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Summer Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Summer Dinner Party Menu Ideas
From refreshing lemon sorbets to peachy sangrias, there are many summer preparations that are ideal for a party. However, putting together a menu for a summer dinner party requires a bit of planning. Here are our recommendations that will help you to get your stuff together and save some time.
PartyJoys Staff
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2018
A summer dinner party should be laid-back and fun and your menu should reflect this. Try to have food and courses that can be made well ahead of time so that on the day of the dinner party, you are not slaving over a hot saucepan. Prepare a good mix of cold and hot items and remember to also focus on the drinks. Remember to keep an equal number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Getting a combination of some classic cocktails, as well as punch makes sense as your guests will be thirsty on a hot summer morning, noon, eve, or night. Here we present to you some menu ideas for different cuisines. But, before that you can go through some important tips on how to to organize a successful dinner party.
Things to Keep in Mind
When you are looking for menu ideas for a summer dinner party, try to opt for food that can be prepared well in advance.
  • Appetizers are a very important part of a dinner menu and you need at least five to six varieties of both hot as well as cold appetizers for your guests.
  • If you are having a sit-down dinner party with 7 to 8 intimate friends, it is a good idea to make a refreshing summer soup or a cold gazpacho. A simple soup that is garnished elegantly with mint sprigs or a dollop of fresh cream makes a great impression on the guests.
  • Another great dinner party idea is to serve salad with a tasty dressing. You can wash and tear the salad leaves well in advance and also make the dressing beforehand. When your guests arrive, it will take you only a couple of minutes to toss and dress the salad just before serving.
  • On the other hand, if you are having more guests in your dinner party then you will need to make bite-sized appetizers that guests can have without the help of any cutlery. Good examples of such appetizers are mini tartlets, crab cakes, deviled eggs, and tomato bruschetta.
  • For the main course, try to incorporate as many seasonal and fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Summer vegetables like artichokes, snap peas, asparagus, and watercress pair well with any meat and poultry dishes and you should make the best of it.
  • One-pot dishes like pot roast, paella, chicken casserole, beef stroganoff and chili are excellent make-ahead entrées that require very little effort on your part to prepare. All you have to do is brown the vegetables, sear the meat, and pop the dish in the oven for a couple of hours and the dish is ready.
  • Whatever you prepare, do not experiment with new dishes for your dinner party. Stick to dishes and preparations that you know well and are sure to pull off with minimal stress.
  • For the dessert course, keep it simple with just two to three desserts like chocolate mousse, crème brûlée, a light custard bread pudding, or just homemade ice cream with fresh fruits.
  • Do not forget to provide some side dishes, like grilled asparagus, steamed baby carrots, and garlic mashed potatoes to make your summer dinner party menu complete.
An Asian Banquet
Drinks and Cocktails
  • Mimosa
  • Red Apple Sangria
  • Pomegranate Soda
  • Singapore Sling
  • Kumquat Mojito
  • Lychee Martini
  • Asian Pear Martini
  • Watermelon Lemonade
  • Ginger Sparkler
  • Mai Tai
Appetizers
  • Curry Puff
  • Minced Chicken Samosas
  • Spicy Tuna Rolls
  • Salt and Pepper Squid
  • Steamed Chicken Dumplings
  • Mini Spring Rolls
  • Spiced Coconut Prawns
  • Chicken Satay
  • Pork Pot Stickers
  • Sweet Potato Balls
Main Course
  • Massamam Curry
  • Japanese Hot Pot
  • Soy-glazed Chicken Thighs
  • Roasted Teriyaki Spareribs
  • Thai Green Curry
  • Chinese Barbecued Roast Pork
  • Roasted Duck with Tangerine-hoisin Glaze
  • Pork Vindaloo
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Red Cooked Pork Belly
Desserts
  • Pineapple Pie
  • Banana Pancake
  • Coconut Cream Cupcakes
  • Korean Sweet Rice Balls
  • Mango Sorbet
  • Coconut Custard
  • Rice Pudding
  • Apple Dumplings with Rum Sauce
  • Chinese Almond Cookies
  • Lychee Pudding
A Mediterranean Feast
Drinks and Cocktails
  • Pomegranita
  • Greeka-Rita
  • Rosemary Gin Fizz
  • Damascus Affair
  • Fresh Mint Margarita
  • Sangria
  • Bellini
  • Santorini Sunrise
  • Fig Martini
  • Corfú Dè Jávu
Appetizers
  • Grilled Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Baked Feta Filo Fingers
  • Crab Cakes
  • Gazpacho
  • Skewered Rosemary Shrimp
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Melon
  • Warm Marinated Olives with Herbs
  • Prosciutto-basil Crostini
  • Zucchini Fritters
  • Marinated Feta, Yogurt, and Aubergine Rolls
Main Course
  • Tunisian Braised Short Ribs
  • Greek-style Meatloaf with Olives
  • Red Mullet with Tomatoes and Olives
  • Lamb Chops with Pistachio Gremolata
  • Seared Mediterranean Tuna Steaks
  • Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo
  • Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper
  • Beef Daube Provençal
