Meal Planning: Easy Summer Meals

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Summertime says, “Slowdown and relax,” to me. It doesn’t mean that we really have a slower schedule. But fewer obligations, longer days, and warmer weather suggest a vacation mentality.

Easier said than done.

While the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer can’t usually take the whole summer off, there are things that we can do to make mealtime prep easier.

Make It Easy

Consider meals that don’t take a lot of prep work, meals that can be cooked outside, reducing your clean-up, meals that the crockpot can handle.

Grilled, Marinated Chicken*
Salsa Verde Beef*
Chihuahua Chili*

Make It Fresh

Hot days call for cool meals. And if it’s got fresh fruits and veggies, it’s got great “cool” potential.

Taco Salad*
Summer Rolls*
Asian Chicken Salad with Noodles*
DIY Smoothie Bar*

Make It Ahead of Time

Cook up a bunch of meals ahead of time and stash them in the freezer. Freezer Cooking can be a great way to have economical, home-cooked meals without a lot of fuss. The items above with asterisks are freezer friendly. All or part of the meal can be made ahead and frozen. You’d be surprised at all the things you can freeze.

How do YOU make summer meals easy?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. one of my favorite summer meals is a nice fresh loaf of bread with some cheese or butter and a bunch of fresh fruit

  2. Great ideas! These are some awesome recipes, thanks!

  3. Your chihuahua chili link isn’t right. Just so you know. 🙂

  4. I’ve been wanting to make the Summer Roll recipe for a looong time. But I have a dilemma – I don’t know what “rice paper rounds” look like, so when I go to the grocery store I don’t know what I’m looking for!

    Help! Where do I find these? Is that what they’re called or do they have another name I should look for?

    Thanks so much.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      They look like this. We’ve found them at ONE local grocery store in their Asian food section. They cost about $3.50, so this Amazon price is not terrible for a 3 pack. I imagine an Asian food store would have them perhaps for cheaper.

  5. We have a busy summer, so I really appreciate these ideas! I am definitely looking to minimize my time in the kitchen, and still serve great meals.

  6. Nicole says

    Once the garden is producing… I love a plate of tomatoes, basil, fresh mozz cheese, a little EVOO and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Throw in a glass of wine and you have the perfect light summer meal for enjoying on the deck.

  7. I make summer meals a little easier by having at least 2 BBQ meals a week that include a fruit salad and corn on the cob. DS loves helping to shuck the corn, hubby loves grilling anything, even in the hottest temps, & it keeps the heat out of the kitchen – and me as well! 🙂

  8. The spring rolls looks so delicious and fresh! I’ll have to try them this summer.

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