If your family is like mine, you’ll be invited to picnics, holiday gatherings and other pitch-ins throughout the summer. I’ve gathered some of my Favorite Summer Recipes to provide you with some delicious inspiration!

From grilled summer dinner recipes to refreshing summer salad recipes to cool and irresistible summer desserts, this roundup of the best summer recipes will help with your menu planning during the season.

Summer Recipes Collage

Summer Recipes: Appetizers

From an unusual Corn Dip to a hot Cheesy Spinach Dip to a classic Guacamole, you’ll have a hit on your hands no matter which you make! Be prepared to give out the recipes.

Sour Cream Corn Dip

Sour Cream Corn Dip

I serve this Sour Cream Corn Dip every single 4th of July. Bill requests it and the neighbors that come to our annual Independence Day bash rave over this unusual, creamy dip with a hit of spice! Give it a try!


Cheesy Spinach Dip

Every gathering needs a spinach dip, especially a gooey cheesy one! With artichoke hearts, chopped spinach and TWO types of cheese, this is one outstanding party dip!

Mary's Guacamole: Look no further: this is the BEST guacamole!

The BEST Guacamole!

Everyone needs to have a fabulous guacamole recipe in their arsenal. This is my absolute favorite version of the classic avocado dip and, I promise, there won’t be any leftovers!

Summer Salad Recipes: 

Next up are salads. I love to load up my plate with these. There’s the classic KFC-style coleslaw, a chopped veggie salad, a Caprese with multi-colored tomatoes, and even a pesto pasta salad. Do you have a favorite summer salad recipe to make in the summer??? Let me know in the comments.

Classic Cole Slaw in a white serving bowl on a checked napkin

Classic Coleslaw

This versatile Buttermilk Coleslaw is a wonderful picnic or potluck side dish, but it’s also a fabulous topping for pulled pork sandwiches. If you like KFC’s coleslaw, this recipe will be your new favorite!

Mediterranean Chopped Salad in white serving bowl

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

A refreshing lettuce salad chock full of Mediterranean ingredients like kalamata olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, capers and more. A lovely addition to any summer meal!

Salade de Tomates et Fromage on white plate with an overhead view of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella balls

Salade de Tomates et Fromage

The French version of the Caprese Salad, this Salade de Tomates et Fromage is a simple plating of colorful sliced tomatoes, mini fresh mozzarella balls with a drizzle of a simple dressing! The translation is “salad of tomatoes with cheese.” So delicious with locally grown summer tomatoes from your garden, the farmers’ market or a nearby produce stand!Pesto Pasta Salad in a round white serving bowl

Pesto Pasta Salad

When it’s too hot to eat anything warm, try this lovely Pesto Pasta Salad. Full of chicken, pepperoni, artichoke hearts, peas, pasta and more in a pesto flavored salad dressing, you’ll love this on a summer’s night!

Summer Dinner Recipes: 

The hubby is a grill-a-holic. If we entertain, the grill is always fired up. I’ve picked a few of my winning grilled main dishes that always get rave reviews. Whether you want to marinate your chicken with Thai flavors or a more classic mustard, lime, and garlic combo, you won’t be disappointed. Beef lovers will go nuts for my teriyaki kabobs, plus there are tons more summer dinner recipes in my Recipe Index under Entrees. And you’ll want to check out these 20 amazing summer recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, too.

Grilled Thai Chicken on a square white plate garnished with lime wedges and chives

Grilled Thai Chicken

A lovely Thai inspired marinade with coconut milk, fish sauce, garlic, lime, cilantro and more makes for a most flavorful chicken dish. This Grilled Thai Chicken is a wonderful summer barbecue recipe!

Mustard, Garlic, Lime Marinated Chicken Breasts sliced on a white plate with lime wedges and corn niblets

Mustard, Garlic, Lime Marinated Chicken Breasts

This delicious chicken marinade may just be my favorite of the bunch. So tasty and perfect on the grill! Easy enough for weeknights, but delicious enough to serve to company!!

Beef Teriyaki Kabobs skewered on a white tray

Beef Teriyaki Kabobs

I’ve been making these beef teriyaki kabobs for years! The Asian inspired marinade works perfectly with beef and adding vegetables practically makes a meal from these wonderful skewers!!

Summer Desserts:

Summer desserts cannot be forgotten. When I volunteer to bring a dessert, I always end up making two! I can’t help myself!!! So this category is on overload with raspberry and apricot bars, scrumptious coconut cupcakes, two frozen desserts, a jazzed up chocolate chip cookie and even a strawberry mousse. Decisions, decisions. I might just have to remake these summer recipes before autumn arrives.  Plus here are some more incredible Summer Desserts from some of my favorite bloggers.

Streusel Topped Raspberry Squares stacked on a small white plate with fresh raspberries

Streusel Topped Raspberry Squares

When fresh berries are in season, these streusel topped raspberry squares are a wonderful dessert for picnics and barbecues or for a mid-afternoon snack!

Grasshopper Pie a slice topped with an Oreo on a white dessert plate

Grasshopper Pie 

This recipe for Frozen Grasshopper Pie is a must make for Independence Day at our house! The frozen mint filling is scrumptious with an Oreo crust. Make it your tradition, too!

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting on a silver tray

Coconut Cupcakes

I’ve been making these Ina Garten inspired Coconut Cupcake for nearly 2 decades! Rich and irresistible, if you love coconut, these are a must make dessert recipe!

Apricot Bars stacked on a small, square white plate with dried apricot garnishes

Apricot Bars

Made with apricot preserves and a buttery crust and topping with nuts and coconut, these apricot bars will practically melt in your mouth!

Strawberry Mousse in white ramekins, garnished with a half strawberry and cream on a silver tray

Strawberry Mousse 

When strawberries are in season, there’s nothing better than a cool, silky strawberry mousse for dessert!

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie baked in small cast iron skillets and topped with ice cream and fudge sauce

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie 

These skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies are baked in small cast iron skillets and will serve one generously or perfect to share! Top with ice cream and fudge sauce for an over the top dessert experience!

Fudge Topped Chocolate Ice Cream Pie on a white dessert plate topped with a swirl of whipped cream

Fudge Topped Chocolate Ice Cream Pie

This Fudge Topped Ice Cream Pie has been a summer dessert I’ve made since I was a newlywed. With a chocolate cookie crust, store-bought ice cream and a jar of fudge sauce, it’s super easy and super decadent!

More Summer Recipes to Check Out

With Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day and Labor Day all falling in the summer season, you’ll need loads of delicious recipes for those special occasions and family meals. Since I love to start with desserts, Cheryl, of TidyMom, has her Top 10 Summer Sweet Treats20 Sensational Summer Cocktails are featured on Sommer’s blog, A Spicy Perspective. More Than 20 Summer Grilling Recipes are worth a look on Lisa’s blog, Wine and Glue.

Plus, I’ve shared these Best Summer Salad Recipes, Best Summer Dessert Recipes, and these Best Potluck Recipes for Summer!

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I hope some of these will become your new favorite summer recipes! If you make one of them, please share on Instagram and tag @thatskinnychickcanbake ! I’d love to see your creation!!!