50 Summer Recipes Everyone Should Know How to Make
It just wouldn't be summer without these classic American dishes. We've rounded up our top summer recipes of all time. What are your favorites?
A friend who's an excellent cook shared this hamburger recipe with me, and it has since become a family favorite. The unusual combination of cola and French salad dressing added to the ground beef gives it fabulous flavor. The mixture is also used as a basting sauce on the moist burgers.
-Melva Baumer, Millmont, Pennsylvania
-Melva Baumer, Millmont, Pennsylvania
Long live childhood favorites! I created this recipe for the 125th anniversary of a small town in Minnesota. The medium spice level means that people of all ages love the flavors. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
Change up traditional s'mores with the use of sugar cookies and candy bars. The sweetness cannot be beat!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
When I was a teenager, my father worked for an airline, and my family lived on the island of Guam in the South Pacific. A friend of my mother gave her this tangy-sweet recipe, and we enjoyed it often. Now I make it for my family, and they're big fans as well. —Suzanne Pelegrin, Ocala, Florida
When we grill, my mother asks me to make this summer pasta salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
My family enjoys this easy baked beans recipe with cornbread, but it also rounds out any cookout. Canned pork and beans make meal prep quick. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
For a dazzling summer dessert, you can’t beat juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream over homemade shortcake. My father added even more indulgence to this recipe by buttering the shortcake. This is the best strawberry shortcake recipe. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan.
I absolutely love tomatoes, any kind, any size. Being from the South, that includes fried green tomatoes. I created a special summer sandwich to show them off. —Hillian Holmgren, Del Rio, Texas
My husband, Jason, is the cook in our family. This is his recipe, inspired by his Colombian roots and our visits to Key West. Sometimes we grill extra lime and onion slices alongside. Serve with sides of rice and fried plantains. —Gretchen Ospina, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
You only need a few ingredients to create this sweet and peppery chicken. The subtle flavor of apple makes this tender barbecue dish stand out from the rest. —Darla Andrews, Farmers Branch, Texas
If you're new to grilling corn in the husk, season the ears with butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley. It's especially good! Be sure to give the corn a long soak before putting it on the grill. Hot off the grate, the kernels are moist and tender with a wonderful, sweet flavor. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Looking for the ultimate grilled potato? These seasoned potato “fans” are filled with tender onions, roasted garlic cloves and savory Parmesan cheese. —Sharon Crabtree, Graham, Washington
I've made many variations of this excellent main dish. The bratwurst can be plain, smoked or cheese-flavored, served whole or cut in slices, with a bun or without. It would be popular at a party or potluck.
Here's a concentrate that allows you to enjoy a refreshing summer beverage any time of year. Sweet raspberries balance the tartness from lemons. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Cucumbers are my very favorite garden vegetable, so I use this recipe often. I got it from a friend years ago. I've heard this refreshing dish keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it goes so fast around our house, I've never found out for myself. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
Chimichurri is a very popular condiment in Argentina and Uruguay and is most often used as a dipping sauce or a marinade for meats. My chimichurri shrimp version incorporates dill and lime, which give it a brighter flavor, making it ideal for spring and summer entertaining. —Bonnie Landy, Castro Valley, California
For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This creamy coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois
Family and friends say this patriotic pie is better than a local favorite from one of our best neighborhood restaurants. Sometimes, I switch things up and use gooseberries for half of the blueberries. —Nancy Barker, Silverton, Oregon
I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and the perfect indulgence on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas
If you've wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken! —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana
Party guests can mingle and enjoy these tasty portable lettuce wraps without having to juggle plates and forks. — Michael Watz, Normal, Illinois
I created this peach cobbler recipe myself with a few tips from my mom and grandma. Because it's so quick and easy, this cobbler can be made in minutes to suit any occasion. I've used it for a breakfast fruit dish, dinner dessert and light snack. —Martha Betten, North Manchester, Indiana
You can use this recipe with any thick fish fillet, but I suggest catfish or haddock. The Cajun flavor is great! —Traci Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania
This basic and classic margarita recipe is easy to modify to your tastes. Try it frozen or with strawberries. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Dig in to Dungeness crab boiled in a special mix of spices. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
Our family has no links of any kind to Greece, but we always have such a marvelous time at the annual Salt Lake City Greek Festival. One of my favorite parts is all the awesome food. This meal is a good way to mix up our menu, and my kids are big fans. —Camille Beckstrand, Layton, Utah
My kids love this snack—and I like that it's healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there's no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California
Sweet tea and cherry limeade are two of my favorite summer libations. What could be better than combining them? —Renee Page, Rochelle, Illinois
I've made many cheesecakes and enjoy them all, but they're usually time-consuming. When I first tried this recipe, my husband said it was better than the baked ones, and that was a big plus for me! —Joyce Mummau, Baltimore, Maryland
The best of summer in one dish! This pretty grilled vegetable recipe is meant for entertaining. Grilling brings out their natural sweetness, and the easy marinade really kicks up the grilled vegetables' flavor. —Heidi Hall, North St. Paul, Minnesota
Onion and cheddar cheese perk up the rich flavor of summer squash in this comforting casserole. A crispy cornflake-crumb topping adds a little crunch. —Katherine Metz, Jacksonville, Florida
Prepare corn dogs at home just like you'd get at the fair. Both kids and grown-ups will love this hearty corn dog batter. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
A trip to Hawaii is easy with this juicy grilled pineapple chicken. Simply give it a quick marinade, fire up the grill and let it sizzle. We love this low-carb recipe! —Charlotte Rogers, Virginia Beach, Virginia
This watermelon sangria is deliciously pink! Living in the zinfandel wine country of Northern California, I use our local fare in my recipes often. Our scorching summer months inspired this refreshing, light style of sangria. I like adding fresh blackberries and garnishing it with sprigs of mint or basil for personal flair. This easy recipe is perfect for entertaining, and it's especially brunch friendly. —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California
My family loves pizza, but we rarely have it delivered since I created this fresh and flavorful version. Always a winner in my house, it is a fast and delicious meal that even my young son looks forward to. --Kate Selner of Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
One day a friend showed me how to make a traditional icebox cake with just cream and graham crackers. I make it extra special with the fruit. Now everyone at your potluck can have a banana split, no muss, no fuss! —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine