16 of Our Favorite Summer Cheese Recipes

Grilled Cheese with Corn and Calabrian Chile Recipe
Photo: Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

Whether they're good for the grill or incorporate some of the season's best ingredients, here are our favorite cheese-centric recipes to make in the summertime. From Top Chef judge Gail Simmons's stunning Blackberry and Mascarpone Crêpe Cake to 2019 F&W Best New Chef Junghyun Park's rich Doenjang Cream Cheese Corn, you'll find recipes that use creamy burrata, salty feta, and tangy goat cheese to create all kinds of cheesy delights. All you have to do is pick a cheese (or a few) and get cooking.

01 of 16

Achari Pimiento Cheese Spread

Achari Pimiento Cheese Spread
Victor Protasio

The ultimate dip for a warm summer night, this pimiento cheese spread is spicy and full of flavor. "I took this Southern staple and gave it the OG Spice Boy makeover by incorporating my mom's classic Indian pickling spices," chef Farhan Momin says. "Serve this with some crackers, between two slices of white bread, or toasted naan."

02 of 16

Mango-and-Halloumi Fritto Misto

Mango and Halloumi Fritto Misto
Victor Protasio

Seafood and vegetables are often the star of fritto misto. In this version, F&W's Justin Chapple swaps in ripe but firm mangoes and sturdy halloumi cheese, showcasing their incredible versatility. A batter of fizzy club soda, flour, and cornstarch forms a crust that is light but dippable.

03 of 16

Roasted Curry Tomato Pie

Roasted Curry Tomato Pie
Greg DuPree

With fresh tomatoes, tamarind onions, and lots of cheese, this savory pastry is perfect for summer eating. Turmeric gives the crust a gorgeous golden color that pops against the red tomatoes.

04 of 16

Grilled Manouri Cheese with Caramelized Plums

Grilled Manouri Cheese with Caramelized Plums

Chef Michael Psilakis' version of the classic Greek dish saganaki is made with manouri. This semi-soft, milky cheese is made from feta whey, and it pairs perfectly with caramelized plums.

05 of 16

Summer Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Summer Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
CREDIT: © JAMES BAIGRIE

This summery pizza has got it all: colorful vegetables, melty cheese, and a nutty crunch. If you want to pair it with wine, go for a Sauvignon Blanc.

06 of 16

Blackberry and Mascarpone Crêpe Cake

Blackberry and Mascarpone Crepe Cake
Victor Protasio

If you're looking for a melt-in-your-mouth, light and airy summer dessert, make Top Chef judge Gail Simmons' delectable crepe cake. Simmons recommends making the cake when blackberries are at peak season.

07 of 16

Doenjang Cream Cheese Corn

Doenjang Cream Cheese Corn
Greg DuPree

2019 F&W Best New Chef Chef Junghyun Park has served this creamy, cheesy corn at his New York City restaurant Atoboy. It's a great way to make use of sweet summer corn.

08 of 16

St. Louis–Style Cheesecake with Blueberries

St. Louis Style Cheesecake with Blueberries Recipe
Johnny Autry

Hidden beneath a mound of juicy summer berries (chef Andrae Bopp uses native huckleberries, but blueberries are fine), a thin layer of sweetened sour cream crowns this luscious no-fuss cheesecake based on his great-grandmother's recipe. Dollop the fluffy batter into the pan gently for the best results.

09 of 16

Queso Flameado

Queso Flameado
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

In this irresistible snack, charred poblano pepper and pureed cilantro and serrano chiles serve as a built-in salsa, layering spicy, garlicky flavors into the rich, melted cheese. Flaming it with tequila makes the whole thing a little extra. The pickled carrots on top add acidity and brightness — feel free to substitute pickled jalapeño slices if you have some on hand.

