BBQ Food Ideas for a Perfect English Summer BBQ BBQ Food Ideas

Making a BBQ as easy and hassle free as possible is the goal so you can enjoy yourself just as much as your guests. Here’s a few bbq food ideas I’ve learnt over the years from bbq’s we’ve had and ones we’ve been guests at.

We all get very excited when the summer arrives and there are weekends when we can get the BBQ out, these can’t always be planned too far ahead because you never know when it’s going to rain, and in previous years this could almost be guaranteed for a bank holiday weekend!

Keep it Simple

It’s so tempting to go and buy all the brightly coloured plastic tableware, it looks great and can be washed and stored for the next BBQ. Chances are though that next BBQ won’t be for another year or more and you’ll forget you even had them.

Paper plates, one-use plastic cutlery and glasses are perfect, they can go straight in the bin with no need for washing up!

Here’s a few bbq food ideas that will help you host the perfect bbq, without worrying too much about things getting too complicated.

BBQ Food Ideas 101: Burgers and Sausages

This is what everyone is here for so stock up!

Hosting a BBQ can be expensive but be clever about the food, stock up on lots of basic burgers and sausages from the supermarket, it’s tempting to buy the pork and apple sausages or the burgers with a hint of chilli but it costs more, people won’t notice and if you have children there they won’t appreciate the ‘funny tasting’ sausage!

Then there’s the option to add a few extras, some nice ribs and spicy wings, these are always really popular bbq food ideas but don’t go mad these are the things that cost more, and cook them last – let people fill up on the burgers and sausages!

It’s a good idea to have something for the non meat eaters, avoid the ‘meat free’ options if you can, it limits who will eat it to maybe the one vegetarian. One vegetarian bbq recipe thats works great is vegetable kebabs with halloumi. It’s a really simple bbq food recipe that always pleases. Also make sure that there are plenty of additional extras so that there is always enough to eat.

BBQ Food Ideas

The extras – I think having great salad ideas for a bbq is really important, I’ve done an indian salad ‘chaat’ before which has been really popular and a friend did a greek salad. Mini corn on the cobs, coleslaw, hummus with vegetable and breadstick dippers and some olives.

Essentials – Burger and sausage rolls, ketchup and cheese slices!

Top Tip – Being able to start cooking the food early and keep it warm for people to eat when they please is great, using a buffet warmer / hot plate means you won’t have to be stood at the BBQ all day long!

Buffer Warmer for BBQ

Dessert at a BBQ

I’d normally make this really easy, a plate of small cakes or individual meringues with strawberries and cream.

We had our last barbecue when we had Laurie, Take Me Cookings Co-founder to stay. For the barbecue we served two Tarte Tatin, which disappeared within minutes! We made them in advance and just heated in the microwave for a couple of minutes and served with ice cream.

See ‘Learning to Make a Classic French Tarte Tatin’ for the recipe. It’s an impressive crowd pleaser!


Borrow the neighbors chairs, fill the garden with toys for the children (I recommend a giant outdoor bean bag), put blankets on the lawn, ask the guests to bring the drinks and have a giant parasol in case it starts to rain!

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