Planning the Perfect Summer Party can be a lot of work, but a fun way to bring people together. Whether neighbors, work for colleagues, or family – a party in the summer is the ideal way to do it. It’s the casual atmosphere, the games you play, and the food you eat, which will bring you all together and create amazing happy memories.
With all the different diets out there that everyone is on these days, it’s so hard to know what to serve. But this summer party menu is sure to please anyone who comes, and it’ll be easy to put together too.
Planning the Perfect Summer Party Menu Ideas
The components of the menu are the same no matter what time of year you have a party, but the results will be different due to the hot weather and the awesome variety of plant food that is available.
Food to Stay Cool
In the summer months, your body naturally wants to cool itself down by eating things that help. Most of the food that people crave in the summer has a real reason for being wanted, such as the need for more energy and more hydration. Food like watermelon is full of energy-giving natural sugars plus lots of water.
Sweet Energetic Food
You’ll notice that in the summer you start craving more sweet food. One reason is that pretty much all produce is naturally a little sweet. Our body is made to eat during the summer, so that’s why we crave it. When you are craving sweets, instead of eating something processed, try a bowl (or two) of strawberries and some infused water.
There is a myth that more ice cream is eaten in the winter. More ice cream is eaten in the summer because it’s hot and we crave sweet, wet food to stay energetic and hydrated as mentioned. Plus, eating ice cream outside is best because it avoids sticky messes.
Most of us naturally start craving more produce. Sometimes we mistake this as a craving for candy or sweets, but it is your body telling you to eat more raw fresh produce. Try eating a chopped salad with carrots, cucumbers, apples, and different types of lettuce, and you’ll soon realize this is exactly what you want and need.
Delicious Healthy Starchy Meals
We’re not talking about eating a bunch of processed food, but most people do crave more starchy meals such as French fries in the summer. Thankfully you can change to something healthy for your summer meals when you realize why you’re craving those things. Try adding brown rice or quinoa to your meals and salads.
Lightly Sweetened Fruit-Based Drinks
Everyone is always looking for something more interesting than water to drink. You should indeed stick to fresh filtered water for the most part. However, you can make your water more interesting by infusing it with lemon, lime, cherries, strawberries, lavender, and even cucumbers. Try mixing it up to get different flavors.
Food That Smells Delicious
In the summer, we are attracted to food that smells good. The main reason is that in the summer, your sense of smell is heightened by nature, originally to help you avoid predators and find good food. Just smell the air when you open an orange, bite into an apple, or cut into a watermelon.
In the summer, your body will naturally move away from comfort food toward eating lighter, sweeter, water-filled food. The main reason is that when it gets hot, your body needs more moisture and energy. The water gives the hydration, and the sugar (whether from fruit or elsewhere) provides the energy
So with these things in mind let’s get to Planning the Perfect Summer Party.
Planning the Perfect Summer Party Menu
- Appetizers and snacks
- Main protein
- Veggie Sides
- Starchy sides
The easiest thing to do about this is to state in your invitations that you’ll supply the main protein, water, and a variety of juice and soda. Then let everyone bring something that you choose for them to bring.
When asking people to bring a dish to share, make sure they know how many people are coming so they can have enough.
Now, if you are like me, you want to be over prepared and end up providing most of the food, anyway. So, let’s fill out this menu more by adding a few items under each category so that we can make sure to have enough food.
There are links to recipes too, but you can always use your own. Just use this to get some ideas when Planning the Perfect Summer Party
Appetizers and Snacks
Here is a good 7-layer dip recipe from MinimalistBaker.com. It’s easy to put together and perfect to feed to anyone. No one will miss the meat. Don’t tell anyone it’s “vegan” and no one will even care. (https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-7-layer-mexican-dip/)
For those who need a low-carb option, here is a great recipe from IBreatheImHungry.com. This recipe is full of flavor and very creative. It’s a little harder to make, but it’s laid out easily here. (https://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/keto-7-layer-dip-mexican-bean-free-low-carb/)
Chips and dip
Ask people to bring a variety of chips and their favorite dip to share You will find my favorite dips with my frugal meals.