10 of 16

Marinated Feta with Lemony Herb "Jam" Balls

Marinated Lemony Herb Jam with Feta
Greg DuPree

These green herb jam balls are a genius way to put a summer bounty of tender herbs, such as basil, mint, and cilantro, to a tasty new use. Steaming herbs, a trick we learned from cookbook author Paula Wolfert, tenderizes herbs by exposing them to gentle heat and helps preserve their flavor and color for an herb-and-chard jam studded with preserved lemon and currants. Submerging the herb mixture in olive oil seals it off from the air, extending its life in the fridge. Cubes of feta infuse the oil with a hint of briny flavor. We like Valbreso feta as well as Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value brand, which comes in blocks that are easy to slice.

11 of 16

Grilled Cheese with Corn and Calabrian Chile

Grilled Cheese with Corn and Calabrian Chile Recipe
Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

Nancy Silverton's L.A. restaurant Pizzeria Mozza celebrates unfussy, straightforward, focused food that uses fresh California produce. This upgraded grilled cheese by the 1990 F&W Best New Chef is filled with a charred sweet corn-studded blend of nutty English-cheddar, sharp caciocavallo, and just enough mayonnaise to bind it all together. Thick slices of sourdough get a beautifully buttery, golden crust in a cast iron skillet, while Calabrian chile sneaks in with just the right amount of heat. The satisfyingly rich and sharp cheese filling is a knockout on burgers, or even as a hot dip with crackers and crudités.

12 of 16

Grilled Halloumi Burgers with Citrus Tapenade

Grilled Halloumi Burger with Citrus Tapenade
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn

These vegetarian burgers feature halloumi, a tangy, salty cheese from Cyprus that holds its shape when heated, making it ideal for the grill. When grilled or sautéed, halloumi develops a charred crust that yields to soft cheese inside. Here, it's seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper, then topped with a citrusy olive tapenade with just enough crushed red pepper flakes to lend it a touch of heat. A lemony aïoli complements the citrus in the tapenade and natural tang of the halloumi. The roasted red peppers round out this burger. The slightly sweet flavor of brioche buns works perfectly here.

13 of 16

Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Prosciutto and Mozzarella

Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Prosciutto and Mozzarella
Greg Dupree

These crispy zucchini blossoms are stuffed with fresh mozzarella and either prosciutto cotto or Parisian ham. Zucchini blossoms can be ordered online, and are seasonally available at farmers' markets. Prosciutto cotto and Parisian ham should be available at a well-stocked grocery store with a cheese counter, but you can substitute in cooked ham.

14 of 16

Crostini with Grilled Sweet Onions and Blue Cheese

Crostini with Grilled Sweet Onions and Blue Cheese Recipe
Johnny Autry

On the Snake River in Hells Canyon, chef Andrae Bopp wraps whole sweet Walla Walla onions in foil and tosses them into the coals of the campfire to roast and caramelize, but we've adapted his recipe for your home grill. Don't skip the zippy honey-vinegar drizzle, which coaxes out even more flavor from the sweet onions and balances the blue cheese.

15 of 16

Peach, Tomato, and Fried Farro Salad with Burrata

Peach, Tomato, and Fried Farro Salad with Burrata
© Jen Causey

"It features the alluring combination of juicy peaches and even juicier tomatoes that are lightly coated in just enough dressing to moisten — so that nothing overpowers the flavors of the fruit," cookbook author and F&W Cooks contributor Ann Taylor Pittman says of this salad. "Hunks of creamy burrata pair beautifully here, offering luxurious richness that, again, does not compete with the fruit.The fried farro sprinkle is perhaps the best part. The grains are fantastically crunchy, like tiny Corn Nuts, with an irresistible nutty-earthy flavor."

16 of 16

Corn Husk–Grilled Goat Cheese with Corn Relish and Honey

Corn Husk-Grilled Goat Cheese with Corn Relish and Honey
Victor Protasio

"With the smoky essence of the husk infused into the hot molten cheese, a generous drizzle of honey melting in, and that charred sweet corn relish, all spooned onto a hunk of crusty bread," says cookbook author and F&W Cooks contributor Andrea Slonecker, "plus a bottle of pink bubbly (high in acid to stand up to the tartness of the dish), a patio, and a pile of friends, it's the perfect pre-dinner snack on a summer evening."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles