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The 50 Summer Dishes We’re Looking Forward to the Most

Summertime is synonymous with grilled meats, fresh fruits, garden veggies and refreshing desserts. These are the summer dishes we can't wait to devour!

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Grilled Chicken Salad With Blueberry Vinaigrette Exps Sdjj17 48167 C02 16 2b 2

Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

When it comes to grilled chicken recipes, we love this refreshing salad in the summer. The real star here is the vinaigrette made with blueberry preserves and maple syrup. It goes great with a fresh baguette and a frosty glass of minted lemonade. —Susan Gauthier, Falmouth, Maine
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Pina Colada Dip

If you like pina coladas, you've gotta try this fluffy fruit dip. Scooped up with a slice of fresh pineapple, it tastes just like the beloved beachside drink. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee Wisconsin
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Heirloom Tomato Pie

My green-thumbed neighbors like to share produce with me. I return the delicious favor by baking tomato pies for all. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
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Tomato Avocado And Grilled Corn Salad Exps Thjj18 153635 C02 01 4b 3

Tomato, Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad

With ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and grilled corn, this bright salad tastes just like summertime! —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Barbecued Picnic Chicken

I like to serve this savory chicken at family picnics. Cooked on a covered grill, the poultry stays so tender and juicy. Everyone loves the zesty, slightly sweet homemade barbecue sauce—and it's so easy to make. —Priscilla Weaver, Hagerstown, Maryland
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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

After sampling this flavor at an ice cream stand, I kept trying to duplicate it until it was just right. This blueberry cheesecake ice cream is a hit! —Melissa Symington, Neche, North Dakota
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Tzatziki Potato Salad

My son has an egg allergy, so this potato salad is perfect for him. For extra color, add radishes, apple and garlic dill pickles. —Cindy Romberg, Mississauga, Ontario
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Strawberry Ladyfinger Icebox Cake

This cake is inventive and yet familiar. Be sure to use a springform pan so you can easily remove it from the pan. If it breaks while you're transferring the cake to the serving plate, just push it back together, pressing gently. —Stella Ohanian, Porter Ranch, California
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Crunchy Lemon Pesto Garden Salad Exps Thjj18 212387 C01 30 6b 13

Crunchy Lemon-Pesto Garden Salad

I love using vegetables straight from the garden in preparing this salad. If I pick the squash and cucumbers early enough, their skins are so tender that there's no need to remove them! Best of all, it's easily adaptable—any fresh veggie from the garden can be swapped in with delicious results! —Carmell Childs, Clawson, Utah
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Blueberry Buckle with Lemon Sauce

This recipe is a family favorite, served warm as dessert, plain or with a scoop of ice cream. My family also likes it cold as a coffee cake. But the lemon sauce topping makes this traditional dessert a little different, enhancing the flavor of the blueberries. —Maureen Carr, Carman, Manitoba
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Tangy Baked Seven Beans

Everyone needs a go-to side dish for school events, picnics and potlucks. Here's mine. Freeze leftovers for future outings. —Rod Lundwall, Tooele, Utah
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Banana Split Supreme

This lovely and delightful dessert has the classic flavor of a banana split. It's a cool, creamy treat with no last-minute fuss since you just pull it from the freezer. It always solicits praise from our big family. -Marye Franzen, Gothenburg, Nebraska
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Grilled Flank Steak with Summer Relish

My garden produces a nice harvest of tomatoes, scallions, corn, garlic and poblanos, so that's what I use to make relish for this tasty steak. —Brenda Washnock, Negaunee, Michigan
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Key Lime Trifle Exps Hca17 58570 C10 20 1b 3

Key Lime Trifle

When I saw a recipe for banana cream pie trifle I was inspired to invent a version than spun off my favorite pie, Key lime. My family loved it! Some friends got to try it, too, and they enjoyed immensely as well. —Rebecah Lytle, Ocala, Florida
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Grilled Veggies with Caper Butter

We enjoy the tart, peppery taste of capers. No one likes a bland veggie, and caper butter helps peppers, squash and zucchini shine. —Danyelle Crum, Indian Trail, North Carolina
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Cucumbers with Dill

Sprinkling cucumber slices with salt and letting them stand in a colander draws out excess water so they stay crisp when set on a barbecue buffet. Try this cucumber dill salad alongside any grilled entree. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mixed Berry Tiramisu Exps Mtbz20 194828 B02 28 4b 1

