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Summer tastes sweet! Prepare to dig into the best July fruits and vegetables (from berries and stone fruit to squash and corn). Then, I’m dishing about how to incorporate these seasonal produce picks in the best summer recipes.
July is the sunny, sparkler-filled month when summer really kicks into full gear. Grilling season is on fire (hopefully just within the scope of the grill itself, of course), gardens are blooming with some of the year’s best produce, and there’s still plenty of fun in the sun to be had before Labor Day. 😎
Curious about what’s in season in July so you can shop and meal prep with flair? Think of the seasonal produce guide below like me joining you at the market or garden, pointing to what you should invest in or harvest to make the most of summer ingredients.
Your bank account and your taste buds both benefit when you seek out seasonal produce; unlike something that has been shipped in from across the globe, it’s far fresher and more affordable. (By the way, you’ll save even more money if you grow your own!)
Consider adding these July fruits and vegetables to your garden-harvesting or shopping list. Then read on for some seriously delicious inspiration about how to put what’s in season in July to use in meals and snacks for yourself, your family, or the entire neighborhood at picnics, potlucks, and 4th of July parties.
Table of Contents
What’s in Season in July?
- Berries: Stock up on strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries to enjoy now and freeze for later. They’re naturally at their sweet-tart best now, and are begging to be transformed into everything from jams and coulis to cakes and cobblers.
- Stone fruits: Cherries, apricots, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, and plums are also in fine form come July. While I’ll gladly devour any of these fresh from the tree, unadorned and in their fresh glory, I adore them even more in crisps, pies, salads, grilled fruit recipes, and beyond.
- Melons: Cantaloupe and watermelon are at their juiciest now, too. For this reason, and because some days I cannot stand to increase the heat in my kitchen one degree more, melon salads, smoothies, and cocktails are on repeat in my home come July.
- Cucurbit vegetables: Cucumber and summer squash are technically “cucurbit” crops. (Melons do as well, by the way, but since we use those in such different ways menu-wise, I separated them out here.) From salads to side dishes to spiralized vegetable recipes, it’s easy to find a new way to eat curcubits every day of July.
- Leafy green and legume vegetables: Go green by filling up on leaves of lettuce and Swiss chard, as well as green beans (legumes). Try them in potluck-perfect salads, lunch wrap and sandwiches, and summery soups.
- Grasses and nightshade vegetables: The harvest season for corn, which is actually a grass, is well on its way and only gets better as we approach fall. Nightshades like bell peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are rising to the occasion as well. All of the above are dreamy grilled, mixed into salads and salsas, or incorporated into a wide variety of dinner entrees.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Eat in July
Remember that pint of blueberries that would have cost you $8 in January? Now it can be yours for more like $3, and with far more delicious, sweet-tart results. Toss the season’s best berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are all hitting their stride) in muffins, salads, cobblers, cakes, and beyond.
Stone Fruit Recipes
July is peachy! Make the most of that seasonal fruit, and its close counterparts nectarines, mangoes, and cherries in these summer fruit recipe ideas.
Next to a ripe, juicy peach, little shouts “summer!” more loudly to my taste buds than a slurp-worthy wedge of watermelon. Use that water-rich, sweet star or its cousin, cantaloup, in these lovely melon recipe ideas.
Calling all cucumbers, summer squash, and zucchini! Your attendance is requested in casseroles, salads, sandwiches, and so much more this month.
Leafy Green and Legume Recipes
Leaves of lettuce, cabbage, and Swiss chard are in fine form this month, and are ready to act as the base of a wide variety of salads, slaws, low-carb wraps, or Buddha bowls. Just add your favorite salad dressing! Save some plate real estate for green beans, too; they’re ready to rise to the occasion summer through early fall.
Grass and Nightshade Vegetable Recipes
Ask anyone in my family and they can confirm that there are four major MVPs in my summer menu line-up: corn, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. All of these July seasonal produce items conveniently reach peak season during the same couple months each year, plus they play nicely together and individually. Give these nightshades and grass family members a starring role in the July recipes below.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.