• 03/21/2023

7 Sizzling Summer Dinner Party Menu Ideas

A friend group enjoys some of the summer dinner party ideas.

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Can you hear that? It’s the sizzling of meat on the grizzle, the splash of a dip in the pool and the laughter of good friends all around. Summer is about celebrating these hot days and breezy nights, especially with food and friends. Bring both together with an incredible dinner party this summer.

Everything from barbecues to pool parties to elegant summer soirees could be in your future. Check out these seven sizzling summer dinner party menu ideas to elevate your next get-together.

1. Mango Avocado Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

This 15-minute dinner stems from Vietnamese green papaya salad. Refreshing mangos paired with salad greens and snap peas create a superb harmony of creamy and crunchy textures. The dressing includes avocados and a lime sauce to drizzle over the top.

Pair this succulent salad with grilled chicken or fish for a filling addition to any dinner party. It’s an excellent meal if you’re hanging out by the pool, relaxing on your porch with friends or bringing a big meal to a cookout.

2. Tomato Gnocci Kebabs

Gnocchi instantly elevates any simple pasta dish, but have you ever stuck it on the grill? Kebabs will add classic summer vibes to your next meal, while the gnocchi transforms each serving into a comfort dish. 

Spend a few minutes spearing gnocchi, cherry tomatoes and red onion onto kebab sticks. When they’re securely on each stick, grill them while turning them every few minutes. You’ll know they’re ready to eat when each kebab looks evenly roasted. Pair with asparagus and a side salad to mix some greens into your dinner party.

Better yet, your guests can customize their kebabs if they choose. Want to add some grilled chicken or shrimp to the mix? Maybe your friend isn’t too fond of red onions. Let them slide their ingredients onto their kebab sticks before taking each plate to your grill.

3. Bacon and Kimchi Burgers

It’s time for the quintessential summer dinner: hamburgers. This Shake-Shack-inspired burger fuses two juicy beef patties with crunchy bacon and delicious kimchi. With ingredients like cabbage kimchi, sambal oelek (an Indonesian chile sauce) and melted cheese, you can elevate the simple cheeseburger into a meal your guests will never forget.

Make the recipe extra simple by cooking your thin burgers to perfection before everyone arrives. When they’re ready to eat, top the combined patties with your selected toppings and let the grill melt everything to perfection. You can slide the patties onto toasted buns to prepare dinner in just a few minutes.

4. Tex-Mex Hot Dogs

If you have hamburgers, you have to serve hot dogs too. It’s the most American way to host a cookout and throw the best summer party of the season. If you don’t want to spend more time by your hot grill, step inside to complete a hot dog recipe your guests will love.

Your oven can transform hot dogs into a dish overflowing with tasty goodness. After boiling or tossing a hot dog in an oiled pan until they’re warm, line up your buns in a casserole dish. Fill with hot dogs and all your toppings. They should line the dish side to side so none tip over while roasting in your oven.

People might arrive at your party expecting ketchup and mustard, but you can also surprise them with a Tex-Mex spread. Corn salsa, Monterey jack cheese and grilled jalapenos bring the heat, but a drizzle of lime-cilantro mayo soothes the senses. Top your hot dogs with this combo and roast them for a few minutes to serve a tasty dish without spending more time by the grill.

5. Vegetable Pasta with Walnut Pesto

This pasta recipe is a perfect menu addition for a group of vegan friends. Simply pair any type of thick noodle with homemade walnut pesto sauce flavored with basil, garlic and lemon. A side of local summer veggies could make this dish sustainable as well. Visit your local farmer’s market to see how your dinner party can rely on the natural flavors grown right next door.

Vegetable pasta is one of the best summer dinner party menu ideas because it can be a sizzling main course or a cool supporting side dish. Try it out at your next get-together to please vegans, vegetarians and anyone who prefers eco-friendly menu options.

6. Salmon with Creamy Cucumber Salad

You might think of cooking salmon as a laborious task, but you can present this decadent dish in as little as 20 minutes. Salmon is also high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s great for a light and healthy summer meal.

Serve the recipe’s included creamy cucumber salad on the side for an added flair. Each delicious bite will include the complementary flavors of fennel, English cucumber, lemon and Greek yogurt.

7. Peach Aperol Spritz

Round out your summer dinner party with a refreshing cocktail. Of course, beer and wine are great, but a fancy spritz turns a cool summer evening into a night to remember. 

This peach Aperol spritz features a bubbly sangria paired with Aperol, Averna Amaro, lemon, orange and sparkling rose. The resulting vivid tangerine color will make its mark on any dinner party.

You can also ask your guests to bring their own drink mixes to create your own array of cocktails and margaritas in your kitchen. A summer party is always a great opportunity to customize and explore new drink recipes with the people you love.

Bon Appetit!

Whether you’re lounging by the pool or having a backyard picnic, these summer dinner party menu ideas are perfect for your next get-together. You can’t ask for more than good food, great friends and perfect weather. Now, you can enjoy all three. Bon appetit!

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