Party Planner: Spicy Cookout

Dinner Parties, Entertain, Menu Ideas, On the Table

Party Planner: Spicy Cookout

Turn up the heat at your next party! Our festive menu gets its kick from several kinds of chiles, and as a bonus, most of the dishes can be prepared on the grill. That means you can gather your friends, share a fun meal, and make the most of the season’s warm nights. Here’s how to pull it off.




Start the evening with a kick — of chiles! Our jalapeno-lime coolers are a triple threat, featuring chile-infused gin, our spicy cocktail mixer and a garnish of fresh chile. Snack on grilled jalapenos stuffed with chorizo and cheese, which make fantastic party food.


For the main course, but a spicy twist on grilled classics. Top New York strip steaks with charred, blistered peppers, or use our Hatch Serrano Burger Starter to give cheeseburgers fiery flavor inspired by the Southwest. On the side, serve a grilled romaine salad with slices of avocado and a Caesar-inspired vinaigrette. A berry sorbet makes a refreshing end to the feast.


Party Planner: Spicy Cookout


Party Planner


  • 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the sorbet. Make the vinaigrette for the salad and refrigerate in an airtight container. Infuse the gin for the cocktail up to 24 hours before serving.
  • Day of: Form the burger patties and refrigerate.
  • Just before serving: Stuff and grill the peppers. Grill the steaks and burgers. Grill the lettuce and finish the salad. Mix the cocktails.


Party Planner: Spicy CookoutFor a fun presentation, garnish the drinks with cocktail picks skewered with cucumber slices and chiles. If you like, rim the glasses with a subtly spicy salt or sugar. You can even set up a cocktail station with shakers, mixers, liquor, rimming salts and fresh garnishes for people to make their own drinks — it’s a great way to get them involved.


With a menu like this one, don’t worry about serving everything at the same time. Make the poppers first and snack on those while you grill everything else in batches — the slower pace draws out the party. If you like, let people take turns at the grill.


Instead of flowers, decorate the table with potted cacti or agave plants and leaves. Use rustic wooden boards for serving to keep the style casual and easy.


Set out burger toppings like pepper jack cheese, lettuce leaves and roasted peppers so everyone can build their own. We love serving pickles and other condiments in Weck jars for a touch of charm.

4 comments about “Party Planner: Spicy Cookout

  1. Lynn Montiel

    I am trying to find out where I can find your jalapeno-lime cocktail mixer that is included in the recipe for Jalapeno-Lime Coolers. Can anyone help me with this?

  2. Weekly Wrap-Up: 5/12-5/18 | Williams-Sonoma Taste

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