Are you looking forward to summer? (I am!) And do you feel like you really need some time to relax and unwind? (I do!) Then you’re undoubtedly looking for ways to simplify your life for the next two or three months. And that probably means you’re looking for ways to save time and energy on menu planning, food prep, and cooking. For me, those tasks take a lot of time, and I’m hoping to streamline them during the summer, while still feeding my family healthy and delicious meals. So I’ve been looking for ideas and asking my food blogger friends for their best simple or time-saving summer recipes. And they did not disappoint! Here are 15 quick and healthy summer meals, made from family-tested recipes. Give them a try, and use the time you save to relax and have some fun!
(Want to save all of these great recipes so that you can find them easily. Pin the vertical image at the bottom of the post to create a great pin that’s easy to find.)
Quick and Healthy Flatbread Pizza Recipes from Little Family Adventure – Homemade pizza becomes quick and easy when you start with flatbread, focaccia, or a ready-made crust. Nicky shares 15 ideas for delicious homemade pizza that you can make in about 15 minutes.
Tomato Garlic Spinach Pasta from Organic Life on a Budget – Marla’s delicious pasta uses only 4 ingredients, cooks quickly, and tastes fabulous.
Basic Chopped – The Ultimate Healthy Meal-in-a-Bowl from The Kitchen Chopper – KC’s “chopped” dishes are delicious meals in a bowl. They’re related to salads, but they’re more like salad’s fun, healthy, and more exciting cousin! Although KC has dozens of recipes on her site, this is the basic template that allows you to create a simple, summery meal from a few healthy ingredients.
Crockpot Sloppy Joes from Juggling Real Food and Real Life – Christina is the ultimate authority on cooking real food for a busy family, and this is her healthy version of a family favorite. Make a double batch and freeze half of it for a busy evening.
Salad with Grilled Chicken from CalmHealthySexy – This is one of my family’s summer favorites. We often grill extra chicken breasts, and we always have salad ingredients on hand. So we can throw together a big, healthy, delicious dinner salad in no time at all.
Baked Tilapia in Asian Orange Sauce from Homemade Food Junkie – This is a simple baked fish recipe with a delicious fresh orange sauce. The sauce takes just a little bit of time to make, so I’m tempted to double the recipe and freeze half. (Doubling and freezing is one of my favorite strategies for saving time when cooking real food.) Be sure to see Diane’s note about buying the healthiest fish possible.
Quick Fried Veggies Quinoa Bowl from Nori’s Ingenious Cooking – This quick and healthy bowl makes a great vegetarian meal or, if your family requires meat, a wonderful side dish for grilled chicken breasts or flank steak. You can use the vegetables in Nori’s recipe, or any similar vegetables you have on hand.
The Easiest Slow Cooker Taco Meat Ever from The Life Jolie – Your Crockpot is not just for winter soups and stews! It can save you time, energy and heat during the summer. So pull it out and make Jessy’s delicious taco meat from chicken, beef or pork. Better yet, make a double batch and freeze half. (Also, Jessy’s food photography is fantastic, so it’s worth a visit to her site just to drool over the beautiful pictures!)
Summer Chicken Salad with Fruit from Simply Healthy Family – Summer is not summer without chicken salad! Gwen’s version is lighter and healthier, with a yogurt-based dressing and and lots of fruit and nuts.
Lemony Shrimp from Culinary Flavors – Katerina’s recipes are full of fabulous Mediterranean ingredients and flavor. With just a little bit of cutting and chopping, this recipe comes together quickly and easily.
Cucumber Cilantro Salad from Simple Life Mom – Serve Kelly’s delicious fresh salad as a side dish with grilled chicken or steak, or add some protein and turn it into a dinner salad.
Crockpot Roast Chicken from Home Again Jiggety Jig – You probably don’t want to turn on the oven and roast a chicken in the middle of summer (I don’t!), but did you know that you can “roast” a chicken in your Crockpot? Follow Marjie’s steps to perfect “roast” chicken without ever touching the oven, and enjoy having chicken on hand for chicken salad, dinner salads, and sandwiches.
Restaurant Style Burritos – from Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen – My family loves restaurant burritos, but I like to make them at home to control the ingredients and save money. So I was excited to find Lydia’s recipe, which includes lots of fresh flavors and can be tailored for quick assembly, using canned beans (or the Crockpot refried beans below), purchased pico de gallo, and brown rice you’ve cooked ahead of time (or quick-cooking brown rice). And be sure to make extra for lunches or to freeze for another busy evening.
Chicken Caprese from Family Table Treasures – Nicole’s easy and beautiful recipe includes some of my favorite summer flavors – tomato, basil, and mozzarella. Nicole also includes stunning photography with all of her recipes, so it’s well worth a visit just to check out the beautiful pictures of food. (And I know we’re talking about healthy recipes here, but her cakes are amazing!)
Healthy Slow Cooker Refried Beans from Sharing A to Z – Refried beans are so versatile. Combine them with brown rice for a complete protein and add a salad to make a meal, eat them as a side dish, or use them in tacos, burritos or quesadillas. Stephanie’s recipe is made in your Crockpot, so it has the added benefit of hands-off cooking, while keeping your kitchen cool.