31 Make-Ahead Recipes For Your Next BBQ (2024)

No summer weekend is complete without a backyard BBQ. But sometimes running around trying to get everything prepared and decorated can quickly turn into a hassle, and by the time dinner's ready, you'd rather go to bed. Well, not anymore! These 31 delicious make-ahead recipes are exhaustion-proof and will ensure that you *actually* get to enjoy the seasonal festivities, all while looking like a total badass in the kitchen.

Spicy Sriracha Dip

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Whip up this spicy-hot dip for a snack that guests (and you!) won't be able to get enough of. (via Brit + Co.)

Homemade Southern Biscuits

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Sink your teeth into the flaky goodness of these Southern-inspired biscuits. They're easy to prep ahead of time, and they can be enjoyed with layers of fried chicken and honey *just* as good as on their own. (via Brit + Co.)

Rosemary Watermelonade

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Whether you like your lemonade spiked or prefer to go the traditional route, a big batch of this refreshing sipper will be delish either way. (via Brit + Co.)

California Black Bean Burgers

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These veggie patties beg for just 15 minutes of prep time. From there, you can keep them locked-and-loaded in the fridge to be cooked at a later time for your barbecue party! (via Brit + Co.)

Bacon Chive Dip

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Any reason to indulge in a big batch of creamy bacon dip is a good one, and when it's this easy, there is never an excuse not to. (via Brit + Co.)

Gooey Banana Boat S'mores

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With this easy dessert, just bundle up your fave s'mores accessories with a banana into some foil. These are an exceptional choice to make if you're already grilling, because all they need to be done is a few minutes over the coals! Prep them and keep them safe in the fridge until your sweet tooth calls. (via Brit + Co.)

Taco Dip

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Once you've got an abundance of veggies on-hand, build your taco dip within 10 minutes to be devoured the next day! (via Brit + Co.)

Easy Cheezy Soft Pretzel Bites

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Top these pretzel bites with the cheese of your choice – we promise anything will go well with this pick. Serve alongside some burgers and hot dogs, and your barbecue function is all set! (via Half Baked Harvest)

Asian Meatballs

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Serve up an unexpected twist on the typical BBQ fare with these Asian-inspired meatballs served in crispy lettuce cups and drizzled with a sweet chili soy sauce. (via My Foodbook)

Vegan Grilled Peaches and Pimento Pizza

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This vegan pie is so full of freshness. Top your crust with summer peaches, arugula, onion, vegan cheese, and more, and toss it on the grill for a BBQ-worthy bite. (via The Edgy Veg)

Slow Cooker Mini BBQ Pork Sliders

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The slow cooker is *the* holy grail appliance when it comes to make-ahead meals. Throw all your ingredients in, and you can forget about your barbecue dish for the next six hours. From there, just shred and serve! (via Table For Two)

Caprese Sticks

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There's a reason why some flavor combinations just keep coming back, and mozzarella, tomatoes and basil are one of them. Keep it nice and simple with this easy skewered appetizer. (via Wholefully)

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings

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Wings are *so* much easier to make with an air fryer. These easy bites get tossed in a thick, spicy sauce that'll get cooled down by a creamy blue cheese dip! (via The Girl On Bloor)

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

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Grab that can of garbanzo beans hiding in the back of your cabinet and make them the star of the show. These are so good, that you might just want to save them all for yourself. (via Love & Lemons)

Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites

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Store-bought puff pastry sheets make this appetizer a cinch to put together. Their grab-and-go size also ensures that your guests will be able to socialize instead of waiting forever in line. (via Well Plated)

Coleslaw Pasta Salad

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This colorful pasta pick will stay good in the fridge for a few days, so you can totally make it ahead of time! Crunchy veg meets a creamy coleslaw flavor that'll help you beat the summer heat. (via This Wife Cooks)

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

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Make these mashed potatoes up to two days in advance and pop them in the oven the day of the BBQ. Your guests will think you spent all morning slaving over the hot stove. Don't worry, though — your culinary secret is safe with us. (via No. 2 Pencil)

Pesto Turkey Meatball Sliders

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Make some meatball patties in advance and store them in your fridge for three days – or the freezer for up to two weeks. Then, you can just top them with cheese and heat everything up 30 minutes before serving. (via The Yummy Life)

Easy Grilled Chicken for a Crowd

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Standing over a hot grill all summer afternoon is no way to enjoy your day. Pre-cook your chicken in the oven the night before, and it'll only need a quick reheat on the grill the day of. (via Cook The Story)

Southern Baked Mac and Cheese

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It's really not a real barbecue feast if you don't have a cheesy mac to go on the side. This one takes notes from traditional soul food methods, adding in three, yes three different types of cheeses for texture and taste. (via Pink Owl Kitchen)

Make-Ahead Frozen Fruit Daiquiris

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Whip up a big batch of frozen daiquiris the day before, and you'll get to enjoy them instead of being tied to the blender all barbecue long. (via The Yummy Life)

Mini Buffalo Chicken Sliders

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Mini sandwiches FTW! These buffalo beauties are made with pre-cooked deli wings, so they'll be ready before you even know it. (via Home Made Interest)

Dill Pickle Cheese Ball

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This cheese ball is a big dill to us. Generously coated in pickle pieces, sesame seeds, and cheese, each scoop you take will fulfill the salty cravings. (via The Fast Recipe)

Saucy Sesame Noodles

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Another take on traditional pasta salad, this one is covered in a delicious sesame-peanut sauce and topped with peanuts and fresh cucumber right before serving for a fresh crunch. (via Tadka Pasta)

Muffaletta Dip

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This dip might have a lot of ingredients, but it comes together in an instant with just a little choppin' and droppin'. (via Southern Spicy Kitchen)

Rotisserie Chicken Sliders

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Eliminate the need for a long prep time with this easy BBQ-friendly recipe! Store-bought rotisserie chicken is the star of the show here, covering tender slider buns in juicy texture. Take the rest of the toppings as a choose-your-own-adventure job! (via Cozy Cravings)

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

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Trying to cook enough potatoes for everyone in the oven would take all day, not to mention your house would turn into a sauna. Cool off and let your crock pot do the work. Did we convince you to buy one yet? (via Family Fresh Meals)

Green Bean Casserole Cups

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In less than 30 minutes you can have the perfect easy-to-eat appetizer thanks to a package of frozen phyllo shells. You can thank us later. (via Let's Dish)

Summer Panzanella Salad

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Panzanella provides the perfect balance between carbs and veggies. This well-seasoned one is constructed from only *the best* produce. (via Chef Bai)

Mini Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pies

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Why make a big, heaping batch of chicken pot pie, when you could playfully serve it up personal-sized? These pockets get prepped ahead of time, enveloping a veggie medley in tender puff pastry. After that, just bake them golden brown, according to the recipe! (via Barley & Sage)

Spicy Watermelon Salad

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BBQ goes super well with fresh watermelon. This recipe pick makes a spicy twist on your regular fruit salad, adding some zing to your outdoor dining game. (via Amanda Wilens)

What tips do you have for planning a backyard BBQ? Will any of these recipes make the cut? Let us know @BritandCo!

This post has been updated.

Header image via Cozy Cravings

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Ashley Tyler

A South Florida native, Ashley is a new mom who is just trying to figure it all out while still finding time to blog at TWO TYLERS AND A BABY. There, she shares bits of her everyday life, DIY projects, recipes and everything in between.

31 Make-Ahead Recipes For Your Next BBQ (2024)


What is a must have for BBQ dinner? ›

Some must-have ingredients include store-bought chips, dips and fruit platters, homemade barbecue sauce and of course, meats and fish to grill such as pork ribs, sausage, shrimp, salmon, beef spare ribs and chicken drumsticks.

What to serve before a BBQ? ›

Best BBQ Appetizers
  • 1 Deviled Eggs Recipe. Appetizer Deviled Eggs Recipe. ...
  • 2 How to Make a Charcuterie Board. Appetizer How to Make a Charcuterie Board. ...
  • 3 Fruit Dip Recipe. ...
  • 4 Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe. ...
  • 5 Bacon Wrapped Smokies Recipes. ...
  • 6 Veggie Tray Recipe. ...
  • 7 Salsa Recipe. ...
  • 8 7 Layer Bean Dip Recipe.
Mar 11, 2024

What to cook for a BBQ for a large group? ›

Our Favorite Grilling Ideas for Large Groups
  • Pork Belly Sliders. Sliders are just about guaranteed to be a home run at a party, and these pork belly creations take the idea to a whole new level. ...
  • Chicken Bacon Ranch Kabobs. ...
  • Blackened Catfish Tacos. ...
  • Grilla'd Chicken Wings. ...
  • Hot 'n' Fast Brisket. ...
  • Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers.

What is the 3 2 1 rule BBQ? ›

The 3-2-1 method is as straightforward as it sounds: You smoke the ribs as normal for the first three hours, cook them wrapped in foil for the next two, then finish them for one more hour unwrapped.

What not to forget for a BBQ? ›

Tools and Gear
  • Grill or smoker. Any kind will do! ...
  • Spatula and tongs. For flipping burgers, hot dogs, veggies, buns. ...
  • Fuel: charcoal, wood, pellets, kerosene.
  • Lighter or long matches.
  • Heat-resistant gloves. No need to burn yourself.
  • Apron. For that classic barbecue look!
  • Thermometer. Necessary for perfection!
  • Timer.

What is the most popular side dish at a BBQ? ›

Keep reading for the best BBQ sides that just might steal the show.
  • Classic Potato Salad. ...
  • The Best Barbecue Beans. ...
  • Classic Coleslaw. ...
  • Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole With Cheddar and Gruyère. ...
  • 3-Ingredient Stovetop Mac and Cheese. ...
  • Moist and Tender Brown Butter Cornbread. ...
  • Southern-Style Unsweetened Cornbread Recipe.
Apr 19, 2023

What should I bring to a BBQ to impress? ›

Here's our list of 7 things to bring to a summer BBQ (that are WAY better than chips!):
  • Fresh Fruit Platter. ...
  • Tasty Skewers With Fresh Veggies & Produce. ...
  • Margarita Pitchers. ...
  • Desserts From Yours Truly. ...
  • Quebrada Corn Muffins. ...
  • A Refreshing Salad (with or without pasta) ...
  • A Keg, or a Few Six Packs.

What side dishes go with a BBQ? ›

15 Classic Sides to Serve With Barbecue This Summer
  • 01 of 15. Gina Mae's Baked Beans. ...
  • 02 of 15. Classic Coleslaw. ...
  • 03 of 15. Classic Potato Salad. ...
  • 04 of 15. Macaroni and Cheese with Buttery Crumbs. ...
  • 05 of 15. Dill Pickles. ...
  • 06 of 15. Buttermilk Cornbread. ...
  • 07 of 15. Vegan Collard Greens. ...
  • 08 of 15. Succotash.
Feb 23, 2024

What appetizer goes well with ribs? ›

If you're wondering what goes well with ribs, I have you covered!
  • Baked beans.
  • Mac and Cheese.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes.
  • Coleslaw.
  • Cornbread.
  • Fried Pickles.
  • Green Salads.
  • Fruit Salad.
Jan 22, 2011

How much BBQ will feed 30 people? ›

VooDoo BBQ & Grill advises that 9 pounds of a meat like brisket will feed around 20 people, and 12 pounds will feed 30 to 35.

How much food do you need for a 30 person party? ›

Each adult will consume 1 pound of food total; children, about 1/2 pound. The more options you have, the less you need of each; decrease the main course portion sizes by 1 to 2 ounces if served on a buffet.

How much pulled pork do I need for 30 people? ›

easy calculation formula for pulled pork: 10 oz. pre-cooked weight per person X number of people, divided by 16 to get pounds of pre-cooked weight. For 30 people - 10 X 30 = 300 / 16 = 18.75 lbs.

How much barbecue chicken for 30 people? ›

A good rule of thumb is to plan on about 1/2 pound of meat per person. For chicken, you will want to plan on about 1 pound per person if it is the main dish, and 1/2 pound per person if it is just one part of a larger meal.

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