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60 Summer Party Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes

Spend less time prepping and more time soaking up the fun. These easy party recipes—including watermelon salad, juicy burgers, shrimp kabobs and root beer cupcakes—are ready in 30 minutes or less.

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Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you’re really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Melon-Berry Salad

The best way to cool down on a warm day is with a chilled fruit salad. Serve this one for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Yogurt and coconut milk make the creamy dressing even more decadent. Wait until just before serving to garnish the salad. Otherwise the toasted coconut will get soggy. —Carrie Hirsch, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
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Frozen Peanut Butter and Chocolate Terrine

This terrine can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. When served, it cuts easily, revealing the lovely layers of banana, peanut butter and chocolate. —Jennifer Jackson, Keller, Texas
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Grilled Peach & Pineapple Sangria

Grill up fresh peaches and pineapple slathered in cinnamon butter and use them to make a refreshing summer sangria. I also like to add slices of grilled lemon and lime to drop in the glass for a citrusy boost of flavor. —Heather King, Frostburg, Maryland
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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
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Summer Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this summer pasta salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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Cucumber-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Besides being tasty, these little tomato poppers are extra awesome because you can make them ahead of time. At parties, I often triple the recipe because they disappear fast. —Christi Martin, Elko, Nevada
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Spicy Peach-Glazed Grilled Chicken

Simple chicken on the grill can’t compare with this wake-up-the-taste-buds version. It has just the right mix of spicy and sweet flavors. —Karen Sparks, Glendora, California
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Avocado Salsa

I was planning a party and thought it might be fun to try a different kind of avocado salsa. This recipe was an absolute success. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over chicken or steak, or eat it on its own! —Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, Utah
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Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs

My daughter Sara loves spicy Buffalo chicken and deviled eggs, so I combined the two. Make and chill a day ahead so the flavors mingle. —Robin Spires, Tampa, Florida
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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches

My famous chicken salad arrives at the party chilled in a plastic container. When it’s time to set out the food, I stir in the pecans and assemble the sandwiches. They’re a hit at buffet-style potlucks. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Pretzel Gelatin Dessert

This is one of my mother's absolute favorite desserts. The salty pretzel crust is the perfect complement to the sweet cream cheese filling. —Erin Frakes, Moline, Illinois
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All-American Hamburgers

We do a lot of camping and outdoor cooking. This all-American, homemade hamburger recipe is on our menu more than any other food. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Sonoran Sunset Watermelon Ice Exps Thjj17 165858 B02 07 3b 1

Sonoran Sunset Watermelon Ice

If you didn’t think watermelon and cilantro could go together in a dessert, this recipe will give you a pleasant surprise! Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and a sprig of cilantro on top for extra flair. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Cerveza Margaritas

One sip of this refreshing drink and you’ll picture sand, sea and blue skies that stretch for miles. It’s like a vacation in a glass, and you can mix it up in moments. What are you waiting for? —Christina Pittman, Parkville, Missouri
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Layered Garden Bean Salad

For easy entertaining, cover and refrigerate the salad a few hours before guests arrive so you don't have to bother with last-minute assembly. Turn it into a light lunch by adding sliced rotisserie chicken, salmon or tuna. —Melissa Wharton, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Dill Garden Salad

I love to cut up whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand and toss them with this delicious dressing and fresh dill. This salad shows up on our table regularly during the summer. —Bethany Martin, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
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Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

When I see Meyer lemons in the store, it must be spring. I like using them for these easy chicken kabobs, but regular grilled lemons still add the signature smoky tang. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

If you are serious about getting your fruit servings in, this is a fun way to do it. The bright red fruit salsa is addictive. It is best eaten the day it is made. —Nancy Leavitt, Logandale, Nevada
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Colorful Quinoa Salad

My youngest daughter recently learned she has to avoid gluten, dairy and eggs, which gave me a new challenge in the kitchen. I put this quinoa salad together as a side we could all share. We love it for leftovers, too. —Catherine Turnbull, Burlington, Ontario
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Caraway Coleslaw With Citrus Mayonnaise Exps144492 Sd132778c04 09 4bc Rms

