15 Quick and Easy Summer Dinners
Summer is a time to have fun outdoors and not be tied to the kitchen, regardless of how much you love to cook. With these 15 quick summer dinner ideas, you can get back to fun, family, and friends as quickly as possible, without having to rely on expensive or unhealthy takeout or delivery. These delicious, cheap, and nutritious recipes use inexpensive, shelf-stable ingredients for extra convenience, and most are adaptable to substitutions, so they'll work with what's already in the pantry or refrigerator.
Nachos are quick and so, so good, and most of the ingredients are shelf-stable pantry items: a bag of chips, a jar of salsa, and a can of beans. Top with cheese and broil until hot and melty for an indulgent summer meal that will disappear in as little time as it took to make. Sautéed veggies, meats, and fresh onion, herbs, and tomato add substance and layers without much more time or cost.
Veggie-loaded French bread pizzas can be ready faster than Domino's. Substitute any vegetables handy or some family favorites for the suggested ingredients in a recipe from The Spruce. Even stale bread works well for this dish, which makes it a go-to when looking to reduce waste and save money as well as time.
A fun, hand-held treat the family will love, quesadillas are ready in minutes. They are also cheap and adaptable to any ingredients you have on hand. A plain tortilla-and-cheese quesadilla is complete on its own but can also take any combination of fresh or cooked vegetables, cooked meats, or herbs, as suggested by Simply Recipes. Eat them plain or top with salsa, hot sauce, guacamole, or sour cream.
Panzanella is a classic Italian bread salad full of juicy ripe tomatoes, topped by a tangy dressing. In a classic rendition from Simply Recipes, toasted fresh bread imitates the stale bread cubes traditionally used in the dish. But if you have some on hand, stale bread makes the recipe quicker and more efficient while cutting food waste. Add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas to the salad to make it a complete meal of vegetables, protein, and delicious bites of crunchy, dressing-soaked bread.