There are so many seasonal fruits and vegetables to enjoy during the summer season. Here’s a full summer produce guide, including a list of summer fruits and vegetables and 115 of the best summer recipes to make on those hot summer days.
Cooking with Seasonal Ingredients
Summer is one of the most bountiful times of the year. From corn to squash to berries, there are so many fruits and veggies that can be harvested during the warmer months.
In the US, summer lasts roughly from late June to mid-September, with July and August being two of the best months for harvesting fresh produce.
Although it’s tempting to buy the same produce at the grocery store year-round, eating seasonally can save you money. Plus, the food tastes way better!
I love the way that cooking seasonally becomes simpler. Fresh ingredients just taste so much better when they’re in season that it requires minimal effort to make simple ingredients taste amazing.
Complete Summer Produce Guide
In this post, I’m sharing a complete summer produce guide that includes a list of summer fruits and vegetables that are currently in season.
Note that the type of produce in season will vary slightly depending on where you live. Below is just a general overview.
There are lots of summer season vegetables to enjoy! If you have a farmers market in your area, I highly encourage you to do your produce shopping there.
Vegetables in Summer Season
The veggies will be fresher than the ones at your local grocery store, and you can feel good knowing you’re supporting a farmer in your area.
Summer Vegetables List
Here’s a list of the most common summer vegetables:
Freezing sweet corn preserves its shelf life and means you’ll enjoy the taste of summer year-round! In this post, I’ll explain how to freeze corn both on and off the cob.
Freezing basil minimizes food waste and ensures you always have some on hand for soups, stews, sauces, and more! This post explains how to freeze basil 4 ways, plus you’ll get access to 10+ basil recipes. For another herb tip, check out How to Quickly Chiffonade Herbs!
Freezing tomatoes is the perfect way to preserve them for using in soups and sauces year-round. This post will explain the best way to freeze tomatoes, whether or not they should be blanched before being frozen, and more!
Preserve summer tomatoes and peppers by Canning Fresh Tomato Salsa. This home canned salsa is so tasty! It is great to keep on hand in your pantry for any time the craving strikes, or to use as gifting!
Summer Season Fruits
The most common summer season fruits are berries, stone fruits, and melons. You can tell if stone fruits are ripe by gently squeezing them. They should give a little bit beneath your fingers and smell fruity.
Ripe melons will feel heavy, have a strong smell, and the color of their rind will also indicate their level of ripeness.
Ripe berries should be vibrant in color, smell strongly, and not be overly mushy.
Summer Fruits List
Now, here’s a list of the most common summer fruits:
Freezing raspberries is a wonderful way to enjoy summer’s harvest year-round! This guide explains how to freeze raspberries, plus it answers the most commonly asked questions about thawing frozen raspberries and using them in recipes.
Do you know how easy it is to freeze fresh blueberries? One of the best ways to enjoy summer’s harvest year-round is to freeze blueberries when they’re in season! This guide explains how to freeze blueberries, plus it answers the most commonly asked questions about thawing frozen blueberries and using them in recipes.
Freezing strawberries is a wonderful way to enjoy summer’s harvest year-round! This guide explains how to freeze strawberries, plus it answers the most commonly asked questions about thawing frozen strawberries and using them in recipes.
My Favorite Summer Recipes
Because there are so many fruits and vegetables in season during the summer months, you have lots of options when it comes to cooking and baking with them.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a simple summer appetizer, dinner, or dessert, this list of summer recipes covers all the bases.
The Best Summer Recipes
Come check out what's in season during the summer with this Summer Produce Guide, plus learn what to make with all that great seasonal produce!
Slightly tart in flavor, apricots are small in size and have a stone in the middle. Apricots are great for snacking, but they can also be incorporated into many recipes.
Chop up apricots to use in salads and grilled sandwiches, cook down to make apricot jam, or bake in your favorite cakes, muffins, and mores.
I love cooking with apricots because you almost never have to peel them first. Apricot skin is extremely delicate and softens further once cooked.
