The 31 Best Things to Cook This August

published Aug 2, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Melina Hammer/Kitchn

I’m not quite sure how it’s August already. I feel like I was just easing into June, blinked twice, and now we’re in the back half of summer. Luckily, these sultry August days are my favorite of the season. It’s high time for tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and stone fruit, and I’m looking forward to eating my fill of all of them.

Peak produce season means a little more to me this year because it’s the first summer that I have a vegetable garden. It’s been a thrill to see veggies popping up in my own yard. I’ve got a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, plus cucumbers, eggplant, and a robust zucchini plant that will hopefully produce at least one squash this season. My garden is the inspiration and focus of most of my cooking this month.

Whether you’re picking produce from your garden or browsing the farmers market or produce section at the grocery store, there’s inspiration all around this time of year. Take a moment to soak up the rest of summer and all it has to offer. From zucchini bread to cold lentil salad to marinated tomato sauce and so much more, we have 31 delicious ways to do just that.

1 / 31
Contributing Editor, Patty Catalano, is all about recipes that help her cool down in August, and she's got Halo-Halo at the top of her list. "Amelia sent me a shave ice machine earlier this summer and it has been so fun to play with. Now that her recipe for Halo-Halo is out in the wild I have to try it!"
Go to Recipe
2 / 31
How To Make Refrigerator Pickles
If you're getting inundated with cukes from your garden or CSA, or picked up a bunch from the farmers market, refrigerator pickles are a great idea. As the name suggests, you simply make them in the fridge — no canning required.
Go to Recipe
3 / 31
Cardamom and Stone Fruit Clafoutis
French clafoutis is mixed up in just one bowl, can be customized with an array of stone fruit, and bakes up with a soft, custardy texture.
Go to Recipe
4 / 31
The Ultimate Summer Salad
Copy Chief, Lauren, is all about putting her farmers market goodies to work with this totally perfect summer salad.
Go to Recipe
5 / 31
Zucchini Bread
I'm pretty sure that zucchini bread is the whole reason that zucchini exists. The shredded zucchini gives this bread a subtle sweetness and a soft texture.
Go to Recipe
6 / 31
Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Corn, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes
Of all the ways to eat sweet summer corn, this is the recipe Food Editor, Kelli, looks forward to most every August. "It's become a tradition in our house to make these eggs for weekend breakfast in my house."
Go to Recipe
7 / 31
One-Pot Eggplant Caponata Pasta
If you make just one eggplant recipe this month, let it be this one-pot pasta. All the tangy, sweet, and savory elements of the classic Sicilian eggplant dish of tomatoes, olives, capers, and more come together in this flavor-packed dish.
Go to Recipe
8 / 31
Spicy Ground Pork & Zucchini Stir-Fry
This spicy stir-fry is a quick and easy way to turn your abundance of zucchini into a meal. The recipe calls for ground pork, although any type of ground meat will work here.
Go to Recipe
9 / 31
Rotisserie Chicken Panzanella
August means one thing for Features Director, Arie: panzanella! "August is all about ways I can sneak in eating more tomatoes. My absolute favorite way is with a panzanella. I love adding burrata and fresh cucumbers, too. And rotisserie chicken when I want something more filling."
Go to Recipe
10 / 31
Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives
Whether you're still WFH or getting ready to pack school lunch, this make-ahead salad is one of our top picks. It easily lasts for a week, and if you're packing lunch, it doesn't require a fridge.
Go to Recipe
11 / 31
Farro Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Pine Nuts
If grain salads are your go-to lunch, here's one to keep in your August lineup! The combination of vinegar-kissed roasted eggplant, sweet caramelized onion, chewy farro, fresh mint is unbeatable.
Go to Recipe
12 / 31
Summer Vegetable Gratin
Meet Food Editor, Kelli's, go-to side dish. "It's the simplest way I know to turn my haul of tomatoes and summer squash into something totally delicious. Plus, the leftovers are great topped with a fried egg."
Go to Recipe
13 / 31
Garlicky White Wine Spaghetti with Mussels and Clams
