It’s summer, which means it’s time to start planning some super yummy and super healthy summer dinner ideas! You don’t have to look far, because I’ve got delicious summer dinner ideas your whole family is going to adore.
Do you love summertime as much as I do? There’s something about the warmer weather and no school schedule that makes me one happy camper! As much as I love summer, it’s also a busy time for me as a mama. See, my husband’s busy season at work is between those lovely months of May – October. That means the kids and I are often on our own during the week for mealtime. Not to mention that we live in the desert, so dinnertime is at the hottest time of day. No one wants to turn the oven on when it’s 110 degrees outside! In my family, we crave simple, quick, sometimes cool/chilled recipes for dinner in those hot summer months. I particularly don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen while making dinner in the summer. I also want us to feel free to stay out playing, swimming, and exploring for as long as we desire without relying on fast food or other dine-out options all the time.
So, what do we do for dinner? Well, sometimes we wing it because that’s what summer’s all about. Letting go, enjoyment, and freedom to just be without a scheduled dinner. On the other hand, I also believe that the better planned and prepared we are, the more likely we are to succeed. That’s why I wanted to share these healthy summer dinner ideas with you! I would love it if you shared your ideas too in the comment section. I’m sure there are things I haven’t thought of on this list.
Without further ado, here are my five family tested and approved healthy summer dinner ideas:
Grocery Store Rotisserie Chicken: This is one of my top recommendations for clients and parents on the go. The store rotisserie chicken is an excellent dinner option without any guilt that you didn’t lift a finger. Plus, most stores usually have a few different flavor options, as well as an organic choice or non-organic choice. Either way, you are doing yourself a favor by stopping at the grocery store rather than the drive-thru! When we make this rotisserie for dinner we either pair it with some sort of potato that I make/have already prepped at home in the air fryer, instant pot, or toaster oven; rice and steamed veggies that cook quickly on their own or that I have already made in the fridge; OR some cool crisp veggies made into a salad. Leftovers make a great chicken salad for sandwiches the next day.That brings me to the next option…
Build-Your-Own Sandwich: I’ve used this concept on many occasions, and I will never deny it! First, kids love to play with food, and this is kind of like doing that for them. Two, everyone can have exactly what they want, how they want it, without fuss. Moms and dads everywhere can celebrate that. Three, it’s easy, simple, completely satisfying, and requires little clean-up. Going low carb? That’s fine. Make your sandwich a wrap or turn it into a salad.
For this option just lay out all your sandwich ingredients onto the table and have everyone sit down and start building! I’ll often offer cold chicken, turkey, tuna, or bacon (whatever’s on hand) plus cheese and vegetables (tomato, lettuce, etc.), maybe some avocado, and we always have a few different types of bread in this house. I’ll serve it with carrots/celery or some fresh fruit on the side.
Build-Your-Own Salad/Tacos: If you see a “build-your-own” theme brewing, you’re right. That’s why I’m lumping these two together. What I like about these options is that all it really takes is me chopping up some ingredients, maybe grilling/sautéing some sort of animal protein if desired, and then just letting everyone assemble their own. There isn’t a lot of heat produced in the kitchen while making this dinner and leftovers (because they are stored separately) can always be used for something else the next day. Plus, you can easily prep ingredients like this in the morning, or in advance, so it’s ready for you when you get home from the swimming pool.
Turkey Burger Sliders: You’re probably thinking this sounds like a lot of work, but not really. In fact, sometimes I’ll have the grocer form my turkey burger sliders for me so all it really takes is a quick trip to the grill. I find that this meal is a kid favorite. Plus, I like to season my burgers with a few little extras, giving them an extra healthy kick. You can serve them with a side salad, fruit, homemade potatoes, or a homemade guacamole that goes great on top of burgers! Turkey burger sliders cook within 10-12 minutes (5-6 minutes a side), which means dinner is done in 15 minutes if you’ve already pre-sliced your toppings. Going low carb? Just skip the bun, or, a personal favorite, go open-faced and eat it with a knife and fork.
Sushi Wraps at Home: This one is fun, and again, everyone gets what they want. Plus, if desired, it’s a NO COOK meal. I use leftover rice (which we always have on hand in this house), slice some veggies like bell peppers and greens, turn other veggies like carrots and cucumber into ribbons, slice tofu, use cooked frozen shrimp that’s simply been de-thawed, and seaweed sheets. But really, the ingredients in this one are up to you. It can be anything! Plus, it’s a cool meal and the kids have a blast with it! Once again, everyone can make it to their taste, so your kiddos will always eat it right up.
These are just a few healthy summer dinner ideas that can make your summer even more enjoyable and stress-free. These ideas can pretty much cover a full week, and you can even use many of the same ingredients in multiple meals so you’ll always have something to do with your leftovers. That also means you can save money at the grocery store without the worry of waste. There’s no need to spend hours in the kitchen to make a healthy meal for yourself and your family.
Don’t forget to drop me a comment on your favorite summer dinner idea! Also, if you struggle with planning healthy meals for yourself, consider talking to a meal planner, a nutritionist, or a personal fitness trainer with nutritional and meal planning expertise. All of our memberships at EōS Fitness include a nutrition and lifestyle consultation. Make sure you take advantage of that great resource!
Have a wonderful summer!
Christina Kawai is a Piyo Certified Live Instructor and Precision Nutrition Coach. She focuses on living a fulfilled and balanced life that includes time for fitness as well as for family, which includes her husband, two daughters, and dog. Christina does not let her polycystic kidney disease (PKD) hold her back from achieving her goals. According to Christina, “Balance is possible. We just have to be willing to create it for ourselves.”