20 Easy Summer Cooking Ideas

20 Easy Summer Cooking Ideas



During the height of summer, we like to spend as much time relaxing outside as possible. This means that we aren't always in the mood for a day in the kitchen. For those occasions, we rely on quick and easy recipes. Whether you're tucked away at home or relaxing in a beachside getaway, we've rounded up a few of our favorite summer recipes.

During the height of summer, we like to spend as much time relaxing outside as possible. This means that we aren’t always in the mood for a day in the kitchen. For those occasions, we rely on quick and easy recipes. Whether you’re tucked away at home or relaxing in a beachside getaway, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite summer recipes. (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

Pasta salads are essential summer food: they travel well; they're easy to adapt to whatever produce you have on-hand; and they're simple to make in large portions, making them perfect dishes to carry to parties, picnics, and barbecues. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/sausage-and-arugula-pasta-salad-recipe/">Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad</a>

Pasta salads are essential summer food: they travel well; they’re easy to adapt to whatever produce you have on-hand; and they’re simple to make in large portions, making them perfect dishes to carry to parties, picnics, and barbecues. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/sausage-and-arugula-pasta-salad-recipe/”>Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad</a> (Farideh Sadeghin/)

This catfish recipe is incredibly simple—the fish doesn't need more than a quick pan-fry in butter. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/blue-catfish/">Blue Catfish</a>

This catfish recipe is incredibly simple—the fish doesn’t need more than a quick pan-fry in butter. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/blue-catfish/”>Blue Catfish</a> (Farideh Sadeghin/)

Turn tough chard leaves tender by giving them a light pounding, then dress them in this light sesame-flavored vinaigrette. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/japanese-swiss-chard-sesame-salad-recipe/">Japanese-Style Swiss Chard and Sesame Salad</a>

Turn tough chard leaves tender by giving them a light pounding, then dress them in this light sesame-flavored vinaigrette. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/japanese-swiss-chard-sesame-salad-recipe/”>Japanese-Style Swiss Chard and Sesame Salad</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

This recipe for summer bolognese has the classic comfort of bolognese, but without the heaviness of a red sauce, instead embracing the summer's bounty of gorgeous tomatoes and fresh basil. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/summer-bolognese-recipe">Summer Bolognese</a>

This recipe for summer bolognese has the classic comfort of bolognese, but without the heaviness of a red sauce, instead embracing the summer’s bounty of gorgeous tomatoes and fresh basil. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/summer-bolognese-recipe”>Summer Bolognese</a> (Farideh Sadeghin/)

Brown butter, or what the French call beurre <em>noisette</em>, is enhanced with summer tomatoes and a splash of vermouth for the superlative sauce in this weeknight fish dish. Get the recipe for<a href="https://www.saveur.com/skillet-cod-with-brown-butter-tomato-sauce-recipe/">Skillet Cod with Brown-Butter Tomato Sauce</a>

Brown butter, or what the French call beurre <em>noisette</em>, is enhanced with summer tomatoes and a splash of vermouth for the superlative sauce in this weeknight fish dish. Get the recipe for<a href=”https://www.saveur.com/skillet-cod-with-brown-butter-tomato-sauce-recipe/”>Skillet Cod with Brown-Butter Tomato Sauce</a> (Farideh Sadeghin/)

Serve these spiced lamb skewers with warm flatbreads, charred tomatoes, and cooling labneh. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/turkish-ground-lamb-kebabs-recipe/">Turkish Ground Lamb Kebabs (Adana Kebabs)</a>

Serve these spiced lamb skewers with warm flatbreads, charred tomatoes, and cooling labneh. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/turkish-ground-lamb-kebabs-recipe/”>Turkish Ground Lamb Kebabs (Adana Kebabs)</a> (Simon Bajada/)

This tomato salad with shallot vinaigrette from Alice Waters is our platonic ideal of the dish. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/heirloom-and-cherry-tomato-salad-recipe/">Heirloom and Cherry Tomato Salad</a>

