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34 Simple, Snappy Summer Dinners

This summer, spend more time outside and less time in the kitchen. These simple recipes are full of fresh summer flavors and can be ready in a snap.

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Dijon-Crusted Fish

Dijon, Parmesan and a hint of horseradish give this toasty fish lots of flavor. The preparation is so easy, it takes just 5 to 7 minutes to get 4 servings ready for the oven. —Scott Schmidtke, Chicago, Illinois
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Fresh Corn and Tomato Fettuccine

This recipe combines delicious whole wheat pasta with the best of fresh garden produce. It's tossed with heart-healthy olive oil, and a little feta cheese gives it bite. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Rosemary-Lemon Grilled Chicken

Here's a simple dish with big bold lemon and rosemary flavors that's made with very few ingredients. It's great by itself but can also be used on top of salad greens as another creative dinner option. —Debbie Carter, Kingsburg, California
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Effortless Alfredo Pizza

Here's a lighter, scrumptious twist for pizza night. It makes good use of convenience items and keeps everyone's taste buds happy with help from nutty-flavored fontina cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. —Brittney House, Lockport, Illinois
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Buttery Grilled Shrimp

This is easy and delicious! These shrimp are great with steak, but for a special occasion, brush the sauce on lobster tails and grill. —Sheryl Shenberger, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Jalapeno Popper Quesadillas

Jalapeno poppers stuffed inside quesadillas are a simple and fast solution when you’re too busy to cook. If you like recipes with heat, this one’s for you. —Rebecca Nisewonder, Richmond, Indiana
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Sesame Turkey Stir-Fry

I really like the rich taste of sesame oil in this Thai-inspired dish. If you don't have it, canola oil does the trick, too. To get a similar nuttiness, toss in a handful sliced almonds before serving. —Kelli Whiting, Fortville, Indiana
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Skinny Cobb Salad

This "skinny" version of Cobb salad has all the taste and creaminess with half the fat and calories. You can skip the coleslaw mix and do all lettuce, but I like the crunch you get with cabbage. —Taylor Kiser, Brandon, Florida
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Mediterranean Tilapia

I recently became a fan of tilapia. The mild taste makes it easy to top with our favorite ingredients. And it’s low in calories and fat. What’s not to love? —Robin Brenneman, Hilliard, Ohio
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Broccoli Veggie Pasta Primavera

Chock-full of veggies, this simple, colorful pasta makes a filling dinner. In smaller servings, it works equally well as a side dish. —Stephanie Marchese, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
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Balsamic-Glazed Beef Skewers

With only five easy-to-double ingredients, these mouthwatering kabobs are one of our favorite recipes. We like them with hot cooked rice and a tossed salad. To prevent wooden skewers from burning, soak them in water for 30 minutes before threading on the meat. —Carole Fraser, Toronto, Ontario
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Asian Salmon Tacos

This Asian/Mexican fusion dish is ready in minutes—perfect for an on-the-run-meal! If the salmon begins to stick, add 2-3 tablespoons of water and continue cooking. —Marisa Raponi, Vaughan, Ontario
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Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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Ginger Halibut With Brussels Sprouts Exps Thd16 187828 07b 19 4b 1

Ginger Halibut with Brussels Sprouts

I moved to the United States from Russia and love cooking Russian food for family and friends. Halibut with soy sauce, ginger and pepper is a favorite. —Margarita Parker, New Bern, North Carolina
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Chicken Alfredo with Grilled Apples

If you've never grilled apples before, here's your excuse to start. I created this Alfredo-style chicken for a party. By the number of recipe requests, I knew it was a hit. —Richard Robinson, Park Forest, Illinois
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Sun-Dried Tomato Linguine

We call this “Gus’s Special Pasta” because my oldest child claimed it as his own. It’s cheesy, garlicky goodness and quick to fix. —Courtney Gaylord, Columbus, Indiana
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Vegetarian Bean Tacos

Vegetarian Bean Tacos

I love Mexican food but was looking for a healthier option to share. My family devours these tasty tacos whenever I make them. —Amanda Petrucelli, Plymouth, Indiana
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Caribbean Shrimp & Rice Bowl

I had a similar rice bowl on vacation and re-created this lighter version at home. It takes me back to the islands every time I make it. Try grilling the shrimp for more beachy flavor. —Lauren Katz, Ashburn, Virginia
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Sausage & Feta Stuffed Tomatoes

I’m all about eating healthy. In fact, I’m a professional weight loss coach. My clients and blog followers love these tomatoes so much, I had to put them in my cookbook. —Shana Conradt, Appleton, WI
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Thai Lime Shrimp & Noodles

The flavors just keep popping in this quick dinner! Use as much lime zest and chili paste as you like. My family is into spicy foods, but I kept the heat moderate in this version. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

The grilled apples in this salad combine so well with the blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic dressing. I like to serve it on pink Depression glass dessert plates from my great-grandmother. —Paul Soska, Toledo, Ohio
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Smoked Salmon Quesadillas with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

These extra-special quesadillas take just minutes to make, but you'll want to savor them for as long as possible. Sprinkle the cheesy wedges with chopped fresh cilantro. —Daniel Shemtob, Irvine, California
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Linguine with Broccoli Rabe & Peppers

Broccoli rabe is one of my favorite veggies. Since it cooks right with the pasta, you can multitask. Before you know it, dinner is served. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps

My go-to meal after an evening run is this satisfying turkey wrap with jicama, a potato-like root veggie used in Mexican cooking. —Christie Arp, Blue Ridge, Georgia
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Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

I jazzed up the quintessential teatime cucumber sandwich to suit my family's tastes. This was my absolute go-to sandwich last summer when I was pregnant. It hit all the right spots! —Namrata Telugu, Terre Haute, Indiana
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Blackened Halibut

Try serving this spicy halibut recipe with garlic mashed potatoes, hot, crusty bread and a crisp salad to lure in your crew. After trying a few halibut recipes, this one is my family's favorite. —Brenda Williams, Santa Maria, California
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Parmesan Chicken Couscous

Simple ingredients make clever use of leftover chicken in an innovative dish any home cook would be proud to plate. I like to serve it with a side of fresh fruit. —Lisa Abbott, New Berlin, Wisconsin
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Eastern Shore Crab Cakes

In Delaware, we’re surrounded by an abundance of fresh seafood, particularly terrific crab. The secret to great crab cakes is fresh crab meat, not too much filler and not breaking up the crab too much. This recipe does all that. —Cynthia Bent, Newark, Delaware
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Balsamic Chicken Fettuccine

Skip the marinara and serve noodles in an elegant new way! Not only is our easy balsamic-infused entree a meal in itself, it makes a different twist on an Italian classic. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Salmon with Tangy Raspberry Sauce

We love salmon at our house and are always finding new ways to make it. This one turned out so well; the raspberry sauce adds a nice sweetness. My son calls it salmon candy! —Anna-Marie Williams, League City, Texas
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Grilled Flatbread Veggie Pizza

We pile veggies onto flatbread for a fun way to eat healthier. Our go-to recipe for weeknights easily changes with different veggies or meats. —Darla Andrews, Lewisville, Texas
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Shrimp Orzo with Feta

Tender, hearty and flavorful, this recipe is one of my favorites! Garlic and a splash of lemon add to the fresh taste and heart-healthy benefits of shrimp. —Sarah Hummel, Moon Township, Pennsylvania
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Thai Chicken Tacos

Inspired by a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, this recipe is an awesome way to use leftover chicken. If you have a little extra time, let the carrot and cucumber marinate in some rice vinegar before taco time. —Melissa Halonen, Spokane, Washington

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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