My 5 Favorite Summertime Foods + Recipes!

Now that warm weather is finally hitting Chicago (yay!) I’ve started thinking about picnics, barbecues, and all kinds of summer food!  There are certain foods that I always have to eat every year, and I’m going to share them, plus my favorite recipes for making them, with you!

1. Potato Salad
I love the creamy flavors of potato salad in the summertime.  I’m pretty health-conscious, though, so real mayo is not an option for me.  I usually use SmartBalance mayo when I make any kind of creamy salad like this.  My favorite kind of potato salad is the kind that has eggs in it, like this one.  I also love potato salads that have a bit of crunch from celery or other ingredients.

2. Hot Dogs
Oh, how I love hot dogs.  I could seriously eat 8 of them if I was left to my own devices!  Being a Chicago native, I’m ashamedly not a huge fan of the Chicago-style hot dog and prefer just a plain dog.  I also prefer boiled hot dogs to grilled ones- I don’t love the charcoal-y flavor of grilled dogs.

3. Pasta Salad

I eat pasta at least 4 days a week (I actually at it for lunch today!), so making pasta salad in the summer is a given!  My favorite toppings include olives, green bell peppers, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, and avocado- this one has a lot of tasty ingredients.  If you have never had a pasta salad with avocado, you are SERIOUSLY missing out.  It takes your recipe to a whole new level.

4. Watermelon
Everybody loves watermelon!  It’s sweet, sugary, and fun to eat!  I usually just buy a whole watermelon, chop it into squares, and put it in Tupperware for snacking.  I have been meaning to branch out more, though- this watermelon salad with mint and ginger would be a good start.

5. Ribs
I love to go to my local Ribfest every year and sample all those tasty pork and beef ribs!  I enjoy seeing how each stall makes their barbecue sauce- sweet, tangy, smoky, I love it all!  I have never actually made my own ribs before, but I’m eying up this recipe at the moment.

What are your favorite summer foods?

Need more summer recipe inspiration?  Click here to see our ABCs of Summer Cooking!

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