Top 7 Dishes to Take to a Cookout

Great make ahead meals that are prefect to take to a barbecue

You've been invited to a barbecue. Now you need to figure out what food to take to the cookout. These are some of the best recipes you can use to be the hit of any party. Easily made in advance and transportable, this collection of hot and cold items, side dishes and desserts make the perfect accompaniment to any gathering. Remember to keep hot items hot and cold items cold.

One of the best ways to get dishes to a cookout is in a cooler. Yes, packed with ice it will stay cold, but filled with...MORE hot packs it will keep dishes warm, so you don't have to tie up the oven at the host's house. 

  • 01 of 07
    Pancetta Ranch Pasta Salad
    Sabrina S. Baksh

    This creamy, delicious pasta salad makes a great addition to any cookout or potluck gathering. If you are not a fan of pancetta, feel free to use bacon instead. 

  • 02 of 07
    Pistachio Fluff Cookie Salad
    Sabrina S. Baksh

    This recipe combines the pistachio fluff or what is sometimes referred to the Watergate salad, with cookies. Not only is this dessert a delicious treat, but easy to make and transport to any cookout, party, or potluck.

  • 03 of 07
    Carolina Barbecue Beans
    Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ Inc.

    These Carolina Style Barbecue Beans combine cider vinegar and ketchup to give them that Southern barbecue flavor. While this BBQ bean recipe calls for a can of pork and beans as a base you can use additional lima or kidney beans with some smoked pork to give it a delicious flavor. 

  • 04 of 07
    Texas Potato Salad
    Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

     If you haven't tried a Texas-style potato salad, you're missing out.  Think German potato salad meets traditional potato salad with a touch of Southwestern flair.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Salted Caramel and Chocolate Marshmallow Treats
    Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Marshmallow treats are one of the easiest desserts to prepare and transport to a barbecue or potluck. This recipe calls for chili chocolate, but you can certainly use semi-sweet chocolate if you'd prefer. Give this unique dessert a try at your next get together.

  • 06 of 07
    Granny Smith Apple Slaw
    Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ Inc.

    This lively coleslaw has a bite from the tart apples making it better than most slaws. Combined with cabbage and a delicious dressing this coleslaw is light and refreshing and great with a pulled pork sandwich.

  • 07 of 07
    The Ultimate Hash Brown Casserole
    Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Growing up, hash brown casseroles always made it to every family party, cookout, or potluck. However, not all hash brown casseroles are created equally. For some reason, my great aunt always made the best I've ever tried. After years of asking, she finally relented and revealed her secret ingredient. It was nutmeg, and now I'm sharing her recipe for all of you to try. This is truly a quick and easy classic dish to take to any ​get-together. Enjoy!