"I have never been one to make seafood at home," says Studio Food Editor Jesse. "But this pasta has inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and give it a go! I like how casually fancy the pasta feels and I am excited to cook it for some friends. Talk about impressive!"
Go to Recipe
14 / 31
No-Chop Cold Veggie Noodle Bowls with Soy-Lime Vinaigrette
This is the dinner recipe to bookmark for when it's just too hot to cook. It's the most satisfying lazy summer dinner we know.
Go to Recipe
15 / 31
Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas
Lunch box alert! To make these quesadillas desk- and kid lunch-friendly, we ditched the wedge cut for a technique that keeps the chickpeas and cheese nestled in a closed tortilla. They also freeze like a dream.
Go to Recipe
16 / 31
One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca
This certainly isn't your Italian grandmother's pasta puttanesca, but it is one of the easiest versions you'll find.
Go to Recipe
17 / 31
The Best-Ever California Sandwich
"I lived in Southern California for nearly a decade," says Executive Food Director, Nina. "I still miss the low humidity, the produce, and the awesome California-style sandwiches. Once the New England produce is at its peak, I'm going to try and re-create a SoCal moment with this recipe."
Go to Recipe
18 / 31
Tomato Water with Cold Soba and Veggies
Studio Food Editor Amelia plans to savor tomato season and beat the heat this month with these cold noodle bowls. I strongly recommend following her lead.
Go to Recipe
19 / 31
Mozzacado Sandwich
What's not to love?! This sandwich is like avocado toast meets caprese meets tomato sandwich.
Go to Recipe
20 / 31
No-Bake Peanut Butter Protein Cookies
If you've got a road trip planned this month, you're going to need car snacks! Consider these easy-peasy cookies a must.
Go to Recipe
21 / 31
Zucchini Pesto Pizza Rolls
This veggie-packed dinner is a hit with the kiddos *and* with busy parents who don't have a whole lot of time on their hands.
Go to Recipe
22 / 31
Fresh Corn Galette with Zucchini, Thyme, and Goat Cheese
The corn from the farmers market has been so sweet this summer so far and Senior Contributing Food Editor, Sheela, has been loading up. "I love making galettes and this is a long-time favorite — especially because leftovers are perfect at room temperature for picnics and lazy summer lunches."
Go to Recipe
23 / 31
Ham and Cheddar Lunch Box Muffins
These hearty muffins are mixed with cornmeal for extra heft and texture, and loaded with thick-cut chunks of ham, sharp cheddar, and a pinch of chives.
Go to Recipe
24 / 31
Easy Pasta Salad
This goes-anywhere, has-everything pasta salad is one we think you should know by heart. We love it for cookouts and make-ahead lunches alike.
Go to Recipe
25 / 31
Caramelized Zucchini Phyllo Pie
Executive Editor, Patty Lee, had this savory pie on her to-make list last summer and didn't get around to it. "This August will be the month! I'm always looking for more vegetarian meals and this one — packed full of summer ingredients like corn and basil — sounds absolutely delightful."
Go to Recipe
26 / 31
Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Sausage
Deputy Food Director, Grace, cannot wait to make these stuffed zucchini boats again this month. "I follow this recipe and swap in plant-based Italian sausage to make it vegetarian. It's always a hit!"
Go to Recipe
27 / 31
Credit: Faith Durand
Marian Burros’ Plum Torte
Food Editor-at-Large, Christine, tells me that she recently got some backyard plums from her mom's neighbor and has been eyeing the famous plum torte.
Go to Recipe
28 / 31
Marinated Fresh Tomato Sauce
This sauce is a taste of summer, according to Senior Contributing Food Editor, Sheela! "It's also so versatile, which I am always a big fan of. Spoon it on toast for bruschetta, toss it with beans or chickpeas for a bean salad, fold it into scrambled eggs, or use it as a bed for any protein off the grill."
Go to Recipe
29 / 31
Tomatillo Shakshuka
Take advantage of in-season tomatillos, chilies, and herbs with this smoky tomatillo shakshuka.
Go to Recipe
30 / 31
Mango Coconut Icebox Cake
If you make just one dessert this month, go for an icebox cake. There's no baking involved and it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. If you need a reason for a fun dessert, make it just because!
Go to Recipe
31 / 31
Credit: Joe Lingeman
Ina Garten's Creamy Cucumber Salad
Lifestyle Director, Lisa, is not letting August pass her by without making several batches of Ina's ultra-creamy cucumber salad. It's her new fave.
Go to Recipe