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cheap summer recipes




Fun and Cheap Summer Recipes


In this article I am going to share some of my favorite fun, cheap summer recipes


Summer is a great time to experiment and have some fun as you try new recipes! It’s a perfect time to enjoy cool and zesty summer salads, grilled foods, and simple, no-fuss casseroles.

Many of these are recipes for classic summer dinners, but there are also some dishes that you may have never heard of before that can become new summer family favorites!


Find information and links below to fun and cheap and easy summer dinner recipes that you can make for your family!



Tip: Pin the image above so that you can easily find these recipes later!



25 Cheap Summer Recipes!

These cheap summer recipes are perfect for making tasty salads and other summer-inspired dishes for your family!

Below are some of the best easy, inexpensive summer recipes.


Note: Links are in the headings.


1. Easy cheeseburger quesadillas

These easy cheeseburger quesadillas are a fun and tasty alternative to traditional quesadillas, and they can be on your table in 30 minutes or less! Get dinner on the table in a snap!




2. Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Melts

If you love spinach and artichoke dip (like we do!), you are going to love this chicken spinach and artichoke melt. It is tasty and cheesy and melty and perfect for a lighter summer meal.


3. Classic Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are a regular staple at large summer get-togethers and are a perfect cheap summer recipe because they are good-tasting and affordable. When you are looking for a crowd-pleasing, easy-to-make recipe, this is a good go-to entree. When we make sloppy joes at home we usually use regular bread (because that’s something we always have on hand), which makes this cheap summer recipe even more affordable.


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3.  Easy Black Bean Burgers 

If you feel like eating a burger but want something less expensive and hearty, try these easy black bean burgers! They are flavorful and filling, and are a perfect alternative to the classic grilled hamburgers of summer.


4. Baked Potato Bar

A baked potato bar is another awesome, inexpensive option when you have a crowd to feed. Just bake the potatoes in your oven for about half an hour, and then let people add their favorite toppings like chili, cheese, sour cream, ranch, and salsa. When you are not feeding as many this is also a great option for a summer meal because you can cook them easily in the microwave to avoid heating up the kitchen on a warm day.


5. Sausage, Broccoli, and Rice

This is another crowd-pleasing cheap summer recipe! The broccoli and rice in this dish keep it affordable, and the smoked sausage makes it delicious! You can make this simple one-skillet dish in less than 30 minutes to feed your hungry crew!

6. German Potato Salad

During the summer (or any time, really :)), I love to eat potato salad! I only like potato salad that I make, though; I don’t really care for the store-bought potato salad (too much mustard, I think). But because my traditional potato salad has a lot of mayo, it’s tasty, but also pretty fattening. So for a lighter version, try this German potato salad! Bacon makes this fun variation a real hit! To make this meal even more affordable, use regular russet potatoes (sliced or chopped) in place of baby potatoes.


7. Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

Not too worried about eating a lighter, lower-calorie meal? Then give this awesome bacon ranch potato salad a try! It’s meant to be a side dish, but we sometimes eat it as a main dish. 🙂 (True confession: I don’t wait till my potato salad cools down; I actually love it even more when it’s warm, even in the summer.)


8. Loaded Cauliflower Salad

I love salads during the summer, and this one is another great alternative to traditional potato salad; it’s basically a low-carb version of that delicious dish. This cheap summer recipe is perfect as a side dish or even a light main dish.




9. Easy Creamy Ranch Taco Salad

Taco salad is another summer hit around our house. You can save money by making your own taco salad bowls, like we do (instructions included with the recipe).


10. Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

This is another tasty bacon ranch salad. (It’s hard to go wrong with bacon and ranch, am I right?) This pasta salad takes only about 10 minutes to prepare and is on the table in less than 30 minutes! Top off this light dinner with warm garlic bread, and you’ve got an awesome summer meal.


11. Summer Chickpea Salad

This fairly cheap summer recipe is a tasty salad packed with protein! And it takes only 10 minutes to make! To save money, use chopped  Roma or salad tomatoes rather than grape tomatoes.


12. Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

This is another tasty quesadilla recipe that is perfect for summer! This is a filling vegetarian recipe that is big on flavor and little on cost. And what makes this meal even better is that is ready in just 15 minutes! #doublewin


13. Pasta Primavera

I love this tasty, bright, and colorful spring and summer dish! This cheap summer recipe is a wonderful way to use your vegetables from your summer garden such as zucchini and squash and peppers. This recipe is packed with flavor and packed with vegetables, including onion, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic.


14. Jerk Chicken

Even if you cannot make it to the Caribbean this summer, you can still enjoy the taste of the Caribbean with this classic Jerk Chicken recipe. It is recommended that you let the chicken marinate for at least two hours and even overnight, but hands-on time is only 10 minutes!


15. Summertime Chicken Tacos

This is another tasty chicken marinade recipe. The recipe recommends marinating overnight, but prep time and grilling time are just 10 minutes each! The lime in this cheap summer recipe gives it a fun zing.


16. Grilled Barbecue Chicken

Grilled barbecue chicken is another perfect cheap summer recipe! This recipe calls for slathering tasty barbecue sauce on the chicken pieces and then grilling them until they are tender and juicy on the inside and perfectly crispy on the inside. This dish goes great with coleslaw, potato sald, corn on the cob, and other summer favorites!


17. Chicken  Summer Rolls

These Vietnamese-style summer rolls are healthy and filling. The combination of the colorful vegetables with the addition of hoisin sauce, mint leaves, soy sauce, and peanut butter gives it a great flavor. And you can have these summer rolls on the table in just 30 minutes!


18. Panzanella

Supposedly the Italians invented this dish as a way to be able to avoid wasting stale bread. But don’t worry; this recipe doesn’t call for any stale bread! (Although I guess you could probably substitute it, if you have some stale bread you want to  use up. :)) Instead, this recipe use French bread and also calls for colorful vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, red and yellow peppers, and red onion,


19. Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

We love making kebabs in the summer, and I bet you too! These awesome Hawaiian chicken kebabs use a marinade that gives a great flavor.  The recipe calls for pineapple, red onions, bell peppers, and chicken, but of course you can throw on other vegetables that you love, as well!


20. Summer Squash Lasagna

Lasagna itself is a delicious dish, but for a little bit lighter meal on warm summer days, give this budget friendly summer squash lasagna recipe a try! To make this dish even more economical, you can substitute the ricotta cheese with cottage cheese and omit the grated Parmigiano Reggiano.



21. Lemon Herb Chicken Kabobs

These fun summery kebabs are made with a tangy lemon marinade and chicken thighs that won’t dry out when grilled. The tangy chicken is paired with lemon and asparagus for a light taste perfect for the season!


22. Chicken Zucchini Alfredo

This cheap summer recipe is a fun twist on a classic pasta dish. In place of fettuccine, use zucchini, instead! This is another dinner you can have on the table in about 30 minutes!


23. Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled pork sandwiches are another budget friendly classic summer dish. Serve them with potato salad or coleslaw or grilled veggies and you can’t go wrong!


 24. Summer Chicken Stir Fry

You can’t go wrong with a delicious stir fry dish, no matter the season. And this colorful dish is also a great way to use summer garden veggies like carrots, onions, and peppers, if you have them. (If you don’t have a garden, no worries! The stir fry will still be great, no matter whether you get the veggies from the garden or the store. :))


25. Steak and Potato Kebabs

This is another delicious kebab recipe that your crowd will love. The recipe calls for New York strip steak, but you can substitute a less expensive steak or even roast (like we do). The veggies give this fun summer recipe beautiful color. (Though you can sub green or other bell peppers to keep this dish more budget friendly.)


These easy and cheap summer recipes are perfect for those warm summer days! From classic sloppy joes to tasty taco and pasta salads to mouth-watering kebabs, there is something on this list perfect for every occasion!


What are your favorite cheap summer recipes? What are your favorite summer go-to meals? Leave a comment below and let me know (and share the recipe link :))!

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