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62 BBQ Food Ideas

BBQ Food Ideas

Updated on: Mar 03, 2024

Summer is a wonderful time to have a celebration. Who doesn’t love warm weather, great food, and being around family or friends?! While decorations and activities are important aspects for BBQ parties or picnics, the most crucial part of these get-togethers to get right is the food.

If you need to take care of other things for your BBQ party or you don’t have complete faith in your barbecuing skills, hire a BBQ party catering service. The best place to locate a catering service for your BBQ party is checking local catering companies. Easy Event Planning has put together ideas for a wonderfully catered BBQ party.


Look into the options that caterers have for appetizers. Guests will want to snack on something before having the main course for the BBQ. Try to have a variety of options for guests to choose what they want or so that they can have a little of each appetizer.

1. Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

This is the perfect dish for a hot summer day. Prepare some shrimp and serve it with a side of authentic cocktail sauce.

2. Veggie Tray and Ranch Dip

Assorted veggies and ranch dip is the perfect snack to have at a summer barbecue. You can assort the veggies on a tray in a fun pattern and can even use homemade ranch if you have the extra time. If not, store bought will be just as loved!

3. Fruit Salad and Cream Cheese Dip

Pick out some of your favorite fruits and mix them together in a large bowl. You can even use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, and bananas to create a patriotic color scheme. Add some cream cheese fruit dip to make it even more delicious!

4. Summer Charcuterie Board

Assort your favorite nuts, crackers, pretzels, cheeses, and meets into any aesthetic pattern or arrangement. This allows your guests to pick and choose what they want to eat, and also is a very pretty dish. Spice it up with any of your favorite summer snacks and feel free to add any fun twists!

5. BLT Bites

Your favorite sandwich in a bite!

6. Buffalo Chicken Dip

This creamy buffalo chicken dip will go well with crackers and celery sticks and tastes just like buffalo wings!

7. Tortilla Chips and Watermelon Salsa

Whats better than chips and salsa? Pair yummy tortilla chips with a summer watermelon salsa!

8. Homemade Pita Chips and Smoky Summer Hummus

Homemade pita chips and hummus will be a huge hit! Buy hummus at your local grocery store or make smoky summer hummus.

9. Summer Bruschetta

This bruschetta makes the perfect snack in the summer!

10. Ham and Cheese Hawaiian Roll Sandwiches

These sandwiches are amazing and a perfect snack to have at your next barbecue.

11. Pretzel Rolls & Beer Cheese

Everyone will eat these right up! Buy your pretzel nuggets from the store or make them from scratch if you have the time. Pair them with beer cheese and they will be a hit!

12. Classic Deviled Eggs

Feel free to add any twist to these staple appetizer!

13. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

An easy lettuce wraps recipe that your guests will love!

14. French Onion Dip

Serve this french onion dip with potato chips. So yummy!

15. Pizza Pinwheels

Feel free to add any toppings of your choice! Everyone will devour these amazing pizza rolls.

16. Drunken Bourbon Meatballs

These drunken bourbon meatballs are the perfect addition to any BBQ!

Main Course

Hire catering companies that specialize in barbecuing or grilling for your BBQ party or picnic. The smell of grilled or barbecued chicken, chicken wings, steak, ribs, fish, or shrimp will make your guests’ mouths water. Make sure there are toppings for your guests. Know how many people are attending your get together ahead of time so that the catering companies can make enough food for everyone.

17. Tequila Lime Chicken

Loaded with southwestern flavor, this tequila lime chicken will have everyone talking!

18. Cherry Glazed Pulled Pork

Whats better than a pulled pork sandwich topped with cherry barbecue sauce?

19. Chipotle Dry Rub Ribs

Use this delicious rub on your ribs at your next barbecue. It wont disappoint!

20. Fajita Skewers

An easy way to enjoy fajitas!

21. Teriyaki Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers

These savory-sweet skewers are easy and perfect for summer nights.

22. Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes

These sloppy joes are so delicious!

23. Triple Bacon Burgers

Add lots of bacon and any other toppings of your choice to your burgers!

24. Jack Daniels Steak

This marinade will bring so much flavor!

25. Mustard Glazed Ham Ribs

These mustard glaze ham ribs are mouth watering!

