15-Minute Summer Meals the Whole Family Will Love

15-Minute Summer Meals the Whole Family Will Love
Image: iStock

beef fajita
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The best part -- OK, to be fair, one of the best parts -- of the summer is how absolutely simple meals can be. It's so hot people rarely want a whole big meal, and it's a good time of year to just buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery, shred it, and throw it into super-easy salads and cold pastas for the next five days. The produce is at its peak, with big summer flavors such as tomatoes and basil hitting their season and imparting all sorts of delicious flavors into any dish we choose. For nights when we just want to hit up Trader Joe's and head home, this roundup of 12 Summer Meals Made Oh-So-Easy From Trader Joe's is absolute perfection. A lot of these are on the healthyish side of things, and they're also basically take-and-bake.

We also love these 40 Crock-Pot Summer Recipes for Easy Meals on Hot Days. Sure, slow cookers take a little more advance planning, but the truth is, they're very little work for a ton of reward -- including the reward of not having to heat up the whole kitchen and still getting a beautiful hot meal. For folks who are looking to make family dinner this summer happen on a budget (we feel it!), these 40 Affordable Dinner Recipes the Whole Family Will Love are genuinely amazing and can be made very inexpensively. There are also 20 One-Skillet Dishes That Look Way Fancier & More Complicated Than They Are, which only dirty one pan, can be made quickly, and are extremely delicious and cool-looking to boot. And an Instant Pot is in the household, we absolutely love these 50 Instant Pot Dinner Recipes That Are Easy & Delicious because what is even faster and easier than making dinner in one of these?

  • 15-Minute BLT Pasta Salad

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    15-Minute BLT Pasta Salad
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    This 15-minute BLT pasta salad recipe is perfectly summery, takes full advantage of the best produce of the season -- mmm, summer tomatoes! -- and is deeply budget-friendly as well. If there's some leftover chicken, steak, tofu, or cold shrimp, this the perfect thing to toss it into.

  • Quick and Easy 15-Minute Chicken Stir Fry

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    Quick and Easy 15 Minute Chicken Stir Fry
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    Quick and easy 15-minute chicken stir fry is a tasty solution to weeknight dinner woes. It takes advantage of lots of vegetables, plus these precooked noodles lots of folks may not know about. And they're so good!

  • 15-Minute Perfectly Poached Salmon With Chive Butter

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    15-Minute Perfectly Poached Salmon With Chive Butter
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    This recipe falls under the category "How on earth does something this elegant and gorgeous only take 15 minutes?!" This 15-minute perfectly poached salmon with chive butter recipe would pair perfectly with quickly roasted summer veggies -- we're thinking summer squash and zucchini -- sliced super thin and tossed in the oven at 425. 

  • 10-Minute Steak Taco

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    The Ten-Minute Steak Taco
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    The 10-minute steak taco is the kind of wondrous weeknight meal that makes a ton of sense at the end of a long, hard day but is sure to become a favorite of everyone in the household. 

  • 15-Minute Chickpea Gyros

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    15 Minute Chickpea Gyros
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    These 15-minute chickpea gyros are light, flavorful, filling, and packed with healthy proteins and veggies -- what more can we ask for? That tzatziki sauce lasts in the fridge for about a week, by the way -- totally worth making extra for dipping veggies in all week long!

  • Garlic Butter Shrimp

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    Garlic Butter Shrimp
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    These garlicky, lemony, super delicious garlic butter shrimp take just 10 minutes to cook! Serve over pasta (or chickpea pasta for a gluten-free, lower-carb option), or on top of a salad or even zoodles.

  • Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sliders

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    Although pulled Buffalo chicken sliders are absolutely delicious, the chicken it calls for could easily be replaced with leftover rotisserie chicken meat -- reducing the cook time on this to basically just "heat and assemble." 

