Favorite Summertime Dinner Ideas

When summer temperatures rise, the last thing you want to do is heat up your house by turning on the oven. Do you know what else isn’t appealing? Standing over a hot stove top or grill. 

In the summer you want something cool, refreshing, and easy to make for dinner. I’ve gathered together three of my favorite summertime dinner recipes that are perfect for hot summer days. 

Traditional Chicken Salad Sandwiches

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Chicken Salad Sandwiches are a favorite summertime dinner at my house. This is a family recipe, and in my opinion it’s the best chicken salad sandwich. Even better than most Chicken Salad Sandwiches served at restaurants. 

To start, I normally begin by cooking some chicken in my instapot or I use left-over rotisserie chicken. My favorite brand of mayonnaise for this recipe is Best Foods or Hellman’s, it honestly makes a difference in the flavor.  You’ll also want to use real lemon juice too. 

chicken salad sandwiches


  • 2 cups Diced Chicken
  • 1 cup thin sliced celery 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Salt 
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ cup Mayonnaise 
  • 1 cup halved seedless grapes
  • ½ cup chopped cashews
  • Croissants to serve on


Toss the chicken, celery, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix in mayo and then carefully fold in grapes and cashews. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on croissants or pita bread. 

Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wraps

My favorite Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wraps recipe comes from the blog

chicken wrap summertime dinner ideas
Picture from Together As

This recipe consists of three parts: first the Chicken Salad “filling”, second the Santa Fe Dressing, and third the wrap’s additional ingredients to pull it all together.


Chicken Salad:

  • 3 cups chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans. Drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz)  fire roasted corn. Drained. 
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped finely. 

Santa Fe Dressing:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise 
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon each of black pepper, chili powder, and Cumin


  • Large burrito style flour tortillas
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce 
  • Sliced avocado
  • Shredded cheese


The first step is to make a creamy cilantro dressing. Then create the chicken salad by mixing the chicken, black beans, corn, and bell peppers. Then mix in the dressing. After that wrap the chicken mixture up in a tortilla with cheese, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes and avocado. 

With only 320 calories per wrap, this summer time dinner won’t derail your efforts for a trimmer summertime body. 

Strawberry Salad

This Strawberry Salad is also a family favorite recipe. We serve this salad at our summer BBQs and it always gets devoured. It’s served with a sweet poppy seed dressing and crunchy toffee bits that balance the flavor of the strawberries and romaine salad well. 

strawberry salad summertime dinner ideas


For the Salad:

  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ red onion – thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. Strawberries – sliced
  • 3 Romaine hearts – chopped
  • ½ – 1 cup toffee bits. 

Poppy Seed Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds.


Mix the salad ingredients together in a bowl – except for the toffee bits. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Then make the poppy seed salad dressing. Pour the dressing over salad and add the toffee bits right before serving or the salad will get soggy. 

Another great idea for cooking in the summer is to use your slow cooker! Go here for dinner ideas to make in your crock pot.

Hopefully these summertime recipes help you feed your family while still keeping your cool. What are your favorite summertime dinner ideas?

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About the author

Candace Groberg