Make-ahead BBQ menu

April 19, 2018
BBQ Party Menu

There is a lot to do when it comes to hosting a BBQ: from food prep to cooking to cleanup- and you still want to have fun at your celebration. The answer: prep ahead! With this make-ahead BBQ party meal plan, you prep and cook everything in advance so when guests arrive, all that's left to do is sit back and enjoy the company of family and friends. The make-ahead steps outline exactly what you can do the day before and the day of to get ready for the party. And don't forget to print the handy shopping list!

Make-Ahead BBQ Menu

How We Created This Shopping List: We used the serving size adjuster on each recipe page to set the servings to 10 (except for the broccoli slaw, cake and lemonade, which already serve more than 10 and let's face it, everyone will want extras) and then added the ingredients to the shopping list. Depending on how many you'll be cooking for, adjust the serving size for each recipe by clicking on the serving size icon and then click the "+" button next to the ingredients to add them to your shopping list. To view and edit your shopping list, select "Shopping List" from the drop down menu next to your profile image. From here, you can remove the ingredients you already have and can add others you need to pick up.

Click this to adjust the serving size:


Click this to add all ingredients to your shopping list:


The Make-Ahead Prep Steps:

The day before the party, follow these make-ahead prep steps:

Step 1: Prep the Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs

Skewer the chicken on wooden kebab sticks and make the marinade. Marinate the chicken overnight so all that's left to do the day of the party is grill the kebabs.

Photo by Happyschmoopies

Step 2: Make the marinade for the Grilled Marinated Shrimp

Whip up the marinade for the shrimp and hold in the refrigerator until tomorrow. Unlike the chicken, you only want to marinate the shrimp for a short period of time, otherwise they can get mushy. You can skewer the shrimp and hold in the refrigerator until the day of the party. Remember to add the shrimp skewers to the marinade 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking so they have time to soak up all the delicious flavors.

Grilled Marinated Shrimp
Photo by Jennifer Baker

Step 3: Make the Broccoli Slaw

Prepare the slaw and hold in the refrigerator overnight. This super-easy broccoli salad comes together quickly, thanks to pre-shredded broccoli slaw and only a few other basic ingredients.

Photo by SML Nana

Step 4: Bake the Lemon Cake

Bake the cake and let cool before adding the frosting. Hold the cake in the refrigerator overnight and wait to add the fresh berries until tomorrow so they look fresh and the berry juices won't stain the frosting. This delicious cake is ready in less than 45 minutes and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Photo by Hollie Curry

Step 5: Mix up the Sangria! Sangria!

Sangria is the best make-ahead cocktail around! Giving the fruit time to infuse more flavor into the liquid makes the drink taste even better, so we recommend preparing this the day before the party and holding in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

The morning of the party, finish up these last few steps:

Step 6: Make the Greek Orzo Salad

This vegetable-packed orzo salad is easy enough to make the day of the party, plus making it the day of means the veggies stay crisp and fresh. If you wanted to save yourself more time, you could make the orzo the day before and hold in the refrigerator until you're ready to finish the recipe.

Greek Orzo Salad
Photo by Dianne

Step 7: Make the Caprese Appetizer

Make the tomato, basil & mozzarella mini skewers and hold in the refrigerator until the party. These bite-sized appetizers have a ton of flavor, thanks to fresh tomatoes and basil.

Photo by CMN Catering

Step 8: Make the Easy Raspberry Lemonade

This simple lemonade takes only 5 minutes to make, so plan to mix this drink up just before guests arrive. Add fresh raspberries and mint leaves to the mix for a sophisticated twist.

Photo by rhowgo

Step 9: Cook the chicken and shrimp.

All that's left to do is toss the chicken and shrimp on the grill, pour yourself a drink and enjoy the afternoon! The chicken needs 10-15 minutes to cook (or until the juices run clear), and the shrimp will need about 10 minutes (or 5 minutes per side).

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