Our top summer 2024 BBQ recipes for the patio table

The Lazy Susan team has picked some of our favourite BBQ appetisers, salads, mains, desserts and drinks recipes for your patio table this summer…

The patio table is the perfect place to gather with friends and family on a sunny day. Pair your patio furniture with a BBQ and we think you’ve got a marriage made in heaven.

In this article, we want to not only look at some of our favourite BBQ recipes but also focus specifically on the BBQ recipes that we think are perfect for sharing at the patio table.


Creating a spread of delicious and shareable food for a patio gathering will make for a memorable and enjoyable experience.

If the weather is warm a buffet-style BBQ just fits the vibe. It is laid back and uncomplicated. Easy to serve and easy for guests to help themselves.

For us, the key to a good BBQ spread is to keep things fresh, cater to all tastes, and create a visual treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

Lazy Susan’s favourite BBQ recipes for the patio table

We've just looked at our favourite ways to accessorise a 6-seater outdoor dining table, so we now want to focus on the food to serve.

In this article we want to focus on what we think are the 5 key elements - Appetisers, Salads, Main Courses, Desserts and Drinks - and recommend some of our favourite BBQ recipes for your patio table.

Plus, to help things go off without a hitch, the Lazy Susan team have some great tips for barbecue success and how to best present the food on your patio table.

1. Appetisers

Lazy Susan’s favourite BBQ recipes for the patio table | Appetisers

For us, a great summer appetiser for a BBQ should be light, refreshing, easy to eat, and complement the flavours of the main dishes you plan on serving. You want to counterbalance the often heavier main BBQ dishes and avoid filling your guests up.

For laying out on a patio table we find that finger foods or bite-sized portions are perfect as they look great but are easy to handle while mingling.

Utilise fresh, seasonal produce to maximise flavour and nutrition and opt for recipes that require minimal cooking or can be prepared ahead of time to keep your kitchen time down and free you up to enjoy the BBQ too.

In terms of some of our go-to recipes, we go for bold, vibrant flavours that will whet the appetite. A simple bruschetta for example is always a winner. Just lightly toast some fresh baguette slices and top with a mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil.

A Caprese skewer (ingredients pictured above) is another great example of something simple to prepare in advance but packed with wonderful summery flavours. Simply skewer the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil and drizzle it with a balsamic glaze.

You could set up a simple charcuterie board in the centre of the table with a selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, and fruits or keep things fresh with some tasty cucumber and hummus bites.

At Lazy Susan we like to pop a dollop of hummus on a large diagonally sliced piece of cucumber slice and garnish with a halved cherry tomato and a sprig of dill.

If, on the other hand, you want to utilise the BBQ grill, then some stuffed mushrooms filled with a mixture of cream cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs will cook to perfection

To set up your choice of appetisers on your patio table use skewers or toothpicks to make them easy to handle and arrange them on a large platter to make them visually appealing.

The key is to keep your appetisers cold and fresh, so only bring them to the garden table when people are ready to eat and use chilled serving ware or place nesting bowls in ice if it's a scorcher.

2. Salads

Lazy Susan’s favourite BBQ recipes for the patio table | Salads

The fundamentals for a great patio table-friendly summer salad for a BBQ are much the same as you’re appetisers. They should be refreshing, colourful, and packed with seasonal ingredients. Think about what will best complement the main grilled dishes without overpowering them and, again, just keep it simple, easy to prepare and serve on an outdoor table.

The best salads for a BBQ should provide a fresh cooling contrast to the grilled dishes, especially if you're adding a little spice with a rub, for example. Use fresh, seasonal produce to enhance flavour and think of the colours when presented on your table.

For the Lazy Susan team, a good summer patio table salad for a BBQ is best prepared in advance and refrigerated till needed outside.

Look for recipes that have a mix of sweet, and tangy, and incorporate a variety of textures to keep things tasty and interesting, such as a simple Greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, olives, and crumbled feta cheese tossed in a little olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon.

If you want to stick with the Italian theme of some of our appetisers then a Rotini pasta with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, and an Italian herb dressing is always a crowd pleaser.

When it comes to a summer BBQ though, no patio table is complete without a generous bowl of homemade coleslaw. There are some great recipes online such as Barefoot in the Kitchen’s classic Memphis-style slaw or Little Spice Jar’s classic summer coleslaw.

Keep the salads chilled until serving to maintain freshness and serve them in brightly coloured or clear bowls to showcase the salad’s vibrant colours.

3. Mains

Lazy Susan’s favourite BBQ recipes for the patio table | Mains

The main is where you want to focus your energy and let the cook show off their grill skills. We think the secret to a good main course for the patio table lies in selecting dishes that are packed full of flavour, easy to grill, and satisfying for a crowd.

Always start with fresh, high-quality meats, seafood, and/or vegetables. The key to good BBQ is to marinate or season well so that you enhance the smokiness of the grilling process and infuse flavour. Ingredients like garlic, citrus, herbs, spices, and oils will make a big difference to both the texture and the taste.

