The Top-Rated Recipes You’ll Want at Every Cookout This Summer

Make sure your backyard parties this summer are the tastiest they can be with a few of these crowd-pleasing recipes that have 4.5 stars or more.

1 / 96

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

Get ready to rock the grill with this wonderfully fragrant, spicy chicken. The bold marinade includes hints of cinnamon, cayenne and thyme. We like to think of this dish as “chicken with attitude.” —Judy Kamalieh, Nebraska City, Nebraska

Get Recipe

2 / 96

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
3 / 96

Dilly Potato & Egg Salad

Everyone has a favorite potato salad, and this is mine. As a young bride, I was eager to learn how to cook and make things that my husband would love. I combined my mom's and his mom's recipes, and this potato and egg salad the delicious result. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
4 / 96

Lisa's All-Day Sugar & Salt Pork Roast

My family loves this tender and juicy roast, so we eat it a lot. The sweet and salty crust is so delicious mixed into the pulled pork. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
5 / 96

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
6 / 96

Arnold Palmer Cupcakes

These fun cupcakes take a favorite Arnold Palmer recipe and turn it into dessert. Add a slice of lemon on top for a puckery finish. —Jessee Arriaga, Reno, Nevada
7 / 96

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
8 / 96

Grilled Kiwi-Chicken Kabobs with Honey-Chipotle Glaze

When guests bite into these juicy grilled kabobs, their eyes always widen with satisfaction. Our four kids are crazy about the spicy-sweet sauce. —Joni Hilton, Rocklin, California
9 / 96

Peach Mango Caprese Salad

Summer in the Midwest offers a bounty of fresh produce. I wanted to come up with a new recipe for the harvested goods, and this bright, flavorful salad is the refreshing end result. —Richard Robinson, Park Forest, Illinois
10 / 96

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
11 / 96

Sausage Wonton Cups

Here’s a tasty hot appetizer for all those parties that feature fun finger foods. I’ve made this recipe several times, and these bites always disappear so fast. It’s really easy. —Shirley Van Allen, High Point, North Carolina
12 / 96

Peach Cobbler Cookies

My sister brought me fresh peaches one year, and we decided to make these fruity cookies. They also make fantastic ice cream sandwiches—just put some vanilla ice cream between two cookies for a delicious summer treat! —Anna Miller, Churdan, Iowa
13 / 96

All-American Hamburgers

We do a lot of camping and outdoor cooking. Hamburgers are on our menu more than any other food. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
14 / 96

Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

I often bring this salad to potlucks, and everyone goes crazy for the sweet and crunchy combination. Be sure to add the pretzel mixture right before serving to keep it crispy. —Beth Olby, Ashland, Wisconsin
15 / 96

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
16 / 96

Classic Cobb Salad

Making this ham cobb salad is a lot like putting in a garden. I plant everything in nice, neat sections, just as I do with seedlings. —Patricia Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
17 / 96

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

When my grandma served this shortcake, she usually topped it with homemade vanilla ice cream. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
18 / 96

Favorite Barbecued Chicken

Is there a place better than Texas to find a fantastic barbecue sauce? That’s where this one is from—it’s my father-in-law’s own recipe. We have served it at many family reunions and think it’s the best! —Bobbie Morgan, Woodstock, Georgia
19 / 96

Pina Colada Icebox Cake

This icebox cake has all the flavors of a pina colada. It takes just one bite to escape to a tropical island! —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
20 / 96

Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Blue Cheese Mustard Sauce

This simple steak gets a big flavor boost from two of my favorites: mustard and blue cheese. My husband and I make this recipe to celebrate our anniversary each year! —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
21 / 96

Pork Chops with Glaze

Rosemary adds a special touch to these beautifully glazed pork chops that are just right for any meal. —Louise Gilbert, Quesnel, British Columbia
22 / 96

Apricot Fluff

When we were young mothers, I asked my best friend if she had a recipe for an easy ambrosia salad that I could take to a cookout later that evening. She shared this recipe with me and it's become a must-have at every barbecue I attend. It's sublime with peaches and peach gelatin, too. —Melissa Meinke, Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania
23 / 96

Tequila Lime Shrimp Zoodles

This tangy shrimp dish is a smart way to cut carbs without sacrificing flavor. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use thinly julienned zucchini to get a similar effect. —Brigette Schroeder, Yorkville, Illinois
24 / 96

Fried Ice Cream Dessert Bars

Fried ice cream is such a delicious treat, but it can be a hassle to make individual servings. This recipe gives you the same fabulous flavor in an easy and convenient bar form. —Andrea Price, Grafton, Wisconsin
25 / 96

Key West Flank Steak

My husband, Jason, is the cook in our family. This is his recipe, inspired by his Colombian roots and our visits to Key West. Sometimes we grill extra lime and onion slices alongside. Serve with sides of rice and fried plantains. —Gretchen Ospina, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
26 / 96

