Light Summer Dinner Recipes

Grilled meats and fish, better-for-you burgers and hearty main-dish salads are but a few of the healthy dinner recipes that will keep you slim this summer.

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Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2012, Food Network

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Tara Donne

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Jerk Spice

Make your own jerk marinade ahead of time (it can be refrigerated for one week or frozen for up to two months) to prepare a flavorful fish dinner in only five minutes. Simply season the mahi mahi with the marinade, grill it on both sides and dinner is ready.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Mahi Mahi with Jerk Spice

Better Burger with Green Olives

Green olives help keep these lean turkey burgers moist, in addition to adding a ton of salty flavor. 

Get the Recipe: Better Burger with Green Olives

Soba Noodle-Vegetable Salad

Basil, mint and cilantro give this Asian-inspired dish plenty of herby flavor, so you can go light on the lime and chili dressing.

Get the Recipe: Soba Noodle-Vegetable Salad

Grilled Fish Tacos

The secret to Bobby Deen's spicy fish tacos is his dynamite taco seasoning — a mix of chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, cayenne and garlic.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Fish Tacos

Monster Mushroom Burger

This five-star recipe has been described as "phenomenal" and "sensational" by reviewers, and the rosemary lime "mayo" (which is actually greek yogurt) continues to win the masses over.

Get the Recipe: Monster Mushroom Burger

Shredded Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Adorn slow-cooked shredded pork tacos with quick pickled red onions and an array of garnishes for a winning fiesta dish.

Get the Recipe: Shredded Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Pork Souvlaki with Grilled Citrus

Michael Symon seasons his pork souvlaki skewers with traditional Mediterranean flavors like oregano and garlic, but he dials them up a notch by adding sliced jalapeno.

Get the Recipe: Pork Souvlaki with Grilled Citrus

Lobster Roll

This lightened-up lobster sandwich has all the flavor of the classic shore food without the guilt. 

Get the Recipe: Lobster Roll

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

By stuffing sweet red peppers with lean ground beef and loads of veggies and topping the halves with a sprinkling of lean feta cheese, Ellie creates a meal that tastes indulgent but will only cost you about 200 calories.


Get the Recipe: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Grilled Thai Beef Salad

Ellie Krieger's tangy Asian dressing with lime and ginger does double duty as a salad topper and a meat-tenderizing marinade for the flank steak.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Thai Beef Salad

Corn Waffles with Ratatouille

Paula spoons enough butter, chili, sour cream and cheese on her waffles to give them a whopping 841 calories per serving. Bobby Deen's savory waffles are made without butter or eggs; topped with a light and fresh ratatouille, they have just 477 calories per serving.

Get the Recipe: Corn Waffles with Ratatouille

Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap

Grill zucchini and layer with hummus, slices of sweet red peppers, fresh spinach and mint for a colorful and crunchy wrap that's as delicious as it is nutritious.

Get the Recipe: Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap

Buffalo Chicken Salad

If you love Buffalo wings (and who doesn't, really?), then this is one recipe that's worth a test drive. Ellie's blue cheese dressing delivers salty, creamy flavor with a fraction of the fat thanks to fat-free yogurt in place of mayo.

Get the Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Smokey Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Replace that bagel-and-lox standard with these crisp and crunchy low-carb salmon lettuce wraps. Three wraps contain only 145 calories.

Get the Recipe: Smokey Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Fish Tacos

Bobby Flay marinates flaky white fish in lime juice, ancho chile powder, jalapeno and cilantro before tossing it on the grill. The result is a spicy, smoky fish taco that's mildly addictive.

Get the Recipe: Fish Tacos

Easy Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas

Ellie's light quesadillas take only 20 minutes to prepare. Filled with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, three cheeses and a mixture of spices, this Mexican main packs plenty of oomph.

Get the Recipe: Easy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas

BBQ Mango Tilapia

Hungry Girl transforms mild tilapia fish with a sweet-and-tangy tomato-based barbecue sauce and a chunky mango salsa.

Get the Recipe: BBQ Mango Tilapia

Sichuan Peppercorn Steak with Grilled Green Onions

A tangy, spicy rub of papaya seeds and both black and Sichuan peppercorns gives this steak distinct Asian flavor, complemented by aromatic grilled onions.

