How To Get Started: 20 Summer Grilling Ideas

How To Get Started 20 Summer Grilling Ideas

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20 Amazing Recipes To Grill Up For Your Family, Friends, And Anyone You Want To Impress!

Summer is nearly here, and that means that it is nearly time to break out the grill.

If you are anything like us then you find true happiness when you prepare food for the people in your life on the grill. There really is nothing like kicking back in the patio in front of a smoking grill, beer in hand, sun on your skin, knowing you are going to be eating something delicious in a few hours.

Grill party

Every year, we try to add at least one grilling recipe to our repertoire. A true grillmaster can handle any dietary choice and allergy restriction thrown at them. They may even enjoy the challenge. We will grill anything – from lamb to mushrooms, from bison to fish, and we will even give grilling beans a go too.

If you are looking for something new then you have come to the right place. Yes, the classic grilling dishes are delicious, but you will find something more exciting and off the beaten path here. These are the dishes you are going to want to serve up to surprise and delight your guests.

In this article, you are going to find 20 mouthwatering dishes that you can serve up to your family and friends this summer. This has something for everyone – Vegans, Vegetarians, Keto friendly grilled dishes, fish lovers, and of course, we have the meat lovers covered too.

Warning, if you keep reading you will find yourself getting very hungry and you might even be tempted to get your grill out tonight.

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20 Summer Grilling Ideas & Recipes

20 Grilling Ideas & Recipes

When it comes to thinking of food to make on the grill, most people jump straight to the classics – burgers, sausages, ribs, steak, and rump. Maybe, if they’re feeling creative, they’ll make bacon and eggs.

We’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t just limit yourself to the classic grilling dishes this summer.  Instead, we have collected 20 dishes that you may have never tried to make on the grill before. They are all a little different.

But, trust us, they are all delicious and will go down a treat with your family and friends. So, let’s not waste any more time…

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

If you have already tried our Lemon Pepper Wings and our Chicken Wing Brine recipes and are ready to try something new – you need to make yourself a serving of Grilled Tandoori Chicken.

This is a twist on the classic Indian chicken dish. The namesake marinade of this dish is made by mixing fresh yogurt with Garlic, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika (not smoked), ground turmeric, cayenne, ground ginger, ground clove, and ground cardamom.

The trick to getting the best flavor out of this dish is to make sure that you marinate the chicken overnight. This gives a chance for the flavors to mature and sink into the meat. The acids in the yogurt will also soften the chicken and make it feel like it’s melting in your mouth after cooking.

Once marinated, put the meat onto a series of skewers and get grilling. 

Best Wood Chips

Applewood

Cedar

Oak

Best Served With

Pilau or Basmati Rice

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Spinach

Grilled Salmon Souvlaki

For Fish Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

Many of us forget that we Americans aren’t the only country in the world that loves to grill. In fact, one of the most underrated cuisines in the world is built around grilling – we are, of course, talking about Greek Food.

Why not try something a little more lightweight and the Mediterranean this summer and make yourself a Salmon Souvlaki Bowl. We are so obsessed with this dish because it perfectly walks the line between being delicious and being good for you.

The Salmon just needs to be seasoned with oil and salt before being placed on the grill. Make sure that you pick up some good-quality fish to get the best out of this recipe.

While you are grilling the fish why not chuck on some lemon, tomatoes, and eggplant to cook alongside it. This dish pairs perfectly with homemade Tzatziki and fresh salad.

Best Wood Chips

Cedar

Pine

Best Served With

Quinoa

Tzatziki 

Grilled Tomatoes

Grilled Lemon

Grilled Eggplant

Fresh Salad 

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Grilled chicken

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free Possible

Recipe Inspiration

Next on our tour of the world on our grill, it’s Vietnam.

If you have spent any time in that beautiful country then you will know that lemongrass, five-spice, and soy sauce are cornerstones of most Vietnamese dishes. This grilled chicken is no different.

This is another dish that gets the majority of its flavor from an excellent marinade. To make it you will need fresh lemongrass, shallots, garlic (lots), sugar, salt, five-spice, soy sauce (use gluten free soy sauce if needed), and fresh chillis.

You will want to blend all of these ingredients together in a food processor. Then coat chicken breasts with them and leave them to marinate overnight. You can then cook the chicken normally on the grill before serving with lots of fresh vegetables.

