If you’re looking for an Easy Summer Capsule Meal Plan & Recipes, you’re in the right place! We all know what it’s like to need to get dinner on the table on busy weeknights, so here’s an easy meal plan template and collection of fresh summer recipes to help you make it happen.

collage of four dishes including tacos, grilled veggie bowl, orange stir fry and black bean quinoa bowl with pink background and navy text

This easy Summer Capsule Meal Plan is designed to help you have fewer decisions and more ease in your week.

This is how I feel good effect meal planning and streamline meal prep for our family. 

what is a capsule meal plan?

If you’re new to the idea of a capsule meal plan and what it can do for you, I recorded a whole podcast episode for you about it. Similar to the concept of a capsule wardrobe, this capsule meal plan reduces my daily decision fatigue while still leaving plenty of room for flexibility.

Instead of trying to do it all perfectly, I simply pick a meal type for each day of the week – something I know I enjoy like Taco Tuesday or Grill Night.

And then choose from a short list of simple, delicious recipes. Ones that are quick to throw together with very minimal prep. All made with feel-good, real food ingredients.

Ready for Fall Recipes? If you loved this Summer Capsule Meal, check out these easy Fall Recipes & Cozy Fall Capsule Meal Plan when you’re ready for cooler weather cooking.

summer meal plan template

To get you inspired, I’ve laid out 4 nights of example meal categories that are perfect for this season. Plus a few favorite, fuss-free recipes under each one. 

  1. grilled
  2. bowls
  3. stir-fry
  4. tacos

these recipes are…

grilled summer recipes

Image of Grilled Salmon Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
5 stars (1 rating)

Grilled Salmon Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette

Protein-packed and full of flavor, Grilled Salmon Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette is a simple weeknight dinner that’s special enough for entertaining.

Looking for more easy salmon recipes? You'll love these sheet pan ginger-orange salmon bowls

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Image of Smokey Lime Grilled Chicken with 5-Ingredient Strawberry Salsa
5 stars (1 rating)

Smokey Lime Grilled Chicken with 5-Ingredient Strawberry Salsa

Break out the grill and whip up this super simple, super flavorful Smokey Lime Grilled Chicken with 5-Ingredient Strawberry Salsa recipe for dinner tonight!

Another easy grilled chicken recipe is this grilled chicken power salad with homemade raspberry dressing!

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Image of Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Avocado Cherry Tomato Salad
5 stars (3 ratings)

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Avocado Cherry Tomato Salad

This simple Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Avocado Cherry Tomato Salad takes just minutes to prepare and is bursting with fresh flavors. Grab a few simple ingredients and grill this one up tonight!

Wanna grill bone-in chicken instead? Try this easy grilled bbq chicken with naturally sweetened sauce

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Image of Grilled Corn Loaded Guacamole Pasta
5 stars (1 rating)

Grilled Corn Loaded Guacamole Pasta

Grilled Corn Loaded Guacamole Pasta is lusciously creamy and packed with veggie goodness. A simple, delicious vegetarian main dish everyone will love!

Add this easy pasta recipe to your list too! This garden pasta salad with homemade italian dressing has lots of fresh ingredients & can be made ahead.

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summer bowls

5 stars (5 ratings)

Peach Chicken Basil Glow Bowls

Bursting with vibrant flavors and nourishing ingredients, Peach Chicken Basil Glow Bowls will have your feeling amazing from the inside out. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe.

Ingredients: chicken breasts (or thighs), zucchini, onion, cooked quinoa (or cauliflower rice), peaches, garlic, white balsamic (or white wine vinegar), olive oil, fresh basil and salt.

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Image of Build-Your-Own Veggie Quinoa Power Bowls
4.67 stars (3 ratings)

Build-Your-Own Veggie Quinoa Power Bowls

Super fresh and so versatile, Build-Your-Own Veggie Quinoa Power Bowls are simple to prepare and packed with flavor.

Ingredients: quinoa, arugula (or baby spinach), cherry tomatoes, hummus, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, red onion, scallions, extra virgin olive oil, honey, lemon juice and salt.

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Overhead shot of black bean quinoa bowl on white table with striped blue napkin and a side of dressing in small jar.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Black Bean Quinoa Bowls

These healthy Southwest Black Bean Quinoa Bowls are quick and easy to make, and are topped with the most delicious homemade cumin lime dressing. Perfect for a light vegetarian dinner, colorful side dish or make-ahead lunch!

Ingredients: quinoa, water or stock, canned black beans, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, mild chili powder, maple syrup (or honey), olive oil and salt.

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5 stars (3 ratings)

Egg Roll Veggie Noodle Bowls

All the flavor of an egg-roll, but without the fuss. Tossed together with a tangle of veggie noodles, Egg Roll Veggie Noodle Bowls are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, Paleo, Whole30 and so delicious!

Ingredients: ground turkey (or ground chicken or pork), crimini mushrooms, cabbage (or slaw mix), carrots, coconut aminos, vegetable noodles (spiralized carrots or zucchini), lime juice, green onion, ginger, olive oil, and salt.

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summer stir-fry dishes

top down view of a white plate filled with a 20-minute ground turkey and green bean skillet with a striped green napkin on the side
5 stars (1 rating)

20-Minute Ground Turkey & Green Bean Skillet

This ground turkey skillet with sauce comes together in 20 minutes using one pan! It's savory, satisfying, and packed full of Asian-inspired flavors. Asparagus or broccoli florets can easily be substituted for the green beans. My top tip? Double this quick and easy recipe. You'll want leftovers!

