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When we think of summer parties, our mind instantly wanders to cheeseburgers and ice-cold drinks. While that’s all fine and dandy, we’re looking to step things up this year. Think modern versions of those tried-and-true favorites. Ahead, nine recipes that’ll take your summer barbecue from standard to standout.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Mini Lobster Rolls

Let’s be honest: The price of making a party’s worth of lobster rolls can add up fast. Our solve? Make them mini and serve them as an appetizer rather than the main course. Besides, miniature buns mean a better lobster-to-bread ratio.

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Sponsored dole aloha screwdriver
Photo: Emily Morgan/Styling: Caroline Lange

Dole Aloha Screwdriver

This refreshing summery cocktail is ready in five minutes with just four ingredients. Simply mix together Dole® 100% Canned Pineapple Juice, orange juice and vodka, pour over ice and top with fresh mint.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

30-Minute Creamy Chicken, Corn and Tomato Skillet

Three steps, 30 minutes and a total crowd-pleaser. You can even serve it right in the skillet.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Keto Guacamole Burger Bites

Tiny meatballs are wrapped in bacon and topped with fresh guacamole, tomato and mozzarella. Delicious things come in small packages. 

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Sweet Corn Doughnut Holes

Sure, everyone loves corn on the cob, but how about corn for dessert? Enter sweet corn doughnut holes. Trust us, you won’t be able to eat just one.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

BLT Pasta Salad

A summer classic with a (fabulous) twist. Swap the bread for pasta and you’ve got yourself an easy entrée guests will love.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole

Is it even a summer party if you don’t have a bowl of homemade guacamole?

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Botanical Shortbread Cookies

These edible-flower shortbread cookies are as delicious as they are Instagram-worthy.

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Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Heath Goldman

Rainbow Heirloom Tomato Brushetta

Give that caprese salad a run for its money.

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