Behind the Scenes

These Are Our Top 10 Favorite Summer Recipes. You’re Welcome.

Apart from the beautiful weather, lakeside picnics, and beach vacations, one of our favorite things about summer is the food. Shocker. Ahh, those summer dishes: full of refreshing, colorful produce, juicy grilled steaks and veggies, and of course, all the ice cream we can handle (and then some).

While you could absolutely spend hours rifling through Plated recipes to find your favorites, we’re saving you some time by rounding up our top ten summer recipes, meticulously chosen by our esteemed Culinary team. Because they know best, really.

Fresh Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

This recipe is a more elevated and seasonal take on a traditional tomato and mozzarella pasta dish. It uses in season produce like heirloom tomatoes and basil, as well as fresh pasta for an extra special touch. Burrata is dolloped on top for creamy coolness to balance out the acidity of the tomato sauce. Not to mention, this was the first vegetarian recipe (ever) to be very highly rated by our customers!”

Michelle Kresch, Test Kitchen Manager

Cuban Vegetable Bowls with Tostones, Black Beans, and Avocado

“In the summer, when I’m craving tons of veggies and nothing too hot, this rice bowl delivers: black beans with cilantro, a fresh tomato pico, creamy avocado, and lime-laced sour cream, plus Michelle’s awesome cayenne-roasted plantains. I had never cooked plantains before—turns out, it’s easy!”

–Rachael Stuart, Manager, Recipe Editing

Pork Tonkatsu with Yuzu Cherry Salsa and Arugula

This was one of the first Plated recipes I ever cooked, and I totally fell in love with it. The quick, easy technique for extra-crispy Tonkatsu is a winner, and pairs so well with the tangy, citrusy salsa. Little pieces of jalapeño in the salsa add a little spice to this dinner that screams summer to me!”

–Leah Bhabha, Recipe Editor

Sesame Noodles with Peppers and Snap Peas

“I’ve always been known as ‘noodle girl’ because of my affinity towards all kinds of hot carbs. In the summer, I still want to indulge in pasta and noodles, but I usually look for a lighter spin on my favorites. This take on an Asian sesame noodle is perfect for warm summer evenings because it’s filling but still light, packs in a ton of seasonal veggies, and can be enjoyed cold or room temp!”

–Laura Katz, Test Kitchen Assistant

Zucchini Tomato Pizza with Ricotta and Spicy Honey

“On a warm night, what’s better than pizza and a glass of bubbly? I love the lightness of this recipe, where seasonal zucchini and heirloom cherry tomatoes keep things fresh. Ricotta salata adds the salty component I crave in the summer and pairs perfectly with Chef Elana’s dangerously addictive honey topping.”

—Sara Heegaard, Recipe Editor

Grilled Chicken with Charred Summer Vegetables and Mozzarella

“To me, summer produce is all about color and variety. This dish has grilled corn, grilled orange bell pepper, and grilled chicken. So much summer grilling. This veggie-forward dish also boasts basil and tomatoes, and is dressed with a pesto-balsamic vinaigrette. It’s bright, crunchy, charred, and colorful. Definitely something I could eat every summer night.”

Michelle Kresch, Test Kitchen Manager

Crispy Falafel with Israeli Salad and Naan

On a super hot night in the summer, there’s nothing I love more than a veggie-focused (but protein-filled) Mediterranean-style dinner. It’s both light (hello, cucumber and tomato salad) and hearty, when you consider perfectly sautéed chickpea patties, toasted naan, and plenty of tahini and hummus for dipping.”

Maeve Sheridan, Food Stylist

Barbecue Chicken with Basil Zucchini and Corn

Everything about this dish screams summer. The zucchini and basil are the perfect seasonal side dish—simple and full of fresh flavor. You also learn how to make your own barbecue sauce, which is super fun, and a recipe you can pair with lots of other dishes. Slathering the chicken with your homemade barbecue sauce just makes this dish my ideal bright summer meal.”

Elana Karp,‎ Culinary Co-Founder, Chief Culinary Officer

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with White Beans, Basil, and Goat Cheese

“Grilling fruit is a fantastic and unexpected way to add tremendous flavor to just about any dish. In this instance, grilled peach takes center stage with their smoky sweetness, perfectly contrasting with tangy goat cheese, peppery arugula, and sweet, summery basil. It’s not every day you get to use your grill for a salad! Any time this was cooked in the Test Kitchen, I piled heaps onto my plate and finished it, pronto.”

Suzanne Lehrer Dumaine, Director, Culinary Operations

Kale and Farro Salad with Summer Squash, Corn, and Crispy Goat Cheese

“In the summer, my perfect dish is filling but still healthy! It’s the ideal summer dinner: fresh, filling and delicious. It uses seasonal ingredients and a special crispy goat cheese on top. I would order this every single week if I could.

Andrea Folkerts, Culinary Program Manager


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