Food Ideas for a BBQ Party – Summer Cookout Foods We Love

Easy Food Ideas for 4th of July Too! •

Let’s take a look at some easy Summer cookout food ideas and unique BBQ party recipes that are SURE to be crowd-pleasers. These are also great food ideas for your 4th of July party this year, too!
Food ideas for a Summer Cookout - Easy BBQ Party and 4th of July Party recipes and food ideas we LOVE.  Guranteed CROWD PLEASERS

Hot Dogs? Check. Hamburgers? Check. But what ELSE should you serve as side dishes and desserts and drinks at your summer cookout? Or perhaps you’re going TO a BBQ party this summer and want to bring an easy and YUMMY food, dessert, or drink to share with the rest of the group.

Below are some of my favorite easy and UNIQUE Summer party food ideas that you’re sure to love, too.

Continued Below…

Fun & Easy Summer Party Food Ideas

First up, I have to share this pineapple lemonade recipe. It is so good, tastes “fancy” but is super easy to throw together quickly.

BBQ Party Food Ideas for a Crowd - this Pineapple Lemonade is so easy and SO yummy!  Makes for a great summer cookout drink

One of the favorites for the kids at our summer parties are these dipped fruits (mainly strawberries) with sprinkles. There can be SO much junk food at these BBQs, it’s nice to see the kids CHOOSE to eat something healthy.

Summer Cookout and BBQ party food ideas - dip fruit in whipped cream or yogurt then dip in sprinkles

Speaking of healthy food options for a summer cookout – it’s way too easy to just grab a chip and dip it in whatever is closest, but if you’re trying to keep your weight in check this summer, take a moment to choose a more “weight friendly” dip for those chips.

Going Low Carb?

See my favorite Low Carb Comfort Food Recipes here

Healthy Summer Cookout Foods - choose the healthy chip and dip option

Now this next idea is such a cute and FAVORITE dessert ideas for our summer cookouts (I make these every 4th of July and they’re always GONE quickly).

These are portable banana pudding packs (the kids call them banana splits in a bag). I found a good variation of my recipe here and we ALL just love them!

Need more EASY dessert ideas?

These Dump Cake Recipes are PERFECT for a crowd!

Summer Cookout Foods we LOVE - portable banana pudding packs for a crowd!  So easy and SO good (makes a great 4th of July party dessert too)

Day in and day out, macaroni and cheese is a winner as a side dish in this house. For cookouts and get-togethers, I make this variation: macaroni and cheese pie.

It’s topped with BACON (and anything with bacon is always a good thing, right).

Just cook your own recipe of macaroni and cheese and put it in a glass oven-safe pie plate. Arrange bacon across the top “lattice-style” and pop it in the oven.

Easy… and EVERYONE loves it!

BBQ food ideas - this easy macaroni and cheese pie is topped with BACON - great summer cookout side dish idea

Last 4th of July, we decided to throw steaks on the grill. To me, a steak REQUIRES a baked potato with it, but I sure didn’t want to mess with all that. So, I got the wild idea to set up a cute potato bar like in the picture below.

Now, I had my potato bar set up inside and had all the toppings on ice, but this is kinda how it looked (and yep, they all thought I was super “pinteresting” because of my chalkboard sign..haha!)

Summer cookout food ideas or for any party with a crowd.  Love this potato bar idea for a BBQ party or ANY party

Here’s another idea we all love for our summer cookouts – tacos in a cup (I make these for our football party appetizers too).

I also add a layer of taco meat and everyone loves them!

They also go GREAT with these easy cheese dip recipes!

Summer BBQ Food Ideas - Tacos in a cup - great for a summer cookout or get together - easy crowd-pleasers

This is another variation I make called “walking tacos”. Many make these with Fritos but my family loves them with little bags of Doritos like this.

Just whip up some taco meat, make some sides of toppings, and set it all out with individual bags of Doritos or Fritos and let your guests make their own. Use plastic forks and it all goes in the trash when they’re done.

And I’ll admit: on particular busy (or lazy) days, I make these for dinner too (yep, these goes my Mom of the Year award… again haha!)

See ALL my Easy Dinner Recipes here

BBQ Party and Summer Cookout Food iIdeas - Walking Tacos for a crowd.  My family LOVES these Dorito bags fixed like tacos

This next cookout food idea is especially perfect for your 4th of July party AND it requires NO cooking – yay!

The kids love to help me put this fruit flag together… and they love to eat it!

Cooking with the kids?

See Easy Recipes Kids Can Make here

4th of July Party Food!  great ideas for summer cookouts and BBQ party foods - Make an American flag out of fruit-ka-bobs

Whatever you decide to cook and make for your cookouts this summer, take a little extra time to tie it all together with cute accessories.

For example, these red white and blue drinks and so cute for a 4th of July party and really make an impression on your guests.

Summer Cookout Food Ideas - red white and blue drinks - great for a 4th of July party

As far as easy side dishes for our summer cookouts, this cucumber tomato salad is a definite favorite. Just toss everything in a bowl, mix it up and serve (I like to chill it a bit first, but it’s delicious right away, too).

Summer Cookout Side Dish Ideas - Cucumber Tomato Salad - this easy BBQ party side dish is perfect for a large group and super easy to make

See More Easy Summer Salad Recipes

Enjoy your summer!

Miss Anything?

Pin For Later?

Summer Cookout Food Ideas - this easy tomato cucumber salad is so easy to make for a BBQ party and great for a crowd

What to do with the kids this summer?

See our Summer Crafts and Activities for Kids