We have been entertaining a TON at the cottage this summer. I have a list of go to bbq recipes that are my best friends. I love to have a house full of guests who are having fun together. In my book, the key to a good party is great food that doesn’t keep you in the kitchen all day. While I love grilled food, it can be a bit of a pain to get on the table at the right time when you have a lot of guests (especially if you (like us) have a smaller grill).
Over the past few months, I have figured out what really works for a large group and I have gotten rave reviews. I will lay out my tried and true favorites and then you just have to pick and choose from the different categories for a great party that you can enjoy too! Click on the recipe names to be taken to the full recipe. Enjoy!
Easy Summer BBQ Recipes
Like I mentioned, I am not going to suggest grilling your main dish. While this is traditionally what you do at a BBQ party, it can be a pain in the butt. Instead, I suggest:
Crockpot Pulled Pork – Instead of the beef broth and water, use one can of Coke (not diet). It is so delicious! The recipe makes basic pulled pork that you can then serve with your favorite barbecue sauces. I have a variety for different tastes (sweet, smokey, spicy, etc). Serve with whole wheat or white buns and coleslaw (recipe at the same link). If you want to try it the “real” southern way, put your coleslaw ON your pulled pork sandwich.
Have guests who can’t do gluten? Serve your pulled pork over baked potatoes. YUM!
Crockpot BBQ Ribs – You do have to finish this recipe on the bbq grill or in the oven under the broiler but it doesn’t take very long. These are a crowd favorite and get rave reviews every time I make them.
Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef – Since not everyone likes pork…though they should because…mmmmm…..pork.
Salads are the perfect side dish for a BBQ party. All of the recipes I have included can be made ahead and they last longer than your traditional green salad. (Hello leftovers! Yum!) Make a few of these before your guests arrive and dinner will come together like a breeze:
Broccoli Salad – A family fave. I make it with bacon or without….whichever is easier. Both ways are fantastic.
Cucumber and Red Onion Salad – Almost like a sweet pickle, this is one of the only ways Dewey will eat cucumbers.
Easy Corn and Mixed Bean Salad – This salad is a complete cheat. It uses canned beans and dressing from the refrigerator aisle. Don’t worry, no one will be able to tell.
Non-Salad Side Dishes
Personally, I think you can get by with serving a main dish and salads for your party but I know that some will not agree with me. Here are some great side dishes that keep time in the kitchen to a minimum.
Crockpot Baked Beans – If you have two crockpots (of course you do!), make these fantastic beans while your pork is cooking.
Cream and Dill New Potatoes – New potatoes are SO GOOD this time of year. This dish highlights their awesomeness with the addition of a bit of cream and a bit of fresh dill. So, so delicious.
Farmers’ Market Veggie Gratin – I can’t lie. This takes a while to make but it is very worth it. I especially recommend this if you have a vegetarian in the crowd. They will thank you (as will everyone else).
Make any of these desserts early in the day of your party and they will be ready to serve when dessert time rolls around:
Peach Cobbler – This Southern specialty is a party pleaser and makes the most of fresh summer fruit.
Coca Cola Cake – My family loves this chocolatey sheet cake. Delicious and easy!
Saskatoon Berry Pie – A new favorite for me. You can substitute blueberries as well.
Pick one thing to make out of each category or go wild and make a few. Either way you will have a tasty party where you can have fun too. Enjoy!