BBQ recipes and food ideas for summer parties

05 June 2023, 12:33 PM
  • It’s never a bad time to brush up on your best barbecue recipes and ideas to share with curious customers and inspire new stocking ideas
BBQ recipes and food ideas for summer parties

Whether the sun makes an appearance or not, barbecues are a staple in the summer months. What better way to make an ordinary weekend an occasion than by firing up the grill, packing the table with marinated meats, delicious side-dishes and extra-special sauces and inviting family and friends over for a garden party?

In BBQ season, retailers can be a much-needed font of barbecuing knowledge, full of secrets for crafting an impressive spread whether your guests are plant-based or carnivores. Sharing sound advice and the best customer service is, after all, what makes indie retailers different from the multiples

Below, you’ll find a collection of popular BBQ recipes that could be just what your customers want to cook up this summer. Ensure your shelves are stocked with the relevant ingredients to see your sales sizzle. Read more advice on how to sell the Great British BBQ.

BBQ ideas and recipes

Sharing BBQ menu ideas with your customers is a clever way to showcase your knowledge and build rapport, especially if hordes of new customers are popping into your shop over the summer in search of a little something special for their BBQ party.

It’s important to be well-versed in all things barbecue, from simple BBQ ideas that are perfect for busy families barbecuing on a budget, to fine flavours and posh BBQ ideas that can take your game up a notch or two.

And don’t forget, while flavour is undoubtedly at the top of Brits’ minds, the added benefit of health credentials could push them over the line with a particular product or recipe, so healthy BBQ ideas are certainly worth keeping in mind.

BBQ meat ideas

The focal point of almost every BBQ is the meat, so ensure your butchery team are ready to answer consumers’ burning questions about burgers, chicken and beyond.

When it comes to BBQ meats, butchers tell us that quality is key, and more and more of us are interested in ethical and sustainable options, so don’t be shy about showcasing the provenance of your meat. With this in mind, take a look at these stand-out BBQ meat recipes.

BBQ burger recipe

Burgers are a staple of the Great British BBQ. Whether shoppers are opting to make their own or buy from your counter (one butcher tells us their BBQ burger best-sellers include steak burgers made from Welsh beef and chicken burgers), the best way to bring out fantastic flavours is through a good grilling and the perfect assembly of quality ingredients. Take a look at the BBQ burger recipes below.

Beef Chapli Kebab Burger - Photography: Kris Kirkham

Beef Chapli Kebab Burger
This clever recipe plays on a popular dish in Pakistan and northern India and brings it into the modern British kitchen with a smash burger that spice-loving customers will love.

Best Ever Barbecued Pork Burgers
A must-have pork burger recipe infused with lemon and fennel and topped with smoky grilled aubergine. Pairs perfectly with your best tomato relish or chilli ketchup.

Peppercorn Studded Burger, Tricolour Slaw & Sweet Potato Wedges
This recipe calls for Irish minced beef – rump, blade or chuck steak with at least 20% fat content – and is fantastic topped with caramelised onion relish. Is it time to refresh your relishes?

Best-ever Burgers with Spiced Onions
Customers can go for beef or lamb in this brilliant burger recipe. With a bit of sweetness from the onions, crunch from the seeds, and spice from the chilli yogurt, it has a bit of everything.

BBQ chicken ideas

Chicken is often a crowd-pleaser, but it’s not always the most memorable on the BBQ. To make a chicken BBQ recipe stand out, start with the highest quality local produce and then add bold flavours that guests won’t soon forget. Whether it’s stuffed chicken breasts or skewers, you can’t go wrong with the recipes below.

BBQ chicken wings three ways
This recipe offers a few different sauces to make, but time-stretched customers will certainly be open to your favourite BBQ sauce recommendations.

Goan Cafreal Chicken Wings - Photography: Kris Kirkham

Goan Cafreal Chicken Wings
This versatile marinade blends an array of trending ingredients, from turmeric to bird’s eye chillis to sticky, tangy tamarind paste.