This tomato salad with shallot vinaigrette from Alice Waters is our platonic ideal of the dish. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/heirloom-and-cherry-tomato-salad-recipe/”>Heirloom and Cherry Tomato Salad</a> (Anna Kovel/)

Instead of the cookout-classic pasta salad, serve this refreshing Asian noodle dish zipped up with crunchy vegetables. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/soba-noodle-salad-cucumber-ponzu-recipe/">Soba Salad with Marinated Cucumber and Ponzu</a>

Instead of the cookout-classic pasta salad, serve this refreshing Asian noodle dish zipped up with crunchy vegetables. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/soba-noodle-salad-cucumber-ponzu-recipe/”>Soba Salad with Marinated Cucumber and Ponzu</a> (Drew Anthony Smith/)

Steamed clams in a light white wine-tomato sauce are studded with verdant pieces of broccoli rabe and crunchy bits of prosciutto in this easy skillet supper. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/clams-with-broccoli-rabe-and-crispy-prosciutto-in-tomato-wine-sauce-recipe/">Clams with Broccoli Rabe and Crispy Prosciutto in Tomato-Wine Sauce</a>

Steamed clams in a light white wine-tomato sauce are studded with verdant pieces of broccoli rabe and crunchy bits of prosciutto in this easy skillet supper. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/clams-with-broccoli-rabe-and-crispy-prosciutto-in-tomato-wine-sauce-recipe/”>Clams with Broccoli Rabe and Crispy Prosciutto in Tomato-Wine Sauce</a> (Linda Pugliese/)

Writer Isabel Gillies tosses together this summery dish with cod fresh from the Maine shoreline and seasonal garden greens. Rainbow chard, bibb lettuce, spring peas, and fresh herbs contrast with the richness of butter-basted pan-seared cod. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/pan-seared-cod-with-spring-vegetables/">Pan-Seared Cod with Spring Vegetables</a>

Writer Isabel Gillies tosses together this summery dish with cod fresh from the Maine shoreline and seasonal garden greens. Rainbow chard, bibb lettuce, spring peas, and fresh herbs contrast with the richness of butter-basted pan-seared cod. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/pan-seared-cod-with-spring-vegetables/”>Pan-Seared Cod with Spring Vegetables</a> (Ingalls Photography/)

Grilling adds smokiness to summer squash, a flavor that chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta's Miller Union balances with bright ingredients like vinegar, chile, and honey. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/grilled-squash-and-scallions-chile-honey-vinaigrette-recipe/">Grilled Squash and Scallions with Chile-Honey Vinaigrette</a>

Grilling adds smokiness to summer squash, a flavor that chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta’s Miller Union balances with bright ingredients like vinegar, chile, and honey. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/grilled-squash-and-scallions-chile-honey-vinaigrette-recipe/”>Grilled Squash and Scallions with Chile-Honey Vinaigrette</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

Chiles, lime, and cilantro flavor these grilled lobsters. Get the recipe for <a href=""https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Grilled-Lobster-with-Cilantro-Chile-Butter/>Grilled Lobster with Cilantro-Chile Butter</a>

Chiles, lime, and cilantro flavor these grilled lobsters. Get the recipe for <a href=””https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Grilled-Lobster-with-Cilantro-Chile-Butter/>Grilled Lobster with Cilantro-Chile Butter</a> (Penny De Los Santos/)

A garnish of chopped peanuts and slivered cucumber and carrot add crunch to the silky, savory Chinese-American noodle dish. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Classic-Sesame-Noodles/">Sesame Noodles</a>

A garnish of chopped peanuts and slivered cucumber and carrot add crunch to the silky, savory Chinese-American noodle dish. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Classic-Sesame-Noodles/”>Sesame Noodles</a> (Maxime Iattoni/)

Grilled sweet corn, plus fresh edamame in place of the traditional limas, elevate this summer mainstay. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Summer-Succotash-Salad/">Summer Succotash Salad</a>

