Summer is flying by, but there’s still time to make the most of the season with this short list of family and reader favorites!
Given all the things we read in a day, let alone a week or month, remembering the various recipes we’d like to try can be a challenge. It’s tough enough to remember more pressing tasks, like sending a birthday card or taking the trash out on the right day.
In that spirit, I made a list of my family’s favorite summer recipes—recipes that I’d like to squeeze in at least one more time before the season is over. My hope is that this list serves as a friendly reminder of recipes that may have looked good when you first saw them but are difficult to remember amidst life’s other more pressing details!
⛱ The best new recipes of the summer, as determined by my family and an unscientific poll:
Hanger Steak with Romesco Sauce
A simple but well constructed marinade produces a steak that is bursting with flavor, whether grilled or cooked on the stovetop. The vibrant sauce is optional but endlessly versatile.
Golden corn fritters are a deliciously easy way to repurpose leftover corn and there’s no need to deep fry. The simple sauce is optional but takes the fritters to the next level. Entertaining? Make appetizer-size fritters!
Plump, juicy blueberries provide a sweet foundation for an irresistible crisp topping you’ll want to use with other fruits too. Quick to make with dairy- and gluten-free options.
A favorite seasonal vegetable takes inspiration from a classic sandwich in this wholesome, all-in-one meal enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Easy to make with one zucchini or many.
Shrimp Salsa or Salad
Serve this colorful salad as a light yet filling entree or scoop it up with tortilla chips for a unique appetizer. Either way, the pop of flavor and ease of preparation is bound to make it a keeper. For a dinner two-for-one, start with Beer Boiled Peel & Eat Shrimp the first night and use leftovers for the salad.
Everyone loves a chipwich, so why not make it easier–and more fun–by making a sheet panful? Plus, I have a simple trick for a cookie that isn’t rock hard when frozen, and the science behind it is fascinating.
☀️ Tried-and-true recipes from years gone by that are worthy of revisiting:
Corn and Cucumber Salad with Basil and Chives
Quite possibly the easiest summer salad with the biggest reward, this fresh-tasting bowl comes together in minutes and has been a favorite with readers–and my family–for years!
The Essential Marinade
Previously known as “a third-a third-a third,” this may be the easiest, tastiest, and most versatile marinade you’ve ever tried, and all you need is equal parts of three basic ingredients. It’s my go-to marinade for chicken, and for a complete meal, I often marinate vegetables to grill alongside.
Summer Breeze Chicken Salad
Grill extra chicken from the easy recipe above for added flavor in this unique chicken salad. The combination may seem odd, but if you try it I think you’ll be sold. Fun fact: One of my sons’ preschool teachers is the inspiration behind this gem of a recipe. (She was a gem too!)
Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler
With a layer of melted butter, batter, and fruit, this simple “Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler” strays from the typical two-layer cobbler with fruit on the bottom and a crumble or biscuit on top. Then, as this cobbler bakes, the batter rises up and over the peaches and forms a cakelike treat, the edges of which become lightly crisped by the melted butter.
Sunflower Basil Pesto
This easy recipe is economical, loaded with flavor, and ideal for families with a nut allergy. Plus the pesto freezes well, so you can enjoy the versatile condiment all year long!
Bright orange in color, lightly sweet, and crisply refreshing, an Aperol spritz conjures up the taste of summer all year round. This simple formula guarantees a perfectly balanced cocktail every time. No cocktail shaker required!
Emily was introduced to the Spritz when she visited Italy for the first time. Seemingly everyone was drinking them to cool off at the outdoor cafes, and they were always served with a small bowl of crispy, salty potato chips. Sounds like a perfect pre-dinner combination to me!
The Staycation Burger
One bite of these easy-to-make patties could make you rethink your usual burger. The base recipe has become regular weeknight fare in our house. The optional pineapple onion jam offers a restaurant-worthy upgrade, but the original simple sauce is an everyday hit.
Interesting tidbit: When my older son John was faced with cooking for himself for the first time while in college, these burgers were a weekly staple for him. He considered them very low effort, high reward. 👍
Emily and her family also love these burgers, and she sometimes makes mini-sized burgers for her kids and serves them on slider rolls–which are equally perfect for hearty appetizer sliders. The addition of pineapple jam is reminiscent of island fare, which can conjure up memories of summer vacations past!
Fun fact: Emily thought the jam would be a lovely complement to these burgers (she was right!), and we worked together to create the recipe during the early days of quarantine–when staycations were the only sort of vacation–and we had fun sharing recipe notes back and forth and until we both loved it. 🍍