In-Season Summer Vegetable Recipes

Use summer's freshest produce to prepare crowd-pleasing soups, salads and sides.

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It's officially summer when the first vine-ripe tomatoes arrive, bursting with tangy juices. With varieties ranging from cherry tomatoes to Romas to misshapen multicolored heirlooms, summer tomatoes adapt to any dish.

Caprese Tartlets

Although there are endless ways to serve tomatoes in the summertime, caprese-style is a classic for many reasons — namely, the gorgeous red-and-green color combination and the garden-fresh flavor. Melissa uses white-bread slices to make crisp tartlet shells for a creative, Italian-style appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Caprese Tartlets

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

In a large pot, Ina heats carrots, onion, tomatoes, chicken stock and a variety of seasonings until the vegetables become tender. To ensure that the final product is smooth and creamy, she adds the heavy cream before processing it through a food mill (a mechanical sieve). 

Get the Recipe: Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup


Corn is a true summertime treat, with sweet, candy-like kernels that are best enjoyed on the cob with a simple spread of butter. Corn also plays well on the grill and makes an appetizing addition to salsas and salads.

Summer Corn Salad

Sunny's easy corn, onion and endive salad is dressed with freshly squeezed lime juice. The bitterness of the endives balances the sweetness of the corn. 

Get the Recipe: Summer Corn Salad


This summer squash is best purchased on the smaller side, as younger zucchini have more flavor. It'll keep for up to five days in the refrigerator.

Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squash

Giada lets the seasonal summer flavors speak for themselves in this simple zucchini-and-squash dish. She dresses the vegetables in an easy-to-make lemon juice, garlic and thyme marinade before grilling.

Get the Recipe: Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squash

Bell Peppers

Sweet and mild, bell peppers are at their peak in the summertime. Their excellent crisp texture is perfect on sandwiches or in salads, although they're hearty enough to withstand the intense heat of grilling or roasting. 

Tomato Vegetable Casserole

Giada's colorful veggie casserole, full of potatoes, yams, bell pepper and zucchini, would be excellent alongside grilled steak. Thanks to the crusty Parmesan-breadcrumb topping, it's filling enough to serve as a vegetarian main course, too.

Get the Recipe: Tomato Vegetable Casserole


The cool and crunchy cucumber is a canvas for summery flavors, prone to pickling, adding crisp texture to gazpacho and salads, and providing refreshing relief from hot and spicy dishes.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers take center stage in Ina's ultra-creamy summer salad. Try salting the sliced cucumbers and letting them sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The salt draws out the liquid, which you can discard — that way, the tangy sour cream and yogurt dressing won't get watered down.

Get the Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Salad