Fire up the grill without the fuss! Discover delicious, easy BBQ recipes perfect for a relaxed summer cookout. Impress your guests with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Your stress-free summer starts here!

Summer is here, and that means it’s time to fire up the grill! But let’s be honest, sometimes the thought of planning and cooking a whole BBQ spread can be a bit overwhelming, am I right?

That’s why my supper club and I whipped up a collection of effortless BBQ recipes that will make your summer cookouts a breeze.

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Get Prepped for BBQ Bliss

I love a good barbeque, don’t you? It’s one of my favorite things about summer and I love a good summer cookout in my potager garden.

Before we dive into the recipes, let’s talk about some essential prep tips that will save you time and stress:

  • Marinades and Rubs: These are your flavor secret weapons! Whip up simple marinades like a garlic-herb mix for chicken or a honey-soy blend for salmon. For rubs, try a classic BBQ rub with paprika, brown sugar, and chili powder for a smoky, sweet kick.
  • Prep Ahead: Chop veggies, mix sauces, and marinate meats the night before. This will cut down your cooking time significantly on the day of your cookout.
  • Grilling Tools: Make sure you have the essentials on hand: tongs for flipping, a spatula for burgers, and a meat thermometer to ensure perfect doneness.pen_spark

Barbeque Cocktail Recipes to Start the Party Right

No summer BBQ is complete without a nice refreshing cocktail, am I right? I love to make cocktails that line up with these season and what’s growing in my gardens. So I’ve got a few BBQ recipes for cocktails with lots of seasonal flavors.

Blueberry Mojito Recipe

This blueberry mojito recipe is so light and refreshing, it’s the perfect summer BBQ drink! Have you ever had a mojito before?

It’s classically made with rum, mint, club soda, and lime juice, but today’s version is a blueberry mojito recipe that is SO EASY to make. And the best part?

You could easily change up the berries in this recipe to make a mojito with strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries too. Wait until you try this easy blueberry mojito recipe!

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade Recipe

A refreshing summer classic made with fresh strawberries, lemons, and a touch of sweetness. Perfect for sipping on a hot day or enjoying at a backyard BBQ. And the best part? You can make this one with or without the booze! Get the recipe for homemade strawberry lemonade to make it here!

Two mason jars filled with strawberry lemonade garnished with lemon slices, next to fresh strawberries and lemon slices on a wooden table.
Strawberry Lemonade

White Wine Spritzer Recipes

Effortlessly elegant and bubbly, white wine spritzers are the perfect light and refreshing drink for any occasion. With endless variations, you can customize this simple cocktail to suit your taste. I’m sharing three of my favorite white wine spritzer recipes that would pair well with summer BBQ fare here.

Two wine glasses filled with a refreshing drink containing ice, sliced strawberries, and lime wedges. Perfect for a summer BBQ, these glasses are placed on a white cloth with additional strawberries and lime halves scattered around them as festive table decorations.
Wine Spritzer

The Best Peach Sangria Recipe

A juicy and flavorful summer sangria featuring ripe peaches, white wine, and brandy. This crowd-pleasing punch is perfect for sharing with friends at your next gathering. Get the recipe for this simple peach sangria recipe that’s perfect for summer outdoor gatherings here.

A refreshing scene on a wooden table featuring a glass pitcher and two mason jars filled with peach sangria, set against a backdrop of a balcony railing and green foliage.
Peach Sangria

Homemade Watermelon Sangria Recipe

This refreshing watermelon sangria is bursting with summer flavors. Sweet watermelon, juicy citrus fruits, and a splash of rum create a delicious and festive drink. Wait until you try this homemade watermelon sangria!

A summery outdoor table setting features a glass pitcher of water with watermelon and blueberries, plates of watermelon slices, and a mixed greens salad. For added charm, table decorations include a wooden board with slices of bread, croissants, and glasses filled with a light beverage—perfect for a backyard BBQ.
Summer table decor idea with watermelon sangria

The Best Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

A potent mix of vodka, tequila, rum, gin, and triple sec, this classic cocktail packs a punch. Enjoy responsibly and savor the complex flavors of this iconic drink. Wait until you try my recipe for the best Long Island Iced Tea!

the best long island iced tea on the porch

Malibu Sunset Cocktail Recipe

The Malibu Sunset cocktail is a vibrant and refreshing drink that captures the beauty of a setting sun with its layered hues of orange, yellow, and red. It’s perfect for a summer BBQ, especially when the temperatures are soaring.

