5 Easy "End of Summer Recipes" to Transition Into Football Season

Updated August 2023

Before summer is over, I will give you a list of five of my favorite recipes that are perfect for those summer days that are still left in North Carolina when it's still a little hot and humid. We're transitioning into football season, but it's still hot. I have already featured these recipes on the blog at some point in my twelve years of owning this website.  

A friend messaged me this week and said she made my spaghetti pie recipe, and it was the dish I took to her fourteen years ago when her son was born. Reading that one message took me down my kitchen rabbit hole of finding all the recipes in my archives. 

As my kids have aged, meals are a constant struggle in my home due to our schedules. There are days that I count the days until no one depends on me to make nightly dinners. I will regret even making those remarks when those days are gone, but my afternoons were not busy when I started this blog in 2011. The kids played, watched TV, and I prepped dinner. My busy times were from 7 am to 4 pm, whereas the hours between 3 pm and 9 pm are when I'm at my absolute busiest at this stage of life. 

But throughout my 11 years of writing, my goal has always been the same: I like to prepare easy meals with few ingredients. The following collection of recipes is easy and can be used in various ways. 

Easy End of Summer Meals for Weeknight Dinners to Fancy Football Tailgates

This Shrimp scampi recipe can either be made with rice or pasta. And this is more of a Greek shrimp and pasta dish than an Italian dish. It should not even be called scampi, but instead, "Greek-Style Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta," whatever you want to call it, it's yummy. You can also use any pasta for this shrimp and feta pasta recipe. 

This Greek-inspired shrimp with tomatoes and feta recipe is easy when you use frozen shrimp. 

This fresh tomato pie recipe has many versions depending on what Southern church cookbook you are reading at the time. Regardless, it's a classic Southern style of tomato pie. It's best when NC tomatoes are in season: August and early September. I've never used canned tomatoes; if you do, it's more of a process to get them ready to use, like fresh tomatoes. You would need to use whole canned tomatoes, drain them, cut them into slices, place them on a paper towel, and salt them with kosher salt. They would need to sit like this for an hour before using them. The brand of Muir Glen Tomatoes has a simple tomato pie recipe using diced tomatoes and fontina cheese. Typically, canned tomatoes are tasty, which may be an easy alternative. More than likely, this will be juicier. 

Southern Tomato Pie using Fresh Garden Tomatoes is a must-try from August to Mid-September. 

This recipe calls for that small white corn called shoepeg because it's sweeter than most corn, but I've also used this corn salad recipe with sweet yellow corn because sometimes it is easier to find than shoepeg, depending on the grocery. Does it taste better with shoepeg? Probably, but yellow corn works as well. I've had this sweet corn recipe in my collection for years. It's easy to take to a tailgate but drain the salad before serving. The flavors also pair well with scoopable chips because in some ways, it is similar to cowboy caviar, which is used a lot as an appetizer at Southern parties. 

This canned sweet corn salad recipe is great for reunions and tailgates. 

Grover's Feta and Shrimp Pasta Salad

This simple feta pasta salad with shrimp is easy to make. It's best served cold or at room temperature. You can easily switch out the pasta of your choice and omit ingredients; however, the cottage cheese makes this Greek-style salad delicious, so make sure to include that ingredient. 

Easy feta and shrimp pasta salad
Greek Salad with Shrimp and Feta 

Easy No-Mayo Pasta Salad

This easy mayo-free side salad quickly assembles and carries well to football tailgate parties. This dish can be served throughout the year and not just as a summer salad. It would even be great as a side to soups or gyros. 

Pasta Salad without Mayo
Italian pasta salad with no mayo 

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