Easy Summer Dinners

Summer is for playing outside, staying up late, swimming and adventure. If your family is anything like ours, what we’re making for dinner is not something we want to think about every night, especially if we’re outside having fun. Also, with the heat, none of us are really in the mood for a big meal – even our almost three-year-old.

Here are a few recipes that we throw together for quick and easy summer dinners. I’ve also added some Pinterest recipe links for some of the options.

  1. Pepperoni Roll-Ups. These are super easy and a fun meal for little ones to help with. All you need are Crescent Rolls, Cheese Sticks and Pepperoni. You pull the crescents apart into triangles, layer on the pepperoni, put the cheese stick on the widest end of the crescent and roll them up. Place on a greased baking sheet at 375o for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Breakfast for Dinner. We love this dinner option. You can use whatever you have in your fridge to make breakfast – pancakes with fruit salad (great for when you have summer fruit that’s quickly ripening); bananas foster French toast; make ahead breakfast casserole; smoked sausage hash (another great Pinterest recipe and you can use kielbasa or sausage with this)
  3. Cucumber and Tomato Salad. Again, another super simple dish with summer vegetables. 2 cucumbers peeled, sliced and quartered; 5 tomatoes, quartered; 2 tablespoons EVOO; dill seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. *I will also add avocado or corn to this, if we have it* I admit, this doesn’t have any protein in it, so our little guy will end up adding some milk or yogurt to this and some fruit.
  4. Personal Pan Pizzas. We’ve used different things for the crust: Texas Toast, Jumbo Biscuits, Bagels or English Muffins. Your kids will love assembling their own pizza. Look for what’s in your pantry or fridge – olives, corn, pepperoni, cheese, sausage, peppers, left over chicken, pineapple, the list is endless of options for this quick, appetite-specific dinner. Set your oven at 425o for most pizzas; bake between 8-12 minutes, depending on what kind of crust you are using and how crispy you want your pizza.


These are just a few easy options for summer dinners. I love being able to use Pinterest for meal-times, even if I only have one ingredient that we’d like to eat, but am not sure what to make. Use other creative mom-brains to your advantage to find a yummy meal year round.

Here are two snacks that have been a popular treat in our house this summer:

  1. Jello Blocks – when we were little we called them knox blocks and they were a great summer snack; I’ve added fruit to them too, which our little guy has also liked. (search “knox blocks” online for different recipes)
  2. Frozen Yogurt Bites – have you tried these? They remind me of that “astronaut food” that you could get in a bag at the Carnegie Science Center on field-trips! Biggest thing here is use the Go-Gurt and you’ll also need wax paper. Nice frozen treat on a hot afternoon.

What does your family like to eat for dinner that’s quick and easy?

Have you found a unique ingredient that your kids love during the summertime?

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Katie Stern
Katie is a wife and mom of 3 boys, Lucas, Zeke and Toby. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Marketing & Communications. Katie has worked in the construction industry for the past 12 years, building and restructuring brands and marketing departments, for companies in the Baltimore and Washington DC market, before returning to Pittsburgh and starting a family. Their second son, Toby, was born May 27, 2016 and died suddenly in August from SIDS, at 12 weeks and 5 days old. Katie and her husband, Dan, made a promise to Toby that they would work to do good in his name and never let the story of his life be forgotten. Through this loss, they have founded The Little Fox | Toby’s Foundation with the hopes of bringing joy, laughter, and lots of smiles to families within the Pittsburgh community, while working to spread awareness about child-loss and the lives of grieving parents. This is not the path they would have chosen for their lives, but it is the journey they are now on and will strive to be the best parents they can be, to one child on earth and one in Heaven. Katie is currently the Director of Marketing for A. Martini & Co., and General Contracting and Construction Management Firm. She has been heavily involved with juvenile diabetes research, because she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2. Currently, Katie sits on the Executive Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association, Pittsburgh Chapter and is part of the planning committee for Step Out: Pittsburgh each year. Their family moved to Monroeville, one week after Toby was born, and have enjoyed getting to know that area of Pittsburgh and what it has to offer. While in the throes of motherhood, Katie is also active throughout the week with exercise routines, Paw Patrol and PJ Masks episodes, blogging at Our Happy Place & Co., a lifestyle blog she started in 2013, and working with her husband on the mission of The Little Fox.