Check out these 17 ideas for healthy pool dinners (or lunches) that are easy and portable and perfect for summer evenings! Everything from pasta salads to sliders to sandwiches and wraps to snack boards, plus tons of recipes to try. You’ll be set for a delicious summer of fun!
Today I’m celebrating the end of school, the start of summer and the long afternoons spent at the pool that are stretched out before me. ☀️🏊♀️💦
And this year, I’m gonna be prepared with some healthy pool dinners I can pack for us.
Cause you know how I feel about homemade food. (ALL the feels, in case you are new to this blog and didn’t know!) I’m not big on the concession stand and I want to pack us up something delicious to take with instead.
So I created this list and round-up of recipes for some easy, make-ahead and portable healthy pool dinners we can pack and take to the pool with us.
They don’t require reheating and they are complete lunches or dinners that will fill you up without weighing you down. We are eating in our bathing suits after all! 👙
So without further ado, I bring you my list of ideas and below that you’ll find links to some specific recipes that would be great for eating at the pool. And of course, these are also all appropriate for packing up to take as beach dinners or for eating at the park.
(And if you're all in the summer vibes like me, also check out these 10 easy no-recipe summer dinner ideas for easy dinners you can just throw together last minute any night.)
17 Ideas for Healthy Pool Dinners:
- Grain bowls — quinoa/farro/barley with chicken/beans/tofu and veggies and a dressing or sauce packed separately for topping the grain bowls
- Grilled chicken for serving on burger buns or sliders or in wraps with your favorite toppings
- Chopped (lettuce) salad — chicken or vegetarian, dressing on the side
- Pasta salad — such as a BLT pasta salad, chicken orzo salad, Caprese pasta salad, tortellini salad, etc.
- Quinoa salad — Mediterranean, Asian, Italian style, etc.
- Chicken salad for sandwiches, wraps or as a salad with some leafy lettuce (or make tuna salad or egg salad)
- Roasted veggie or chicken/turkey/ham wraps or roll-ups
- Make-ahead baked sliders — such as buffalo chicken, pesto chicken, ham and cheese, etc.
- Snack board dinner — hummus or dips with crackers, cheese, rotisserie chicken or deli/cured meats, chopped veggies, nuts, dried fruit, etc.
- Chicken and veggie plate with Ranch or other dressings for dipping (can add a loaf of bakery bread for a carb on the side)
- Mason jar salads — your salad ingredients layered in a mason jar for easy transport
- Spring rolls or egg rolls with a sauce for dipping (or make the mix and bring mini phyllo shells to stuff and snack on all night)
- Cold taco salad served with tortilla chips or scooper chips like Fritos
- Cold grilled cheese or panini sandwiches, with chips or pretzels and crudités and dip
- Quiche - works great at room temperature
- Kabobs - make ahead and serve cold with ketchup or a dip (and don’t forget fruit kabobs for a fun dessert!)
- Finally, if you have a thermos to keep food warm, you could also pack some mac and cheese, chili or keep taco meat warm to serve with chips or flour tortillas
So there you have it! Tons of ideas to last you through the summer.
And if you want to check out some specific recipes for these ideas, I’ve got you covered.
Recipes to Try
WRAPS & SLIDERS
- Slow cooker pulled pork (for sandwiches or sliders)
- Healthy slow cooker buffalo chicken (for sliders)
- Folded wraps (25 ways) - fill with your favorites!
- Spicy chicken patties (for wraps, salads, sliders or dipping)
- Baked southwestern egg rolls
- Easy chicken roll-ups with cream cheese and veggies
- Roasted veggie wrap with pesto and goat cheese
- Vegetarian Greek grain bowls
- BBQ chicken quinoa salad bowls
- Quinoa chicken spinach salad with honey lime vinaigrette
- Cold barley salad with chicken and creamy pesto
- Chicken quinoa salad with salsa hummus
- Farro and roasted vegetable grain bowl
- Mediterranean quinoa salad (can add chicken)
- Lemony orzo chicken salad
- Southwestern orzo salad (can add chicken)
- Classic spaghetti salad
- Roast chicken Niçoise salad
- Southwestern chopped salad
- Asian chicken chopped salad
- Mediterranean chopped salad
- Basil chicken salad with walnuts (can serve as a sandwich or wrap)
- Tuna spinach salad (can serve as a sandwich or wrap)
- Healthy chicken salad OR pesto chicken salad (can serve as a sandwich or wrap)
- Classic egg salad OR curried egg salad (can serve as a sandwich or wrap)
- Smashed edamame salad (can serve as a sandwich or wrap)
- Southwestern mason jar salad
- Asian chicken mason jar salad
And of course, don't forget to pack plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks.
I hope you have an amazing summer!
P.S. You may also want to check out my chicken recipes in under 15 minutes if you're heading home from the pool and want to make a super fast dinner!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt
These all look and sound amazing! I love the salads you picked. Your kids are lucky to get this kind of food at the pool! I'm pretty sure I got peanut butter sandwiches as a kid- lol!
Haha, I'm sure we'll have those nights too! But I needed a good collection of healthy go-to ideas to draw from this summer. You know I gotta have my veggies 😊
Erin @ Suburban Simplicity
Oh, my gosh! Love all these options! Wish I had a pool so I could eat them poolside. Guess they'll be patio meal for me! 🙂
Pool nights, picnics, potlucks, just backyard firefly catching and star gazing - these will work for so many summer occasions!
I love the age when you can spend the whole day at the pool. And whole nothings beats a pb and j once in a blue moon at the pool...these are the kind of meals I want to be eating.
Haha, that'll be my back-up if I haven't prepped in advance! 🙂
This is an amazing set of recipes. I live in AZ and I am always looking for good summer and picnic meals...because these summer days are all year around for me. This is one of the best collections I have found. Thank you!
Oh yay! I'm so happy to hear this is helpful Suzanne! 😊