What do I need for a Last-Minute BBQ?

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Written by Wendy Tucker

Throwing a BBQ needs some thorough planning to ensure that the entire operation runs smoothly. But you may wake up one day to a beautiful day and go, “This day is perfect for a BBQ!”

Truth is, you don’t need days or even weeks to prepare for a BBQ, you can start planning the party’s morning, and everything will go smoothly. Last-minute BBQ doesn’t have to be stressful or a pain in the neck, and today, I am going to share with you all you need to pull it off.

The list and tips are courtesy of which is all about BBQing and smoking great food.

The party

Since it is a last-minute thing, you want to make sure the party is only for a small group of people. Otherwise, you may struggle to feed them.

So what do you need for the party?

  • Keep it simple: Look for crowd-pleasing recipes that take only a few minutes to prepare and a few minutes and less effort to cook.
  • Make it a potluck: Should visitors bring something to the BBQ? Yes, for the last-minute party, yes, as this will allow you to focus on the main dish while guests bring sides, appetizers, drinks, and desserts.

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What should guests bring to a store-bought BBQ?

Since you are making it a potluck, give your guests a list of items they should bring to the party, including:

  • Fruit dish: Considered one of the best alternatives to chips, a fruit dish can be a refreshing complement to flavorful grilled food. Besides, fruit salads are extremely easy to make, healthier, and visually appealing.
  • Vegetable side: This could be something like coleslaw and potato salad, which is usually common in side dishes in buffet and BBQ parties.
  • Desserts: One of the most underrepresented dishes at BBQ parties, desserts, can bring guests to the gatherings.

Easy main dishes for your Last Minute BBQ

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Depending on how big the party is, you can choose among the following main dishes:

1. Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs

This main is easy to prepare, and the odds are pretty good. You already have everything you need in your refrigerator. It takes only 15 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to marinate, and 15 minutes to grill. You can add cubed pineapple to the skewers for extra sweetness to counter the spicy chicken.

2. Grilled steak with Asian barbeque marinade

This main dish will take five minutes to prepare, fifteen minutes to marinade, and eight minutes to grill (you can use a versatile electric grill from for it). It will save your time massively when throwing a last-minute BBQ. This recipe requires extremely affordable skirt steak sliced thin accompanied by grilled veggies rather than using expensive rib eye.

3. Spicy grilled shrimp

With a concise preparation and cooking time, this dinner is one of the popular go-to main dishes for last-minute BBQ parties.

Side dishes for your last minute BBQ

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For the suitable side dish to complete your menu, here are some quick and easy to prepare options:

Thornhedge Peach slaw

This side dish will take you just 25 minutes to prep, after which you can let it settle for around forty-five minutes before serving.
It blends the zest of savoy cabbage, peaches, pecans, and red bell peppers.

Corn on the grill

For maximum flavor, soak the corn with the husks on in the water for about an hour, then peel back the husks, apply seasoned butter, pull back the husks, and then grill your corn.
Allow the husks to char a little bit to add to the baked flavor.

This side should take a total of thirty minutes to prepare and grill.

Spicy Spanish Potato Salad

Taking a total of 25 minutes to prepare and cook, this side dish is one of the most popular for last-minute BBQ. It goes incredibly well with many things and is good when served at room temperature or warm.

Note: Cut the potato into two inches cubes, making sure they are all of the same uniform cooking sizes.

Appetizers for your last-minute BBQ

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Just because it is a last-minute thing does not mean you should simply rip open bags of chips and serve them as appetizers.

Here are some easy-to-make appetizers that will complement your impromptu BBQ party.

  1. Fresh vegetables, a basketful of crisps served with green goddess salad dressing. You can buy the dressing from your local supermarket or make one free from scratch. One of the good things about green goddess salad dressing is that they can last up to a week in the fridge, so if you throw BBQs more often, maybe prepare plenty of dressing for future use too. Find great dips that will go well with the chips.
  2. Ripe avocado for guacamole. There are many ways you can create an avocado-based appetizer for your last-minute BBQ. Avocado egg salad can give your regular egg salad an exciting twist. Another option is the avocado basil cucumber bites, which are extremely refreshing, tasty, and healthy and takes just a few minutes to prepare. But if you talk about me, then I think avocado toast is my favorite (check the easiest recipe at thefoodxp blog) that anyone can easily make.
  3. Cover slices of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella with fresh basil leaves and top them with olive oil, flaky sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. This is known as Insalata Caprese.

Drinks for your last minute BBQ

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You can ask one of your guests to bring ice and another to bring drinks. The types of drinks that can go with your BBQ party include.

  • Gin and tonic

Gin and tonic are some of the most popular and the best drinks for hot weather. It requires a simple recipe, which can change depending on the taste you are going for.

  • Lemonade shandy

If you have been at your BBQ party, make sure you also have lemonade so that you can mix them to make a super revitalizing drink. It is easy to make since the recipe is incredibly simple and variable—either top off your lemonade with beer or top off your beer with lemonade.

  • Margarita

Margarita is a classic BBQ drink and the one you should be thinking of first. Be sure to have lots of throwaway plastic cups if you can’t afford margarita glass.


Wendy Tucker


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