Cowboy-Themed Summer Cookout

Wrangle up the team with your lasso for this hearty, Wild West-inspired party


Summer heat tends to bring out the inner cowboy in all of us. We long for the great outdoors and to gather around a well-crafted campfire with our companions. Here are some tips and ideas for throwing a kid-friendly cookout that will transform into an adult gathering come nightfall. Complete with décor ideas and rustic recipes, this party idea is sure to make all party-goers cry “yee-haw” and they won’t want to giddy up and get out of there until the wee hours of the next day. So saddle up, roll up those shirt sleeves, and get planning with this go-to guide for the throwing the best summer soirée in the west.



Cowboy Cocktails

After a day of lassoing horses, cowboys are thirsty for something strong — and this is just the thing to serve.


Cowboy-Style Baby Green Salad

Something simple and light to start the night off right.



Prize-Winning Chili

A cup 'o chili around the campfire is all weary cowboys need at the end of the day. Don't eat meat? Be sure to serve some Veggie Chili for the non meat-eating wranglers, too.



Chili wouldn't be complete without a piece of cornbread, cooked in a skillet (over the campfire, optional).


Good, Bad, and the Fudgy Brownies

Seductively rich brownies get a makeover with this recipe for a super-moist treat made with puréed black beans. Yes, beans. And they're best enjoyed with a cup of Cowboy Coffee.



Instead of classic paper or cloth napkins, use paisley-patterned bandannas in a variety of colors. They’re just the right size and oh-so-iconic of the Wild West. After all, you don’t want any chili spilling down on to your denim blues, now, would you?


Setting the Scene

If you can’t host your party in the real Wild West, bring the Wild West home. Begin by playing a classic western film in the background, on low (gunshots, included) — these are some of our favorites. During the night, ask your guests to name their favorite country or western tunes for a custom playlist (creating a CD for each guest to take home at the end of the night is up to you).