I wanted to put together a list of some really cool and easy summer food ideas. Because summer is here and we can’t avoid it. The 4th of July is right around the corner, and these foods will be perfect for the celebration. And they also will be perfect for any backyard party, and any other get togethers. Enjoy!
NOTE: Some of these recipes are not Keto, they are added for anyone who are not interested in Keto.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are from companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below!
From the Kitchen of Julie Hutson, Callahan, Florida. “This is surprisingly yummy to have such simple ingredients.” And they are also one of the easy summer food ideas.
1 (3-lb.) boneless beef rump roast
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed
1 (12-oz.) jar mild banana pepper rings
Onion, finely chopped
1 (15-oz.) can beef broth
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Cilantro, avocado, and sour cream
How to Make Them:
Season roast with salt and pepper. Brown all sides of roast in hot oil in a large skillet over high heat. Place in a 6-qt. Slow cooker. Add banana pepper rings, beef broth, and garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until meat shreds easily. Transfer to a cutting board, reserving liquid in slow cooker. Shred roast; return to slow cooker. Keep warm on LOW. Preheat oven to 350°. Place tortilla chips on a baking sheet; top with shredded beef, black beans, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Bake 10 minutes. Serve with cilantro, avocado, and sour cream.
When you’re in the mood to grill ribs, you’re most likely looking for a magically meaty experience—and trust us, there’s a reason we call these the best. The texture of these smokey beauties is everything you want. Grilling your ribs over an indirect heat gives them a crispy exterior bark, while the meat stays tender, but not completely falling-off-the-bone tender—you’re left with the perfect amount of chew. Baby back ribs are readily available at most any supermarket; when shopping, look for the smaller racks as these tend to have more tender meat.
Stir together brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, and pepper in a small bowl.
Rub ribs with olive oil, and coat evenly with brown sugar mixture, pressing to adhere. Stack ribs together, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place on a baking sheet, and chill 8 hours. Remove plastic wrap, and let ribs stand at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) on 1 side; keep other side unlit. Place rib slabs, meaty side up, on oiled grates over unlit side of the grill, stacking 1 on top of another.
Grill, covered, for 2 hours, rotating bottom slab of ribs to top of stack every 40 minutes. Reduce grill temperature to low (250°F to 300°F); unstack rib slabs, and place side by side over unlit side of grill. Grill ribs, covered, until meat is tender and starts to separate under slight pressure and tips of the bones are exposed about 1/2 inch, about 30 minutes. Remove ribs from grill, and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Perfect Grilled Burgers
Delightfully charred, juicy, and full of nuance, these burgers are the only ones you will ever want to make. That’s why they are named Perfect.
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot (from 1 small shallot)
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
How to Make Them
Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently mix, using 2 forks, until all ingredients are well incorporated. Shape mixture into 6 (4-inch) patties.
Place patties on oiled grates. Grill, covered, until a thermometer registers 145°F (medium-rare) when inserted in thickest portion of 1 patty, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite burger buns, and accompaniments.
For the absolute best of a classic, everything-you-expect grilled steak experience, you simply can’t beat the New York strip steak. Remember that no matter how you’re cooking a steak, success starts at the supermarket. When shopping, look for steaks that have a nice, even marbling of fat throughout, avoiding those that have a thick ribbon of fat going down the center. Even if it feels like an extraneous step, don’t skip out on making the garlic butter and tying up a bundle of herbs to serve as your basting brush. Trust us, the results are more than worth the minimal time doing both will require. Both will boost the flavor of your steak like you wouldn’t believe.
4 (12-oz.) beef strip steaks (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch-thick)
Preheat grill to high (450°F to 550°F). Place steaks on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand, covered, at room temperature 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, gather rosemary, thyme, and sage sprigs in a tight bundle, and tie stem ends with kitchen twine. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-low. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Place steaks on oiled grates, and grill, uncovered, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Turn steaks 45° to create diagonal grill marks. Grill, uncovered, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Turn steaks over, and grill, uncovered, until a thermometer registers 140°F when inserted in thickest portion of steak, 5 to 6 minutes. Brush steaks often with garlic butter, using herb bundle as a brush.
Transfer steaks to a cutting board or platter, and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Discard herb bundle.