This Creamy Vanilla Apricot Sorbet turned out to be a great lighter summer dessert. For added flair, I made some white chocolate almond bark pieces to garnish the sorbet with.
Did you know that avocados are technically a fruit? Even though avocados aren’t sweet and juicy like most fruits we eat, they’re still classified as such.
The two most common types of avocados you’ll find at the grocery store are Hass avocados and Florida avocados. Hass avocados have textured, dark green skin and Florida avocados are lighter in color with a smooth skin.
No matter the type of avocadoes you buy, opt for ones that give slightly when you press your thumb into the flesh. That’s how you’ll know they’re ripe enough to eat.
I love versatile starter recipes like this Avocado Peach Salsa. It is a simple and fast recipe to prepare but the fun flavor profile and bright colors compliment a variety of serving methods, making it the perfect start to several different 30-minute (or less!) meals and snacks.
Because sandwiches are very much about personal preference, feel free to use this recipe more as a guideline. If you prefer more cheese or arugula, for example, go ahead and adapt the recipe according to your personal tastes.
This 5 Minute Basic Guacamole features the delicious flavors of red onion, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, and fresh lime juice paired with ripe, mashed avocados. Its simple and basic, but oh so delicious!
These chicken salad wraps are a breeze to whip up, and the chicken salad will stay fresh for up to three days. Make a big batch and enjoy throughout the week!
Bell Pepper Recipes
Most grocery stores stock green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers. You may think the brightly colored peppers come from different plants, but they’re actually the same variety of bell pepper!
Green bell peppers are picked the earliest, and red bell peppers are left to grow for the longest. This also explains why green bell peppers have a sharper, more peppery taste and red bell peppers taste sweeter.
For most recipes, you can use any type of bell peppers you’d like. However, I do try to buy the same color of bell pepper that the recipe calls for since using different colored peppers can affect the flavor of a dish.
Wondering how to make your own roasted peppers at home rather than buying them canned or frozen? Check out these instructions for How to Roast Peppers.
We don’t do a lot of dips, but when we do I try to make dip recipes that add nutritional value to the meal or snack rather than being empty calories. Hummus is great as a dip because it is made largely from garbanzo beans (or chickpeas).
These Flank Steak Fajitas have so much flavor thanks to this delicious flank steak fajita marinade. Your family will love filling up their tortillas with all of their favorite fajita toppings to build their own custom plates! This recipe is super easy thanks to many make ahead tips and tricks to save you time!
Quinoa “Taco” Salad has all the flavor and protein of a regular taco salad, but is so much healthier. It tastes clean and rich with flavor instead of laden with greasy, over-salted chips and low nutrient lettuce.
Meatballs are a perfect make-ahead meal. They are slightly time-consuming but well worth the flavor!
Ripe blackberries will be brightly colored, plump, and juicy (but not overly soft). They should also smell fragrant.
To extend the shelf life of your blackberries, store them in the fridge. Wait to wash your berries until you’re ready to use them, otherwise they’ll go bad more quickly.
In most instances, blackberries may be swapped in for any berry that a recipe calls for. Just note that blackberries are slightly tart, so you may need to add an extra spoonful or two of sugar to baked goods, for instance, to make up for it.
In this Kale and Frozen Berry Smoothie, frozen wild blueberries, strawberries, red raspberries, and blackberries are combined with mango, fresh Kale, chia seeds, and orange juice for a refreshing smoothie.
These Balsamic Berry Salad Lettuce Cups are the perfect light salad for warmer months. They would also be great served as a healthy a snack or appetizer. If you’d like a light dinner or lunch, try adding a few strips of grilled chicken to the berry mixture.
Ripe blueberries taste sweet and are extremely juicy. If your blueberries are crunchy or mealy inside, they were picked before they were fully ripe.
Blueberries are heartier berries that will last up to five days in the fridge. They also freeze incredibly well and can be used in cakes, smoothies, salsas, and more.
In the summer, I like to buy blueberries in bulk when they’re on sale. I’ll freeze the majority for later, which saves me money in the long-run. Plus, I get to enjoy the flavor of summer berries well into the fall and winter.
