52 Summer Vegetable Dishes to Make in 20 Minutes

updated Nov 28, 2023
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When it comes to summer cooking, there are two things I always do: fill my plate with as many fresh, seasonal veggies as possible and keep things as quick and easy as possible. Less time in the kitchen means more time poolside, on the patio, stoop, or fire escape enjoying the warm weather!

From a creamy corn and egg scramble to a one-minute tomato sandwich, here are 50 delicious ways to get your fill of veggies in 20 minutes or less.

Appetizers and Snacks

From bruschetta to salsa to dip, here’s how to take snacking way beyond crudité.

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Fava Bean and Radish Bruschetta

Fresh, simple bruschetta makes a fantastic appetizer or light meal. In spring, look beyond the traditional tomato topping and try a seasonal version, such as this lively mixture of tender fava beans, peppery radishes, lemon, and herbs.

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2 / 5
Brown Butter and Tahini Dipped Radishes

There’s never been a recipe that’s made me appreciate the crunch and peppery bite of raw radishes more than this one. This bite-sized treat is coated with a mixture of earthy, nutty, and almost sweet flavors before a layer of crunchy sesame seeds are added for texture. It’s sweet and savory with a hit of saltines and a spicy punch — all at the same time.

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3 / 5
Charred Corn Salsa

This recipe is a breeze to put together since the amounts of each ingredients are more like a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule. That’s how we want you to cook this summer. Hot, fast, and loose. Charred corn cobs make up the bulk of the salsa, with quartered red and yellow cherry tomatoes coming in at a close second.

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4 / 5
Spiced Cucumber Sticks with Chaat Masala

These spiced cucumber sticks are probably the most ubiquitous of all street food. Every vendor, whatever his specialty, will also have these around as a quick, easy to-go snack.

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5 / 5
Butter-Roasted Radish Dip

Inspired by radish butter, the textured spread that makes everything it touches more delicious, this dip builds on that with deeper flavors and creamier nuances. Roasting the radishes both mellows the spicy bite and concentrates their flavor (soaking up the butter in the process), in the most wonderful way.

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Come summer, I’m happy to tuck into a big bowl of salad again and again. Use these salads as inspiration to revel in the bounty of fresh summer produce.

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Succotash Salad

To me, succotash is the ultimate expression of a summer salad. Succotash, from the Algonquin language of the Narragansett Native Americans of Rhode Island, means “boiled corn kernels,” but the dish has morphed over the generations to be anything from a corn and bean salad to a pot-pie-like concoction with a mixture of vegetables cooked in a casserole with a pie-crust on top.

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2 / 15
Tangy Cucumber Salad
A light, fresh salad of quick-pickled cucumbers and chopped fresh chives that's perfect for your next potluck or barbecue.
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Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives

If you’ve neglected lentils in light of rising temperatures, give this refreshing, filling salad a try to bring them back on your culinary radar.

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4 / 15
Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a popular Italian summertime dish. The dish incorporates the colors of the Italian flag, and uses the freshest summer ingredients.

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5 / 15
Raw Vegetable Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing

Most of the salads I eat on a regular basis are not “exciting” enough to photograph and wax poetic about for the blogosphere. Something tells me this bright summer salad might make a pretty good exception.

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6 / 15
Corn and Zucchini Salad with Chives

Sweet corn is one of those foods that only tastes good this time of year; the rest of the year it seems drier, less flavorful. This quick, warm salad is an easy, last-minute side dish for a summer meal of steak or grilled chicken.

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7 / 15
Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Dill and Feta
This is the full-on maximalist tomato salad: tossed gloriously with red pepper, feta, dill, cucumber, and olives.
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8 / 15
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pomegranate-Sumac Dressing

You don’t have to use heirloom varieties in this salad, and in fact, the dressing can enhance a somewhat bland hothouse tomato. But do yourself a favor and seek out fruit that smells earthy and sweet and tomato-y, whether it’s from your garden, a farmers market, or the grocery store. A mix of colors is always nice, too. (And remember, when it comes to heirloom tomatoes, scars are a-okay!)

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9 / 15
Chilled Black Bean, Feta & Cucumber Salad

This hearty, refreshing salad takes about 15 minutes to make — no cooking, no excessive prep. If my taste buds could actually dance, they would definitely dance with every spoonful.

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Sour Cream Cucumber Salad with Mustard Seeds

This cucumber salad bridges the cultural divide between Eastern Europe and India: both cultures have creamy, cooling salads with dairy and cucumbers. Here’s my easy fusion version.

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Salsa Salad

If you are wanting to make an actual dish from your tomato bounty and you’ve exhausted the three typical possibilities like I did last weekend, consider the salsa salad.

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Summer Corn Salad

Summer’s all about celebrating fresh, colorful produce. And this salad does just that.

