41 Summer Recipes for a Backyard Bash

Here are all the summer recipes you need for a come-as-you-are burger and hot dog party.

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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

THIS is how to host a successful backyard bash!

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Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans

This recipe is a hit with guests and family. It's sweet, simple and delicious, and someone always asks for the recipe. —Elliot Wesen, Arlington, Texas
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Chunky Ketchup

I created this chunky homemade ketchup to jazz up chopped steak sandwiches and hot sausage sandwiches for my family. It's so delicious and fresh-tasting. I gave some to our friends, too, and they enjoyed it on hamburgers and even stuffed peppers. —Susan Stahr, Driftwood, Pennsylvania
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Old-Fashioned Coney Hot Dog Sauce

Camping and hot dogs go hand in hand. Roast some up over the fire, then top with this irresistible one-pot sauce. —Loriann Cargill Bustos, Phoenix, Arizona
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Crisp Onion Relish

I take this relish to picnics for people to use as a condiment on hamburgers and hot dogs. It adds a special zip! —Marie Patkau, Hanley Saskatchewan
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Emily's Honey Lime Coleslaw

Here’s a refreshing take on slaw with a honey-lime vinaigrette rather than the traditional mayo. It’s a great take-along for all those summer picnics. —Emily Tyra, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Healthy Potato Salad

This healthy potato salad is crunchy-delicious with a brilliant zesty dressing. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
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Favorite Bread & Butter Pickles

I made these pickles while growing up and love them because you can eat them with just about anything. Now, both of my children love these pickles, too. I think you'll enjoy them as much as we do! —Linda Weger, Robinson, Illinois
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Rainbow Fruit Salad

When my children were young, I would often dress up fresh fruit in this easy salad. Decades later, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren still love digging in to the fruity layers. The salad goes well with barbecued meats or cold sandwiches. —Jonnie Adams Sisler, Stevensville, Montana
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Mushroom-Stuffed Cheeseburgers

No need to call my family twice when these burgers are on the menu. Get ahead of the game and stuff them ahead of time, then grill later. — Joyce Guth, Mohnton, Pennsylvania
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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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Double Hot Horseradish Mustard

My family enjoys spicy food so this recipe is wonderful for us. We add it to sandwiches.—Madeline Cole, Willow, Alaska
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Kansas Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are my very favorite garden vegetable, so I use this recipe often. I got it from a friend years ago. I've heard this refreshing dish keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it goes so fast around our house, I've never found out for myself. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Grilled Sweet Corn

Since we have plenty of fresh sweet corn available in our area, we use this recipe often in summer. Parsley, chili powder and cumin accent the corn's just-picked flavor. —Connie Lou Hollister, Lake Odessa, Michigan
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Pops

These cool, creamy pops are a deliciously different way to use up the bounty from your rhubarb patch. —Donna Linihan, Moncton, New Brunswick
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Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

Summertime gatherings aren't complete without a refreshing pasta salad. This tasty version features a mayonnaise and picante dressing. It may become one of your favorite side dishes for tacos, too! —Kathryn Donahey, Oil City, Pennsylvania
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Watermelon Tomato Salad

Watermelon and tomatoes may seem an unlikely pair, but they team up to make a winning combination in this eye-catching salad. —Matthew Denton, Seattle, Washington
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Peach Crumb Bars

I had the most beautiful peaches and really wanted to bake with them. I started with my blueberry crumb bar recipe, and after a couple of tries, I was so happy with the results. My co-worker taste testers were, too! —Amy Burns, Newman, Illinois
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Barbecued Burgers

I can't take all the credit for these winning burgers. My husband's uncle passed down the special barbecue sauce recipe. We love it on everything...it was only natural to try it on, and in, burgers. Add cheese and bacon to take them over the top. —Rhoda Troyer, Glenford, Ohio
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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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Cran-Orange Couscous Salad

I often create salads for summer using a variety of healthy, filling grains. This version with tender couscous is amped up by the bright flavors of oranges, cranberries, basil and a touch of fennel. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
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Sparkling Fruit Salad

Pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, strawberries and grapes are treated to a dressing of wine and sparkling club soda in this delightful salad. Serve in dessert dishes or set the whole bowl on the table for a fetching presentation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Grilled Bean Burgers

These juicy veggie patties have major flavor with cumin, garlic and a little chili powder. They hold their own against any veggie burger you‘d buy at the supermarket. —Marguerite Shaeffer, Sewell, New Jersey
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Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cobbler

This cobbler came about because I love chocolate-covered strawberries. Top it with whipped cream, either plain or with a little chocolate syrup stirred in. —Andrea Bolden, Unionville, Tennessee
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Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Bites

My son Micah and I love peanut butter cups, so we made them into a new treat. We entered these peanut butter no bake cookies in a creative baking contest and won first place! —Autumn Emigh, Gahanna, Ohio
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Smoky Grilled Corn Salsa

Our backyard grill is the perfect place to cook up the ingredients for homemade corn salsa. It’s yummy with tortilla chips and as a topping for meat, poultry and fish. —Alicia DeWolfe, Gloucester, Massachusetts
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Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

My family is stationed in Italy with my husband, Lt. William Robert Blackman. William grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m from Texas, so the dish that spells "home" for us is a good ol' barbecue. I have my own recipe for barbecue sauce that we like to pour all over sliced brisket. Eating it reminds us of weekend barbecues with our families. —Tina Blackman, Naples, Italy
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Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you’re tight on time, you can use store-bought cookies, but I highly recommend making these oatmeal chocolate cookies from scratch. The dessert sandwiches are pure fun. Sometimes I decorate the sides of the sandwiches with colorful jimmies, too. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Frozen Peach Pies

A refreshing, peachy filling and a buttery graham cracker crust are the perfect pair. I’ve found that this pie can be frozen up to three days. —Athena M. Russell, Florence, South Carolina
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Barbecue Sliders

When guests dropped in by surprise, all I had was sausage and ground beef defrosted. We combined the two for juicy burgers on the grill. —B.J. Larsen, Erie, Colorado
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Slow-Cooker Blueberry Cobbler

I love blueberries, and this easy cake mix cobbler showcases them deliciously. Serve the treat warm with a big scoop of French vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Banana Split Fluff

This pretty pink mixture, rich with yummy fruit and nuts, is sure to disappear in a hurry. It’s a sweet and speedy treat that can be served as a dessert or salad. —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama
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S'more Sandwich Cookies

Capture the taste of campfire s'mores in your kitchen. Graham cracker crumbs added to chocolate chip cookie dough bring out the flavor of the fireside favorite. Melting the cookies' marshmallow centers in the microwave makes them simple to assemble. —Abby Metzger, Larchwood, Iowa
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Barbecue Seasoning

I use this BBQ seasoning on country-style ribs, pork chops and chicken. You'll likely have all of the seasonings on hand to make a batch, and if you don't use it all, it will keep for the next time. —Rose Rainier, Sheridan Wyoming
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Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Here's a juicy, delicious and savory meal in a bun! I make these bacon-wrapped hot dogs for picnics, barbecues and tailgate parties, and they always get compliments. To transport, wrap the hot dogs in foil and then in paper. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Blueberry Lattice Bars

Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for amazing new recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely bars won a blue ribbon one year. —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine
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Watermelon Slice Cookies

Once when I made these butter cookies for a party, a neighbor thought they were so attractive that she froze one to show friends. They're easy to make, too! —Sue Ann Benham, Valparaiso, Indiana
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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

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily has spent the last decade writing and editing food and lifestyle content. As a senior editor at Taste of Home, she leads the newsletter team sharing delicious recipes and helpful cooking tips to more than 2 million loyal email subscribers. Since joining TMB seven years ago as an associate editor, she has worked on special interest publications, launched TMB’s first cross-branded newsletter, supported the launch of the brand's affiliate strategy, orchestrated holiday countdowns, participated in taste tests and was selected for a task force to enhance the Taste of Home community. Emily was first mentioned by name in Taste of Home magazine in 1994, when her mother won a contest. When she’s not editing, Emily can be found in her kitchen baking something sweet, taking a wine class with her husband, or making lasagnas for neighbors through Lasagna Love.