Easy and Light Summertime Recipes

Welcome to the Weekly Meal Planner! Whether you work all day and are out of steam when the dinner hour hits, or are fresh out of ideas and in a cooking rut, we are here to make your life easier. 

This week, we’re featuring some delicious summer salads perfect for lunches or sides, along with creative, easy, and healthy dips great for entertaining or kicking back with the family.

Don’t miss Saturday’s dinner which will definitely be a hit at your next potluck: Meatball in a Tomato!

Don’t know what to cook? Need help with a recipe? Feel free to ask us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Meatless Monday

Lunch: Packed with protein and veggies, Lentil Salad Version 2 makes a great lunch or side dish.

Dinner: This light Quick Cherry Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti gets you in and out of the kitchen in no time and makes use of summer tomatoes! Pro tip: For an even lighter version using fresh, seasonal veggies, this sauce is fantastic with zucchini or spaghetti squash.

Snack: Zucchini never tasted so good! Even the kids will love these crispy, cheesy Zucchini Fritter Cakes.


Lunch: Savor the flavors of spinach and artichokes tossed with cheese tortellini, tuna and a light lemon dressing when you make this easy and tasty Spinach, Artichoke and Tuna Tortellini Salad.

Dinner: Fire up the grill tonight but forget the hot dogs: Grilled Chicken Cacciatore Panini is delicious and nutritious.

Snack: Peppers and onions spice up your favorite summer fruit in sassy Watermelon Salsa.


Lunch: Shredded rotisserie chicken makes Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Caesar Dressing a snap to prepare and perfect for brown bagging.

Dinner: A summertime fish fry goes gluten-free and is paired with a new go-to side. Gluten-Free Fish Fry with Potato Salad is a crowd-pleaser.

Dessert: Get ready for the easiest dessert ever when you serve Warm Strawberries and Cream. Three ingredients and you’re done!


Lunch: Spicy egg salad adds a hearty layer of flavor in these BLT and Deviled Egg Sandwiches. Cook’s note: Swap in Greek yogurt for the mayo in the egg salad for a lighter sammie. 

Dinner: Everything tastes better outside! Try this perfectly balanced salad with petite filets and a few pieces of bacon al fresco for a beautiful evening meal. The only bad news? You probably won’t have leftovers from this Steak and Spinach Salad with Bacon Bits and Blue Cheese.

Snack: Healthy and delicious Avocado Ranch Dip is great served with chips, crackers, veggies or anything you feel like dipping. Cook’s note: If you don’t have all of the herbs for the recipe, swap in whatever you have fresh and on-hand. 


Lunch: This chilled summer soup – Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho – is the perfect meal on a hot summer day.

Dinner: Celebrate the weekend with a classic burger with a twist that no one will be able to resist: BLT Burgers with Swiss and Russian-Style Aioli with Garlic and Herbs. Cook’s note: Store-bought mayo is fine, but give the homemade aioli a try. You won’t believe how easy it is!

Snack: Baked, not fried, Jalapeño Poppers are a tasty twist on this favorite bar snack. A four-cheese stuffing mellows out the spicy jalapeño peppers. Olé!

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Peanut butter + honey + banana + whole grain bread = Monkey French Toast. Yum!

Dinner: Bring this inventive Meatball in a Tomato, paired with a baby caprese salad, to your next potluck or dinner party and watch it disappear! Cook’s note: These are equally tasty served warm or at room temperature.

Cocktail: Cool off with some grown-up slushies when you whip up a batch of Margarita Slushes.

Family Sunday

Brunch: Poached Eggs in Chorizo-Tomato Stew with Garlic Croutons is a delightful brunch with Spanish flair.

Dinner: Make Sunday night Pizza Night but skip the traditional takeout and make your own. Pair White Pizza with a big salad and dinner is done. Cook’s note: You can buy dough at the grocery store or your local pizzeria, but if you are feeling ambitious, give Rachael’s Pizza Crust recipe a try – you won’t believe how simple it is!

Dessert: Fresh seasonal berries never tasted so good in this easy to make (and even easier to eat!) Blackberry and Almond Crumble.

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Rachael Ray