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Tomato Chickpea Salad
Tomatoes and chickpeas are tossed in a simple vinaigrette for a light dinner or easy lunch.
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14 / 15
Watermelon Arugula Salad
A quick 5-ingredient recipe for an arugula salad with watermelon and feta.
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Avocado Salad
This simple summery avocado salad takes avocado from supporting ingredient to the main attraction.
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Sandwiches and Wraps

Not quite feeling a salad? Layer those veggies between a couple slices of bread, stuff them in a pita, or roll them up in a tortilla for a quick meal in minutes.

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Whole Wheat Pita with Kale & Asiago

I highly recommend: Fresh green kale, tossed with olive oil, stuffed into a toasted pita along with plenty of savory cheese.

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2 / 9
Summer Vegetables Sub Sandwich with Garlic Cream Cheese
Gilded with a flavorful cream cheese and topped with an assortment of fresh and jarred vegetables, this sandwich fuels your travels and keep things tidy.
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3 / 9
Garlicky Broccoli Subs

Each bite is a delightful combination of savory and sweet flavors, creaminess from the feta, and the fiery tang of pickled Peppadew peppers.

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4 / 9
Cheesy Vegetable Melts
The familiar comfort of grilled cheese, with a big dose of veggies.
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5 / 9
Caprese Grilled Cheese

Tuck the elements of a caprese salad — thick sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil — between two slices of crusty sourdough bread, griddle them until the tomatoes are warm and the cheese is oozing out from the center, and you’ve got a more comforting take on the Italian classic.

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6 / 9
1-Minute Tomato Sandwich

A pinch of salt brings out their juiciness, honey highlights their sweetness, and the nuttiness of whole-grain bread grounds the sandwich with a hearty foundation.

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7 / 9
Mozzacado Sandwich

It was an odd yet sublime mix of avocado smashed on bread, layered with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato, and pesto. Think of it as an upgrade to that wonderful classic, the tomato-mozzarella sandwich.

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8 / 9
Mediterranean Veggie Pita Sandwich

This simple sandwich packs a lot of flavor and nutrition, which makes it ideal for an easy weekday meal.

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Vegan Sourdough Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

A good vegan sandwich needs some careful thought and construction. It has to have a good balance of textures and flavors, but it should also be satisfying without relying on meat or cheese. Portobello mushrooms are a popular ingredient choice (for good reason), and this one is no exception. Throw some sourdough bread in the toaster and let’s get cooking!

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Veggie-Heavy Mains

Take your veggie haul beyond salad and side territory, and make it the main course. Not only do meals like stir-fry, balsamic veggie kebabs, and zoodle bowls feel totally nourishing, but they are also lightning-fast to pull together.

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Chilled Cucumber Noodles with Sesame Dressing

The real key to this recipe isn’t the fact that cucumbers have been made into noodles, but that the noodle are very thin. This alone has made cucumber even more enticing for me.

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2 / 7
No-Chop Cold Veggie Noodle Bowls With Soy Lime Vinaigrette
This summer sauté served over rice noodles is everything you'll crave in a cold noodle bowl.
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3 / 7
Smoky Corn and Shrimp Fritters

When paired with a simple green salad and maybe some crusty bread, these corn and shrimp fritters make the kind of light dinner that’s meant for sticky summer evenings. A glass of crisp white wine alongside is welcomed and encouraged.

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4 / 7
3-Ingredient Pesto Zoodle Bowl
A simple recipe for sautéed zucchini noodles tossed with pesto, and topped with a fried egg.
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5 / 7
Balsamic Glazed Veggie Kebabs
A recipe for quick and easy mixed vegetable kebabs brushed with a balsamic and garlic glaze.
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6 / 7
15-Minute Fresh Tomato and Feta Tart

he tomato tart is a classic summer dish. It stands alone as a great appetizer, makes a light brunch with an egg on top, or supports the lead as a charming side dish with grilled chicken or seafood.

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7 / 7
Weeknight Vegetable Stir-Fry
This easy weeknight veggie stir-fry is more template than recipe. Make it once a week to clear out the crisper and ensure you're eating your veggies!
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Starting your day with a veggie-packed breakfast is always something to feel good about.

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Mediterranean Breakfast Pitas

This protein-packed combination of egg and hummus is a surefire way to start your day on the right note. Wrap it in a piece of foil, and you’re out the door with a portable breakfast.

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2 / 4
Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Corn, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

This meal could be breakfast or dinner. In fact, I ate it for lunch, and it really does take just 10 minutes to make — could be less, depending on how thick your tomato slices are.

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3 / 4
Caprese Avocado Toast

When it comes to avocado toast, the best slices go well beyond two ingredients. If you require further proof, let us present this caprese avocado toast. All the components of a caprese salad — from the ripe tomatoes and the creamy mozzarella to the fresh basil and the tangy balsamic glaze — are a good friend to the cool avocado. If there was ever an example of when the whole is better than the sum of its parts (and we’re talking about irresistible parts!), caprese avocado toast nails it on the head.

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4 / 4
Crispy White Beans with Greens and Poached Egg
It answers the comforting call of breakfast for dinner, and though it's so simple, a couple poached eggs know how to kick it up a notch.
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