Summer days are made for casual al fresco dining. But this doesn’t mean you need to default to the same meals again and again. Especially when cooking for two, it’s easy to get stuck in a repetitive cycle, so we’ve come up with ten stress-free dinners to help mix up your summer cooking routine.
From tempting traybakes and seafood spaghetti to satisfying salads and vegan one-pots, we’ve got dishes to suit a range of appetites and diets. These recipes are designed to serve two, though you can easily double them if you want leftovers for the next day.
1. Summer sausage traybake
Hearty sausage traybakes are not just for winter. We’ve lightened up this satisfying summer dish with lots of roasted seasonal veg, including artichokes, new potatoes, butter beans and tomatoes. Finish with a drizzle of fresh pesto and and serve with crusty bread.
Find more tempting summer traybake recipes.
2. Beetroot & halloumi salad with pomegranate & dill
This beautiful sunshine salad is sure to brighten the day. Charred halloumi pairs perfectly with crisp salad leaves, zingy oranges, pomegranates and crunchy pumpkin seeds. This healthy combination also packs in three of your five-a-day!
Watch our video for how to assemble our healthy beetroot & halloumi salad.
3. Lemony prawn & courgette tagliatelle
Need a simple spaghetti dish for busy weeknights? Our light and flavoursome seafood tagliatelle takes only 20 minutes to make, and is full of goodness. Toss king prawns and grated courgettes into the pasta and flavour with a zingy combination of garlic, parsley, lemon and chilli.
4. Vegan jambalaya
Boost your veg intake with a hearty vegan bean and rice one-pot which scores all five of your 5-a-day! This plant-based jambalaya combines budget-friendly storecupboard ingredients like chopped tomatoes, rice and butter beans, with fresh veg and parsley. It’s a colourful supper that absolutely sings of summer.
Discover more comforting vegan one-pots.
5. Green goddess chicken salad
If you’re craving a salad but want something substantial, throw together this vibrant sharing dish, which is the perfect size for two portions. Save time by using cooked chicken breasts, and throw them together with crispy lettuce, boiled eggs, quinoa and sundried tomatoes for a flavour packed platter. Swap your typical mayo topping for a more light and punchy green dressing composed of avocado, basil, jalapeño and lime.
Tuck into more delicious summer salads.
6. Summer meatballs and spaghetti
Whip up this speedy and satsifying summer spaghetti recipe in just half an hour. Pork mince is a lighter alternative to beef and the herby meatballs are stuffed with grated courgette to make them more juicy. Serve with spaghetti and courgette ribbons for the perfect date-night dinner.
7 . Easy vegan tacos
Eat the rainbow with these vibrant veg-packed wraps, which deliver all of your 5-a-day. Roasted baby corn, pepper and onions are paired with crunchy slaw and a smoky-sweet kiwi salsa. Compile your veggie creations and wrap them in homemade wholemeal tortillas for a nutritious weekend treat.
Try more tasty taco recipes.
8. Summer burgers
Just because there are only two of you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fire up the barbecue! We’ve come up with four mouthwatering ways to jazz up shop-bought burgers with additional fillings and spices, saving you time and effort. From a juicy lamb kebab burger to fragrant vegetarian Indian patty, these gourmet baps are a great reason to get the grill going.
Check out more of the best burger recipes.
9. Pesto pizza with aubergine & goat’s cheese
Who needs a pizza oven when you have a barbecue? Cooking this flatbread over the coals will give it a beautiful charred base. Spread it with a layer of pesto and pile on some sensational summer toppins such as grilled auberinges, onions and creamy goat’s cheese. This recipe makes two pizzas to serve four, but you can easily halve the amount or save one for lunch the next day.
We’ve got plenty more perfect pizza recipes, too.
10. Tomato & courgette risotto
Celebrate summer veg in style with a creamy, comforting risotto. Our version of this classic Italian rice dish features roasted cherry tomatoes and courgettes, though you could throw in any additional allotment veg to use up a summer glut. Mascarpone adds a luxurious texture without making it too heavy, and passata boosts the rich tomato flavour.
Sitr up another comforting vegetarian risotto recipe.
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What are your favourite summer meals for two? Leave a comment below…