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21 Affordable Summer Recipes That Taste Like A Million Bucks

Shop on a budget, eat like a millionaire.

Whether you're cooking for your family or entertaining friends this summer, feeding a group can get expensive. Luckily, we've got a handful of affordable seasonal recipes that taste seriously fancy.

1. Mexican Street Corn Off The Cob

Table For Two Blog / Via tablefortwoblog.com

Corn on the cob, mayo, green onion, Cotija cheese, and some spices are really all you need to whip up this spicy and creamy corn salad. Get the recipe for Mexican street corn off the cob here.

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2. Chicken Yakitori

Carlsbad Cravings / Via carlsbadcravings.com

This Japanese-inspired skewered, grilled chicken calls for chicken thighs, a notoriously affordable cut of chicken, which are marinated in soy sauce, rice wine, apple cider vinegar, and spices. Get the recipe for chicken yakitori here.

3. BLT Pasta Salad With Avocado

Foodie Crush / Via foodiecrush.com

Instead of eating your bacon, lettuce, and tomato on sandwich bread, why not mix it all up with your favorite noodles into a big, summery pasta salad. Get the recipe for BLT pasta salad with avocado here.

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4. Ramen Noodle Salad

Dinner At The Zoo / Via dinneratthezoo.com, Dinner at the Zoo / Via dinneratthezoo.com

Turn your dollar packets of instant ramen into a satisfying salad recipe by mixing it up with cabbage, scallions, carrots, and sliced almonds. You can always add shredded chicken, shrimp, or your favorite protein to make it more filling. Get the recipe for ramen noodle salad here.

5. Tuna Pasta Salad

The Almond Eater / Via thealmondeater.com

Turn two pantry staples — pasta and canned tuna fish — into a creamy, tangy side dish. You can jazz it up with whatever is in your fridge from cherry tomatoes and cucumber to capers and red onion. Get the recipe for tuna pasta salad here.

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6. Pesto Chicken Pull-Apart Sliders

Bake Eat Repeat / Via bake-eat-repeat.com

Pro tip: Start off with a rotisserie chicken and you'll have tons of tender, shredded meat to fill your sliders with. Get the recipe for chicken pesto pull-apart sliders here.

7. Grilled Pizza

Pizza dough cooking on a grill. / Via tastesbetterfromscratch.com, Tastes Better From Scratch / Via tastesbetterfromscratch.com

If you've never tried cooking pizza on the grill, now is the time. Just make sure your grill top is clean and well-oiled so the dough doesn't stick. Then, load it up with your favorite toppings! Get the recipe for grilled pizza here.

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8. Instant Pot Pulled Pork

The Salty Marshmallow / Via thesaltymarshmallow.com

Start with either pork loin roast or pork shoulder, let it marinate in a spice rub for about an hour, then cook it in the Instant Pot for just 50 minutes. You'll have pulled pork so tender, it'll taste like it slow-cooked for a full day. Get the recipe for Instant Pot pulled pork here.

9. Fish Tacos With Garlic Lime Crema

Natasha's Kitchen / Via natashaskitchen.com

Fish tacos may seem totally fancy, but they're actually surprisingly affordable. You can use any fresh or frozen white fish like cod, hake, or mahi mahi. Just coat the fish in olive oil, lime, and spices, then toss it into tortillas with your favorite toppings. Get the recipe for fish tacos with garlic lime crema here.

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10. Peach, Corn, and Mozzarella Bruschetta

Spice Is In My DNA / Via spicesinmydna.com, Spice In Is My DNA / Via spicesinmydna.com

Grab a baguette and top it with a refreshing salad made of summer's best produce. A little drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper on top, and you've got a serious party app. Get the recipe for peach, corn, and mozzarella bruschetta here.

11. Grilled Hawaiian-Inspired Pork Chops

The Life Jolie / Via thelifejolie.com

An easy and affordable way to feed a group, these sweet and tangy pork chops are marinated in soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, pineapple juice, and red pepper flakes, then grilled until golden brown. Get the recipe for Hawaiian-inspired pork chops here.

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12. Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki

The Modern Proper / Via themodernproper.com

Beef kofta, which are similar to meatballs only thinner and longer, are placed on skewers, cooked on the grill, and can be served with anything from rice and salad to pitas and hummus. Get the recipe for beef kofta kababs with tzatziki here.

13. Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

Salt and Baker / Via saltandbaker.com

Grab your favorite store-bought tortellini and turn it into a sophisticated pasta salad you'll want to make over and over again. Get the recipe for pesto tortellini pasta salad here.

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14. Blackened Salmon With Peach Avocado Salsa

Cook at Home Mom / Via cookathomemom.com, Cook At Home Mom / Via cookathomemom.com

The best part about this recipe is that most of the salmon ingredients can be found right in your spice drawer. Top the fish with a zesty and refreshing salsa made with peaches (or really any summer fruit), avocado, onion, and jalapeño in lime juice and olive oil. Get the recipe for blackened salmon with peach avocado salsa here.

15. Southwestern Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Delicious Little Bites / Via deliciouslittlebites.com

With very little prep and made of mostly cheap pantry ingredients, these vegetarian burgers are a no-brainer for your next barbecue. Get the recipe for southwestern black bean veggie burgers here.

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16. Shrimp Rolls

Julie Wampler

Lobster's more affordable cousin, the humble shrimp roll is equally as delicious. Cooked shrimp gets tossed with celery, chives, mayo, and lemon, and spooned into hotdog rolls. Get the recipe for shrimp rolls here.

17. New Orleans Jambalaya

Confetti and Bliss / Via confettiandbliss.com

The best thing about jambalaya is that you can really use whatever veggies or protein you have on hand. Mix it up with rice, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and a whole lot of seasonings. Get the recipe for New Orleans jambalaya here.

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18. Beef Taco Salad

The Recipe Critic / Via therecipecritic.com

Imagine tacos but in salad form, and you can make it with whatever ground meat you like best. Serve it with tortilla chips on the side for dunking. Get the recipe for beef taco salad here.

19. Italian Pepperoni Roll-Ups

Tastes of Lizzy T / Via tastesoflizzyt.com

Start with flour tortillas and fill them with sliced pepperoni, mozzarella, sliced peppers, cream cheese, and whatever other veggies or deli meat your heart desires. Roll them up and cut them into little sandwiches. Get the recipe for Italian pepperoni roll-ups here.

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20. Slow Cooker Mushroom Mac 'n' Cheese

The Modern Proper / Via themodernproper.com

How do you take mac 'n' cheese and make it sophisticated? Add some buttery mushrooms, a mixture of Gruyère and sharp cheddar, and some chives. Get the recipe for slow cooker mushroom mac 'n' cheese here.

21. Farmers Market Cornbread

House Of Yumm / Via houseofyumm.com, House of Yumm / Via houseofyumm.com

Customize this melt-in-your-mouth cornbread with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. It's a must-try summer side dish that goes great with whatever you're grilling. Get the recipe for farmers market cornbread here.

Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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