7 Summer Menus for Having People Over

6 summer menus for having people over

“Entertaining” seems to be the term of choice for inviting guests to share your table. And while the word has an appealing ring, it sounds intimidating, as if I’m supposed to pull out my tap shoes while balancing a tray of canapés. When it comes to hosting an event, whether it’s dinner for four or cocktails for forty, “having people over” is more approachable than “entertaining. Less pressure for perfection, more emphasis on being present. And there’s no better time of year for “having people over” than in the summer. There’s a built-in breeziness to al fresco suppers, beachside bonfires, and dinner parties that linger on a warm evening. Plus, I’m smitten with summer ingredients and the repertoire of recipes I’ve collected over the years. Here you’ll find 7 summer menus for having people over. Each features a salad, a main, and a dessert. While I find that a dish of olives, colorful crudité or a wedge of cheese is appetizer enough for small gatherings, I’ve included a handful of hors d’oeuvres recipes, too. Feel free to mix and match any of the menu items depending on your mood.


Honey Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Parmesan Cheddar Seed Crackers

Fancy Smashed Pea Toast with Feta

Colorful Cheese Board

Tomato Zucchini Tart with a spatula and wedge of tart


Salad with Green Goddess Dressing and Grilled Croutons

Tomato Zucchini Tart with Olive Oil Crust

Brown Sugar Roasted Apricots


New England-Style Shrimp Rolls

Corn and Avocado Salad

Lemon Yogurt Ice Box Cake with Berries

Blended mushroom burger with lettuce, onion, and tomato on a thin bun with pickled jalapenos and ketchup on the side


Blended Beef & Mushroom Burgers

Watermelon Wedge Salad

Fro-yo or Ice Cream with Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

Best Instant Pot Ribs


Instant Pot Raspberry Ribs

Warm BLT Potato Salad (and/or this Everyday Slaw)

Wild Blueberry Tart with GF Crust

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta


Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta

Peach, Tomato, and Corn Salad

Berries with Yogurt Whipped Cream

Cilantro Lime Yogurt Grilled Chicken


Cilantro Lime Marinated Chicken

Colorful Quinoa Tabbouleh

Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake with Berries

summer rolls


DIY Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Crunchy Slaw with Basil Lime Sambal Dressing (skip the chicken/tofu skewers; you’ll have leftover dressing)

Raspberry Sorbet in the Food Processor

If you like these 7 summer menus for having people over, check out the terrific line-up of seasonal recipes over on Smart in the Kitchen.


07.02.2020 at8:42 AM #

Bliss Tobin

Hi Katie, I’m not sure how I missed this post – must have been the close of the school year with my own quarantine blues. I’m now all a dither, not sure which fantastic menu to try first. I’ll keep you posted!

07.02.2020 at8:42 AM #

Katie Morford

Thanks, Bliss. I hope you find some inspiration 🙂

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