7 Easy Things To Bring To A Cookout And Ensure A Delicious Feast | Rock the Grill

7 Easy Things To Bring To A Cookout And Ensure A Delicious Feast

AustinPublished: July 24, 2023
7 Easy Things To Bring To A Cookout And Ensure A Delicious Feast

Whether you're hosting a backyard barbeque or attending a potluck cookout, one thing is for sure – the food is the star of the show! But, sometimes, figuring out what to bring to a cookout can be a bit overwhelming. 

That's where we come in. We've compiled a list of 7 easy and delicious things you can bring to ensure a fantastic feast with everyone begging for seconds. So, let's dive in and make your next cookout a culinary extravaganza!

So, armed with these easy and delicious ideas, you're all set to be the "cookout hero." Whether you whip up the perfect pasta salad, tantalize your taste buds with a refreshing fruit salad, or bring any other fantastic options on our list, your contribution to the cookout will surely be a hit. Get ready to impress your friends and family with your culinary prowess and make memories that will last a lifetime. 

The perfect pasta salad: A must-have at any cookout.

Perfect Pasta Salad at a BBQ

Ah, the cookout season is here! Nothing quite like gathering with friends and family, firing up the grill, and savoring mouthwatering dishes. And to truly make the most of this joyous occasion, one must include the perfect pasta salad. Not just that, it's super easy to whip together and bring to a cookout.

We have learned some valuable lessons when it comes to crafting pasta salads. 

Selecting the right ingredients is of utmost importance. Opt for a pasta shape that will withstand the test of time, such as the delightful fusilli or rotini, ensuring that every bite is brimming with delectable flavors and satisfying textures. 

And let's not skimp on the veggies, shall we? Think vibrant bell peppers, juicy cherry tomatoes, refreshing cucumbers, and tangy red onions. It is like a vibrant rainbow dancing on your plate, bursting with that unmistakable essence of freshness.

But here's where the true magic resides: in the dressing. A simple yet exquisite vinaigrette made with the finest olive oil, the tangiest red wine vinegar, a touch of Dijon mustard, and a subtle hint of garlic is all needed. Trust me; this concoction perfectly balances tanginess and savory goodness, lovingly enveloping every ingredient and effectively uniting the entire salad. And if you desire an extra flavor, don't hesitate to throw in a generous handful of freshly chopped herbs, such as fragrant basil or vibrant parsley. Your taste buds will thank you as they embark on a delightful fiesta!

Refreshing fruit salad: An easy and healthy choice.

Fruit Salad Side Dish at Barbeque

When it comes to cookouts, nothing beats a refreshing fruit salad. It's a colorful, flavorful, and healthy choice that will leave your guests wanting more. Trust us; we've seen it happen firsthand.

And it's not just about the taste. Fruit salad is also a smart choice for health-conscious individuals. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, it's a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Plus, it's hydrating, especially on hot summer days. Forget about heavy desserts or sugar-laden drinks – a bowl of fruit salad is all you need to keep cool and refreshed.

So, next time you're heading to a cookout, don't forget to bring a refreshing fruit salad. It's an easy and healthy choice to impress your friends and please your taste buds. Just prepare it ahead of time and bring it in a large bowl to showcase its vibrant colors. Trust me; your contribution will be the star of the show.

Guacamole and chips: A crowd-pleasing starter.

Guacamole and Chips is the Perfect Side Dish

Who doesn't love guacamole and chips? It's a classic combination that's always a hit at cookouts. The creamy avocado, tangy lime juice, and fresh cilantro combine to create a taste sensation that will have everyone returning for more. Who said easy things to bring to a cookout have to be a side? Why not an appetizer?

To make a batch of delicious guacamole—

  1. Gather the ingredients: ripe avocados, red onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, and garlic.
  2. Mash the avocados in a bowl and mix in the chopped onion, tomatoes, jalapeños (if you like it spicy), and minced garlic.
  3. Squeeze in some lime juice to add a refreshing, tangy flavor.
  4. Don't forget to season it with salt and pepper!

Serve it with crispy tortilla chips; you're all set for a crowd-pleasing starter.

What's excellent about guacamole and chips is that they're versatile. You can enjoy them as an appetizer while waiting for the grill to heat up or graze on them throughout the whole cookout. They're the perfect snack to satisfy those mid-grilling cravings.

Guacamole and chips offer a healthier alternative to greasy, carb-heavy appetizers. With avocados being a good source of healthy fats and essential nutrients, you can enjoy this tasty treat. 

Grilled vegetables on skewers: A deliciously healthy option.

Grilled Veggies on Skewers is an Easy Thing to Bring to Cookouts

We all crave flavors that burst with freshness, and what better way to achieve that than with grilled vegetables on skewers? Not only are they a tasty addition to any spread, but they also bring a rainbow of colors to the table.

