Summer Dinner Party Menus

I don’t understand how time works. It feels like just yesterday I was complaining about shoveling my car out of the snow (again), and today is the last day of June. Spring seems to have slipped through my fingers, and I have no intention of letting summer do the same. That’s why I’ll be taking a brief break from posting on the blog to soak up my favorite bits of summer. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sipping sweet tea, sitting on patios, getting eaten alive by mosquitos, sweating at festivals, gazing at fireworks, splashing in pools, and eating ALL the strawberry shortcake. Oh, and also planning my little one’s first birthday party (HOW?!). I’ll be back in full force in August with fresh energy and plenty of ways to use up that bounty of summer produce.

Until then, I’ll leave you with these summer dinner party menu ideas. This is my favorite time of the year to host parties. When the weather’s nice, I like to party on the patio, which means I don’t have to clean the house, and the crumbs can be taken care of by the birds. Summer produce provides a bounty of easy, flavorful menu options, and the grill makes short work of the cooking. I’ve arranged a few menus you can choose from based on your mood or the occasion. I hope you find plenty of ways to gather with the ones you love and enjoy great food this summer!


Casual Summer Cookout Menu:

Drink: Mint Iced Tea

Appetizer: Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing

Main: Cajun Burgers

Side: Grilled Parmesan Pesto Sweet Corn from Foxes Love Lemons

Side: Antipasto Pasta Salad

Dessert: No Bake Peach Delight

This Fourth of July menu is festive and classic perfect for a summer holiday!

Fourth of July Party Menu:

Drink: The Americano Cocktail from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Drink (non-alcoholic): Strawberry Basil Lemonade from One Sweet Mess

Appetizer: Tomato and Corn Chopped Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Main: All American Bacon Cheddar Burgers

Main: The Best Hot Dog You Will Ever Eat from The Food Charlatan

Side: Slow Cooker Smoky Baked Beans from Melanie Makes

Side: Amish Potato Salad from Chocolate Moosey

Dessert: Grilled S’more Banana Packets

Dessert: Red, White, and Blue Berry Angel Food Cake Parfaits

Looking for inspiration for your next summer dinner party? This menu is perfect for a casual cookout!

Elegant Summer Dinner Party Menu:

Drink: Blackberry Mint Bramble from Hungry Couple

Appetizer: Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Main: Steak and Blue Cheese Salad

Side: Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Fool

Dessert: Mocha Chocolate Cobbler

If you'd like to give your cookouts a little south of the border flair, look no further than this Mexican Fiesta Menu!

Summer Fiesta Menu:

Drink: Strawberry Margaritas from Jelly Toast

Appetizer: Spicy Queso Blanco from One Sweet Mess

Side: Grilled Sweet Corn Salsa

Main: Grilled Flank Steak Tacos or Margarita Shrimp Tostadas

Dessert: Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream from Chocolate Moosey




  1. Props for taking a break Courtney!! Have fun planning out the first birthday party! Such a fun time 🙂

  2. Hi Courtney,
    I have thoroughly enjoyed ‘thumbing’ through your site and ‘getting to know you’. That stated, while I know that you have a lot on your plate to do during your time away… can I tell you that I feel slightly abandoned? Hahah! Seriously, I hope you have a fabulous month and are able to actually get rest considering how much you have planned.

    Best wishes and blessings to you and yours,

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