Last updated on October 9th, 2023 at 03:12 pm
A backyard party without the perfect menu is like a summer day without sunshine – it just isn’t complete. You’ll feel your guests’ low energy, bored, and unsatisfied if you don’t serve the right food and drinks on the table. Some might even leave early, and you don’t want that.
So, whether you’re throwing a backyard baby shower, birthday party, or just enjoying the summer sun with friends and family, you’ll need finger-licking, party-pleasing recipes to create the perfect menu.
But how do you choose which dishes to make?
You must consider several key elements, including your guests’ preferences, dietary needs, the size of your party, and the temperature. Plus, the time of day your party is taking place and the type of event you’re throwing also come into play.
Follow these seven recipes if you need help with what to serve at your upcoming backyard party. These flavor-packed dishes will give you something to please every palate and make your party the talk of the town.
1. Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
These delightful kabobs are juicy and succulent with a hint of delicious spice and make a yummy appetizer or main course. You’ll need raw shrimp (peeled and deveined), bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and red onion – all cut into large, bite-sized chunks.
Place all the vegetables and shrimp on metal or bamboo skewers, and alternate them. Brush the skewers with a marinade of your choice (olive oil, garlic, herbs, and lemon juice are excellent options) and preheat your outdoor grill to reach a medium-high temperature. Follow the recipe for grilled shrimp kabobs to properly cook and serve your guests a flavorful and healthy dish.
2. Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
If you’re looking for something quick and easy to prepare, this pasta dish is it. You’ll need ground turkey or beef, onions, garlic cloves, fresh basil, and your favorite marinara sauce jar.
Start by heating olive oil (teaspoon) in a large skillet. Sauté the onions until golden and fragrant, then add the garlic cloves. Add the ground turkey/beef and cook until it’s browned. Now, stir in the marinara sauce and fresh basil. Simmer the sauce for 7-10 minutes, then serve over your favorite pasta.
Alternatively, you can prepare spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, which tastes just as delicious.
3. Tequila Lime Chicken
This classic Mexican dish is colorfully delicious and brings some heat to the party table. You’ll need boneless chicken breasts, tequila, lime juice, freshly chopped cilantro, garlic cloves, and either jalapenos or chili peppers.
Marinate the chicken in tequila, lime juice, and garlic cloves for at least 30 minutes, then place the chicken on a preheated outdoor grill to brown. Add freshly chopped cilantro, jalapenos, or chili peppers when the chicken is almost cooked. You can prepare roasted Brussels sprouts, steamed rice, or corn on the cob as a side dish with the chicken. Serve as the main course for your backyard party and leave your guests’ taste buds wanting more.
4. BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
A BBQ’s hearty, savory, and smoky flavor is perfect for backyard gatherings. You’ll need pork butt, your favorite BBQ sauce, and whole-grain buns.
Start by placing the pork in a slow cooker with a cup of water and your favorite BBQ sauce. Then, cook it on low for 10 hours or until the meat is tender and juicy. Now you can shred the pork with a fork and serve it on whole grain buns with extra BBQ sauce. Add toppings like slaw, red onion, pickles, or cheese to make it more flavorful and satisfying.
Pro Tip: Slow-cooking the pork butt in a slow cooker is the best way to get tender and succulent pulled pork sandwiches.
You’ll Also Like: How to Make Carrabba’s Blackberry Sangria at Home
5. Texas Caviar
This zesty southwestern appetizer will add pizzazz when your party gets boring. Take black-eyed peas, corn kernels, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions, and mix them in a large bowl.
Make sure the ingredients are cut into small, bite-sized pieces. Now, pour the Italian dressing over the veggies and mix it all.
Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours to let all the flavors marry together. Serve with tortillas, crackers, or chips, and you’ll have an appetizer that your guests won’t be able to resist.
You can also make Mexican Caviar flavored with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder.
6. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Add these classic and delicious treats to your backyard party menu, as everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie, including kids and adults.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Salt and the star of the show – semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips.
Put your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and preheat it. Next, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs (one at a time) and mix until the batter is creamy. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips (as many as you like).
Place spoonfuls of the cookie dough generously onto a parchment baking sheet, then bake for 10-12 minutes. Take them out when lightly golden brown and let them cool before devouring.
Margaritas are the synonym for a backyard party drink. This cocktail’s sweet and salty flavor brings out a fiesta vibe that pumps up the energy of your gathering and leaves your guests buzzing.
Start by juicing the limes, add tequila, and triple sec, then fill the shaker with ice cubes. Shake it up until it’s nice and cold, strain the drink into a glass, and rim the edge with salt.
You can enhance the flavor by adding freshly squeezed orange juice or your favorite fruit juice. Garnish with a lime wedge, and you’ll be ready to serve your guests this refreshing cocktail.
You can replace tequila and triple sec with club soda and sugar-free syrup for a non-alcoholic version of this drink.
Whether throwing an intimate gathering or a big bash, make every backyard party memorable and finger-licking good by preparing a delicious spread of food. Serve grilled shrimp kabobs as a starter or main dish. BBQ pulled pork sandwiches for the heartier appetite, and Texas caviar or chocolate chip cookies for a light snack. Tequila lime chicken and pasta with Bolognese sauce are also great options for the main course. And don’t forget to add the classic Margarita for a fiesta-inspired drink.
At Bridge House Tavern, we’re more than a team of food enthusiasts; we’re a culinary journey waiting to be savored. Our five-member crew is on a relentless quest to explore, create, and share the wonders of the gastronomic world.