10 Recipes to Turn Your Patio into Your Favorite Outdoor Restaurant


Even as Washington begins to open back up, staying home remains one of the most powerful tools we have to keep the curve flat and our neighbors safe. Shuffling between the kitchen and the couch gets old. And we’re undoubtedly looking forward to the days when we can gather with all of our loved ones for an epic backyard BBQ.

But until then, don’t be afraid to mix things up. Take your backyard grilling up a notch. Discover how your patio can become your favorite outdoor restaurant with recipes that are packed with flavor. Whether it’s pizza, steak or a vegetarian-friendly grilled cabbage, this collection of delectable dishes is sure to satisfy.

Pizza with Pesto & Zucchini

This pesto and zucchini pie by Williams Sonoma is loaded with flavor. Take their recommendation and use a powerful countertop model that you can set up outside. Not only does this help you avoid heating up the house unnecessarily, it makes the cooking and cleanup process a breeze.

Vietnamese Steak with Cucumber Salad

A steak’s a steak’s a steak, right? Melissa Clark at the New York Times begs to differ. Her Vietnamese steak with cucumber salad is marinated in a sweet and spicy version of nuoc cham — a Vietnamese dipping sauce. It’s fabulous straight from the grill or can be served on a bed of rice noodles for a more substantial meal.

Grilled Cabbage "Steaks"

“Steak” doesn’t always have to be animal. Makinze Gore shows us how to turn a head of cabbage into a hearty main course on delish.com. Her version comes topped with bacon and blue cheese, which is delightful. But for those looking to focus on veggies, the pork could certainly be omitted.

Grilled Crispy-Skinned Salmon with Whole Lemon-Sesame Sauce

The crispy goodness of salmon skin is given a bright pop with the addition of a lemon-sesame cause in the Bon Appetit special. The sauce is also incredibly versatile, working well on roasted veggies or as a vinaigrette on salads – making this the kind of meal that lets you cook once and eat multiple times.

Easy Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter

Soaking the cobs and then grilling them in their husks makes this grilled corn recipe incredibly easy. Plus, cooking them this way gives the cobs even more flavor. Talk about a win-win. This chipotle-lime butter is a delightful and unique twist. But if you want to stick to the classic, salt and butter, no one here will judge.

Skillet Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Fire-Roasted Bread

No outdoor restaurant is complete without an appetizer or two. And this spinach-artichoke dip does by Country Living does not disappoint. Cooked in a skillet on the grill, it can go right from the grill to your patio table in seconds, offering a beautiful and indulgent centerpiece.

Cauliflower Steaks with Green Harissa

Yet again, the grill shows that not all steaks are animal. This cauliflower rendition by Paula Disbrowe on Food52.com is hearty enough beef lovers have even been known to request it. Paula serves it on a hearty green harissa, but you could definitely choose your favorite sauce. And for a bit of extra protein, you might even want to garnish it with a soft-cooked egg.

Bacon Burgers on Brioche Buns

Would an outdoor menu be complete without a burger? We think not. But, for the best outdoor restaurant, you clearly need an upscaled burger and Tyler Florence’s Bacon Burgers on Brioche Buns on Food and Wine deliver. Made with a rich blend of prime rib, brisket, skirt steak, and tenderloin — these burgers are topped with bacon and grilled onions and served on a buttery brioche bun.

Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Mascarpone

These super simple grilled peaches by Cooking Light taste like a million bucks. You can serve them unadorned as a side. But for dessert, take the extra few minutes to make the vanilla mascarpone. It adds some extra richness that makes these hearty stone fruit almost like eating a warm cheesecake.

Grilled Carrots

Good House Keeping makes veggies the star again with these delightful grilled carrots. Spicy harissa and honey combine with a bit of char to bring out the natural sweetness of this root veg, while yogurt and toasted pistachio topping offers a light finish that makes these carrots addicting.

Get more tips about how to make your backyard a space you love.