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HomeRecipesSix simple summer sides

Six simple summer sides

Hot temps call for cool sides and Chef Virginia Willis offers six simple summer side dishes that are perfect for parties or easy suppers at home. Your family and guests will love these creative and light recipes that draw on fresh seasonal ingredients to bring a bright new dimension to the table.  

“Each of these recipes takes a half hour or less to make and most can be made ahead for easy entertaining. Healthy, fresh ingredients have played a key role in the 65-pound weight loss I’ve maintained for more than a year, but I’m not afraid to cave to cravings once in a while. Friends appreciate a table that includes healthful options, but they also love decadent treats, and a party is the perfect place to splurge!” said Virginia.  

“Real-life recipes” are a Chef Virginia Willis hallmark. You’ll find all the ingredients at your local grocery store and the dishes are quick and easy to prepare. Ready to celebrate the season? Here you go! All recipes listed below are available on Virginia’s blog along with fabulous photos of how to present them at the table.

Tomato Ginger Green Beans, Recipe by Chef Virginia Willis, Photo Credit Angie Mosier
  1. Tomato Ginger Green Beans – Big, bold flavors of ginger and jalapeño partner with green beans for a side dish that can be served hot, warm or chilled.
  2. Air Fryer Greek Feta Fries– Who needs soggy takeout? This showstopper seems indulgent, but with 80% less fat than the deep-fried version.
  3. Creamed Corn Stuffed Tomatoes– Two of summer’s most delicious ingredients pair up with savory herbs, fresh peppers and creamy cheese.
  4. Baked Zucchini Chips– Good and good for you zucchini crisps are a great summer side dish- if they make it to the table!
  5. Peach and Tomato Gazpacho– This chilled soup is so good you might want to splash it with vodka and turn it into a cocktail.
  6. Small Bake Almond Crusted Baked Peaches – You won’t believe the secret ingredient that amps up the peach flavor.

Chef Virginia Willis shares recipes, culinary inspiration and lots of inside scoop on cooking and food on her Cooking with Virginia blog.

About Chef Virginia Willis

Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef, Food Network Kitchen talent, James Beard award-winning cookbook author, television personality, content creator, and social media influencer. She is the author of  seven cookbooks including the James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Lighten up Y’all. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree.

Chef Willis’ recipe for Tomato Ginger Green Beans was one of our favorites! Serve them at your next summer dinner party.

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