Save on Pinterest

60 Summer Comfort Food Recipes

From barbecue to super fresh salads and hearty sides, summer has a taste all of its own! These comfort food recipes are must-haves when hanging out with family and friends on a hot day.

1 / 60
Secret S In The Sauce Bbq Ribs Exps Wrsm17 44338 D03 15 3b 5

"Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ Ribs

A sweet, rich sauce makes this BBQ ribs recipe so tender that the meat literally falls off the bones. And the aroma is wonderful. Yum! —Tanya Reid, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
2 / 60
Creamy Ranchified Potatoes

Creamy Ranchified Potatoes

My daughter-in-law gave me this recipe, and over the years I have tweaked it to our tastes. It's so nice to come home from work to a hot, tasty potato dish that's ready to serve! You can use any cheese you'd like and also any leftover meats that you have—chicken, for one. —Jane Whittaker, Pensacola, Florida
3 / 60
Slow Cooker Potluck Beans Exps Sdjj17 201052 D02 17 2b 2

Slow-Cooker Potluck Beans

It was the morning of our family potluck, and I still needed something to take. I threw together this recipe while drinking my morning coffee. By the end of the gathering, the beans were all gone and someone had even washed the crock for me! —Mary Anne Thygesen, Portland, Oregon
4 / 60

Texas-Style Brisket

This is the quintessential Texas-style brisket. Even my husband’s six-generation Texas family is impressed by it! Grilling with wood chips takes a little extra effort, but I promise you'll be glad you did. Each bite tastes like heaven on a plate. —Renee Morgan, Taylor, Texas
5 / 60

Perfect Plum & Peach Pie

I created this recipe for in-season summer fruit. The plums give the pie a splash of color as well as flavor, and the crumb topping is both easy and excellent! —Rachel Johnson, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
6 / 60
Exps147892 Th153342b02 10 5b 2

Mom's Chopped Coleslaw

For Friday dinners, my mother made coleslaw to go with our fish. It’s still a family tradition, and the tangy dressing even works on a tossed salad. —Cynthia McDowell, Banning, California
7 / 60
Barbecued Burgers

Barbecued Burgers

I can't take all the credit for these winning burgers. My husband's uncle passed down the special barbecue sauce recipe. We love it on everything...it was only natural to try it on, and in, burgers. Add cheese and bacon to take them over the top. —Rhoda Troyer, Glenford, Ohio
8 / 60
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
9 / 60

Hot Dog Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

For parties, we shrink lots of foods to slider size, including these quick hot dogs. Pile on the easy but irresistible fruit salsa for a burst of fresh flavor. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
10 / 60
Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn Exps Thjj17 200632 C02 08 6b 5

Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you're really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
11 / 60
Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches Exps81269 Lsc143267b10 01 4bc Rms 3

Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Enjoy all the flavors of Italian sausage sandwiches with this healthier alternative. —Lia Dellario, Middleport, New York
12 / 60

Spicy Grilled Broccoli

My kids eat this spiced broccoli without cheese; it’s that good. It transports easily to the beach, the park or tailgate parties and also works on an indoor grill. —Kathy Lewis-Martinez, Spring Valley, California
13 / 60
Exps180549 Th153340c09 26 2b 10

Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

My husband loves pie, so I made one with apples, raspberries and cranberries. It’s so good, I bend the rules and let the grandkids have it for breakfast. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
14 / 60

Sweet Ginger Ribs

People ask what’s in the marinade of my glazed sweet ginger ribs with ginger, garlic and peach preserves. Now you know! Psst: It works on steaks and chicken, too. —Grace McKeone, Schenectady, New York
15 / 60
Grilled Three Potato Salad Exps Fttmz18 37161 B11 17 5b 2

Grilled Three-Potato Salad

Everyone in our extended family loves to cook, so I put together all of our favorite recipes in a cookbook to be handed down from generation to generation. This recipe comes from that cookbook. It's a delicious twist on traditional potato salad. —Suzette Jury, Keene, California
16 / 60

