We've got a fabulous collection of cookout recipes including salads, sides, beverages, desserts and of course lots of grilled steak, chicken, pork, and seafood dishes, too!
The best part of summer - aside from the fabulous weather - is spending time with family and friends. One of the best ways I know of to do that is with a good old-fashion backyard barbecue. Today I've got loads of amazing cookout recipes to share with you.
How to Plan a Cookout
Here are some of my top tips for planning a cookout:
- Put on some fun upbeat music and make sure you have plenty of seating areas. You'll want to make sure you have some shaded areas for people to sit.
- I prefer using plastic silverware and paper plates for a cookout. It just makes things easier!
- Be sure to place a trash can and recycling bin where they are easily accessible for your guests also.
- Clean out the fridge a day or two beforehand so you have plenty of room for all your dishes.
Best Cookout Recipes
What kind of food do you have at a cookout?
The type of food really depends on your guests and their preferences. Generally speaking, you want to offer the following types of items:
- Main Dishes
- Snacks, Sides and Salads
For a family gathering with lots of kids, be sure you have kid-friendly food like these Chili Cheese Hot Dogs from Doodlecraft, burgers and fresh fruit. I like to offer two main dishes for larger gatherings.
For instance, I might make grilled chicken and kielbasa. Then, I cut the chicken breasts in half, and the kielbasa into smaller pieces. This way everyone can try a little bit.
Let guests bring a side dish or dessert to share. If you're going for a certain theme, you can share that. Otherwise, if someone offers, let them run with it! This makes for a little less work for you!
For adults, be sure to offer a variety of of both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Juice boxes are great for the kids. However, a dispenser for lemonade and water is a great idea, too.
Easy Main Dishes
For an awesome batch of ribs, check this recipe from Deb at Bowl Me Over for How to Cook Ribs on the Grill.
Amy from House of Nash has a fabulous Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs recipe that is super easy and full of great flavors like garlic, cilantro, lime, and cumin.
- Maple Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin - Cheese Curd in Paradise
- Shrimp and Sausage Kabobs - The Mandatory Mooch
- Grilled Pesto Chicken - Everyday Eileen
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers - Bowl Me Over for Juggling Act Mama
- Easy Grilled Shrimp Skewers - Bowl Me Over
- Grilled Garlic Salmon - Lazy Budget Chef
- Pineapple Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops - Juggling Act Mama
You'll love these homemade condiments!
Try a yummy compound butter on your grilled proteins!
Simple Side Dishes
Cornbread Salad is a great dish for vegetable lovers! It's got tons of peppers, onions, tomatoes, grilled corn and black beans. To make this a vegetarian dish, just skip the bacon.
Lisa at Bloghetti has an incredible Homemade Peach Salsa with jalapeno peppers, peaches, red onion, a pinch of chili powder and of course, cilantro.
This Maple Grilled Asparagus from Lazy Budget Chef is an easy cookout recipe with just three simple ingredients!
Our Cowboy Baked Beans are the BEST dish to take to cookouts or to make if you're hosting your own. Everyone piles them on their plates, and you won't have to worry about taking leftovers home. They're so savory and delicious!
This cowboy corn casserole is loaded with cheddar cheese, crunchy bacon, sweet corn, and our cowboy seasoning mix that elevates so many dishes from sides to meats.
More yummy sides:
- Cowboy Caviar - Juggling Act Mama
- Roasted Corn and Zucchini Salad - Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn - House of Nash
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus - Bowl Me Over
- Tropical Fruit Salsa - A Day in Candiland
- Grilled Vegetable Kabobs - Juggling Act Mama
- Loaded Baked Potato Slides - The Mandatory Mooch
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
- Grilled Cheesy Spinach Dip Stuffed Peppers
Summertime Drinks and Cocktails
These Cherry Lime Mojitos from Cheese Curd in Paradise are made with white rum, cherry lime syrup, club soda and fresh mint and lime.
Sesame Ginger Iced Tea from Simple and Savory is a great non-alcoholic drink that is especially perfect if you're serving dishes with Asian flavors.
This unique Bloody Mary from Terri Steffes is complete with leafy stalks of celery and a meat stick!
More tasty beverages:
- Tropical Storm Punch - Juggling Act Mama
- Orange Pomegranate Sangria - Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Skinny Mojito - Live Love Texas
- Berry Margarita - Juggling Act Mama
- Hibiscus Coolers - Frugal n Fit
Delicious Desserts Recipes
This Raspberry Cream Cheese Dessert from Who Needs a Cape is a great make ahead dessert!
Cool refreshing Coconut Granita from For the Love of Food is
More amazing desserts:
- Grilled Pound Cake with Fresh Berries - Blogghetti
- Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream - House of Nash
- Icebox Margarita Cheesecake Bars - Hezzi D's Books and Cooks
- Lemon Poke Cake - Life Curents
- Pineapple Delight - Juggling Act Mama
- Homemade Pistachio Ice Cream - Bowl Me Over
If you need more grilling ideas, check out the best grill recipes and 55+ grilling recipes from top bloggers to whet your appetite too!