Backyard BBQ Menu Ideas for Summer
As the weather warms up, your backyard is the perfect place to have a meal with your family. But it can be stressful to prepare everyone’s favorite dishes without spending an entire day cooking. Check out these easy backyard BBQ menu ideas, including options you can pick up pre-made at your local supermarket or make yourself. And don’t be afraid to get the entire family involved in the cooking for a memorable summer barbeque.
The Main Event: Meat
The keystone of any amazing backyard barbeque is the meat. Hamburgers and hot dogs are always a safe bet, but there are dozens of other types of meat you can cook outdoors on the grill or in the smoker.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are backyard BBQ essentials. If you’re looking to take things to the next level, create a fun toppings bar with options like cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and plenty of condiments. Or, try our Inside-Out Cheeseburger recipe for a delicious burger full of ooey, gooey cheese.
Bratwurst and sausage are also great options for those who like a more sophisticated pork option. Top with onions or sauerkraut for a flavorful meal.
If you’re looking for more elevated backyard BBQ menu ideas, you can’t go wrong with grilled steaks. Treat yourself to a T-bone, strip, or sirloin steak cooked for a juicy main course that simply tastes better when cooked outdoors. If you’re not sure what cuts are best, don’t hesitate to ask the butcher at your local supermarket. They have years of experience and will make sure your steak comes out exactly how you want it to.
Looking for inspiration? Check out a few of our favorite ways to prepare steak:
- Sizzlin’ Margarita Steak
- Grilled Steak Sandwich with Mushroom Spread
- Grilled T-Bone Steak for Two with Coffee Sauce
- Flat Iron Steaks with Grilled Corn and Cumin-Lime Butter
- Grilled Peppery Top Round Steak with Parmesan Asparagus
Fish & Seafood
While a little less conventional, grilled seafood makes for a tasty and memorable meal. Mussels, clams, lobster, and shrimp all grill up perfectly with a little extra attention. For a more kid-friendly option, add some salmon, snapper, or mahi-mahi with lemon and simple seasonings.
Kebabs are another great option that can be a fun activity for the whole family. Cut up meat, veggies, and even fruit into bite-sized chunks and add them onto skewers. Season and grill, rotating the skewers to cook everything evenly. For a simple beginner’s recipe, try our Island Lamb Teriyaki Sticks.
Simple Side Dishes for Your Summer BBQ
It wouldn’t be a cookout without some of our favorite side dishes. From macaroni salad and coleslaw to grilled fruit and s’mores, these dishes taste just like summer.
While it might be a bit misleading to call them salads, these classic side dishes are exactly what comes to mind when brainstorming backyard BBQ menu ideas. Pick them up at your local Stauffers of Kissel Hill Fresh Foods for a quick and easy addition to your meal, or make one of our tried and true recipes:
- Easy Country Coleslaw
- Creamy and Colorful Coleslaw
- Zesty Coleslaw with Whole Wheat Tortilla Triangles
Fruits & Veggies
While side “salads” are a delicious and decadent treat, they need something fresh and light to balance them out. Check out these ideas and recipes to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your backyard BBQ menu:
- Spinach Salad with Grilled and Fresh Fruit
- Summer Caesar Salad
- Grilled Fruit Kabobs with Tropical Yogurt Sauce
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Garden Fresh Salad
- Summer Fruit Salad with California Avocado Salad Dressing
- Buffalo Corn Ears
In addition to these recipes, you can always pick up a pre-cut fruit or vegetable tray from your local supermarket. Pre-made trays save time and ensure all of your produce is perfectly fresh exactly when you need it.
Chips, Dips, and More
When it comes to backyard BBQ menu ideas, chips and dip are a simple staple that everyone will enjoy. Pre-made options are a great time saver, but if you want to go the extra mile and make your own, try one of our favorite recipes:
- Baked Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips
- Chunky Grilled Vegetable Guacamole
- Wisconsin Cottage Blue Chip Dip
- Tailgate Fiesta Fondue
- Smoky Southwestern Vegetable Dip
- Famous Queso Dip
- Bacon ‘n’ Bean Dip with Baked Potato Chips
There’s nothing like a fruity drink on a hot summer’s day. BBQ essentials include classic options like water, soda, iced tea, and lemonade. But one of our favorite cookout menu ideas is to create a signature drink that will make even a small family get-together feel tropical and festive.
Here are a few of our top summer drink recipes to try:
Non-Alcoholic Summer Drinks
Alcoholic Summer Drinks
Desserts for the Whole Family
When it comes to backyard BBQ menu ideas, there are dozens of unique dessert options perfectly suited for summer. For a quick dessert spread, check out the bakery section of your local supermarket for a cookie platter, cupcakes, and other delicious baked goods.
If you want to put in a bit more work and bake something of your own, check out these delicious summer dessert recipes:
- Peaches & Cream Pops
- Cherry Pie Bites
- Fluffy Watermelon Salad
- S’mores Dessert Squares
- Summer Berry Poke Cake
- Watermelon Snow Cones
Games & Activities
Once you’ve chosen from our backyard BBQ menu ideas, consider ending the night with a game or fun activity. If you already have a bonfire or fire pit blazing, grab some marshmallows and get toasting! Eat them plain or add chocolate and graham crackers for a delicious s’more.
Playing a board or yard game with family is another great way to bond and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Check out these 10 backyard games you can build yourself in a weekend.
Finally, don’t be afraid to just sit back and relax. Summer is about taking a moment for yourself, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying stress-free time with your family.