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18 Light Summer Dinners

18 Light Summer Dinners

We’ll cross into 90-degree weather this weekend, so I rounded up a collection of seasonal tacos, salads and pastas for you. These recipes are light and fresh, so the only “trick,” if you want to call it that, will be to eat enough to fill you up. I know you can do it.

If you don’t see exactly what you’re craving below, be sure to check out my full summer recipe archives. We just got a grill as a group wedding gift, so I’ve been playing around with that and you can expect some grilled recipes soon. Cheers to summertime!

1) Veggie Sushi Bowls

Gluten free, with vegan suggestion in notes

“OH my goodness Kate, I have loved every recipe I’ve made from your site….but I have to say the Sushi Bowl is the best yet, YUM!!” – Charlene

2) Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl

Gluten free and vegan

“I’m not vegan but this is delicious. I used leftover beans and it turned out great. My aunt (who is vegan) has asked me make it two nights in a row. Thanks for the recipe it was the only one I found that I had all the ingredients in hand.” – Emma

3) Zucchini Noodles with Basil-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Gluten free and vegan

“We are volume eaters in my household and we need large quantities of food to feel full! This pesto was a total hit, my kids were shovelling down the whole meal and begging for more. VEGETABLES. MORE VEGETABLES? That’s a first! THANK YOU!” – J Marie

4) Lemony Broccoli, Chickpea & Avocado Pita Sandwiches

See notes for gluten free and vegan ideas

“I just had to come here to say that my husband LOVES this recipe. He begs for it every week and even told me he loves it just as much as pizza! haha :) Of course I love it too – so easy and delicious!” – Erin

5) Arugula, Dried Cherry and Wild Rice Salad with a Zippy Lemon Dressing

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I made this salad for our family and they LOVED it!!! I’m making it again this week on their request!” – Deb

6) Caprese Pasta Salad

Easily gluten free

“I loved this pasta! It was so easy and fast to make, and so fresh even when I heated it up the next couple of days. I’ll definitely be making this again.” – Rachel

7) Vegetable Paella

Gluten free and vegan

“Wow – This dish is amazing! The smoky rice and colorful veggies make this recipe pop both in flavor and aesthetically. My first time making Paella and it came together easily. I was even successful with the socarrat. Thanks for another delicious recipe :-)” – Dani

8) Sweet Corn & Black Bean Tacos

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I made these last night and they were WONDERFUL! I loved the flavor; the lime adds a lot. I followed the recipe exactly and they are fabulous the next day for lunch!” – Laura

9) Summertime Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Easily gluten free and easily vegan

“I made this yesterday and it was soooo good! We have a heat wave here in Germany right now so this was the perfect balance between refreshing and something warm for lunch. Will definitely make again :)” – Sam

10) Quinoa Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Sauce

Gluten free and vegan

“These tacos are so good and filling! The sauce was super easy to make too. I live in Austin and have eaten a lot of tacos and salsa – these are one of the best I’ve tasted.” – Alice

11) Summertime Pasta Salad

Easily gluten free and easily vegan

“I made this last night to pack for lunches this week. Easy ingredients, simple to pull together, incredibly delicious, and so beautiful! I’ll definitely be bringing this as a side to summer cookouts!” – Lauren

12) Green Goddess Hummus Sandwich


“This was amazing!! My husband and I made this for lunch today with your GG hummus recipe and we both loved it. The smoothness of the hummus did not fail. What an amazing tip. Thanks for another great recipe.” – Tara

13) Double Tomato Pesto Spaghetti with Zucchini Noodles

Easily gluten free and easily vegan

“Made the double tomato pesto last night! Whoa–it was soooo delicious!! I served it to the fam with a combo of pasta and zoodles, but I had mine with all zoodles. The flavors were fresh and complex and everyone, even the teenager, loved it. Thanks for the great ideas!” – Michelle

14) Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I made this last week. It was delicious! This was a hit with my entire family including two picky preschoolers.” – Brenna

15) Pesto Squash Noodles and Spaghetti with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Easily gluten free and easily vegan

“This recipe is divine! I’m a newlywed looking for easy, but delicious recipes and this was exactly it; my husband loved it! Plus I just planted basil…making a perfect excuse to make this all the time!” – Grace

16) Heart of Romaine Salad with Pico de Gallo and Avocado Dressing

Gluten free and vegan

“Wow, just wow! I made this for supper tonight with salsa chicken burgers, and I am SO glad that I made enough pico, avocado dressing and black bean puree to have leftovers, because this ROCKED!I didn’t add any crumbled feta, and I don’t think it needed any, it was soooooo flavourful. Thank you SO MUCH for developing and sharing this!” – Denise

17) Cilantro-Pepita Pesto with Squash Ribbons and Fettuccine

Easily gluten free and vegan

“Not only was this delicious when I made it, the leftovers were just as good – a major plus for me because I always want to have good leftovers to bring to work for lunch. I added some roasted sweet potato to one of my portions of leftovers and the flavors worked well together. I know this has been up for awhile, but thanks for another great recipe Kate!” – Amanda

18) Build-Your-Own Buddha Bowl

Gluten free

“LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. The carrot ginger dressing is so delicious! A great vegetarian dish. Even my die hard carnivore husband loves it for dinner.” – M

P.s. More recipe roundups: 24 meatless recipes that carnivores will love and 23 cooling summertime recipes (no cooking required!). You can shop my essential kitchen equipment here. Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for a steady stream of recipe inspiration!

Watch the video: Five Light Dinners Thatll Actually Fill You Up  Tasty (December 2021).