Best Ever Spatchcock Chicken with Coconut & Soy
For shoppers looking to bring new flavours to their same-old BBQ, this recipe, which pairs soy sauce and coconut marinade with a barbecued chicken, will hit the spot.

Tom Kerridge’s Barbecued Chicken Schwarma
Are your customers looking for healthy BBQ ideas? This chicken shawarma recipe is a winner. The spiced chicken is topped with tahini yoghurt and charred chilli sauce, but why not recommend one of your best-selling chilli sauces for customers who want to skip a few steps?

Coronation Chicken Skewers with a Mango Dipping Sauce
This simple skewer recipe adds a twist to Coronation Chicken. Be sure to stock a naturally sweet and thick yoghurt.

BBQ fish ideas

Beef and chicken aren’t for everyone, so it’s good to have a well-stocked arsenal of fantastic fish ideas for the BBQ.

Barbecued Tandoori-Style Sea Bream
Suitable with whole sea bream or snapper, this quick-fire recipe is brilliant for customers looking to impress their guests.

James Whetlor’s Barbecued & Herbed Side of Salmon
The salmon is the star of this simple recipe but consider upselling with a posh salt or special oil.

Sensational Barbecued Salt Bath Sardines
This simple recipe requires an hour of marinating your sardines in a salt bath to give them their briny flavour, but grilling them couldn’t be easier.

James Whetlor’s Barbecued Mackerel with Fennel Dressing
Designed to be grilled on a Big Green Egg, this recipe is perfect for BBQ aficionados. Be sure to have a steady supply of fresh herbs.

Grilled Indian Lobster Roll
Succulent lobster in a spicy, coconut-rich sauce – this is one for the ambitious BBQ masters.

More BBQ meat recipes

From sausages to kebabs, there are countless other meat ideas for the BBQ. The recipes below make the most of fantastic flavour combinations, but it starts with that all-important cut of meat.


Hanger Steak - Photography: Kris Kirkham

Hanger Steak with Spiced Bone Marrow
This recipe may raise eyebrows from customers who don’t know much about this flavourful cut of steak or who haven’t cooked with bone marrow, but it’s fantastic for those looking to try something new on the BBQ.

Barbecued Beef Skewers
This simple recipe is quick to cook and looks impressive plated up on top of your best-selling hummus.

Angela Hartnett’s Barbecued Rib-eye Steak with Tomato Salad
This is a go-to recipe for meat lovers. The rib-eye can be swapped out for sirloin, rump or T-bone steak depending on your customer’s preferences, so advise accordingly.

James Martin’s Barbecue Lamb Steaks with Ratatouille & Salsa Verde
Ensure your best veg is on display for customers who want to try something different on the grill, like this ratatouille and lamb steak recipe. However, they might want to skip the salsa verde for a jarred sauce.

James Whetlor’s Barbecued Lamb Ribs with Tamarind Glaze
Shoppers searching for long-cook recipes can look no further than this sticky, tamarind glazed rack of ribs.

Barbecued Coriander & Ginger Lamb Chops
Those wanting far-flung flavours can find them in this grilled lamb recipe. By stocking spicy jarred sauces and side-dish options, you’ll be right on trend.

Tom Kerridge’s Barbecued Hotdog
Customers looking to elevate the classic hotdog will be on the hunt for sausages that bring something special to the table.

Genevieve Taylor’s Showstopping Barbecue Porchetta
For the BBQ enthusiasts who want to try grilling a large cut of meat, ensure your butchery team can offer advice around the best techniques to use, from ‘indirect’ cooking to dry brining the pork rind for extra crispy crackling.

The Best Honey & Sriracha Duck Skewers
Jump on the sweet and spicy trend with this honey and sriracha sauce using your best local honey to top the British duck breast.

Vegetarian BBQ ideas

Whether you choose plant-based meats, grilling cheeses or keep it simple with chargrilled vegetables, modern, flexitarian consumers are demanding plenty of quality meat-free options that are packed with flavour.

