Grab your pen and grocery list, because this week’s meal plan is ready! This week I’m embracing the hot summer weather, with quick and easy summer dinners. And you know how much we love easy recipes, any time of year. But especially right ow.

I don’t feel like spending a whole evening in the kitchen when it’s hot (let alone when we’ve been serving three meals a day at  home for months on end) and I know I’m not alone! So I’m glad to share some easy dinner ideas that you can make for your family…and still have the time to spend hanging out with them.

At top: slow cooker BBQ ribs at Butter and Baggage; banana oatmeal waffles at Romina’s Little Corner

Related: 5 vacation-style dinners to make right at home

Weekly meal plan: Serve up quesadillas and gazpacho for a 15-minute dinner

One of those dinners that pleases the adults and the kids in our home: gazpacho with quesadillas. I use our pancake griddle for the quesadillas, and set out options the kids can put in theirs, from leftover chicken or steak to black beans to sliced peppers. You know, like a taco bar! Then, just add a bowl of quick homemade gazpacho on the side and you’ve got a delicious and easy meal.

We just covered with 3 great gazpacho recipes (including two that are wildly simple), but I’d recommend starting with Albert Bevia’s authentic Spanish gazpacho recipe from Spain on a Fork. It takes just 15 minutes or less to make in your blender, and it’s wonderful for dipping your quesadilla in, too.

 

Weekly meal plan: Make these Thai meatballs at Garlic Diaries ahead of time for quick lettuce wraps for dinner

My entire family loves these Thai Meatball Lettuce Wraps with a recipe from The Garlic Diaries, and I love that I can make a big batch of the meatballs the weekend ahead, then freeze them, so that my dinner prep is super fast.

With so many veggies included in the wraps, you don’t even need to serve anything else on the side, but even a pot of rice or another grain boiled quickly over the stovetop (or heated up from leftovers) can fill out the meal.

 

Weekly meal plan: Use your slow cooker to cook these ribs at Butter & Baggage

To save you time sweating out dinner over a hot stove, put your slow cooker to good use. These slow cooker BBQ ribs at Butter and Baggage require some thinking ahead, but they’re seriously hands-off. They truly taste like restaurant fare without you know, having to go to a restaurant.  Bonus: the delicious smells get your kids ready to actually eat your dinner.. I’d whip up some quick mac & cheese (go ahead, use the box) and an easy veggie or two for side dishes, and you’re done.

Weekly meal plan: Make a big bowl of Halfbaked Harvest's pasta salad earlier in the day for an easy dinner.

A hearty bowl of cold pasta salad is a favorite summer dinner for me. You can change up your own favorite pasta salad recipe with our tips for creative add-ins;  or, follow a recipe like Halfbaked Harvests’s summery Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta recipe seen here. The great part about her recipe is that you can prep early in the day, so it’s ready whenever you’re ready to eat. If you’re inclined, just toss in some leftover chicken or grill up some fresh fish to serve on the side, and dinner is done in a snap.

Weekly meal plan: Make a quick waffle bar for dinner, with these banana waffles at Romina's Little Corner

My kids have been begging for breakfast for dinner lately, and I have to admit, I’m down for it too because it’s just so easy.  One idea: go all out with a waffle bar. To go with, make a big batch of hardboiled eggs for protein (you can eat them throughout the week)  and fix smoothies for a boost of fruits and veggies.

As for those waffles tough, these banana oatmeal waffles at Romina’s Little Corner look amazing, and give your kids a little more nutrition than plain waffles with syrup. Plus, they have the added benefit of boosting melatonin production. Sweet dreams, kiddos.

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