25 Timeless Summer Dishes Recipes

When summer swings around, thoughts of sunshine, beaches, cool drinks, and outdoor cooking immediately begin to surface. Who doesn't love a good picnic at the beach or backyard barbecue where the corn on the cob is firm and delicious, the burgers are perfectly cooked, and the pie is sweet.

Even if you love to discover new recipes and are constantly expanding your culinary repertoire, there are certain classic summer dishes that are always — and will always be — in high demand.

These dishes are timeless for a reason. They kick up feelings of nostalgia, remind us of those family summer holidays from our past and, to top it all off, are delicious. They are perfect as they are; no need to update or modernize them. They are classic and they are good. From a perfect BLT to ice cream, cobbler, and fried chicken, read on to discover the recipes for 25 timeless summer dishes.



When it comes to summer and the season of tomatoes, sandwiches don't get much better than this. A BLT full of perfectly ripe tomatoes, crispy bacon, and fresh lettuce with a healthy spread of mayo is absolutely an essential summer recipe.

For the BLT recipe, click here.

Blueberry Pie

Ahh, blueberry pie! There's nothing like a nice thick slice of pie, with flaky crust on the outside and sweet, summery blueberries on the inside!

For the Blueberry Pie recipe, click here.


Of course, since they aren't exactly seasonal, you can make, cook and eat burgers all year long. But there's something about eating one as it comes off the grill that makes it a timeless simmer dish.

For the Best Burger Recipe Ever, click here.


Picture this: You're dining alfresco near a beach or lake (of any body of water really) with a fresh breeze cooling the air around you. Now doesn't a plateful of calamari and a cold beer sound like it would seriously hit the spot right about now?

For the Grilled Calamari recipe, click here.


Here's a twist on a timeless Italian dish that makes the most of wonderful in-season tomatoes. This salad is substantial without being heavy and is a perfect combination of savory and sweet.

For the Peach Caprese salad, click here.


This twist on the classic ceviche uses perfectly poached shrimp in place of raw fish, so even if you aren't at the beach you can still enjoy this eternally summery dish.

For the Spicy Shrimp Ceviche recipe, click here.


Cobber is so easy to make, you can literally throw everything together, put it in the oven, and let it do its thing while you get back to your summer activities. This cobbler is full of peaches, which are grilled beforehand to enhance their wonderful peachy flavor.

For the Grilled Peach Cobbler recipe, click here.


Everyone knows what coleslaw is, right? It makes an appearance at many a summer barbecue or backyard cookout. This recipe is a little unorthodox and uses Asian ingredients for unbeatable flavor. Everyone will love this dish!

For the Best Coleslaw recipe, click here.

Corn on the Cob

Here's another summer ingredient that is celebrated during the warmer months. There are so many ways you can cook corn and enjoy it during the summer, but simply grilling it on the cob is definitely a timeless summer preparation.

For the Campfire Corn on the Cob recipe, click here.

Fish tacos

During the summer, fish tacos are wonderful. They're light and easy to prepare and taste great. These tacos feature grilled fish instead of battered and fried fish, making for a great meal that won't make you feel sluggish afterwards!

For the Grilled Fish Tacos recipe, click here.

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a great celebratory dish to make, and it's equally as delicious hot and right out of the fryer as it is the next day, eaten cold from the fridge.

For the Perfect Fried Chicken Recipe, click here.


Here's another tomato-centric dish that is wonderful to enjoy on a hot summer's day. This recipe adds watermelon to a traditional gazpacho for a touch of added sweetness, and pairs this chilled soup with crab for a sophisticated summer recipe.

For the Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho recipe, click here.

Grilled Chicken

Grilling anything during the summer is a fun and tasty way to spend more time outdoors. Chicken is an easy go-to that most people will happily eat. Turn to this spatchcock grilled chicken recipe for a great alfresco twist on a traditional roast chicken.

For the Spatchcock Grilled Chicken recipe, click here.

Ice Cream

When the Mister Softee song hangs in the air, you know its summer! This no-churn chocolate chip ice cream is an easy way to get this timeless summer dish on the table (preferably slathered in homemade chocolate sauce).

For the No-Churn Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe, click here.

Icebox Cake

A good old-fashioned icebox cake is a timeless summer classic, probably because they are so simple to make and taste amazing! This recipe is full of peanut butter and chocolate, and everyone will be clamoring for a second slice!

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake recipe, click here.

Lobster Roll

Lobster rolls are a classic New England treat, made with fresh lobster meat and just a bit of seasoning and mayo, all piled high on a buttery brioche bun.

For the Lobster Roll recipe, click here.

Pasta Salad

If you're planning a picnic, there's no better go-to than a perfect pasta salad! This one is full of seasonal produce and bright flavors.

For the Pesto Pasta Salad recipe, click here.


Take some stale cornbread and give it new life by making this grilled cornbread salad with avocado and corn. It will quickly become a summer staple.

For the Grilled Cornbread Panzanella recipe, click here.

Potato Salad

Give traditional egg-potato salad a Cajun twist with a creamy mayonnaise-Tabasco dressing. This recipe will turn your barbecue into a spicy bayou celebration.

Fir the Bayou Potato Salad recipe, click here.


Need ribs in a flash? This recipe uses an Instant Pot to help you get this summer staple on the table in record time.

For the Instant Pot Smoky Ribs recipe, click here.


This colorful and versatile salsa is delicious any way you serve it — as a dip, side dish, or sandwich topper, or on its own with your favorite greens.

For the Avocado, Black Bean, and Corn Salsa recipe, click here.


When you are getting tired of grilled chicken and burgers, these grilled shrimp kebabs will save the day!

For the Grilled Lemon Pepper Shrimp Kabobs recipe, click here.

Strawberry Shortcake

This classic American dessert uses buttermilk biscuits instead of the traditional cake to cut some of that sweetness and deliver a delicious dessert.

For the Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake recipe, click here.

Watermelon Salad

Sweet watermelon, salty feta, and crunchy almonds are dressed with a wonderful mint vinaigrette in this recipe that completely encompasses summer's zesty and bold flavors.

Fir the Heirloom Watermelon Salad With Mint Vinaigrette recipe, click here.


Grilled Steak

A good grilled steak is high on the grilled meat hierarchy and for good reason. Enjoy a tasty alfresco meal and turn to the grill for this satisfying and simple recipe, just make sure you know how to grill the perfect steak before you start!

For the Best Grilled Steak recipe, click here.


More from The Daily Meal:

The Ultimate Steak Guide

25 Best Grilled Chicken Recipes

21 Quick and Delicious Weeknight Grilling Ideas

Salmon Recipes Perfect for Summer

Summer Cocktails You Need to Make This Year