Summer is just around the corner! Which means that the endless strings of BBQs and pool parties are also close. What can you possibly bring that’s delicious but not a drag to prepare in an already hot kitchen? We have you covered because the following two recipes are quick and easy summer dinner party menu ideas, even the one made with fried chicken.
The number of ingredients might seem intimidating, especially for the pasta, but it’s all about cutting them up, grilling them and tossing them into a bowl, and the sandwiches are so simple to make that you’ll want to make them regularly for dinner. These summer party recipes are both tasty and easy to make, letting you focus on what’s important: Fun, friends, and drinks by the pool. Let’s check them out!
Garden-Bounty Pesto Pasta
That’s not just a name; you’ll pretty much throw a whole garden’s worth of veggies on this light and delicious pasta dish that’s perfect for a summer evening. The best part is that you’ll have it ready in less than an hour, giving you more time to fight off that heat!
What you’ll need:
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 1 yellow squash, cut into ½” slices
- 1 zucchini, same as above
- 1 bell pepper cut into six parts, seeded
- 4 trimmed green onions
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 pint halved grape tomatoes
- 2 ears of corn, shucked
- 1 lemon
- ½ cup of store-bought pesto, refrigerated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
How to do it:
- Cook your spaghetti as usual, then rinse and drain well before letting it cool.
- Preheat your grill on medium-high temperature. In a large bowl, add your corn, squash, bell pepper, onions, and zucchini on a large bowl, then mix in a pinch of salt, some black pepper, and the 2 tbsp of oil, and toss until every ingredient is well coated.
- Grill your corn until charred a little bit in spots, then remove. Grill your squash, zucchini, and bell peppers until tender or when grill marks appear. Finally, grill your onions for a couple of minutes or until tender.
- In a different bowl, grate the zest of your lemon, about a ½ teaspoon worth, then squeeze a little juice. Whisk in your pesto, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Chop your grilled veggies, cut the kernels from the cobs, and add them to the pesto bowl, along with the tomatoes, chopped parsley, and pasta. Toss to combine, and serve at room temperature.
The Best Fried Chicken Sandwich
Diets be damned! If you already reached summer, then you deserve a treat whether or not you got that summer body, and there’s no better treat than a delicious fried chicken sandwich that you can put in your plate in less than 40 minutes.
What you’ll need:
- 4 small (or 1 ½ lb.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
- 4 potato rolls
- Shredded romaine
- Shredded cabbage
- Sliced pickles
- Sliced tomatoes
- Hot sauce
How to do it:
- Combine the chicken meat, buttermilk, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon of both salt and pepper in a large bowl, then set aside.
- In a shallow dish, place your flour; take a piece of chicken from the buttermilk mix, let the excess drip off, and dip into the flour, then back in the buttermilk, then the flour again. Place the chicken piece in a cutting board, and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat until it reaches 325 degrees F (use a deep fry thermometer). Add your chicken to the skillet, then reduce the heat to medium (165 degrees F) Let them fry up to 20 minutes or until golden brown (make sure the chicken is cooked. You’ll want to turn each piece over to get a nice, even browning all over the surface.
- Transfer all your chicken to a wire rack over a piece of foil (don’t get grease all over your counter!). Sprinkle salt to taste, and serve on your potato rolls. Top with shredded romaine, cabbage, tomato, pickles, and hot sauce.
Depending on what you and your guests like, you can serve with a mix of sauces and garnishes, such as honey and cayenne, chipotle mayo, ranch, and blue cheese dressing, and more!
Balancing taste and convenience is hard, especially when you just want to relax with your friends under the summer sun, but these recipes prove that you can do that while still having your dishes be the talk of the party. Besides that, it’s just an easy way of making tasty summer party food for large groups of people. If you’re the one hosting the event, we’re sure you’re going to be pretty busy, so why not have a professional maid get your chores done for you?