It’s August, which means you’re either sweating, working or wishing you were on vacation…or if you’re like us, all three. Still, you’ll need to eat dinner every night, and we’re guessing that you don’t want to spend a whole lot of time in a hot kitchen figuring out what to cook. (We’re also assuming that you wouldn’t mind shrinking your grocery bill—thanks inflation.) Presenting 31 foolproof, seasonally appropriate and affordable August dinner recipes to whip up all month long, from tacos to skillet pasta.
August 1: Cheater’s Skillet Lasagna
August 2: Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers
Sure, ground beef is a traditional, affordable filling for stuffed peppers, but store-bought rotisserie chicken allows you to pull them off without even turning on the stove. Call it a warm-weather miracle.
August 3: Pearl Couscous with Chickpeas, Eggplant and Peaches
August 4: Easy 5-Ingredient Corn Soup
August 5: Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken
PSA: You can—and should—use your slow cooker in the summer. The less time you spend in a hot kitchen, the more time you have to hang outside in the (OK, equally hot, but more fun) sun.
August 6: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sriracha and Lime
August 7: Lime Chicken with Corn and Poblano Salad
August 8: Cheater’s Spicy Sausage Pizza with Burrata
August 9: Cold Lemon Zoodles
For the true dog days of summer, when it’s too hot to turn on any kitchen appliance. (Plus, it’s a great way to use up all the zucchini you bought at the farmers market).
August 10: Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
We love salmon, but tilapia is so much cheaper. Turn a few fillets into shatteringly crisp nuggets of bliss with a coating of flour, egg and store-bought taco seasoning. The recipe calls for baking the fish, but you can also fry it if you’re looking for a project.
August 11: 50-50 Buttered Noodles and Greens
How do you create a silky, luxurious cream sauce without a drop of heavy cream, you ask? Parmesan cheese, butter and starchy pasta water can get the job done. Feel free to substitute broccoli rabe with spinach or kale, if that’s what you have on hand.
August 12: Grilled Peach, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Sandwich
August 13: Onion and Arugula Frittata
Cook this crowd-pleaser in your handy cast iron skillet, then serve the leftovers for breakfast. (We’re betting you have nearly all the ingredients already in your kitchen.)
August 14: Blackberry-Peach Grilled Cheese
August 15: Sriracha Shrimp Skewers with Collard-Peach Salad
August 16: Low-Carb Zucchini Enchiladas
An abundance of in-season zucchini means finding creative ways to use it, like as a substitute for pasta or tortillas. These guys have all the cheesy goodness of traditional enchiladas, minus some of the carbs.
August 17: Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
August 18: Tomato and Yellow Zucchini Risotto
August 19: Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Canned beans are a total lifesaver when you’re shopping on a budget. They’re cheap, ready to eat and loaded with protein and fiber. Here, chickpeas are mashed with a few pantry staples to create a surprisingly satisfying 15-minute sammy.
August 20: 30-Minute Creamy Chicken, Corn and Tomato Skillet
We’re betting you have nearly all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Four corn cobs should be enough, but you can still make it in the off season with canned or frozen kernels (or any time you’re feeling lazy).
August 21: Red Shakshuka
This Maghrebi and Israeli baked egg dish costs less than $2 per serving. The zesty sauce stars canned crushed tomatoes, bell pepper and dry spices, so be sure to serve it with crusty bread for dipping.
August 22: Skillet Roast Chicken with Peaches, Tomatoes and Red Onion
Wanna know a secret? You can make a meal to eat alfresco in just one hour. Oh, and you’ll only have to scrub one pan after dinner. Thank us later—we’ll meet you on the patio with a bottle of white.
August 23: Five-Minute Bean Salad
Canned beans + fresh herbs + lemon = the easiest dinner of all time. Serve the beans over toast, greens or rice to make the salad more filling (and substitute oregano for marjoram if you already have it in your pantry).
August 24: Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken with Foil Packet Green Beans
Summertime and the grilling’s easy. It’s even easier if you cook your veggies in foil packets instead of in a grill basket and season the chicken with nothing but a few fridge staples.
August 25: Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Strawberries
What’s the forecast? Oh, right, another scorcher. No worries: You’re not turning on the oven tonight. Make the savory-fruity dish ahead for your next picnic or barbecue.
August 26: Buffalo Tuna Melt
Cost-conscious shoppers and lazy cooks alike are well aware of canned tuna’s magical properties. Save yourself a few bucks by combining hot sauce and melted butter instead of buying store-bought Buffalo sauce.
August 27: One-Pot, 15-Minute Pasta Limone
There’s nothing we love more than a quick, easy meal that leaves you with one dirty dish to wash. Even better, the recipe only calls for eight ingredients, many of which you probably have on hand already. Might we suggest pairing the pasta with fresh garlic bread?
August 28: Chickpeas with Braised Summer Vegetables and Basil
August 29: Caramelized Kimchi Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes are a last-minute dinner staple at our house, since they’re so easy to make (and easier on the wallet). These are a little fancier, but just as simple to prepare. Plate them with dressed greens or a bowl of brothy soup to make ’em a meal.
August 30: Rodney Scott’s Honey-Butter Fish
Fish is often grilled or sautéed quickly over high heat, but this recipe slows down the process. Keeping the barbecue at a low temp and cooking the fish in an open foil packet allows it to soak up as much smoky flavor as possible.
August 31: Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
It’s a decadent pairing for your favorite barbecue mains, but this cheesy, nine-ingredient stunner is satisfying enough to serve solo, too. Make the dish even more exciting by adding sliced jalapeños, crumbled bacon or caramelized onions.
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.