Party Food

Summer BBQ Menu Ideas

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I really enjoy the creative aspect of cooking. Coming up with wowzer menu ideas that taste as good as they look is fun. Taste and nutrition are paramount, but yes, it does matter how a dish looks. After all, I’m also a photographer. And one great thing about being Mom, chief cook and photographer—you never get chopped from your own kitchen!

Summer BBQ Menu Ideas

Yesterday I made a summer veggie/pasta salad and grilled pork tenderloin with bacon onion jam for the Sargento® Chopped at Home Challenge. The secret basket ingredients were pork tenderloin, cherry/grape tomatoes, broccoli and Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar.

I took the finished dishes into my husband’s team at work. They LOVED it. They made me feel like I earned a Chopped chef’s jacket!

Ranch & Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe

I gotta say the salad was out of this world with flavor. The bacon onion jam is incredibly delicious and the perfect complement to pork sandwiches.

Sargento 4 State Cheddar Cheese

Quality ingredients make a huge difference in a recipe’s outcome. Sargento Cheese is one of those quality ingredients I count on.

Pasta & Veggie Salad Recipe

Sargento is available in 30 versatile varieties, unique blends and distinct cuts and it’s always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. You can taste the quality.

 Ranch & Pasta Veggie Salad

Ranch Pasta Salad

I’ll definitely be putting this on our entertaining menu in the near future so I can make (and enjoy eating) this again!

Pasta & Vegetable Salad Recipe

Ranch & Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe


  • Author: Melodee @ Spaceships and Laser Beams


  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups Sargento Chefs Blend 4 State Cheese
  • 1 cup roasted corn
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 box of bow tie pasta
  • 8 strips cooked bacon
  • 15 ounces 2% Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 packet Greek yogurt ranch dressing mix


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. To roast the corn, season two ears of fresh corn with olive oil and salt.
  3. Wrap each piece in foil and grill for 5-7 minutes until the corn is tender.
  4. When it has cooled, cut it off the cob and add to the salad.
  5. Finely chop the chives, broccoli, bacon and halve the tomatoes.
  6. When the pasta has cooled, add all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  7. To make the dressing, mix the yogurt, milk and seasoning together.
  8. Pour over salad and chill until ready to serve.


  • I would double the amount of dressing next time and just use what I needed. It needed just a little more dressing in my opinion but was still flavored wonderfully!


  • Calories: 4936
  • Sugar: 54
  • Sodium: 7878
  • Fat: 362
  • Saturated Fat: 213
  • Unsaturated Fat: 127
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 139
  • Protein: 292
  • Cholesterol: 1099

Pork Tenderloin Burgers with Bacon & Onion Jam

Unique Pork Tenderloin Burger Recipe


  • Author: Melodee @ Spaceships and Laser Beams


  • 3 pork tenderloins
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Mix mustard, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Generously rub all over each tenderloin.
  3. On a preheated grill on medium temperature, sear each side of the tenderloins.
  4. Once each side has seared, place on a sheet pan on the other side of the grill over low heat.
  5. Turn the other side of the grill back up to high and cook for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  6. Once the pork has reached an internal temperature of 165, remove from heat and let rest for 8-10 minutes.


  • Calories: 1890
  • Sugar: 107
  • Sodium: 2486
  • Fat: 38
  • Saturated Fat: 12
  • Unsaturated Fat: 21
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 112
  • Protein: 264
  • Cholesterol: 729

BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin Burger

Bacon Onion Jam for Pork Sandwich

Bacon Onion Jam for Pork Sandwich

Bacon Onion Jam

  • Author: Melodee @ Spaceships and Laser Beams


  • 9 strips of bacon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 Vidalia onions
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy and remove from pan. Set on a paper towel to drain.
  2. Chop Vidalia onions and shallots into thin rings. Keep onions and shallots separate since they cook at different times.
  3. Remove ¼ cup of bacon grease from the pan, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan. Add butter and stir until melted.
  4. Add onions and salt and cook for 10-15 minutes until the onions start to turn in color. Add shallots, vinegar and brown sugar. Simmer on medium low for 45 minutes to one hour until the onions have reduced down and are caramelized.
  5. Finely chop bacon and stir into the onions along with the fresh thyme.
  6. Serve immediately on top of pork tenderloin sandwiches.


  • Calories: 2219
  • Sugar: 226
  • Sodium: 6668
  • Fat: 108
  • Saturated Fat: 27
  • Unsaturated Fat: 65
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 284
  • Protein: 44
  • Cholesterol: 111

Unique Pork Tenderloin Burger Recipe

How about you? Do you consider yourself a great chef? Test your chops in this Chopped at Home Challenge with Sargento® Shredded Cheese.

Submit your recipe to for a chance to win $5,000 and a trip to New York City to compete in a televised Chopped cooking challenge. There’s a $10,000 grand prize!

If you need more inspiration, check out the Sargento Pinterest or visit for even more info.

And don’t forget to go vote for your favorite recipe!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.

Melodee Fiske

Melodee is a mom of two energetic and independent boys who fuel her need for coffee. She is a foodie who loves creating and photography so has combined her passions to share with the world. When she’s not behind the camera, she’s giving piggy back rides, building car tracks or running to Target…again.