Delicious, Easy Dip Recipes for Summer

School’s out for summer—yay! I can remember the last day of school when I was growing up like it was yesterday. The feeling of pure freedom for three whole months! I couldn’t wait for the endless days of hanging out at the swimming pool, running barefoot, and having no schedule. Life was pretty easy then.

For this issue, I’m keeping that mindset with these easy summertime recipes that take advantage of all of summer’s bounty—and are quick to prepare.

Roasted Tomato and Burrata Spread uses two of my summer favorites—tomatoes and basil. The burrata takes it over the top. I highly recommend that you make it the night before or at least give it several hours to chill so the flavors will meld. The updated Shrimp Cocktail Dip can be assembled a couple of hours in advance. It has all the familiar flavors of a shrimp cocktail but in a dip form—great for a crowd. Easy Tzatziki Dip not only is healthy but also will add a bit of summer to your typical charcuterie board. If any is left over, drizzle it on a grilled chicken breast. Summer Salsa, with its unique combination of cantaloupe and vine-ripe tomatoes, perfectly fits this warm-weather season. Be sure to use the scoop-shaped corn chips for dipping—the saltiness of these pairs nicely with the fruit. If I had to pick, my favorite of all the recipes would be the Cheesy Corn Queso. After serving it, I felt worthy of opening a Mexican restaurant. This recipe makes a full quart and doesn’t break the bank. I doubt I will ever buy pre-made again. It’s that good!

Roasted Tomato and Burrata Spread
Roasted Tomato and Burrata Spread

Roasted Tomato and Burrata Spread

Serves 8

- Sponsors -

1 pint cherry or small vine-ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 (4-ounce) balls burrata cheese
½ cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
Toasted French bread slices

Preheat oven to 375°.
Place tomatoes on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, and add sliced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, tossing to coat evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tomatoes burst and begin to soften.
Place roasted tomatoes, burrata, and ½ cup basil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until creamy and thoroughly combined. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Spread on warm toasted French bread slices. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a sprinkle of black pepper.


Easy Tzatziki Dip
Easy Tzatziki Dip

Easy Tzatziki Dip

Makes 1¾ cups

½ cup grated cucumber*
1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1½ teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Pita bread and assorted vegetables for dipping

Stir together first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill for several hours before serving. (The dip will keep for 2 to 3 days.) Serve with pita bread and assorted fresh vegetables.
*Remove excess water from the grated cucumber by squeezing it in several paper towels.


Cheesy Corn Queso
Cheesy Corn Queso

Cheesy Corn Queso

Makes 4 cups

2 cups fresh corn (3 to 4 ears)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup water
½ cup whole milk
1 pound white American cheese, cut into (1-inch) cubes
¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeños
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño juice
2 tablespoons green chiles
½ teaspoon cumin
Tortilla chips

Remove kernels with a sharp knife. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan or small Dutch oven; add corn and red bell pepper. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Add water, milk, and next 5 ingredients. Simmer until the cheese is melted and the mixture is thoroughly heated.
Serve warm with tortilla chips.


Learn From Leslie:
White American cheese is available at the deli counter at the grocery store. Just ask for several thick slices.


Summer Salsa
Summer Salsa

Summer Salsa

Makes about 6 cups

½ cantaloupe, seeded and diced
1 large vine-ripe tomato, diced
1 green pepper, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Fresh mint for garnish
Scoop-shaped corn chips

In a large bowl, combine cantaloupe and next 4 ingredients. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper; whisk to combine. Pour over cantaloupe mixture, tossing to coat thoroughly. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve with corn chips.


Leslie Likes:
Summer Salsa over grilled chicken or fish.


Shrimp Cocktail Dip
Shrimp Cocktail Dip

Shrimp Cocktail Dip

Feeds a crowd!

½ pound cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, divided
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup cocktail sauce
Lemon wedges
Saltine crackers

Get the best of Birmingham delivered to your inbox

Stunning local homes, inspiring before & after projects, southern-style recipes, entertaining ideas and more!