11 Recipes You Should Make For Your Next Outdoor Dinner Party


Summertime is such a glorious time of year. Sure, it can get ridiculously hot, but that’s nothing a little A/C can’t mostly fix.

Being from the cold and blowy mid-West, I would much rather sweat than freeze if I can have the choice between the two. You with me?

We love to host dinner parties for friends and family year round. That said, being able to dine al fresco in the summer makes everyone so much happier.

There’s just something about being outside. It’s easier to spread out and the kitchen becomes less cramped. That’s why we love an outdoor dinner party.

Have you ever noticed that every party you’ve ever had or gone to, everyone ends up in the kitchen?! Dining outside brings everyone together.

The following recipes are perfect for large parties or can easily be curtailed to smaller more intimate settings. Switch it up to suit your crowd!

If you have leftovers, your guests will gladly taking home a doggy bag! Everybody loves not having to make lunch the next day.

  1. Chipotle Flank Steak with Avocado Salsa Recipe
    • Chipotle Flank Steak with Avocado Salsa Photo
    • Flank steak must be one of the most underrated cuts of beef. When prepared and cooked properly, it’s extremely flavorful and tender. This chipotle flank steak served with avocado salsa might just be our favorite way to serve it, especially when entertaining. When sliced against the grain in thin strips, you’ll be shocked at how many mouths it will feed. The chipotle peppers give it a little heat while the avocado salsa gives it a refreshing finish.
  2. Summer Maple Lime Watermelon Zoodle Bowl Recipe
    • Summer Maple Lime Watermelon Zoodle Bowl Photo
    • I’m finally coming around to the whole zoodle craze. I’m not sure why I was so opposed to it, but I rather like the concept now. This recipe for summer maple lime watermelon zoodle bowls could be the reason why! This is one of those recipes that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. For parties, I would suggest setting it up “deconstructed” and letting your guests build their own. It’s unexpectedly refreshing, perfect for pairing with heartier grilled meat dishes for a summer dinner party.
  3. No Churn Roasted Berry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe
    • No Churn Roasted Berry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Photo
    • I’ve never thought to roast berries first, but wow, what a difference it makes. Just try not eating all those delicious berries right out of the oven! This no-churn roasted berry vanilla bean ice cream recipe is worth holding off. Your guests will certainly appreciate being cooled down on a hot summer night with this cold treat. It’s extremely easy to put together but will taste like you spent hours hand churning the finest, creamiest ice cream.
  4. Boozy Nutella Popsicles Recipe
    • Boozy Nutella Popsicles Photo
    • Because even grown-ups love popsicles, make these boozy Nutella popsicles! I feel I should warn you that these are NOT kid-friendly popsicles or for anyone with alcohol restrictive diets. Most grocery stores sell bourbon extract if you are looking for the flavor without the alcohol! A couple of teaspoons of alcohol-free vanilla extract can also be used as a substitute for the bourbon. The flavor may not be entirely the same, but they will be delicious, nonetheless.
  5. Chicken Fajita Salad Recipe
    • Chicken Fajita Salad Photo
    • Take everything you love about fajitas and put it on a salad – that’s what makes this chicken fajita salad a huge crowd pleaser! I absolutely love serving meals like this one set up taco bar style. In this case, a fajita salad bar. It just makes it so much easier for everyone to pick and choose what they like, rather than having to remember everyone’s likes, dislikes, and restrictions. Plus, your guest will love that interactive moment of getting to pick out all their favorite toppings!
  6. Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Crostini Recipe
    • Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Crostini Photo
    • Listen, when you make this roasted zucchini and tomato crostini recipe, you better plan to make extra. If you’re serving a party of six people, make a minimum of twelve. Honestly, I would make even. They’re going to be popular, and you don’t want to anger the crowd. If you have leftovers, toss them in your air fryer the next morning and top with a fried egg. You can thank me later.
  7. Grilled Stuffed Zucchini with Shrimp Recipe
    • Grilled Stuffed Zucchini with Shrimp Photo
    • These zucchini boats aren’t your average zucchini boats – they are, in a word, amazing. Also, something about calling them boats makes our kids less reluctant to try them. Grilled stuffed zucchini with shrimp is a fun and unique way to cook dinner, and super easy to serve a large crowd. The spicy shrimp give this dish a nice kick, but you may want to tone it down a bit if you’re not into that much heat.
  8. Black Bean Couscous Salad Recipe
    • Black Bean Couscous Salad Photo
    • Come summer, I cannot get enough couscous. Whether it’s Moroccan or Israeli, those little balls of goodness bring me so much joy. Couscous is great served hot or cold. In the case of this black bean couscous salad recipe, it makes a wonderful addition to your dinner party menu as a fresh, chilled salad with a bold southwestern flare. It complements grilled meats, fish and chicken all equally well, but is so simple to prepare.
  9. Cake Mix Lemon Bars Recipe
    • Cake Mix Lemon Bars Photo
    • In all the confusion getting ready for your party, making sure everything is perfect, perhaps you forgot to think about dessert! It’s ok, we got you covered. These cake mix lemon bars are sweet and tart morsels that are sure to be a hit among your friends. Also, this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, from start to finish. We keep cake mix on hand just for such occasions. They taste like they were made completely from scratch so no one will ever be the wiser.
  10. Chicken Asparagus Pasta Recipe
    • Chicken Asparagus Pasta Photo
    • I like to have a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t want to cooperate. Sure, most things done on the grill can be done in the kitchen, but it’s not the same. Instead of panicking, cook some pasta, add seasoned chicken breast, and make this easy dish that will taste like you spent all day cooking. Our chicken asparagus pasta recipe is indeed tasty all year long, but it’s especially fitting when you want to serve pasta that tastes a bit fresher in the heat of summer.

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