You can also serve this grilled chicken with glass noodles or rice. We also used the leftover chicken to make a soup or pho dish.

Best Wood Chips

Pine

Best Served With

Glass noodles

Avocado

Fresh Cucumber

Fresh Chilli

Grilled Romaine Salad

Suitable for Vegans, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

Sometimes when the true summer temperatures arrive and it gets too hot to sleep – we don’t want to eat heavy dishes. They will make us tired and may even make us feel warmer. When this type of weather arrives, we recommend trying out this fun twist on a salad. Maybe with a glass or two of iced wine.

This salad consists of grilled lemon, fava beans, and corn served inside grilled Romaine lettuce leaves. You can have this on its own, as a side, or even mixed in with pulled pork or grilled salmon.

If you have a small grill then you may have to make this salad in two parts – grilling the Romaine lettuce first, and then the rest of the salad ingredients. However, both processes are so simple that this dish has no right to be as tasty as it is.

Best Wood Chips

Applewood

Best Served With

Iced Rose Wine

Tzatziki

Sour Cream

Hot Sauce

Grilled Salmon

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Grilled Bison Burger

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

If you love beef burgers but want a healthier alternative then you should check out Bison meat. It has a really similar flavor profile but is a lot leaner. And some argue it even takes better after it’s been on the grill.

We recommend that you add some grilled bacon to this burger – as well as fresh tomatoes, bbq sauce, and, of course, some smoked cheese. And maybe add a few gherkins if they are to your taste.

We recommend buying your Bison meat as mince and creating your own burgers. You can do this by adding finely chopped onions, pepper, garlic powder, and mustard seeds to the mixture and moulding the meat into patties.

Everyone has their own technique for cooking burgers on this grill, so we won’t boss you around. But, we do recommend trying out this recipe for making fries on the grill to pair with your Bison Burgers.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Cedar 

Pine

Best Served With

Fries

Grilled Vegetables

Mac and Cheese

Fresh Salad

Grilled Lamb Chops

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

You have probably made steak or pork chops on the grill before – but have you tried lamb chops?

After trying out this meal, we think that lamb might be the meat that makes us think of summer the most – especially if you pair it with grilled vegetables, a drizzle of gravy, and a spicy harissa sauce.

This recipe works best when you keep the meat on the bone. Make a harissa-based marinade to soak the meat overnight before transferring it to the grill. One of the great things about lamb is it is really easy to get the outer layer crispy – so, you don’t have to worry too much about burning the meat.

You can serve this with a range of items. It works well with fries, gravy, and greens. Or you can serve it with other Moroccan-inspired foods like Couscous, harissa yogurt, and grilled eggplant.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Best Served With

Steak Fries

Gravy

Grilled Vegetables

Harissa Yogurt

Lemon Couscous

Grilled Whole Fish

Fish

For Fish Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

Our favorite fish dish of all time is Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon, but if we had to pick a second it would have to be Grilled Whole Fish.

If you don’t like working with fish heads then you can do this dish with fish fillets and wrap them up in aluminum foil to keep the moisture in.

If you ever find yourself grilling on the beach with a fresh catch then we recommend cooking it like this. You want to make sure that you pack as much flavor inside the fish as you can – large slices of lemons, smoked sea salt flakes, parsley, and chili.

If you want to take this recipe from delicious to show stopping then you need to make sure you serve your fish up with Preserved Lemon Gremolata. It’s fresh, spicy, and it makes the fish taste even better.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Cedar

Best Served With

Quinoa

Fries

Pasta

Grilled Lemons

Grilled Spicy Miso Portobello Burgers

Suitable for Vegans, Can be made Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

This is one of the best Vegan dishes that we have ever made on our grill. If you are someone who loves savory and spicy dishes then you may end up coming for a few nights in a row after you cook it for the first time – it’s that good.

We like to serve these large mushrooms up like we would any other burger – with tomatoes, gherkins, and bacon and cheese for the non-Vegans. We have also served them with guacamole and sriracha sauce.

You are going to want to start by basting the mushrooms in a mixture of miso paste, blended with sriracha and sesame oil. You do not want to marine the mushrooms for too long as they can lose their structural integrity and fall apart on the grill.