Grilled sweet corn, plus fresh edamame in place of the traditional limas, elevate this summer mainstay. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Summer-Succotash-Salad/”>Summer Succotash Salad</a> (James Oseland/)

Juicy sweet watermelons go savory in this summery no-cooking-required soup from Anna Watson Carl. Spicy bite comes from jalapeños and red onions, while tomatoes and tart lime juice provide acidity. Plenty of herbs and olive oil lend a fresh, grassy note, with cucumbers bolstering the melon backbone. Get the recipe for <a href=https://www.saveur.com/watermelon-gazpacho-soup-recipe/">Watermelon Gazpacho</a>

Juicy sweet watermelons go savory in this summery no-cooking-required soup from Anna Watson Carl. Spicy bite comes from jalapeños and red onions, while tomatoes and tart lime juice provide acidity. Plenty of herbs and olive oil lend a fresh, grassy note, with cucumbers bolstering the melon backbone. Get the recipe for <a href=https://www.saveur.com/watermelon-gazpacho-soup-recipe/”>Watermelon Gazpacho</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

A bright salsa made from ripe mangoes, cilantro, red onion, and lime is the perfect foil for thick swordfish steaks. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/grilled-swordfish-with-mango-salsa/">Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa</a>

A bright salsa made from ripe mangoes, cilantro, red onion, and lime is the perfect foil for thick swordfish steaks. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/grilled-swordfish-with-mango-salsa/”>Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa</a> (Farideh Sadeghin/)

Tangy feta and crunchy veggies get extra body from rotini in this classic Greek-inspired pasta salad. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Greek-Pasta-Salad/">Greek Pasta Salad</a>

Tangy feta and crunchy veggies get extra body from rotini in this classic Greek-inspired pasta salad. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Greek-Pasta-Salad/”>Greek Pasta Salad</a> (Rachel Dolfi/)

In this summery, modern take on a Caesar salad, flame-kissed savoy cabbage replaces the usual romaine. It’s the perfect foil for garlicky bread crumbs, aged pecorino, boquerones, and a citrusy anchovy vinaigrette. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/grilled-cabbage-caesar-salad-recipe/">Grilled-Cabbage Caesar Salad</a>

In this summery, modern take on a Caesar salad, flame-kissed savoy cabbage replaces the usual romaine. It’s the perfect foil for garlicky bread crumbs, aged pecorino, boquerones, and a citrusy anchovy vinaigrette. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/grilled-cabbage-caesar-salad-recipe/”>Grilled-Cabbage Caesar Salad</a> (Jenny Huang/)

After discovering that fresh whole wasabi plants were available in the United States, Adrian J.S. Hale found all kinds of innovative uses for them, such as this butter-rich sauce in which the pungent heat of the wasabi root, or rhizome, is balanced by the delicate earthiness of the leaves for a mild heat and slight bitterness that accentuate the sweet flavor of plump pan-seared scallops. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/seared-scallops-with-wasabi-ginger-butter/">Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Ginger Butter</a>

After discovering that fresh whole wasabi plants were available in the United States, Adrian J.S. Hale found all kinds of innovative uses for them, such as this butter-rich sauce in which the pungent heat of the wasabi root, or rhizome, is balanced by the delicate earthiness of the leaves for a mild heat and slight bitterness that accentuate the sweet flavor of plump pan-seared scallops. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/seared-scallops-with-wasabi-ginger-butter/”>Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Ginger Butter</a> (Helen Rosner/)

Onions, mushrooms, sweet corn, and chiles in adobo add hearty, smoky flavor to this Swiss chard-based taco filling. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Swiss-Chard-and-Chipotle-Tacos/">Swiss Chard and Chipotle Tacos</a>

Onions, mushrooms, sweet corn, and chiles in adobo add hearty, smoky flavor to this Swiss chard-based taco filling. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Swiss-Chard-and-Chipotle-Tacos/”>Swiss Chard and Chipotle Tacos</a> (Helen Rosner/)

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