Summer often means grilled dinners, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s worth noting that the one-pan meals meal we love—made on one sheet-pan, in one skillet, a saucepan, or in a Dutch oven—are good options for seasonal meals, too. The one-pan dinners we turn to in warm weather are different than the baked casseroles or hearty stews that are our go-tos in fall and winter.
After Memorial Day (or before!) we still love the ease of doing all the cooking in one pan for the evening meal—and who doesn’t love fewer pans for cleanup? But we change up what we’re making when the days are long and hot: Meals are lighter and brighter, still filling and nutritious but starring plenty of summer produce. And we’re not telling you to put away the grill, either. We use the grill (or a griddle pan) as our one “pan” in a few different recipes. In addition to grilled dinners (and yes, burgers!), there will be main-dish salads, plenty of pasta, and maybe even a creamy chowder or two. Look out also for some revolutionary entrées—we’re looking at you chicken and lettuce cups (food editor at large Shira Bocar dubbed this dish “lettuce tacos”). They’ll also be some broiling because it’s quick and has very tasty results, but we’re not as focused on the stovetop or oven as we are in cooler weather.
Here’s another thing to know about summer one-pot meals, we’re not including any no-cook recipes here because they don’t use any pans! And another handy fact: These summer one-pan dinners are much faster to make than the one-pan entrées of the cold months. All the recipes here cook in less than an hour, many take much less time than that.