Family Summer Meals On the Patio
Food & Recipes

Great Summer Meals To Enjoy Outside On Your Patio

Here are some of our top fresh summer meals and healthy picks recipes for the hot summer nights. Many of these recipes are made with the best summer produce and lean proteins. We love to grill and share our favorite summer recipes, such as hearty summer salads and refreshing chilled soups.

When the weather is hot at home, we turn to cool foods and eat outside on the patio. It’s a great way to unwind and connect with our outdoor natural environment at the end of a hectic workday.

Lemony Chicken Quinoa Salad

This low-carb salad is high in protein and packed with amazing flavor. Substitute chickpeas to the Chicken Vegan adaptable!


  • 8 oz baked Chicken breast
  • Two extra-large handfuls of baby arugula
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • One avocado, sliced
  • 1 to 2 scallions, cut
  • Optional additions: oranges, sunflower seeds, scallions, and hemp seeds.

Creamy Basil Dressing

  • 1/2 cup basil, packed down tightly, approximately 1 ounce
  • Two garlic cloves
  • One medium lemon yields one medium zest
  • Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt; more to your taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup sour cream (optional), plain yogurt, or vegan sour cream


  • Make Dressing:
  • Blend basil, garlic, and lemon zest in a food processor until well chopped. Pulse in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. If you prefer it creamy, place it in a bowl. Adjust the salt to taste. It will keep for four days in the refrigerator.
  • Assemble the salad. If you want to pack to go to work, keep the components separated.
  • Toss the arugula in quinoa, scallions, and some dressing to lightly coat—divide between two bowls. Add the chicken, avocado, and any other nuts or seeds you wish—Season the chicken with a little more dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Grilled Salmon Salad With Avocado Cucumber Salsa

A simple salad recipe with grilled salmon, avocado cucumber salsa, and little gems lettuce with creamy cilantro lime dressing!


Mexican Spiced Salmon

  • 4 x 6 oz salmon filets
  • One teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Two teaspoons cumin
  • Two teaspoons chile powder
  • Lime to garnish

Avocado Salsa

  • One avocado (ripe but still slightly firm) diced
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • Finely chopped 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • One lime juice and zest
  • 2-3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Creamy Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
  • One small lime makes lime juice
  • One clove minced garlic
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

3-4 heads of baby romaine or little gems lettuce per person


  • Preheat the grill to medium.
  • Make the spice rub by mixing salt, pepper, and chili powder in a small bowl. Apply the spice rub to all sides of the salmon.
  • Make the salsa. Combine all ingredients, except avocado, in a large bowl. Fold in avocado last to ensure it remains intact. Don’t overmix, as you don’t want the avocado to become mushy.
  • Mix the dressing. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Quarter the lettuce horizontally. Set aside.
  • Grill salmon over medium heat on a well-greased grill, a few minutes on each side until the wanted doneness – favored medium or medium-rare. To turn the salmon, use a thin metal spatula. Use a little lime juice to squeeze the spatula.
  • Assemble the salad by gently tossing it with a bit of dressing. Place the salmon on a plate. Spread the salmon on top. Then, spoon the avocado salsa all over. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

Indonesian Grilled Sambal Chicken

Sambal Oelek, a red chile paste made in Indonesian style, is readily available at most grocery shops. It’s the secret to this fantastic flavor. It is mildly spicy but not too much and has a delicate sweetness.


  • 2 – 2 1/2 lbs Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sliced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • Two tablespoons peanut oil or olive oil
  • One tablespoon soy sauce, Bragg’s Liquid Amino
  • 1/4 cup Sambal Olek (garlic chili paste) + 1 – 2 tablespoons for extra spice
  • 8-10 pre-soaked Skewers (optional).

Garnish Options: Fresh mint leaves, crushed peanuts, and sliced scallions

Serve with Thai Crunch Salad or Asian Slaw


  • Either cut the chicken into small pieces (to skewer), or you can leave them whole and place them in a 1-gallon ziplock bag or bowl.
  • Place the remaining ingredients except Sambal Oelek Red chili paste( in a blender and blend until smooth. Mix in the Sambal Oelek chili paste and mix. Marinate the chicken in the marinade for at least 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill until it reaches med-high.
  • Skewer chicken or leave it whole
  • Place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until reduced. You will use it to baste the chicken.
  • Place the chicken on a preheated, grated grill. Cover. Cook for 5 minutes or more until you see deep grill marks. Cover with a baste. After you have a nice sear on both sides and the sides are well browned, switch to low heat or the upper rack to continue cooking (or finish it in 375o).
  • Serve with Thai Crunch Salad or Asian Slaw with fresh mint, scallions, and crushed peanuts. Or, try this Peanut Chili Crunch (Seroendeng).

