Looking for summer recipe ideas? Take advantage of the summer heat with an alfresco feast, with everything from barbecues to picnics and camping. Want to grill up the best burgers or skewers? Looking to dig into a fruity summer cake? See our recipes below for plenty of cooking inspiration. If you are looking for a no-fuss evening meal then see our suggestions for simple summer dinner ideas which make the most of seasonal produce.


We've also got plenty more ideas for summer salads, summer pasta recipes, healthy summer recipes, summer desserts and picnic food ideas. Meanwhile, sip on one of our summer cocktails, mocktails or smoothie recipes.

Best summer recipes

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Picnic and BBQ ideas

BBQ chicken and sausages

Fiery, piquant and less sweet than other varieties, Carolina BBQ sauce complements caramelised, smoky meat perfectly. For more ideas, see our best barbecue recipes, with everything from burgers to ribs and more.

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Barbecue chicken and sausages with Carolina mustard BBQ sauce

Halloumi skewers with chipotle and lime

Chipotle, smoked paprika, brown sugar and lime zest make a sweet, sticky marinade to coat halloumi for a stunning vegetarian barbecue dish.

Halloumi skewers with chipotle and lime on a serving plate with lettuce on the side

Mini pork pies

It's not a summer without an outdoor feast. These mini pork and chorizo picnic pies have got a hidden quail's egg in the middle and make a great snack. Chorizo-style sausages have the same soft texture as regular sausages but with added paprika and garlic. See our easy picnic food ideas for more inspiration.

Mini Pork Pie Recipe For a Picnic

Vegan tempeh and pineapple kebabs

For a killer BBQ feast without the meat, try these umeboshi kebabs with juicy pineapple and marinated tempeh. See more plant-based dishes with our vegan summer recipes.

Pineapple Kebabs with Tempeh on a White Plate

Watermelon and halloumi salad

Summer is the perfect time for a light and refreshing salad. Juicy, refreshing watermelon pairs brilliantly with warm, salty halloumi and fresh mint for this zingy summer recipe. Tuck into more summer salads with our recipe collection.

Halloumi and Watermelon Salad on a White Plate

Vegetarian kebabs

Try these aubergine kebabs with charred onion salsa for an easy BBQ option – simple to put together, quick to cook and easily scaled up or down depending on how many you’re feeding. Discover more meat-free ideas, see our easy summer vegetarian recipes including veggie curries, fresh salads and simple skewers.

Aubergine Kebabs with Charred Onion Salsa

Corn on the cob

This recipe for spiced corn on the cob is based on a grilled Mexican street snack but gets a bump of flavour from punchy Korean gochujang sauce. If you can’t find it, use any garlicky chilli sauce. Serve this with burgers, ribs and more as part of a summer dinner, plus see more easy barbecue side dishes.

Spiced corn on the cob

Classic cheeseburger

It’s a fast-food classic but not all cheeseburgers are created equal. Following these simple tips will result in the patty and bun of which dreams are made. For more ideas, see our best burger recipes.

Easy Burger Recipe

BBQ prawns with roasted gooseberry salsa

Believe it or not, prawns and gooseberries are made for each other. Try them together in this simple BBQ recipe.

A silver tray topped with juicy pink prawns with a green sauce on the side

Vegan sausage rolls

Our homemade sausage rolls, encased in a flaky puff pastry and topped with crunchy poppy seeds, swap pork for meaty mushrooms to make it 100% vegan. They’re ideal for a summer picnic or lunch spent outdoors.

Vegan Sausage Rolls on a Baking Tray with BBQ Sauce for Dipping

Sweet-sour griddled aubergines

This aubergine salad is light enough to serve as you soak up the last of the summer rays but it’s also a great party platter to serve alongside meze if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial. Char the aubergines over the BBQ or in a griddle pan, and dress in an agrodolce (sweet/sour) dressing.

