Home Recipe Roundup 33 Best Pool Party Foods for a Day in the Sun

33 Best Pool Party Foods for a Day in the Sun

It doesn’t matter if you’re grilling in the yard or heading to the community pool, these delicious pool party foods will make your day complete.

From savory kebabs and light shrimp bites to poolside pasta and tender fish tacos, you might struggle to pick just one.

Pool Party Foods featuring Grilled Vegetable and Meat Skewers on the BBQ
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Ideally, you don’t want something heavy or complicated when you’re chilling by the water.

That means lots of make-ahead dishes or stuff you can heat up on the BBQ.

Either way, any of these pool party foods will bring smiles all around. And, of course, you can always heat them up in the oven, too.

1. Shrimp Cakes with Lemon Aioli

There’s just something about being by the water that makes me crave seafood. I’m sure that happens to many people, come to think of it. 

With that in mind, don’t be surprised at the number of seafood recipes on this list.

These crunchy, umami-packed shrimp cakes are light, bright, and poolside-perfect.

It takes just 25 minutes to whip them up, and they’re excellent finger foods. Even the kiddos can enjoy these without getting too messy.

2. Teriyaki Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Tender, succulent shrimp wrapped in juicy bacon is another excellent option.

They use only four ingredients and feature a rich, sweet-n-savory taste that’s hard not to love.

You probably won’t want to share these babies, but be kind and do it anyway. Everyone deserves the chance to try them.

3. Mexican Shrimp Bites

Crispy potato chips, refreshing guacamole, and tender shrimp – that’s what you’ll get with these Mexican shrimp bites. 

They’re cool, crunchy, and have just a hint of spice. So give them a try the next time you’re in the mood for something summery and festive.

4. Creamy Poolside Pasta Salad

This poolside pasta salad is cool, creamy, and zesty to the max. It’s full of colorful, chewy pasta and fresh veggies, and everyone will love it.

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Of course, most pasta salads will work for a day outside (when kept in a cooler).

That said, this one is extra fun and filled with everything from juicy tomatoes to crunchy broccoli.

Even the kids will ask for more of this rainbow dish, so make extra!

5. Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

Grilled Huli Huli chicken is tropical beach food at its finest. It looks fantastic and has a rich, sweet, and savory flavor. 

It takes literally two minutes to prepare and not much longer to cook. So, if you want a light, juicy dish with plenty of tropical flavors, give it a try.

6. Tropical Hot Dog Bar

Why make one dish when you can have a hot dog bar instead? No matter your guests’ tastes, they’ll find something to suit them here.

My favorites are the Maui onion slaw and papaya lime relish. However, each one of these bright, tropical toppings is incredible.

It’s probably too much work for your immediate family. But if you’re having friends over, too, it will take your party to the next level.

7. Cheesy Party Burgers

Big, thick burgers are always scrumptious. But, unfortunately, they might be too heavy for pool party food.

Luckily, these miniature cheeseburgers are “just right,” as Goldilocks would say.

They have all the beefy, cheesy flavors of full-size burgers. But they’re more compact, so they won’t weigh you down.

8. Watermelon Salsa

No pool party is complete without chips and salsa, right? It’s a summertime staple that’s always a hit.

Why not add a sweet twist to your salsa with some honey and chunks of watermelon?

It’s the same crisp, refreshing dip you know and love, only sweeter. 

9. Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Bruschetta is Italy’s answer to salsa. That means this recipe is just as appropriate for the pool as any salsa dish. 

With ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, it’s a real treat. Add it to a crunchy piece of toasted French bread and serve.

Just be sure to keep them separate until you’re ready to eat. Otherwise, the bread will go soggy.

10. Lobster Rangoon

If you’re a fan of Chinese food, you’ll love this recipe for lobster Rangoon.

These delicious little turnovers are stuffed with lobster and cream cheese. And they have a terrifically crispy outer shell.

They make great snacks or appetizers and are super simple to pull together.