Ingredients: ground turkey (light or dark meat), green beans, garlic, ginger, honey, chicken stock, lime juice (or rice wine vinegar), tamari, arrowroot powder, olive oil, and salt.

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Blue and black pan with healthy orange chicken asparagus stir-fry and orange slices on top with a striped orange napkin on a wood table.
4.50 stars (2 ratings)

Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry

This Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry is light, fresh, filling and so delicious. Full of golden-brown chicken, crisp asparagus, and a tangy naturally-sweet sauce, it's the perfect last minute dinner to make any night of the week.

Ingredients: chicken breasts (or thighs), asparagus, garlic, orange zest, orange juice, chicken stock, white wine vinegar (or lemon juice), coconut oil, arrowroot powder and salt.

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Image of 20-Minute Pork and Veggie Stir-Fry
No ratings yet

20-Minute Pork and Veggie Stir-Fry

Super-fast, healthy, and filling, 20-Minute Pork and Veggie Stir-Fry will help you get dinner on the table in a hurry, without sacrificing flavor!

Another fast pork & veggie dish is this 15-minute sweet & sour lettuce wrap recipe. You can make them with any ground meat.

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white plate with honey mustard chicken stir fry on top and asparagus set on table
5 stars (2 ratings)

Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry

This quick and easy honey mustard chicken stir-fry uses fresh spring veggies and a tangy-sweet sauce, putting an unexpected twist on the typical weeknight chicken dinner.

Fan of honey-mustard? Make this honey-mustard green bean potato salad recipe for your next bbq or potluck.

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summer tacos

Three easy fish tacos on a white plate, topped with purple cabbage slaw and avocado slices.
5 stars (5 ratings)

Easy Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Cabbage Slaw

A simple honey lime cabbage slaw elevates these easy fish tacos from an everyday dinner to a flavor-packed super fast dinner perfect for any night of the week. I love that the slaw makes a great topping for the tacos and serves double duty as a veggie side as well!

Ingredients: white fish (like rockfish, cod or tilapia), purple cabbage, lime juice, avocado, green onions, mayonnaise (or plain yogurt), honey, olive oil, cumin, mild chili powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper and salt.

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Image of 20-Minute Turkey Tacos with Peach Basil Salsa
5 stars (1 rating)

20-Minute Turkey Tacos with Peach Basil Salsa

So fresh and simple to prepare, 20-Minute Turkey Tacos with Peach Basil Salsa is a flavor-packed, easy weeknight dinner everyone will love.

Ingredients: ground turkey (dark or light meat), onion, garlic powder, cumin, corn tortillas, avocado, peaches, lime juice, basil, olive oil, jalapenos (optional) and salt.

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5 stars (1 rating)

20-Minute Salmon Fish Tacos with Quick Cabbage Slaw

A fun twist on taco night, 20-Minute Salmon Fish Tacos with Quick Cabbage Slaw comes together in minutes. Full of fresh flavors and easy to make, they are the perfect way to add more fish into your diet!

Ingredients: salmon, cabbage, cucumber, avocado, tortillas (or grain-free wraps or lettuce wraps), mayonnaise (or plain Greek yogurt), lemon juice, and salt. 

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Image of Weeknight Turkey Tacos with Sweet Corn Salsa
No ratings yet

Weeknight Turkey Tacos with Sweet Corn Salsa

These super tasty Weeknight Turkey Tacos with Sweet Corn Salsa are quick to pull together on a busy weeknight and take advantage of the best seasonal summer produce.

Need another easy dinner idea? You've gotta try this 6-ingredient slow cooker chicken taco chili recipe. It's always a hit in our house.

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Black bean quinoa bowl with bell peppers cabbage tomatoes and black beans on white table with striped blue napkin.
5 stars (6 ratings)

Summer Capsule Meal Plan: Black Bean Quinoa Bowls

This Black Bean Quinoa Bowl recipe combines bell peppers, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, corn, pumpkin seeds and cilantro with an easy, healthy cumin lime dressing. Plus 15 more summer recipes & easy capsule meal plan I know you'll love!

Ingredients

  • cup quinoa
  • 2 ¾ cups water, or vegetable / chicken stock
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), chopped
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off (or sub 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted)
  • cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup lime juice, from about 2-3 limes
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions 

  • Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well. Place the rinsed quinoa in a pot with a tight-fitting lid along with the water (or vegetable / chicken stock). Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand for an additional 5 minutes.
  • While the quinoa cooks make the dressing by whisking the lime juice, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and honey or maple syrup until well combined. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk again until well combined.
  • In a large bowl add the warm quinoa and black beans and dressing. Allow to sit 5 minutes for the quinoa and black beans to absorb the dressing. Add cabbage, tomatoes, bell pepper, and corn, stirring to combine. Top with pumpkin seeds and cilantro, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

recipe & kid-friendly adaptations
1 | Sunflower seeds would also work in place of the pumpkin seeds
2 | Use maple syrup in place of honey in the dressing to keep this recipe vegan-friendly
3 | Before adding the dressing to the quinoa set some aside. Drizzle with olive oil or add a bit of butter and a pinch of salt. This preparation may appeal to the kids who prefer noodles with butter, and is more nutritious (it’s also messier, but we’ll just ignore that part).
4 | Serve all the veggies separately on the plate, or serve them family-style in small bowls at the table. Let the child serve themselves the veggies, then toss them in the bowl. Again, messier, but surprisingly effective. 
5 | Let them use the seeds as “sprinkles” to top off their bowl masterpiece.

Nutrition Information:

Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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