Grilled vegetables are some of the easy summer food ideas. They are also an essential part of the outdoor, open-flame cooking experience as any cut of meat. And few vegetables say summer quite like zucchini and yellow summer squash. Dressed in olive oil and an abundance of fresh herbs, this versatile grilled vegetable recipe is perfect for just about any occasion.
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini (about 3)
1 1/2 pounds medium-size yellow squash (about 5)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
How to Make Them
Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Stir together basil, cilantro, mint, and chives in a small bowl. Cut zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the herb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let stand 10 minutes. Place squash slices directly on oiled grates, and grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
Transfer squash to a serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup herbs, and drizzle with vinegar.
More Easy Summer Food Ideas – Grilled and Dilled Corn on a Cob
This creamy, savory topping perfectly compliments sweet corn on the cob is one of the easy summer food ideas.
Place corn on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover. Grill corn 12 minutes or until lightly charred, turning occasionally. Place hot corn in mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat. Place corn on a platter; sprinkle with cheese and chile powder.
Tomato Salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sliced heirloom tomatoes are wow-worthy on their own–a simple vinaigrette and dollops of basil-flecked ricotta take them over the top. Serve with toasted baguette slices to sop up any tomato juices. Congrats, you’ve made one of the easy summer food ideas!
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
How to Make It
Combine oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and garlic in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine ricotta and 2 tablespoons minced basil in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Arrange tomato slices on a platter; sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 cup torn basil leaves. Drizzle oil mixture over salad. Dollop ricotta mixture evenly over tomato slices.
This chicken is wonderfully moist, with a smoky sauce that will have you firing up the grill year-round. And yet another one of the easy summer food ideas for you!
1/3 cup organic ketchup
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 3 lb.)
How to Make It
To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened.
To prepare chicken, combine garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Loosen skin from breast halves by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub the spice mixture evenly under loosened skin; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat, lighting only one side of the grill to enable both direct and indirect grilling.
Coat grill rack with cooking spray; place chicken, skin side down, on lit side of grill (direct heat). Cover and grill 8 minutes on each side. Remove skin from chicken; discard skin. Baste chicken with sauce mixture. Move chicken to the unlit side of the grill (indirect heat). Cover and grill an additional 5 minutes on each side or until done, basting every minute. Serve with remaining sauce.
Classic Chicago dogs are certainly one of the best and easy summer food ideas. served in poppy seed buns. If you can’t find them, lightly brush buns with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds; toast in the oven at 350° for 2 to 3 minutes.
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8 uncured all-beef hot dogs (such as Boar’s Head Lite Beef with Natural Casing)
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oil and mustard seeds; cook 1 minute or until seeds begin to pop, stirring constantly. Add ginger, turmeric, and nutmeg; sauté 1 minute. Add vinegar and sugar; cook 2 minutes. Stir in cucumber, bell pepper, and dill; remove from heat.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Place hot dogs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes, turning occasionally.
Place 1 hot dog on each bun. Place 2 tomato pieces, 1 pickle piece, and 1/2 sport pepper on each. Top each with about 2 tablespoons cucumber relish, 1 1/2 teaspoons onion, and 1/2 teaspoon mustard.
Banh Mi Hot Dog: Shave 2 large carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Combine carrots, 1/2 cup sliced red onion, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup water, and 2 teaspoons sugar in a medium bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Drain and discard pickling brine. Grill 8 Boar’s Head Lite Beef Frankfurters with Natural Casing according to instructions in step Spread each of 8 white whole-wheat hot dog buns with 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise. Place 1 hot dog on each bun; top evenly with carrot ribbons and onion. Top with 3 fresh jalapeño slices and 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves. Serves 8
Mexican Hot Dog: Combine 2 cups sliced red cabbage, 1/4 cup sliced green onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Grill 8 Boar’s Head Lite Beef Frankfurters with Natural Casing according to instructions in step Place 1/4 cup cabbage in each of 8 white whole-wheat hot dog buns; place 1 hot dog on each bun. Slice 1 peeled avocado; divide among hot dogs.
This corn bread skillet incorporates fresh corn kernels, as well as corn meal for an easy, go-to side dish. Because corn loves cornbread and so do we. And we love the best and easy summer food ideas.
