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50 Summer Recipes Everyone Should Know How to Make

It just wouldn't be summer without these classic American dishes. We've rounded up our top summer recipes of all time. What are your favorites?

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Cola Burgers

Cola Burgers

A friend who's an excellent cook shared this hamburger recipe with me, and it has since become a family favorite. The unusual combination of cola and French salad dressing added to the ground beef gives it fabulous flavor. The mixture is also used as a basting sauce on the moist burgers. -Melva Baumer, Millmont, Pennsylvania
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Grandma's Potato Salad

Grandma's Potato Salad

Our Fourth of July feast wouldn't be complete without this chilled old-fashioned potato salad. It's my grandma's treasured recipe. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Chipotle Chili Dogs Exps Cismz20 65626 E12 17 6b 5

Chipotle Chili Dogs

Long live childhood favorites! I created this recipe for the 125th anniversary of a small town in Minnesota. The medium spice level means that people of all ages love the flavors. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
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Sugar Cookie S'mores

Change up traditional s'mores with the use of sugar cookies and candy bars. The sweetness cannot be beat!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Teriyaki Shish Kabobs Exps Sdjj17 823 C02 16 3b 6

Teriyaki Shish Kabobs

When I was a teenager, my father worked for an airline, and my family lived on the island of Guam in the South Pacific. A friend of my mother gave her this tangy-sweet recipe, and we enjoyed it often. Now I make it for my family, and they're big fans as well. —Suzanne Pelegrin, Ocala, Florida
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Summer Macaroni Salad Exps Dia18 185628 B05 25 1b 4

Summer Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this summer pasta salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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Easy Baked Beans

Easy Baked Beans

My family enjoys this easy baked beans recipe with cornbread, but it also rounds out any cookout. Canned pork and beans make meal prep quick. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
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Best Strawberry Shortcake Exps Ndiyd19 37452 E04 15 1b 11

Best Strawberry Shortcake

For a dazzling summer dessert, you can’t beat juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream over homemade shortcake. My father added even more indulgence to this recipe by buttering the shortcake. This is the best strawberry shortcake recipe. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan.
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Green Tomato BLT

I absolutely love tomatoes, any kind, any size. Being from the South, that includes fried green tomatoes. I created a special summer sandwich to show them off. —Hillian Holmgren, Del Rio, Texas
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Key West Flank Steak Exps Thjj19 55213 B02 21 5b 3

Key West Flank Steak

My husband, Jason, is the cook in our family. This is his recipe, inspired by his Colombian roots and our visits to Key West. Sometimes we grill extra lime and onion slices alongside. Serve with sides of rice and fried plantains. —Gretchen Ospina, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
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Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

My husband and I love Caprese salad, but not the high prices we pay for it in restaurants. Here, we created our own version which tastes incredibly close, if not better, than any restaurant version we've tried. —Melissa Pearson, Sandy, Utah
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Applesauce Barbecue Chicken Exps Ft20 41953 F 0128 1 6

Applesauce Barbecue Chicken

You only need a few ingredients to create this sweet and peppery chicken. The subtle flavor of apple makes this tender barbecue dish stand out from the rest. —Darla Andrews, Farmers Branch, Texas
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Grilled Corn in Husks

If you're new to grilling corn in the husk, season the ears with butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley. It's especially good! Be sure to give the corn a long soak before putting it on the grill. Hot off the grate, the kernels are moist and tender with a wonderful, sweet flavor. Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Cake Exps Ft19 242521 F 0627 1 10

Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Cake

While growing up, I loved treats from the ice cream truck that rolled through my neighborhood. This ice cream cake is inspired by one of those crunchy, strawberry novelties. —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Grilled Potato Fans With Onions Exps Sdjj19 40709 C02 06 5b Rms 5

Grilled Potato Fans with Onions

Looking for the ultimate grilled potato? These seasoned potato “fans” are filled with tender onions, roasted garlic cloves and savory Parmesan cheese. —Sharon Crabtree, Graham, Washington
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Brats With Sauerkraut Exps Scbz18 30674 E07 25 5b 5

Brats with Sauerkraut

I've made many variations of this excellent main dish. The bratwurst can be plain, smoked or cheese-flavored, served whole or cut in slices, with a bun or without. It would be popular at a party or potluck.
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Key Lime Cream Pie  Exps Sdjj19 235337 B02 06 5b Rms 4