Proper cooking techniques, such as utilising direct and indirect heat, can take time to master, so practice before you host. You want to avoid overcooking (big BBQ no-no) and retain moisture and tenderness

A good BBQ should offer a host of main dishes at the table so you can offer your friends and family a variety to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. Patio table presentation is also crucial, so garnish with fresh herbs or citrus slices to add colour and appeal.

If you’re new to BBQ then our advice would be to go for chicken and make some tasty grilled skewers. You can create a tasty marinade or simply cook the chicken pieces with a dipping sauce. The skewers can be easily turned so you can grill to perfection and serve.

Feeling a little more adventurous then the patio table is the perfect place to share some delicious BBQ ribs. They need to be cooked low and slow and slathered in a sticky barbecue sauce such as What Should I Make For's… amazing Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

Alternatively, pulled pork sliders served on mini buns with a homemade coleslaw are another worthwhile main if you think you’ve got the grilling chops.

On the veggie side, we want to see a patio table packed with options such as spicy Cajun-style potato wedges and grilled seasonal vegetables like aubergine, red peppers, and asparagus. Corn on the cob is another essential, nicely charred on the grill and served with melted butter and freshly chopped herbs.

Make sure your grill is hot before cooking any food so that you can get a good sear and prevent it from sticking. A Meat Thermometer is a super handy gadget for ensuring meats are cooked to the proper temperature and optimal texture. And always remember to let the meat rest for a few minutes before you serve.

Try and plan your cooking so that the main courses are served fresh off the grill, ensuring maximum flavour and enjoyment. By focusing on quality ingredients, preparation, and proper grilling techniques, you'll be able to create a delicious and memorable main course for your patio table.

4. Desserts

Lazy Susan’s favourite BBQ recipes for the patio table | Desserts

After the main, people are usually pretty full, but there’s always room for dessert. The right dessert for a BBQ on a sunny day should be light, refreshing, and easy to serve on your patio table.

It should complement the mains without being overly heavy, so is with appetisers and salads, think cool, light and fresh to balance the warmth of a sunny day and the heat of a BBQ grill.

Again, for us, we like to go for fresh, seasonal fruits, and desserts that can be easily portioned and eaten with minimal utensils and are ideal for an outdoor table setting.

Anything easy to transport and that can withstand the heat of a BBQ on a sunny day like a simple fruit salad is always a winner. Keep it simple, so watermelon, berries, pineapple, kiwi, and grapes with a little drizzle of honey and lime juice, garnished with some chopped fresh mint leaves is a perfect example.

If you want to grill your dessert, then it has to be some simple grilled peaches with a good quality vanilla ice cream. Brush the peach halves with a little melted butter and grill them cut-side down until they are soft and have those all-important caramelised sear marks.

There is no beige food at a Lazy Susan BBQ so serve fresh desserts on colourful platters or in bowls. Or serve up individual portions in jars or small cups, for easy handling.

It's important to keep desserts chilled until serving to maintain freshness and prevent melting, and brighten them up further by garnishing them with fresh herbs, edible flowers, or citrus zest.

5. Drinks

Lazy Susan’s favourite BBQ recipes for the patio table | Drinks

A great drink for a sunny summer BBQ should be refreshing, flavourful, and easy to serve at a casual outdoor table setting. You want to keep things super chilled and hydrating for your family or friends to counteract the heat of the day.

To complement BBQ fare you want it refreshing and packed with fresh, vibrant flavours. Of course, you need a range of drinks to complement all tastes. However, if you want to push the boat out, then simple recipes that can be made in large batches ahead of time and served at the patio table in a jug is the way to go.

A popular drink at our company BBQs and pizza parties is our classic homemade lemonade. Combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves to make a simple syrup. Mix fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and cold sparkling water in a large jug with ice, adjust sweetness to taste and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint leaves.

We also love iced tea and the best recipe we’ve tried is made with Darjeeling tea. Just brew it up and let it cool. In a large jug add the tea, fresh mint leaves, and some sliced peaches. Sweeten it with a little honey or simple syrup to taste and serve over ice.

If you’re looking for something alcoholic but refreshing and perfect for sharing at your garden dining table, then a sparkling sangria is another crowd-pleaser.

Start with a good bottle of Garnacha or Pinot Noir and in a large pitcher-style jug mix the wine with fresh orange juice and sliced oranges, lemons, berries, and apples. Top it up with some sparkling and pop it in the fridge for several hours before serving.

Our final thoughts...
Our final thoughts…

Our top summer 2024 BBQ recipes for the patio table are all best shared, so use large platters and bowls to display the food attractively.

Arrange the food at varying heights using stands or one of our Lazy Susan revolving servers and keep things bright with lots of fresh herbs and edible flowers as decorations around and on the food.

Also, be sure to provide plenty of serving utensils and napkins for easy access and keep cold dishes chilled and hot dishes warm until you're ready to let people get stuck in.

Hopefully, these recipes and tips will help you create a delightful and inviting BBQ spread for your patio table this summer!

If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan Patio Furniture at your next summer BBQ, then we would love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Them Here.

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