1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter
1 1/2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
1/2 cup (2 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 large eggs
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and heat in oven until butter has melted and skillet is hot, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal and flour in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, corn kernels, and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture. Add melted butter from skillet to cornmeal mixture, and stir just until blended. Pour into hot skillet.
Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately turn out onto a platter.
Sweet, smoky, and savory, this delicious baked bean dish is sure to be a hit for Independence Day. Root beer adds a fun twist, making this dish one of the best and easy summer food ideas.
3 bacon slices
1 small onion, diced
2 (16-ounce) cans pork and beans
1/2 cup root beer (not diet)
1/4 cup hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
How to Make It
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
Sauté diced onion in hot bacon drippings in skillet over high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir together onion, crumbled bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients in a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish.
Bake beans, uncovered, at 400° for 55 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
Grilled Chicken Wings with Tamarind Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Tangy, fruity tamarind, popular in Latino and Asian cuisines, is the secret ingredient in our favorite new barbecue sauce for chicken wings. And making it one of the best and easy summer food ideas.
2 3/4 pounds (12) chicken wings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups Tamarind Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Sliced green onions
How to Make Them
Heat a grill to medium (350° to 400°). In a large, wide bowl, toss chicken with oil, salt, and pepper until evenly seasoned. Grill chicken, covered, turning every 10 minutes or so with tongs, until golden, 25 to 35 minutes.
Set wings top side down. Generously brush with about 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Grill, covered, about 3 minutes until sauce is somewhat set. Turn wings over and generously brush with another 1/2 cup or so of sauce. Grill, covered, until sauce is somewhat set, 2 to 3 more minutes. Meanwhile, put remaining sauce in a bowl.
Set chicken on a platter and scatter green onions on top. Serve with sauce.
Strawberry and Watermelon Punch with Lime and Tarragon
Peel limes with a vegetable peeler, avoiding white pith; place rind and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until rind is roughly broken up and mixed with sugar. Transfer to a zip-top plastic bag; add 1/4 cup water, and seal, pressing out any air. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours, massaging as often as you can. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing on solids; discard solids.
Place watermelon, in batches, in a food processor; process until pureed, and pour into a strainer set over a large bowl. Strain, discarding solids. Reserve 14 cups juice. (Save any extra juice for another use.) Place 3 cups watermelon juice in a large ice mold or freezer-safe bowl or in 1-inch ice-cube trays; freeze until solid, about 8 hours.
Mix strawberry puree, vinegar, remaining 11 cups watermelon juice, rind mixture, gin (if desired), and tarragon in a large pitcher. Refrigerate punch 2 hours or overnight.
Break frozen watermelon juice into rough 1-inch cubes. To serve, add sparkling water to punch. Serve immediately in ice-filled glasses with a frozen watermelon cube.
Pour a tall glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade infused with sweet raspberries. Garnish the rim with red, white, and blue sugar for a patriotic finish. To make colored sugar, mix one drop of food coloring with 1/2 cup of sugar in a zip-top bag and shake.
In a small bowl, with a potato masher or spoon, mash 1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.) with 2/3 cup sugar. Let stand 10 minutes. Press through a fine strainer into a pitcher (at least 1 1/2 qt.); discard seeds. Stir in 1 cup lemon juice and 2 cups water. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour into tall, ice-filled glasses.
Jumpstart sunny summer days by filling them with peak-season watermelon, strawberries, and chopped mint. Making this one of the most simple and easy summer food ideas.
1 small seedless watermelon
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup granola
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon lime juice
Drizzle of agave syrup
How to Make Them
Cut watermelon in half. Scoop out fruit, chop, and set aside. Inside hollowed out watermelon, arrange chopped watermelon, strawberries, and granola into neat piles. Top with pomegranate seeds and mint. Drizzle with lime juice and agave.
You may adapt this dessert to your taste by adjusting the blend of berries, the amount of honey, or even the amount of cheese. The idea is luxury in the amount of berries. Fromage blanc is wonderfully subtle; you can sub Greek yogurt, which is tangier. It is one of the best and easy summer food ideas.
