This easy August meal plan will give you plenty of ideas for summer dinners! Quick, tasty, and budget friendly meals the whole family will love! Plus enjoy treats like homemade vanilla bean ice cream and slow cooker peach cobbler.
Enjoy the last of summer, get ready for school and come up with a new routine for the fall season.
This is just one of the reasons why I like to keep ideas for summer dinners in August especially simple, home-y and familiar. There’s enough going on everywhere else. I need the kitchen to be normal.
I tried to keep meals on this month’s menu “fast.” Or at least fast-er considering you’re cooking most everything from scratch (here’s what you should and shouldn’t make from scratch!). Lots of fresh seasonal produce, tossed into a pan and cooked with whole grains.
Homemade breads combined with flavorful meats and served alongside simple veggies.
And of course, reinvented leftovers so nothing goes wasted.
As always, feel free to take/leave the meals you like, or re-arrange as you need to fit your schedule. Remember that while this is a plan, it’s not written in stone – that’s the beauty of meal planning.
What’s in this one month meal plan
- This meal plan is based on an average family of 4, costing less than $400 for the month. You may need to tailor the portion sizes to suit the needs of your family size and budget.
- The goal of this meal plan is to feed our family well while wasting as little as possible. You’ll notice that we’re often re-using one part of a meal (like leftover rice) in another part of a meal (like veggie fried rice) in order to meet both of these goals. Keep this in mind if you rearrange the meals.
- This meal plan is mostly plants, with some meat. Viewing meat as a “side dish” is one way we’re able to afford grass-fed and organic meat every month! You can easily add more meat though, if you have meat and potatoes people at your table. Having all purpose chicken on hand is a great way to please the meat eaters and keep the budget down!
- This meal plan is what I feed my own family, although I might add a few extra vegetables on the side. If you want a detailed “action plan” of what this looks like in real life – what I batch cook, what I double, what I freeze for later, how I get the most out of each meal, and when I get it all done – come join 30 Minute Dinners. Each month I share the behind the scenes on how we make real food on a budget work for my family!
Meal Plan Notes
Included after each week are some extra ideas on how I would make the most of my time in the kitchen. While making food from scratch does take more time, I don’t need it to take ALL of my time!
Use these tips to help you get ahead each month and have food stashed away for the busy nights or even if you just need a night off.
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Ideas for Summer Dinners: Week 1
- (S) Black Bean and Corn Tacos // Homemade Tortillas // Easy Guacamole // Cilantro Lime Rice
- (M) Easy Minestrone Soup
- (T) Crunchy Quinoa Salad
- (W) Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken // Cilantro Lime Rice
- (T) Stovetop Spaghetti // Side Salad // Man Bread
- (F) One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potatoes
- (S) Orange Beef Stir Fry // Instant Pot Brown Rice // Roasted Broccoli
Meal Plan Notes
- Make extra black beans in the Instant Pot and freeze for later.
- Make a double batch of tortillas and freeze or use to make mini pizzas or wraps for lunch.
- Double the cilantro lime rice and serve with the slow cooker salsa chicken.
- Use any leftover man bread for avocado toast for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch.
- Double the brown rice and freeze for later in the month.
Ideas for Summer Dinners: Week 2
- (S) Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili // Parmesan Artisan Bread
- (M) Homemade Hamburger Helper
- (T) Our Favorite Beans and Rice Dinner // Mango Salsa // Homemade Tortilla Chips
- (W) Greek Quinoa Salad
- (T) Zuppa Toscana // Parmesan Artisan Bread
- (F) Asian Beef Tacos // Mango Salsa // Homemade Tortillas
- (S) Chopped BLT Salad // Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits
Meal Plan Notes
- Vegetarian chili freezes really well. Either make a double batch or freeze leftovers for a mix and match soup night later.
- Double your artisan bread so you only have to heat up the house once for bread.
- If you have any rice in your freezer use it up with your beans and rice dinner. Same goes for tortillas for making tortilla chips!
- Double your mango salsa or just save leftovers to serve as topping on your Asian beef tacos.
Ideas for Summer Dinners: Week 3
- (S) Instant Pot White Bean and Sausage Soup
- (M) Kung Pao Chicken with Vegetables // Instant Pot Brown Rice
- (T) Warm Balsamic and Kale Salad // Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
- (W) Weeknight Mushroom Pasta // Side Salad
- (T) Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup // Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
- (F) Homemade Pizza // Side Salad
- (S) Chicken Pot Pie // Biscuit Topping
Meal Plan Notes
- Use brown rice from the freezer or make a double batch and save for later.
- Rosemary olive oil bread makes two loaves. Use one for each of the dinners mentioned.
- My homemade pizza dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas. If you don’t want it all on one night, consider freezing the second ball of dough using this method.
Ideas for Summer Dinners: Week 4
- (S) Italian Meatballs // Garden Tomato Sauce // Side Salad
- (M) Cranberry Apple Spinach Salad // Man Bread
- (T) Red Lentil Vegetable Soup
- (W) Pasta Primavera // Man Bread
- (T) Mediterranean Grilled Cheese // Greek Couscous
- (F) Instant Pot BBQ Chicken // Homemade Buns // Potato Wedges
- (S) Slow Cooker Lasagna // Side Salad
Meal Plan Notes
- Italian meatballs are easy to double and freeze. Set some aside in the freezer for a quick meal later.
- Make your man bread into two loaf pans to help spread it out over two meals. It also works well for sandwiches.
- Homemade buns freeze well also. As usual, make a double batch!
- Apple Pie Overnight Oatmeal
- Stovetop Breakfast Oatmeal
- Zucchini and Apple Muffins
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola
- Greek Yogurt // Seasonal Fruit
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Cobb Pasta Salad
- Homemade Spaghetti-O’s
- Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
- Homemade Lunchables