This Black Cherry Pomegranate Cobbler will remind you of summer camp cherry pie dump cake without the canned pie filling and box mixes. It features sweet black cherries with a hint of pomegranate and a generous helping of crunchy, golden brown, buttery cobbler topping.
I made this Cranberry Cherry Mango Smoothie day using a new Ocean Spray Cran-Cherry juice. It was so tasty I just had to share!
When picking fresh ears of sweet corn, look for ones that are bright green in color with golden silk. You should also peel back the husk slightly to make sure the corn kernels are plump and not shriveled.
Sweet corn can be grilled, boiled, or cut off the cob and eaten raw. If freezing sweet corn, you’ll need to blanch it before cutting it off the cob and freezing it.
Try a fun summer take on tacos with this recipe for Chicken Tacos with Grilled Corn Tomato Salsa. Chicken is flavored with a tasty Chipotle Lime Marinade and then grilled. Instead of traditional salsa, fresh, sweet summer corn is grilled until charred and combined with tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro.
These Shredded Beef, Black Bean and Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos are a healthier take on Chile Rellanos. The poblanos are roasted instead of friend, and they are stuffed with a mixture of Mexican shredded beef, quinoa, black beans, and corn.
Fresh summer meals and outdoor entertaining are where it is at when it comes to this Greek Pork Kebab Platter with Greek Pico de Gallo. Juicy chunks of pork tenderloin are grilled with onion, lemon, and oregano and served platter style with Greek Pico de Gallo.
Panzanella might seem a little odd if you've never had it, but it's really fun! Rather than having bread on the side you get to have it mixed in with all the lovely fresh vegetables and flavored with herbs.
The amount of each ingredient you use is up to you. Use as little or as much of the listed veggies as you would like. These grilled chicken Greek pita pockets are the perfect lunch.
Unlike most citrus fruits, limes are in season in the summer rather than the winter. When zesting limes, make sure to wash the outside first as limes often have a waxy coating on the skin.
Keep an eye out for key limes at your local grocery store. Key limes are smaller in size and have a tarter flavor. Although you can use key lime juice and regular lime juice interchangeably, key limes are so special!
Thanks to its bright, fruity flavors, Coconut Lime Banana Bread is perfect for spring baking. Serve this bread up for snacking, for dessert with some fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or for your next spring brunch.
Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken Walking Tacos are a Way Better updated from you traditional walking tacos. Featuring grilled lime cilantro chicken and grilled pineapple tacos, these walking tacos taste fresh and light!
This Cilantro Lime Broccoli Slaw is a tasty side dish to accompany any Mexican inspired meal. Pre-packaged shredded broccoli, carrots, red cabbage are tossed with jalapeño, lime, red onion, and red bell pepper for a refreshing side salad.
If you’re not already familiar with it, agua fresca is Spanish for “fresh waters” and is most often a blend of fruit, sugar and water, served over ice. While agua fresca can be endlessly customized with your favorite fruits, herbs, and even edible flowers, our family fave is this simple combination of strawberry and lime.
These Individual No Bake Mango Lime Cheesecakes are an easy summertime dessert that provides a fun new take on cheesecake. There is just a little hint of savory and spicy with salsa that pairs really well with the sweet, creaminess of the No Bake Mango Lime Cheesecake.
These 4 Ingredient Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches are perfect for summer!
Ripe peaches are very juicy and sweet in flavor. To test the ripeness of a peach, gently press a finger into the flesh near the stem. If the flesh gives slightly beneath your finger, the peach is ripe.
Once they’ve ripened, store peaches in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Conversely, you should store them on the countertop to help them ripen quicker. (It helps if you place them next to a bunch of bananas!).
When cooking with peaches, you don’t necessarily have to peel them first. However, the easiest way to peel a peach is to gently slice an X into the skin, blanch it in boiling water for 20 seconds, then dunk it in an ice path. Once that’s done, the skin should be easy to peel off with your fingers.
This Peach Cake is the perfect summertime dessert if those warm months have you craving fresh, juicy, sweet peaches. Or, maybe you have a lot of peaches on hand and you're wondering what to make with peaches? Check out this peach cake recipe for a simple dessert and lots of peach recipe ideas.
