Food Ideas for a Cowboy Birthday Party

Updated June 30, 2018

A birthday party with a cowboy theme needs food and drinks to match the theme. Food that is appropriate includes dishes that can be cooked on a campfire, or any regular food items decorated or served in a manner that reflects the theme. American dishes that are reminiscent of the South or the Old West are appropriate, and there is enough variety to serve something every guest will like.

Campfire Food

If you don't have a campfire or fire pit at your cowboy party, traditional campfire foods can be cooked on an outdoor grill, barbecue or indoors. Sausages or hot dogs can be skewered and grilled, or serve cooked ones on a long skewer to give the effect of being prepared over a campfire. Pork or beef ribs covered with barbecue sauce are good cowboy foods too. Baked beans or pork and beans from a can just need to be opened and heated. Cornbread and Hush Puppies make good starchy accompaniments to the meat and beans. You could incorporate "Tex-Mex" items into the menu such as salsa and tortilla chips as an appetizer. Although old-fashioned cowboys probably didn't eat much salad, if you serve it with ranch dressing, it ties into the theme. Various sandwiches cut into star shapes to resemble sheriff's badges will satisfy even picky eaters.

Cakes and Cookies

Cakes and cookies can be decorated to fit the theme. If you can find cookie cutters in the shapes of horseshoes, cowboy boots, cowboy hats or sheriff's badges, use them to cut out cookies. Otherwise, you can cut out paper templates, place them on the rolled-out dough and cut around the shapes with a sharp knife. Cookies and cupcakes can be further decorated with frosting. A sheriff's badge is one of the easier shapes to cut out, and you could decorate the star-shaped cookies with the names of each child who will be attending the party so they each get their own cookie. A birthday cake can be iced with cowboy-themed motifs or bought cake decorations.

Serving Cowboy Food

Camping supply stores and Army-Navy surplus stores are good places to buy cowboy-themed tableware. White tin cups, plates and bowls with a blue trim give a traditional campfire look, as do "sporks" (spoon/fork combination tools) for eating. Novelty fabrics with images of horses, horseshoes or old Western scenery can be used to make tablecloths and napkins. Bandannas make good napkins too. To make paper place mats, you could print out "Wanted" posters with a picture of the child hosting the party. To serve chips and dip, take a plastic cowboy hat and cut a circle out of the top so a bowl of dip can sit inside, then arrange chips around the brim of the hat.

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About the Author

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.