The combination of coconut rum, pineapple, and orange juice creates a sweet and tangy flavor profile, while the grenadine adds a touch of sweetness and creates the stunning visual effect.

Summer Cookout Ideas: Easy Appetizer & Side Dish Recipes

No BBQ is complete without a spread of tasty appetizers and sides to complement the main course. For a summer grill out, it’s all about the flavors of the season.

These easy recipes are not only bursting with flavor but also simple to prepare, ensuring you spend more time enjoying the company of your guests and less time fussing over the grill. From fresh and vibrant grilled veggies to a classic Caprese salad, these dishes will impress everyone at your cookout while keeping things stress-free and delicious.

Caprese Salad

Caprese salad recipe is a simple yet elegant Italian dish that celebrates fresh, seasonal ingredients. With vibrant ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese, and fragrant basil leaves, this salad is a burst of flavor and color that’s perfect for any summer gathering. A drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze completes this classic appetizer, leaving your tastebuds wanting more.

close up of the best recipe for caprese salad

Easy Potato Salad With a Southern Style Twist

Elevate your BBQ spread with this Easy Potato Salad recipe, boasting a delightful Southern twist. Creamy, tangy, and packed with flavor, this classic side dish is made with simple ingredients like potatoes, eggs, pickles, and a secret ingredient that sets it apart. Perfect for picnics, potlucks, and backyard BBQ, this crowd-pleasing dish is sure to become a new favorite.

A bowl of creamy potato salad topped with slices of boiled eggs and sprinkled with paprika and chopped green onions, served on a light fabric surface with a wooden spoon.

Cucumber, Tomato, Onion Salad Recipe

A refreshing and light salad that is perfect for a hot summer day. This simple side dish combines crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onions. Tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing with a touch of herbs like dill or basil, this salad is both flavorful and refreshing. The vibrant colors and crisp textures make it a visually appealing addition to any BBQ spread. Wait until you try this refreshing cucumber, tomato, and onion salad recipe.

close up of easy salad with cucumber, tomato, onion recipe
Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad Recipe

Cucumber Salad with Dill

This cool and refreshing Cucumber Salad with Dill is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. Thinly sliced cucumbers are tossed with fresh dill, a touch of red onion for bite, and a simple vinaigrette dressing for a bright and tangy flavor. It’s a light and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with grilled meats and other BBQ favorites. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make, requiring only a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time.

close up of cucumber salad with dill
Cucumber Salad with Dill

The Most Heavenly Potato Salad

My good friend Michele from Vintage Home Designs whipped up the best potato salad I’ve ever had! It’s creamy, it’s delicious, and so easy to make too. This dish keeps well and you can prepare it ahead of time. How easy is that?

most heavenly potato salade for BBQ summer party

Healthy Greek Pasta Salad

My good friends Anne and AnnMarie from Simply 2 Moms always make the best tasting, good for your waistline recipes. So their healthy Greek pasta salad is no exception. The recipe instructions are easy-to-follow, easy-to-make, and a perfect accompaniment to your next summer BBQ party.

healthy greek pasta salad for backyard barbecue food

Crunchy and Healthy Homemade Coleslaw Recipe

My good friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells is joining us this month and shared her famous homemade coleslaw recipe that sounds AMAZING. It’s simple to prepare, tastes delicious, and is a healthier version to boot! This crunchy and healthy homemade coleslaw recipe can be prepared ahead of time and pares well with a summer barbecue party.

crunchy coleslaw close up in white bowl

Main Course BBQ Recipes That Wow

Now, let’s get to the main event! These easy-to-grill recipes are sure to please everyone at your cookout:

  • Burgers: Keep it classic with beef burgers, or try turkey burgers for a leaner option. Veggie burgers are also a great plant-based alternative.
  • Chicken: Marinate chicken breasts or thighs in your favorite sauce, then grill to juicy perfection.
  • Fish: Salmon, shrimp, and other quick-cooking fish are perfect for the grill. A simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and lemon juice is all you need.
  • Sausage: Italian sausage, bratwurst, or any other variety you like adds a flavorful touch to your BBQ spread.