Rukmini Iyer’s Barbecued Aubergine & Goat’s Cheese Stacks
Are your customers tired of the same old veggie options? These aubergine stacks are a brilliant substitute for burgers, and you can involve your cheese counter to advise on their favourite goat’s cheese.

Roast Beetroot Burgers - Credit: WW Zero Heroes Cookbook

Roast Beetroot Burgers
Share this recipe, made with portabella mushrooms, a whole beetroot and a list of storecupboard ingredients, and your customers won’t go back to frozen veggie burgers.

Jersey Royal, Lentil and Feta Burgers
Jersey Royal potatoes and lentils form the base of this burger recipe, while Feta brings the punch of flavour.

Halloumi BBQ recipes

Deliciously salty and squeaky, Halloumi is a favourite among meat eaters and veggies alike. The only question is: burger, fries or skewers? 

Grilled Halloumi Burger with Smashed Avocado
Halloumi and smashed avocado are a match made in veggie heaven. If you don’t stock pomegranate molasses, sub in another sweet and sticky substitute, like chilli jam.

Jersey Royal and Halloumi Rosemary Skewers
Simple, attractive and delicious. If you’re already selling rosemary stems, pop a sign next to the display to give customers this pro tip.

Peri Peri Halloumi Burgers
This halloumi burger uses a homemade chilli mayo sauce, but why not recommend your favourite speciality sauce to save some time for busy customers?

BBQ sides ideas

What’s a barbecue without a heaving table full of side dishes of all shape, size and description? Busy consumers are on the hunt for easy BBQ side dishes to whip up alongside their best BBQ recipes, and we have some delicious options for you to recommend.

Barbecued Sweetcorn with Miso Butter
Give customers the umami flavours they’re after with a savoury miso butter. If you don’t stock shio koji, just advise shoppers add an extra pinch of salt in the butter.

Flame-grilled Spiced Sweetcorn
If you’ve kept up with the latest trends for spice-lovers, you’ll have all the ingredients necessary for this spiced sweetcorn recipe.

Grilled Courgettes with Ricotta
Grilled veggies are a classic BBQ side dish, and this courgette recipe brings all the right flavours together.

BBQ salad ideas

Salad recipes for a BBQ shouldn’t be an afterthought – with the right ingredients a salad can be the star dish to complement savoury meats and cheeses.

Creamy Prawn & Avocado Salad
This fresh salad will cut through meat-heavy plates, and it’s adaptable to veggie diets so your flexitarian customers can pick and choose what they like.

Tomato, Chickpea & Feta Salad - Photography ©David Frenkiel

Tomato, Chickpea & Feta Salad
Ready in just 10 minutes, this salad uses trendy za’atar spice.

Wild Garlic Potato Salad
If wild garlic isn’t in season, let customers tour your range of garlic oils, butters and sauces for inspiration.

Watermelon, Mint & Feta Salad
Perfect for a hot day. Steer your customers towards your best olive selections to add salty flavour to this dish.

Summer Tomato Salad with Toasted Sourdough Croutons
If your customers’ tomato crops aren’t up to scratch, they’ll want to raid yours for this salad recipe.

Fennel, Feta, Orange & Pistachio Salad - Photography by Kris Kirkham

Fennel, Feta, Orange & Pistachio Salad
Crunchy and refreshing, this salad brings brilliant balance to rich meats. Have your cheese counter advise on any Feta alternatives that customers will love.

BBQ dessert ideas

Don’t forget dessert! Your customers may have never considered cooking their sweet puddings on the barbecue, so get ready to wow with these recipes.

Grilled Eton Mess Skewers
Stock up on wooden skewers and pre-made meringue nests for this twist on a quintessential recipe.

Rukmini Iyer’s Barbecued Summer Pudding Packets
This summer pud utilises a range of summer fruits. Stick a reminder next to your fruit display to remind customers of the versatility of the BBQ!

Drambuie Barbecued Strawberries
If you stock Drambuie, this recipe is a perfect excuse to push sales this summer.

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