Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But the opinions are all ours!
Ripe berries, juicy peaches, zucchini the size of your forearm, more tomatoes than you can shake a stick at. Summer to our family is not only about swimming, road trips, and catching fireflies. It’s also all about filling our bellies and stocking our fridge and freezer with our favorite in-season summer fruits and vegetables.
Why Stock Up in the Summer?
Whether you scour the Farmer’s Market and supermarket for deals or your garden is overflowing with produce, summer is an ideal time to stock up on fruits and vegetables. By buying what’s in season, you’ll find that not only is your produce cheaper, it’s also at the height of deliciousness and nutritional value.
You can save time by prepping and freezing your produce or making some simple, healthy freezer meals with it for later. I also like to whip up some easy make-ahead recipes to keep in the fridge and eat on all week long, like the Tabbouleh Salad or Cobb Salad (see more below).
So, don’t let the produce you have go to waste or miss out on those deals because you don’t know what to do with it all. With our seasonal tips and summer recipes from this post, you’ll be on your way to stocking up and saving money and time this summer.
How Should I Store In-Season Produce?
Whether you store it in the refrigerator for the week or in the freezer for a longer period (see more about freezing food here and here), it makes sense to buy seasonal produce in bulk and prep ahead. Once again, Polly and I had a chance to enjoy the flexibility of our new Frigidaire Gallery Top Freezer Refrigerator with Custom-Flex Bins, as we each filled them with this week’s Farmer’s Market and supermarket finds.
Lets take a closer look at exactly what we bought, shall we?
- Farm fresh cheese
- Blueberries and raspberries
- Summer sausage from local farm
- Canned blueberry jam and pickles
- Homemade mini peach pies
- Carrots, green peppers, white cucumbers, zucchini and broccoli
- Local beef sticks
- Cucumbers, zucchini and bell peppers
- Blackberries and raspberries
- Eggs from local farm
- Canned marinara sauce, pickles, tomatoes and jam
From local eggs for an Oven Omelet to lots of in-season produce for snacking and make-ahead recipes like the ones below, Polly and I are ready for a week of prepping, freezing and eating our delicious summer bounty.
What’s in Season During Summer?
So, you may be wondering, how do I know what’s in season in the summer? Well, Polly and I were on a mission this weekend to find what’s out there right now and stock our fridges.
With her poor husband in bed after knee surgery and her kids at the grandparents, we were free to meet up and hang out at our local Farmer’s Market. After compiling our 50 Delicious and Healthy Summer Recipes list below, we knew what in-season produce to scout for on this trip and later trips this summer:
- Yellow squash
- Bell peppers
- Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc)
- Sweet corn
- Green beans
What Should I Do with All My Summer Produce?
Are you ready to save money and time by strategically stocking up and prepping ahead this summer? Here are 50+ of our go-to recipes for using summer in-season produce. Many of these are freezable and include freezer meal instructions within the recipes, while others are perfect for making ahead on the weekend and eating on all week long.
*Indicates that this recipe is freezable and includes freezer instructions.
1. Garlic Honey Chicken Kebobs* – This is our go-to kebob marinade. It’s a keeper…promise!
2.Chicken Pesto Pasta (includes basil pesto recipe)* – If you have lots of basil, then making pesto is a MUST! You can use it in all kinds of dishes, but this basic chicken and pasta recipe is always a winner.
3. Jane’s Grilled Peaches – A delightful and unique way to serve up peaches! Grill these alongside one of these awesome real food grilling recipes.
4. How to Prepare and Freeze Peaches* – Later in the summer you can find good deals on peaches in the farmer’s markets. Polly put together a quick tutorial that explains how to process and freeze them for later.
5. Summer Peach Smoothie – This smoothie provides a healthy and tasty way to start your day!
6. Green Pineapple Smoothie – Mint is one of those herbs that grows out the wazoo without much fuss. Here’s a perfect way to use it this summer.
7. Strawberry Pina Colada Smoothie – Strawberries might be done in your garden, but they are cheap in the stores in the summer. You can’t go wrong with this taste of summer smoothie.
8. Simple Blender Hummus* – Save money on the store-bought hummus and dip those cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots in this delicious, easy-to-make, and cheap dip.
9. Creamy Avocado Dip – I eat this for lunch once or twice a week. We get rave reviews on this dip all the time. Again, a great one to dip any garden veggies in, including raw zucchini sticks. Yum!
10. Homemade Pizza – Chop up all kinds of veggies to top this delicious dough. Don’t forget the homemade pizza sauce to use up those tomaters too! If you have lots of kale, you might try this Kale, Yukon Golds, and Bacon Pizza.
11. Zucchini Pizza Crust – The addition of zucchini doesn’t change the flavor of this crust much, plus it includes cheese and seasonings that make it so tasty!
12. Oven Omelet – No more standing over the stove to babysit eggs. Add sauteed peppers, onions or herbs to this omelet that bakes in the oven. An easy egg casserole for a crowd!
13. Basic Roasted Vegetables – Don’t know what to do with beets, sweet potatoes, radishes, squash or just about any vegetable? Roast it in the oven! This might be our family’s favorite way to eat our veggies. You can even roast broccoli, too.
