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75 Backyard Barbecue Contributions No One Thinks to Bring

Bump up your backyard barbecue game with these surprising shareable dishes, including starters, sides and salads.

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Banh Mi Skewers

I love banh mi sandwiches but wanted to make them a little easier to serve for a party. These skewers are a really fun twist! For easier prep on the day of the party, make the meatballs in advance and freeze them. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
2 / 75

Fried Chicken and Pulled Pork Cornbread Poppers

These fun little apps are an instant conversation starter wherever they're served. We love them on game day, but they'd be a hit at brunch, too. —Crystal Schlueter, Babbitt, Minnesota
3 / 75
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Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

What could be better than a brownie crust layered with chocolate cheesecake and topped with chocolate ganache? These cheesecake bars will satisfy even the biggest chocolate lovers out there. —Andrea Price, Grafton, Wisconsin
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Spicy Sweet Potato Chips & Cilantro Dip

This irresistible combo could become your new signature snack food. Park the spicy baked chips next to a bowl of the cool, creamy dip and let the gang have at it. What a fantastic twist on traditional chips and dip! —Elizabeth Godecke, Chicago, Illinois
5 / 75
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Watermelon Cups

This lovely appetizer is almost too pretty to eat! Sweet watermelon cubes hold a refreshing topping that showcases cucumber, red onion and fresh herbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

One of my favorite slow-cooker recipes is this impressive Buffalo chicken egg rolls appetizer. You can wrap the filling in egg roll wraps and bake, or, for a bite-sized version, use smaller wonton wraps. —Tara Odegaard, Omaha, Nebraska
7 / 75
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Jalapeno & Cotija Cheese Potato Stack Pie

Pie isn't just for dessert anymore. Stacking thinly sliced potatoes with layers of minced jalapenos and crumbled Cotija cheese helps turn ordinary spuds into something truly spectacular...especially when served with salsa and sour cream. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
8 / 75
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Refrigerator Garden Pickles

Canning isn't necessary for these crisp-tender, tangy pickles. Keep them in the fridge and eat them up within a month. —Linda Chapman, Meriden, Iowa
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So Very Berry Brie

I needed to make something quick for a wine-and-cheese party and had a bounty of berries on hand. My creation went great with all the wines and looked so much more impressive than the other plain cheeses! —Kristin Larson-Jantzi, Newton, Kansas
10 / 75

Jalapeno Popper Corn Salad

I created this recipe for a wedding I was catering, and it’s a good thing I made buckets of it because I couldn’t stop eating it! This chilled, creamy salad combines all the best flavors of jalapeno poppers with the delicate sweetness of fresh corn. —Amanda Miller, Hutchinson, Kansas
11 / 75
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Bang Bang Shrimp Cake Sliders

My family loves these shrimp sliders. The bang bang slaw dressing and shrimp cake patties can be made ahead. When ready to serve, toss the cabbage slaw and sear the shrimp cakes, then assemble and enjoy. —Kim Banick, Salem Oregon
12 / 75
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Balsamic-Goat Cheese Grilled Plums

Make a bold statement with this simple yet elegant treat. Ripe plums are grilled and then dressed with a balsamic reduction and tangy goat cheese. —Ariana Abelow, Holliston, Massachusetts
13 / 75

Slow-Cooker Garlic-Rosemary Cauliflower Puree

I love this delicious fake take on mashed potatoes, and it doesn't heat up my kitchen! Treat leftovers as you would leftover mashed potatoes and make mock potato pancakes. —Sharon Gibson, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Air-Fryer Pickles

Enjoy deep-fried pickles? You’ll love this version even more. Dill pickle slices are coated with panko bread crumbs and spices, then air-fried until crispy. Dip them in ranch dressing for an appetizer you won’t soon forget. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Fresh Shrimp And Avocado Nachos Exps Sdjj18 214141 B02 15 2b 9

Fresh Shrimp and Avocado Nachos

I'm a fan of shrimp, and my family loves nachos. When I combined those favorites and added fresh avocado, the result was a cool yet satisfying snack. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Pulled Pork Doughnut Hole Sliders Exps Sdfm18 191675 C10 04 5b 10

Pulled Pork Doughnut Hole Sliders

This slider recipe was created by accident when we had a surplus of root beer from a party. Now we can't have barbecue any other way! —Eden Dranger, Los Angeles, California
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Heirloom Tomato Pie

My green-thumbed neighbors like to share produce with me. I return the delicious favor by baking tomato pies for all. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
18 / 75
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Lime and Sesame Grilled Eggplant

