There’s something magical about the tangy, sweet flavor of BBQ sauce. It doesn’t matter if my yard is blanketed in a foot of snow or if my kids are shrieking as they dart between the droplets of a sprinkler. There’s no “wrong time” to have a BBQ. Okay, so when there’s snow on the ground, maybe we’ll be having a BBQ oven bake rather than using the grill, but still.
Even so, it’s summer. So let’s take a break from all of our home and garden projects (or give ourselves a deadline to be done with the latest project, right?) and enjoy some summer BBQ recipes.
Summer BBQ Recipes: Main Dishes
BBQ season is always here (even when our deck could use some new paint) so let’s make sure we’ve got a huge list of BBQ recipes, side dishes, ideas, and activities so that yours is the best BBQ in the neighborhood.
Let’s start with the main dish, shall we? Because this is going to set the tone for the whole meal, so let’s go over some great main dish recipes. Will you be hosting a BBQ with meat? Or are you going for the tofu burger option?
If you’re serving meat, why not spice things up? Perhaps you could try alternating some of these:
- BBQ Chicken Tacos by Christina from It is a Keeper!
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- Pineapple Korean BBQ Tacos by Flour on My Face
- Easy Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe
I wish I could try that last recipe, but sadly, I’m allergic to pork. Which is sad on so many levels, because my husband loves pork. He’s a good sport, though, and says that pulled chicken is just as tasty.
In any case, let’s make sure you’ve got a few more-traditional BBQ ideas, too, shall we?
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken by WonderMom Wannabe
- BBQ London Broil in Slow Cooker by That Recipe
- Superb Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs (2 ways) by Pattern Princess
And if you’re wanting to go meatless at your BBQ, props. I found this very-promising looking recipe! That way, you can enjoy the sweet smells of summer BBQ, too.
- Tofu Burgers with Pineapple BBQ Sauce via Savory Spin
Phew! That’s a handful BBQ recipes so far, and all we’ve covered is the main dish. And we’ve still got the rest of the event to plan. But first, I’ve got some other ideas for you.
Prepare-ahead BBQ Recipes and Meal Ideas
Didn’t see what you wanted in the above ideas? No problem. Here’s a few of my other favorite mega-BBQ lists. That way, you’re sure to find the exact idea you want for your BBQ party.
- Meal Ideas for Family Swimming and Grilling Days via Gym Craft Laundry
- 40+ Instant Pot Recipes for your Summer BBQ by Successful Homemakers
- Make-ahead Freezer and BBQ Meals by SAHM Plus
The idea of a make-ahead freezer BBQ meal is especially awesome. I mean, who wouldn’t want a pre-assembled BBQ? Those are some of my favorite ideas for Sundays when we’re hungry, hangry, and ready to eat already.
Need something a little healthier for your shindig? Here’s some ways to BBQ healthier – for both main and side dishes.
- Paleo, Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Clean-eating BBQ Sauce by Recipes Just 4 U
- Baked BBQ Salmon by Crystal and Co.
- 3 Simple Additions for a Yummier Fruit Salad
Clean eating doesn’t have to be gross, y’all. In fact, it’s supposed to be delicious.
Perfect BBQ Side Dishes
Okay, so you’ve got the main dish (or dishes) planned. Now, let’s make sure you’ve got some tasty sides to enhance the event. Bonus points if you know how to compliment and/or offset flavors, tastes, and textures for a meal that would make a chef smile.
When we plan an event, we try to have a good range of dishes. That way, there’s something every one of our picky eaters will enjoy. In any case, here’s some great ideas to use as sides.
- Cilantro and Black Bean Salad via Perfection Pending
- 3 Simple Additions for a Yummier Fruit Salad
- Easy Tuna Pesto Pasta
And remember how I mentioned those picky eaters? It’s totally cool to use after-school snack ideas as a side dish.
For a more traditional BBQ side dish, don’t forget the beans.
- Best Baked Beans Recipe by Flour on My Face
This last side dish is not a traditional side dish by any means. But, we served it at one family event and it was a huge hit. It even paired surprisingly well with the BBQ sandwiches.
Drinks and Desserts
Because why not, right? There’s something about a BBQ that seems to say you need to add more sugar to the event. Or maybe it’s just me… In any case, we like to have a treat at the end. Sometimes, it’s just a popsicle. Other times, it’s brownies from a mix. But sometimes? It’s something absolutely amazing. So here’s a few “something amazings” for your BBQ.
- 20 Frozen Kid Friendly Drinks for Summer by Perfection Pending
- Best Ever Homemade Fudge Icing
- Cake-like Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 12 Pie recipes Perfect for Pi day (or any day) by That Recipe
- Guilt-Free Cheesecake Brownies by Wondermom Wannabe
- Simply Delicious Citrus Punch via Conserva Mom
Other Great Resources for your shindig
Okay, so now that we’re all in BBQ preparation overload, it would be easy to forget what we’ve got planned. So be sure to bookmark this page so that you don’t lose any of your ideas. Then, here’s a couple of last resources for you.
- Need some after dinner activities? Here are 50+ Backyard Games to Make Summer Awesome via Perfection Pending.
- Get this Free BBQ Recipes eBook by Frugal Family Home.
- Tiki Torches with mosquito-repellent fuel
Get Ready for Your Backyard BBQ:
- All of the best Home & Garden projects, tips, and more
- 15 DIY Deck Projects to get your yard looking great for that backyard BBQ – including one-day projects to spruce things up.
- Don’t wonder who invited all the bugs and mosquitoes to your BBQ – make these natural DIY bug repellent candles and enjoy your evening bug-free.
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