Kick-off the summer season with good food, family, and friends! Whether you’re enjoying the long weekend at home or heading to an outdoor gathering, we thought it would be fun to inspire your festivities with easy-prep wholesome recipes. From healthy twists on BBQ classics to summer salads, no-bake desserts, and simple sweet treats, we’ve got everything you need and more! Fire up the grill and make some room on your summer recipe list – these mouth-watering dishes are here to stay!
#1 Crispy Baked Avocado Fries
Made with a simple breadcrumb and cooked to golden perfection, these oven-baked avocado fries are the perfect finger food for any gathering — no deep-frying needed! Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and a healthy alternative to traditional oil-soaked fries. Oh, and did we mention they’re dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly?
- 1 large avocado, more firm than soft but ripe enough to eat
- ½ cup almond meal (or sub panko bread crumbs)
- ¼ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (we used almond milk)
- ½ tsp paprika (optional)
- ½ tsp garlic powder (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Step #1: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, prepare the avocado. Cut the avocado lengthwise and remove pit, peel skin, and slice into wedges.
Step #2: In a medium-sized bowl, combine almond meal and spices. Mix well to combine and set aside.
Step #3: In a separate bowl, add almond milk and dip each avocado slice in liquid. Then, dredge each slice in the almond meal mixture until well coated.
Step #4: Once coated, evenly place avocado slices on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly golden. Once cooked, remove from oven. Cool slightly and serve warm.
#2 Healthy Honey & Lime Mojito
Naturally sweetened with a drizzle of honey, this healthy mojito recipe proves it’s totally possible to enjoy a cocktail without hurting your fitness goals. It’s refreshing, cooling, and the perfect way to kick off summer. Going alcohol-free? Swap the rum for your favorite kombucha or coconut water!
- 8-10 fresh mint leaves
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup ice cubes or crushed ice
- 2 ounces white rum
- Club soda or sparkling water
- Fresh lime slices
- Fresh mint
Step #1: Using a mortar and pestle (or small bowl and fork) muddle the fresh mint leaves. Add to a tall glass.
Step #2: Add the honey and lime juice to the glass and stir until well combined. Pour in the rum and mix well.
Step #3: Fill the glass halfway full with ice. Top with club soda or sparkling water and stir to combine. Top with optional fresh garnishes, such as mint leaves and sliced lime. Serve and enjoy!
#3 Smashed Red, White, & Blue Potatoes
Made with red, white, and purple potatoes, this easy-prep recipe is a flavorful and festive must-have at any party or gathering! Running low on potatoes or looking for a low-carb alternative? Swap Brussels sprouts in place!
- 1 lb. baby red, purple, and yellow potatoes
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, chives or scallions (optional)
Step #1: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Step #2: While the oven is heating, add potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Coat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and any additional seasonings of choice. Add potatoes to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Step #3: Remove from oven and cool slightly. Then, using the bottom of a glass cup or measuring cup, smash the potatoes ½ an inch (so they are smashed but not falling apart). Once smashed, add any additional seasoning if necessary and place back in the oven. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crispy.
Step #4: Once golden and crispy, remove from oven. Top with garnish of choice, such as fresh herbs. Serve and enjoy!
#4 Veggie & Chickpea Pasta Salad
Give traditional pasta salad a healthy upgrade! Filled with protein-packed chickpeas and grain-free pasta instead of refined wheat. This fan-favorite pasta salad will be a hit at your holiday BBQ or soon-to-be-summer gathering.
- 1½ cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup basil leaf, chopped
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cups grain-free pasta or pasta of choice (we love Banza)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup feta cheese
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- sea salt & black pepper, to taste
Step #1: Cook pasta of choice according to instructions. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
Step #2: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.
Step #3: In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, chickpeas, vegetables, cheese, and herbs. Add dressing and stir to combine. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge.
#5 Low-Sugar Summer Spritz
Cheers to the long weekend! This festive memorial day cocktail will have you sipping your way to good health. Make a big pitcher following the recipe below and enjoy with good company! To make this alcohol-free, simply swap the wine with your favorite kombucha of choice.
- 1 bottle white wine of choice, chilled (sub with kombucha for mocktail)
- 6-7 oz. sparkling water of choice
- ½ cup strawberries, sliced (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup blueberries, sliced (fresh or frozen)
- 1 lime, sliced or juiced
- 1 tsp honey or agave (optional)
Step #1: In a large pitcher, add all of the above ingredients, except seltzer. Stir well to combine. Taste test, and adjust ingredients as needed, adding additional fruit or any added sweetener. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve
Step #2: To serve, pour the mixture over ice. Add a splash of seltzer and any additional garnish such as fresh berries, lime, or rosemary. Enjoy!
#6 Simple Caprese Kebabs
Paleo and keto-friendly, and made with 5 fresh ingredients! Whip these up in 10 minutes or less – no cooking or baking required!
