The Best Outdoor Party Menu

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Planning a family dinner, backyard bash, neighborhood cookout, or outdoor party? Don’t stress over what to cook. We’ve prepared the best outdoor party menu for you. It’s simple, nutritious, and will endure the heat.

As Mama, you’ve got kids to be with and a husband to love. You also have friends and family to enjoy. Play the role of hostess and invite people into your home…or your backyard. The weather is perfect for an outdoor dinner! Adults can linger at the table while kids play in the grass or run through the sprinklers. 

Does that sound tough to pull of a meal like that? No worries! Here’s the complete menu and grocery list so you can have the best outdoor party – for 5 or 25 people!

Main dish: Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin absorbs amazing flavors while it marinates overnight, tenderly bakes in the oven, and steams before slicing and serving. 

  1. In a gallon zippered bag, add the pork tenderloin(s), plus 2 finely diced cloves of garlic, ¼ cup of Dale’s steak seasoning, ¼ cup of soy sauce, and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Marinate in the fridge overnight, turning over once in the morning.
  2. Remove from the marinade and bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 140F.
  3. While baking, create a pouch out of tin foil and fill with a fresh batch of the marinade. Once the pork tenderloin is done baking, transfer it to this foil pouch and tightly seal. Allow to rest and steam for 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Side #1: Baked potatoes

Baked potatoes are the perfect side dish for any outdoor meal. They are individually wrapped; can be cooked in the oven, on the grill, or beside a fire; and can be personalized with a variety of toppings.

  1. Wash and scrub each potato.
  2. Using a fork, poke a few holes into each potato (about 5 or 6 jabs is good).
  3. Wrap each potato in a piece of foil.
  4. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes, or until tender.

Lay out a baked potato spread so your guests can personalize their side dish.

  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Bacon or shredded chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder, cajun seasoning, or lemon pepper
  • Ketchup 

Side #2: Corn, tomato, zucchini, bell pepper, bean salad

Fresh veggies are refreshing during the hot months. And a cold (or room temperature) salad is the best side dish for your next outdoor meal.

  1. Finely chop the zucchini. Saute in a skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes. When done, pour it into a large bowl.
  2. While that’s cooking, chop fresh tomatoes and bell peppers, then add to the bowl.
  3. Either use canned corn (drained), or fresh corn on the cob (cut off the kernels after boiling). And canned beans (drained, any kind) or freshly cooked beans (drained). Add those to the bowl as well.
  4. Once the zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, and beans are in the large bowl, add 2 Tbsp honey, 3 Tbsp lime juice, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp cajun seasoning. Stir.
  5. Serve as it is, or enjoy it with tortilla chips.

Side #3: Watermelon

Watermelon is the quintessential side dish for any outdoor party! Slice it in sticks or triangles so it’s easy for your guests to eat. For an extra kick, place the sliced watermelon in the freezer before your party. This will keep it extra cold for longer, and even tastes like a sweet frozen treat.

Grocery list

Produce

  • Garlic
  • Potatoes, any kind
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell pepper (any color)
  • Watermelon

Meat

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Baon or shredded chicken (for the baked potatoes)

Dairy

  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Pantry

  • Dale’s Steak Seasoning
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder, cajun seasoning, or lemon pepper (for the baked potatoes)
  • 1 can of beans (any variety)

Don’t forget a supply of plates, bowls, cups, silverware, napkins, serving platters, and trash bags.

A light red wine would pair well with the pork, while a batch of homemade lemonade always tastes delicious at a cookout!

Ice cream never disappoints for dessert, but a large bowl of mixed fruit and whipped cream is another fantastic option.

Happy eating!

As a busy Mama, you don’t need to take extra time wondering what to prepare for your next outdoor cookout. Here’s your pre-set menu with healthy options, easy dishes, and a well-rounded meal. Stay cool and happy eating!

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