Must-Try BBQ Recipes for Your Next Cookout
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Must-Try BBQ Recipes for Your Next Cookout

When it comes to celebrating the season with family and friends, nothing quite compares to a cookout. Whether it’s the atmosphere, the great food or the legendary memories they leave behind, barbecues are the epitome of summer fun. Plus, as any pitmaster knows, grilling gives food a certain delicious flavor that only cooking with fire can. If you’re wondering what to grill this season, you’ve come to the right place—in honor of our favorite warm weather pastime, we’re sharing some of our favorite BBQ recipes for every course, so you can mix and match the perfect menu.

Great BBQ Main Courses

Hot dogs and hamburgers might be classic choices, but they aren’t the only options on the butcher block. Add a new twist to an old favorite with fun or creative toppings, such as Pineapple Salsa Franks or Bacon, Guacamole & Jack Burgers. For a more special celebration, take the menu to the next level with an impressive Smoked Ribs with Apricot Glaze or Harissa Grilled Peel and Eat Shrimp. Here are a few more cookout foods you might want to consider:

Grilled Turkey Burger with Peaches: Sweet peaches are the perfect complement to these savory turkey burgers.

Grilled Broccoli and Chicken Pizza: Topped with broccoli, shredded chicken and lots of cheese, these grilled flatbread pizzas are fun for adults and kids alike.

Grilling Dinner Packets: Foil packets enhance the flavor of kielbasa, corn coblets and red potatoes.

Grilled Cod Tacos with Mango & Avocado: Cilantro-lime marinated cod grills up quickly for a fresh take on taco night.

Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Kabobs: Sweeten things up with teriyaki-marinated chicken and veggie kabobs.

bbq menu ideas

Delicious BBQ Appetizers & Sides

Since the sun is out and the grill is hot, summer appetizers and sides don’t have to be served warm. Items like Basic Slaw and Classic Macaroni Salad are quintessential BBQ sides because they bring balance to the smoky flavors coming from the barbecue. Yet other side dishes, like these Italian Grilled Potato Packet Fries, are best when served hot and fresh off the barbie. They might be called BBQ side dishes, but we can’t guarantee these add-ons won’t steal the show:

Best Creamy Potato Salad: For melt-in-your-mouth flavor, add the dressing to the potatoes while they’re still warm.

Grilled Caprese Salad: A turn on the grill imparts smokiness to the vegetables and enhances the sweetness of the tomatoes.

Chipotle Bacon Baked Beans: Enriched with sweet bacon and smoky chipotle, these beans are delicious from first bite to last.

Creamy Parmesan Lime Grilled Corn: Once you try creamy mayo, Parmesan and lime on your corn, you’ll never settle for simple butter again.

Grilled Summer Tomato Bruschetta: Grilling the bread adds just the right amount of smoky flavor to this hearty tomato appetizer.

Summertime Party Menu

Gather and graze with a vegan & kid-friendly board, a makeahead salad that pairs perfectly with any grilled entrée, and a sweet twist on a campfire classic.

Impressive BBQ Desserts

When it comes to finding the perfect cookout desserts, the sky is the limit. You can serve up time-honored hits like Classic Apple Pie or Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, skip the oven and go with a No-Bake Pineapple Cheesecake or choose an over-the-top, seasonal treat, like these gourmet-style Ultimate Gooey Shortbread S’mores. Have fun and dip into some of these other cookout-worthy desserts too:

Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches: Waffles and ice cream? So much to love! Dip these unique ice cream sandwiches into sprinkles, nuts or chocolate chips to delight kids and kids-at-heart.

Watermelon-Mint Ice Pops: Keep cool with homemade frozen fruit ice pops featuring the classic combination of watermelon and mint.

All-American Ice Cream Float: Scorching summer days call for decadent indulgences like the all-American combination of vanilla ice cream and fizzy drink.

Angel Food Mini Cakes with Lime Cream and Berries: Light and airy angel food cupcakes are topped with a dollop of homemade lime curd and a sprinkle of fresh berries.

S’mores Pops: Make your party pop with mess-free s'mores pops, perfect for guests to grab while on the move and socializing.

Ideal BBQ Drinks

Whether you’re hosting an adults-only shindig or throwing a festival of family fun, you’ll need refreshments that pair well with your BBQ food. Keep it simple with everyone’s favorite soda or beer, or shake things up with a beverage that’s sure to get the party started, like a refreshing Summer Sangria or Triple Berry Frosé. Channel your inner mixologist and stir up one of these celebratory libations:

Strawberry Lime Tequila Punch: In a perfect complement to your cookout menu, fresh strawberries add flavor and body to this pitcher-style cocktail.

Strawberry & Pineapple Non-Alcoholic Spritzer: Fresh and fruity, this family-friendly libation is like having sunshine in a cup.

Grilled Fruit Sangria: You don’t have to grill every item on the menu, but it would be fun if you did! Grilling the fruit for this refreshing sangria creates a delicious, unique flavor.

Frozen Mango Margaritas: Mango, lime and orange take your taste buds to the tropics, regardless of your location.

Iced Tea Raspberry Lemonade: Refreshing from first sip to last, this vibrant drink can be made with or without the alcohol.

With all these BBQ menu ideas to choose from, it’ll be easy to put together the perfect spread for your shindig. Remember to also stock the bar with lots of water and ice to keep everyone cool and hydrated in the sunshine. For more grilling ideas or tips, check out this article on How to Grill or read a Quick Guide to Smokers & Smoker Grills. You can also head to our full recipe collection for more meal inspiration. While shopping ingredients, remember to check out our digital coupons and weekly ad for deals on everyday favorites.

Summer Recipes