Our Best-Ever Better Homes & Gardens Summer Recipes
All-American Barbecued Chicken
Barbecue chicken is truly a summer classic, but there's something special about this batch. Find out why this recipe is a reader favorite—and why you'll want to host a neighborhood barbecue every week. We'll give you a hint: It's all about the homemade balsamic barbecue sauce!
Noodles and "Zoodles" with Saffron and Cream
Dress up your spaghetti cravings by adding zucchini noodles (or zoodles, as we like to call them) to the mix. A light and creamy sauce makes this double-noodle dish perfect for slurping down on a hot summer night. This twirlable recipe is much lighter than many other pasta recipes, making it perfect summer fare.
Peach and Tomato Salad
We love ripe summer peaches and tomatoes, so why not combine the two? The result is a sweet and tangy summer salad with red onion, feta cheese, and basil that will fit right in at your summer picnic or potluck. This peach and tomato salad will disappear in a flash, so you may want to make a double batch!
This cheesecake may look like a cute slice of watermelon, but it's actually filled with fresh strawberries! Start with a crunchy graham cracker crust on the bottom, then use a watermelon shell to help hold in the sweet, fluffy cheesecake goodness. One of our favorite summer food ideas, this adorable watermelon cheesecake is sure to be a hit.
We all love cooling off with a juicy slice of watermelon, so we turned this favorite summer fruit into a refreshing drink! Blend in strawberries and coconut water to really make this summer sip sparkle. When the ultra-hot days of summer hit, cooling off with this berry limeade is a must.
Grilled Fruit Pizza
Add this fruit pizza to your repertoire of summer grill recipes, because your family will be craving it all the time. Turn a plain fruit salad into a summer wonder by grilling cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon. Serve on top of grilled flatbread with prosciutto, honey, and ricotta cheese for a sweet-and-savory summer treat.
Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella
Put away that jar of tomato sauce! You can make a delicious pasta sauce with tomatoes from your garden. Even better, to help keep your home cool in the sweltering summer heat, no cooking is required for this garden-fresh topping. All of that makes this noodle recipe a definite must-try this summer.
Make extra zucchini into a side dish you'll want to eat all summer long by searing slices in a skillet with a few other ingredients. Between your fridge and your garden, we bet you already have everything you need to make this veggie side dish. You don't even have to fire up the grill to make this yummy recipe!
Get your spoon ready! You won't even need an ice cream maker to turn your favorite summer berries into a cool and refreshing treat. Turn this into a tropical sorbet worthy of a day at the beach by using fresh mango in place of summer raspberries. Whichever fruit you decide to use, just don't let the season pass you by without taste-testing this summer recipe.
Greek Salmon Burgers
The next time you grill out, skip the ketchup and mustard. If you've been searching for summer seafood recipes, you're in luck. Perfect for your backyard get-togethers, these juicy salmon burgers are packed with flavor and fresh, summery ingredients, then topped with Greek yogurt. The best part? They're high in protein and fairly healthy, too.
Southwestern Stuffed Roasted Peppers
Spice up fiesta night with veggie-stuffed sweet peppers! Overflowing with Southwestern flavor and topped with creamy Alfredo sauce, these chicken-and-shrimp peppers are packed with flavor and a fun variation on traditional chiles rellenos. To really turn this recipe into a showstopper, pick up your peppers at your local farmers market instead of the grocery store.
Add donuts to your list of summer grill recipes! We didn't think it was possible, but donuts just got even better. They're sweet, crispy, and totally dippable. Fire up the grill and bring dessert outside for a delish twist on a summer evening.
5 Crazy-Good Corn Toppers
Nothing beats corn on the cob during the in-season summer months, but don't settle for just butter on your corn! Try these uber-tasty corn-on-the-cob topper ideas for the best corn you've ever tasted. They taste the best when you add them just after pulling your ear of corn off the grill.
This is one of those summer drinks that might have you raising an eyebrow, but don't count it out until you try it. Freshen up summer by grabbing a chilly bottle of this poppy-orange drink featuring fresh carrots, pineapple juice, and a bit of lemon. Squeeze a lemon wedge into the lemonade for extra citrus flavor.
Farro and Fruit Salad
On hot summer nights, sometimes you just want a fresh, light meal for dinner. Luckily, this easy recipe is the answer to all your cravings. This grain salad is bursting with fresh blueberries and a lemony vinaigrette. Eat it fresh or make it ahead for an easy packed lunch or later dinner.
Chicken and Peach Pesto Pizza
This pizza brings summer to the table. It's a flavor combination you never expected, but it tastes just right. If you really want to bring the summer flavors to your slice, try using barbecue chicken on your pizza instead of just grilled chicken.
You might associate sangria with fall or winter, but with just a few changes (namely, fresh berries), it'll quickly become one of your favorite summer drinks. In fact, it's the perfect summer sipper: Cherries, strawberries, and blueberries infuse this drink with a fresh and fruity spark.
