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44 Impossibly Easy, Slightly Lazy, 100% Reliable Summer Dinners

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Dragging open a can of anchovies. Cubing cold, snappy vegetables to toss in a mustard jar vinaigrette. Spooning anything at all onto toast, with pepper and cheese and salt. There's something wonderfully languid about making summer dinners, the kind that come half-prepped right from the produce bag (or, okay, pasta box). The best are not just easy but also quick, even unnervingly so. "Didn't I just open the fridge?" you'll say to yourself, sitting down to Brie-cloaked noodles and tomatoes. Or skillet-grilled fish tacos. Or the undeniable genius of a salad made from cornbread.

Here are 44 impossibly easy, quick-to-prep dinners for the coming summer, depending on just what kind of cooking you feel like doing.

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Chop, Dress, Toss, Serve—It's Salad Night!

Mixing the dressing is the hardest part (and you can always shake it in a jar).

Grilled Peach and Apricot Salad
Grilled Peach and Apricot Salad
Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing by creamtea

Summer Farro Salad

Summer Farro Salad by Jennifer Perillo

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
Chopped Kitchen Sink Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Bottarga

Chopped Kitchen Sink Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Bottarga by Sara Jenkins

Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella

Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella by Kendra Vaculin

Fish, Fish, Get Your Wish (And Your Dinner)

Some fresh, some canned, all briny and plucky no matter how you spin them.

Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Drunken Clams with Sausage

Drunken Clams with Sausage by QueenSashy

Salmon Burgers with Avocado Aioli

Salmon Burgers with Avocado Aioli by Kitchen Sink Diaries

Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Caper Sauce
Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Caper Sauce
Poached Tuna with Warm Squash, Corn, and Potato Salad

Poached Tuna with Warm Squash, Corn, and Potato Salad by Amanda Hesser

Warm Bread Salad with Smoked Salmon, Roasted Vegetables & Creamy Dill Dressing

Warm Bread Salad with Smoked Salmon, Roasted Vegetables &... by Brooke Bass | Chocolate + M...

Spicy Shrimp
Spicy Shrimp

Very Nice to Meat You, and You, and You...

For the quickest dinner, turn to ground meats like pork and chicken—or turn on your grill.

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Scallion and Coconut Rice with Pork

Scallion and Coconut Rice with Pork by gingerroot

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado by EmilyC

Skillet Roasted Chicken Thighs with Dandelion Greens + Baby Carrots
Skillet Roasted Chicken Thighs with Dandelion Greens + Baby Carrots
Alabama-Style Chicken Kebabs
Alabama-Style Chicken Kebabs
Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce by Adam Rapoport

Lamb Biftekia with Anchovy, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Mint

Lamb Biftekia with Anchovy, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Mint by Alexandra V. Jones

Greek Chicken Meatballs
Greek Chicken Meatballs

Noodle Night in America and Also Everywhere

Plucking a noodle from the starchy water to test its doneness is the most complicated step.

Creamy Asparagus, Lemon, and Walnut Pasta
Creamy Asparagus, Lemon, and Walnut Pasta
Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato

Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato by lastnightsdinner

Summer Cold Noodle Salad

Summer Cold Noodle Salad by Kendra Vaculin

Sesame Noodle Salad with Seared Mushroom "Scallops"
Sesame Noodle Salad with Seared Mushroom "Scallops"
Zucchini and Green Coriander Pasta

Zucchini and Green Coriander Pasta by thirschfeld

Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie

Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie by Merrill Stubbs

Summer Squash Sauce with Pasta
Summer Squash Sauce with Pasta
Summer Weekend Pasta

Summer Weekend Pasta by Amanda Hesser

Swiss Chard Stalk Pesto with Pepitas

Swiss Chard Stalk Pesto with Pepitas by QueenSashy

Between the Buns (and On Top of Just One of Them)

Toast (or fry), top with whatever's in front of you, then eat it fork-and-knife style.

The Food Lab's Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers
The Food Lab's Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers
Steak and Bean Torta

Steak and Bean Torta by savorthis

A Tomato Sandwich Worthy of a Little Bacon

A Tomato Sandwich Worthy of a Little Bacon by inpatskitchen

Bagna Cauda Toasts with Radicchio, Egg, and Avocado
Bagna Cauda Toasts with Radicchio, Egg, and Avocado
"Moroccan Guacamole" Toasts with Fried Egg

"Moroccan Guacamole" Toasts with Fried Egg by creamtea

Pan Bagnat:  Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich

Pan Bagnat: Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich by Waverly

Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches
Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches
The Fabulous, Legendary Fried Provolone and Tomato Sandwich

The Fabulous, Legendary Fried Provolone and Tomato Sandwich by lastnightsdinner

Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

Chickpea "Tuna" Salad by Sarah Jampel

All You Need is Eggs

In life and in love, but also in frittatas, noodles, and skillet situations.

Scrambled Egg Tacos with Avocado
Scrambled Egg Tacos with Avocado
Skillet Strata with Bacon, Cheddar, and Greens

Skillet Strata with Bacon, Cheddar, and Greens by Alexandra Stafford

Chipotle Tomato Egg Skillet

Chipotle Tomato Egg Skillet by Erin (Naturally Ella)

Scallion Egg Noodles
Scallion Egg Noodles
Zucchini Frittata with Caramelized Red Onion and Goat Cheese

Zucchini Frittata with Caramelized Red Onion and Goat Cheese by Renée Kemps

Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce (Uova al Pomodoro)

Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce (Uova al Pomodoro) by Emiko

What are your favorite one-ingredient summer dinners? Mine's eating a tomato, apple-style.


Tags: summer dinners, quick dinners