Fruit Tart

It's well worth the effort to whip up this creamy fruit tart bursting with juicy berries. A friend gave me the recipe, and it always receives rave reviews at gatherings. —Susan Terzakis, Andover, Massachusetts
27 / 96

Garlic-Butter Steak

Made in a skillet, this quick-and-easy garlic butter steak is restaurant-quality and sure to become a staple at your house, too! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
28 / 96

Patchwork Quilt Cake

This cake has a great homemade flavor and tender crumb. Be sure to pile on the buttery frosting, which adds a burst of vanilla. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
29 / 96

Grilled Ham Burgers

My family loves my ham loaf, so I decided to make the ham loaf mixture into patties and grill them—it was an instant hit. Adding the arugula gives these burgers a peppery bite and honey mustard dressing adds just the right sweet and sour flavor. —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
30 / 96

Fresh Corn & Avocado Dip

I alter my sister's recipe by adding a finely chopped jalapeno pepper for a little heat. This tasty dip can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. —Pat Roberts, Thornton, Ontario
31 / 96

Grilled Brats with Sriracha Mayo

I am a Sriracha fanatic, so that’s what inspired this dish. You can boil the brats in your favorite beer to reduce the fat and give them flavor before grilling, or spread garlic butter on lightly toasted buns. —Quincie Ball, Olympia, Washington
32 / 96

Pina Colada Dip

If you like pina coladas, you've gotta try this fluffy fruit dip. Scooped up with a slice of fresh pineapple, it tastes just like the beloved beachside drink. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee Wisconsin
33 / 96

Mango and Jicama Salad

This pretty salad has become part of my regular summertime rotation because of its freshness and versatility—it's delightful with everything from grilled chicken to seafood! Try it with coconut-flavored vinegar for a fun tropical twist. —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba
34 / 96

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
35 / 96

36 / 96

Chinese Chard with Almonds

The chard in my garden inspires all kinds of recipes. This one makes an amazing side dish, especially in spring. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
37 / 96

Mama's Blackberry Cobbler

Alabama has some tasty fresh berries. Several decades ago, my mama was going to pick blackberries to make a cobbler, but she went to the hospital to have me instead! This wonderful dessert is her mama’s recipe. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
38 / 96

Focaccia Sandwiches

Slices of this pretty sandwich make any casual get-together more special. Add or change ingredients to your taste. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
39 / 96

Spicy Corn Kabobs

Corn on the cob becomes a tangy delight when grilled, dotted with sour cream and cheese, and zinged with a splash of lime. —Leah Lenz, Los Angeles, California
40 / 96

Berry, Lemon and Doughnut Hole Trifle

After my son called and said he was bringing home his college roommates, I was able to whip up this quick yet impressive dessert in only a few minutes. It's been a family favorite ever since. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
41 / 96

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
42 / 96

Banana Split Cake Bars

Summer isn’t summer without a banana split or two, and these fun bars bring that same delicious flavor in potluck-perfect form. —Jasey McBurnett, Rock Springs, Wyoming
43 / 96

Shrimp and Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

When I meet former co-workers for lunch at our favorite restaurant, we always order this salad. I wanted to share it with my husband, so I made it my mission to re-create it. Mission accomplished! —Lisa Bynum, Brandon, Mississippi
44 / 96

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

During a beach vacation, in an effort to cook our entire meal outside on the grill, I made our not-so-simple veggie choice into a simple grilled side dish. For spicier sprouts, season with red pepper flakes —Tiffany Ihle, Bronx, New York
45 / 96

Balsamic-Glazed Fig & Pork Tenderloin

I have a huge fig tree that produces an abundance of figs. One year I tried drying some and developed this sweet and smoky recipe as a result. Now it's a regular at family gatherings. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
46 / 96

Sea Salt Mint White Mocha Cookies

This recipe came from my mom's Grandma Alice, who taught her how to bake. Grandma Alice always had a fresh plate of warm cookies on her counter. I learned some of her recipes by heart as a child, and I've been making these since high school. They taste like Christmas.—Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
47 / 96

Pesto Corn Salad with Shrimp

This recipe showcases the beautiful bounty of summer with its fresh corn, tomatoes and delicious basil. Prevent browning by spritzing the salad with lemon juice. —Deena Bowen, Chico, California
48 / 96

Whiskey Pineapple Chicken

Everyone in my family loves this recipe and its sweet marinade made with ginger, pineapple and a splash of whiskey. Want even more intense flavor? Let the chicken marinate for two full days. Wow! —Jodi Taffel, Altadena, California
49 / 96