11. Air Fryer Crab Rangoon

Crab Rangoon is just as tasty and umami-packed as lobster Rangoon. It’s a little cheaper too!

You’ll love it if you like seafood, cream cheese, and crunchy crusts. 

It’s savory and earthy, and the sweet chili sauce is divine. Plus, you can make these in the Air Fryer for total convenience!

12. Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing 

Want something sweet, flavorful, and relatively healthy? Fruit salad always fits that bill!

Next time, try making it with a sweet, zesty honey-lime dressing. 

It adds a bright burst of citrusy yumminess your taste buds will love.

13. Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Even if you hate seafood, you have to admit that Red Lobster does one thing right. 

Their Cheddar Bay Biscuits. 

Those things are on point, and I could eat them every day. With this copycat recipe, you can make them anytime you like.

They’re wonderfully cheesy and garlicky. Just don’t be surprised if you can’t get enough of them.

Plus, they take just 20 minutes from scratch. How easy is that?

14. Blackened Rockfish Tacos

Tacos are one of the most versatile meals around. You can fill them with whatever you want, and they’re perfect for any occasion. 

These blackened rockfish tacos are a summer favorite. Not to mention, they’re perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

So grab some Rockfish filets from your favorite seafood market, and get cooking!

Also, you have to make the cilantro and lime tartar sauce. It makes all the difference.

15. Paula Deen Potato Salad

Paula Deen knows her way around lots of dishes. One of my favorites, though, is her potato salad.

It’s creamy, chunky, and soooo comforting.

It has a fresh, zingy flavor that works well by itself. It also pairs well with practically anything, including fish, BBQ, burgers, and more.

16. Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Sliders

These sliders are small, but they pack a wallop of a punch.

They feature tender, flavorful chicken and gooey melted mozzarella. 

Meanwhile, the basil pesto is out of this world, and the buttery slider buns will melt in your mouth.

Even though these are a bit heavy, their small size makes up for that.

17. Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are a crunchy, herby delight. They’re also quick and easy to make, using fewer than ten ingredients.

Serve them with dipping sauces if you like, but they’re tasty enough without them.

18. Vegan Orzo Pasta Salad with Grilled Veggies

Soft, fluffy orzo and tender grilled veggies…now that’s a fantastic combination. Add some garlicky, zesty dressing, and you’re all set. 

This is a healthy, yummy dish that’s sure to please. While it’s not the most convenient pool party dish, you won’t mind after one bite.

You’ll absolutely love the juicy tomatoes. Plus, the artichoke hearts and arugula are full of vitamins and nutrients. 

19. Classic Shrimp Rolls

If you don’t live in a seaside town, you may not be familiar with shrimp rolls. Think of them like hot dogs, but with shrimp instead of wieners. 

The shrimp is sweet, tasty, and slathered in a lemon and dill mayo. You’ll load it all into a potato roll for a fun, easy-to-eat snack.

It’s perfect for the pool or a backyard BBQ.

20. Individual Seven-Layer Dips

Seven-layer dip is always a hit at parties. Unfortunately, it’s not very convenient to eat around the pool.

Unless you make them in their own single-serve cups, of course.

Each cup contains all the best seven-layer dip ingredients. Better yet, there’s no sharing, double-dipping, or waiting in line.

Instead, every guest gets their own. Perfecto! 

21. Grilled Sausage and Vegetable Skewers with Pineapple BBQ Sauce

Skewers are another summer classic, and these feature saucy bites of grilled sausage and robust veggies.

The pineapple BBQ sauce is so good that you’ll want to put it on everything

These may be a bit messier than other options here. Still, no one minds a little mess when something tastes this good. 

22. Avocado Peach Salsa

Looking for a fresh new way to enjoy summer fruits? Look no further than this avocado peach salsa! 

It’s ideal for parties, potlucks, or just a weekday snack. Plus, it’s easy to make and healthy too.

Give it a try with chips, on top of lean protein, or as a side dish.

23. Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

I adore the look of chunky, overstuffed mushrooms.

