Our 23 Best Cookout Recipes

From juicy burgers and marinated steak tips to ratatouille salad and old-fashioned baked beans, these tried-and-true cookout recipes are sure to make your next New England summer bash a smashing success.

By Katherine Keenan

Apr 04 2023


Outside-In Homemade Burgers

Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

From juicy burgers and marinated steak tips to ratatouille salad and old-fashioned baked beans, these tried-and-true cookout recipes are sure to make your next New England summer bash a smashing success.

Apple-Cranberry Slab Pie

There’s something homey and endearing about slab pies, which makes them perfect for a summer party. It also helps that they’re portable and easy to cut up and serve. This apple-cranberry slab pie offers the perfect combination of sweet-tart flavors.

Brown Sugar Bourbon Steak Tips

Thanks to a boozy-sweet marinade, this recipe for brown sugar bourbon steak tips is a flavorful addition to your grilling repertoire. It’s also the most popular steak tip marinade recipe in the Yankee archives. Serve with grilled veggies.

Campfire S’Mores Dip
Photo Credit : Michael Piazza | Food Styling by Catrine Kelty | Prop Styling by Caroline Woodward

Campfire S’Mores Dip

This gooey skillet s’mores dip couldn’t be simpler: You just melt some chocolate in a skillet, top with marshmallows, cover, and cook. To eat, dip the graham crackers into the sauce. If you want a nicely browned top, it does help to have access to an oven’s broiler, a small kitchen torch, or a carefully wielded flaming branch.

Clam Dip

In this easy New England clam dip recipe, sour cream and cream cheese pair with tender clams, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and onion to form a tasty concoction you won’t be able to resist. Why settle for store-bought when homemade tastes this good?

Church Supper Coleslaw

The word coleslaw comes from the Dutch koolsla, meaning cabbage salad. This version, studded with carrots and celery, is a New England church supper crowd-pleaser. You can switch it up by adding raisins, chopped nuts, or bits of fruit, such as apple or pineapple.

Classic New England Clam Chowder

This recipe includes all the traditional ingredients for true New England chowdah – fresh shellfish, bacon, potatoes, and cream – yet it’s rich and thick without turning gloopy.

Creamy Lemon-Basil Pasta Salad
Creamy Lemon-Basil Pasta Salad
Photo Credit : Katherine Keenan

Creamy Lemon-Basil Pasta Salad

This creamy, zesty pasta salad with peas and arugula is a modern take on a summer classic. We love the bright lemon zest and shower of crunchy, buttery bread crumbs for texture.

Deviled Eggs Three Ways

A recipe for “Hot Deviled Eggs” in Yankee’s February 1950 issue gave rise to these piquant spin-offs, which feature ginger and sriracha, bacon and caramelized onion, and baked-potato fixings including jalapeño.

Grilled Corn with Herbed Bacon Butter

Fresh herbs and crisp bacon elevate buttered, grilled corn to delicious new heights in this easy summer recipe.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Lemony Herb Dressing
Photo Credit : Liz Neily | Styling by Liz Neily

Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Lemony Herb Dressing

Celebrate the bounty of summer with this ratatouille salad, an update on a classic French dish.

Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

This simple grilled swordfish topped with a fresh tomato and pepper salsa is fast and flavorful. It’s also delicious on fish tacos or grilled chicken.

Grilled Zucchini Salad

In this flavorful and fresh summer zucchini salad, zucchini slices are lightly browned, then tossed with fresh herbs, almonds, Parmesan, and lemon.

Mary Blenk’s Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

This award-winning wild blueberry pie recipe from Maine cook Mary Blenk is juicy, not runny; the berries sweet (yet just a bit tart); the crust flaky and light. In short, it’s everything a blueberry pie should be. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

Outside-In Homemade Burgers

Even though condiments are actually incorporated into these patties, don’t hesitate to top these homemade burgers with the usual fixings. You’ll enjoy an even richer flavor. And feel free to double or triple the recipe for a crowd — it’s quite flexible. Other New England grill favorites include Fenway Franks and “red snapper” dogs, served on a top-split hot dog bun.

Skillet Garlic Pull-Apart Rolls
Skillet Garlic Pull-Apart Rolls
Photo Credit : Michael Piazza | Food Styling by Catrine Kelty | Prop Styling by Caroline Woodward

Pull-Apart Skillet Garlic Bread

These buttery skillet garlic pull-apart rolls are a major crowd-pleaser. They’re easiest to bake in a lidded charcoal or gas grill, but you can also make them in a covered skillet over a fire pit.

Slow-Grilled Chicken Thighs with Alabama White Sauce

Grilling over lower heat is perfect for bone-in chicken thighs. Alabama white sauce is a simple vinegar-mayonnaise blend white BBQ sauce that’s fantastic on chicken and pork. If you think barbecue sauce should always come in shades of red, you’re in for a delightful surprise.

Stovetop Clambake

A traditional beachfront clambake is a signature New England experience, but it’s an effort reserved for only the most special occasions (unless you’re in possession of a stretch of private beach and ample free time to dig a pit and build a fire). You can, however, reproduce the flavors at home with a stovetop clambake — all you need is a large pot, some seafood, and aromatics like fennel and lemons.

Strawberry Cannoli Tart
Strawberry Cannoli Tart
Photo Credit : Styled and Photographed by Liz Neily

Strawberry Cannoli Tart

Use fresh summer berries to make this delightful strawberry tart inspired by the classic Italian cannoli. The crust is a simple press-in dough that tastes like sugar cookies but crunches like a cannoli shell.

Shrimp and Corn “Clambake” Grill Packs

Inspired by the iconic New England clambake, these grill packs replace lobster with quick-cooking shrimp, along with spicy sausage, corn, and potatoes. Smoked mussels are optional but add a wood-fired flavor.

Tom Curren’s Beanhole Beans

Beanhole beans, or beans-in-the-ground, are New Hampshire cook Tom Curren’s specialty: 25 pounds of beans baked the way they were in the logging camps of the Great North Woods, where they had no ovens. Here’s a scaled-down version, adapted for your home oven. This recipe still makes a generous amount, but the beans freeze beautifully.

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

In this comforting side dish casserole, baked potatoes are mashed with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, and roasted garlic and topped with scallions. Delicious.

Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler
Photo Credit : Photo by Linda Campos, Styling by Chantal Lambeth, Anchor Artists (food), Korey Seney (props)

Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler

This colorful combination of watermelon, cucumber, mint, and lime juice makes an ultra-refreshing summer drink.

Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Fluff Filling

Here’s a classic homemade whoopie pie recipe for this favorite old-fashioned New England dessert. Soft chocolate cookies with Marshmallow Fluff cream filling never had it so good. If you prefer New England–inspired cookies, try chewy molasses hermit bars or the classic chocolate chip Toll House cookies.

What’s your favorite recipe to make for a summer cookout? Let us know in the comments below!