What To Bring To A Cookout?? This can be one of the biggest questions of the cookout season. These cookout recipes are perfect for summertime! Firing up the grill is one of my favorite ways to spend summer nights with just family or sometimes neighbors.
First posted in 2020 and updated in 2023
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Finding new recipes or twists on recipes is a new favorite of mine! I don’t like always showing up with the same side dish or dessert to gatherings. Thankfully, my kids love to find new recipes, so it has become a game for them.
What Should Guests Bring To A Cookout?
What things to bring for a cookout? Typically a guest will bring a side salad like pasta salad, cole slaw, or potato salad to a cookout, or a dessert is most common. Often the host will have the main entrees and some of the dishes under control.
Ask your cookout host; what can I bring to a cookout to help you? Talk to the cookout host to see what they want you to bring. Some may need you to pick up silverware, plateware, drinks, or have a specific thing they need to be brought to the cookout.
easy things to bring to a cookout
Burgers Perfect For A Cookout:
If you are hosting the cookout, burgers and hotdogs are fantastic to cook for the main dish to serve everyone.
- Roasted Garlic Chicken Burgers-Use ground chicken with ranch seasoning to make these flavorful chicken burgers that everyone will love.
- Bacon Stuffed Burgers-Lay partially cooked bacon into your burger press to make the ultimate bacon cheeseburger!
- How To Grill A Perfect Burger Every Time– Use a burger press to make the perfect patty to build your base burger to build the perfect burger onto it.
Kabobs For A Cookout:
A bit harder than burgers, but Kabob are good to have cooked and ready for your guests. They can be assembled earlier and then thrown on the grill.
- Sweet And Zesty Steak Kabobs– Use diced steak and summer vegetables to make this dinner—simple seasonings with apple juice and orange juice to make a sweet marinade.
- Grilled Teriyaki Steak Kabobs– Diced steak with summer veggies goes perfectly with a simple teriyaki marinade. These turn out tender and amazing.
- Garlic Butter Shrimp Skewers– Use garlic and butter to coat these shrimp skewers to make an easy add-on to surf and turf or a meal in and of itself.
- Easy Grilled Teriyaki Pork Kabos– Pork tenderloin goes on sale often and is perfect for dicing these kabobs. Use summer or favorite vegetables to make these with a teriyaki marinade to season and tenderize.
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs– Use chicken breasts with summer vegetables and a teriyaki marinade to make this easy grilled dinner.
Potato Salad To Bring To A Cookout
- Easy Homemade Potato Salad– Easy to make traditional potato salad that will be a crowd pleaser.
- Grandma’s Potato Salad-Just like grandma used to make and so easy to make at home! Homemade is always better than store-bought.
- Smoked Potato Salad– Use smoked potatoes to make this tasty twist on a classic potato salad. The smoke flavor adds a fantastic flavor to the dish.
- Loaded Potato Salad–A delicious twist on a loaded potato into salad form. Make this the day before to allow the flavor to set in fully.
Pasta Salad TO BRING TO A COOKOUT
- Easy Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad-Easy to make classic Marconi salad full of protein with boiled eggs.
- Pizza Pasta Salad– A fun Italian twist on a pasta salad that the kids will love. You can change up the “pizza toppings’ to change the salad’s flavor and appearance.
- Popcorn Chicken Pasta Salad– A kid favorite to combine ranch with popcorn chicken! This is easy to make and will be one the whole family loves.
- Smoked Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad Recipe– Smoke your deviled eggs to add a nice smoky flavor to this pasta dish. Easy to make to take to any cookout or bbq!
- Bacon Pasta Ranch Pasta Salad– Bacon and ranch combine to make this amazing pasta salad! The homemade ranch sauce adds amazing flavor to this dish.
Easy Sides For A Cookout:
Having side dishes ready to be cooked or cooked for cookout guests is smart. Even though people tend to bring some, it’s easy for the host to whip some up.
- Grilled Corn On The Cob In Foil– Grill corn on the cob for the crowd-pleasing side dish! This is easy to do and perfect for any gathering.
- Smoked Loaded Cheesy Potatoes– This easy-smoked dish is perfect for any beefy entree and will be a favorite of all.
- 4 Ingredient Coleslaw– Use a Coleslaw kit, honey, mayo, and apple cider vinegar to whip up this tasty side salad in no time.
- Cheese Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms–Take large portabella mushrooms and stuff them with cheese for an easy grilled side dish.
- Smoked Macaroni And Cheese-Take your Macaroni and Cheese to the next level and throw it in the smoker! The smoke flavor and cooking low and slow makes for a cheesy heavenly pasta dish.
- Grilled Zucchini– Slice open your zucchini and grill this amazing vegetable side dish with light oil and seasoning.
- Cowboy Caviar– This light side dish is made of beans and is easy to make the night before. Pro tip it tastes better when allowed to sit in the fridge overnight.
- Loaded Baked Beans– Use your crockpot with these amazing beans, and add bacon to take the flavor to the next level. These can be a meal in and of itself or a topping for hot dogs.
Easy Desserts To Bring To A Cookout
Dessert is easy to make the night before a cookout and grab to bring! Rember to think of the weather, if your dessert is cold and it is hot, you will want to bring a cooler and ice. Potluck desserts and no-bake desserts are fantastic to bring to cookouts!
- Oreo Fluff– Easy no-bake made with pudding and marshmallows! This Oreo dessert will be a hit with everyone of all ages.
- 2 Ingredient Lemon Bars-Use angel food cake and lemon pie filling to make this dessert! These light bars will be unique and even double as breakfast the next day.
- Pink Fluff-This jello salad is easy to make, using cherry jello and pineapple to make this easy no-bake dessert.
- Cake Mix Cookies-Use cake mixes to make these easy cookies in large quantities to feed a crowd!
What Should I Bring To A Cookout Last Minute?
You can stop at the store and pick up a last-minute side dish, or even a platter of cookies. I have even been known to grab a last-minute grab bag of chips and dip from the store and a case of water. Not much is off-limits; check with the host.
What is your food to take to a cookout?