  • Garlic Parmesan Roasted Shrimp

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    Garlic Parmesan Roasted Shrimp
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    We don't know why it never occurred to us to cook shrimp in the oven, but this garlic Parmesan roasted shrimp is such an absolute godsend. All the splattery mess of cooking shrimp on the stovetop is removed from the process, greatly reducing cleanup time. Serve over pasta, quinoa, or rice. 

  • 15-Minute Pepper Steak

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    15 Minute Pepper Steak
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    This 15-minute pepper steak would pair wonderfully with Instant Pot rice or reheated quinoa. It's one of those recipes that also can be made even faster if the ingredients are sliced ahead of time (potentially a job for older kids or a partner).

  • Refried Bean Avocado Toast With Egg

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    Refried Bean Avocado Toast With Egg
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    Yes to a healthy, vegetarian breakfast-for-dinner recipe, right? This recipe for refried bean avocado toast with egg is so simple, easy, and delicious, not to mention packed with proteins and healthy fats. Serve it with a side salad for an extra veggie boost.

  • Chickpea Salad

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    Chickpea Salad
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    On days when it's just too hot to think about turning on the oven, chickpea salad is a healthy all-in-one dinner. However, it would also be delicious served over quinoa for even more protein or for families with carnivores, some chopped leftover rotisserie chicken. 

  • 15-Minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice

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    15-minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice
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    This 15-minute beef & veggie fried rice is one of those amazing weeknight dinners we end up turning to again and again. Even though the protein here is beef, this would also work with leftover chicken, tofu, or pork. 

  • Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

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    Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas
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    Hearty black bean quesadillas are weeknight saviors. And even very small mini chefs can help with making a little guac to go on the side. Serve with a side salad for some added veggies, or quickly sear some fajita veggies to go with it.

  • Seared Scallops With Pan Sauce

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    Seared Scallops With Pan Sauce
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    Seared scallops with pan sauce is one of those recipes that's just as good for a weeknight as it is for serving at a dinner party. We love to plate these over pasta or baby greens, or serve with roasted asparagus.  

  • Easy Caprese Rice Bowls 

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    Easy Caprese Rice Bowls
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    These easy Caprese rice bowls take just five minutes to come together -- that's about as simple as simple gets, really. This would also be an efficient use of leftover wild rice, quinoa, or cold pasta. For an added protein boost, add quickly stir-fried Quorn chicken or cold leftover rotisserie chicken. 

  • 15-Minute Sautéed Honey Mustard Pork Chops

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    15 Minute Sautéed Honey Mustard Pork Chops
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    Try this recipe for 15-minute sautéed honey mustard pork chops. It's an absolutely fantastic weeknight dinner recipe. It would be delicious with some crunchy roasted or sautéed green beans too -- or just a simple side salad. 

  • Quick & Easy Skillet Chicken Jambalaya

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    Quick & Easy Skillet Chicken Jambalaya
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    Quick & easy skillet chicken jambalaya is a fantastically flavorful weeknight dinner option that tastes like it took way longer than 15 minutes to prepare. We love a jambalaya (and all those pungent New Orleans flavors, really).

  • 15-Minute Coconut Curry Soup

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    15-Minute Coconut Curry Soup
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    For a one-pot, complex-taste recipe that is deceptively simple, try 15-minute coconut curry soup. We'd be tempted to throw some quick stir-fried shrimp in at the end for even more flavor. 

  • 15 Minute Crispy Tex-Mex Chicken Wraps

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    15 Minute Crispy Tex-Mex Chicken Wraps
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    These 15-minute crispy Tex-Mex chicken wraps are packed with protein and veggies, they're extremely kid-friendly, and they're doused in an absolutely delicious sauce. Lighten up the recipe by using Greek yogurt mixed with a ranch dressing packet instead of bottled ranch dressing.

  • Easy Greek Pasta Salad

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    Easy Greek Pasta Salad
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    The flavors in this easy Greek pasta salad are familiar and comforting, but it's a handy dish to sneak in extra vegetables. Add some stir-fried broccoli, zucchini, or whatever's laying around or on sale!