63 Summer Cottage Recipes

After spending all day in the sun and surf, unwind with some of these easy summer recipes. These mains, sides, snacks and desserts are full of fresh ingredients and come together in a snap, making them perfect for lakeside livin'.

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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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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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Lobster Rolls

Mayonnaise infused with dill and lemon lends refreshing flavor to these super sandwiches. Try pan-toasting the buns in butter for something extra special. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Orange-Spiced Chicken

Five ingredients are all you’ll need for this fast and extremely flavorful marinade. With one taste, it’ll become your most-requested chicken recipe! —Debra Stevens, Lutz, Florida
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Easy Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter

Grilling corn in the husks is so easy. There's no need to remove the silk and tie the husk closed before grilling. Just soak, grill and add your favorite flavored butter. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Grilled Green Onion Burgers

Change up this super tasty burger with your favorite toppings. Whip some mayo with hoisin sauce to add extra tang! —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
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Pineapple RumChata Shortcakes

This deliciously different dessert is made in the slow cooker instead of in the oven. When done, add final touches to the cooled pineapple shortcake jars and serve. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Grilled Onion & Skirt Steak Tacos

My grandparents came from Mexico, and I grew up watching my grandmother and mother in the kitchen. This steak marinated in beer and lime juice honors their passion for cooking. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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
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Grilled Bruschetta

This is my go-to appetizer in the summer when tomatoes and basil are fresh from the garden. The balsamic glaze takes this bruschetta recipe over the top. I like to use a Tuscan herb- or basil-infused olive oil for this. But, it's great with just plain olive oil, too. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
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Ultimate Grilled Pork Chops

A little brining and a special dry rub go a long way to making the perfect pork chop. Once you've mastered how to cook thick pork chops, you'll be enjoying them all summer long. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine
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Grilled Lemon Chicken

My chicken gets its subtle pucker from lemonade concentrate. So simple, so sweet! —Linda Nilsen, Anoka, Minnesota
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Lemon Shrimp Orzo

What I love about this recipe is that it's so tasty and it can be eaten hot or cold. If you're allergic to shrimp, it tastes great with chicken too. —Aleni Salcedo, East Elmhurst, New York
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Grilled Brats with Sriracha Mayo

I am a Sriracha fanatic, so that’s what inspired this dish. You can boil the brats in your favorite beer to reduce the fat and give them flavor before grilling, or spread garlic butter on lightly toasted buns. —Quincie Ball, Olympia, Washington
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Simple Grilled Steak Fajitas

After moving to a new state with two toddlers in tow, I came up with effortless fajitas. They make an easy weeknight meal on the grill or in a cast-iron skillet. —Shannen Mahoney, Odessa, Missouri
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Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars

These cheesecake bars layer a buttery pecan shortbread crust with a rich and creamy filling and sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb jam. For larger squares, cut into nine bars instead of 16. —Amanda Scarlati, Sandy, Utah
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All-American Hamburgers

We do a lot of camping and outdoor cooking. Hamburgers are on our menu more than any other food. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Grilled Sweet Corn

Since we have plenty of fresh sweet corn available in our area, we use this recipe often in summer. Parsley, chili powder and cumin accent the corn's just-picked flavor. —Connie Lou Hollister, Lake Odessa, Michigan
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Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

In this dish, I combine traditional Caprese salad flavors with summer peaches and blueberries. I also add prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced, flavor-packed side dish. —Emily Falke, Santa Barbara, California
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Saucy Barbecue Shrimp

This old, rustic Cajun dish is one of our family favorites. Don't remove the shells from the shrimp—the beauty of this dish is peeling the shrimp and dipping it in the sauce. We've doubled and even tripled this barbecue shrimp to feed crowds and it's always perfect! —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Bratwurst and Chicken Kabobs

I made these lively chicken kabobs as a thank-you gift while visiting my relatives in Norway They loved eating them almost as much as I loved cooking for them! If you prefer less heat in the chutney, you can use honey in place of pepper jelly. Also, any variety of vegetables will work with these. —Anna Davis, Springfield, Missouri
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Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Jars

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead layered dessert, adorable in individual Mason jars, will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch Flint, Michigan
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Easy Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

Friends shared this three-ingredient marinade years ago, and it’s been a favorite since. Serve the steak with salad and grilled potatoes for a quick meal. —Beverly Dietz, Surprise, Arizona
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Southern Potato Salad

This potato salad with a Southern twist is perfect for a church supper or potluck. The pickles add an extra sweetness. —Gene Pitts, Wilsonville, Alabama
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Quick Picante Sauce

Hot pepper sauce and a jalapeno pepper give this snappy sauce just the right amount of zip. It makes a great dip for tortilla chips or a tangy sauce for tacos and fajitas. This is always a big hit at parties and office gatherings. I even make it for my mother when she needs to bring a dip to a party. —Barbara Sellers, Shreveport, Louisiana
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Spiced Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Butter

The spicy heat of the chicken pairs beautifully with the flavorful cilantro butter in this original recipe from Diane Halferty of Corpus Christi, Texas. We added spicy chocolate cinnamon cane sugar to the chicken, which complemented the other spices that are brushed over the chicken before grilling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pina Colada Dip

If you like pina coladas, you've gotta try this fluffy fruit dip. Scooped up with a slice of fresh pineapple, it tastes just like the beloved beachside drink. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee Wisconsin
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Grilled Stone Fruits with Balsamic Syrup

Get ready to experience another side of stone fruits. Hot off the rack, these grilled nectarines practically melt in your mouth. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Spicy Cajun Potato Salad

Here in Louisiana we have a lot of get-togethers, and if you want your dish to be chosen over all of the rest, it has to have a kick! This Cajun potato salad does the trick. —Amanda West, Sibley, Louisiana
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Jim's Secret Family Recipe Ribs