Think of the juicy red cherry tomatoes, vibrant yellow bell peppers, earthy mushrooms, and crisp green zucchini, all charred to perfection. The combination of flavors and textures creates a medley that's sure to please everyone's taste buds. Of course, you can add meat like steak, but remember, this is a side dish. You don't want to overtake the main course.

But it's not just about the taste - grilled vegetables on skewers pack a nutritional punch too. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Grilling them brings out their natural sweetness and adds that smoky flavor we crave. It's a win-win situation that makes these skewers a guilt-free indulgence.

They're easy to make, versatile, and guaranteed to impress. Whether you're a vegetarian, a health-conscious eater, or just someone who appreciates a burst of flavor, these skewers will have you returning for more.

Fire up that grill and get ready to savor the taste of summer!

Baked beans: A classic cookout side dish.

Baked Beans at a Cookout

One side dish truly stands the test of time: baked beans. Slow-cooked beans with a sweet and savory sauce are a classic addition to any outdoor gathering. Trust me; you won't want to host a cookout without them. Not just that, they're one of the easiest things to bring to a cookout.

Imagine the guests enthusiastically digging in as you serve the beans alongside the juicy burgers. The burst of flavors - the baked beans' smoky, tangy, and slightly sweet profile - perfectly complements the charred meat. The beans, tender and full of rich flavors, become the flavor bomb that brings the entire meal to life.

And here's the best part: baked beans are incredibly easy to make. Combine canned beans (whichever variety you prefer), a blend of savory spices, brown sugar, molasses, and a touch of tangy ketchup and mustard. Simmer them on the stovetop or let them slow-cook in the oven, allowing all the flavors to meld together into a compelling harmony.

The next time you host a cookout, do yourself and your guests a favor and whip up a batch of these classic baked beans. They will be the perfect accompaniment to your grilled fare and will leave everyone asking for seconds. 

Coleslaw: The perfect complement to grilled meats.

Fresh and Crunchy Coleslaw

When it comes to cookouts, there's one side dish that always steals the show: coleslaw. It's crunchy, creamy, and flavorful, making it the perfect complement to any grilled meat.

Whether you're sinking your teeth into a juicy burger or savoring a smoky barbecued chicken, coleslaw is the MVP of the meal.

Speaking from personal experience, we've learned that a well-made coleslaw can elevate the taste of any grilled meat. Its crisp texture contrasts the meat's richness, while its tangy dressing cuts through the savory flavors, creating a perfectly balanced bite.

There's just something about the combination of cool, crunchy cabbage and creamy dressing that makes it irresistible on a hot day.

And the beauty of coleslaw is that it comes together in a snap. With just a handful of ingredients—cabbage, carrots, mayo, vinegar, and a touch of sugar—you can whip up a batch of this timeless classic in no time.

You can customize it to your liking by adding extras like diced apples, sliced almonds, or even a hint of spicy mustard.

The dish brings people together, adds freshness to the table, and leaves everyone asking for seconds. 

Homemade potato salad: A timeless BBQ favorite.

Zesty Potato Salad at a Cookout

Homemade potato salad — It's a timeless BBQ favorite that never fails to impress. When it comes to cookouts, this classic side dish is a must-have. The creamy and tangy flavors of the potato salad perfectly complement the smoky and savory grilled meats.

Here's the secret to making the best homemade potato salad: the dressing. A simple mixture of mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and seasonings can elevate a potato salad from ordinary to extraordinary. It's all about finding the right balance of flavors – a tangy kick from the mustard, a hint of acidity from the vinegar, and a zing from the seasonings.

Now, picture yourself sitting with your friends and family, soaking up the warm sun, and savoring every delicious bite of your homemade potato salad. It's a delightful moment that brings everyone together. And the best part? Making potato salad couldn't be easier. 

Boil some potatoes, chop some veggies, whisk together the dressing, and voila – you have a crowd-pleasing dish that'll make you the star of the cookout.

Take your cookout to the next level with these sides.

Bringing the right dishes to a cookout can make all the difference in creating a delicious feast with everyone raving. By following our suggestions and bringing various items, you'll ensure that there's something for everyone to enjoy. The best part is that these are easy things to bring to a cookout.

From the perfect pasta salad and refreshing fruit salad to crowd-pleasing guacamole and chips, delicious grilled vegetables on skewers, and classic sides like baked beans, coleslaw, and homemade potato salad, you'll have all the bases covered.

So, next time you're invited to a cookout, don't just show up empty-handed. Be the hero of the gathering by bringing one (or more!) of these easy and crowd-pleasing dishes. Not only will you save the host some stress, but you'll also contribute to the overall enjoyment of the event. 



Professional Backyard Chef

Austin, a trained chef and graduate of the The Art Institute of Washington, has a deep passion for locally sourced ingredients. He spent several years working in farm-to-table restaurants, forging relationships with local farmers and learning about the benefits of fresh, local produce. As a regular contributor to various food and lifestyle magazines, Austin specializes in creating delicious, seasonal recipes for the backyard bistro. His dedication to local ingredients helps readers discover new flavors while supporting their local economy.