Caraway Coleslaw with Citrus Mayonnaise

The combination of caraway and orange keeps this slaw from being anything but run-of-the-mill. I always get requests to bring a big batch to potlucks; proof positive that it's a keeper! I also like to make it a day ahead so the flavors can truly blend. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Sweet & Tart Lemon Jell-O

With its sunny lemon color, this gelatin mold brightens up any table. I usually make two molds for parties because it disappears so quickly. —Patricia Ryzow, Thousand Oaks, California
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Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

This cucumber and onion salad is one of the first recipes I came up with myself. It's a great salad for picnics or potlucks. I always come home with an empty bowl! —Brynn Steckman, Westerville, Ohio
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Avocado Fruit Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

On long summer days when we just want to relax, I make a cool salad with avocado, berries and mint. The tangerine dressing is refreshingly different. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

Capturing the fantastic flavors of summer, this refreshing, beautiful watermelon-cucumber salad will be the talk of any picnic or potluck. —Roblynn Hunnisett, Guelph, Ontario
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Spicy Pork Tenderloin

A friend shared this recipe for marvelously flavorful pork years ago. It really sparks up a barbecue and has been popular whenever I've served it. I guarantee you'll get many requests for the recipe. —Diana Steger, Prospect, Kentucky
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Grilled Pineapple with Lime Dip

Serve this dish as an appetizer or a dessert—the choice is yours! If desired, the pineapple spears can be rolled in flaked coconut before grilling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Loaded Potato Salad

Get a load of this: sour cream, bacon, shredded cheddar, green onions and more come together to give you all the richness of restaurant potato skins at your next picnic. —Monique Boulanger, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
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Zucchini & Cheese Roulades

My husband enjoys this recipe so much that he even helps me roll up the roulades! You can change the filling any way you like—I have used feta instead of Parmesan, or sun-dried tomatoes in the place of the olives. —April McKinney, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Sesame Chicken with Creamy Satay Sauce

Sesame Chicken with Creamy Satay Sauce

These exotic skewers are surprisingly simple to make but taste like they came from an Asian restaurant. Before grilling, marinate the chicken strips in a sesame salad dressing. —Kathi Jones-DelMonte, Rochester, New York
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Sweet Tea Concentrate

Sweet iced tea is a Southern classic and this is a fabulous recipe for those tea lovers or for a party. The concentrate will make 20 servings. —Natalie Bremson, Plantation, Florida
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Grilled Nectarine & Cheese Crostini

At our house, we love the summer tastes of sweet grilled nectarines and fresh basil over goat cheese. I can usually find all the ingredients at the farmers market. —Brandy Hollingshead, Grass Valley, California
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Garden Veg Salsa

We love this salsa made mostly with fresh garden vegetables. It’s healthy, and you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your own tastes. —Dawn Gilson, Denmark, Wisconsin
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Lemony Shrimp & Tomatoes

I created this recipe for my family because they love grilled shrimp. I love it because it's quick, delicious and good for us. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Southwestern Backyard Burgers

Whether you're in the stadium parking lot or on your patio, these Southwestern-style burgers are great on the grill. Sometimes I make six patties rather than eight because I like my burgers bigger and better! —Robert Hodges, San Diego, California
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Mushroom Cheese Bread

This savory grilled bread is delightful with barbecued steak, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. For variation, we sometimes use half cheddar cheese and half mozzarella. —Dolly McDonald, Edmonton, Alberta
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Layered Grilled Corn Salad

This has been a go-to dish for me throughout the years. It's great as a side or can be served for a light lunch in lettuce cups, with warm crusty bread. —Angela Smith, Bluffton, South Carolina
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Lavender Honey Cheesecake

I love the scent of lavender, and the edible flowers make this cheesecake one of the most spectacular I've tasted. You can use lavender honey in this recipe for extra flavor, but even without it, the lavender is very distinct. —Julie Palmer, Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania
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Baja Bean Salad

My mayo-free Baja Bean Salad uses bright, fresh flavors of lime, jalapeño and cilantro that really bring this colorful bean-medley salad come to life. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Crunchy Cool Coleslaw