Fresh Corn Salad
Create a colorful kaleidoscope of fresh, in-season produce for your next dinner on the deck. Enjoy corn off the cob, arugula, and jalapeño, all tossed in a sweet-and-tangy pepper dressing. This is one of those summer recipes that calls for kicking back, putting your feet up, and savoring every bite!
Rosemary-Strawberry Shortcake Pizza
Strawberry shortcake is a classic summer staple. Give it extra oomph with rosemary and the freshest strawberries you can get your hands on! To make this recipe a little quicker so you can spend more time by the pool, bake the dough all together instead of making individual shortcakes, then slice into squares. Oh, and did we mention you can grill it instead of bake it?
Bucatini with Shrimp and Spicy Cherry Tomato Pan Sauce
Twirl a forkful of delicious summertime pasta at your next dinner party. Succulent shrimp is a savory toss-in, while quick-cooked garlic and tomatoes form a bubbly sauce. It's simple enough to make for weeknight supper but special enough to serve to company.
Indian Cauliflower Fried Rice
Pack this light and flavor-punched dish for a picnic or serve it up on the patio. Surround fresh, versatile veggies with creamy cauliflower fried rice for a healthy, filling, and delicious meal. Top each bowl with cilantro from your garden (if you're a cilantro fan, that is) for an extra burst of freshness.
Banana-Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Treat yourself and cool down with a bowl of this cheery banana dessert. Homemade pecan-studded ice cream is made with real fruit, sweet brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla. Instead of chocolate syrup, top off your bowl with a few extra slices of fresh banana.
You can skip the trip to your nearest Mexican restaurant: Handmade burrito bowls are as easy as 1-2-3. Mix up veggies, chicken, and fillers for a quick, easy, and healthy summer dinner. To make your bowl a little extra special, use fresh herbs from your garden or mix up your own tomato salsa.
Blueberry Ice Cream Pie
Get those fresh blueberries ready! Stun your summertime crowd with a berry-covered ice cream pie, complete with soft vanilla ice cream and an almond-brown sugar crust. Nutmeg and fresh lemon zest give an extra kick to this pie's hidden sliver of rich blueberry sauce.
Start any summer shindig with zesty Chicken-Chorizo Meatballs. Slow-cook these appetizer-perfect bites in a special homemade sauce featuring garlic, poblano pepper, and zippy salsa. They're a great appetizer (or light main dish) for a summer celebration.
Tri-Tip Roast with Grilled Avocados
The tri-tip, cut from the bottom sirloin, is prized for its rich flavor. Grill up this juicy roast next to avocado and freshly chopped veggies for a blue-ribbon winner. When you top it off with fresh pico de gallo, you'd be hard-pressed to find other summer grill recipes that can compare.
Summer Spaghetti Salad
This noodle recipe definitely gives pasta salad a whole new meaning! Spaghetti, string cheese, and squash noodles get the freshest tomato topping in this perfect summer dish. Top with crunchy toasted walnuts for a tasty finish to this easy recipe.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
Nothing screams summer more than a bowl of pasta salad loaded with lots of fresh, seasonal veggies. This light and savory pasta salad recipe will please any potluck-goer. In fact, we seriously doubt you'll have any leftovers to take home afterward.
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Ice cream cones and summertime are a match made in heaven. Scoop up sweet childhood memories with classic ice cream made with whole vanilla beans and pure vanilla extract.
Bonus: Dress up your ice cream with combos like lavender and cinnamon or strawberries and chocolate.
Fennel Salad with Arugula, Dill, and Walnuts
Summer salads know how to lighten the mood—and your diet. This fan favorite has just the right combination of sweet and savory. Arugula, zucchini, and fennel all play a role in making this quick salad recipe light, fresh, and delicious.
Smoky Slider Skewers
Slider, meet skewer. Grill up these cool kabobs for perfect outdoor eats. These skewers may be simple (just ground beef and a few spice rack staples), but they're a definite step up from a basic summer hamburger.
Radish and Cucumber Salad
If you don't have your own summer veggie garden, it's time for a trip to the farmers market! Use fresh and summery cukes and radishes for the perfect outdoor healthy treat. Drizzling a quick vinaigrette of olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar on top doesn't hurt, either.
Turkey Burger with Peaches and Blueberries
Refine your burger with this sweet recipe. Healthy turkey burgers meet summer fruit for an in-season dinner that tastes more like a treat. You won't even need condiments to make these burgers outrageously delicious: just fresh peaches, blueberries, and a few slices of cheese.
Four-Layer Caramel-Crunch Brownies
The only one wearing layers this summer is this decadent dessert. With brownie, crunchy caramel, peanut butter nougat, and velvety melted chocolate, each bite is sure to be better than the last. After all, when it comes to dessert, the more layers, the better!