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 container mozzarella balls (chopped in half or quarters, if needed)
- ¼ – ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Step #1: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Stir until well combined.
Step #2: To create the kebabs, start by threading the mozzarella onto the stick. If the mozzarella balls are large, you may need to chop them in halves or quarters. Then, add the cherry tomatoes followed by a fresh piece of basil. Repeat until the skewer is filled. To finish, drizzle with the balsamic olive oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
#7 Chopped Greek Salad
You can’t have a summer gathering without a big Greek salad! This simple recipe is loaded with fresh seasonal veggies and will add a hefty dose of nutrients to any plate.
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup feta cheese, cubed
- ½ cup Kalamata olives
Greek Salad Dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp oregano
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Step #1: Add all of the salad fixings into a large bowl and toss until well combined.
Step #2: To make dressing, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, and spices in a small bowl until well combined.
Step #3: When ready to serve, plate salad and drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!
#8 Summer-Inspired Shrimp Ceviche
Low in calories, high in protein, and loaded with fresh flavor. Featuring fresh shrimp, avocado, red onion, tomatoes, and cucumber, this summer-inspired shrimp ceviche makes the perfect warm weather dish. Enjoy it with your favorite healthy crackers or served plain with raw veggies!
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup cucumber, diced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup lime juice
- 2 tbsp jalapeno peppers, diced
- sea salt & black pepper, to taste
Step #1: In a large bowl, toss together the shrimp, red onion, jalapeno, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and lime juice. If using cooked shrimp, let the mixture marinate for 10 minutes. If using raw shrimp, soak the shrimp and red onion only in the lime juice for 20-40 minutes, flipping once until the shrimp is opaque and pink. Then stir in the remaining ingredients.
Step #2: When ready to serve, stir in the avocado and cilantro. Season well with salt and pepper, then taste test. If the ceviche feels too sour, add a drizzle of olive oil. This is best eaten immediately as the ingredients break down as it sits.
#9 Loaded Wonton Cups
These single-serve wonton poppers are the perfect appetizer or snack. The best part? You can fill them with any fixings you’d like! Customize them based on your food or dietary preferences, adding fillings such as chicken salad, black beans, salsa, and cheese, or guac and shrimp. There’s really no wrong choice!
While the filling is up to you, here’s how to make the crispy wonton cups:
Step #1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Then, brush wonton wrappers with olive oil on both sides.
Step #2: Press each wonton wrapper into a mini muffin pan and bake until golden, about 6-9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Then, fill each wonton center with filling of choice!
Step #3: If adding cheese or any ingredients that require warming or melting, place wontons back in the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes once filled. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve and enjoy!
#10 Anything-But-Basic Black Bean Burgers
Fire up the grill and prepare for a mouthful of juicy flavor! These vegetarian black bean burgers are packed with plant-based protein and require just 10 ingredients. Serve them with fresh or grilled veggies, your favorite dip, and wrapped in lettuce for a low-cal bun alternative.
- ½ cup oats
- ½ cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced
- 4 hamburger buns
- 14½ oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- sea salt & black pepper
To serve (optional):
- Mixed greens
- Freshly sliced tomato
Step #1: Add the oats to a food processor and pulse 3-4 times until chopped into smaller pieces. Then add half the black beans and pulse a few times until a thick paste forms. Add the egg and cumin and pulse until well combined.
Step #2: Remove the mixture from the food processor and add the remaining beans, cheese, jalapeno, red onion, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Step #3: Form into patties and refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow the burgers to firm up.
Step #4: For a stovetop option, cook the burgers in a hot skillet sprayed with cooking spray for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping when they brown and crisp up. Alternatively, cook on the grill for 3-4 minutes per side.
Step #5: Top with mixed greens and any additional toppings of choice and serve in a toasted hamburger bun. Alternatively, you could serve on top of roasted sweet potato or wrapped in lettuce.
#11 Air-Fried Artichoke Hearts
Got an air fryer? Perfect! Now all you need is 4 minutes and a can (or two) of artichoke hearts for this easy-prep recipe. Serve with your favorite dip or spread!
- 1 can artichoke hearts canned in water, drained
- olive oil or olive oil spray
- ¼ tsp garlic powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp onion powder (optional)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Step #1: Drain artichoke hearts, then slice lengthwise into halves
Step #2: In a medium-sized bowl, add artichoke hearts, spices of choice, and a drizzle of olive oil to coat
Step #3: Add to air fryer basket and bake on 400 F for 15 minutes or until golden. Once tender, remove from the air fryer. Top with any additional garnish, such as parmesan cheese or fresh herbs. Serve with your favorite dip or spread such as aioli or tahini
#12 Watermelon Pizza
The dessert pizza of your dreams. Satisfy your sweet tooth with this hydrating recipe that will curb all your cravings in a healthy and delicious way. It’s loaded with antioxidants (thanks to the watermelon base and fresh berry topping) and packs a low-sugar, protein punch with the Greek yogurt sauce.
