A Perfect Summer Dinner Party Menu

The perfect summer dinner party menu: watermelon and feta salad, lemon and herb grilled chicken, mustard aioli potatoes, French green beans and shallots, blueberry drop-biscuit cobbler, blueberry lemonade cocktail/mocktail

I’ve decided to put a few different menus together to take the guess work out of summer dinner party menu planning for you. If you want to eat delicious food and impress your guests without too much difficulty, check out these recipes.

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Appetizer: Watermelon and Feta Salad

This light and refreshing appetizer/salad starts your meal off with a refreshing taste that wakes up the tastebuds. I love it because it’s seasonal, beautiful, and you can prep all of the components the day before. That way, you can just assemble everything in a few minutes when your guests arrive.

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Entree: Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken

lemon rosemary grilled chicken recipe

Again, you can prep the marinade and herbs ahead of time, toss the chicken in the morning of your party, and put it on the grill once everyone has a cocktail. It’s super easy, full of flavor, and looks beautiful. This is a recipe people regularly ask for when we make it.

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Side Dish: Mustard Aioli Grilled Potatoes

Mustard aioli potatoes: toss cooked potatoes in aioli: off grill

Talk about flavor! These potatoes take a little bit longer to make because you boil the potatoes first, but trust me, they’re worth it. You can boil them ahead of time and have them waiting in the marinade to toss on the grill with your chicken.

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Vegetables: French Green Beans & Shallots

These French Green Beans, or Harricot Verts if you want to sound fancy, look impressive and delicious but take very little time or ingredients to make. They compliment the chicken and potatoes with a fresh, seasonal crunch!

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Dessert: Blueberry Drop-Biscuit Cobbler

BLUEBERRY DROP BISCUIT COBBLER FINAL BOWL

Again, prep this cobbler ahead of time and you can pop it into the oven half an hour before guests arrive. You’ll get the delicious smell filling your kitchen and teasing your guests of what’s to come. Then, you’ll pull it out while the chicken and potatoes are on the grill and let your guests see what you’ll top the night off with. It’s simple enough that the blueberries really steal the show. You can add vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream though for a nice contrast.

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Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail/Mocktail

This delicious cocktail is quickly becoming one of my summertime dinner party menu favorites! It’s refreshing, light, seasonal, and can be a cocktail or mock tail.

There you have it! A complete summer dinner party menu, pre-planned, with lists of ingredients and instructions you can print off. Make sure you save them to Pinterest so you can come back whenever you need and, while you’re at it, I’d love it if you’d give me a follow!

The perfect summer dinner party menu: watermelon and feta salad, lemon and herb grilled chicken, mustard aioli potatoes, French green beans and shallots, blueberry drop-biscuit cobbler, blueberry lemonade cocktail/mocktail

Stay tuned for more pre-planned dinner party menus!

XOXO Alicia

Here are your recipes to print off:

Watermelon & Feta Salad

A super refreshing, summertime treat.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1/2 seedless watermelon
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 2-4 tbsp balsamic glaze

Instructions

  • Cut the watermelon into one-inch cubes.
  • Cut the basil leaves cut into chffonade ribbons.
  • In a large bowl or platter, arrange watermelon.
  • Dust the crumbled feta cheese over the watermelon.
  • Sprinkle basil ribbons over entire dish.
  • Gently drizzle balsamic glaze over the salad in neat criss-cross lines.
  • Serve immediately.

Lemon and Herb Grilled Chicken

This Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken is a crowd-pleasing entreé that looks impressive, tastes delicious, and is quite simple to make.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, grilled chicken, herbs, lemon
Servings: 6 people

Equipment

  • 1 lemon
  • Kosher Salt enough to cover the top and bottom of the chicken generously
  • cracked pepper enough to cover the top and bottom of the chicken generously
  • 3 sprigs Rosemary
  • 3 sprigs Thyme
  • olive oil enough to cover the top and bottom of the chicken generously
  • 1 Whole Chicken, skin on

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Chicken, skin on
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 sprigs Rosemary
  • 3 sprigs Thyme
  • Kosher Salt enough to coat top and bottom of chicken generously
  • cracked pepper enough to coat top and bottom of chicken generously
  • olive oil enough to coat top and bottom of chicken generously

Instructions

Prep Chicken

  • 1. Put the chicken breast side down, using kitchen shears cut up the sides of the backbone.
  • 2. Once the backbone is removed flip the chicken back over and spread the chicken out flat.
  • 3. Once flat press down with the heel of your hand on the center of the chicken breast until you hear the breastbone crack.