Sweet-sour griddled aubergines with candied walnuts, sumac and red onion

Picnic and BBQ ideas

Summer dinner ideas

Stuffed marrow

Stuff summery courgette with a tomato and beef mince mixture for a filling meal that’s made for alfresco dining.

A marrow cut in half lengthways and stuffed with mince and topped with cheese on a blue plate

Mediterranean chicken traybake

This simple chicken traybake recipe is sprinkled with olives, feta, oregano and baby plum tomatoes. It captures the fresh flavours of summer with seasonal veg. See more ways to prepare chicken, from skewers to wraps and more, with our easy summer chicken recipes.

Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetables in a Roasting Tin

Broad bean, mint and chilli pasta

Chopped mint pairs perfectly with broad beans – this pasta dish combines them both with lemon, chilli and cream for a quick and easy summer meal.

A bowl of pasta with broad beans and sliced chilli on a white linen tablecloth

Sloppy Joe buns

When it's too hot to cook, simply throw some ingredients in a slow cooker and let it do the work. Make this tender chipotle pulled pork, then stuff into brioche buns with avocado and pickled jalapeños. A great, fuss-free recipe for a get-together. For more ideas, see our summer slow cooker recipes.

Sloppy joes with pulled pork and brioche buns

Birria tacos

Gather round your friends and family for a summer taco night! Birria tacos hail from the Jalisco region of Mexico. You can recreate this street food favourite by braising beef in a rich charred tomato sauce, flavouring with three types of chilli, pulling the meat then stuffing into tortillas. Dip into the smoky cooking juices and consider it taco night done right.

Check out more taco recipes, including plant-based versions like our vegan tacos.


Chilled cucumber, dill and yogurt soup

This creamy chilled cucumber soup is simple to make and ready in just 20 minutes. The fragrant aromatic dill works perfectly with the subtle tasting cucumbers, a perfect summertime starter. See our best summer soup recipes for more vibrant flavours.

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill in Two Bowls

Baked halibut with fennel, lemon and walnut pangrattato

A mild, sweet-flavoured flat fish with firm flesh, halibut is particularly well suited to roasting, ideal for easy summer entertaining or an elevated speedy midweek meal.

Baked halibut with fennel, lemon and walnut pangrattato on a baking dish with wedges of lemon

Halloumi and Greek salad wraps

Salty halloumi makes a satisfying vegetarian wrap filling. Serve with a fresh and bright salad for a quick, nutritious

Halloumi Wraps With Greek Salad

Chicken, wild rice and carrot salad

Looking for a simple, no-cook summer dinner option? Lime pickle adds a sour, salty, fragrant note to this dressing, which becomes more than the sum of its parts. This recipe makes a generous serving, but it keeps in the fridge for two days.

A white plate filled with chicken, rice, ribbons of carrot and red onion slices

Tomato manchego tart

Make the most of juicy seasonal tomatoes at their ripest in this beautiful sunshine tart. Here, the tomatoes are salted before being baked in the tart, as the process draws water and concentrates their flavour. The result is a savoury tart with an intense umami effect.

A tomato tart on a round plate with a grey wood background

Courgette, parma ham and lemon ricotta lasagne

This summery twist on lasagne is packed with courgette, zesty ricotta and folds of delicate parma ham – a light but flavour-packed take on the classic.

A white ceramic oven dish filled with baked lasagne on a wooden board and a green surface

Grilled sardines with tomato salad

Serve grilled sardines with a vibrant side salad of sweet heirloom tomatoes, crushed almonds and sherry vinegar. Perfect for a simple but satisfying dinner on warm summer nights.

A white oval platter topped with slices of tomato and topped with grilled sardines

Summer dessert ideas

Eton mess traybake

Celebrate fresh seasonal fruit with our easy summer cake recipes from classic victoria sponge to tangy cheesecakes. Combine two classic desserts in this simple yet classic sponge cake, topped with lots of summer berries for extra sweetness and zing.

