Best recipes for summer cookouts!

Best recipes for summer cookouts!

Summer is the season for outdoor barbecues with family and friends. From classic burgers to healthy salads, there are so many delicious dishes that are perfect for a summer BBQ. Here are some of the most popular main and side dishes for your next summer cookout:

1. Burgers and hot dogs: The classic BBQ staples! No cookout is complete without juicy burgers and sizzling hot dogs. Try adding some unique toppings like avocado, grilled pineapple, or spicy mayo to take your burger game to the next level.

Our favorite hot dog topper recipes:

Martha Stewart's NYC Hot Dog Onions

Sandra Lee Coney Island Chili Dogs

2. Grilled chicken: A healthy and delicious option for those who want to avoid red meat. Marinate your chicken in your favorite sauce overnight, then grill it to perfection for a flavorful and juicy main dish.

Our favorite marinade is Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing. We've tried all the generics and they just aren't the same

3. Grilled veggies: A must-have side dish for any BBQ! Grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions are the perfect complement to any meat dish. Add sea salt, coarse ground pepper, olive oil, chopped fresh or dry herbs and other favorite spices to really bring out the flavor. If using dry herbs, toss the vegetables in oil and herbs, then let sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes to allow the herbs to soften and rehydrate.

Grill large vegetables right on the grill rack or use foil to create a shallow "bowl" for smaller veggies. No one like to see "a man down" in the coals or on the propane jets.

4. Potato salad: Creamy, tangy, and oh-so-satisfying, potato salad is a classic BBQ side dish that never goes out of style. Try these recipe for a twist on the classic dish.

Best classic potato salad from the Kitchn

Shellie's Hot and Spicy Potato Salad

5. Coleslaw: Another classic BBQ side dish that’s both refreshing and delicious. This recipe is perfect for those who love a tangy and sweet coleslaw.

Shellie's Cole Slaw

We also love this slaw on street tacos.

6. Watermelon salad: A fresh and healthy option for a summer BBQ. This recipe combines sweet watermelon with salty feta cheese and tangy balsamic vinegar for a unique and refreshing salad.

7. Corn on the cob: The perfect side dish for any BBQ! Grilled corn on the cob is both delicious and easy to make. Soak corn and husks in water for 1/2 an hour before throwing them on the grill to keep them from burning up. Add real butter, salt, pepper, and napkins to serve.

To kick things up a notch, make compound butter. Soften butter and add favorite chopped fresh herbs. Great way to use fresh from the garden tarragon and thyme. Mix butter and herbs - consider adding a pinch of cayenne - and then refrigerate until it's time to serve grilled corn.

8. Fruit skewers: A healthy and colorful option for a summer BBQ. Thread your favorite fruits onto skewers and grill them for a sweet and juicy dessert.

With these dishes, your summer BBQ is sure to be a hit! Don't forget to add some patio lights, patriotic mini lights, fun decorations and games to really make the party pop. Happy grilling!