The 30 Best Things to Cook This June

updated Jun 8, 2020
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I wait all year for summer to hit — it’s my very favorite season — but right now, with June 1st upon us, my feelings are obviously very different. For the first time I am nervous about the months ahead and am having trouble getting excited about them, since I know they are going to look quite different.

So I am turning to the kitchen to bring me a bit of joy this month — my colleagues are, too. There is some normalcy to be found there, whether it’s in the blueberry cobbler I make every late June or the grilled pizza that’s a staple at Faith’s house. No matter how you’re feeling right now, let these 30 recipes bring you a little extra sunshine — I know I plan to let them for me.

Grilled Family Favorites to Celebrate Father’s Day (or Any Day)

Whether you’re able to celebrate the dad in your life at home or you’re simply toasting to him from afar, fire up the grill and cook something tried-and-true. You can never fail with juicy grilled steak or burgers, but a vibrant zucchini salad is a good call, too. Grace Elkus, our deputy food director, recalls grilling up a storm at her parents’ house at this time last year, and with no grill in her New York apartment, she bought herself a grill pan. “I can’t wait to make these gorgeous tofu kebabs. And I’m so intrigued by Bryant’s tip of freezing the tofu!”

Grilled Vegetables

Don’t forget that your grill isn’t just for meat. You can cook just about any vegetable on the grill. Associate Food Editor Kelli Foster is especially excited about grilling her vegetables this month: “I have a grill for the first time, and while I want to grill all the things, at the top of my list is vegetables. I’m excited to change things up from roasting vegetables to grilling them, and making cheesy grilled broccoli our new go-to summer side.”

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

Foil-Packet Dinners

Whether you cook them on the grill or in the oven, foil-packet dinners are just about the easiest, most fuss-free dinners, and we can’t get enough of them right now. The combinations you can make with chicken, sausage, fish, and veggies are nearly endless, and cleanup is also a total breeze.

Simple Summery Pantry Dinners

Simple dinners are the name of the game right now, so let the pantry be your dinnertime guide this month. As the weather shifts, lean into lighter, brighter recipes, like a fresh tomato pasta, quick black bean tacos, or a simple chicken skillet. “I haven’t made Meghan’s life-changing chicken thighs yet, but I’m feeling so left out because everyone else on staff has been raving about them! I’m gonna make them ASAP. Swear it.” says Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Salads, Salads, Salads

We simply cannot get enough salad right now. Fresh leafy green salads, grilled salads, fruit salads, and vegetable-packed grain salads are an easy way to celebrate all the fresh produce coming into season right now. Plus it’s a low-effort way to use up your haul of farmers market or CSA produce. There’s also never been a better time to hop on the breakfast salad train.

Credit: Faith Durand

Berries Baked into Sweet Breakfasts

Our Staff Writer, Lauren Masur, has her sights set on this strawberry Dutch baby. “We’ve been making a Dutch baby for breakfast pretty much every Saturday morning but, I hate to say it, it’s losing its magic a little. I think it’s time to level up to this fruit-filled version. Since it’s June, the supermarket strawberries are finally starting to sweeten up too!”

And More Berries for Dessert

I am all about celebrating the small things right now, which means I absolutely plan to call it an occasion when local strawberries or blueberries arrive in my CSA box this month. After I pluck some from the basket, it’s on to turning them into a simple summery dessert, like a strawberry cake. And Managing Editor, Lauren Kodiak, agrees. “I really want to make a cake with fresh strawberries! I never got around to making one last year — I won’t make the same mistake this summer!” 

No-Cook Recipes When It’s Too Hot (or You Simply Don’t Feel Like It)

Let’s be honest: We’re all having nights when we just really don’t feel like cooking right now. Those just may become even more frequent later this month as the weather becomes hotter and muggier. So do yourself a favor and make some no-cook things like gazpacho, bean salads, and even sandwiches on crusty bread, which are a favorite of Associate Food Editor Kelli Foster. “I know I can eat sandwiches for dinner anytime, but hot summer nights feel like the permission slip I need to serve up ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner.”

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Saucy pulled pork sandwiches are at the top of the list for our Features Director, Ariel Knutson. “I haven’t made them in a couple years, and then I saw someone on Instagram post their version on Memorial Day and I knew it was in my immediate future.”

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Juicy Watermelon to Celebrate Summer’s Arrival

“I have yet to truly celebrate the arrival of summer, and I’m thinking that this watermelon salad will be the kickoff I need,” says Studio Food Editor Jesse Szewczyk. “I love esquites, and I love watermelon, so I feel like this recipe will be right up my alley.”