Here are some fun takes on some mouthwatering BBQ recipes.

Colorful Steak and Vegetable Kabobs on the Grill

My good friend Jen from Midwest Life and Style made these mouthwatering beautiful steak and vegetable kabobs. As much as I love burgers and hotdogs, kabobs are SO GOOD, aren’t they?Jen’s recipe is easy to make, easy to follow and is perfect for our backyard BBQ supper club this month.

steak and vegetable kabobs close up

Easy Grilled Sausage and Peppers Recipe

Grilled Sausage and Peppers Recipe is a classic BBQ dish that’s both flavorful and incredibly easy to make. Juicy sausages sizzle alongside colorful bell peppers and onions, creating a symphony of textures and tastes. It’s a versatile dish that can be served as a main course, on a hoagie roll, or even as a topping for nachos or pizza.

Sweet Endings: Dessert Recipes to Complete Your Backyard BBQ Menu

No summer cookout is complete without a sweet finish! These effortless dessert recipes are the perfect way to end your BBQ on a high note. From the smoky sweetness of grilled fruit to the classic campfire nostalgia of s’mores, these treats are sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth without adding any extra stress to your day.

Here are a few recipes to try!

The Best Blondie Brownies

For a fun twist on a classic treat, try these Best Blondie Brownies. This recipe combines the rich, buttery goodness of blondies with the fudgy, chocolatey decadence of brownies, creating a hybrid dessert that’s sure to please everyone at the table. With a gooey center and a slightly crisp edge, these blondie brownies are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth after a delicious BBQ meal.

A stack of blondies with chocolate and peanut butter chips is placed on a wooden surface, perfect for your summer BBQ. Scattered chips are around the blondies. In the blurry background, there are jars of milk and a stack of plates, making it an inviting setting for backyard gatherings.

Dreamy Peaches and Cream Parfait

My good friend Rachel from the Ponds Farmhouse made this super delicious peaches and cream parfait dessert that is out of this world! Especially since peaches are in season right now, this is the perfect end to a delicious backyard BBQ summer party. It’s easy to make, looks so yummy and I need to make this one for my next party!

peaches and cream parfait dessert recipe for backyard barbecue

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Beat the heat with a No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie that’s rich, creamy, and oh-so-satisfying. This decadent dessert is a dream come true for peanut butter lovers, featuring a luscious peanut butter filling nestled in a crunchy Oreo crust. With no oven required, it’s the perfect sweet treat for a summer BBQ or any time you crave a cool and indulgent dessert.

A close-up of a no-bake peanut butter pie on a marble countertop. The pie has a creamy light brown filling topped with small chocolate chunks, while the crust is made of crushed chocolate cookies.

Simple Pineapple Dump Cake Recipe

For a sweet and simple dessert that practically makes itself, try this Pineapple Dump Cake recipe. With just a few ingredients and minimal effort, you can create a warm, comforting treat that’s perfect for sharing around the campfire or enjoying as a sweet finale to your BBQ feast. The combination of juicy pineapple, buttery cake mix, and crunchy pecans is simply irresistible.

pineapple dump cake recipe in a bowl

More Tips for a Stress-Free Summer BBQ

  • Drinks: Have plenty of refreshing drinks on hand like iced tea, lemonade, or a fun summer cocktail.
  • Music: Set the mood with a festive summer playlist.
  • Games & Activities: Keep guests entertained with lawn games, a water balloon toss, or a DIY photo booth.

With these effortless BBQ recipes and tips, you’ll be the host with the most this summer. So fire up that grill, relax, and enjoy a stress-free cookout with your friends and family!

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Stacy Ling

Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

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6 Barbecue food ideas for the perfect summer BBQ

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  1. So many amazing recipes Stacy! I can’t wait to try every single one. Your blueberry mojito looks fabulous. I’m looking forward to trying it next weekend when I have some friends over.

  2. These dinner party themes always get me so inspired! And HUNGRY! I can’t wait to try all these recipes, especially those mojitos.