Eton Mess Tray Bake Recipe

Roasted banana caramel swirl ice cream

Check out our impressive ice cream recipe with roasted bananas and homemade caramel sauce swirled through. Black bananas are best for this recipe as they’re extra ripe and sweet. Make your own homemade frozen treats with our best ice cream recipes.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Caramel

Strawberries and cream cheesecake

Combine two classic summer desserts in this no-bake cheesecake topped with a sweet strawberry sauce, ideal for alfresco entertaining. Try more rich puddings with our easy summer dessert recipes.

A white cheesecake topped with red strawberries and whole strawberries on a white plate

Frozen chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake

Check out this frozen Nutella cheesecake with classic bourbon biscuits and crunchy roasted hazelnuts. This indulgent dessert is easy to make and perfect for a summertime dinner party with friends.

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

Summer pudding

Nothing says 'summer' like this quintessential British pud which celebrates seasonal berries. Enjoy cut into thick wedges, with plenty of whipped cream on the side. Also try our cherry labneh summer pudding for a twist on the classic.

A whole summer pudding with one slice taken out of it

Blackberry sorbet

This recipe is made without cooking the blackberries, to keep their vibrant colour and flavour intact – the result is a zingy, tart sorbet that will really refresh your palate this summer.

A white bowl on a blue background, with three schoops of claret-coloured sorbet inside, next to a tub of the sorbet and a silver scoop

Raspberry trifle

This impressive trifle, with sherry-soaked scones, juicy raspberries and silky clotted cream custard, couldn't be simpler to put together. A perfect, sunshiny dessert for a crowd. Discover more of our terrific trifle recipes.

Raspberry clotted cream and scone trifle

Street-side kulfi

This Pakistani dessert combines cardamom, sweetened condensed milk, ricotta and saffron – roll in ground pistachios for an extra flourish.

Kulfi pops arranged on a serving platter

Summer cocktails and drinks

Paloma cocktail

The margarita's softer, breezier cousin – this tequila-based cocktail makes a great sip for the summer months, starring refreshing grapefruit. For more ideas, from piña coladas to mojitos, see our easy summer cocktails.

Two peach-coloured cocktails in short glasses with salted rims and a wedge of grapefruit

Frozen strawberry daiquiri

Showcase seasonal strawberries in this popular summer party drink. Combine them with rum, lime juice and ice, then blitz it all together to make a quick and refreshing frozen daiquiri cocktail.

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe

Iced tea cocktail

Make a homemade iced tea with assam leaves for some cooling refreshment. If you prefer yours boozier, spike it with bourbon whiskey.

Two tall glasses of iced tea cocktail garnished with lemon wedges and a sprig of mint

Watermelon juice

Get a real taste of the sun in this lively watermelon drink, packed with plenty of vibrant summer flavours.

4 Juice Recipes Purple, Orange, Red and Green

Jug cocktails

Hosting a summer get-together? Get ready for the weekend with these boozy batch cocktails, from mezcal and kombucha cooler to spicy margaritas, raspberry frosé, and Jamaican rum punch.

Easy Jug Cocktail Recipes


Channel sunny holiday vibes from your garden with this classic Spanish tipple, made in 10 minutes with red wine, brandy, lemonade and plenty of juicy seasonal fruits. For more entertaining ideas, see our best summer punch recipes.

Sangria in a jug with three glasses of sangria beside it


Whisk yourself away to the Caribbean with our easy mojito recipe. Mix up this cocktail for a party using lime, fresh mint, white rum, sugar, Angostura bitters and soda water. Skipping the booze? Try our alcohol-free mojito mocktail, instead.

Three glasses of mojito, filled with ice, limes and garnished with mint leaves

Bubble tea

Looking for a summer drinks project? Recreate a highstreet cafe favourite and whip up a batch of this more-ish Taiwanese bubble tea, complete with chewy tapioca pearls.

Glasses of bubble tea, one with a straw in it


Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

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