42 Recipes to Make for Summer Pool Parties

Splash into summer with recipes perfect for a pool party or picnic at the beach—from fun ice cream treats and decorated cookies to easy grilled pizza, fruit salads and refreshing drinks.

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Summer Dessert Pizza

My family enjoys this dessert pizza recipe anytime of the year, but it’s especially refreshing during the hot months. You can use whatever fruits are in season. —Ida Ruth Wenger, Harrisonburg, Virginia

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Start off with these easy summer appetizers.

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Tropical Island Chicken

The marinade makes a savory statement in this all-time-favorite chicken recipe that I served at our son's pirate-themed birthday party. It smelled so good on the grill that guests could hardly wait to try a piece! —Sharon Hanson, Franklin, Tennessee
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Summertime Fun Cookies

Use this basic sugar cookie recipe to make the perfect poolside treat. Kids (and adults) won't be able to get enough. —Coleen Walter, Bancroft, Michigan
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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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Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade

The nutrition department at my local hospital inspired me to create this refreshing summer sipper. I tweaked their recipe slightly to create this drink full of sweet-tart flavor. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Hot Dog Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

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

Plan your own tropical escape with these surprisingly light-tasting pops. Angel food cake is a nice change of pace.
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Summer Orzo Salad

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this summer orzo salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, so feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Grilled Sausages with Summer Vegetables

After 30 years of camping, we've come up with an arsenal of surefire recipes. Our grilled sausage with veggies would be a superstar at a potluck. —Nancy Daugherty, Cortland, Ohio
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Summer Celebration Ice Cream Cake

I wanted to make my youngest son an ice cream cake one year for his summer birthday, as he prefers ice cream to the traditional cake. He picked the flavors and I decided to try my favorite brownie recipe as a crust. It worked! —Krista Frank, Rhododendron, Oregon
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Summer Salad by the Lake

I came up with this recipe to show appreciation to all the teachers at my son’s school. The dish had to be as special as the teachers, who always go the extra mile for their students. I think this salad did the trick! It's hearty, earthy, sweet and loaded with nothing but good stuff. —Ramya Ramamurthy, Fremont, California
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Refreshing Raspberry Iced Tea

This recipe makes two gallons, so it’s a sensible thirst-quenching choice for a springtime party when you have a medium-size crowd. It freezes well, making it a timesaver for party prep. —Arlana Hendricks Manchester, Tennessee
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Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops

These delicious ice pops can also be made with raspberries or blackberries. The rosemary sprig and lemon zest bring another layer of flavor. The pops are quick, easy, kid-friendly and freezable. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Summer Splash Chicken Salad

When it’s too hot to eat inside, I head out to the patio. Shred some rotisserie chicken and toss with mango, watermelon and grapes for an ooh-ahh healthy chicken salad. —Barbara Spitzer, Lodi, California
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Jersey-Style Hot Dogs

I grew up in northern New Jersey, where hot dogs with grilled potatoes were born. It's a combo you’ll love. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Mini S'mores

Want to sink your teeth into s’mores all year long? Here’s the answer! Just combine marshmallow creme, chocolate and graham crackers for an awesome bite.—Stephanie Tewell, Elizabeth, Illinois
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Pomegranate Splash Salad

The sparkling pomegranate gems make this salad irresistibly beautiful. My family loves it at holiday gatherings when pomegranates are in season. Even the children can't get enough of this antioxidant-rich delight. —Emily Jamison, Champaign, Illinois
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Peach Crisp Parfait Pops

My little ones love fruit crisps and ice pops. I created a healthy and delicious treat that combines the two. For a sweet addition, use cinnamon sticks in place of the wooden pop sticks. —Carmell Childs, Orangeville, Utah
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Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate

Here's a concentrate that allows you to enjoy a refreshing summer beverage any time of year. Sweet raspberries balance the tartness from lemons. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Glazed Chicken Wings

I received this easy wing recipe from a cousin on Vancouver Island during a visit there a few years ago. They're an appealing appetizer, but also a favorite for Sunday lunch with rice and a salad. —Joan Airey, Rivers, Manitoba
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Strawberry Corn Salsa

This recipe makes art in a bowl! All the colors of summer are captured in this salsa with a fresh, light flavor perfect for snacking between swims or to kick off a backyard barbecue. This can be served with chips or alone as a side dish. —Catherine Goza, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Lemon & Dill Shrimp Sandwiches

