No summer weekend is complete without a backyard BBQ. But sometimes cooking for a crowd can turn into a hassle as you run around trying to get everything prepared and decorated, and by the time the party starts you’re ready for bed. Well, not anymore! These 21 delicious make-ahead recipes will ensure that you actually get to enjoy the festivities and still look like a badass in the kitchen.
3. Rosemary Watermelonade: Whether you like your lemonade spiked or prefer to go the traditional route, a big batch of this refreshing sipper will be delish either way. And don’t forget to serve them in a mason jar. (via Brit + Co)
4. Pulled Pork Sliders: A crock pot is the holy grail appliance when it comes to make-ahead meals. Throw all your ingredients in and you can forget about it for the next six hours. Then just shred and serve! (via Table For Two)
5. Caprese Sticks: There’s a reason why some flavor combinations just keep coming back, and mozzarella, tomatoes and basil are one of them. Keep it nice and simple with this easy appetizer. (via Back To Her Roots)
6. Crispy Roasted Chickpeas: Grab that can of garbanzo beans hiding in the back of your cabinet and make them the star of the show. These are so good that you might just want to save them all for yourself. (via Rachelle B)
7. Cheesy Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites: Store-bought puff pastry sheets make this appetizer a cinch to put together. Their grab-and-go size also ensures that your guests will be able to socialize instead of waiting in line. (via Well Plated)
8. Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes: Make these mashed potatoes up to two days in advance and pop them in the oven the day of the BBQ. Your guests will think you spent all morning slaving over the hot stove. Don’t worry, though — your secret is safe with us. (via No. 2 Pencil)
10. Pesto Turkey Meatball Sliders: Make these meatball patties in advance and store them in your fridge for three days or the freezer for up to two weeks. Then you can just top them with cheese and heat 30 minutes before your friends arrive. (via The Yummy Life)
14. Easy Grilled Chicken for a Crowd: Standing over a hot grill all afternoon is no way to enjoy the party. Pre-cook your chicken in the oven the night before and they’ll only need a quick reheat on the grill the day of. (via Cook the Story)
16. Frozen Fruit Daiquiris: Whip up a big batch of frozen daiquiris the day before and you’ll get to enjoy them right along with your guests instead of being tied to the blender for the whole party. (via The Yummy Life)
17. Mini Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches: Mini sandwiches FTW! These buffalo beauties are made with pre-cooked deli wings, so they’ll be ready before you’re done Instagramming your #OOTD. (via Home Made Interest)
18. Saucy Sesame Noodles: Another take on traditional pasta salad, this one is covered in a sesame-peanut sauce and topped with peanuts and fresh cucumber right before serving for a fresh crunch. (via Tadaka Pasta)
20. Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes: Trying to cook enough potatoes for everyone in the oven would take all day, not to mention your house would turn into a sauna. Cool off and let your crock pot do the work. Did we convince you to buy one yet? (via Family Fresh Meals)
What tips do you have for planning a backyard BBQ? Will any of these recipes make the cut? Dish it out in the comments section!