Prep Seasoning & Stuff Chicken

  • 1. Chop the rosemary, thyme, and garlic.
  • 2. Using your fingers gently separate the skin from the breast to form pockets. Be careful to to rip the skin.
  • 3.  Insert the chopped rosemary and thyme into the pockets along with salt and pepper.
  • 4. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, and pepper on the top and bottom of the whole chicken to taste.

Prep Marinade

  • 1. Juice the lemons and add the juice to a gallon ziplock bag.
  • 2. Add the garlic and chicken to the bag as well. Double bag it in case the first gets a hole from a bone.
  • 3. Marinate in the fridge for up to a day. The longer it marinates, the more the acid will cook the chicken.

Grill

  • 1. Pull from fridge a few hours ahead of time to come to room temp.
  • 2. Heat a grill to medium heat and grill until internal temp is 165 degrees.
  • 3. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting chicken and serving.

Mustard Aioli Potatoes

This delicious grilled potato side dish is perfect for a summer dinner party!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time38 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: aioli, grilled potatoes, mustard, mustard aioli, potatoes
Servings: 6 people

Equipment

  • Grill

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup MAYONNAISE strongly suggest Duke's
  • 2 cloves GARLIC, SMASHED TO A PASTE
  • 1 tbsp HEAPING TBSP DIJON MUSTARD
  • 1 tbsp HEAPING TBSP WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD
  • 2 1/2 LBS BABY YULON GOLD POTATOES
  • 1 tbsp FINELY CHOPPED FRESH CHIVES
  • 1 tbsp FINELY CHOPPED FRESH ROSEMARY
  • KOSHER SALT AND CRACKED PEPPER

Instructions

Boil Potatoes

  • Put potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water by 2 inches, and add 2 tbsp salt. 
  • Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender (you can insert a fork into the center to just a little resistance), 15-20 minutes. 
  • Drain and let cool slightly. 

Mix Aioli

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, rosemary (finely chopped), and both mustards in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cover the aioli and refrigerate while potatoes are cooking/cooling, about 30 minutes (up to 1 day).

Heat Grill

  • Heat grill to medium for direct grilling. 

Grill

  • Toss the cooked potatoes and aioli in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. 
  • Grill until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. 
  • Transfer potatoes to a platter and season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

French Green Beans with Shallots

French Green Beans with Shallots
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Keyword: french green beans, haricot verts, sauteed green beans, sauteed vegetables, shallots, string beans

Ingredients

  • 1-1 1/2 pds haricot verts or French green beans
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 3-4 shallots, sliced

Instructions

  • Wash the green beans and peal the shallots, if needed. Remove the ends of the string beans and cut the shallots into large slices.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the beans for about 1 1/2 minutes.  Make sure not to over do them or else they'll get mushy.
  • Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large sauce or sauté pan and sauté the shallots on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned.
  • Drain the beans and add them to the sauté pan with the shallots.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Only heat the beans until they are warm.

Blueberry Drop-Biscuit Cobbler

This blueberry cobbler is simple to make and super popular!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: biscuit, blueberry, cobbler, drop-biscuit, lemon
Servings: 9 people

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbps all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbps chilled, unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounce container creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Make Biscuit Dough

  • Whisk 1/2 cup flour, 3 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
  • Add butter and incorporate until only pea-sized lumps remain.
  • Gently mix in crème fraiche and knead in bowl until biscuit-like dough forms (5-7 turns).

Mix Filling

  • Combine remaining 1 cup sugar, remaining 3 tbsp flour, berries, juice, and zest in a large bowl. Toss to coat. 

Assemble

  • Cover 8x8x2" glass baking dish or six 6-ounce ramekins in unsalted butter. 
  • Pour in berry mixture. 
  • Tear biscuit topping into quarter-sized crumbles and cover berries.

Bake

  • Bake cobbler until juices are thick and bubbling and topping is cooked through/golden brown.
  • 20-25 minutes for ramekins or 45-50 minutes for backing dish. 
  • Let cool for at least an hour.

Notes

You can add a little whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream for an extra treat!

Blueberry Lemonade (Cocktail/Mocktail)

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 glasses

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra fine granulated sugar
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup squeezed lemon juice
  • lemonade flavored sparkling water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon sliced thin, round
  • vodka as desired

Instructions

Make Blueberry Simple Syrup

  • Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in blueberries and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until blueberries have broken down, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Strain blueberry mixture through a cheesecloth or fine sieve; let cool.

Assemble Cocktail

  • Add fresh blueberries and 1 thin lemon slice to the bottom of your cup.
  • Fill rest of the glass with ice.
  • Add a couple tablespoons of the blueberry simple syrup.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • Add vodka, to taste, typically 1/2-1 full shot (60ml), if desired.
  • Top off with sparkling lemonade.

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