Key Lime Cream Pie

I am very proud of this luscious no-bake beauty. It's so cool and refreshing—perfect for any summer potluck or get-together. Wherever I take this pie, it quickly disappears, with everyone asking for the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida
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Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate Exps46887 Cp143300a02 20 2b Rms 2

Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate

Here's a concentrate that allows you to enjoy a refreshing summer beverage any time of year. Sweet raspberries balance the tartness from lemons. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Kansas Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are my very favorite garden vegetable, so I use this recipe often. I got it from a friend years ago. I've heard this refreshing dish keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it goes so fast around our house, I've never found out for myself. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Lime And Dill Chimichurri Shrimp Exps Toham20 91004 B10 29 6b 7

Lime and Dill Chimichurri Shrimp

Chimichurri is a very popular condiment in Argentina and Uruguay and is most often used as a dipping sauce or a marinade for meats. My chimichurri shrimp version incorporates dill and lime, which give it a brighter flavor, making it ideal for spring and summer entertaining. —Bonnie Landy, Castro Valley, California
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Exps12347 Mrr133247b07 30 4b Web 3

Creamy Coleslaw

For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This creamy coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois
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Star Studded Blueberry Pie Exps Bdsmz17 33915 B03 09 4b 3

Star-Studded Blueberry Pie

Family and friends say this patriotic pie is better than a local favorite from one of our best neighborhood restaurants. Sometimes, I switch things up and use gooseberries for half of the blueberries. —Nancy Barker, Silverton, Oregon
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The Best Baby Back Ribs Exps Tohjj20 23166 E02 04 9b 3

The Best Baby Back Ribs

I first marinate each rack of ribs, then add a zesty rub before grilling them. They always turn out moist and flavorful. —Iola Egle, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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Old Time Custard Ice Cream Exps Ft19 25626 C03 13 7b Rms 2

Old-Time Custard Ice Cream

I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and the perfect indulgence on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas
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Crispy Fried Chicken Exps Frbz19 6445 C01 31 3b 3

Crispy Fried Chicken

If you've wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken! —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana
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Lemony Zucchini Bread Exps Ft19 36661 F 0822 1 5

Lemony Zucchini Bread

Flecks of zucchini give a third dimension to the popular lemon and poppy seed combination in this moist quick bread. My family loves this lemon zucchini bread at all times of the year.—Field Editor Carol Funk, Richard, Saskatchewan.
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Crab Louie Lettuce Wraps

Party guests can mingle and enjoy these tasty portable lettuce wraps without having to juggle plates and forks. — Michael Watz, Normal, Illinois
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Peach Cobbler

I created this peach cobbler recipe myself with a few tips from my mom and grandma. Because it's so quick and easy, this cobbler can be made in minutes to suit any occasion. I've used it for a breakfast fruit dish, dinner dessert and light snack. —Martha Betten, North Manchester, Indiana
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Quick Watermelon Salsa Exps Jmz18 32285 C03 02 2b 2

Quick Watermelon Salsa

On hot days, this sweet combo of watermelon, pineapple and fresh cilantro has everything you want. The flavors blend beautifully, it’s pretty, and it comes together in no time. —Betsy Hanson, Tiverton, Rhode Island
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Skillet Grilled Catfish Exps Cimzs20 24404 B12 17 7b 1

Skillet-Grilled Catfish

The Cajun flavor is great in this skillet-grilled catfish recipe. You can use this recipe with any thick fish fillet, but I suggest catfish or haddock. —Traci Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania
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Fresh Lime Margaritas Exps Thjj17 29268 B02 08 7b 3

Fresh Lime Margaritas

This basic fresh margarita recipe is easy to modify to your tastes. Try it frozen or with strawberries. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Deep-Fried Cookies

My kids love this delicious, indulgent treat. I like to give the batter a kick by adding a pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. — Margarita Torres, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
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Classic Crab Boil Exps Thcoms17 209979 B09 08 6b 5

Classic Crab Boil

Dig in to Dungeness crab boiled in a special mix of spices. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Beefy Taco Dip

