Summer to me means warm twilight nights, lots of time spent out in the backyard and many more meals on the back patio.
Just about the last thing I want to do in the heat of a late summer afternoon is stand in a hot kitchen so here are some of my favorite easy meals to make in the summer.
3 Yummy Summer Dinner Recipes
Sweet and Spicy Ribs
This is a great summer dinner recipe because it lets you spend time outside enjoying the evening instead of cooped up in the kitchen. Plus these ribs are a perfect combination of hot and a little bit sweet.
2 racks of baby back ribs (or more depending on the size of your family. Plan for about 1 lb of ribs per person)
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. seasoning salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. black pepper, ground
1 1/2 cups sweet BBQ sauce
1/2 cup Vidalia onion hot sauce
Lay ribs side by side on a baking sheet. Coat ribs with Worcestershire sauce and then season evenly with dry seasonings.
Place onto the grill that has been preheated to hold around 300 degrees consistently.
Grill for about 30 minutes.
Remove ribs and check for tenderness and any raw spots.
Rotate or adjust as needed and grill for an additional 30 minutes.
Combine the sweet BBQ sauce and hot sauce.
Coat ribs liberally with sauce and return to the grill to allow the sauce to glaze. You may want to coat one side of the ribs first, let cook for about 5 minutes and then flip and coat the other side, repeating the process for about 30 minutes or until you feel the ribs are done.
Another favorite summer dinner recipe of mine is making my own bean burgers. Lots of members of my family don’t like red meat and it is easy to get tired of grilled chicken or turkey burgers. Bean burgers are a great way to change things up a bit while still enjoying the ease of cooking outside on the grill.
2 cans black-eyed beans (aka black-eyed peas)
1 red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/3 cup canola
Drain the peas and divide into two bowls.
Mix half the peas in a large bowl with the onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno, Parmesan, eggs, flour, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley and 1 cup of the bread crumbs.
Mash until well blended.
Fold in the reserved peas and mix thoroughly.
Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the mixture and form into 3-inch cakes 1/2 inch thick. This mixture should make 8 or 10 cakes so for a normal family meal there will probably be leftovers to grill up again later in the week.
Let rest for about 10 minutes for mixture to set.
Place onto well oiled or cleaned grill and cook until browned and hot all the way through. If you’re having trouble with the burger sticking to the grill you may have to put some foil over the grill racks and cook the burgers on the foil.
Another easy and slightly different summer dinner recipe is homemade pizzas. These are perfect because they’re not too hot or filling and they’re great to make on nights when it isn’t quite nice enough outside to grill. Plus few things say summer to me like Vidalia onions.
Vidalia onion and garlic pizza
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 ea. Vidalia onions, sliced thin
1 pkg. smoked sausage, sliced diagonally (can be substituted with almost any meat of your choice)
6-8 roasted garlic cloves
1 10″ prepared pizza shell
1 can southern greens, drained dry
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Saute the Vidalia onions and garlic in a small amount of oil until tender or translucent in color. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Saute the sausage or other meat in oil at a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
Arrange pizza shell on baking sheet. Spread remaining oil on top of pizza shell.
Top with 1/3 of the cheese and evenly distribute the onions, garlic, sausage and greens. Finish with the remaining cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in a preheated oven 6-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
What are your favorite summer dinner recipes?
Guest post by Gina Vasselli who is a writer and very amateur cook living in Myrtle Beach. She loves cooking Southern style recipes especially the easy ones she finds from Glory Foods and coming up with quick and delicious meals.