Garden to Fork: 10 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Bring to a Summer Cookout

You probably have a garden because you like to eat homegrown produce, right? If that’s not your goal I don’t know what is, because gardening is a lot of work. But the reward of a bountiful harvest is so worth it.

Whether you’re a bit burnt out on your weekly recipe rotation or you’re looking to impress your aunt at the next family potluck, these simple recipes are every bit as flavorful as they are easy to make. I rounded up ten mouthwatering recipes featuring fruit and vegetables that are ripe for the picking right now, so the cooking and the growing bragging rights are yours for the taking.

The recipes in this collection highlight the vibrant flavors and textures of garden-grown fresh produce, ensuring that every bite is bursting with goodness and nutrition. With grilled vegetables on skewers, stuffed bell peppers, zucchini noodles, salsa fresca, or Thai-inspired pea hummus, there’s something for everyone on this cookout-friendly menu.

Happy cooking!

The recipes

1. Basalmic Caprese Salad (Adapted from joyfoodsunshine)

This refreshing summer salad looks deceptively elegant but is surprisingly easy in reality. Feel free to add any vegetables that strike your fancy (I like to add cucumber to mine) and if quinoa isn’t your favorite grain, experiment with couscous or orzo!


  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 8 oz mozzarella pearls
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions and set aside.
  2. Mix the olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar and set aside.
  3. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and roughly chop the basil.
  4. Combine vegetables with mozzarella pearls in a large bowl.
  5. Add the balsamic dressing to the salad.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Chill before serving and pair with your favorite artisan bread.

2. Roasted Vegetable Medley

I like to make this recipe with root vegetables in the fall and winter, but squash and summertime fruits are especially satisfying during the warmer months.

Any of these vegetables are just as delicious when cooked directly on the grill—some would argue they taste even better. Add any vegetables you have on hand to this medley, and omit the veggies you don’t love. Simple as that.


  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes


  1. Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite spices.
  3. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

3. Fresh Garden Salad

You can’t go wrong by bringing a salad to a backyard barbeque. Our bodies crave green vegetables this time of year! Plus, you can tweak this salad recipe based on what you have in your garden and what you like to eat.

Don’t forget the croutons and a simple but flavorful balsamic dressing (although you might want to bring a bottle of Ranch dressing for the kids).


  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Baby chard
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Shallots


  1. Wash and chop all vegetables
  2. Combine in a bowl
  3. Top with croutons, cheese, and bacon bits if desired. Serve your salad dressing of choice.

4. Classic Coleslaw

Love coleslaw? Making your own is super easy!

There are two types of people in the world: those who like their coleslaw sweet and those that don’t. If you prefer, add 1/4 cup sugar to the mayonnaise mixture. You can also chop up raw broccoli and add to the coleslaw for a fun twist and a nutritional boost.


  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 red or sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar,
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard,
  • Salt, pepper & paprika to taste


  1. Cut cabbage and onion into thin pieces.
  2. Shred carrots with a cheese grater.
  3. Combine apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Add the sauce to the vegetables.
  5. Serve chilled.

5. Grilled Vegetable Skewers

This grilled vegetable skewer recipe is so easy to throw together, and it’s one of my favorites to bring to a cookout, since it comes together so quickly. Plus, it’s easy to customize this recipe to suit your taste preferences. Don’t like mushrooms? No problem, just omit them. Need a protein boost? Add pieces of chicken breast, steak, or even tofu (plus the meat will flavor the veggies).


  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Mushrooms,
  • Protein of choice


  1. Cut vegetables into chunks.
  2. Slide vegetable pieces onto skewers, alternating for visual effect.
  3. Season skewers with salt and pepper and other spices.
  4. Grill until tender and slightly charred.

6. Stuffed Bell Peppers

Another cookout classic and crowd-pleaser, stuffed peppers done right can make a whole meal. You can grill the peppers instead of roasting them, and if you choose to do so you’ll want to cook the ground beef and the rice ahead of time.


  • 6 bell peppers,
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice or quinoa
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Shredded cheese


  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. Dice ground onion and mince garlic.
  3. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the stems, seeds, and pith.
  4. Cook onion, garlic, and ground beef until browned, seasoning with salt, pepper, and spices of your choosing.
  5. Add cooked rice to skillet.
  6. Stuff peppers with the beef and rice mixture.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.
  8. Top with shredded cheese, and serve with sour cream and hot sauce.

7. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Extra zucchini and not sure how to use it? Before you go making another batch of zucchini bread, try this recipe first. Sure to satisfy your pasta craving, zucchini noodles with pesto sauce are delicious and pack a nutritional punch. (If you don’t love pesto, serve with marinara sauce.)


  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles.
  • Sauté zucchini noodles in a pan.
  • Blend garlic, basil, and olive oil together in a blender to create the pesto.
  • Add the basil pesto to the noodles and toss to combine.

8. Salsa fresca

Pico de gallo, salsa cruda—this mouth-watering salsa has a few different names, but it’s all the same fresh and chunky salsa that I’ll take over salsa from a can any day. This salsa is bursting with flavor, and you can customize it however you like! Turn up the heat by adding more chili peppers, or throw in a good sprinkle of cayenne pepper or chili powder at the last step. However it comes out, it’s sure to be a hit! Eat it by the spoonful or use it to garnish carne asada.


  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Jalepeno peppers
  • Cilantro
  • lime juice
  • salt & pepper


  • Dice onion, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro, and mince the garlic.
  • Combine all in a large bowl.
  • Add lime juice and season to taste.
  • Serve with chips.

9. Thai green pea hummus (adapted from Minimalist Baker)

Elevate your hummus recipe with garden peas and Thai spices and you’ll certainly be invited back to whatever backyard barbeque you bring this delicious dish to.


  • 1/2 cup shelled peas
  • 2 shallots or 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt to taste


  • Steam the peas and set aside.
  • Roughly chop the onion and cilantro and peel the garlic
  • Add the onion, and garlic to a blender with the ginger, drained chickpeas, cilantro, tahini, green curry paste, lemon juice, and half the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add water to thin the mixture if needed.
  • Season with salt and pepper or more ginger and curry paste if desired.
  • Add the peas to the blender and pulse, leaving some peas whole.
  • Top with a drizzle of olive oil and cilantro. Serve with pita chips or sliced vegetables.

10. Watermelon feta salad (Adapted from delish)

Folks that salt your watermelon, this one’s for you. But even if you’re normally a purist when it comes to melons, the mint and red wine vinegar keeps this recipe just sweet enough.


  • 1/2 large watermelon or 1 small watermelon (seedless works best for this recipe)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup mint
  • 1 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a jar and set aside.
  • Cut the watermelon and cucumber into cubes.
  • Dice the red onion and roughly chop the mint.
  • Combine the vegetables with the feta cheese and mint in a large bowl.
  • Add the dressing and season to taste.

Now you have no excuse to show up to your neighbor’s barbeque empty-handed.

From grilled vegetable skewers to stuffed peppers to Thai-inspired pea hummus, there’s something to excite everyone. And the best part of all of it is you get to brag on how you grew all this food in your own garden!

So pat yourself on the back and remember to save yourself a portion, because these recipes are guaranteed to be a hit.

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About the author:
When not writing content or growing flowers in her native Virginia, you can find Sarah hiking a long-distance trail deep in the woods. Follow along with Sarah’s adventures at

Sarah C.

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