Whether you’re pulling a Tupperware container out of the office fridge or enjoying a picnic at the beach or park, summer is the season for fresh veggies, bold flavors, and quick, easy meals. These summer lunches—utilizing produce from the farmers market or your fridge—will leave you feeling like you’re eating in the sunshine, whether you are or not.
1. Corn and Summer Vegetable Sauté
(Recipe From MyRecipes.com)
If you want a recipe that screams summer, this one has only 90 calories per serving, and is filled with healthy veggies and protein-rich black beans. It’s great as is, but feel free to think of it as a kitchen sink recipe, and swap the ingredients here for what you have on hand. Hit up your local farmers market and buy the fresh veggies that speak to you. This makes a delicious side dish for a picnic.
2. Avocado and Chicken Caprese Salad
(Recipe From IowaGirlEats.com)
Say no to wimpy salads that leave you unsatisfied and say yes to one that combines the good fats of mozzarella cheese and avocado with the lean protein of chicken to fuel your day. Easily portable for a picnic lunch, this salad can be made in a pinch by practically throwing the ingredients together.
3. Grilled Chicken & Polenta with Nectarine-Blackberry Salsa
(Recipe From EatingWell.com)
If you want to pack a lunch to take to the beach or park and you don’t want to have to fuss with a lot of side dishes, make this one-dish meal to enjoy in the sunshine. Lean chicken, fresh fruit, bold spices and filling polenta come together for a lunch perfect for a hot, sunny day.
4. Filet Mignon with Roquefort and Red Leaf
(Recipe From Health.com)
Maybe you’re grabbing your lunch from the office fridge in the middle of summer and you want to feel a little fancy. This quick and easy dish is healthy, satisfying, and will leave you feeling like you’re dining al fresco regardless of where you’re actually eating.
5. Potato, Squash & Goat Cheese Gratin
(Recipe From TheKitchn.com)
Here’s a meal straight from the farmers market. Treat it as a main dish or side dish depending on your mood. The rich, cheesy taste blends with crisp potatoes and fresh veggies for a lunch that feels extremely decadent but isn’t really – there are only 209 calories in each serving.
6. Falafel Scotch Eggs
(Recipe From BBCGoodFood.com)
Heading to a picnic or potluck? Nobody will see this dish coming, but everyone will be impressed by its unexpected nature and elegant presentation. Spiced, herbed chickpeas unite the flavors of falafel and Scotch eggs. Serve in a cute basket and you’re sure to be the hit of the party.
7. Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken Breasts
(Recipe From RachaelRayMag.com)
Thanks to the honey, pineapple and grilled chicken, this recipe has a tropical vibe. Make it over the weekend when you’re grilling for the family, and eat the leftovers during the week. You’ll feel like you’re on an island—or your backyard—even if you’re in a cubicle.
8. Shrimp Ratatouille
(Recipe From FitnessMagazine.com)
Bright summer veggies, shrimp, herbs and almonds combine for a lunch that will fuel you for your day and leave you satisfied for hours. Fiber, vitamins, antioxidants: they’re all invited to this taste bud party. The vibrant colors alone are enough to put you in a good mood.
9. California Melt
(Recipe From AllRecipes.com)
Avocado, tomato, almonds and mushrooms bring this open-faced sandwich to life. Swiss cheese kicks it up an irresistible notch. Make it on a hot day and enjoy it on the patio. Avocado and tomatoes are staples of summer, so throw them into your recipes all summer long.
10. Soba Noodle-Vegetable Salad
(Recipe From CookingChannelTV.com)
If you want to make this recipe even healthier, substitute noodles made from zucchini for the soba or whole-wheat noodles. If you don’t have that much time, use the noodles the recipe calls for and it’s still a delightful, fresh summer dish. Who needs greasy takeout when you make your own healthier version?