7 Quick Dinners for the Longest Day of the Year June 21, 2017
The summer solstice, the official longest day of the year, calls for more hours of sunlight than any other singular day. That’s why we rounded up some of our favorite quick dinners — so that you can make something delicious without cutting any of your time in that sunshine short.
The true start of summer brings seemingly endless beach days and a dusk that sets ever-so-slowly on late afternoon barbecues. So ramp up your sunscreen supply and reclaim your folding chairs, because the longer we play outside, the better! We want to make sure you won’t be spending the whole day in the kitchen, so you can seize those golden hours in the sun.
Try whipping up these quick dinners in thirty minutes or less, and cut to the quick so you can eat, enjoy, and get back out there.
1. Chickpea-Powered Mediterranean Couscous with Zucchini and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes
You haven’t tasted chickpeas until you’ve tried them roasted. Trust us, the delicious crunch is absolutely worth the twenty minutes they’ll spend in the oven. In this recipe, they’re tossed with bubbly Israeli couscous, roasted veggies, and smoked paprika for a mishmash of savory Mediterranean flavors.
2. Lemon-Basil Shrimp Skewers with Orzo & Avocado Salad
Summer’s finest produce takes the stage in this delightful dish with creamy avocado, bright tomato, and juicy shrimp skewers topped with the secret ingredient: lemon-basil butter. It might sound fancy, but it’s really just butter, a lemon squeeze, and basil with salt and pepper.
3. Speedy Springtime Pasta with Mint, Pancetta, and Peas
The simplest way to create a meal that’s fast and easy (but still tasty!) is by focusing on a few thoughtfully paired powerhouse ingredients. In this case, that’s pancetta, which brings tons of porky flavor even when used lightly; mint, for a fresh herbiness; and peas, which add a touch of sweet green. When tossed into this quick, creamy pasta, they immediately create contrasts and flavor combos that feel new with each bite.
4. Sweet Potato Sunshine Salad with Crispy Chickpea, Avocado, and Citrus Dressing over Farro
The bright citrus dressing on this flavorful salad will fill you with the same happy energy as the sunshine itself. Plus, the cubes of vitamin-A-rich sweet potatoes, handfuls of arugula, and protein-packing chickpeas mix perfectly with the hearty farro.
5. Speedy Italian Meatballs with Smoked Tomato Linguine
There’s a reason why spaghetti and meatballs is typically a Sunday night dinner — it takes hours to make! This version uses Italian sausage as a meatball shortcut, eliminating extra prep while adding delicious flavor. Smoky paprika gives this marinara a unique kick.
6. Peach and Nectarine Orzo Salad with Feta, Cucumber, and Basil
Light, refreshing, and perfectly flavorful thanks to stone fruits (soft on the outside with a stone/pit on the inside) hitting their peak freshness in the summertime. A few minutes under the broiler allows juicy peaches and nectarines to develop even more sweetness, so take a big bite out of this colorful dish. You can expect lots of textures and tastes that blend seamlessly together.
7. Tortellini Gratin with Tomato, Pesto, and Kale
Believe it—this one-pot wonder will have a delicious oven-baked pasta on the table in 25 minutes. Simmering tortellini in it’s own tomato sauce is the trick to this recipe. The best part? That crispy, cheesy topping.
We love quick dinners on days other than the summer solstice, too. As in, every day. Try these five quick and easy appetizers for a crowd and soak up every spare minute.
Another genius idea? Cook with your outdoor grill and get the best of both worlds.
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