There’s nothing like summer, with its magical combination of sunny days and warm, starry nights. Now’s the time to get outside, and there’s no shortage of ways to come together with family and friends. From small, low-key gatherings to giant neighborhood bashes, the sky is the limit. Whatever you choose to host this season, we've got the perfect outdoor entertaining ideas to make your event a summer success.
KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH A FAMILY GRILL-OUT
The kids are home and your kitchen table could use a night off. Take dinner outside with a family grill-out in the backyard. Bring some blankets for easy seating and stick around for some stargazing once the food is gone.
For a plant-based taste everyone will love, opt for Gardein™ Ultimate Burgers. While those are on the grill, take advantage of easy-prep sides so you're not spending all afternoon indoors while your family enjoys the sun. Birds Eye® shredded veggies make for a quick-prep side that’s chockful of nutrients. Another picnic tip? Reduce waste by ditching paper plates in favor of an empty large pot or bowl to collect everyone’s dirty dishes and utensils for easy cleanup.
Keep the grill on through dessert with Grilled Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Cones. Your kids won't be the only ones to love their gooey melted goodness! Want something you can have ready in advance? Try our Lemon Cake with Reddi-wip® for a simple dessert with all the fresh and zesty tastes of summer.
WEEKEND CASUAL: SUNDAY MORNING BRUNCH
Weekend mornings are the perfect opportunity to get together with friends over drinks and delectable bites before the heat of the day sets in. To make sure your brunch doesn’t get sunburnt, plan ahead for adequate shade with plenty of umbrellas—and don't forget to move them as the sun rises overhead!
Of course, the first ingredient in any brunch get-together is a refreshing drink in your hand. Give your guests options with an outdoor bar lined with a few brunch classics. Create the perfect Bloody Mary Mix with tomatoes, horseradish, and Vlasic® Snack'mms as a munch-worthy garnish. If you're feeling even more daring, offer a Mango Jalapeno Margarita for the ultimate blend of spicy peppers and sweet mango nectar, or try an Espresso Martini for some energizing caffeine with your cocktail.
On the food side, don't limit yourself to traditional breakfast dishes. Try a veggie-packed side like our Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad with Healthy Choice® Greener Goddess Dressing to start your day off with a medley of fresh summer flavors that won't leave you in an afternoon food coma. You can also try the Tomato Jam and Bacon Grilled Flatbread for a savory dish to balance out all those sweet brunch flavors.
BLOCK PARTY BASH
For a larger (socially distanced) outdoor event, bring the entire neighborhood together with a block party as the sun sets and the evening cools off. Help facilitate mingling by setting up several smaller tables of food and drinks, as opposed to a single station, so there are more opportunities for paths to cross and conversations to spark. Keep everyone entertained (including the kids!) with game areas complete with cornhole, hula hoops, and jump ropes.
When it comes to food, it's all about providing easy and convenient bites. Finger foods like Pretzel Bites with Mustard Dipping Sauce are always a fan favorite and if you fill small condiment cups with the dipping sauce beforehand, guests can easily grab one and move along. Again, you can host a more sustainable event by supplying reusable dishes and flatware along with a conveniently located collection station. On the food side, Gardein™ Barbecue Chick'n Wings are another great choice that provides all the traditional BBQ tastes of the season to both vegans and non-vegans alike. Plus, you'll appreciate the quick and simple prep.
For a refreshing dessert with a flavorful twist, prepare cups of Tomato Watermelon Granita, made with Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes, watermelon chunks and a hint of mint. Another tasty option? Serve up classic fruity tastes with a Strawberry Poke Cake. Fresh strawberries and Reddi-wip® top this dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds—and maybe even thirds. Don't say we didn't warn you!
Whether you're creating a special night for your family or throwing a party for neighbors and friends, these outdoor entertaining ideas will help your event run smoothly and deliciously. Discover your own tips and tricks as you host throughout the season and remember: The best ingredients for any dish are a pinch of sunlight and a dash of fresh summer air!