When I lived in Greece, I fell in love with eggplant. My recipe's seasonings have an Asian theme, but the dish still makes me think Greek. —Allyson Meyler, Greensboro, North Carolina
19 / 75
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Curried Chicken Salad with Pineapple and Grapes

This fun and flavorful beauty turns last night’s cooked chicken into a delightful salad that’s perfect for lunch. —Linda Bevill, Monticello, Arkansas
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Salsa Corn Cakes

This recipe is super with fresh or canned corn. I whip up these patties to serve alongside nachos or tacos on hot summer evenings. The salsa is subtle but adds flavor. —Lisa Boettcher, Rosebush, Michigan
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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French-Fry Bake

When a friend brought this to a gathering at church, I simply had to ask for the recipe—what a fast and fun way to serve potatoes! It's always good to find a recipe that can sneak in a few extra veggies; the kids never find the carrots hidden inside this one. —Cheryl Newendorp, Pella, Iowa
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Flamboyant Flamenco Summer Salad Exps Thjj18 208065 C01 30 3b 2

Flamboyant Flamenco Summer Salad

I came up with this salad simply by choosing the best-looking vegetables at a local farmers market—the colors are so beautiful! Turn it into a full vegetarian meal by adding roasted garbanzo beans or cooked white beans as protein. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Maryland Corn Pops

Fresh-picked sweet corn is a big thing in Maryland. Here’s my homespun version of Mexican street corn that brings in local bay flavors. —Kristie Schley, Severna Park, Maryland
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Stuffed Sweet Onions with Bacon

This unexpected side dish is perfect to serve alongside grilled steak or pork chops. Even if you're not an onion fan, the low heat and long cooking time of this dish mellows and sweetens the sometimes sharp raw onion flavors that many dislike.—Erin Chilcoat, Smithtown, New York
26 / 75
Thai Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing Exps Sdjj19 233099 B02 05 7b 4

Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

I created this salad to replicate one I tried on a cruise several years ago. It goes over very well at family gatherings and potlucks year-round. We love the spice of the Thai chile, but if your family isn't into spice, feel free to leave it out. It will still be delicious! —Donna Gribbins, Shelbyville, Kentucky
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Loaded Pulled Pork Cups

Potato nests are simple to make and surprisingly handy for pulled pork, cheese, sour cream and other toppings. Make, bake and collect the compliments. —Melissa Sperka, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad Exps Sdjj19 234922 B02 06 6b Rms 3

Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad

I love the velvety taste and texture of sweet potatoes. A friend served sweet potatoes cooked with peppers and they tasted delicious together. I took those flavors and developed them into this creamy, smoky potato salad. —Carolyn Eskew, Dayton, Ohio
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Homemade Potato Chips

Forget buying a bag of potato chips at the grocery store when you can make these at home. This quick and easy recipe will delight everyone in the family. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Air Fryer Garlic Rosemary Brussels Sprouts Exps Thn18 227185 E06 06 3b 28

Air-Fryer Garlic-Rosemary Brussels Sprouts

This air-fryer Brussels sprouts recipe is my go-to Thanksgiving side dish. It's healthy and easy, and it doesn't take very much time or effort to make. I usually use rosemary for my turkey, so this lets me use up some of the leftover herbs! —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Spicy Crab Salad Tapas Exps Thca18 169173 C01 24 3b 3

Spicy Crab Salad Tapas

I served these at a party and everyone went wild! These delicious morsels have a crispy flaky outside filled with creamy sweet crab that has a little kick. I used scalloped-edge cookie cutters to cut my pastry, but you can use a small biscuit cutter. —Vanessa Mason, Summerdale, Alabama
32 / 75

Grilled Pattypans

Just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients are all you’ll need for this scrumptious side dish. Hoisin sauce and rice wine vinegar give grilled pattypans Asian flair. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Santorini Lamb Sliders Exps Tham19 232685 B11 09 3b 1

Santorini Lamb Sliders

I love lamb burgers, so I created a crowd-friendly slider version. The tzatziki sauce is best made a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to mingle. —Cristina Certano, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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California Avocado Salad

Spread a little sunshine with this easy salad. Just four ingredients drizzled with Orange Yogurt Dressing and you have a light lunch or a pretty side to serve with dinner. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Ham & Potato Salad Sandwiches

These little sandwiches with zingy toppings are super simple to pull together. This classic version originated in a deli in Prague, where they're a really popular winter party food. —Cara McDonald, Winter Park, Colorado
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Oven-Dried Tomatoes

