Summer is all about eating fresh, living easy, and spending the maximum amount of time outdoors. And so it should suffice to say that spending hours in front of the stove making dinner is not exactly what we would like to be doing after a long day at work. But before you reach for that takeout menu—or settle for a quasi-meal of random findings from the back of the fridge—allow us to impart you with a few mouthwatering suggestions that make the most of the season’s best.
From the sweet to the savory, and everything else in between these easy-to-make recipes are about to change your week.
When in doubt, grab a bunch of colorful veggies, some homemade dressing, and fresh cheese to recreate this Caprese asparagus salad we spotted on Half Baked Harvest. Graze free and load up on those vitamins sans any guilt.
Pretzels and matcha green tea Pocky sticks combine to form the base of this utterly divine treat from A Beautiful Mess, which is topped with an equally indulgent matcha cheesecake filling and a giant dollop of whipped cream.
Summer is the season for zucchini and with that comes an array of recipes that make the most of the healthy vegetable. Blissful Basil’s zucchini pasta is one prime example—the vegan-friendly dish features a protein-packed hemp seed alfredo sauce and a burst of fresh basil that seals the deal.
A 5-ingredient, no-bake dessert is one we can 100% get behind, especially when said dessert comes with a hearty scoop of rainbow sprinkles. Delish’s easy-to-make rendition of a classic cheesecake will undoubtedly serve up all the fun at your next fete.
For those sweltering summer days when you can’t even fathom the thought of eating something warm, it’s all about raw-dining with veggies at the forefront. This healthy rendition of a classic Pad Thai, from The Roasted Root, utilizes carrots as the base and a coconut milk-peanut-lime sauce that serves up all the flavors and more.
Consider this the next level to master in cheeseboards and appetizers. Half Baked Harvest’s summer crudite platter features a healthy mix of the fresh and the fried, all tied together with two heavenly dips.
Did someone say stuffed Oreos? The Domestic Rebel is giving us all sorts of envy with this ingenious recipe that comes with an indulgent chocolate-covered layer and a heavy-handed dash of rainbow sprinkles on top.
Throw some feta crumbles atop your sliced summer vegetables to instantly elevate the dish with a bold dose of flavor. Cucumbers, tomatoes, and chickpeas combine in this mouthwatering salad we spotted on Pop Sugar.
From Averie Cooks comes a quick and easy rendition of a Japanese staple: soba noodles. Loaded with carrots and fresh snap peas, this one can be ready in twenty minutes or less.
Slice up a chunk of iceberg lettuce and recreate this scrumptious wedge salad from Serious Eats, which comes complete with all the fixings for a (somewhat) healthy yet hearty summer-friendly meal.
A crunchy cobb salad is a quick and easy meal for those nights when you’re just too tired to whip up anything else. This loaded version from Babble even comes with a generous scoop of shredded cheese because let’s face it, you deserve it.
Make the most of the season’s best and grill up skewers of cherry tomatoes to serve aside your go-to weeknight dinner. Alternatively, pair the veggies with a loaded cheeseboard for a little snacking instead.
No summer recipe roundup would be complete sans this classic. From Alexandra Cooks, comes a hearty lobster roll (with homemade tarragon mayo) that embodies the quintessence of the season in all its glory.
Skinny Taste’s white bean Caprese is a satisfying and scrumptious dinner for when you’re craving a light and easy meal that definitely errs on the healthier side of the spectrum.
We can’t think of a better way to start the day than with these no-bake breakfast tarts from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. Top with the season’s freshest produce and you have a treat you can enjoy all year long.
You’re technically not cooking if the slow cooker is doing all the cooking for you, right? Throw in all the essential ingredients and go out and run your errands, this salsa verde chicken from Diethood will be ready when you return.
Pop Sugar’s low-calorie Caprese salad boasts a refreshing combo of fresh avocados, sweet summer tomatoes, and cool cucumbers—all of which complement the delicate flavor of the mozzarella.
Mix your Oreos up into a tasty summer dessert that is sure to be an instant crowd-pleaser. This picnic-approved treat from High Heels and Grills is literally heaven in a bite.
These mini parfait cups from Dessert for Two is the ultimate combo of fruit, yogurt, and a little touch of crunch. Perfect for breakfast or a midday snack!
This story was originally published on May 13, 2016, it has been updated with new information.