Summer is here, and that can only mean one thing: it’s grilling season! That’s why Carolina® Rice is here to help you take your barbecue feast to the next level with delicious and crowd-pleasing veggie sides. The key to putting on the perfect barbecue spread goes beyond the grill. To keep guests with varied tastes happy, it’s important to offer variety at your next cookout. So, join us, as we take a journey through unique and creative veggie options that will wow your guests this barbecue season.

Rice Salads for Barbecues

Before you fire up the grill for your next barbecue, it’s worth considering salad options to complement your grilled dishes. Salads are a quick and easy way to bring more additional flavors to your feast. This Spicy Southwest Rice Salad is a show-stealing vegetarian dish. Made with fragrant Carolina® Basmati Rice, it’s packed with classic South Western ingredients such as black beans, fresh sweetcorn, and, of course, spicy salsa. What’s more, it’s ready in just 15 minutes, saving you valuable time in the kitchen! 

Spicy Southwest-inspired rice salad with beans, feta cheese and cilantro
Spicy Southwest Rice Salad

Similarly, this Layered Caprese Rice Salad is a marvelous meat-free dish. Stacked with heirloom tomatoes, it’s a salad recipe that’s both delicious and visually stunning!

Hearty Vegetarian Rice Dishes

When planning a barbecue, it’s important to cater for all kinds of tastes. Having meat-free alternatives to offer guests is a must. One way to make sure that everyone leaves happy is to prepare a hearty rice dish that will please vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, and that’s where this Vegetarian Paella comes in. Made with black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas, and mushrooms, it’s delicious and satisfying in equal measure! Don’t be surprised if it becomes the sleeper hit of your BBQ!

Zesty and Refreshing Rice Dish

Another satisfying yet easy-to-make rice dish is this Lime Avocado Rice. Needing only 20 minutes to prepare, it provides the perfect complement to your grilled meat dishes, as well as being a hearty main for vegetarian guests.

Lime Avocado Rice

Best Finger Food BBQ Snacks

Finger food options always go down well at any barbecue. While the food is grilling, guests will appreciate having the opportunity to munch on crispy treats as they mingle. Not only that, finger food dishes are a great way to add extra flavors and textures to the mix. These savory and crisp Vegetable Rice Fritters are guaranteed to please. What’s more, needing just 15 minutes to prepare, they’re a convenient side dish to prepare on a busy day of cooking!

For lovers of cheesy snacks, try our Mushroom and Cheese Pastelitos. These Mexican-inspired pastries are guaranteed to be a hit on barbecue day! Likewise, these Tacos Dorados with Rice and Beans are a great choice. Served with guacamole on the side, they make for sumptuous and shareable snacks that even your abuela would be proud of!

Finally, for a finger food dish that’s guaranteed to turn heads, try these Vegetarian Sushi Rolls!

Vegetarian sushi rolls with nori, peppers, cucumber and wasabi
Vegetarian Sushi Rolls

Keys to Hosting the Best Summer BBQs

Hosting a BBQ for friends and family is typically a highlight of the summer. You simply can’t beat the atmosphere that comes with good weather and outdoor dining. However, if you want to make your cookout even more memorable, here are a few handy tips to think about: 

  • Clean and inspect your grill properly ahead of time. Make sure your equipment is in tip-top shape for the upcoming feast. 
  • Make sure there’s ample shade for guests. If you enjoy organizing barbecues in your backyard, consider investing in some patio awnings to provide guests with a place to get out of the sun. Alternatively, provide sunshades that can be readily adjusted as needed. 
  • Find a time and date that works for everyone. BBQs are best hosted in the evening, after the working day is done. Weekends are especially good for this reason, but you could also plan it around major holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, or Labor Day when most people are free.
  • Have a range of drinks on offer. It’s also important to accommodate people who prefer non-alcoholic beverages. Your guests will appreciate having a variety of drinks to choose from. Or, if you really want to impress them, prepare a batch of sweet and creamy Horchata!
  • Set up a group chat to help get things organized. That way, people can let you know about any relevant dietary preferences or changes in arrival times. 
  • Music will elevate the atmosphere. Create a public playlist and get your guests to pitch in with their favorite songs. 

Have Fun and #Playwithyourfood

Make the most of the summer season by firing up the grill and inviting those you love to share in your culinary creativity. At Carolina® Rice, we’re passionate about good food, so be sure to check out our blog where there is always something delicious cooking

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