There’s something so cute about them, but these crab-stuffed mushrooms are much more than just “cute.” 

After all, mushrooms are great vessels for all sorts of delicious fillings. Crab is no exception! 

These stuffed mushrooms are earthy, herby, and pretty easy to put together. All you need is a few simple ingredients and lots of seasonings.

24. BLT Summer Chopped Salad

This fresh, colorful salad is like a deconstructed BLT. Although, it has a lot more going on inside the bowl.

There’s bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes, of course. However, it also includes avocado, chicken, corn, feta, and more.

It combines the beautiful earthiness of fresh veggies with lighter, tangier ingredients. And it looks fantastic, too!

25. Crabbies

Crabbies are the ultimate in taste and convenience.

You can whip up a batch in just 15 minutes with only seven ingredients. They’re cheesy, buttery, garlicky, and phenomenal.

I hate to disappoint Spongebob, but Krabby Patties have nothing on these crabbie English muffins.

26. Honey Lime Garlic Butter Salmon

It may not be super convenient to enjoy salmon by the pool. Even so, this flaky, flavorful fish is a real crowd-pleaser.

So if there’s a kitchen area or tables near your pool, give it a try. 

I promise you won’t hear anyone complaining about its impracticality. At least, not after they take the first bite!

27. Arby’s Chicken Salad Sandwich

Do you love sandwiches in the summer? If you do, this chicken salad will be your new go-to.

It features big chunks of chicken, juicy grapes, and a creamy sauce. There are tart diced apples, too!

Spread it on your favorite bread with some lettuce, or pack it inside a croissant. You really can’t go wrong.

And you don’t have to wait for a pool party, either. It makes a delightful light lunch any time of year. 

28. Rotisserie Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is just as cool and creamy. However, it’s more savory than sweet.

Not only that, but this one has a fun element of crunch, thanks to the almonds.

Both options are insanely yummy. It’s just a matter of finding which one you prefer.

29. Watermelon Lime Popsicles

What better way to cool down by the pool than with an ice-cold popsicle?

These ruby red treats combine fresh watermelon, sugar, water, salt, and lime juice.

They’re tart with an underlying watermelon sweetness that’s good till the last bite.

They’re light, refreshing, and kid-approved. 

30. Pineapple Sorbet

Pineapple sorbet is just as sweet, fruity, and refreshing. And you’ll use just three ingredients to make it: pineapple, water, and sugar. 

It’s sweet, tropical, and majorly pineapple-y. Break this out when it’s 90+ degrees outside, and everyone around the pool will thank you.

31. S’mores Bars

Who doesn’t appreciate a sweet treat now and then?

Even in the summer, people love desserts. And whatever you’re looking for, these eight-ingredient s’mores bars deliver

The fudgy brownie layer on the bottom is just the tip of the iceberg.

Once you top it with chocolate, marshmallows, and Graham Crackers, no one will be able to turn it down.

And don’t even get me started on the seriously sweet crust. I honestly think I could talk about these things all day.

But why talk about them when you could be eating them instead?! So go! Make a batch now, and see what you think! 

32. Grilled Watermelon Salad

Grilled watermelon salad, anyone?

Watermelon is a terrific fruit to grill because it has a delicious flavor and a nice texture. 

Plus, the watermelon’s sweetness pairs nicely with the salty tanginess of the feta.

I know it sounds weird, but don’t knock it ’til you try it. Smoky watermelon is actually crazy good.

33. Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

You can never have too many sweet, savory kebab recipes. That’s especially true in the summer. 

These tropical kebabs feature juicy, well-marinated chicken, cucumbers, onions, and peppers.

They have a distinctly Hawaiian flavor and smell as good as they taste. 

It doesn’t take long to prep and cook them, either. Just be sure to allow enough time for the marinade to do its thing.

33 Best Pool Party Foods for a Day in the Sun

It doesn’t matter if you’re grilling in the yard or heading to the community pool, these delicious pool party foods will make your day complete.


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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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