This taco dip is actually a combination of several different recipes I received from friends. I just experimented until I came up with my favorite. It's always a hit, no matter where I take it. —Faye Parker, Bedford, Nova Scotia
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Pressure-Cooker Shredded Chicken Gyros

Our family has no links of any kind to Greece, but we always have such a marvelous time at the annual Salt Lake City Greek Festival. One of my favorite parts is all the awesome food. This meal is a good way to mix up our menu, and my kids are big fans. —Camille Beckstrand, Layton, Utah
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Eggplant Fries

My kids love this snack—and I like that it's healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there's no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California
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Lobster Rolls Exps Thjj19 46873 C02 15 6b 5

Lobster Rolls

To be truly authentic, melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and toast the outsides of the buns before filling with the cool lobster. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cherry Limeade Sweet Tea

Sweet tea and cherry limeade are two of my favorite summer libations, so I decided to combine them—the results are wonderful. —Renee Page, Rochelle, Illinois
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Triple Berry No Bake Cheesecake Exps Tohcom19 138951 B01 30 6b 3

Triple Berry No-Bake Cheesecake

I've made many cheesecakes and enjoy them all, but they're usually time-consuming. When I first tried this recipe, my husband said it was better than the baked ones, and that was a big plus for me! —Joyce Mummau, Baltimore, Maryland
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Barbecue Pork Cobb Salad

My lunchtime salad gets way more interesting topped with barbecue pork, cheddar cheese and creamy avocado. It's as satisfying as it is scrumptious. —Shawn Carleton, San Diego, California
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Grilled Vegetable Platter Exps Diyd19 42990 E07 24 7b 8

Grilled Vegetable Platter

The best of summer in one dish! This pretty grilled vegetable recipe is meant for entertaining. Grilling brings out their natural sweetness, and the easy marinade really kicks up the grilled vegetables' flavor. —Heidi Hall, North St. Paul, Minnesota
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Cheesy Summer Squash Casserole

Cheesy Summer Squash Casserole

Onion and cheddar cheese perk up the rich flavor of summer squash in this comforting casserole. A crispy cornflake-crumb topping adds a little crunch. —Katherine Metz, Jacksonville, Florida
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Peanut Butter Graham Bars

I rely on my microwave to hurry along the assembly of these yummy peanut butter bars with graham crackers. With their pleasant flavor, they're sure to disappear quickly. —Mina Dyck, Boissevain, Manitoba
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Corn Dogs Exps Tohjj20 1362 B01 31 2b 1

Corn Dogs

Prepare corn dogs at home just like you'd get at the fair. Both kids and grown-ups will love this hearty corn dog batter. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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Pineapple Grilled Chicken Exps Ft19 45180 F 0613 1 1

Grilled Pineapple Chicken

A trip to Hawaii is easy with this juicy grilled pineapple chicken. Simply give it a quick marinade, fire up the grill and let it sizzle. We love this low-carb recipe! —Charlotte Rogers, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Watermelon And Blackberry Sangria Exps Tohjj20 161232 B02 06 3b 3

Watermelon and Blackberry Sangria

This watermelon sangria is deliciously pink! Living in the zinfandel wine country of Northern California, I use our local fare in my recipes often. Our scorching summer months inspired this refreshing, light style of sangria. I like adding fresh blackberries and garnishing it with sprigs of mint or basil for personal flair. This easy recipe is perfect for entertaining, and it's especially brunch friendly. —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California
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Pesto Vegetable Pizza Exps Qebz20 26064 E01 24 3b 1

Pesto Vegetable Pizza

My family loves pizza, but we rarely have it delivered since I created this fresh and flavorful version. Always a winner in my house, it is a fast and delicious meal that even my young son looks forward to. --Kate Selner of Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
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Banana Split Icebox Cake Exps Cwjj19 91338 E02 15 2b 9

Banana Split Icebox Cake

One day a friend showed me how to make a traditional icebox cake with just cream and graham crackers. I make it extra special with the fruit. Now everyone at your potluck can have a banana split, no muss, no fuss! —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine
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Air Fryer Potato Chips Exps Edaf20 227041 C03 18 7b 6

Air-Fryer Potato Chips

After I received an air fryer for Christmas, I discovered how simple it is to make potato chips in it. Good chips are an essential, crispy side for lunch. —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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