Tag barbecue

Parties That Cook’s Top Ten Summer Appetizer Recipes

Summer’s finally here! Parties That Cook is so excited to pull out our grills and host a barbecue (or ten)! We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite summer appetizer recipes, and now we’re putting you to work. Whip up any combination of these tasty bites and bask in the glory of being the Host with the Most. Throwing a summer party can be stressful (to say the least) but with these 10 simple appetizer recipes in your back pocket, you’re off on the right foot!

Little Fish Tacos with Tomato Salad and Chipotle-Lime Crema

If you love fresh (and easy!) seafood, we’ve got just the right dish for you. Our fish tacos are a fresh way to spice up any summer get-together. Fresh cilantro will give these tacos the little kick your fiesta needs to get started!

Cornbread Tartlets with Ricotta and Tomatoes

Cornbread can be more than just a side! Add fresh tomatoes and ricotta to a classic cornbread recipe, and you’ve got a whole new dish! With a pinch of fresh cilantro, these tartlets will knock you off your feet.

Zucchini Pancakes with Feta, Capers and Mint

Pancakes for an appetizer? Why, yes! These savory mini pancakes are far from your boring typical breakfast pancake. Zucchini adds just the touch of color your summer soiree needs. Top this delicious dish with yogurt and mint to bring out fresh flavors that scream summer!

Crostini “Caprese” with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Chocolate Balsamic Reduction

Who said chocolate was only for dessert? Add fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and garlic bread, and you’ve got one delicious appetizer. Fresh tomatoes are a summer staple, so be sure to grab some at your local farmer’s market! We recommend a baguette for the crostini but you can experiment with your favorite bread.

Mini Gyro Pita Pockets with Grilled Lamb and Tzatziki Sauce

Take a summer trip to Greece, or just have a gyro! These scrumptious appetizers are light enough not to ruin an appetite, but satisfying enough to hold you over for the main course. We made ours with Lamb so they’re tender and packed with loads of flavor, but you can easily substitute the meat of your choice.

Barbecued Oysters On The Half Shell

Oysters are an easy (and fast) way to offer guests an amazingly fresh appetizer. Raw oysters might scare off some guests, but barbecuing means everyone at the party can enjoy the delicious flavors.

Griddled Corn Cakes with Bacon and Sour Cream

The best things in life are topped with sour cream and sprinkled with bacon (YUM). Standing in at 2”, these little fellas bring more to the table than one of summer’s most popular ingredients formerly (and currently) known as Corn.

Bacon-Wrapped Peaches with Blue Cheese and Balsamic-Honey Glaze

Peaches wrapped in bacon. Need we say more? When Sweet and Savory battle it out in one dish, we all win. (Seriously, who doesn’t love bacon!?) With this great combination of flavors your guests (and the cheese) will melt for another taste.

Lamb Skewers with Mint Pesto

What’s more perfect for summer than skewers?? These tender lovin’ lamb skewers are a great start to any summer bash. Kick off your next party with fresh Mint Pesto!

Guacamole with Nectarines and Corn

Feeling festive this summer? Throw on a sombrero, an apron, and whip up our delicious seasonal Guacamole with a twist! Fresh nectarines help this classic Mexican dish stand above the rest. Good luck sharing!

Summer’s Final Frolic: Labor Day Italian Sausage Sandwich Recipe

Just when we start fearing the worst, that summer is finally over, we remember Labor Day! Though a symbol of the summer’s end, Labor Day is one last opportunity to get out and enjoy EVERYTHING. Take advantage of this extended weekend by going on a final vacation, relaxing with your family and friends, or spending time with the kids before all they can think about is school and homework- yeah right… Whatever it is you end up doing, it will probably involve a barbecue or a picnic. This faintly sweet Italian Sausage Sandwich recipe is perfect for outdoor grilling, or packing up and taking on a Labor Day picnic!

Italian Sausage Sandwich with Bell Peppers and Onions
This recipe can also be found in our Appetizer Recipe Library!


4 Italian sausage buns
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large each red and green bell pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced from top to bottom
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 four-inch sweet Italian sausages
6 ounces Fontina cheese, sliced (optional)


Warm Buns: Wrap buns in foil and heat in a 300ºF for 20 minutes.

Sauté Onions/Peppers: Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and peppers; sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, sugar, fennel seeds and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until onions are deep brown and tender, about 15-20 minutes longer. You may need to add a little water if the bottom of the pan gets too brown.

Cook Sausage: While the vegetables are cooking, using a ridged grill pan or large skillet, grill the sausage lengths over medium-high heat, turning them once, for 3 minutes a side for all four sides, or until they are cooked through.

Assemble Sandwiches: Cut bun and open like a book. Halve sausage lengthwise. Arrange 2 sausage halves in each bun. Top sausages with caramelized onion and pepper mixture. Top with Fontina cheese slices and broil until melted and golden. Serve immediately or wrap in foil and head to the nearest picnic table.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Check out our Appetizer Recipe Library for more fun and easy recipes!