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Patio Dinner Party Ideas

There’s something about dining outside that makes food taste better. Summer has a lot to offer — fresh air, warm breezes, and good times with loved ones. It’s the best time for a patio dinner party! But if you don’t have a patio, you could use your kitchen counter or island for setting dishes while guests eat on the balcony or in the backyard. 

While planning a dinner party, keep in mind allergies, intolerances, and preferred diets. Get inspired by seasonal fruit and veggies to create your menu. And how about designing a fancy printout for people to browse? If that’s not your thing, perhaps using different-sized charcuterie boards and trays can be a fun way to present the food. Then again, you might want a buffet-like table setting instead. Here are some recipes suitable for all diets.

Tortilla Chips with Vegan Seven-layer Dip

Serve a deliciously healthy, vegan, seven-layer dip with tortilla chips! It includes guacamole, pico de gallo (or salsa), cashew queso, black beans, and more. You can substitute the beans for ground sunflower seed “meat.” The best thing about this recipe is that it’s easily customizable. 

Zucchini or Pickle Fries

If you’ve never eaten zucchini or pickle fries, you’re in for a treat. This recipe calls for panko breadcrumbs and egg, but gluten-free and eggless recipes are available across the web.

Nut Cheese Ball with Crackers

Impress guests with nut cheese balls served with crackers. You can make a big wheel or mini versions with pretzel sticks, like the ones shown above. Alternatively, a traditional dairy cheese wheel will do just as well.

Floral Salad

Did you know many flowers are edible? That’s right! Even some of the herbs and vegetables we consume have edible flower counterparts — like mint, basil, lemon, garlic, zucchini, and more. Your guests will love your creativity, which might even seem daring to some, but will be memorable, nonetheless. Martha Stewart has a gorgeous floral salad recipe, and you get inspiration from countless other edible floral arrangements as well. Don’t stop at salad — flowers can be baked and fried, too! 

Hasselback Potatoes

This traditional Swedish recipe is so simple, and it can be remixed several different ways by adding toppings between the slits. Add a sauce to drizzle over your potatoes or serve it on the side.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Portobellos are juicy, textured mushrooms with a beautiful flavor and aroma. A variety of ingredients can go into stuffed portobellos. Usually, they’re filled with cheese, veggies, and herbs, but you can be as creative as you want. 


Tamales are a very tasty Mexican corn dish, stuffed with your choice of either pork, chicken, or beef. The great thing about tamales is that they can even be veganized.


You might want to opt for some finger food desserts that guests can easily pop into their mouths while enjoying the weather and mingling. Try making these healthy no-bake carrot cake bites and raw cacao truffles! 

Josephine Mwanvua | Contributing Writer

Spring 2024

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