwiches

This satisfying vegetarian sandwich bursts with the flavors of summer produce.

Recipe: Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwiches

Beer and Bison Burgers with Pub Cheese

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Beer and Bison Burgers with Pub Cheese

Fire up the grill for patties made with a lighter alternative to beef.

Recipe: Beer and Bison Burgers with Pub Cheese

Grilled Cilantro and Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Grilled Cilantro and Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Skewers

While we love traditional basil pesto, this inventive take on the summery sauce is a super-tasty marinade for grilled shrimp. Parlay kebabs into tacos by serving with warm tortillas and slaw.

Recipe: Grilled Cilantro and Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Quick Chickpea and Summer Vegetable Stew

Photo by Alex Farnum

Quick Chickpea and Summer Vegetable Stew

This light vegetarian stew is the perfect antidote for a cool summer evening.

Recipe: Quick Chickpea and Summer Vegetable Stew

Zaatar and Lemon Grilled Chicken

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Zaatar and Lemon Grilled Chicken

Zaatar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, is super-easy to make and oh-so-tasty as a rub.

Recipe: Zaatar and Lemon Grilled Chicken

Grilled Salmon with Mustard-Wine Sauce

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Grilled Salmon with Mustard-Wine Sauce

The Dijon and dry white wine give this sauce a vibrant flavor that pairs well with the richness of grilled salmon.

Recipe:  Grilled Salmon with Mustard-Wine Sauce

More: How to choose salmon

Apricot Shrimp Skewers

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Apricot Shrimp Skewers

Wrap paper-thin slices of proscuitto around succulent shrimp and grill with fresh apricots.

Brush with a glaze of garlic, ginger, citrus juices, soy, and apricot jam.

Recipe:  Apricot Shrimp Skewers

Hanger Steak with Green-Garlic Sauce

Photo by Jennifer Mariné 

Hanger Steak with Green-Garlic Sauce

Garlic harvested before the bulbs mature flavor this main dish. Buy it at farmers' markets and Asian grocery stories, or substitute with green onions.

Serve slices of steak with a fresh green salad or favorite summer vegetable.

Recipe:  Hanger Steak with Green-Garlic Sauce

Fish curry recipe

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; food styling by Karen Shinto

Mahimahi with Thai Green Curry

You can find jars of Thai green curry at most supermarkets—the potent paste adds instant authentic flavor.

Pair this dish with a crisp, aromatic Viognier like Jorian Hill 2007 (Santa Ynez Valley; $30).

Recipe: Mahimahi with Thai Green Curry

Greek salad with sliced steak

Photo by Thomas J. Story; food styling by Randy Mon

Grecian Steak Salad

Invite friends to your party space around sunset. You’ll have sunlight till at least 8 in June. This showstopper salad gets a fancy touch with grilled New York steaks, and fresh mint leaves from your garden set off the feta.

Recipe: Grecian Steak Salad

 

Chicken Cheesesteaks

Photo by Leo Gong

Chicken Cheesesteaks

Cheesy chicken sandwiches get a kick from a bit of cayenne.

If you prefer an even more robust flavor, spread the rolls with a mixture of Dijon mustard and chili paste.

Recipe:  Chicken Cheesesteaks

Tomato Orecchiette with Brie and Basil

Photo by Leo Gong

Tomato Orecchiette with Brie and Basil

Brie cheese acts as a creamy sauce when melted by the warm pasta. For the most flavorful results, use tomatoes and basil in summer, at the height of their season.

Recipe:  Tomato Orecchiette with Brie and Basil

Southwest Grilled Chicken and Avocado Melts

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Southwest Grilled Chicken and Avocado Melts

A simple spice mix flavors chicken while it grills; finish with avocado, chiles, and cheese.

4 more minutes on the grill melts the cheese to perfection.

Recipe:  Southwest Grilled Chicken and Avocado Melts

Korean barbecue burgers

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Korean Kimchi Burgers

Follow the recipe to make your own kimchi, or take a shortcut and use the condiment ready-made from the store. Pair the burgers with a beer with balanced malt and hops like Saigon Export.

Recipe: Korean Kimchi Burgers

Grilled Chipotle-Chicken Quesadillas

Dan Goldberg

Grilled Chipotle-Chicken Quesadillas  

Grilling adds a mildly smoky note ― the perfect complement to big flavors like lime, cilantro, and chile ― in these easy quesadillas. Plus, there's no dirty skillet to clean. 

Recipe:  Grilled Chipotle-Chicken Quesadillas

Crab Tacos

Annabelle Breakey

Crab Tacos

These fresh tacos are perfect weeknight summer fare that would work well with any grilled, flaked fish.

Recipe:  Crab Tacos

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Romesco Sauce

Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Becker

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Romesco Sauce

While chicken quickly marinates, whip up this flavorful sauce, which tastes delicious with everything from grilled shrimp to fried eggs.

Recipe:  Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Open-face Ham, Brie, and Arugula Sandwiches

Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon

Grilled Open-face Ham, Brie, and Arugula Sandwiches

This fun twist on the classic ham and cheese sandwich gets crunch, smokiness, and creaminess from crusty grilled bread topped with melted cheese. A zesty arugula salad atop the sandwiches freshens them up, making for a quick and tasty dinner.

Recipe:  Grilled Open-face Ham, Brie, and Arugula Sandwiches 

Zucchinni fusilli

Leo Gong

Zucchini Fusilli

When your garden is bursting with zucchini, make this simple, summer-inspired pasta. It can be whipped up in no time with ingredients you’re likely to have on hand.