Get the Recipe: Sichuan Peppercorn Steak with Grilled Green Onions

Grilled Vegetable Panini with Herbed Feta Spread

The salty, herby feta spread, made thick, creamy and tangy with cream cheese and sour cream, almost overshadows all the fresh veggies in this sandwich.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Vegetable Panini with Herbed Feta Spread

Grilled Garlic Shrimp with Romesco Sauce

Romesco sauce, made with toasted Marcona almonds and roasted red peppers, makes the perfect accompaniment to shrimp grilled with smoky paprika and garlic.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Garlic Shrimp with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Shrimp with Mango, Lime and Radish Salsa

Simply grilled shrimp is livened by a sweet mango, lime and radish salsa.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Shrimp with Mango, Lime and Radish Salsa

Pasta Primavera

This Pasta Primavera highlights crisp spring vegetables, such as grape tomatoes, asparagus and zucchini, for a refreshing, light dish with bright colors and aromatic herbs.

Get the Recipe: Pasta Primavera

Balsamic Roasted Pork with Berry Salad

Satisfying and slimming, this salad pairs roasted pork tenderloin with potassium-rich produce — including strawberries, blackberries and baby spinach — which helps keep blood pressure in check. Toss with a no-fuss mustard vinaigrette that's whisked together in minutes.

Get the Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Pork with Berry Salad

Flounder with Corn and Tomatoes

Steaming this fresh fish in parchment paper, a healthy technique called en papillote, will result in a delicate, moist fish gently flavored with lemon, leek and thyme.

Get the Recipe: Flounder with Corn and Tomatoes

Salad Nicoise

This classic French salad is packed with protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and topped with an herby parsley vinaigrette dressing.

Get the Recipe: Salad Nicoise

Texas Chicken Burgers

These light chicken burgers get hit with a double dose of flavor from the shredded vegetables and the smoky, deep spices.

Get the Recipe: Texas Chicken Burgers

Salmon Over Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Get your fill of omega-3 oils and vitamin C with this dish — it's healthy and satisfying, with a slightly sweet touch from the braised cabbage with blackberries.

Get the Recipe: Salmon over Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Curried Chicken and Mango Salad

Since this yogurt-based curry sauce is filled with chunks of rotisserie chicken, sweet mango and apple, this dish is both healthy and incredibly flavorful.

Get the Recipe: Curried Chicken and Mango Salad

Lamb Kabobs

Cumin, coriander, garlic and fresh mint give Bobby Deen's lamb kabobs authentic Mediterranean flavor. Dip them in his cool cucumber yogurt sauce, and it's like your mouth is on vacation to Greece.

Get the Recipe: Lamb Kabobs

Pulled Pork Sandwich

This pulled pork, made out of pork tenderloin rather than fattier pork shoulder, is rubbed in smoky spices and steamed until fork-tender. Serve on a whole-wheat bun with a vinegar-based slaw.

Get the Recipe: Pulled Pork Sandwich

Planked Salmon with Honey-Balsamic Glaze

Cedar-planked salmon, a smoky, earthy take on the favorite fish, is a dish commonly prepared in Washington state, where salmon are plentiful. To add this woodsy flavor to your fillet, brush the salmon with a honey-balsamic mixture, and then broil the fish atop soaked, browned cedar planks.

Get the Recipe: Planked Salmon with Honey-Balsamic Glaze

Salmon with Lemon Capers and Rosemary

Giada bastes her salmon in a mixture of lemon juice, sweet Marsala wine and fresh rosemary and then sprinkles on capers for a briny touch before wrapping it in foil and throwing it onto the grill. The trio of Tuscan flavors nicely complement the oiliness of the salmon.

Get the Recipe: Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary

East Meets West Grilled Salmon with Mango Masala

Bal Arneson flavors her salmon with an "Eastern" rub made of ground garam masala, mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida, a spice found in the Middle East and India that has a rich earthy taste (a cross between onions or even truffles).

Get the Recipe: East Meets West Grilled Salmon with Mango Masala

Saucy BBQ Seafood Skewers with Not-So Secret BBQ Sauce

This pulled pork, made out of pork tenderloin rather than fattier pork shoulder, is rubbed in smoky spices and steamed until fork-tender. Serve on a whole-wheat bun with a vinegar-based slaw.

Get the Recipe: Pulled Pork Sandwich