Stay Connected

Friday, June 4, 2021

Your Summer Meal Favorites

I'm always looking for suggestion on what to make for dinner. I think most of us feel this way about cooking everyday meals from time to time. So, here I am, begging for fresh ideas for summer meals. 

I'll share one meal that I've made a few times since the warmer weather hit our area. In fact I made this for our family dinner last night. I made a tuna and macaroni salad served over a bed of garden greens.

What I liked about this meal:

  • I was able to make it early in the day and keep it in the fridge until just before dinner time
  • it was easy and required very little cooking -- just the pasta -- didn't heat up the kitchen.
  • the salad was economical. I used TVP to stretch one can of tuna. I do this as much for flavor as for cost. Canned tuna can be overwhelmingly fishy to me. The TVP adds protein and dilutes the fish flavor. Also, I used the cheapest pasta -- macaroni noodles, some homemade pickle relish (garden veggies pickled last summer) and garden chive blossoms, added to the tuna, TVP, celery, and mayo. A bonus -- I used the whole stalks of celery, leaves and all in the salad. And of course, I served this over garden greens.
  • it could be a complete meal by itself as it has vegetables, protein, and grains. 
  • it was a cold meal for a hot day, always appreciated in summer.

Last night, I added some crackers on the side and dishes of rhubarb sauce (from the garden, of course). 

So, tell me, what are some of your favorite quick & easy, frugal summer meals? Bonus points if they don't heat up the kitchen! Share in the comments.


  1. The first thing that comes to mind is sandwiches and a salad. There are almost limitless variations that could be done for this depending what is on hand. Also, a baked potato bar. Potatoes are easy to do in the microwave and toppings could vary depending on what was available.

    Nothing else comes to mind as a go to summer meal. I'll have to think more.

  2. Grilling is good for hot evenings. We like pasta salads, green salads, one dish skillet dinners, crock pot meals, instant pot dinners since that is similar to a crock pot where it doesn't heat the whole house and you get an easy dinner.

    These are equipment uses but not recipes so I'm ready to hear everyone's recipes too!

  3. Salmon patties (can also be made with tuna), taco salads, rotisserie chicken. We also like patties made with ground beef, cracker crumbs (or bread crumbs or instant oats), egg, minced onion, and seasonings. Essentially meat loaf in a burger shape. With any of these, aside from taco salads, whatever veggies are in season in the garden. Currently, we're picking summer squash, zucchini, cabbage, beets, onions, carrots, kale, the first of the green beans, and the last of the lettuce (bolting from the heat). We've also harvested one grow bag of potatoes, just to see where they were, and will probably harvest the bulk of them over the next week or two.

  4. I use my slow cooker lots in the summer. Put it on in the morning to have ready when you are ready for your evening heating up the kitchen or you! I have a screened in porch in the back. Once in awhile I move my griddle out there to cook in the summer. It can be breakfast for supper or grilled garden vegetables and meat if desired. I like wraps in the summer...they can be filled with veggies from the garden, either cream cheese or mayo and cold meat if desired.Also works well for grilled cheese or even hot dogs or brats. A tray of veggies, cheese, cold cuts, nuts, whatever can be satisfying also. I've done that for years but guess now there is the fancy word charcuterie to describe it.

  5. BLT’s are a favorite here. I recently experimented with making twice baked potatoes and freezing them. They turned out great so last weekend I made a bunch of those for the freezer to use this summer. Last summer I used to fill the crockpot with a few potatoes and “bake” them for meals that week. They aren’t as good as oven baked, but it’s nice to have a baked potato that doesn’t require using the oven since we don’t have air conditioning.

  6. Crockpot meals, grilling, and BLTs here. :)

  7. Two more family summertime favorites are tabouleh and Moroccan pocket sandwiches. I make tabouleh with whatever I have on hand, cooked grains, fresh vegetables and herbs, and beans. The pocket sandwiches are a ground beef, spice, barley, and raisin filling in the pita bread. I haven't made either in a while, so I think I'll be adding those again to our dinners.


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post