31 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Your Summer Veggies

By Laurel Randolph on 27 July 2015 0 comments

Summer doesn't just bring fun and sun, it also brings a bounty of fresh veggies like corn, tomatoes, and squash. It's arguably the best time of year for vegetable lovers, and it'd be a crying shame if you didn't take full advantage of it. The following 31 recipes should get you started!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are far and away at their best this time of year, so this is the time to really enjoy them. Look for bright red, ripe fruits, or seek out especially tasty heirloom varieties.

1. Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Combine two of summer's favorite fruits — watermelon and heirloom tomatoes — into one sweet and savory salad that's really simple to make.

2. Fresh Tomato Sauce

Snatch up as many fresh tomatoes as you can while they're in season, and make a big batch of fresh tomato sauce. Freeze or can it for a taste of summer all year long.

3. Grilled Tomato Gazpacho

Showcase tomatoes in all their glory by making an easy gazpacho soup. The chilled dish is a great way to beat the summer heat.

4. Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad

Celebrate the pure flavor of heirloom tomatoes in this satisfying tomato and avocado salad that won't weigh you down. Orzo and chickpeas add heft, and fresh tomatoes, arugula, and basil keep it seasonal and light.

Squash

Summer squash is yellow and can be crook-necked or straight like a zucchini. They'll last for up to a week in the fridge.

5. Grilled Summer Squash Boats

Gluten free and vegetarian, this recipe is healthy and quick enough for a weeknight meal. Other summer produce like tomatoes, basil, and bell pepper are stuffed into grilled squash boats and topped with melty cheese.

6. Penne With Grilled Summer Squash and Sweet Corn

Smoky grilled squash, sweet corn, and fresh tomato combine with penne and ricotta cheese for a summery pasta dish.

7. Ridiculously Easy Roasted Yellow Squash

Sometimes simple is best. An easy side dish of roasted yellow squash and onions brings out their natural sweetness, and pairs well with meat or other veggies.

Zucchini

This green vegetable is everywhere this time of year, and is especially versatile. Use it for bread, as a side dish, as noodles, and more.

8. Zucchini Noodles and Grilled Shrimp

Ditch the pasta and replace it with strands of tender zucchini for a light summer meal. Combined with grilled shrimp and pesto, this zucchini noodle dish hits at the right notes.

9. Sautéed Zucchini

A great way to prepare zucchini is by simply sautéing it in oil and adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Serve sautéed zucchini with chicken or pork.

10. Healthy Greek Yogurt Zucchini Bread

If you're swimming in fresh zucchini, shred some up and make zucchini bread. This version uses Greek yogurt and ripe banana to replace much of the fat and sugar.

11. Zucchini Fries

For a healthier version of french fries, bake up a batch of zucchini fries. Roll pieces of zucchini in a simple batter and bake until crispy for a delicious side or snack.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers come in a rainbow of colors, and they're all equally delicious in the summertime. Cut them up for a crudite platter, or cook them in one of the following recipes.

12. Marinated Bell Peppers

When putting together an appetizer plate, include these flavorful marinated bell peppers. They're great with cheese, olives, bread, crackers, and more.

13. Cheesy Quinoa and Turkey Sloppy Joe Stuffed Bell Peppers

Hollowed out fresh bell peppers are perfect for stuffing with savory ingredients and baking for a convenient meal. These stuffed bell peppers have the flavor of sloppy joes, but with healthier ingredients like quinoa and turkey.

14. Seared Steak, Pepper, and Onion Fajitas

Fajitas wouldn't be fajitas without sliced bell peppers. Seared and sliced steak and onion join the peppers for a classic Tex-Mex feast.

Hot Peppers

If you're into spicy food, then this is your time of year. From jalapeños to habaneros, hot peppers are now in season.

15. Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño poppers are the ultimate party food. They're crispy, spicy, and filled with gooey cheese. And now you can make your own at home!

16. Hot Pepper Relish

Add a delicious kick to your hot dogs or sausages with homemade hot pepper relish. This recipe will last in the fridge for a month without the hassle of canning.

Eggplant

Deep purple eggplants are hearty and almost meaty, making them really handy for a vegetarian diet. They're great on sandwiches, with pasta, and made into a dip.

17. Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant and Italian food are meant to be together. This eggplant lasagna is a perfect example, and only has a few ingredients!

18. Homemade Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush is an easy and tasty appetizer that happens to be low fat, too. Simply grill or roast a couple of eggplants, scoop out the flesh, and whirl it up with tahini, garlic, and lemon.

19. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Heros

Lighten up the typical eggplant parm sub by firing up the grill. These grilled eggplant parmesan heros with fresh tomato sauce will have everyone raving.

Corn

Nothing tastes quite like summer like fresh sweet corn on the cob. Whenever possible, buy ears that were picked fresh, and use them as soon as possible.

20. Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn)

Take grilled corn up a notch and make Mexican grilled corn, or elote. After being grilled, cobs are slathered in mayonnaise, lime, and spices.

21. Summer Corn Chowder

Corn chowder is a rare summertime soup that's hearty and light at the same time. It's creamy, smoky, sweet, and just plain delicious.

22. Fresh Corn Skillet Cornbread

To go with all of the meats you'll be grilling up this summer, use some of summer's favorite vegetable to make fresh corn cornbread. Buttermilk makes this bread moist and flavorful.

23. Corn Salsa

A fresh corn salsa is a simple and easy way to eat the summer veg. Just add tomatoes, lime, and cilantro, and serve with chips.

Cucumber

Crunchy cucumbers come in a few different varieties, with some types making better pickles than others. Eat them cut up with dip or slice them into salads.

24. Lemony Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers, radishes, and bell peppers are dressed with lemon and white wine vinegar for a bright summertime salad.

25. Spicy Dill Quick Pickles

Transform cucumbers into an irresistible spicy and tart snack overnight with this quick pickle recipe.

26. Chilled Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Noodles

Just like zucchini, cucumber makes beautifully light, fresh noodles. Chilled cucumber noodles with a sweet and spicy sauce is a perfect hot weather dish.

Tomatillos

If you've ever wondered what salsa verde, or green salsa, is made of, this is it. The crunchy little veggies are surrounded by a husk, and take well to being charred.

27. Salsa Verde

Salsa verde (green salsa) is super fresh, and you can adjust the spices as you see fit. Serve as a dip or with tacos.

28. Steak and Corn Salad With Tomatillos

Raw tomatillos add crunch to this meaty summer salad. Spice-rubbed seared steak and fresh summer veggies make for an all-in-one meal.

Green Beans

Fresh-picked green beans can be eaten raw for a crunchy and fresh experience, or they can be cooked in a variety of ways. Don't overcook them or they'll turn to mush.

29. Green Beans With Bacon Vinaigrette

Fresh green beans are briefly cooked before being tossed with shallots, crispy bacon, and a simple vinaigrette in this tasty side dish. You'll be wondering why everyone doesn't serve green beans with bacon all the time.

30. Tempura-Fried Green Beans

Turn this summertime green veggie into a crispy, crunchy appetizer. Tempura-fried green beans are totally addictive, especially when they're dipped into a mustard sauce.

31. Potato and Green Bean Salad

This classic French side dish tastes great served hot or cold, and mustard vinaigrette makes these potatoes and green beans sing.

What are your favorite summer veggie dishes?

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