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In the summertime, party food is obvious: burgers, hot dogs, pies, pasta salads, and anything you can throw onto the grill. But weeknight dinners are a little trickier—you probably don’t feel like cooking while the weather is so gorgeous, but you also need energy to get you through all that activity. In other words, you need high-protein, easy dinners that come together effortlessly and keep you going for hours.
And while not every delicious dinner recipe fits that bill, you can rest assured that there are plenty of great options out there. From simple grilled meat-and-vegetable combos, to quick stovetop meals, there are so many protein-packed, easy dinners out there for you to choose from.
No matter what you’re in the mood for, scroll through the list below for some serious weeknight inspiration. All of the recipes have enough protein to get you through the evening without a snack attack (although for certain recipes, that means taking our suggestion to use high-protein pasta instead of regular), and are easy enough for beginner cooks.
1. Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
Use high-protein Banza pasta for this easy pasta salad, and with the Parmesan it’ll clock in well over 20 grams of protein.
2. Pesto Chicken With Grilled Zucchini
Store-bought pesto is a great pantry staple if you only want to use a few ingredients. It adds a ton of complex flavor to this easy grilled chicken recipe, too.
3. Bacon and Asparagus Pasta
This easy, protein-packed stovetop dinner is perfect for summer, especially if you’ve got asparagus that you need to use. Bacon and Parmesan add a good amount of protein, but using a high-protein pasta will really take it over the edge.
4. Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
These vegetarian stuffed peppers call for meatless crumbles, but you can also use ground turkey or beef.
5. Caprese Chicken
Caprese salad is a summer favorite, so why not turn it into a high-protein meal by adding chicken?
6. Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus Quinoa
Summer vegetables, a hearty whole grain and some chicken? Sounds like a healthy, filling and easy dinner bowl to me.
7. Chicken Caprese Salad
In a pinch, you can use rotisserie chicken to throw together a no-cook version of this caprese salad.
8. Salmon Burgers
Where’s the beef? Nowhere to be found in these easy salmon burgers.
9. Lemon Chicken With Asparagus
This bright, tangy chicken-asparagus skillet will probably become your healthy summer go-to.
10. Tomato-Baked Fish
This simple baked fish recipe is easy to make in the oven, but you can also cook it in a skillet on a hot grill.
11. Chicken Guacamole Taquitos
These easy rolled taquitos are as fun as they are filling.
12. Flank Steak and Charred Corn Salad
Steak for dinner? Yes, indeed.
13. Garlic Steak and Potato Foil Packs
If you’re in the mood for a more traditional steak dinner, these steak and potato foil packs are easy, tasty and require minimal clean-up.
14. Hawaiian Chicken Burgers
On a bun or a lettuce leaf, these delicious chicken burgers aim to please.
15. Grilled Marinated Salmon
Throw some asparagus or zucchini on the grill with this marinated salmon, and dinner will be good to go in no time.
16. Grilled Hot Chicken Sausages
These grilled chicken sausages are a fun, summery alternative to your go-to ham and cheese sandwich.