Sliders with Spicy Berry Sauce

For patriotic food, you can’t beat a burger. My sliders have red tomatoes, white cheddar and blueberry sauce. For extra pop, I mix in ginger beer and chipotle. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
17 / 60
Berry Chicken Salad Exps47579 Cw143042b02 27 1b Rms 3

Berry Chicken Salad

Bright berries and creamy goat cheese make this one a winner! —Wendy Ball, Battle Creek, Michigan
18 / 60
Ginger Pound Cake S'mores

Ginger Pound Cake S'mores

Kids and adults won't be able to resist this fun spin on campfire S'mores. Pound cake replaces the traditional graham cracker while crystallized ginger adds a unique flavor twist. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
19 / 60
Oven-Barbecued Pork Chops

Oven-Barbecued Pork Chops

My mother has fixed this recipe for years and now I prepare it for my family. The chops are delicious with scalloped potatoes and home-baked bread. —Teresa King, Whittier, California
20 / 60
Grilled Brussels Sprouts Exps Thca17 184375 D05 26 4b 4

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

During a beach vacation, in an effort to cook our entire meal outside on the grill, I made our not-so-simple veggie choice into a simple grilled side dish. For spicier sprouts, season with red pepper flakes —Tiffany Ihle, Bronx, New York
21 / 60

Sweet Pepper Pesto Pasta

What’s a family gathering or potluck without at least one pasta salad? This one's great freshly made or for several days after. We like it warm or cold. —Karen Hentges, Bakersfield, California
22 / 60
Spiced Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Lime Butter

Spiced Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Lime Butter

This grilled chicken gets a lovely pop of color and flavor from the lime butter—don't skip it! —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
23 / 60
Exps185807 Sd153321c01 28 5b 5

Fiesta Coleslaw

Coleslaw with a touch of heat makes a zesty side for barbecued chicken or pork. I also pile it on fish tacos and po'boys. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
24 / 60

Bomb Pop Cookies

The sound of the ice cream truck has even my husband running out to the curb with money in hand. Our neighborhood has a big potluck on the Fourth of July, so I decided to make cookies that resemble Bomb Pops. These were a big hit! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
25 / 60
Slow Cooker Memphis Style Ribs Exps Edsc17 201085 D03 16 3b 6

Slow-Cooker Memphis-Style Ribs

After my dad and I had dinner at the legendary Rendezvous Restaurant in Memphis, I was inspired to create a slow-cooked version of tasty dry-rub Memphis ribs. Smoked paprika in the rub mimics the flavor that the ribs would get from being grilled over hot coals. —Matthew Hass, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin
26 / 60

Broccoli Raisin Salad

For a simple but sensational side dish, I throw together this refreshing broccoli salad with raisins. I adjusted a friend's recipe to cut a few calories. The raisins add sweetness, and the bacon gives it a nice crunch. —Angela Oelschlaeger, Tonganoxie, Kansas
27 / 60
Jalapeno Swiss Turkey Burgers Exps Sdon17 117810 C06 23 8b 2

Jalapeno-Swiss Turkey Burgers

These easy turkey burgers are extra juicy and loaded with flavor. I think the spicy jalapenos give it just the right level of heat, but feel free to adjust the amount to amp it up or tone it down. —Wanda Allende, Orlando, Florida
28 / 60
Salmon and Spud Salad

Salmon and Spud Salad

I headed straight for the kitchen when I decided to pick up a healthier lifestyle. This salmon with veggies proves that smart choices can be simple and satisfying. —Matthew Teixeira, Milton, Ontario
29 / 60

Steaks with Cherry-Chipotle Glaze

The spicy glaze turns an inexpensive cut of meat into something special. My son, who claims to be a "meat-a-tarian," especially loves this and asks for it all year long. —Cheryl Lundquist, Wake Forest, North Carolina
30 / 60

