Days are growing longer and nights are getting warmer – which means its high season for summer entertaining! We’ve already gathered a few of our favorite decorating tips to throw together an effortless backyard bash, but now it’s time for the main event: the food. To help ensure you’ve got all the essentials for a great summer party, we’ve pulled together a list of our five barbecue menu must-haves. So fire up the grill and enjoy!
1. Signature Marinade
Sure, you could toss some meat on the grill, lather it up with sauce and call it a day, but if you really want to leave your guests impressed, have a signature marinade in your recipe arsenal. The acid in pickle juice helps tenderize meat, and the extra fresh vegetables and spices in every jar of Farmer’s Garden add a fantastic depth of flavor. It’s great for beef and pork, but we especially love this cilantro-lime and yogurt marinade from Spoon Fork Bacon on chicken wings.
2. Dill-icious Dips
While the food is on the grill, don’t forget to have a few snacks on hand to keep guests satisfied. For a quick, easy and unique twist on chips and dip, try serving a bowl of pita chips with savory picante pickle tapenade, or lighten things up with veggie crudités and tangy Kosher Dill tzatziki.
3. Homemade Relish
No barbecue is complete without a side of pickles. For all that savory grilled fare, give it a zesty kick with a duet of homemade Gardener relish and Mediterranean vegetable relish. Try making a batch or two the day before your barbecue and storing in the fridge. The veggies and spices will meld and marinade for an even brighter, bolder flavor.
4. Side of Slaw
Melt-in-your-mouth foods pair wonderfully with a bright, crunchy side. Which is why we always serve cool cole slaw at our barbecues. Our newest favorite is The Kitchy Kitchen’s recipe for Bread and Butter Pickle Apple Slaw. She serves it atop pulled pork sliders, but it’s so good that we love tossing together a batch on its own.
5. Good-for-You Mac and Cheese
Who doesn’t love an ooey-gooey side of creamy mac and cheese? And with plenty of picky little eaters out there, we’re particularly fond of The Kitchy Kitchen’s recipe for mac and cheese. Kids and grown-ups alike will love this barbecue classic, and won’t even notice the sneaky veggie puree baked right in. Delicious and nutritious? We’ll take it!
What else is on your list of barbecue must haves? Let us know in the comments below.
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