Effortless Outdoor Entertaining Tips & Recipes

An afternoon with the girls can, and should be, totally effortless. But, when entertaining guests you still want to impress. For that reason, we love recipes that are quick and easy to throw together but look and taste like you spent all morning preparing them.

Below are a few of our favorite outdoor entertaining tips and recipes you and your guests are guaranteed to love.

Homemade Bruschetta

As simple to make as it is delicious, bruschetta is our go-to for entertaining. With limited ingredients and bold flavors, your guests will love the fresh mixture of plum tomatoes, minced garlic, and bright basil leaves.


  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Coarse salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 baguette


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Dice plum tomatoes while removing all the seeds, mince two cloves of garlic, then stack and roll the fresh basil leaves (like a cigar) and slice them into ribbons; set aside.
  3. Cut the baguette into even slices and cover with olive oil on both sides; bake until golden brown.
  4. Combine diced tomatoes, minced garlic, and sliced basil, adding a pinch or two of salt and olive oil to taste.
  5. Remove baguette slices from the oven once golden brown and set aside to cool.
  6. Once cool to the touch, top each baguette slice with s spoonful of the bruschetta mixture. Serve on a unique tray or platter and enjoy!

It’s as simple as it gets and the greatest part is you can make the bruschetta mixture the night before and assemble everything right before your guests arrive.

Fresh Fruit

This isn’t really a recipe, but fresh fruit is the perfect sweet complement to your savory homemade bruschetta. Aside from a quick rinse, serving fruit requires minimal effort. Choose bowls with a mix of different textures and/or colors to arrange your fruit and impress your guests.

Fresh Flowers

Adding a vase of fresh flowers is a simple way to decorate while entertaining. Either cut a few stems from your garden or pick up a pre-made bouquet at the grocery store. Your guests are guaranteed to love the added floral element no matter where the blooms came from.


When it comes to sangria, the possibilities are endless. Choose from berries, apples, and citrus fruits and combine them with sweet, dry, or bubbly wine. No matter what you concoct, it’s sure to be quite the treat.

Below are a few of our favorites, but by all means get creative and mix up whichever sangria sounds good to you.

Strawberry + Apple + Lemon + Sparkling White Wine

  1. Summer Sangria with Watermelon and Pineapple from What the Fork
  2. Blood Orange and Champagne Sangria from No Spoon Necessary
  3. Apple Pie Sangria from The Blissful Balance
  4. Sparkling Red, White, and Blue Sangria from Gimme Some Oven


We couldn’t write a post about effortless outdoor entertaining without including a few POLYWOOD products! Just before your guests arrive, simply wipe up your tabletop spaces with a little soapy water and you’re all set. Add your fresh flowers to the center of the table, a tray with your bruschetta and fruit, and don’t forget the sangrias! If you’re looking to add a little more color, place a cushion on your dining chairs and you’re ready for your guests to arrive.

Below are a few links to some of our favorite dining sets for outdoor entertaining:



Shop all Patio Dining options and check out our previous Entertaining ideas (which mostly feature our favorite foods).

Blog Post Updated March 18, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *