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Host the Best Summer BBQ Ever

The tail end of summer is the perfect time of year to invite some people over and fire up the grill. These recipes cover every course, from appetizers and sides to burgers for the grill.

The tail end of summer is the perfect time of year to invite some people over and fire up the grill. It doesn’t have to be a huge blowout, like a Fourth of July or graduation party—instead, keep it casual with a short guest list and a simple menu. These recipes cover every course, from appetizers and sides to burgers for the grill. Pick your favorites, call a couple of friends or neighbors, and get ready for a great time. 

Get the party going with appetizers

A good barbecue isn’t just about what’s on the grill. You need plenty of appetizers, too—especially if the grill master is running a little behind schedule. (And let’s be honest: When is the grill master not running a little behind schedule?)

Creamy Spinach Crab Dip

This creamy dip is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser because it mashes up two things everyone loves: Spinach dip and hot, cheesy crab dip. Serve it with grilled bread, chips, and veggies for an appetizer everyone will love. 

Spicy Salmon Cucumber Boats

Keep the appetizer course light and fresh with these cucumber boats. Packed with creamy, spicy salmon salad and fresh veggies, they’re a little bit like a spicy salmon roll without the rice.

Crab Basil Spread

Sweet crabmeat and fresh basil are the stars of this creamy, super-simple appetizer. If you also have fresh garden tomatoes, serve them alongside grilled baguette and this spread—the combination is like a caprese salad with crab. 

The main course: Burgers

Let’s talk burgers for a minute. The classic beef patty is a perennial favorite for good reason, but if you’re looking to shake things up this summer, we have just the recipes for the job. Whether you’re a tuna fan or more into salmon, these burgers (or crab cakes) will be the star of the show.

Grilled Alaskan Salmon Burgers

When you’re craving a burger without the beef, throw these classic salmon burgers on the grill. They’re juicy, flavorful, and easy to put together—perfect for a low-key, last-minute barbecue.

Quick and Easy Zucchini Tuna Patties

If your garden is overflowing with zucchini and you’re not quite sure what to do with it all, give these tasty zucchini and tuna patties a whirl. For the easiest hosting gig ever, cook them off the night before, then heat them up (and get a little char action) on the grill. 

Maryland Style Crab Cakes

Is a crab cake a burger? Well, no, but you can serve these classic, Maryland style crab cakes in a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and any sauce you like. In fact, we recommend it! 

Round out your menu with some sides

As any seasoned host knows, side dishes can make or break a menu. Lucky for you, we’ve got tons of recipes for fresh, summertime sides perfect for your next barbecue.

Summer Sardine Pasta Salad

Great news for pasta salad skeptics: There’s no mayo, celery, or pickle relish in this recipe. Instead, it’s loaded with crunchy veggies, fresh basil, creamy mozzarella, and savory sardines, with a tangy Italian dressing to tie it all together. 

Avocado Shrimp Salad

Shrimp, avocado, and lime always taste good together—and this salad has ‘em all. Add some cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and onion, and you’ve got a salad that’s really more like a cross between ceviche and salsa. 

Easy Italian Salsa Verde with Sardines

This fresh, herby, bright green sauce does double duty at a barbecue: Serve it with grilled bread and veggies for a delicious side dish, or spread it on buns to add even more flavor to your burgers. 

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