8 Summer Dinners You Can Make in Under 20 Minutes

Quick and healthy dinner ideas aren't always easy to come by. But one of the best things about summer is that making fast, healthy dinners gets a whole lot easier. From fresh produce like tomatoes, watermelon, greens, and summer squash to cookout classics like burgers and corn, summer presents a host of mouth-watering ingredients that need only a few minutes of preparation and cooking, or none at all. That gives you more time to go for a sunset stroll or sit on the porch drinking shandies. Below the jump, 8 of our favorite quick summer meals that you can have ready to go in 20 minutes or less!

Dip It!Dip It!1. Dip It!
Make dinner fun by laying out a spread of fun dippables. Start with a couple of proteins like hummus, white bean dip, or chèvre, then add toasted pita triangles and lots of healthy veggies like sweet peppers, summer squash, or carrots sticks. Kids will love the break from routine, and you'll love that you don't need to turn on the oven!

Make Healthy Pinto Bean Dip

1 can pinto beans, well rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini
zest of 1 lemon
small clove garlic (optional)
1/2 cup packed, chopped kale (optional
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

If using kale, combine that and the olive oil in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until you achieve the desired level of puree. Then add the beans, tahini, zest and garlic. Pulse a few more times, again catering to the texture sensibilities of your child. Check the flavor and salt levels and add the lemon juice and/or olive oil to smooth out the texture.

Serve in a small, wide-mouthed container with carrot sticks and pita triangles.

Related: 10 easy family dinner under $10

Simple SandwichSimple Sandwich2. Simple Sandwiches
There's a day I look forward to each summer -- the day that the tomatoes are perfect enough to be the main component of dinner. And one of my favorite ways to enjoy the season's best tomatoes is with a tender baguette, creamy fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and lots of fresh basil. Serve with a big bowl of simply dressed greens or veggie sticks. Kids will love this hands-on, causal approach to family dinner, even if it's just for one night. Dinner ready in 7 minutes
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Veggie QuesadillasVeggie Quesadillas3. Veggie Quesadillas
Quesadillas are not only fast, they're inexpensive and so simple to make - a perfect option for a parent who doesn't cook often. With crispy tortillas and gooey cheese, kids love them. To make them a little more interesting and nutritious, try adding a little shredded sweet potato, sauteed greens, or avocado slices and topping with a quick pico de gallo. Dinner ready in 15 minutes
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Related: 10 tasty mug cakes you can make in under 10 minutes

Cobb SaladCobb Salad4. Cobb Salad
Kids aren't known for their love of salads, but if you think back to your own childhood when you went somewhere with a salad bar, you could make a salad that you liked by adding enough ham and other non-lettuce ingredients. Making a hearty cobb salad with hard boiled eggs, tomato wedges, cheddar cheese, chicken or chopped ham, avocado, and a creamy salad dressing provides a sophisticated flavor for adults and lends enough novelty and counterbalance to the vegetables to keep kids' interest. Dinner in 15 minutes
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Crustless Summer QuicheCrustless Summer Quiche5. Crustless Summer Quiche
A crustless quiche is essentially a potato-less frittata, or veggie and cheese-laden scrambled eggs and is a great way to get kids to eat some veggies. Simply make the egg base and toss in whatever seasonal vegetables you have around -- onions, greens, peppers, broccoli, or tomatoes are all great options! Dinner in 20 minutes
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Related: 7 food additives you should think twice about before eating

Chicago DogsChicago Dogs6. Chicago Dogs
Turn a plain, old hot dog into something that's almost a meal on it's own by making it a Chicago-style dog. A Chicago dog is served on a poppy seed bun and topped with a dill spear, chopped onions, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers, green relish, and mustard. Though purists will tell you it's wrong, feel free to add to and take away from this formula to suit your tastes. For a healthier hot dog option, look for turkey dogs with less sodium or hot dogs that are preservative- and nitrate-free. Dinner in 10 minutes
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Fish Tacos with Avocado, Lime, and a Quick Tomato SalsaFish Tacos with Avocado, Lime, and a Quick Tomato Salsa7. Fish Tacos with Avocado, Lime, and a Quick Tomato Salsa
Fish tacos sound fancy, but they're actually a super fast, light summer dinner option. Use a mild fish like tilapia, dredge, fry, and serve! We like ours topped with a simple fresh salsa, sliced avocado, and a squeeze of lime. Dinner ready in 15 minutes
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Summer Vegetable Stir-FrySummer Vegetable Stir-Fry8. Summer Vegetable Stir Fry
Make the most of the season by cooking up the vegetables you can't get the rest of the year. Chop some summer squash, zucchini, carrots, bok choi, or cabbage, and give them a toss in your wok with a little oil. Serve over soba noodles. Dinner ready in 15 minutes
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- By Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell
Follow Elizabeth and Brian on Babble

For 12 more summer dinners you can make in under 20 minutes, visit Babble!


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