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5 Outdoor Cooking Recipes for Some Fun in the Sun

by Bill Welles

If you’re heading out to the beach or laying out by the pool for a summertime picnic, your fun in the sun isn’t complete without fresh and tasty outdoor cooking recipes. If you need something easy to take on the go, this summertime menu will keep you full and refreshed. 

1. Curry Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is go-to picnic fare for a reason--it’s easy to prepare, easy to bring with you, and easy to devour! Whether you like to make a sandwich, scoop it up with crackers, or just eat an entire bowl with the help of your trusted fork, it’s one of those fresh and creamy dishes that just tastes better when eaten outdoors under a shady tree.  

For this recipe, we’re bringing the heat with a pinch of spicy curry flavor. In this case, you’ll have to substitute your slices of sourdough for a piece of light and airy Indian naan bread. A must-have for any summertime picnic, this dish turns a bright golden color from the savory curry powder and plenty of mayo, lemon juice, and cilantro help counter those spicy notes for a complete bite that both surprises and soothes your palette.  

If you’re craving sweet notes and something to provide a different texture in each bite, half a cup of golden raisins add the subtle sweetness you might be craving. It also adds more color to help brighten up this meal. 

2.  Raspberry Crumb Bars

When you think of summer, you think of fresh fruit. Why not take advantage of the season and utilize plenty of fresh fruits and berries in your outdoor cooking recipes? Good for a quick protein boost before a long hike, an afternoon pick-me-up during long days at the beach, or a quick snack for the kids after swimming laps at the pool, these fresh raspberry crumb bars are the perfect bite-sized treat.  

Fresh raspberries are one of the greatest pleasures of the summertime and make for a special treat in between meals. Oats are the base of the crumb bars, making them a healthier alternative than their cookie counterpart. Toasted almonds provide a nice crunch and texture with each bite and add some additional protein to your treat. Fresh raspberries are the preferred choice for this recipe, your local farmers market should have plenty on hand. Top with a generous amount of berries and bake until golden brown.  

Wherever your fun in the sun takes you, don’t go anywhere until you’ve packed your raspberry crumb bars. 

3. Watermelon Salad

Watermelon is a staple of summertime. It can be eaten straight off the rind, cooked on the grill, sprinkled with salt, and even enjoyed as a fresh and healthy dessert. However you enjoy this juicy delicacy, try serving up a big bowl of summertime watermelon salad. This salad will shock your taste buds like never before with plenty of sweet and savory notes that pair beautifully with each bite.  

This dish includes plenty of chopped watermelon, thinly sliced red onion, fresh mint leaves, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, all tossed in a dressing mixture of olive oil, honey, and lime juice. It’s zesty, it’s sweet, and it’s as fresh as the summer air.  

It can be prepared as a side dish next to your other outdoor cooking recipes or enjoyed on its own as a big bowl of salad for one. It tastes great next to any sweet or savory summertime flavors and helps brighten up your dish with bright and herbaceous flavors.  

For peak freshness during your fun in the sun, keep the salad and dressing separate so you can drizzle as much on as you like when you’re ready to eat and don't have to worry about too much of the flavor absorbing into the melon. Bring plenty of toothpicks or just grab a big juicy slice and dig in!   

4.  Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork

It’s not an outdoor summertime feast without a little barbecue. If you’re cooking at the park or in your backyard, this is the perfect lunch for anyone who has a craving for sweet and spicy barbecue. You can turn this simple barbecue dinner into a fun DIY pork bar for your family and guests to make their own meaty creations.    

It carries a different flavor profile because it’s oven-roasted instead of smoked or cooked on a flattop, but every note you’re looking for sings louder than ever. Place your pork on a baking sheet and add the dry-rub mixture of cumin, coriander, paprika, and plenty of salt and pepper to help bring out the natural flavors of the pork. Add a spoonful of apricot jam for just enough sweetness--just trust us on this one. Scatter onions and sliced jalapenos around your pork and serve the classic way, with a few slices of white bread and a generous helping of coleslaw on the side.  

Barbecue isn’t complete without the right sauce. Ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes make a sweet and spicy sauce that is the perfect addition to drizzle on top. Whip up this tasty pulled pork platter to take with you on the go and bring plenty of napkins; it’s finger-licking good! 

5.  Lemon Rosé Sparkler 

Rosé drinkers will love this tart and fruity libation that is the perfect thirst quencher for fun in the sun. When you’re laying out back by the pool and you need a refreshing beverage to withstand the intense heat, this is what you need.  

Your outdoor cooking recipes aren’t complete unless you have a cool drink to go with it. Sparkling rosé ensures every sip is refreshing and lemon juice, sugar, and raspberries create the perfect balance of sweet and citrusy flavors. Let the kids run around and play while the adults relax on the picnic blanket and enjoy their beverage.  

If you prefer strawberries, peaches, or blueberries in your drink, they will work just the same. Either way, your drink will be fruity, refreshing, and taste like summer.

Whether your outdoor cooking recipes entail manning the cooking station during your camping trip or prepping meals to enjoy once you’re out in the sun, stop by our store or give us a call if you need new kitchen appliances or cooking accessories. We’re always happy to help.