  • Steamed Mussels with Bell Peppers
  • Shrimp Saganaki
Desserts
  • Mint Ice cream
  • Roasted Figs with Caramel
  • Rustic Fig and Raspberry Mini Crostatas
  • Lemon Tart
  • Pear Strudel
  • Chocolate Amaretto Soufflés
  • Caramelized Peaches with Mascarpone
  • Baklava
  • Orange and Hazelnut Cake
  • Pasteli
A Classic American Menu
Drinks and Cocktails
  • Flirtini
  • Manhattan
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Peach Granita
  • Vodka Gimlet
  • Miami
  • Strawberry Margarita
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Cape Codder
  • Chartreuse Swizzle
Appetizers
  • Meat Pies
  • Sweet Potato Tartlets
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Goat Cheese Tart
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Marinated Shrimp
  • Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Mini Crab Cakes
  • Mini Meatballs
  • Waldorf Crudités with Onion Dip
Main Course
  • Spice-rubbed Roast Beef Tenderloin
  • Braised Beef Brisket
  • Beef Wellington
  • Herb Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • Grilled Salmon with Grape Relish
  • Grilled Porterhouse with Potatoes
  • Mushroom Ragout
  • Grilled Flank Steak with Garlic Sauce
  • New Orleans style Gumbo
  • Herb Marinated Braised Lamb Shanks
Desserts
  • Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Pots
  • Almond Tea Cakes
  • Poached Pears with Raspberry Coulis
  • Strawberry Ice cream
  • Boston Cream Pie
  • Raspberry Tart
  • Blueberry Cheesecake
  • Cherry Tart
  • Lemon Curd and Ginger Fool
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
Essence of Italy
Drinks and Cocktails
  • Lime Ginger Coolers
  • Mango Spritz
  • Aranciata Cocktails
  • Americano
  • Watermelon Bellini
  • Limoncello
  • Bicicletta
  • Negroni
  • Fruit and Herb Carafe
  • Strawberry-ginger Caipirosca
Appetizers
  • Marinated Olives
  • Fried Mozzarella
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Caponata with Garlic Crostini
  • Tomato Bruschetta
  • Mini Smoked Salmon Pizzas
  • Fried Calamari with Aioli
  • Endive Spears with Avocado and Lobster
  • Red Pepper and Olive Canapés
  • Roasted Peppers with Anchovies
Main Course
  • Polpettone
  • Short Rib and Dried Porcini Lasagne
  • Tomato, Spinach, and Mascarpone Gnocchi
  • Lobster Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
  • Classic Chicken Cacciatore
  • Penne with Vodka Sauce
  • Risotto with Arugula and Toasted Garlic
  • Spinach and Feta Cannelloni
  • Roasted Squash and Polenta Torta
  • Spezzatino di maiale
Desserts
  • Strawberry Macaroons
  • Bellini Granita
  • Torta di riso
  • Tiramisu
  • Strawberry Shortcake with Mascarpone
  • Passion fruit Soufflés
  • Double Espresso Tart
  • Peach Melba
  • Peach Zabaglione
  • White Chocolate and Pistachio Panna cotta
Caribbean Delight
Drinks and Cocktails
  • Coconut Margarita
  • Spearmint Juleps
  • Watermelon Basil Margarita
  • Pineapple and Mango Rum Cocktail
  • Spiced Pineapple Cocktail
  • Watermelon Margarita
  • Cherry Mojito
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Blue Hawaii
  • Classic Caipirinha
Appetizers
  • Fried Plantains
  • Jamaican Hot Wings
  • Hot Pepper Shrimp
  • Cod Fish Fritters
  • Fried Cheese Balls
  • Pork Kabobs
  • Jamaican Beef Dumplings
  • Caribbean Meatballs
  • Spicy Sweet Potato Cubes
  • Sausage Cheese Triangles
Main Course
  • Fish Stew
  • Traditional Chicken Asopao
  • Spicy Pork Chops
  • Caribbean Shrimp and Banana Curry
  • Coconut Crusted Salmon
  • Jerk Chicken
  • Beef Picadillo
  • Grilled Tuna Steaks with Mango Salsa
  • Grilled Fish with Caribbean Salsa
  • Pepper Pot
Desserts
  • Coffee Pecan Brownies
  • Churros
  • Mango Meringue
  • Guava Fool
  • Coffee Flan
  • Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Coconut Rum Cake
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Coconut Rice Pudding
  • Tropical Cheesecake
A Taste of Spain
Drinks and Cocktails
  • Peachmopolitian
  • Raspberry Spritzer
  • Rasmopolitian
  • Melon Mint Sangria
  • Sparkling Wine Sangria
  • Sherry Spritzers
  • Kiwifruit Caipiroska
  • Rum Punch
  • Paloma Cooler
  • Pear Lemon Fizz
Appetizers
  • Gazpacho
  • Garlicky Shrimp with Olive Oil
  • Stuffed Peppers with Goat Cheese
  • Grilled Seafood Salad
  • Salt and Pepper Shrimp
  • Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Shrimp Salad
  • Steamed Clams in Garlic Saffron Broth
  • Stuffed Fried Sardines
  • Marinated Baby Artichokes
  • Tuna Empanada
Main Course
  • Partridge with Pears
  • Leek and Potato Hotpot
  • Tuna and Potato Stew
  • Braised Beef Cheeks
  • Paella
  • Pork in Adobo Sauce
  • Mussels in Tomato Vinaigrette
  • Rack of Lamb with Baby Potatoes
  • Marinated Salmon
  • Stuffed Eggplants
Desserts
  • Magdalena
  • Crema Catalana
  • Almond Ice cream
  • Lemon and Berry Dessert
  • Custard with Peach and Meringue
  • Churros with Hot Chocolate
  • Spanish Apple Pie
  • Strawberry Flan
  • Orange Cake
  • Lemon Sorbet
If you follow these easy dinner party ideas, you are sure to have a very successful party.These were some menu ideas that you can take inspiration from for your next dinner party. You can also mix and match items from all the menus given above. Just make sure that the taste of the variant dishes do not clash wildly with each other. Every course should complement each other. Go on, make the most of these ideas given above and do let me know how they worked for you.