26. Honey Garlic Chicken Wings


27. Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Add blackened seasoning to your grilled chicken and serve with toppings of your choice!

28. Saucy BBQ Hot Dogs

Add a sweet and savory flavor to the classic barbecue dish!

29. Grilled Beer Braised Brats

These grilled beer braised brats are broiled and then put on the grill!

30. Herb and Cheddar Stuffed Burgers

Add a delicious twist to your burgers!

31. Bangkok Chicken Wings

Serve with yum-yum sauce. Incredible!


While barbecued foods are often filling, make sure the BBQ party catering companies also serve sides along with the main course of foods. Sides will help enhance the meal while adding something a little different.

32. Triple Fruit Coleslaw

Put a summer twist on this classic side dish!

33. Southern Style Baked Beans

An easy bean recipe that will be a hit at your barbecue!

34. Flaky Buttery Biscuits

Got to have them biscuits!

35. Pan Fried Zucchini

This zucchini is healthy and delicious!

36. Cajun Corn on the Cob

Add a little bit of spice to classic corn on the cob!

37. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Applesauce

This applesauce is so yummy and perfect for a side dish!

38. Bacon Wrapped Baby Potatoes

Everything is better with bacon! Serve with ranch or bbq sauce.

39. Caprese Skewers

Everyone will love these!

40. Crispy Buttermilk Onion Rings

Buy frozen or make them from scratch! Serve with a blooming onion sauce.

41. Parmesan Potato Wedges

A twist on french fries! Try these potato wedges.

42. Italian Summer Pasta Salad

A perfect, unforgettable side dish!

43. Old Bay Potato Chips

The perfect seasoning to spruce up your classic potato chips! You can even make them from scratch if you have some extra time.

44. Grilled Sugar Snap Peas

An addicting side dish your guests will love.

45. Roasted Garlic & Red Skin Potato Salad

This potato salad has delicious flavor and will be a huge hit at your barbecue.


Check if catering companies have a dessert department that you can also get catered to your party. If not, you can always order desserts from a local bakery or store.

46. Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

These pretty and pink cupcakes are delicious!

47. Triple Berry Trifle

This is a perfect dessert that incorporates all your favorite treats into one. You can take out or add anything into the trifle!

48. Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

So tasty! This cake is perfect for your barbecue.

49. Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

Its a fluffy pineapple cheesecake with a salty crust!

50. Strawberry Banana Popsicle

Popsicle's are a must for a summer time party. These are so easy and fruity!

51. Pie Pops

Put any of your favorite mini pies out for your guests to help themselves too. You can even make them mini and attach them to a popsicle stick!

52. Cannoli Dip

All the flavors of a cannoli into a wonderful party snack. Serve with broken up waffle cones!

53. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

A healthier alternative to cake, and still so delicious!

54. Strawberry Shortcakes

Super easy and refreshing for a summer party. You can even buy individual pound cakes to serve to each of your guests!

55. S'more Rice Krispies

All the traditional s'more flavors into a non-bake treat!

56. Banana Split Kabobs

A yummy ice cream treat put on a stick!

57. Peach Cobbler

A classic yummy dessery!

58. Root Beer Float Cake

Root beer and a cake? Sounds great to me!

59. Cheese Cake Stuffed Strawberries

These bite size snacks will sure be a hit!

60. Coconut Cream Pie

This homemade recipe is the perfect coconut cream pie!

61. Snickerdoodle Blondie's

They're buttery, soft, and have the classic snickerdoodle taste!

62. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

The best combination! These will be eaten up in no time!

BBQ Food Ideas: Conclusion

BBQ parties and picnics are events that a lot of people look forward to during the summer. It is a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy each other’s company. A BBQ party catering service can get your guests’ mouths to water at the food! We know that checking off each of the food and beverage topics mentioned above are important for you as a host, so be sure to look at your local catering services to see what company best fits your needs. For more ideas about anything and everything you need for your BBQ party or picnic, or to find budgets and checklists for another event, check out other blogs by Easy Event Planning!

Written by Kimberly Vona, Vanessa Marsocci, Brittany Schmidt and Natalie Davidson; Contributor: Chris Legere

Chris Legere

College of the Holy Cross

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Micalah Suser

Hope College

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Vanessa Marsocci

Rhode Island College

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