5 Great Outdoor Meal Ideas

Shish kebabs on a plate

Here at Cottonwood Landscapes, one of our favorite projects to help with is outdoor kitchen spaces. Not only do they add a lot of sophistication to a yard, but they’re also wonderful for entertaining. However, it can be an adjustment, thinking about your entertaining menu in terms of outdoor convenience.

Here are some ideas that can help you build a great menu for your next outdoor party, using your beautiful new outdoor kitchen space.

1: Shish Kebabs

What’s great about shish kebabs is that they can be easily made with little more than a cutting board and a grill. They also leave a lot of possibilities open; you can aim for a fajita-style approach, or go tropical with a shrimp and pineapple combination. One time-honored and easy favorite is marinated chicken alternated with onion and bell peppers.

All you’ll need is some wooden skewers, a grill, and a space to prepare your food. Add some bean-and-corn salad on the side to make it a whole meal.

2: Taco Salad

This one is a party favorite for a reason. Guests can arrange their own salad to their liking, and all you have to do is cook up the meat and/or beans. Make sure that you have plenty of room in your outdoor kitchen to lay out all the ingredients; cheese, chips, salsa, sour cream, etc. You can either lay it all out buffet-style on the counter, or spread it across the dinner table, depending on your arrangement.

3: Breakfast for Dinner

Have you ever noticed that breakfast foods are usually amazingly easy to make? With nothing but a griddle, you can quickly whip up some pancakes, sausage, and eggs. And you can always rely on people loving it, whether you’re having a special breakfast-for-dinner, or you’re putting together brunch for a bunch of friends or family. During the summer seasons, brighten up your plate with some fresh fruit and berries.

4: Grilled Salmon

Salmon is an oft-overlooked entree during a cookout, but maybe it’s time for you to change that! It’s a nutrient-rich, lean option that cooks easily and tastes great. In order to get the best flavor, marinade the meat ahead of time, or give it a good glaze. The real trick is being able to spot when the salmon has reached the perfect level of flakiness and it’s ready to take off the grill. Usually, this will only take about 7 minutes per side on medium heat.

5: Gourmet Flatbread

Ever had fancy flatbread at a restaurant and thought to yourself, “Hey, I could make this”? Well, now you can give it a try. Roll your dough flat and cook it on a high heat. If you don’t have an oven in your outdoor kitchen, you can still make an amazing flatbread with a grill! Toss some sauce, peppers, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and grilled chicken and cheese on top.

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