Memorial Day is just a few days away and you know what that means, Summer is about to (un)officially begin!! I’m already getting requests for recipes to bring to BBQs and potlucks, so I thought I’d do a roundup. Here are 25 of my favorite recipes for summer BBQs and potlucks.
I suspect that most people will do classic burgers, dogs, chicken, and ribs for their main grilling dish, but I have included a couple of specialty burgers, plus a vegetarian alternative so that everyone can eat happily. In addition to that, I have plenty of salads, sides, and other dishes that you can bring to feed a crowd. Full disclaimer: most of these recipes are for around six servings, so please consider the size of your party and scale up the recipes as needed. You can scale the recipes on my site by simply typing in a new number in the servings field on the recipe card and the ingredient quantities will automatically adjust. Yay!
Burgers and Alternatives
You simply can’t have a summer BBQ without a burger. So here are some fun burger options if you want something a little different:
Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
If you think the idea of a turkey burger sounds boring, think again! These turkey burgers are packed to the brim with delicious Mediterranean flavors, perfect for summer.
Homemade Black Bean Burgers
These hearty black bean burgers are perfect for your vegetarian friends and family members, so no one gets left out of burger time!
Green Chile Turkey Burgers
If you’re craving a southwest flare, try these green chile turkey burgers! Chiles, cumin, and pepper jack cheese fill these burgers with flavor.
Marinated Portobello Mushroom Burgers
If black bean burgers aren’t your jam, here’s another super flavorful vegetarian option for squashing that burger craving.
Cajun Salmon Burgers
A hefty dose of Cajun spices and a creamy avocado topping make these unique burgers a total winner.
Juicy ground pork, sweet pineapple, caramelized onions, and teriyaki sauce make the perfect sweet-savory burger.
Potato salad is a staple at any summer BBQ or potluck and we’ve got all the love for this simple side. Creamy, mayo-free, spicy, and more.
Classic Southern Style Potato Salad
Classic, creamy, and a little tangy from a touch of yellow mustard, you can’t go wrong with a simple southern-style potato salad.
Cajun Potato Salad
Zesty Cajun spices added to classic potato salad really takes the flavor to the next level!
Herby Potato Salad
If you’re looking for a mayo-free potato salad option, this bright and summery Herby Potato Salad is it!
Roasted Sweet Potato Rainbow Salad with Lime Crema
This “rainbow” salad has it all! Sweet potatoes, beans, bright vegetables, and a zesty lime crema dressing.
BBQ and beans go together like peanut butter and jelly, and I’ve got no shortage of delicious bean salads to serve alongside your summer BBQ.
11. Cowboy Caviar
This classic bean salad features a brightly colored medley of beans and vegetables, plus a light and zesty vinaigrette dressing.
Mediterranean White Bean Salad
This simple salad is light and fresh, perfect for pairing with all of your summer eats!
13. Three Bean Salad
Classic Three Bean Salad
It doesn’t get any more simple or classic than this three-bean mix!
Cucumber and Black Bean Salad
This fresh bean salad has a slight southwest flavor and would pair great with tacos and more.
Vegetable Salads and Slaws
When it’s hot and you’re eating outside, vegetable salads become EXTRA refreshing. These tasty salads will help lighten your plate, and add color and texture to your meal.
15. Creamy Coleslaw
Easy Creamy Coleslaw
This simple, classic coleslaw is an absolute must for any summer BBQ!
Marinated Cauliflower Salad
It’s colorful, full of bold flavors, and low carb!
Super Fresh Cucumber Tomato Salad
It’s not summer until this super fresh cucumber tomato salad makes an appearance!
Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta
This light and zesty slaw is the perfect no-mayo alternative to classic coleslaw.
Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad
A sweet and tangy homemade honey mustard dressing drenches perfectly crunchy broccoli for the perfect summer side salad.
Charred Corn and Zucchini Salad
If you’ve got the grill going, char up some fresh corn for this irresistible salad!
Pasta salads work double duty at potlucks and BBQs, as both a side dish and a filling non-meat option for vegetarians. Plus they hold up great to buffet-style serving. Here are some of my favorites:
Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
All of summer’s fresh produce together in one classic pasta salad.
Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
If you love fresh broccoli, you’ll love it in this pasta salad paired with a tangy tomato vinaigrette and salty feta.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Toss a few veggies on the grill so you can make this amazing pasta salad with a tangy homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Summer Sweet Corn Salad
When summer sweet corn is at its peak, you’ve got to make this deliciously fresh salad!
Italian Pizza Pasta Salad
Like pizza in a bowl, no one will turn down this delicious pasta salad.
Creamy Lemon Dill Greek Pasta Salad
If you’re craving something a little on the creamy side, this pasta salad hits the spot!
Desserts and Drinks
And of course, no BBQ or potluck would be complete with a little something sweet and a cold drink to sip on.
Chili Lime Cantaloupe
Sweet, fresh cantaloupe pairs with a light honey-lime dressing, and a few flecks of spicy red pepper for a unique and summery dessert.
Strawberry Rosé Slush
When you want to get your drink on but still stay cool in the summer heat, these adult slushies will do the trick.
When fresh summer strawberries are in season, make this classic dessert!
Homemade Pineapple Orange Julius
This deliciously tropical drink is best enjoyed outdoors, not inside a shopping mall. ;)
Honey Vanilla Cottage Cheese Fruit Dip
This cheesecake-like fruit dip has a surprising ingredient–cottage cheese!
No Churn Balsamic Peach Ice Cream
Sweet peaches and a tangy-salty swirl of balsamic glaze makes this ice cream taste 100% gourmet!
I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’m OBSESSED with summer and even just writing this post has gotten me so excited! I can’t wait for spending time outside, playing in the water, and grilling delicious food. What are your favorite summertime foods for BBQs and Potlucks? Share your favorites in the comments below!