Patchwork Quilt Cake

This cake has a great homemade flavor and tender crumb. Be sure to pile on the buttery frosting, which adds a burst of vanilla. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
31 / 60

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

The wonderful homemade goodness of this creamy Velveeta mac and cheese makes it a staple side dish in my mother's kitchen and in mine as well. It has tender noodles and a crowd-pleasing golden crumb topping. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina
32 / 60
Exps165571 Th2847295c03 05 5b Web 4

Tomatoes with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

We make the most of tomatoes when they are in season and plentiful, and I love an old-fashioned homemade dressing with summery taste. —Judith Foreman, Alexandria, Virginia
33 / 60
Grilled Tomato Peach Pizza Exps Hc17 142137 D07 29 4b 4

Grilled Tomato-Peach Pizza

This delicious pizza is unique, healthy and easy to make. The fresh flavors make it a perfect appetizer for a summer party. —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia
34 / 60
Lemony Tortellini Bacon Salad Exps167570 Sd2847494d02 13 6bc Rms 2

Lemony Tortellini Bacon Salad

Who says summer meals have to be complicated? We love this tangy, simple and tasty salad on warm summer nights. Add a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea and dinner couldn’t be easier. —Samantha Vicars, Kenosha, Wisconsin
35 / 60
Grilled Cherry Glazed Chicken Wings Exps Hc17 186176 D07 29 13b 5

Grilled Cherry-Glazed Chicken Wings

When I take these grilled wings to events, there are never any leftovers! Friends and family love them. —Ashley Gable, Atlanta, Georgia
36 / 60

Cherry Tomato Salad

This recipe evolved from a need to use the bumper crops of delicious cherry tomatoes we grow. It's one of my favorite cherry tomato recipes, especially at cookouts. —Sally Sibley, St. Augustine, Florida
37 / 60
Orzo Vegetable Salad Exps48575 Cw1996974b01 27 3bc Rms 2

Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
38 / 60

Espresso Steak Rub

I’m always entering cooking contests and experimenting with big, bold flavor combinations. This espresso-laced spice rub is equal parts sweet, hot and exotic—it's awesome for grilled ribeye. —Sandi Sheppard, Norman, Oklahoma
39 / 60
Fresh Fruit Salsa Exps Jmz18 25207 B03 01 3b 4

Fresh Fruit Salsa

This salad has all the bright colors and fresh flavors of summer. —Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York.
40 / 60

Berry-Beet Salad

Here's a delightfully different salad that balances the earthy flavor of beets with the natural sweetness of berries. If you prefer, substitute crumbled feta for the goat cheese. —Amy Lyons, Mounds View, Minnesota
41 / 60
Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs Exps59185 Sd2847494b02 15 5bc Rms 3

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Here's a juicy, delicious and savory meal in a bun! I make these bacon-wrapped hot dogs for picnics, barbecues and tailgate parties, and they always get compliments. To transport, wrap the hot dogs in foil and then in paper. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
42 / 60
Exps3994 Mrr153791c09 23 4b 3

Lemon Bars

These easy lemon bars are a delightful recipe from my mother's file. I've been serving it for many years. This easy lemon bar recipe has a wonderful tangy flavor, and they're always a hit. The color and shape make them a nice addition to a platter of cookies. —Etta Soucy, Mesa, Arizona
43 / 60
Grilled Pork Chops With Smokin Sauce Exps Hck17 168330 C08 24 6b 4

Grilled Pork Chops with Smokin' Sauce

Growing up, my husband always had pork chops that were were pan-fried or baked, but he knew they could be better. So he combined his love of grilling with the desire to create his own signature sauce, and the result was this recipe. —Vicky Drnek, Rome, Georgia
44 / 60

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

Many years ago after I had had knee surgery, a friend brought me a big casserole of mac and cheese along with the recipe. I have fiddled with the recipe over the years, most recently adding jalapenos at the request of my son. What an awesome spicy twist! —Teresa Gustafson, Elkton, Maryland
45 / 60
Exps174348 Gi163846b12 18 1b 4