Our family took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Norway, where we got to eat incredible shrimp sandwiches like these. The crustier the bread, the better. —Monica Kolva, Millville, New Jersey
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Pina Colada Molded Salad

My gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It's a wonderful anytime treat. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Mojito Slush

Whether you're splashing poolside or watching the kids inside, this slushy beverage has just the right balance of minty crispness and limey tartness that's sure to tingle your taste buds. —Jessica Ring, Chicago, Illinois
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Barbecued Chicken Pizzas

So fast and so easy with refrigerated pizza crust, these saucy, smoky pizzas make quick fans with their rustic, hot-off-the-grill flavor. They're perfect for impromptu cookouts and summer dinners on the patio. —Alicia Trevithick, Temecula, California
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Teriyaki Shish Kabobs

When I was a teenager, my father worked for an airline, and my family lived on the island of Guam in the South Pacific. A friend of my mother gave her this tangy-sweet recipe, and we enjoyed it often. Now I make it for my family, and they're big fans as well. —Suzanne Pelegrin, Ocala, Florida
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Watermelon Shark

Take a bite out of summer boredom with this kid-friendly food project. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Crispy Barbecue Chicken Tenders

These crunch-coated chicken tenders are a little sweet, a little tangy and a whole lot of fun. In half an hour, your family's new favorite dish is ready to eat. When I have extra time, I roast garlic and add it to the sauce. —Andreann Geise, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

We came up with this fresh and fruity summer snack idea. It's easy to make ahead and carry to the ballpark, beach or playground, and the cinnamon-spiced yogurt dip adds a fun touch kids love. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

P.S. Speaking of going to the beach, check out these beach games to get all ages in on the fun during your summer adventures.

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Mint Watermelon Salad

I invented this refreshing fruit salad one sultry afternoon while my friends were gathered around my pool. It was quick to prepare and disappeared from their plates even quicker. The kids loved it too! —Antoinette DuBeck, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Coconut Tres Leches Cupcakes

Three types of milk wonderfully moisten these cupcakes. Toasted coconut on top adds an elegant touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Strawberry, Cucumber & Honeydew Salad

Strawberries and cucumbers together—I just love this combination! We used to eat a lot of cucumbers growing up in upstate New York. We'd get them, along with strawberries and melons, from fruit and veggie stands to make this sweet and tangy salad. —Melissa Mccabe, Long Beach, California
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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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Frosty Watermelon Ice

Here's a fun twist on watermelon. It's so refreshing on a summer day, and you don't have to worry about seeds while you're enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, Virginia
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Chicken & Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

My grilled cheese sandwich combines chicken with sweet caramelized onions, red peppers, Swiss cheese and sourdough bread. It’s oh-my goodness. —Kadija Bridgewater, Boca Raton, Florida
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S'mookies

S'mores are one of my favorite desserts. I wanted to create a cookie to replace the graham cracker—that's when my s'mookie was born. Just as delicious as the classic.—Maria Davis, Hermosa Beach, California
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Cashew-Curry Chicken Salad

My husband and I fell hard for the curried chicken salad from our grocery store deli, and I knew I could find a way to make something similar. This greek yogurt chicken salad has become one of our favorites to take on trips to the beach. —Janine Cooper-Moren, Portland, Oregon
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Sand Dollar Cookies

Before the military relocated our family, my children had never lived near the ocean. I came up with this special treat with a beach theme—it made our move even more fun!—Michelle Duncan of Callaway, Florida
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Orange Juice Spritzer

Here’s a zippy twist on regular orange juice. It is not too sweet and is refreshing with any breakfast or brunch entree. —Michelle Krzmarzick, Torrance, California
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Caribbean Chipotle Pork Sliders

Our favorite pulled pork sliders combine the heat of chipotle peppers with a cool tropical coleslaw. The robust flavors make these a big hit with guests. —Kadija Bridgewater, Boca Raton, Florida
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Orange Beef Lettuce Wraps

This is a lighter version of a restaurant favorite. I also recommend trying these wraps with ground chicken or turkey.—Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Refreshing Tropical Fruit Salad

Want a family-friendly side dish? This colorful medley is kid-pleasing and a great way to encourage healthy eating. —Sharon Ricci, Spooner, Wisconsin