Do you feel like you’re MORE or LESS busy in the summertime?? Generally, I feel less busy because school is out and the kids’ sports and activities aren’t really in season. Although, I will say we spend a lot more time playing, doing day trips, and getting together with people!
That’s one thing I love about summer—having a little extra time to plan meals, and especially all of our favorite summer dinner recipes. We make a lot of grilled meats and fresh salads, and sometimes if we’re in the mood for a picnic, we’ll do sandwiches and wraps.
Here’s a collection of some of our most popular dinner recipes that we make in the summer!
Tips for Summer Dinners
Some recipes are worth turning on the oven for, but for the most part cooking in the summer means utilizing the grill and my crock pot. Here are a few quicks tips when using either.
Avoid putting cold food on the grill. Let food sit at room temp for 30 min before grilling.
Don’t flip the food too much. If meat is sticking to the grill, just wait. It will release when it is ready to be flipped.
Don’t squeeze or flatten the meat
Use a meat thermometer
Chicken internal temp 165°F
Pork internal temp 145°F
Beef: rare 125°F, medium 145°F, well done 160°F
Avoid burning thicker slices of meat by cooking in the oven for about 15 minutes before grilling.
Always allow the meat to rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking.
Inexpensive cuts of meat are often high in fat and connective tissue, which will result in moist and tender fall of the bone meat.
Never use frozen meat in a crock pot.
Keep a lid on it! Every time the lid is opened heat escapes slowing the cooking process. It takes 20-30 minutes for the pot to return to the right temp.
Use a crock pot liner for easy clean up, or coat the inside with cooking spray.
On many pots, the High temp is 280°F and the low temp is 170°F. Cooking on high for 1 hour is about the same as cooking on low for 2 hours.
Keeping food warm outdoors:
Keep warm food in an insulated carrier
Use chafing dishes
Cover pans with aluminum foil
If there is an outlet, use a crock pot
Don’t let food sit out for more than 2 hours
Classic Main Dishes
Classic Main Dishes
From classic summer hot dogs to Kalua pork these summer recipes will not disappoint. Best of all? They’re all easy!
Main CourseEasy Steak Marinade Recipe
This is Our All-Time Favorite Steak marinade! It requires only four ingredients, and makes our steak taste SO amazing! Everyone always asks for this Easy Steak Marinade recipe because it's just that good!!
This Delicious and Easy Pulled Pork Recipe is one that is made in the slow cooker and takes just minutes to prep. Use the pork for any recipe, including Pulled Pork sandwiches, and you'll love just how simple and tasty it is.
This delicious Taco Casserole is like a taco salad in casserole form! With a ground beef and biscuit base, plus layers of sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and olives, this casserole is the perfect way to switch up your dinner routine.
Flavorful and tender Lemon Pepper Chicken is simple and requires just a few ingredients. Served on its own or over rice, this buttery chicken dish is perfect any night of the week for a simple, quick dinner idea.
Marinated and grilled chicken breast, melty cheese, marinara sauce, and lettuce all sandwiched between a ciabatta bun. These chicken parmesan sliders make for the perfect appetizer, but can hold their own as a main dish too!
My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!