14. Zucchini Succotash – This is my go-to side dish for zucchini or summer squash. It’s fast, flavorful and you can add in onions, jalepeno peppers, corn or whatever you like to it.
15. Small Bites Board – It’s a simple concept, but the Small Bites Board is a quick and healthy lunch for the whole family. NO dishes required!
16. Avocado Basil Pasta – With or without bacon, this pasta is awesome. A great way to use up herbs.
17. Garden Lentil Soup* – Use up just about anything in this light taste-of-summer soup!
18. Garden Greek Salad – I can eat this for lunch any day. A simple way to use up cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs.
19. Protein Lunch Bowl – Surprisingly addictive and super healthy! Again, I eat this regularly for lunch.
20. Chicken Penne Pasta – Here’s a quick, light, and healthy dinner recipe that the whole family will love. You can add in produce such as asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, onions and herbs.
21. Crowd Pleaser Green Beans – This will turn you into a green bean lover, if you aren’t. Really, really good!
22. Roasted Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Veggies* – Wow, this sauce over the chicken and veggies is lemony goodness.
23. 7 Layer Taco Dip – Dips are a great place to use summer produce. You can layer in lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers into this old stand-by.
24. Mediterranean Layered Dip – Here’s a Mediterranean twist on the 7-layer taco dip–featuring hummus, feta cheese, and a host of veggies. Serve with pita chips at your next gathering and your friends will rave.
25. Freezer Jam* – Have lots of fruit you want to make into jam? Don’t mess with canning. Try this simple freezer jam that is much less work.
27. Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake – If you have ever-bearing strawberry plants like us (or you find strawberries for cheap at the store), you might give this a try. We eat it for dessert or breakfast, because it’s healthy as well as delicious.
28. Savory Breakfast Muffins* – Throw in peppers and onions in this hearty grab-and-go muffin. This is my husband’s favorite!
29. Pizza Stromboli* – Try this fresh and fun take on pizza. Add peppers, onions, tomatoes or fresh basil to use up produce.
30. Homemade Marinara Sauce* – Use up tomatoes in this slow cooker recipe. If using fresh tomatoes (vs. canned tomatoes in the recipe), then just puree in a blender or food processor at the end to avoid peeling tomatoes.
31. Mini Chicken Burgers with Herbs* – We make these sliders, which include parsley and almost any other fresh herb you have on hand, OFTEN around here because there is never a complaint.
32. Zucchini Flaxseed Muffins* – Packed with nutrition, these muffins work for breakfast or snacks. My kids beg for them!
33. Chocolate Zucchini Waffles* – These waffles will knock your socks off. Seriously.
34. Whole Grain Zucchini Pancakes* – A simple way to add in zucchini to a whole grain pancake mix.
35. Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Bread* – Blueberries are easy to find in the summer, and this quick bread will not disappoint.
36. Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast* – Forget about standing over the stove to cook french toast for a crowd. This recipe not only uses up blueberries but it’s a crowd favorite. Plus, it’s a nutritious breakfast!
37. Blueberry Oat Bars* – A yummy dessert or snack!
38. Meatball Subs* – This is hands-down our favorite sandwich! The meatballs are filled with sneaky shredded veggies.
39. Cobb Salad – Sometimes I get tired of salad, but this one has stood the test of time around here. The dressing is one of the most flavorful vinaigrettes I’ve ever had.
41. 3 Minute No-Boil Corn on the Cob – It’s not worth boiling a pot of water for just a few ears of corn. Try this easy method for perfect corn on the cob and avoid heating up the stove.
42. Lunch Roll-Ups – This is more of a concept than a recipe, but it’s nice to have a little change for lunch sometimes. Check out some of the ways we use up produce in our roll-ups. You could easily add tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots or whatever you like!
43. Hearty Vegetable Soup* – This soup is so easy to make and freeze for a rainy or cooler day. You can throw in almost any vegetable you have on hand!
44. Veggie Sandwich on Whole Grain Bagel – Oh man, this is one of my absolute favorite lunches in the summer. Fill a fresh bagel from the bakery with your favorite produce, slather on some cream cheese and hummus, and you’ve got a satisfying, nutritious lunch.
45. Baked Nachos – Top these off with your favorite taco toppings, like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalepeno peppers, and homemade salsa.
47. Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken – Have cilantro to use up? Here’s a one pot wonder you’ll love.
48. Szechuan Steak Stir Fry* – This is one of my Freezer Club’s favorite recipes. Packed full of flavor and veggies!
49. Roasted Chicken and Vegetables – The juices from this roasted chicken make for the best sauce ever. I can’t get enough of the veggies that roast with this dish. Try sweet potatoes, butternut squash, potatoes, beets and onions.
50. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken and Veggies – Here’s another way to prepare whole chicken (which is very economical, by the way!). Use onions, carrots, and celery on the bottom of the slow cooker for this moist and flavorful dish. I love coming home to this meal in my crock pot.
51. How to Freeze Green Onions* – I still have a pot of green onions that keeps going and going. If you’re in the same boat, did you know you can freeze them for later? Here’s how.
52. How to Freeze Zucchini* – Don’t let all those zucchinis go to waste. Just follow this simple tutorial.