Food & Drink

40 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Bring to a Summer BBQ

summer bbq recipes"
summer bbq recipes
Source: The College Housewife
Source: The College Housewife

Where I’m from, summer indisputably means cookouts. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you’d be hard-pressed to find a weekend when I’m not hauling my lawn chair and a cooler full of pasta salad to some friend’s house or another. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, but summer cookouts are serious business, and showing up empty-handed is basically a cardinal sin. So you better believe I’ve got an arsenal of summer BBQ recipes ready to whip up at a moment’s notice for these occasions.

From classic burgers on the grill to yummy dips and salads full of fresh ingredients, the food at these outdoor gatherings is one of my favorite parts of summer. There’s simply nothing like lounging in the backyard with friends and family, a plate of fresh-off-the-grill food in one hand and a cold drink in the other. So whether you’re hosting a cookout of your own, grilling out at a friend’s house, or doing your best to re-create the experience indoors, these 40 easy and delicious summer BBQ recipes will help you embrace the best this season has to offer.


1. Basil Whipped Goat Cheese

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

Say goodbye to basic chips and dip, and serve this whipped goat cheese with fresh herbs to your guests instead. Paired with crisp vegetables, it’s the perfect summer appetizer.

2. Grilled Peaches with Burrata, Honey, and Pistachios

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

This recipe makes a stunning appetizer in only 20 minutes. Sweet peaches paired with creamy burrata and salty pistachios all heaped on top of crispy, grilled bread—it’s a taste of summer in one simple dish.

3. Deviled Eggs

Source: Grandbaby Cakes

Deviled eggs are the perfect appetizer—not too heavy but still filling. They’re especially good during summer when you’re craving light, tangy flavors.

4. Greek Salad Hummus Board

Source: Spices in My DNA

We all love a good Greek salad, but this hummus board takes the classic recipe to a whole new level. Homemade hummus is so simple to make and tastes much better than store-bought, especially when paired with fresh Mediterranean veggies and pita.

5. Mexican-Style Street Corn Dip

Source: The Defined Dish

If your go-to appetizer is chips and dip, you will love this Mexican-style street corn dip. Made with tasty grilled corn and a mixture of mayo, sour cream, cotija cheese, chile powder, and lime juice, this dish is delish.


6. Easy Pasta Salad

Source: Love and Lemons

Tossed with a zesty vinaigrette and fresh veggies, this pasta salad makes for a simple yet delicious side dish. It can also be made ahead of time, making it the perfect on-the-go option for all your summer picnics or backyard gatherings.

7. Grilled Vegetables

Source: Foodie Crush

Sometimes, less is more, and this grilled vegetables recipe definitely proves that to be true. Grilling your veggies brings out the best smoky, sweet flavors, and it makes a great alternative to a traditional salad.

8. Peach Tomato Caprese

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

Fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil make for a classic summer combo, and adding peach takes it to the next level. You’ll be making this peach caprese salad on repeat all summer long.

9. Grilled Corn Salad with Tomato and Avocado

Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

For a more elevated take on corn on the cob, choose this grilled corn salad instead. It’s all the sweet summery goodness of corn on the cob combined with avocado, bright tomatoes, and arugula tossed in a honey-lime dressing.

10. Dill Cucumber Salad

Source: Foodie Crush

Calling all pickle girlies, this recipe is for you. This vinegary salad with pickled cucumbers, onions, and dill is a must-try.

11. BBQ Sweet Potatoes

Source: The Rustic Foodie

If you are vegetarian (or just love sweet potatoes) but still crave BBQ flavors, this sweet potato dish is the perfect solution. Enjoy it as a side or serve it on buns to make it an entree.

12. 5-Ingredient Marinated Tomatoes

Source: Pinch of Yum

Fresh, ripe tomatoes are already 10/10 in the summer, but this marinated tomato recipe makes them even better. Plus, it only requires five ingredients.

13. Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Source: Isabel Eats

Any recipe that includes the word “instant” is a yes from me. A hands-off recipe where the Instant Pot does most of the work for you? It’s a no-brainer.

14. Creamy Kale Caesar Salad

Source: The Movement Menu

This kale Caesar salad switches up the basic recipe with green apples, avocado, cucumbers, red onion, and sliced almonds. Add some protein to take it from a side to a full meal.

15. Strawberry Panzanella Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

This salad may only require six ingredients and 20 minutes, but the flavor is anything but simple. The strawberries add a burst of sweetness that feels perfect for summer.

16. Vegan Pasta Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing

Source: The College Housewife

If you love pasta salad but want some extra protein, try this recipe made with avocado and white beans. It’s so versatile and will win you over with its flavorful summer ingredients.

17. 20-Minute Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad

Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

This pesto pasta is so good, you would never guess it’s actually vegan. Serve it cold as a pasta salad, or heat it up as a more traditional pasta option.

Main Dishes

18. Sweet Potato Cheddar BBQ Chicken Burgers

Source: Ambitious Kitchen

Put an unexpected twist on your basic burger with these chicken burgers. Juicy and flavorful, these lean chicken patties are blended with sweet potato, BBQ sauce, and spices, then topped with sharp cheddar, crisp lettuce, and red onion. Grilled and served on toasted buns, they’re a mouthwatering main dish for any backyard grillout.

19. Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs

Source: Gimme Delicious

Featuring shrimp, smoked sausage, bell peppers, and onions seasoned with a homemade Cajun spice mix, these grilled kabobs make for a bold, spicy main dish. They’re also quick and easy, as they only need about six minutes on the grill.

20. BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Source: Grandbaby Cakes

These baby back ribs are the ultimate crowd-pleaser. With a prep time of 45 minutes and a cook time of about 3.5 hours, they result in irresistibly juicy ribs that are worth the wait. Whether for a summer cookout or a cozy family dinner, these ribs promise to be a hit!

21. Grilled Chicken with Chipotle-Whiskey BBQ Sauce

Source: The Defined Dish

The chipotle-whiskey BBQ sauce in this recipe sets this chicken apart from anything else you’ve tried. With a spicy kick from the spices balanced with a BBQ sauce tang, this chicken is packed with flavor.

22. Extra Crispy Carrot Spinach Quinoa Burgers

Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea

These carrot and spinach quinoa burgers may be healthier than a traditional burger, but they are just as good. Top with your favorite condiments, and enjoy!

23. Sticky, Sweet, and Spicy Grilled Ginger Chicken

Source: Ambitious Kitchen

Just because you’re attending a barbecue doesn’t mean you have to make something with BBQ sauce. This sweet and spicy chicken is the ideal dish for mixing up the basic flavor profile without sacrificing taste.

24. BBQ Tofu Vegetable Kebabs

Source: Emilie Eats

If you think you don’t like tofu, you just haven’t tried the right recipe. When seasoned and cooked correctly, tofu can be so flavorful, and this recipe proves that.

25. Taco-Style Veggie Dogs

Source: Emilie Eats

Not eating meat doesn’t mean you have to swear off hotdogs entirely. Instead, try these taco-style veggie dogs topped with a to-die-for cashew queso.

26. Pineapple Pork Burgers

Source: Budget Bytes

I know everyone has strong opinions about pineapple on pizza, but after trying this recipe, I think we will all agree that pineapple belongs with pork. The sweet pineapple pairs so well with the teriyaki sauce, and this recipe really tastes like summer in a dish.


27. Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Who says salsa has to be savory? Swap the spicy tomato mixture with a delicious mix of fruit and serve it with cinnamon-spiced tortilla chips for an easy and unexpected sweet treat.

28. Baked Peach Hand Pies

Source: Oh, Sweet Basil

There is nothing better than a fresh-out-of-the-oven, homemade pie, and this peach hand pie recipe is no exception. Sweet, fresh peaches wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust? Summer desserts don’t get better than that.

29. Mixed Berry Slab Pie

Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction

If you are intimidated by making a hand pie, try this easier-to-make (but just as good) slab pie. With a rectangle shape that makes it super simple to cut and serve, it’s perfect for group gatherings.

30. Waffle Cone Fruit and Yogurt Cups

Source: Oh, Sweet Basil

You may usually reserve waffle cones just for ice cream, but they’re also a great way to eat fruit and yogurt. It’s a little more special than just eating yogurt out of a bowl, but it’s a healthier alternative to a normal ice cream cone.

31. Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction

You may usually buy ice cream sandwiches from the store, but with this brownie ice cream sandwich recipe, you can make them at home in a pinch. Trust me, these are way better than anything you could buy in the freezer section. They also last in the freezer for up to a month, so you can make them ahead of time for a group or save some for yourself to enjoy.

32. Grilled Angel Food Cake with Pineapple, Coconut, and Caramel

Source: My Sequined Life

Angel food cake is such a good dessert for summer because it’s so light and airy. The pineapple, coconut, and caramel in this recipe will transport you from a family barbecue to a tropical destination.

33. Olive Oil Blondies with Chocolate Frosting

Source: My Name is Yeh

If your sweet treat of choice is brownies but you want to switch up your usual recipe, you need to bake these olive oil blondies with chocolate frosting immediately. It’s all the rich, chocolatey flavor of brownies with a light summery twist.


34. Lillet Spritz

Source: Sonja & Alex Overhiser | A Couple Cooks

If you love an Aperol spritz in the spring and summer, you need to try this version made with Lillet. The light and bubbly cocktail combines chilled Lillet Blanc, gin, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of sweetness from simple syrup, all topped with soda water. Garnished with a sprig of lavender or thyme, it’s the perfect drink for a warm, sunny day.

35. Watermelon Margarita

Source: Isabel Eats

Whether you like your margaritas frozen or on the rocks, this cocktail is a sensational summer drink. Simply blend together fresh watermelon, tequila, and lime juice, then serve over ice or blend with frozen watermelon cubes. Garnish with lime wedges and a salted rim for the perfect finishing touch.

36. Citrus Honey Lime Mint Mocktail

Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea

If you want a non-alcoholic option to sip on this summer, this citrusy mocktail is for you. With citrus lime ice cubes and a homemade honey-mint syrup, it’s the perfect, refreshing drink to keep you cool on hot summer days.

37. Cucumber Melon Gin Spritzers

Source: Spices in My DNA

Melon is a quintessential summer fruit, and it’s just as good in drinks as it is in a dish. Paired with refreshing cucumber, mint, and herbal gin, this drink is perfect for sipping by the pool or beach.

38. Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

Source: Chungah Rhee | Damn Delicious

The days of putting on lemonade stands during the summer may be in the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some homemade lemonade in the summer. This sparkling cherry lemonade is equal parts easy and delicious, and you can always add a splash of alcohol if you want to turn it into a cocktail.

39. Ranch Water

Source: Sonja & Alex Overhiser | A Couple Cooks

Cool off on hot days with a Texas classic: ranch water. This tequila cocktail is all about simplicity and refreshment, made with just three ingredients: tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling mineral water like Topo Chico.

40. Frozen Aperol Spritz

Source: The College Housewife

Transport yourself to Italy with this vibrant frozen Aperol spritz cocktail. Bursting with the flavors of Aperol, orange juice, strawberries, and Prosecco, it’s the epitome of a refreshing summer drink.