We love grilling so much, it’s a year round sport for us. It never seems to matter if it’s -10ºF, I’m out there grilling something up for dinner! Everything about grilling is wonderful from the flavor right down to the easy cleanup. So… in honor of the end of summertime, (absolutely the best time of the year in my opinion) I’ve put together 40 of our favorite recipes for outdoor fun.
And speaking of the end of summer, I recently discovered I might be a bit strange because I consider summertime to last right into October. Apparently not everyone thinks that way, but for us Northerner’s we like to drag out summer for as long as the weather allows us to! I pretty much figure as long as the sun still feels warm, and the fresh local produce is coming… it’s still summer.
So without further ramblings, lets start with appetizers!
1. Grilled Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese – these are one of my all time favorite appetizers, and they’re always a hit.
2. How To Make an Easy Antipasto Platter – this simply antipasto platter can be prepped ahead, and it’s perfect for a party because everyone can graze while the main event grills.
3. Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus – what can I say… these are really hard to stop eating!
Moving on to salads because salads really round out a good barbecue.
4. Thai Slaw with Coconut Mango Dressing – this is a new addition to our barbecuing repertoire, but it’s here to stay with it’s fresh vibrant flavor.
5. Watermelon Feta Spinach Salad – where would a barbecue be without watermelon, so why not bring it in a salad?
6. Greek Salad – this classic is a great way to showcase fresh summer tomatoes
7. Bacon Kale Caesar Salad – I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like a Caesar Salad, so this one is a good bet for a crowd pleaser, plus it has bacon in it!
8. Caprese Salad – I have an inordinate fondness for this classic salad, and it makes a great pairing with simple grilled meats.
9. Farmer’s Market Chopped Salad with Honey Mustard Basil Dressing – this is a great salad to bring along or serve if you’re having a varied meal with lots of flavors going on. It partners easily with all sorts of dishes.
10. Mexican Broccoli Salad – we love all things Mexican inspired, so this salad makes a regular appearance alongside of several dishes, including the Chipotle Grilled Chicken listed below.
11. Raspberry Spinach Salad with Caramelized Garam Masala Pumpkin Seeds – this salad has all kinds of subtlety (so I wouldn’t pair it with anything involving bbq sauce) but it makes a great pairing with simple grilled meats.
12. Healthy Broccoli Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing – this is my healthy version of the classic broccoli salad, and it goes well with pretty much everything.
For main dishes, the sky’s the limit from burgers down to simple grilled meats.
13. Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken – all the classic bbq flavors wrapped (bacon wrapped to be precise) into one delicious finger licking package!
14. Buffalo Sweet Potato Burgers with Blue Cheese Slaw – buffalo wing flavors transformed into burgers, and the blue cheese slaw is really good on it’s own as a side dish too.
15. Chipotle Grilled Chicken – there’s a lot of flavor in this simple marinated chicken that goes well with all sorts of Mexican inspired dishes.
17. Teriyaki Chicken Skewers – another simple marinade with bold flavors, try this one with the Thai Slaw mentioned above.
18. Miso Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Wasabi Cucumbers – lettuce wraps are great as an assemble your own dinner or as an appetizer. I really love the miso/wasabi combo in this recipe!
19. Balsamic Grilled Chicken topped with Caprese Salad – this is my new favorite summer meal – enough said!
20. Bacon Wrapped Mushroom Cheeseburger with Guacamole – sometimes all you want is a decadent burger loaded with toppings!
21. Mexican Turkey Burgers with Fresh Corn Salsa – and… if you want to branch out in the burger department, you can’t beat the flavors going in in the summery burger.
22. Grilled Veggies with Chipotle Mayo – I can make an entire meal out of grilled veggies dipped in flavored mayo but it’s also a great side dish to simple grilled meats.
23. Meat Lover’s Pizza Burger – pizza flavors in a burger, and yes… it’s a crowd pleaser to say the least! I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like burgers and pizza, so why not put them together!
24. Feta Gyro Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce – this simplified version of a traditional gyro is flavor packed and works well as an appetizers too!
And… finally for desserts, because no barbecue would be complete without something sweet!
25. Deep Dish Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies – I’m starting this dessert category out with one of my favorite crowd pleasers, pretty much everyone loves the chocolate peanut butter combo!
26. Chocolate Tart – This recipe is an old standby that never fails (my husband always asks for this and the Coconut Lime Ice Cream listed below – not paired together, they’re just his favorite desserts!), it’s decadent and rich, yet it’s perfect for almost everyone’s diet because it’s Paleo, Vegan, dairy free, and gluten free.
27. No-Bake Coconut Lime Tart – I developed this tart after discovering the coconut-lime combination, and it’s the perfect ratio of refreshing and creamy!
28. Chocolate Covered Cherry Ice Cream Tart – This one is probably my all-time easiest to make dessert, and you can customize it to fit any ice cream flavor and fruit combination you’d like!
29. Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Brownies – This dessert is seriously decadent and it’s perfect for chocolate lovers (which let’s face it… who isn’t)!?!
30. Healthier No-Bake Cookies – Cookies are one of my favorite desserts to take to a barbecue, and this healthier version of the childhood favorite is a great place to start.
31. Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel No-Bake Cookies – While I love the original no-bake cookies, these salted caramel ones have really taken hold and become my new favorites!
32. Double Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies – both this cookie and the next one are modeled after the classic chocolate chip cookies and they’re a real crowd pleaser as well.
33. Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies – while I did include this one in the list, I probably wouldn’t actually take them to a barbecue because I’d have selfishly eaten them all before we got there! Think nutella meets chocolate chip cookies and I think you’ll see why I’m addicted to these beauties!
34. Brownies – You really can’t go wrong with a classic. These are grain free/Paleo with a dairy free option, and they’re my favorite brownie ever including the ones I used to eat as a kid with processed ingredients!
35. Cinnamon Blueberry Cobbler – this batter style cobbler can be customized to different berries, and it’s really great with a scoop of ice cream.
36. Blackberry Cardamom Peach Crisp – ah… the fruit crisp, I really do have an addiction to fruit desserts, especially when topped with ice cream in the summer!
37. Homemade Coconut Ice Cream – and on to the ice cream, this ice cream is my workhorse pairing with all sorts of fruit desserts, or standing on it’s own (maybe with a little fudge sauce)!
38. Coconut Lime Ice Cream – I’ve not met anyone yet who doesn’t fall in love with this ice cream, it’s all sorts of creamy and refreshing.
39. Homemade Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream – Even though I’m crazy about the Coconut Lime Ice Cream, my heart really does belong to anything chocolate, and this ice cream has a depth of chocolatly flavor that’s hard to find in store bought versions.
40. Cinnamon Glazed Grilled Pineapple – This is so great when topped with Coconut Ice Cream. The cinnamon glaze caramelizes around the pineapple as it grills, and I’ll bet you can’t stop eating it!
Whew, I don’t know how I ended up choosing 40 recipes I just started writing down our favorites, and pretty soon the list was out of control. I hope you find a bit of inspiration for some of the best grilling weeks to come!