We owned an organic greenhouse and business that included classes. I had 100 tomato varieties to work with, so I started oven-drying them and taught my students, too. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
37 / 75
Spaghetti Squash With Tomatoes And Olives Exps Sdas18 175709 D04 03  1b 9

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Olives

This squash is outstanding as a side dish, but you can also top it with canned tuna to create a simple, healthy main dish. It's easy and so tasty! I like to use my own canned tomatoes for the best flavor. —Carol Chase, Sioux City, Iowa
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Candy Bar Apple Salad Exps Hplbz18 36667 C05 17 6b 14

Candy Bar Apple Salad

This creamy, sweet salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast! —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Baked Parmesan Breaded Squash

Baked yellow squash is beautifully crispy. You don’t have to turn the pieces, but do keep an eye on them. — Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas
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White Balsamic Blueberry Corn And Feta Salad Exps Thjj18 211893 C01 30 2b 2

White Balsamic Blueberry, Corn and Feta Salad

I'm not typically a huge fan of summer corn, but when it comes to this sweet, salty, refreshing salad, I can't put my fork down. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Mediterranean Hummus Nachos

My husband once piled all the Middle Eastern dishes I'd made on top of pita chips. It was delicious and fun, so we've kept doing it! We love this combination with ground lamb, too. I am half Lebanese, so we usually call these Lebanese nachos. Whatever you call them, you can't help but like them! —Gina Fensler, Cincinnati, Ohio
42 / 75

Sausage Wonton Stars

These fancy-looking appetizers are ideal when entertaining large groups. The cute crunchy cups are stuffed with a cheesy pork sausage filling that kids of all ages enjoy. We keep a few in the freezer so we can easily reheat them for late-night snacking. —Mary Thomas, North Lewisburg, Ohio
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Onion Pie

My grandmother and mother always make onion pie during the holidays, but it's good anytime. This is a savory side dish that you can serve with almost any meat or main course. It's especially good with roast beef. —Mary West, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts
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German Noodle Bake

This is a recipe I serve each year for my holiday open house because everyone looks for it. Store-bought noodles can be substituted, but I prefer homemade noodles...and so does everyone else. —Kathleen Meineke, Cologne, New Jersey
45 / 75

Caribbean Island Coleslaw

After trying a similar version of this coleslaw while visiting the island of St. Kitts, I returned home and wanted to make it myself. I've taken it to so many events, and it's always a hit. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Beer and Brats Nachos

Head to the Midwest for the big game with a platter of these crunchy snacks enlivened with a beer-laced cheese sauce. —Kelly Boe, Whiteland, Indiana
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Bacon-Cheddar Potato Croquettes

Instead of throwing out leftover mashed potatoes, use them to make this potato croquette recipe. The little baked balls are yummy with ranch dressing, barbecue sauce or Dijon mayonnaise for dipping. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Sicilian Steamed Leeks

I love the challenge of developing recipes for my garden leeks, a delicious underused vegetable. This Italian-flavored dish is a family favorite. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Vegetarian Buffalo Dip

A friend made Buffalo chicken dip and that got me thinking about creating a vegetarian dip with the same flavors. This addictive dip is so amazing, no one will miss the meat. —Amanda Silvers, Old Fort, Tennessee
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Chili Cornbread Salad

A co-worker brought this wonderful dish to a potluck several years ago. She had copies of the recipe next to the pan. Now I make it for get-togethers and also supply copies of the recipe. I never have any leftover salad or recipes. —Kelly Newsom, Jenks, Oklahoma
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Eggplant Fries

My kids love this snack—and I like that it's healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there's no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California
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Mango and Jicama Salad

This pretty salad has become part of my regular summertime rotation because of its freshness and versatility—it's great with everything from grilled chicken to seafood! Try it with coconut-flavored vinegar for a fun tropical twist. —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Sicilian Nachos

Crispy bread replaces the classic tortilla chips and savory meat sauce tops things off. This hearty appetizer easily doubles as a main dish. Add a salad and you have dinner. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I like to dunk these appetizer meatballs in blue cheese or ranch salad dressing. If I make them for a meal, I often skip the dressing and serve with blue cheese polenta on the side. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
55 / 75
Bacon Corn Stuffed Peppers Exps Sdas18 21716 C03 27  8b 1

Bacon-Corn Stuffed Peppers

Filled with corn, salsa, green onions, mozzarella cheese and bacon, these grilled pepper halves are sure to liven up your next cookout. They have a wonderful taste and give a fun twist to the usual corn on the cob. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland
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Creole Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple of Cajun and Creole cuisine. This version is an old favorite, and it really tastes wonderful. I found the recipe in the bottom of my recipe drawer. —Enid Hebert, Lafayette, Louisiana
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Mini Zucchini Pizzas