- 1 center-cut slice of watermelon, 1-2 inches thick
- ½ cup Greek yogurt, unsweetened
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup of fresh mixed berries of choice, roughly chopped
- ½ cup mashed mixed berries (optional)
- Raw or dry-roasted almonds and pistachios, finely chopped
- Raw honey, to drizzle
- Cacao nibs or chocolate chips
- Coconut flakes, unsweetened
Step #1: In a medium-sized bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract. Option to add ½ cup of mashed or finely chopped berries. Set aside
Step #2: Slicing from the center of the watermelon, cut a 1-2 inch slice of watermelon.
Step #3: Next, evenly spread the yogurt mixture on top of the watermelon.
Step #4: Slice the watermelon into 8 evenly sliced wedges, resembling that of a pizza.
Step #5: Top each watermelon slice with fresh berries and any optional toppings such as almonds, pistachios, cacao nibs, or coconut. Option to drizzle with honey.
Step #6: Serve and enjoy!
#13 Best Ever Guac
Because what’s a summer celebration without the ultimate dip? Trust us — this guac recipe is the best you’ll ever have. Simply made with creamy avocado, fresh seasonal veggies, and a splash of citrus. Use it as a dip for your favorite crackers or raw veggies, add it to salad, or use it as a spread for your burger and grilled protein!
- 3 medium avocados, ripe
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 1 lime, juiced (or sub lemon)
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ – ½ cup fresh mango, chopped
- jalapeño pepper, diced, to taste
Step #1: Slice the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh and add to a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork, leaving several large chunks.
Step #2: Fold in the remaining ingredients, including any additional add-ins. Serve and enjoy!
#14 Dairy-Free Stuffed Mini Peppers
We love an easy-prep app that comes together in minutes, like these dairy-free stuffed mini peppers. Load them up with this simple cashew spread, or fill them with your favorite store-bought alternative (like DF Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese or Siete Foods Cashew Queso).
Simply slice your mini peppers lengthwise, and load them up with your favorite dip or spread. You can even use guac or hummus! For a simple dairy-free cashew spread, follow our recipe below.
- 2 cups cashews, raw (soaked and rinsed)*
- ½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Finely chopped fresh herbs of choice (such as chives, scallions, parsley, or cilantro), optional
*Note: For a creamy cheese-like texture, Cashews must be soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours. Once soaked, drain and rinse.
Step #1: Slice your mini peppers lengthwise and add them to a plate.
Step #2: To prepare your filling, add the above ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until well combined. The texture should be thick and creamy; you may need to scrape down the sides several times and reblend. Taste test and adjust flavoring as needed.
Step #3: Evenly spread ½ – 1 tbsp of cashew filling into the center of your sliced pepper half. Option to garnish with any additional toppings such as freshly minced herbs. Serve immediately and enjoy!
#15 No-Bake Berry “Cheesecake” Bars
No-bake desserts are the ultimate summer treat, and these dairy-free cheese-less cheesecake bars are no exception! They’re fully plant-based, easy to make, and will be loved by all. With two base options (a paleo granola base or nut and date base) and an easy-to-customize filling, this tasty dessert will be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
- 1 8-10 oz. bag granola of choice (we love Purely Elizabeth or Paleonola)
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Nut & Date-based option:
- 1½ cups pecans or walnuts
- 1 ½ cups pitted Medjool dates (soaked in hot water for 5-10 minutes, then drained and finely chopped)
- 2 cups cashews (soaked for 3-4 hours minimum or overnight), rinsed and drained
- ⅓ cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup)
- 1 cup raspberries or wild blueberries (fresh or de-thawed if frozen)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt (optional)
Step #1: Prepare the granola-based crust by combining granola of choice and melted coconut oil in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until a dough forms. Note: you may need to scrape down the sides and blend several times. If using the nut and date-based crust option, repeat the above process using dates and nuts.
Step #2: Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, then evenly press the crust into the pan.
Step #3: Next, prepare the cashew berry filling. Add the drained cashews, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, sea salt, and vanilla extract into a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the berries and lightly pulse until well mixed. Taste test and adjust as needed adding any additional sweetener, lemon juice, or berries.
Step #4: Pour the cashew filling on top of the crust. Cover and freeze until hard (6-8 hours or overnight). Option to serve frozen or slightly dethawed. Enjoy!
Kick-Off Summer In a Healthy & Delicious Way
Whether you’re grilling, air-frying, or baking in preparation for the unofficial start to summer, we’ve got everything you need to have a yummy and delicious holiday. From vegan and vegetarian options to low-sugar and protein-packed plates, there’s something for everyone! Make this Memorial Day Weekend a memorable one.