Recipe:  Zucchini Fusilli

Chinese chicken salad

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Best-Ever Chinese Chicken Salad

This dish has all the great flavor of the original and is packed with garden-fresh ingredients.

Recipe:  Best-Ever Chicken Salad

Grass-fed beef

Iain Bagwell

Grass-fed Burgers with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Tender grass-fed beef makes these juicy burgers stand out. Chipotle barbecue sauce makes them irresistible. Burgers and homemade bbq sauce in 35 minutes ― what a treat!

Recipe:  Grass-fed Burgers with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

 

grilled shrimp with lemon-pesto rice

Scott Peterson

Grilled Shrimp with Lemon-Pesto Rice

Lemon zest jazzes up store-bought or leftover homemade pesto in this bright and flavorful summer supper.

Recipe:  Grilled Shrimp with Lemon-Pesto Rice

Mediterranean Burgers

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Mediterranean Burgers

Olives, feta, and fresh herbs pack a flavorful punch in these patties. This could become your new summer burger standby. 

Recipe:  Mediterranean Burgers

Chicken, Corn, and Tomato Pasta Salad

Chicken, Corn, and Tomato Pasta Salad  

A refreshing option for dinner on a hot summer night ― and it only takes 30 minutes. Bonus: Leftovers make for a great lunch the next day.

Recipe:  Chicken, Corn, and Tomato Pasta Salad 

Grilled Salmon Avocado Pitas

Leo Gong

Grilled Salmon Avocado Pitas

We love this combo of creamy avocado and lightly charred salmon packed into a pita for a refreshing summer meal.

Recipe:  Grilled Salmon Avocado Pitas

Lamb Burger Pitas with Two-Pepper Chutney

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Lamb Burger Pitas with Two-Pepper Chutney

A quick and spicy pepper sauce jazzes up these lamb-stuffed pita pockets. Serve with a cool cucumber salad and yogurt dressing.

Recipe:  Lamb Burger Pitas with Two-Pepper Chutney 

Pasta with basil, tomatoes, and feta

Leigh Beisch

Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes, and Feta

What could be better on a summer night than a simple pasta studded with juicy, fresh garden tomatoes, freshly torn basil, and crumbled feta cheese?

Recipe:  Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes, and Feta

Hot and Cold Chicken and Spinach Salad

Scott Peterson

Hot and Cold Chicken and Spinach Salad

Briny capers and pungent Dijon add punch to this quick main course salad. Serve with grilled bread brushed with fruity olive oil.

Recipe:  Hot and Cold Chicken and Spinach Salad

Grilled Trout Fillets with Crunchy Pine-nut Lemon Topping

Annabelle Breakey

Grilled Trout Fillets with Crunchy Pine-nut Lemon Topping

Crunchy lemon-studded breadcrumbs top moist grilled trout and tender-crisp grilled radicchio in this tasty supper.

Recipe:  Grilled Trout Fillets with Crunchy Pine-nut Lemon Topping

Halibut Kebabs with Grilled Bread and Pancetta

Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker

Halibut Kebabs with Grilled Bread and Pancetta

This one is an absolute favorite in Sunset’s test kitchen. We just can’t get enough of the simple combination of crusty grilled bread, fresh rosemary, and succulent halibut.

Recipe:  Halibut Kebabs with Grilled Bread and Pancetta

 

Lamb Chops with Roasted Salsa

Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

Lamb Chops with Roasted Salsa

This elegant dish seems like it would take some time to throw together, but quick-roasting makes it perfect for any night of the week.

Recipe:  Lamb Chops with Roasted Salsa

Warm Steak Salad with Marinara Sauce and Cabernet Sauvignon

Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Brecker

Warm Steak Salad with Marinara Sauce

The heat of the steaks melts the fresh mozzarella and the greens add a peppery bite in this dish that is perfect for special occasions and weeknights alike.

Recipe:  Warm Steak Salad with Marinara Sauce

Halibut Tostadas with Yogurt-Lime Sauce

James Carrier

Halibut Tostadas with Yogurt-Lime Sauce

Crisp tacos are topped with chunks of juicy halibut then a drizzle of creamy yogurt-lime sauce and fresh salsa in this healthy and speedy summer dinner.

Recipe:  Halibut Tostadas with Yogurt-Lime Sauce

Yogurt-marinated Chicken Kebabs with Israeli Couscous

Iain Bagwell; Styling: Dan Becker

Yogurt-marinated Chicken Kebabs with Israeli Couscous

These Indian-scented kebabs are as tasty as they are pretty ― a perfect, family-pleasing meal any night of the week.

Recipe:  Yogurt-marinated Chicken Kebabs with Israeli Couscous 

Salt-and-pepper shrimp

Dan Goldberg

Salt-and-Pepper Shrimp

Here’s a stir-fried version of a traditionally deep-fried Chinese dish that's quick and light but still keeps the intense flavor of the original.

Recipe: Salt-and-pepper Shrimp

BLT Chicken Burgers

Annabelle Breakey

BLT Chicken Burgers

Poultry burgers have a reputation for being dry and bland, but jazzed up with sharp cheddar, parmesan, and garlic ― and then topped with crisp bacon, juicy tomatoes, and lettuce ― they're boldness in a bun (in under 30 minutes).

Recipe:  BLT Chicken Burgers

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