Family Friendly Summer Recipes: Main Dishes, Sides & Desserts


I don’t know about you, but at the end of a long summer day, the last thing I want to do is stand in a hot kitchen and cook! “Quick & easy” is the name of my summer cooking game!

I polled some of my mom friends for their favorite summer recipes. I asked for: 

? HEALTHY (is a bonus!)

Below are links and recipes shared by other mamas to make your kitchen lives a little less hectic this summer.



Tacos/Taco Salads – no recipe; be creative!  (courtesy of fellow STLMB mom: Jessie Austermann)

bowls on a marble countertop filled with taco toppings for summer recipes


Instant Pot Hawaiian Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (courtesy of fellow STLMB mom: Ashley Ariñez)


Rotisserie Chicken – served a variety of ways throughout the week (courtesy of: my neighbor with three active boys)

  • Chicken nachos
  • Chicken salad
  • Chicken pasta salad
  • Pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches


French Lentil Bolognese (courtesy of: MOShrooms Regenerative Microfarm)


Crock-pot Fajitas (courtesy of: a former co-worker)

  • Chicken
  • Jar of salsa
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
  • Shred chicken.
  • Sauté some peppers and/or onions.
  • Combine on shells with desired toppings & enjoy! 


Tomato Pie (courtesy of: Momma Sharon)

  • Note: This is an oven recipe, but it sounded so good that I couldn’t pass it up!


Chicken Pasta Salad (courtesy of: my mama)

Mix together dressing ingredients in large bowl.

    • 1/2 cup light mayo
    • 1/2 cup light sour cream
    • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp vinegar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper

Add the following ingredients.

    • 2 cups cooked multi-colored rotini noodles
    • 10oz diced chicken, cooked
    • 1 1/2 cups broccoli, raw
    • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, raw
    • 1/2 medium green pepper, raw
    • 1/4 cup green onions, diced
    • 4oz mild cheddar cheese cubes
    • bacon bits (optional)

Combine, chill, and serve!





Caprese Salad (courtesy of fellow STLMB mom: Melissa Grace)

Balsamic Cucumber Salad (courtesy of: my friend on a low carb mission)

                • Cucumber (cut-up in bite size pieces)
                • Sharp white cheddar (cubed)
                • Cherry tomatoes (halved)
                • Marinate in balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!



Spinach Salad (courtesy of: my sister, Lauren)

  • 1/2 pound fresh spinach, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, torn small
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound fried bacon, crumbled
  • Dressing (make the day before)
    • 1/2 cup mayo
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Toss right before serving & enjoy!



Mexican Style Street Corn (courtesy of: my fave food blog – The Skinnyish Dish)






Frozen Grapes (courtesy of: my neighbor with three active boys)

  • Wash grapes with water then freeze. Tastes like a grape popsicles!


Candied Grapes (courtesy of: peeps I follow on Instagram)

  • Note: I use sugar-free Jell-O mix to make them zero points on WW


Easy Watermelon Slush (courtesy of: my Pinterest research ? )


Zoo Trail Mix (courtesy of: more Pinterest research)



a white bowl filled with strawberries on a cloth dish towel on a white table to represent summer recipes you can make for dessertDESSERTS


Strawberry Lemonade Dump Cake


Jell-O Ice Pops


No Bake Berry Dessert Lush