With the cooler weather quickly approaching, now is the time to take advantage and enjoy some delicious and delightful end of summer meals on your screen porch.

Here are five inspired meal ideas that are sure to please your family and friends palettes.

Grilled Pizza

This end of summer favorite can get prepared using fresh dough, your favorite prepared pizza crust, or even panini bread. Instead of firing up your oven, this dish cooks to perfection on your BBQ grill. Coat the bottom of the crust with a light coat of olive oil, and then add your favorite toppings. Variations worth considering include Margherita, White pizza, Vegetarian pizza, or even BBQ chicken pizza. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild! Cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese melts. Serve with a fresh tossed garden salad and sparkling water for a light and enjoyable meal.

Pesto Style Summer Pasta

You rarely go wrong serving pasta! Pesto style summer pasta combines all of your favorite summer vegetables with your preferred style of pasta in a light, delicious dish. Recommended vegetables for this dish include garden-fresh zucchini, vine-ripened tomatoes, shucked corn, chopped bell peppers, trimmed green onions, and mushrooms. Prepare pasta as directed, then lightly cook all vegetables in a bit of olive oil. Combine cooked pasta noodles with a half a cup of store-bought pesto, mixing well. Then toss and mix cooked vegetables with the pasta. Top with a bit of fresh parmesan cheese. This dish is perfect as a main dish or served as a side with grilled chicken, fish, or steak.

Shish Kebobs

Shish kebobs are fun and enjoyable for the entire family. The best part is that you can create whatever kabobs you like best by adding your favorite meats and vegetables. If you’re in the mood for a light appetizer, shrimp kebobs are an easy way to cook fresh jumbo shrimps evenly on the grill. All you need to do is give them a brush of melted butter and prepare them until they’re no longer pink. If you’re in the mood for a kebob that is more substantial and filling, you can use chicken or beef as your protein. Excellent vegetables to add to your kebob meal include whole mushrooms, red potatoes, fresh peppers, sliced onions, and yellow or green zucchini. For extra flavor, consider marinating all these items before putting them on the grill and cooking them to perfection. Serve with cooked rice or couscous and fresh corn on the cob.

Garden Fresh Tossed Salad

Make the most of seasonal vegetables while they are still here! Start with a base of fresh romaine salad and top it with anything your heart desires! Grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, chopped carrots, shredded cheese, artichokes, mushrooms, grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp, chickpeas, croutons, and your favorite salad dressing. Your imagination only limits you! Once you’ve picked the perfect toppings, toss them all together – or top the lettuce. It’s up to you. Pair with garlic bread or sticks for a light end of summer meal that you can enjoy on your screen porch.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

If you have a taste for fried chicken, but you’re looking for a healthier twist on this traditional favorite, an air fryer offers you the best of both worlds. Using just a few ingredients – oil not being one of them – you can enjoy this end of summer favorite anytime. It’s amazingly juicy and contains fewer calories, so you can worry less about burning off the extra energy at the gym later. Air fried chicken pairs quickly with almost anything including baked potatoes, corn on the cob, macaroni, pasta, or other vegetable-based salads. Since nearly everyone loves fried chicken, there is virtually no way to go wrong with serving it as a main dish.

Regardless of what you decide to serve for your end of the summer meal, don’t forget to enjoy the time with the family and friends! You can make a fun affair by working together to prepare all the dishes that go together to create a nutritious and satisfying meal.

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