Grilled Mango & Avocado Salad

Its so light, delicious, easy to make, and not to mention healthy! Mango and Avocado is simply the best combination you could ever make. A big hit with all my family and friends! —Amy Liesemeyer, Tucson, Arizona
46 / 60

Tempting Pork Tenderloin Burgers

Pork tenderloin is a family favorite at my house. I’m always looking for new ways to cook it, so I came up with this burger recipe for an easy weeknight dinner. Chopped prunes, dried figs or dried blueberries can be substituted for the dried cranberries with great success! —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
47 / 60

Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad

This salad is great with a grilled steak for a Tex-Mex meal, and most of it can even be prepared out in the backyard. Poblanos and cayenne make it pop. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
48 / 60
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
49 / 60
Exps180594 Sd153208d08 20 6b 1

Brat & Bacon Appetizer Pizza

Chopped bratwurst and maple bacon are a fabulous way to start a pizza. I jazz up this treat even more with apricot preserves and honey mustard. The snack-sized slices win over even the toughest critics. —Colleen Vrooman, Waukesha, Wisconsin
50 / 60
Exps37209 Snd163615b04 07 5b 3

Herbed Grilled Corn on the Cob

I'd never grilled corn until last summer when my sister-in-law served it for us. What a treat! So simple, yet delicious, grilled corn is now a must on my summer menu. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
51 / 60

Chicken Zucchini Casserole

A co-worker shared this chicken zucchini casserole recipe that was originally her grandmother's. When I make it, I use pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store and fresh zucchini my neighbor gives me from his garden. —Bev Dutro, Dayton, Ohio
52 / 60
Exps138525 Th153342b02 20 2b 10

Shrimp & Nectarine Salad

For a cool salad on a hot summer day, I combine shrimp, corn, tomatoes and nectarines with a drizzle of tarragon dressing. We love it chilled, but it's delectable served right away, too. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
53 / 60
Exps186937 Sd153321c01 29 2b 2

Lime and Sesame Grilled Eggplant

When I lived in Greece, I fell in love with eggplant. My recipe's seasonings have an Asian theme, but the dish still makes me think Greek. —Allyson Meyler, Greensboro, North Carolina
54 / 60

Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you’re tight on time, you can use store-bought cookies, but I highly recommend making these oatmeal chocolate cookies from scratch. The dessert sandwiches are pure fun. Sometimes I decorate the sides of the sandwiches with colorful jimmies, too. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
55 / 60
Exps51058 Sd143207a05 28 1b 2

Apple Barbecue Chicken

My husband and I had just moved to Dallas when I first made this recipe. Everything was new—new city, new home—but this dish felt familiar and comforting. —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
56 / 60
Caprese Salad Kabobs Exps Hcka19 123345 C05 11 1b 6

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
57 / 60
Exps191526 Sd153322b04 08 1b 9

Cuban Sliders

These wonderful little rolls are baked until lightly toasted and the cheese melts. The leftover King's Hawaiian ham sliders keep really well in the fridge, and they make a lovely cold snack. Followers of my blog, houseofyumm.com, go nuts for these! —Serene Herrera, Dallas, Texas
58 / 60
Chunky Mango Guacamole Exps128238 Th143190d10 009 2bc Rms 2

Chunky Mango Guacamole

When serving a crowd, double or quadruple this guacamole. The onion, tomato and mango can be chopped in advance. Add avocado just before serving. —Diana Nienberg, McComb, Ohio
59 / 60

Layered Picnic Loaves

This big sandwich, inspired by one I tried at a New York deli, is a favorite with our football-watching crowd. Made ahead, it's easily carted to any gathering. Kids and adults alike say it's super. —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon
60 / 60
Layered Veggie Tortellini Salad

Layered Veggie Tortellini Salad

Tortellini and a Parmesan dressing give this layered salad an unexpected twist. It's great for a potluck. —Dennis Vitale, New Preston, Connecticut

Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.
cover
Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 80%!