Recipe: Fresh summer flavors fit for the patio

Family Features

Gatherings in the summer sun are all about easy, convenient recipes combined with the joy warm weather brings. Spend those special occasions with those you love most and make this summer one to remember with flatbreads, sliders and sweet treats for all to share.

Keeping cooking simple means more time on the patio or in the backyard engaging with guests, and these Chipotle Chicken Flatbreads, Chicken Shawarma Sliders and Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit let home chefs skip complicated kitchen duties without skimping on flavor.

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Summery Flatbreads for Family and Friends

When dining outdoors with family, friends and neighbors, there are few things better than a tasty dish the whole family can enjoy like these Chipotle Chicken Flatbreads.

Perfect for al fresco entertaining when served alongside a fresh salad, they’re simple to make and allow guests to personalize with preferred toppings before popping in the oven. As a colorful and fresh dish, it’s an ideal meal for get-togethers on the patio.

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Chipotle Chicken Flatbreads
Recipe adapted from

Chipotle chicken flatbreads (photo courtesy of Family Features)

2 flatbreads
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, diced
4 chicken tenders, cooked and cubed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place parchment paper on baking sheet and add flatbreads. Sprinkle cheese on flatbreads. Top with garlic, chicken and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 16 minutes until cheese is melted.

In small bowl, mix ranch and chipotle seasoning.

Drizzle ranch dressing on flatbreads and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Shareable Sliders for a Nutritious Summer Meal

Fresh, mouthwatering foods hot off the grill are a sure sign of summer fun. Hosting sunny get-togethers this year can be made easy when you show off your grilling skills with a simple, nutritious and flavorful recipe.

These Chicken Shawarma Sliders are a delicious example of how to grill healthy summer meals without forgoing favorite flavors. They’re part of a curated 12-recipe collection of healthy, balanced dishes from the snacking experts at family-owned Fresh Cravings, known for its chilled salsas, hummus and other dips, which teamed up with eMeals, America’s leading provider of meal plans.

“These sliders are a fantastic – and healthy – option for your next gathering,” said eMeals Senior Nutrition Writer and Editor Rachel West, RD. “The marinade uses a mix of pantry-friendly dried herbs and fresh garlic to give the lean grilled chicken breast some oomph. The lettuce and red onion add cool crispness and crunch to the sandwiches while Fresh Cravings’ creamy, flavor-packed hummus gets some nutritional bonus points by providing a dose of protein and fiber.”

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Chicken Shawarma Sliders
Recipe courtesy of eMeals Registered Dietitian Rachel West
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Chicken shawarma sliders (photo courtesy of Family Features)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package (12) slider buns
1 container (17 ounces) Fresh Cravings Honey Jalapeño Hummus
1 package (8 ounces) shredded lettuce
1/2 small red onion, sliced

In zip-top plastic bag, use meat mallet or heel of hand to pound chicken to even thickness. Cut into 2-inch pieces and place in large bowl. Add oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne; toss.

Cover chicken and chill 8 hours, or up to 2 days.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes per side, or until done.

Serve chicken on buns with hummus, lettuce and onion.

Unforgettable Fruity Flavor

Summertime often brings cravings for fresh fruits that add a hint of sweetness to warm-weather gatherings. Serving up a delicious dessert for family and guests starts with favorite produce in this Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit.

The touch of tangy tartness is enough to bring loved ones to the dessert table even after a filling meal as fresh lemon juice in the cheesecake base is complemented perfectly when topped with orange slices and raspberries. Garnished with mint leaves, this brightly colored treat is even sweeter when shared with loved ones.

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Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit
Servings: 6-8

Lemon cheesecake with fruit (photo courtesy of Family Features)

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, peeled and separated
8 raspberries
3 mint leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into 9-inch springform pan.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract; mix until combined.

Pour into pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly pressed.

Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled. Arrange orange slices around border of cake and place raspberries in middle. Top with mint leaves.