Summer Recipes for Seniors: Light, Easy and Delicious

Summer Recipes for Seniors: Light, Easy and Delicious

With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to start researching easy summer recipes for the sunny season ahead. Whether you are entertaining guests at your home or visiting someone else’s for a summer holiday or special occasion, these summer potluck ideas and easy dishes for a cookout are sure to satisfy hunger and quench thirst.

We know that seniors can face challenges in the summer heat. Bright sunshine, high temperatures and humidity, along with heavy foods and alcohol, can leave you feeling tired and can lead to dehydration.

We have put together a list of easy summer recipes for light and tasty meals and other refreshments with a focus on recipes with little to no prep time. Start your summer off right with these healthy and refreshing recipes. Residents at Eastcastle Place are sure to enjoy many of these throughout the upcoming summer season.


Light Everyday Summer Delights:

  • Salads: As side dishes or lighter meals, salads are a welcome addition to any outdoor cookout or potluck. Fruit salads are refreshing while providing natural sugars and a good dose of Vitamin C. Cold pasta salads make great side dishes as well. Potato salad, in all its varieties, is a classic dish at any barbecue or potluck. Veggie platters, though not technically salads, provide easy-to-prepare finger food for summer partygoers too.
  • Light Lunches: Consider veggie or chicken wraps, chilled soups like gazpacho or cucumber-yogurt, and open-faced sandwiches.
  • Simple Dinners: If burgers, brats and hot dogs sound heavy, switch it up by trying grilled chicken or fish along with summer vegetables. Veggie skewers or marinated veggie kabobs are a great way to utilize the grill and bring out the flavor of your favorite veggies. Light summer recipes for grilled tomatoes or eggplant parmesan help cut out the greasiness of burgers and other meats while offering a healthier option. Grilled shrimp, one-pan bakes, and charcuterie boards are other delicious options.

Holiday Celebrations:

Cinco de Mayo:

  • Keep it light and fun with mini versions of Mexican favorites like mini tacos or individual chip-and-dip cups. Empanadas are another great finger food for holiday crowds. You can make your own and store in the freezer in advance. Otherwise, a trip to El Rey, Milwaukee’s favorite Mexican grocery store, is a great way to prepare for Cinco de Mayo.
  • Include a no-alcohol “mock-margarita” recipe, fruit punch, Mexican soda, or horchata (rice milk) over ice, or mojito watermelon.

Mother’s or Father’s Day:

  • For a healthy, special brunch, consider banana oat pancakes, salmon lox, mini quiches, fruit parfait, or avocado.
  • No-bake desserts like strawberry lemon trifle, icebox cake, and cherry delight are light and easy and will keep your kitchen cool during the warm summer months.

Memorial Day and Labor Day Cookouts:

  • Healthy burger variations like grilled chicken, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, or portabella mushroom caps offer lighter options.
  • Flavorful side dishes with a lighter vibe include grilled veggies, farro salad, bean salads, coleslaw, caprese or Greek salads, etc.

Fourth of July

  • Classic dishes for grandkids such as burgers, brats, and hot dogs are a July Fourth tradition for many.
  • Ice cream with fresh summer berries is always a hit. Try vanilla ice cream with ripe raspberries and blueberries.
  • Offer rhubarb-apple crisp with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
  • Jell-O in its many different varieties and forms can be a fun treat. Add fruit for extra color and bite.

Staying Hydrated and Cool

  • Homemade lemonades: Ask the grandkids to help.
  • Infused waters: Making these is as easy as adding cucumber slices or fresh mint leaves to a glass or water bottle. Eastcastle Place residents enjoy a variety of these throughout the year in our bistro.
  • Popsicles: Whether store-bought or homemade, consider the all-fruit varieties or making your own at home from fresh fruit juice. This is another great cooking project the grandkids can assist with.
  • Smoothies: Doing an online search for “healthy smoothies for seniors” will bring up such great suggestions as the “Babe Ruth Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie” and the “Green Goddess Smoothie.”

Senior woman enjoying juice with her grandchild

Here at Eastcastle Place, we are gearing up for a fun, event-filled summer. With our noteworthy hospitality and dining options, we are sure to make your summer a healthy and enjoyable one!

If you have any summer recipes that you would like to share, or if you are interested in learning more about what #EastcastlePlace has to offer in terms of summer events and community dining, please visit or call us at (414) 963-8494.