1 cup blueberries, divided
1 cup blackberries, divided
6 tablespoons mild honey
4 large basil leaves, torn
1 cup raspberries, divided
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2 cups fromage blanc
6 small basil sprigs
How to Make It
Combine half of berries and honey in a small saucepan over low heat; cook 8 minutes or until slightly warmed, gently stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil leaves.
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Combine seeds and cheese in a small bowl, stirring well.
Spoon about 1/4 cup cheese mixture into each of 6 glasses or small bowls. Top each serving with about 1/4 cup warm berry mixture. Top each serving with 1/4 cup remaining fresh berries and a basil sprig. Serve immediately.
These fun Jell-O shapes are a hit with the kids, and great for celebrating the Fourth of July. And it certainly is one of the easy summer food ideas!
2 (3 oz.) packages Berry Blue Jell-O
2 (3 oz.) packages red Jell-O
How to Make Them
In a bowl, dissolve 2 (3 oz.) packages Berry Blue Jell-O in 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Pour into an 8-inch baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Repeat with red Jell-O. Dip bottoms of pans into warm water for 15 seconds. Cut Jell-O into stars with a 1 1/2-inch star cutter. Yield: about 50 stars
Process peach mixture, in batches, in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Set aside.
Whisk together yolks and milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Do not boil.
Remove from heat; whisk in peach mixture, half-and-half, lemon juice, and ground cinnamon. Cover and chill 4 hours.
Pour mixture into freezer container of a 6-quart electric ice-cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times will vary.) Garnish with grilled peaches, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used a White Mountain 6-Quart Electric Ice Cream Freezer.
This is a real dandy. It would be a great addition to your July 4th celebration spread. The amusing effect of the swirled frosting can be duplicated using any colors for any occasion. It makes a fun Christmas cupcake using red and green or a pretty spring cupcake using pink and green.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons almond extract
Paper baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 cups strawberry or blueberry jam
Vanilla Frosting:1/2 cup butter, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Toppings: Red jumbo sprinkles, edible glitter stars, red candies, star picks (optional)
How to Make Them
To prepare White Cake, Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in extracts.
Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
Fill each cupcake with strawberry or blueberry jam. To fill cupcakes, insert the end of a wooden spoon or dowel into the center of the cupcake to make a hole. Fill a zip-top plastic freezer bag with filling. Use scissors or kitchen shears to snip about 1/4 inch from one corner of the bag; insert bag into the hole in the cupcake. Squeeze gently until filling comes to the top of each cupcake.
To prepare Vanilla Frosting, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Make 3 cups. Divide frosting into three bowls. Mix 1 bowl of frosting with desired amount of red food coloring and 1 bowl of frosting with desired amount of blue food coloring.
Insert a metal tip into a large decorating bag; spoon 1/4 cup each of red, white, and blue frosting into bag. Pipe a generous peak of frosting onto each cupcake. Top each with sprinkles, glitter stars, 1 red candy, and, if desired, 1 star pick.
This mixed berry pie really is one of the easy summer food ideas. And brushing red currant jelly onto the berries makes them shine, like those fruit tarts you see in bakeries. If you can’t find red currant jelly, use strawberry jelly (don’t substitute jam or preserves).
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups halved fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
3 whole fresh strawberries
1/4 cup red currant jelly
1 tablespoon water
How to Make It
Whisk together cornstarch, salt, and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Whisk together half-and-half, heavy cream, egg yolks, and vanilla bean paste in a small bowl; gradually add to cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly.
Bring mixture just to a boil over medium, whisking constantly, about 15 minutes. Boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on mixture in bowl; chill 4 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pulse crushed cookies and chocolate in a food processor until finely ground, 8 to 10 times. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Firmly press mixture on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch round pie pan. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Spoon chilled half-and-half mixture into prepared crust. Freeze 2 hours. (Pie may be frozen up to 24 hours.)
Toss together strawberry halves, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries in a medium bowl. Arrange berries on top of pie. Top with 3 whole strawberries. (If pie was frozen longer than 2 hours, top with berries, and let stand 1 hour before brushing with jelly mixture.)
Melt jelly in a small microwave-safe bowl at HIGH, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in water. Brush jelly mixture gently over berries.
Now It’s Your Turn
Did you like these easy summer food ideas? My favorite is the steak! Please share with your friends and family, they might like them too! Thank you!