Blue Cheese Potato Chips

Game day calls for something bold. I top potato chips with tomatoes, bacon and tangy blue cheese. I make two big pans, and they always disappear. —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
50 / 96

Blackberry Sriracha Chicken Sliders

Dump everything in a slow cooker and then watch these spicy-sweet sliders become an instant party-time classic. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
51 / 96

Rhode Island Hot Wieners

Many Rhode Islanders spell "wiener" with an ei and serve theirs all the way with meat sauce, mustard, onion and a sprinkle of celery salt. —Karen Barros, Bristol, Rhode Island
52 / 96

Creamy Jalapeno Corn

This comforting and creamy corn side dish is appealing to almost everyone. It gets its spicy kick from jalapeno peppers.—Judy Carty, Wichita, Kansas
53 / 96

Sweet Tea Barbecued Chicken

Marinades sometimes use coffee or espresso, and that inspired me to try tea and apple juice to perk up this sauce. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
54 / 96

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp

Cooked shrimp become something more extraordinary when stuffed with blue cheese. The mild flavor has mass appeal.—Amy Dollimount, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
55 / 96

Peachy Pork Ribs

These meaty ribs are great picnic fare. First bake them to make them tender, then simply finish them off on the grill with a fruity basting sauce.—Tom Arnold, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
56 / 96

Coconut Milk Strawberry-Banana Pops

These four-ingredient freezer pops are a delicious way to use up a pint of fresh strawberries. You'll love the hint of tropical flavor, thanks to the coconut milk. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
57 / 96

Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

In this dish, I combine traditional Caprese salad flavors with summer peaches and blueberries. I also add prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced, flavor-packed side dish. —Emily Falke, Santa Barbara, California
58 / 96

Chicken Alfredo with Grilled Apples

If you've never grilled apples before, here's your excuse to start. I created this Alfredo-style chicken for a party. By the number of recipe requests, I knew it was a hit. —Richard Robinson, Park Forest, Illinois
59 / 96

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 so delicious together. I took those flavors and developed them into this creamy, smoky potato salad. —Carolyn Eskew, Dayton, Ohio
60 / 96

Cranberry Turkey Wraps

Fruity and flavorful, these hefty grab-and-go handfuls are quick to assemble, easy to handle and low in calories. We often take them in a cooler to the local stock show and eat them in the stands. Everyone seems to love them! —Bobbie Keefer, Byers, Colorado
61 / 96

Wisconsin Butter Burgers

It’s no secret that Wisconsinites love their dairy—so much that they sometimes top their burgers with a generous pat of butter. My recipe is a lot like the butter burgers you’ll find in popular restaurants all over the state. —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio
62 / 96

Sicilian Potato Salad

Fresh basil is the star of this mayo-free, Italian-inspired take on potato salad. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan
63 / 96

Super Supper Hero

Here's a hearty handheld meal you can eat on the go or pack for a picnic. Serve this versatile sandwich the way the recipe's written or stuff it with the works. —Maribeth Edwards, Follansbee, West Virginia
64 / 96

Slow-Cooker Peach Crumble

I look forward to going on our beach vacation every year, but I don't always relish the time spent cooking for everybody. This slow-cooker dessert (or breakfast!) gives me more time to lie in the sun and enjoy the waves. Melty ice cream is a must. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
65 / 96

Simple Lemon Parsley Potatoes

For a simply delicious side dish, I often prepare these potatoes. I like the fact that there are few ingredients and they take such little time to prepare.—Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
66 / 96

67 / 96

Dr Pepper Drumsticks

If you love Dr Pepper as much as I do, try it in my barbecue sauce for grilled chicken. It adds zip to the ketchup, bourbon and barbecue seasoning. —Shannon Holle-Funk, Venedy, Illinois
68 / 96

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
69 / 96

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
70 / 96

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
71 / 96

Dill Dip

Be prepared—you'll likely need to make a double batch of this delightful dill dip recipe. One batch is never enough when we have a get-together! It tastes fantastic with just about any vegetable, so you can use whatever you have on hand as a dipper. —Kathy Beldorth, Three Oaks, Michigan
72 / 96

Spicy Shredded Beef Sandwiches

If you like your shredded beef with a little kick, then this recipe is for you. For an even zestier version of this recipe, add another jar of jalapenos or use hot peppers instead of the pepperocinis. —Kristen Langmeier, Faribault, Minnesota
73 / 96

Dijon Veggies with Couscous

Coated in a tangy Dijon sauce, these tasty veggies and fluffy couscous make for a delightful side. —Juliana Dumitru, Fairview Park, Ohio
74 / 96

Barbecued Beef Brisket

A guest at the RV park and marina my husband and I used to run gave me this flavorful barbecue brisket recipe. It's become the star of countless meal gatherings, from potlucks to holiday dinners. Husband Ed and our five grown children look forward to it as much as our Christmas turkey. —Bettye Miller, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
75 / 96

Healthy Potato Salad

This healthy potato salad is crunchy-delicious with a brilliant zesty dressing. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
76 / 96

Big John's Chili-Rubbed Ribs

When my family thinks of summer grilling, it's ribs all the way. Our Asian-inspired recipe is a welcome change from the usual barbecue-sauce versions. —Ginger Sullivan, Cutler Bay, Florida
77 / 96

Fruity Pull-Apart Bread

Who doesn't love to start the day with monkey bread? This skillet version is packed with bright berries and dolloped with irresistibly rich cream cheese. A sprinkle of fresh basil brings it all together. —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
78 / 96

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
79 / 96

Pineapple Breeze Torte

This lovely torte features ladyfingers, a creamy filling and a crushed pineapple topping. It's a special treat for my large family and a must at Christmas. —Barbara Joyner, Franklin, Virginia
80 / 96

Artichoke Caprese Platter

I dressed up the classic Italian trio of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with marinated artichokes. It looks so yummy on a pretty platter set out on a buffet. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to its great taste. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California
81 / 96

Grilled Pork with Pear Salsa

My husband, Dave, and I have been in a dinner group with three other couples for a few years. We often share our recipes. This grilled pork was served by one of the couples, and I decided to "pear" it with this fabulous salsa. —Suzan Ward, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
82 / 96

Honey-Pecan Kiwi Salad

This dish won second place in a summer salad recipe feature published in our local newspaper. But it takes first place with my family, always happy to try my new creations. —Marla Arbet, Kenosha, Wisconsin
83 / 96

Beef Brisket in Beer

One bite of this super tender brisket and your family will be hooked! The rich gravy is perfect for spooning over a side of creamy mashed potatoes. —Eunice Stoen, Decorah, Iowa
84 / 96

Grandma's Strawberry Shortcake

I can still taste the juicy berries piled over warm biscuits and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. My father added even more indulgence to the dessert by first buttering his biscuits. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan
85 / 96

Sweet & Spicy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I threw some always-available condiments into my slow cooker with a pork roast to create this fantastic pulled pork. It has become a staple sandwich filler for large get-togethers. The flavor of the pork goes well with a cold glass of white wine.—Lori Terry, Chicago, Illinois
86 / 96

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

While growing up on a farm, I often ate rhubarb, so it's natural for me to use it in a pie. I prefer to use lard for the flaky pie crust and thin red rhubarb stalks for the filling. These two little secrets helped this strawberry rhubarb pie recipe win top honors at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. —Marianne Carlson, Jefferson, Iowa
87 / 96

Spicy Grilled Eggplant

This side dish goes well with any meat you might also be grilling. Thanks to the Cajun seasoning, the zesty eggplant gets more attention than an ordinary veggie. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
88 / 96

Key Lime Cream Pie

I am very proud of this luscious no-bake beauty. It's so cool and refreshing—perfect for any summer potluck or get-together. Wherever I take this pie, it quickly disappears, and everyone asks for the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida
89 / 96

Secret-Ingredient Stuffed Eggs

My take on deviled eggs is full of surprises. The down-home appetizer Mom used to make gets an upscale touch from mango, goat cheese and pecans. People love these tempting treats. —Beth Satterfield, Dover, Delaware
90 / 96

Winnie's Mini Rhubarb & Strawberry Pies

Every spring, we had strawberries and rhubarb on our farm outside Seattle. These fruity hand pies remind me of those times and of Grandma Winnie’s baking. —Shawn Carleton, San Diego, California
91 / 96

Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

A classic southern comfort food, this spread is used as an appetizer with crackers, corn chips or celery. It is also smeared between two slices of white bread for sandwiches and as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. —Eileen Balmer, South Bend, Indiana.
92 / 96

Bacon & Swiss Chicken Sandwiches

I created this chicken sandwich recipe based on a meal my daughter ordered at a restaurant. She likes to dip her sandwich in the extra honey-mustard sauce. —Marilyn Moberg, Papillion, Nebraska
93 / 96

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
94 / 96

Bruschetta from the Grill

Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and oregano make a savory spread for chopped tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil in this fun twist on a favorite appetizer. This grilled bruschetta gets rave reviews every time I serve it. —Mary Nafis, Chino, California
95 / 96

Macaroon Ice Cream Torte

My family loves frozen treats. With chocolate four ways, this one is so beautiful, people think it came from an ice cream shop. —Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida
96 / 96

Honey Chipotle Ribs

Nothing is better than having a sauce with the perfect slather consistency. Here's one that will ensure a lip-smacking feast. Go ahead and make the sauce up to a week ahead for an easier grilling experience. —Caitlin Hawes, Westwood, Massachusetts

Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.