Mixed Berry Tiramisu

Because I love tiramisu, I came up with this deliciously refreshing twist on the traditional coffee-flavored Italian dessert. Fresh softened berries star with crisp ladyfinger cookies and mascarpone cheese. Serve it from a glass bowl or in clear dishes to show off the luscious layers. —Najmussahar Ahmed, Ypsilanti, Michigan
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Martha S Fish Tacos Exps Fttmz20 86292 E03 10 6b 3

Martha's Fish Tacos

We can’t get enough barbecued fish at our house. This recipe can be made ahead and served cold, or you can eat it hot off the grill. It’s fantastic either way! —Martha Benoit, Proctorsville, Vermont
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Grilled Corn in Husks

If you're new to grilling corn in the husk, season the ears with butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley. It's especially good! Be sure to give the corn a long soak before putting it on the grill. Hot off the grate, the kernels are moist and tender with a wonderful, sweet flavor. Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Barbecued Chicken Salad Sandwiches Exps Ft20 23027 F 0312 1 5

Barbecued Chicken Salad Sandwiches

An impromptu picnic inspired this BBQ chicken salad sandwich. An instant summertime favorite, these dressed-up sandwiches have become a mainstay at our house. —Linda Orme, Battleground, Washington
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Maple Blueberry Crisp Exps Ftts20 49163 B03 05 3b 8

Maple Blueberry Crisp

With a tender crumb topping, this yummy blueberry crisp makes a wonderful treat after brunch or an evening meal. I sometimes top servings with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.—Mona Wright, Villa Rica, Georgia
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Northwest Cherry Salsa

We have five cherry trees—and I like to use every bit of fruit that doesn't get eaten right off of them. We enjoy salsa on a variety of dishes, especially this turkey. —Margaret Slocum, Ridgefield, Washington
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Curried Pork & Orange Kabobs

I love the sweet flavor of red, yellow and orange peppers. I always go for these in the summer when they are inexpensive and plentiful. I think they taste a whole lot better than green peppers. —Liv Vors, Peterborough, Ontario
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Strawberry Lemon Trifle Exps Mtbz20 7959 E02 28 6b 1

Strawberry Lemon Trifle

This refreshingly fruity dessert is one of our favorites. It looks so beautiful layered in a glass bowl that people will think it took ages to make. The secret is starting with a purchased angel food cake. —Lynn Marie Frucci, Pullman, Washington
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Couscous Tabbouleh With Fresh Mint Feta Exps Sdam19 127302 E12 07 8b 5

Couscous Tabbouleh with Fresh Mint & Feta

Using couscous instead of bulgur for tabbouleh really speeds up the process of making this colorful salad. Other quick-cooking grains, such as barley or quinoa, also work well. —Elodie Rosinovsky, Brighton, Massachusetts
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Two-Berry Pavlova

Here's a light and airy dessert that I first tried in Ireland. When I got home, I made this berry pavlova for my kids, who loved to build their own with their favorite fruits. The whipped cream makes for icing on the cake! —Norma Stevenson, Eagan, Minnesota
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Summer Garden Fish Tacos

I like to serve fish tacos with quinoa and black beans for a complete and satisfying meal. If you’ve got them, add colorful summer toppings like bright peppers, green onions or purple carrots. —Camille Parker, Chicago, Illinois
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Hot Dog Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

For parties, we shrink lots of foods to slider size, including these quick hot dogs. Pile on the easy but irresistible fruit salsa for a burst of fresh flavor. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Dark Chocolate Ice Cream With Paprika Agave Exps Dai18 134795 E08 29 3b 2

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Paprika & Agave

Pair this rich and creamy ice cream with a cup of hot or iced coffee. It's mildly sweet with a hint of paprika. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Bacon and Date Goat Cheese Burgers

Every bite of this burger is a rich and decadent combination of sweet and savory. If you can't find maple bacon in your local grocery store, use regular bacon and add 1-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup to the spinach-goat cheese mixture in the food processor. —Sharon Michelle Anglin, Livingston, Montana
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Summer Buzz Fruit Salad

For picnics, cookouts and showers, we make a sweet salad of watermelon, cherries, blueberries and microgreens. No matter where I take it, it always delivers on the wow factor. —Kaliska Russell, Talkeetna, Alaska
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Garlic-Herb Pattypan Squash