Looking for low carb? This simple snack recipe is a fantastic way to satisfy your pizza cravings while skipping the usual carb-filled crust. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

Petals of savory artichoke leaves are so delicious dipped into a creamy lemon aioli. It may seem intimidating to roast whole artichokes, but the steps couldn't be simpler—and the earthy, comforting flavor is a definite payoff. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
59 / 75

Slow-Cooker Polenta

This Italian classic is so simple to make, you can now make it any night of the week. —Elisabeth Matelski, Boston, Massachusetts
60 / 75
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Teriyaki Salmon Bundles

If you're bored with the same old appetizers, give this one a try. I serve the little salmon bundles on skewers for easy dipping. Standing the skewers in a small vase filled with table salt creates a festive presentation. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Khmer Pickled Vegetable Salad

I grew up as a missionary kid in Cambodia, and most of my favorite foods have a Southeast Asian background. Locals love eating this pickled salad for breakfast, but I like it as a side for lunch or dinner, especially with chicken satay. —Hannah Heavener, Belton, Texas
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Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, this fried okra recipe is crunchy and addicting! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
63 / 75

Baked Oysters with Tasso Cream

I love nothing more than a cold beer and a shucked oyster, so when my partners and I opened Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, Alabama, we wanted to add them to the menu. We love making them, we love serving them and our guests love eating them. —Taylor Hicks, Las Vegas, Nevada
64 / 75

Buffalo Wing Potatoes

I was getting tired of mashed and baked potatoes, so I decided to create something new. This potluck-ready recipe is an easy and delicious twist on the usual potato dish. —Summer Feaker, Ankeny, Iowa
65 / 75

Hasselback Tomato Clubs

This no-fuss, no-bread riff on a classic is perfect during tomato season. Make it for lunch or pair with pasta salad for a light dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Garlic Asiago Cauliflower Rice Exps Ghtjm17 205416 C07 18 5b 3

Garlic Asiago Cauliflower Rice

The garlic seasoning and Asiago really pack a punch, making this five-ingredient low-carb side dish a real weeknight winner. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
67 / 75
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Grilled Chicken, Mango & Blue Cheese Tortillas

Here's a fantastic outdoor appetizer to kick-start your summer get-togethers. We double or triple the ingredients when we host parties. —Josee Lanzi, New Port Richey, Florida
68 / 75

Bacon-Cheese Appetizer Pie

I first made this for an open house three years ago and everybody liked it. It's easy to make and tastes delicious. Cheesecake is popular in these parts—it's fun to have it for an appetizer instead of dessert for a change. —Joanie Elbourn, Gardner, Massachusetts
69 / 75
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Black Bean Tart

This colorful dish was a hit at a get-together I had for friends. I served the tart with sour cream on the side, a green salad and crusty bread. —Ellen Papa, Miami, Florida.
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Loaded Stuffed Potato Pancakes

When I make mashed potatoes, I always cook extra so I can prepare these over-the-top potato pancakes. Fill them with sour cream, ranch dressing, melted cheese—or all three. —Jane Whittaker, Pensacola, Florida
71 / 75
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Mexican Street Corn Bake

We discovered Mexican street corn at a festival. This easy one-pan version saves on prep and cleanup. Every August, I freeze a lot of our own fresh sweet corn, and I use that in this recipe, but store-bought corn works just as well. —Erin Wright, Wallace, Kansas
72 / 75
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Mediterranean Cobb Salad

I'm a huge fan of taking classic dishes and adding some flair to them. I also like to change up heavier dishes, like Cobb salad. I've traded out typical chicken for crunchy falafel that's just as satisfying. — Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
73 / 75
Chocolate Covered Bacon Exps Wrsm17 48039 C03 24 5b 6

Chocolate-Covered Bacon

It's a hit at state fairs everywhere, but you can make this salty-sweet concoction at home. Some say bacon is perfect as is, but chocolate makes everything better! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
74 / 75

Roasted Greek Potatoes with Feta Cheese

Lemony Greek potatoes are a traditional side dish for grilled chicken or steak. When they come out of the oven, we top with feta for a little melty goodness. —Arge Salvatori, Little Ferry, New Jersey
75 / 75

Bacon Cheeseburger Balls

The first time I served these, my husband and kids thought we were having plain meatballs. Then they cut into the flavorful filling inside! —Cathy Lendvoy, Boharm, Saskatchewan

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.

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