For more than 30 years, my brother-in-law Jim kept his famous rib recipe a secret. When he finally shared it, we just had to pass it along because we loved it so much. This one's for you, Jim! —Vicki Young, Brighton, Colorado
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Fresh Corn & Avocado Dip

I alter my sister's recipe by adding a finely chopped jalapeno pepper for a little heat. This tasty dip can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. —Pat Roberts, Thornton, Ontario
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Fudge Pops

This chocolate frozen dessert is the perfect summer treat! Invite your kids into the kitchen to help you stir the pudding. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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Wisconsin Butter Burgers

It’s no secret that Wisconsinites love their dairy—so much that they sometimes top their burgers with a generous pat of butter. My recipe is a lot like the butter burgers you’ll find in popular restaurants all over the state. —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio
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Pico de Gallo

This easy pico de gallo recipe is a classic for good reason. It pairs with just about everything! My tip is to let it chill for an hour or two before serving to help the flavors blend. Also, it's best to serve it the same day that it's made. —Jeannie Trudell, Del Norte, Colorado
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Strawberry Gelato

You'll love this smooth and creamy gelato with bright strawberry flavor and just a hint of sea salt and honey. Fresh raspberries or blackberries can be substituted for the strawberries if you prefer. If your berries are tart, add a touch more sugar or honey. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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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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Dilly Potato & Egg Salad

Everyone has a favorite potato salad, and this is mine. As a young bride, I was eager to learn how to cook and make things that my husband would love. I combined my mom's and his mom's recipes, and this potato and egg salad the delicious result. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Favorite Barbecued Chicken

Is there a place better than Texas to find a fantastic barbecue sauce? That’s where this one is from—it’s my father-in-law’s own recipe. We have served it at many family reunions and think it’s the best! —Bobbie Morgan, Woodstock, Georgia
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Slow-Cooked Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got tired of fixing just plain squash and cheese. I decided to jazz up the dish a bit. This was a huge hit with my family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Berry, Lemon and Doughnut Hole Trifle

After my son called and said he was bringing home his college roommates, I was able to whip up this quick yet impressive dessert in only a few minutes. It's been a family favorite ever since. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Root Beer Brats

Here's an easy recipe that's versatile, too. Serve the saucy brats over rice for one meal and have them on buns the next. For extra punch, add a splash of root beer concentrate to the sauce. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois
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Mexican Street Corn Bake

We discovered Mexican street corn at a festival. This easy one-pan version saves on prep and cleanup. Every August I freeze a lot of our own fresh sweet corn and then I use that in this recipe, but store-bought corn works just as well. —Erin Wright, Wallace, Kansas
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Chicken with Peach-Avocado Salsa

This super fresh dinner is pure summer—juicy peaches, creamy avocado, grilled chicken and a kick of hot sauce and lime. To get it on the table even quicker, make the salsa ahead. —Shannon Roum, Cudahy, Wisconsin
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White Balsamic Blueberry, Corn and Feta Salad

I'm not typically a huge fan of summer corn, but when it comes to this sweet, salty, refreshing salad, I can't put my fork down. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Pot of S'mores

Mom’s easy Dutch-oven version of the popular campout treat is so good and gooey. The hardest part is waiting for this to cool so you can devour it. Yum! —June Dress, Meridian, Idaho
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Slow-Cooked Carnitas

Simmer up succulent pork the slow-cooker way. Sometimes, instead of using tortillas, I put the seasoned meat on top of shredded lettuce for a tasty salad. —Lisa Glogow, Aliso Viejo, California
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Gingered Mango Salsa

Zesty cilantro and ginger meet cool mint in this change-of-pace salsa. "We love it over grilled chicken, fish and pork," says Barb Fore of McAllen, Texas. "Try substituting the mango with papaya."
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Lavender Lemon Bars

Hints of lavender and lemon zest in the crust make these treats a favorite. —Judith Hilinski, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
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Tailgate Sausages

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to fix these tasty sandwiches. Fully cooked sausages are placed in buns with cheese and topped with giardiniera, then wrapped in foil so they’re easy to transport and a breeze to grill. —Matthew Hass, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin
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Taco Pinwheels

These pinwheels come together quickly when you start with leftover taco meat. They make an appealing party appetizer served with salsa, or a fun lunch option with a salad on the side. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

I prepare this colorful dessert quite often in the late spring or summer when fresh rhubarb is abundant. I make this rhubarb cake with cake mix and take it to church potlucks. People actually line up for a piece. —Bonnie Krogman, Thompson Falls, Montana
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Healthy Potato Salad

This healthy potato salad is crunchy-delicious with a brilliant zesty dressing. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
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Blackberry Sriracha Chicken Sliders

Dump everything in a slow cooker and then watch these spicy-sweet sliders become an instant party-time classic. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Pina Colada Grilled Pineapple

During a cookout with friends, I forgot about dessert. I had a fresh pineapple and coconut, so I improvised. Now I grill pineapple at every cookout. —Josee Lanzi, New Port Richey, Florida
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Sweet Horseradish Glazed Ribs

If you like to prep ahead of camping, roast these ribs, wrap them and finish with a sweet, savory sauce at your campfire or grill. —Ralph Jones, San Diego, California
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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
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Red-White-and-Blue Berry Delight

Loaded with fresh strawberries and blueberries, this luscious JELL-O is perfect for any Fourth of July celebration! —Constance Fennell, Grand Junction, Michigan
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Grilled Flank Steak with Summer Relish

My garden produces a nice harvest of tomatoes, scallions, corn, garlic and poblanos, so that's what I use to make relish for this tasty steak. —Brenda Washnock, Negaunee, Michigan

Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.