The first time I grew a garden, I harvested summer squash and cooked it with garlic and herbs. Using pattypan squash is a creative twist. —Kaycee Mason, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
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Carolina Crab Boil Exps84763 Th2379798b02 23 4bc Rms 2

Carolina Crab Boil

This pot is a fun way to feed a crowd for a tailgate. You can serve it two ways: Drain the cooking liquid and pour out the pot on a paper-lined table so folks can dig in, or serve it as a stew in its liquid over hot rice. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Amaretto Cherries With Dumplings Exps Scbz18 128894 E06 26 4b 11

Amaretto Cherries with Dumplings

You can't beat the combination of almond flavor with cherries. These light and fluffy dumplings are heavenly. Topped with the sauce and ice cream, it makes for a scrumptious dessert. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Basil & Heirloom Tomato Toss

I came up with this garden-fresh salad to showcase the heirloom tomatoes and peppers we raised for our stall at the farmers market. Try out other types of basil like lemon, lime, licorice and cinnamon. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Grilled Guacamole

If you’re a guacamole lover, try this fun grilled version that has a smoky flavor. The veggies tend to darken a bit when heated, so stir it gently to prevent further discoloration. —Lindsay Sprunk, Noblesville, Indiana
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Honey Mustard Red Potato Salad Exps Thjj18 174845 D01 30 7b 12

Honey Mustard Red Potato Salad

This summer cookout star is crunchy-delicious with a brilliant zesty dressing. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
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Yellow Squash Turkey Salad Exps Sdas18 28399 D03 30  4b 4

Yellow Squash Turkey Salad

With a wonderful mix of flavors, colors and textures, this impressive salad can be made in minutes for lunch with a friend or for a light dinner with your sweetie. It’s my favorite fast recipe! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Chip-Crusted Grilled Corn

For my version of Mexican street corn, I roll the ears in crushed chips. For extra pizazz, try different chip flavors like ranch dressing and jalapeno. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Sonoran Sunset Watermelon Ice Exps Thjj17 165858 B02 07 3b 1

Sonoran Sunset Watermelon Ice

If you didn’t think watermelon and cilantro could go together in a dessert, this recipe will be a pleasant surprise! Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and a sprig of cilantro on top for extra flair. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Chipotle Chili Dogs

Long live childhood favorites! I created this recipe for the 125th anniversary of a small town in Minnesota. The medium spice level means that people of all ages love the flavors. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
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Garden Tomato Salad

For as long as I can remember, Mom made a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers. Now I make it whenever beautiful tomatoes are in reach. —Shannon Arthur, Upper Arlington, Ohio
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Wisconsin Butter Basted Burgers Exps Thsum18 205850 D02 02 5b Wo Beer 122

Wisconsin Butter-Basted Burgers

It’s no secret that Wisconsinites love their dairy—so much that they sometimes top their burgers with a generous pat of butter. My recipe is a lot like the butter burgers you’ll find in popular restaurants all over the state. —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio
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Strawberry Lemon Shortcake

I love a good strawberry shortcake, but this recipe is my favorite by far. The citrus zest in the dough adds a refreshing zip to the sweet dessert. —Nancy Hooper, Glen Burnie, Maryland
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Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad

This salad is great with a grilled steak for a Tex-Mex meal, and most of it can even be prepared out in the backyard. Poblanos and cayenne make it pop. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo Salad Exps Cf2bz20 48862 B12 12 3b 4

Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo Salad

The heat, seasonings and appearance of this colorful main-dish salad are perfect for summer—or any time of year that you want to summon memories of sunshine. —Eileen Budnyk, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
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Golden Summer Peach Gazpacho

Because peaches and tomatoes are in season at the same time, I like to blend them into a cool, delicious soup. Leftovers keep well in the fridge—but they rarely last long enough to get there. —Julie Hession, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Almond Butter Swirl Ice Cream Exps Dai18 198636 E08 29 6b 3

Almond Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Warm weather days require ice cream! However, dealing with dairy intolerances can be tricky. This dairy-free recipe is a favorite at our house, especially with kids! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Grilled Peach Sundaes

These peaches with a hint of grill flavor are sweet and juicy. We serve them in a waffle bowl with ice cream. That’s jackpot at our house. —Nancy Dentler, Greensboro, North Carolina

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.

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