Summers seem to leave me short on time, but I still have cravings for dessert. This recipe for Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Whip and Fresh Raspberry Sauce is a great summer dessert recipe.
Raspberries are a delicate berry and they’re prone to spoiling quickly, even if they’ve been stored in the fridge. Freezing raspberries is a great way to preserve their shelf-life and take advantage of sale prices at the grocery store.
Once raspberries have been frozen, you may not need to thaw them before baking with them. Many muffin, cake, and quick bread recipes can be made with frozen raspberries that have been tossed in a little flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the batter.
No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pots are the perfect summertime dessert recipe. Delicious berries. Cold dessert. No turning on the oven. I love the individual serving sizes because it makes for such a pretty presentation.
Taken up a notch to satisfy my sophisticated adult taste buds, these Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches are just the treat I need to settle my nerves after a long, exhausting day. Creamy, vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries, and chocolate pair so well together sandwiched between a simple graham cracker.
Raspberry Almond Angel Food Cake Parfaits is a super easy dessert recipe that kids can make for Mom on Mother's Day. Angel Food Cake pieces are layered with lemon curd, fresh raspberries, honey almond whipped cream and sliced almonds.
This Lemon Curd Pavlova is topped with fresh raspberries. You can make lots of mini pavlovas and serve them individually, or make one large pavlova as a dessert centerpiece. Either way, this dessert is sure to impress!
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Raspberry Sauce are the perfect combo of a fluffy, light vanilla cupcake, rich chocolate buttercream, and a tangy, sweet fresh raspberry sauce.
In season strawberries will be a deep, shiny red color. Look for berries that are plump without blemishes (though you can always cut those out if you need to).
Ripe strawberries will have a strawberry scent and be medium in firmness. Hard berries that are partially white are not ripe yet. (Note that berries do not continue to ripen like other fruits once picked.)
Because strawberries are so fragile, be careful when storing so they don't bruise, which will only cause them to spoil faster. They're best stored in a container with airflow. Wash just before using so they stay fresher longer — the excess moisture will cause spoiling and mold.
Popsicles are a great way to beat the heat this summer. They're a fun and easy snack for kids to prepare that doesn't heat up the kitchen or make a lot of mess. Try these Creamy Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles for a fun take on some favorite summer flavors.
Take advantage of summer's colorful and delicious produce and make this Roasted Tomato Crostini with Walnut Almond Pesto and Goat Cheese. Crostini is a great summer appetizer to serve while sitting out on the patio in the evening.
This easy roasted salsa verde takes just a few minutes to prep once you've roasted the veggies. It is perfect for homemade green enchilada sauce, smothered burritos, or simply as a green salsa to serve with chips.
Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad is a really simple salad and a more grown-up way to eat watermelon with a BBQ dinner. I love the combination of sweet and salty and the way the mint played off of both flavors. The syrupy balsamic glaze added just the right acidity.
These Zucchini Apple Spice Muffins are perfect for the transition space between summer and fall. You can use up the loads of summer zucchini that are laying around in your garden, the grocery store, or at the farmer’s marker, while savoring the fall spice flavors and a hint of apple.
This primavera is a great way to use up languishing squash in your fridge. Any green veggies really make this a pretty dish and if you are vegetarian just omit the chicken and add more veggies!
Try these Easy Summer Recipes!
Next time you’re looking for a great summer recipe, browse this list of over 100 recipes using the best summer produce! Leave a comment below and let us know what you’re cooking on these hot summer nights.
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see photos of the seasonal ingredients you’re cooking up!
Looking For More Produce Guides?
This Fall Produce Guidewill tell you everything you need to know about what is in season this time of year along with 50 fall recipes to try.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean there’s nothing growing! In this Winter Produce Guide, I’m sharing a list of winter fruits and vegetables as well as my favorite winter recipes.
This Spring Produce Guide tells you everything you need to know about what is in season this during the spring, cooking with spring ingredients, and plenty of spring recipes to try.
Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.