Sunday dinners with the family are a perfect time to squeeze in that last bit of weekend together before the busy weeknights start. I especially love the summers when we can grill or eat on the patio.
We have lots of great summer Sunday dinner ideas for you – meat, chicken and seafood recipes, grilled vegetarian mains and sides, and summer salads.
So grab a refreshing drink and start scrolling to find your perfect summer meal.
What you will find here
All of the recipes are make ahead, at least partially, and most are are quick to prepare, under 30 minutes.
We chose easy summer dinner recipes with lots of fresh produce and simple ingredients. A fresh salad is a perfect dish for hot summer nights. Or bust out the grill to make amazing-tasting fresh vegetables and proteins for an easy dinner.
Meat, Chicken and Seafood Main Dishes
Smoked Chicken Thighs Recipe
Treat yourself to juicy, mildly smoky BBQ chicken with this smoked chicken thighs recipe. No need for a smoker, wood chips or long cooking times. Just a simple wood plank to infuse the smoke flavor and make the grilling easy. And don't be intimidated by plank grilling – it's surprisingly simple!
When cooked right, this grilled marinated flank steak is a delicious, lean, robust-tasting meat that's a great choice for a crowd. And there are lots of great ways to use leftovers if you're lucky enough to have any.
There's something groan-worthy about taking that first bite of a perfectly cooked tender, juicy well seasoned steak. Here are the steps and tips for how to grill the perfect steak based on years of grilling and research.
Ribs with peach barbecue sauce are super tender and full of bold, sweet and savory flavors. They cook low and slow, but the hands-on part is minimal. These scrumptious ribs are baked then finished on the grill or under the broiler.
The combination of honey (or maple syrup), soy sauce, sriracha, lime, garlic and ginger in this spicy honey lime chicken recipe is wicked. Delicious hot, room temp or cold. Use thighs for maximum flavor and moistness, but chicken breasts will work fine too.
Perfect for a picnic, backyard hangout or a simple summer dinner (paired with an easy gazpacho), this classic chicken salad recipe is an old fashioned favorite. A little creaminess, a little crunch and lots of flavor. So quick and easy with leftover or rotisserie chicken.
A delicious main or side dish, these veggie stuffed portobello mushrooms, filled with fresh vegetables, fresh herbs and mozzarella cheese, are a wonderful change of pace. When I talk about 'stuffed' in this recipe, I mean STUFFED!
This easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe has no breading, no frying and no pre-salting. It's unfussy, healthy and simply delicious. Good shortcuts cut the time down to 30 minutes. Make it on the grill or in the oven.
In 20 minutes, you can be sitting down to a delicious, satisfying, assemble-your-own vegetarian fajita feast with your favorite toppings. Start with the basics – bell peppers, red onions, fajita seasonings and flour tortillas – then customize from there. Make the veggies on the grill or in a skillet.
Seasonal vegetables get front row attention in this vegetable pasta recipe with wine sauce. This vegetarian weeknight meal can be made ahead in 30 minutes with grilled or roasted veggies. A super versatile dish.
We love this Party Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa, loaded with eggplant, corn, peppers and maple-balsamic dressing. Three sides in one colorful dish. Or a great stand-alone main dish with some crusty bread.
Sweet oranges and tangy grapefruit tossed in vinaigrette over salad greens make this delicious citrus salad a lovely all-season salad. Refreshing and pretty! We use a simple citrus vinaigrette for zip, nuts for crunch and creamy avocado for a contrasting texture. Quick, easy and beautiful.
Don't let summer end without a sweet corn and tomato salad. Add quinoa to the fresh corn and tomatoes to make it a satisfying vegetarian main dish. Easy, quick and versatile with whatever you have on hand.
Tender, sweet charred onions on the grill make a delicious condiment or side dish and are a snap to make using a grill basket. Little effort, big return. A pretty traditional topping for burgers, but also delicious in burritos, quesadillas, scrambled eggs, salsas, quinoa or rice dishes.
Next time you're grilling some steaks or your favorite protein, try these super easy grilled potatoes and veggies – a two-in-one side dish. Dinner in a flash with whatever veggies you have lying around. And a perfect way to use that great summer produce.
Purple cabbage slaw is transformed on the grill into our version of a super flavorful, no mayo coleslaw. The vibrant colors of the red cabbage, julienne carrots, green onion and sesame seeds make a stunning vegetarian side dish.
If you want to step up your delicious meal, add an appetizer or two with one of these popular vegetarian appetizers (and fun serving tips).
Or top off your meal with a sweet treat that takes 30 minutes or less to make. Can’t go wrong with that!
Happy summer days.
Just one more thing. The summer heat can certainly be a good reason not to want to stand in a hot kitchen or cook over a hot grill. If you have the equipment, the sous vide cooking method is a fabulous way to avoid all that. Here are our best sous vide recipes to add to our list of easy Sunday dinner ideas if you want to go that route.