Make-Ahead BBQ Side Dishes and Desserts: Perfect Additions to Your Summer Parties

Make-Ahead BBQ Side Dishes and Desserts: Perfect Additions to Your Summer Parties

Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to dust off your grill and prepare for backyard BBQs. While grilling meats and vegetables may be the main event, the side dishes and desserts can make or break a BBQ. That’s why we’re sharing some delicious make-ahead BBQ side dishes and desserts that are sure to impress your guests.

Classic Coleslaw

No BBQ is complete without a classic coleslaw. This simple dish is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time, making it the perfect addition to any BBQ menu. Start by shredding a head of cabbage and a few carrots. In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld together.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is a summer staple that’s always a hit at BBQs. To make this dish, start by soaking the corn in cold water for about 30 minutes. This will help prevent the husks from burning on the grill. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until the husks are charred and the kernels are tender. Serve with butter and salt.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are a hearty and flavorful side dish that can be made ahead of time and reheated on the grill. To make this dish, start by cooking bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside. In the same skillet, cook diced onions until soft. Add canned baked beans, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, and ketchup to the skillet and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with the cooked bacon. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the beans are hot and bubbly.

Potato Salad

Potato salad is another classic BBQ side dish that can be made ahead of time. To make this dish, start by boiling potatoes until they’re tender. Drain and let them cool. In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the cooled potatoes, diced celery, and diced onions to the bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld together.

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon salad is a refreshing and colorful dish that’s perfect for a summer BBQ. To make this dish, start by cutting a seedless watermelon into bite-sized pieces. In a separate bowl, mix together lime juice, honey, and salt. Add sliced red onion and torn mint leaves to the bowl and mix well. Pour the dressing over the watermelon and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld together.

Strawberry Shortcake Skewers

No BBQ is complete without a sweet treat, and these strawberry shortcake skewers are the perfect dessert for a summer party. To make this dish, start by cutting angel food cake into bite-sized pieces. Thread the cake onto skewers, alternating with fresh strawberries. Drizzle the skewers with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Blueberry Crumble Bars

These blueberry crumble bars are a delicious and portable dessert that can be made ahead of time. To make this dish, start by mixing together flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the mixture into a greased baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix together fresh blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Pour the blueberry mixture over the baked crust and top with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let the bars cool before cutting into squares.

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are another classic summer dessert that can be made ahead of time. To make this dish, start by mixing together flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the mixture into a greased baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour the lemon mixture over the baked crust and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the top is set. Let the bars cool before cutting into squares.

Fruit Salad

A simple fruit salad is always a hit at summer BBQs. To make this dish, start by cutting a variety of fresh fruit into bite-sized pieces. Some great options include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, mango, and kiwi. In a separate bowl, mix together honey, lime juice, and mint leaves. Pour the dressing over the fruit and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

No BBQ is complete without a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. To make this dish, start by mixing together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cookies cool before serving.

These make-ahead BBQ side dishes and desserts are perfect for summer parties. With a little bit of planning, you can prepare these dishes ahead of time and spend more time enjoying your BBQ with friends and family. So fire up the grill and get ready to impress your guests with these delicious recipes.