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10 Outdoor Summer Party Recipes & Ideas

Summer entertaining is more than roasting hot dogs and warming up canned beans. In fact, celebrating summer can even be healthy. Find 10 summer party recipes and ideas here!

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Summer bashes are much more than roasting up some hot dogs and warming up canned baked beans.

And celebrating summer holidays and the season can actually be quite nutritious! (And yes, you can feast on much more than grilled chicken and that vegetable tray…)

Find 10 healthy summer entertaining recipes and party ideas here!

10 Healthy Summer Party Recipes and Ideas

Summer entertaining takes a healthy twist this year. Not only does this include preparing healthy summer party recipes, but ideas that will truly impress your guests!

1. Offer Small Bites

Leading up to the main course of a dinner party, prepare and offer small bites and appetizers. Doing so helps control portion sizes and keeps hunger levels at bay.

Favorable small bites your guests will love include these chicken feta meatballs and roasted garlic hummus in cucumber cups.

2. Lighten Up the Salads

Summer parties and BBQs often feature mayo-based pasta and potato salads.

So rather than offering heavy "salads," lighten up and serve one of these nutritious salads:

Dill cucumber salad: This light summer salad contains only 5 net carbs per 1 cup. Truly, feel as cool as a cucumber when enjoying on a warm day.

Mediterranean quinoa salad: Flavors, colors, and nutrients are abundant in this quinoa salad.

Grilled vegetable salad with herb dressing: Grilled vegetables offer a hint of smokiness and extra flavor. The paired dressing prepared with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh herbs elevates the flavor even further.

3. Build A Burger Bar

Shake up the tradition and impress your guests with a burger bar at the next backyard party!

Start by preparing this healthy homemade burger recipe, adjusting servings to fit group size. Also, feel free to offer various meat varieties other than lean beef, including turkey and bison burgers.

Set up the bar with different cheeses, such as cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack. Layout various toppings, including tomatoes, mushrooms, leafy greens, jalapeños, cucumber slices, and pickles. Offer different condiments and sauces, too.

Pair with glorious grilled potatoes or homemade sweet potato fries, including traditional, barbecue, and parmesan herb flavor variations.

4. Host a Pizza Party

Skip the delivery - guests will love the uniqueness of using the grill for a pizza party!

Learning how to make perfect grilled pizza is also fairly simple. You can also use the store-bought dough for extra ease for similar quality.

Offer various toppings to your guests and serve up numerous slice variations, including BBQ chicken, tomato basil, meat lovers, and other favorite combinations.

5. Give Guests Something to Taco 'Bout

Rather than piling BBQ meats atop a hamburger bun, stuff them into tortillas and give your guests something to taco 'bout!

First start by preparing a variety of meats, including pork, chicken, and beef. Then, set up an outdoor table of taco toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, sour cream, rice, and beans, for your friends and family to choose from.

6. Have a Crab and Shrimp Boil

Entertain your guests with a crab and shrimp boil! Also being simple to prepare and mostly hands-off, you will be able to enjoy more time spent with friends and family.

Boil up crab and shrimp, along with corn on the cob and potatoes. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and melted butter per preference.

7. Bring the Party Indoors

While we can always hope for the best, sometimes the weather just does not cooperate with outdoor party ideas and plans…

But rather than allowing it to rain on your parade, take the party inside and utilize your slow cooker!

These shredded pork sliders are the perfect inside summer recipe. Also offer a number of various BBQ sauces to your guest, along with healthified baked beans and coleslaw.

8. Grill Up Banana Boats

This grilling recipe is fun for the whole family! It is also versatile to satisfy all tastebuds and preferences.

1. Start by cutting bananas lengthwise and about a half-inch deep.

2. Open the peels to form pockets and fill with favorite toppings. This may include mini chocolate chips, peanut butter, marshmallows, berries, coconut, and colorful sprinkles.

3. Shape aluminum foil around the bananas to resemble boats.

4. Grill for approximately five to 10 minutes.

5. Dive right in!

9. End Sweetly With Fruit

While banana boats are a fun way to conclude the summer meal, sometimes it is hard to beat the fresh flavors of in-season summer fruits.

Finish up the party with a fruit salad filled with berries, pineapples, kiwis, grapes, and bananas. Or, leave on the grill and warm up some peaches. Serve with a drizzle of honey and scoop of ice cream as desired!

10. Pour Up a Punch

And last but not least… A summer cocktail!

But do not have countless mixers and bottles laying around the table. Instead, tidy up the area by mixing up a big batch of punch.

From cucumber and melon white sangria to a citrus rum punch, sip on a healthy punch. And for non-alcoholic options, enjoy a delicious and nutritious mocktail.

Written By Christy Zagarella, MS, RDN. Published on June 28, 2013. Updated on July 27, 2019.

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