Veggies for dip
Ask people to bring a variety of veggie trays and their favorite dip to share.
You can use any hot dog that you want to, but to make a hot dog extra special, ensure that you have all the fixings to go with it so people can make theirs how they like it. Also provide a mixture of beef, turkey, pork, and vegan choices. We love the hotdogs from Aldi as they have no extra Nitrates and are cheap too.
You can do the same for your hamburgers. Offer traditional types but also offer choices like Beyond Meat, which is a vegan option that truly looks like and tastes like a beef burger. A hamburger is very much like a hotdog; it is the toppings that turns it from an average burger into something special.
Spinach Strawberry Salad
You can make this easy on the day of the event or even the day before. However, don’t add any dressing until you are ready to serve it to avoid any over-wilting of the salad. This recipe from AllRecipes.com is simple and easy to do.
Fiesta Corn Salad
Fiesta Corn Salad has become a family favorite. It has all the bright rainbow colors of summer and a fabulous taste to match it. This recipe from Letsdishrecipes.com has become my favorite. It could become the party favorite.
Every family has a potato salad recipe. I know my mother has her recipe, and so do my in-laws, and I honestly don’t like potato salad. Then my mother-in-law made this potato salad, and things changed for me. It has become a family favorite. Isn’t it funny how sometimes the new thing becomes a favorite?
This potato salad recipe from cookingclassy.com is the bomb.
Deviled Eggs are another one of those recipes that every family seems to have. These low-carb friendly deviled eggs from thatlowcarblife.com are amazing.
Amish Pasta Salad
I made this salad for the first time when we were cooking a meal for the local Ronald McDonald House. It went quickly, but then something funny happened. An Amish family were staying there and asked me what my pasta salad was called because it reminded him of something his mother used to make. I thought I was going to die right there as I told him the name. So now every time I serve this at a party, I tell that story, and everyone gets a laugh. The recipe from yummiestfoodrecipes.com has been my go-to for a couple of years now.
This strawberry shortcake sheet cake makes it easy to serve shortcake to your entire crowd at your party this summer. The recipe here from sixsistersstuff.com is easy to follow and most of all, delicious.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
I try not to be demanding about food, but I can’t spend any time in the summer with my in-laws without making ice cream. My mother-in-law’s homemade ice cream tops any other ice cream I have ever had. It is a MUST have for me. I have tried to recreate her perfection but can’t seem to get it right. This recipe from barefeetinthekitchen.com reminds me a lot of the magic in your mouth that she creates.
Best Summer Drinks
Set up a container for self-serve with ice, water, and, lemon slices. Alternatively, you can use any fruit that you’d like to make the water more beautiful to look at as well as tastier to drink. Involvery.com has some great combinations to try out.
Make some tea and add slices of lemon or oranges to the tea with lots of ice and let everyone self-serve. A tip to make iced tea taste the best is to follow brewing instructions and use lots of ice. Try these recipes from moonandspoonandyum.com if you need some new ideas.
Good coffee will never go out of style. There are so many coffee drinks that people can enjoy. Usually, people drink coffee for the energy it gives from the caffeine, and they also love the taste. Cold coffee is my favorite, but most people only want it in the summer. Offering cold coffee will make your party a hit with the adults who have to keep up with all the kids. These recipes from taketimeforstyle.com may be just what you need.
You can also let everyone bring their drinks too. If you want to include alcoholic drinks, ask on your invitation request that everyone brings their bottle (BYOB) to share with others at the party.
Now that you have your menu, it’s time to get the invitations out so that you can get a head count, know what people are bringing, and set everything up. Use this guide to help you when Planning the Perfect Summer Party that everyone will be talking about for a long time.