10 summer recipes that will impress at your next cookout
If you’re attending or hosting a cookout this summer, try serving these 10 delicious seasonally appropriate dishes. They’re sure to please the pickiest of palates.
Elote street corn
Elote is one of the most beloved street foods in Mexico — Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Fazeful
Street food in Mexico varies from region to region, but the one dish that can be found just about everywhere in the country is elote. Elote is corn on the cob that’s been either boiled or grilled and is covered in mayonnaise (crema) and topped with cotija cheese, spices and herbs. Stick a skewer in the cob, and it’s a treat that’s ready to go!
Bacon ranch potato salad
Upgrade your potato salad with a little bacon and ranch! — Photo courtesy of Thanksgiving.com
Potato salad is a staple of the backyard BBQ. Jazz up this classic with a little bacon and ranch! The creaminess and tangy flavor of the ranch is perfect with the crispy saltiness of the bacon. This bacon ranch potato salad will be the most popular dish at the party.
Emeril Lagasse’s famous BBQ shrimp
Add some BAM to your shrimp with a little Emeril Lagasse flair — Photo courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Before becoming a celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse was a New Orleans legend, working in the city for more than three decades. One of the most popular dishes served at his first restaurant, Emeril’s, is this New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp.
It’s a plate of large shrimp served with a buttery BBQ sauce and served with homemade, southern-style biscuits. It’s sure to impress guests at your next BBQ.
Grilled pineapple chicken kebabs
The pineapple is the star of this dish — Photo courtesy of Divas can Cook
Pineapples are a popular fruit, especially in the summertime when it appears in fruit salads along with other seasonal fruits like watermelon, kiwis, cantaloupe and honeydew. But grilling pineapple adds another level of complexity to its flavor.
The smokiness of the grill cuts down the tartness of the fruit, making it a bit sweeter. Add some savory flavor to it with some marinated chicken, and you’ve got a kebab that will light up the pool party. It’s a dish that your guests will ask for at every summer gathering.
Spicy-sweet grilled watermelon
You’ll never think of watermelon the same way again — Photo courtesy of FoodChannel.com
Another surprising, yet delicious fruit you can grill is the watermelon. All you need to do before tossing the watermelon on the grill is brush it with a mixture of lime juice, honey, cayenne salt and pepper.
You’ll get a smoky, sweet, salty, spicy watermelon that will change the way you think about this classic summer fruit. The best part: it’s easier than grilling meats!
BBQ jackfruit sandwich
You won’t believe it’s not pulled pork! — Photo courtesy of FoodChannel.com
A cookout can be a minefield for vegans and vegetarians to navigate. There seems to be meat hidden in everything from baked beans to the bacon ranch potato salad we listed above!
Jackfruit, which is popular in Southeast Asia, can grow up to 80 pounds, and has a similar taste and texture to meat, making it a great candidate for a meat substitute. This BBQ jackfruit sandwich is a pulled pork alternative that all guests, not just the vegans and vegetarians, can enjoy.
Bacon-wrapped jalapeño shrimp in cherry cola sauce
This recipe pushes the limits of traditional jalapeño poppers — Photo courtesy of FoodChannel.com
If you like jalapeño poppers, then you’ll love this upgrade: bacon-wrapped jalapeño shrimp in cherry cola sauce. The spiciness of the jalapeno paired with the shrimp wrapped in a crispy bacon shell is as fun to make as it is delicious to eat. The sweet sauce is spiked with a hint of Cherry Coke, making this dish a party favorite.
Tequila grilled shrimp and mango skewers
The tequila adds a spike of flavor to these skewers — Photo courtesy of FoodChannel.com
Skewers make mingling at a cookout easy, and this version with tequila and mango kicks the flavors up a notch. Tequila naturally has a bit of saltiness, which brings out the flavor of the shrimp and mango. And the chilies, ginger and lime make this handheld dish a savory and spicy meal with a touch of fresh crispness.
Strawberry watermelon pesto chicken salad
This is the perfect dish for a guilt-free, healthy cookout — Photo courtesy of Thanksgiving.com
Diets are hard to maintain during the summer months, especially with all of the cookouts, picnics, and ice cream cones (hopefully it balances out after chasing down the ice cream truck). This strawberry watermelon pesto chicken salad packs a punch of fruity and herbaceous flavor, while being a filling and guilt-free meal.
Beef sliders on a pretzel bun
Pretzel sliders bring an extra layer of saltiness to the average beef patty — Photo courtesy of FoodChannel.com
Cookouts are all about sampling lots of delicious summer dishes, and sliders are the perfect finger food to pass around a party. But instead of plain buns, try these pretzel buns. The salty sourdough of the pretzel complements these tiny burgers perfectly!