Stuffed Avocado with Shrimp & Tarragon

A light and healthy summer dish that’s great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! You can make the Tarragon Shrimp filling up one day in advance and keep it refrigerated. Once you are ready to serve, slice the avocado in half.


  • 4-5 ounces of cooked shrimp- shelled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Scallion- Sliced thinly on a diagonal
  • Two radishes, finely chopped
  • Three tablespoons chopped celery
  • One tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • One teaspoon lemon zest
  • One tablespoon of lemon juice
  • One teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, more for sprinkling
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper
  •  One perfectly ripe, big avocado, sliced in half, seed removed.

Garnish: Sunflower Sprouts or tarragon leaves


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except the avocado.
  • Mix well and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Mix again, and taste the mixture and adjust salt and lemon.
  • Most likely, you will need more. Keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
  • Slice the avocado in half and sprinkle with salt. Divide the shrimp mixture into the two halves. Add sprouts or tarragon leaf to the top. Enjoy immediately!

Blackberry Basil Salad

Blackberry Salad with Basil, Arugula, and Maple-balsamic Dressing. It is a light, delicious summer salad.


  • 5 ounces baby spinach (or baby arugula)
  • 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 cups of fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted slivered nuts (or sub-map pecans).
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves-torn (purple basil is beautiful here!
  • Optional: 1 tbsp fresh chopped chive, or one tablespoon onion blossoms

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Three tablespoons olive oils
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic Vinegar
  • Two teaspoons maple syrup (or honey).
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Place the arugula and basil in a large bowl. Add enough dressing to coat the salad. You may not need it all. You can add any other ingredients to the bowl and mix or serve as you wish.
  • Place the greens on plates if plating. Serve with blackberries, goat cheese, and a few basil leaves.
  • Optional: You can also add Balsamic glaze.
  • Serve immediately

Vegan Caesar salad with Cajun Tofu

Vegan Ceasar Salad With Blackened Cajun Tofu in Creamy Caesar Dressing. It’s dairy-free, nut-free, and low in calories.


  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • One tablespoon Cajun Spice ( I love this one)
  • salt
  • Oil for Searing
  • Crisp Lettuce – Romaine, butter, green leaves, little gems – enough to feed two people, approximately 8 ounces
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • One avocado
  • fresh parsley, or nasturtiums

Vegan Caesar Dressing -One cup makes 6-8 servings. You can also use store-bought brands.

  • 1/2 package firm silken tofu ( 6 ounces) Like Mori- Nu Blue ( firm)
  • Three cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil mild
  • Capers 1 tablespoon
  • One tablespoon caper brine (liquid from the jar).
  • One teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 sheet of nori seaweed, cut up (the kind you use to make sushi)- optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast-optional


Prep Tofu: Cut the tofu into 1-inch pieces. Place the tofu on paper towels and gently press down. Blot dry, then let dry in the air for a few moments.

Make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a blender and blending until the smooth and creamy taste and adjusting salt garlic, lemon, and garlic. Make sure to taste them all. If necessary, add more. Although it may be strong tasting, it will soften when mixed with the greens. However, have some bite.

Continue tofu: Lightly sprinkle with salt after rinsing. Sprinkle with Cajun Seasoning.

Sear tofu in a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, heat the tofu and let it cook until almost blackened. Then, reduce heat to medium—Cook the tofu for about a minute on each side. If necessary, add more cajun spice.

Toss Salad: Toss greens with a little Italian Parsley (optional) in a large bowl. Add about half of the dressing to the bowl or enough to coat the lettuce. Divide the greens among two bowls. Divide tomatoes, avocado between the bowls, place the Cajun tofu. Sprinkle the remaining fresh parsley on top. Enjoy immediately.

Chilled Cucumber Melon Soup

Cold Cucumber Melon Soup is a healthy, easy-to-make summer soup that you can as an appetizer or light dinner. It’s refreshing and delicious!


  • One medium cucumber. Peel and chop into pieces.
  • 1/2 medium cantaloupe, about 1 lb, or 4 cups, seeded, peeled, and cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk/yogurt (optional- you can leave it out if you are vegan or substitute it with vegan yogurt).
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped in pieces, stems, and all
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh jalapeno pepper
  • Two scallions, chopped
  • One teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • Juice 1-2 limes (start with one and add more as you like).
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Blend all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • You can adjust to your taste by adding lime or jalapeno.
  • Keep cool and enjoy chilled.

We hope you enjoy these healthy and delicious summer recipes and dinner suggestions!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.