13 Best Summer BBQ & Potluck Recipes


Memorial Day is just around the corner and before we know it it will be the 4th of July. Chances are you'll be sitting poolside in the backyard, firing up your grill, going to a party, or outside enjoying the summer weather. You'll need some easy, cheap, healthy, and delicious recipes to make your time outside more enjoyable. These 13 Best BBQ & Potluck Recipes are great ideas for appetizers, meat, sides, and desserts. They are perfect for a crowd but also simple enough for a family dinner.

Memorial Day is just around the corner and before you know it it will be time for the 4th of July! Odds are you’ll be invited to a couple of pool parties and birthday parties, and you’ll want to have your own friends over for a BBQ. Maybe you’ll go camping or on some picnics. Summer is such a wonderful time of year to enjoy the abundant, colorful food all around us. So I’m here to give you 13 of the best summer BBQ and potluck recipes so that you can make fresh, fabulous food for your family and friends. There’s something for everyone and ideas for dips, side dishes, meat, and desserts. 

Summer BBQ & Potluck Dips

spicy queso dip

3 Ingredient Spicy Queso Dip is perfect for a BBQ or pool party because it is quick, tasty, and everybody loves it! It’s especially a hit with teenagers!


Homemade Cilantro-Lime Salsa can be made in 5 minutes with your food processor. Now that I know how easy and inexpensive it is to make my own salsa there is no need to buy the bottled version ever again!

Chunky Restaurant-Style Guacamole is just as tasty as your favorite tableside guacamole but can simply be made in your own kitchen. Be sure to set aside some for yourself because you’ll watch this disappear in a matter of minutes when you set it in front of guests!

Summer BBQ & Potluck Side Dishes

summer BBQ

What says summer BBQ better than Baked Beans? These are the BEST baked beans and they only take 30 minutes! Both smoky and sweet, you’re going to want to pile them on your plate! They are perfect on their own, but are also lovely on top of tortilla chips or next to a yummy roll to sop up all the juice.

summer BBQ

This 10 Minute Cranberry & Broccoli Salad is the perfect side dish for those of us trying to stay on the healthier side. It’s a great substitute for the chips we are so eager to reach for! This recipe is also great to take to a potluck because the flavors get better over time and it transports easily.

Greek Pasta Salad with Feta Cheese is full of flavor and color! This is a great dish to prepare ahead of time and leave in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. It is also a great crowd pleaser because it feeds a lot of people without breaking the bank.

mac and cheese

3 Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese is one of the most viewed recipes on my site. It is simple to prepare, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and everybody goes for seconds. In fact, you might want to make two batches because the leftovers are amazing! Save yourself some time and stress and prep this the day before your event. Pop it in the oven an hour before you’re ready to eat.

Summer BBQ & Potluck Main Dishes

summer BBQ

My recipe for 3 Ingredient Tangy Marinated Chicken will make your next grill out a breeze! I like to prepare extra chicken because it goes so well on top of salads and inside burritos and quesadillas. This is also a great alternative for the folks that want to grill out but don’t like red meat.

baby-back ribs

Want a yummy BBQ recipe without setting up the grill? These Crockpot Baby-Back Ribs are slow cooked in a delicious homemade rub and smothered in your favorite BBQ sauce. The meat is so tender it falls right off the bone! So if it’s raining outside, you can still have delicious ribs!

summer BBQ

For us meat-loving carnivores, summer is not complete without a juicy steak! This recipe for Lawry’s Marinated Grilled Steak gives you instructions on how to properly marinade, grill, and cut a steak so that it stays juicy and isn’t overcooked. This main dish goes well with almost any side dish!

Summer BBQ & Potluck Desserts

Kiwi Lime Pie

Summer desserts should be light and refreshing and this Kiwi Lime Pie is just that! If you want to save time, use a store-bought crust. But if you have an extra 15 minutes consider making the homemade graham cracker macadamia nut crust that comes with the recipe. Your backyard guests are sure to be impressed!

no-bake strawberry cheesecake

This Easy No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake is the perfect dessert to showcase the beauty of the summer season. The cream cheese filling is sweet and airy and the strawberries show off a rich red that would be very patriotic for the 4th of July.

This 8 Layer Chocolate and Peanut Butter Trifle is a great way to serve a stunning dessert for several guests without going over budget. It looks like you spent a long time in the kitchen but you can whip it up in no time. This treat travels well and is easy for everyone to scoop out their own portion.

So whether you’re the hostess or you’ve been invited to a backyard bash, one of these summer recipes is sure to help you make fresh, fabulous food for your family and friends. So lather on the sunscreen and put on your sunglasses because it’s time to enjoy the sun. Happy cooking y’all!

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