This recipe is my version of the peanut slaw I love at Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, a popular restaurant chain in California. I think it’s a pretty close match! —Elaine Hoffmann, Santa Ana, California
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Cowabunga Root Beer Cupcakes

I developed these cupcakes for my daughter's first birthday and transported them using dry ice. Be careful not to freeze them solid! —Mindy Carswell, Walker, Michigan
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Sliced Tomato Salad

I got this recipe from my grandmother. It's a perfect platter to serve with burgers or hot sandwiches. —Kendal Tangedal, Plentywood, Montana
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Faux Potato Salad

Cauliflower in potato salad? You bet, along with carrots, olives and other yummy surprises. —Mike Schulz, Tawas City, Michigan
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Chipotle Chili Dogs

Long live childhood favorites! I created this recipe for the 125th anniversary of a small town in Minnesota. The medium spice level means that people of all ages love the flavors. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
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Sweet & Sour Squash Salad

This salad goes over really well with all ages, and it's a good way to get kids to eat summer squash. —Opal Shipman Levelland, Texas
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Melon with Serrano-Mint Syrup

This is just one of the recipes I developed to take advantage of the fresh mint I grow nearly year-round. The serrano pepper is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the syrup and salad. —Jennifer Fisher, Austin, Texas
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Homemade Cherry Crisp

Our family loves this pretty, tasty dessert. It uses convenient pie filling, so you can make it in no time—and it takes mere minutes to heat in the microwave. —Laurie Todd, Columbus, Mississippi
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Tzatziki Potato Salad

My son has an egg allergy, so this potato salad is perfect for him. For extra color, add radishes, apple and garlic dill pickles. —Cindy Romberg, Mississauga, Ontario
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Summer Steak Kabobs

These steak kabobs not only satisfy my love of outdoor cooking, they feature a mouthwatering marinade, too. It's terrific with chicken and pork, but I prefer it with beef because it tenderizes remarkably well. —Christi Ross, Guthrie, Texas
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Strawberry-Basil Cocktail

This cocktail of sun-ripened strawberries and tender basil is so refreshing without being overly sweet. It’s our favorite. —Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
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Deviled Egg Spread

I tried this egg salad at a luncheon and had to have it. I punched it up with pickled banana peppers. It’s a hit with my kids and picky mother. —Lisa Easley, Longview, Texas
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Feta Mushroom Burgers

My son-in-law gave me this recipe and I tweaked it to make it healthier. The burgers are so quick to whip up on the grill on busy nights. —Dolores Block, Frankenmuth, Michigan
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S'mores Crispy Bars

My aunt always brought s’mores-style bars to our family's summer cottage. Plain or frosted, they’re perfect for eating on the run. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Spicy Barbecued Chicken

This spicy, saucy chicken is great served with basil-buttered grilled corn on the cob and fresh coleslaw. —Rita Wintrode, Corryton, Tennessee
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Honey-Mustard Brats

Our honey mustard glaze gives every bite of these brats a sweet and punchy flavor. Everyone who tries them agrees they're delicious. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine
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Italian Sausage and Provolone Skewers

My husband made sausage and veggie kabobs when we didn't have buns to make classic sausage bombers. Grill ‘em up, then add cheese cubes. —Cindy Hilliard, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Grilled Leek Dip

Smoky leeks from the grill add punch to this creamy appetizer with veggies and chips. If baby Vidalia onions are available, I use those. —Ramona Parris, Acworth, Georgia
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Hot Dog Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

For parties, we shrink lots of foods to slider size, including these quick hot dogs. Pile on the easy but irresistible fruit salsa for a burst of fresh flavor. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio

Rachel Seis
As senior editor for Taste of Home magazine, Rachel has her hand in everything you see from cover to cover, from writing and editing articles to taste-testing recipes to ensuring every issue is packed with fun and fabulous content. She'll roll up her sleeves to try any new recipe in the kitchen—from spicy Thai dishes (her favorite!) to classic Southern comfort food (OK...also her favorite). When she's not busy thinking of her next meal, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, going for a run, exploring National Parks and traveling to new-to-her cities across the country.
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