Once you have prepared the mushrooms, all you have to do is pop them on the grill for around 10 minutes. Then all that’s left to do is plate them up. They cook a lot quicker than beef burgers so if you are cooking a mixture, bear this in mind when you are planning out your timing.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Best Served With

Burger Buns

Guacamole

Bacon

Smoked Cheese

Tomatoes

Gherkins

Coleslaw

Tzatziki

Chimichurri Poblano Turkey Burger

For Meat Eaters, Can be Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

Chicken isn’t the only grilling option when it comes to poultry. Turkey can make a great alternative. Turkey mince is also a great option if you are looking to cut a little bit of fat out of your burger.

Some people think that Turkey is bland meat that can’t make an interesting meal – these people have just been cooking it wrong. Once you have tried this dish, your opinions on Turkey will be changed.

This dish would pair really well with the miso mushroom burgers we talked about in the last version – they are both savory, spicy, and hard to stop eating.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Cedar

Pine

Best Served With

Fries

Grilled Vegetables

Mac and Cheese

Fresh Salad

Grilled Eggplant With Eggplant Relish

Suitable for Vegans, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

If you are looking for the perfect healthy and vegan side dish to serve at your next barbeque then look no further – serve up this one. Or, if you are looking for a light dinner then you can make this in a bigger batch and serve it as a main.

Grill eggplants are quick and easy to make – they are a great dish to put the kids in charge of if they want to help with the cooking.

Grilling eggplants is simple, all you need to do is lightly coat them with olive oil and then cook them for a few minutes on the grill. They are filling, savory, and are typically a big hit with everybody.

Grilled eggplants are such a classic dish that they can be served with anything and still taste good. We have seen them served with fish, ribs, couscous, fries, a spicy relish, and much more.

Best Wood Chips

Pine

Best Served With

Couscous

Quinoa

Fries

Grilled vegetables

Pico de Galo

Grilled Peruvian Chicken

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

If you are looking for a twist on the classic grilled chicken recipe then why not try this one? It’s spicy, it’s not too heavy, and it’s perfect for Summer.

If you have never had Peruvian Chicken before then you are in for a treat. It is made from a mix of honey, soy sauce, chili, paprika, salt, and a range of traditional spices. It is a dish that gives BBQ wings a run for its money when made correctly.

You are going to want to make the sauce the night before and marinate the chicken in it. You are then going to want to make an extra batch that you can pour over the chicken once you have finished grilling it.

Make sure you make a big batch of these because they will fly off the plate.

Best Wood Chips

Pine

Oak

Best Served With

Hot Sauce

Fries

Grilled Vegetables

Lime Rice

Greek Salad

Grilled Eggplant With Freekeh

Suitable for Vegans, Gluten Free (options)

Recipe Inspiration

If you are looking for another way to serve up grilled eggplant then why not try serving it as a salad with a healthy helping of grains, leafy greens, and zesty sauce.

This is a dish inspired by the flavors of the Middle East – we particularly love making this salad with Freekah.

Freekah is a grain (it does contain gluten) that grows in the Middle East and is smoked – this makes it a perfect combination for grilled eggplant. You will want to serve this salad with fresh herbs, a tart sauce (with a yogurt base), and some moist vegetables like cucumber. Otherwise, it will taste a little dry.

We love mixing these Middle Eastern flavors with flavors from the Greek Islands by adding Feta, Tzatziki, and salad leaves like Rocket.

However you serve it, make sure to sip on some sweet minty drinks to complete the experience.

Best Wood Chips

Pine

Best Served With

Couscous

Buckwheat Salad

Rocket

Feta

Harissa Yogurt

Grilled Indian Masala Street Corn

Suitable for Vegetarians (Vegan Options), Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

Masala is the Hindi word for spiced or spices. We are used to dishes like Tika Masal or drinking like Masala Chai (also known as Chia Tea). But the Indian flavor pallet has so much more to offer us.

Today, we are going to look at how you can turn the classic dish – Corn on the Cob – into someone a whole lot more interesting.

In India, most families have a secret mix of spices that they use to create their dishes. If you don’t have a secret mix you can use Garam Masala. You will want to mix these spices with melted ghee (or butter of your choice).

You will then want to pour half of this to cover the corn while it is cooking. Once the corn is done you can cover it with the other half of the mixture. Then serve with what you would usually serve corn on the cob with.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Best Served With

Pilau Rice

Saag Paneer

Fries

Ribs

Grilled Vegetables

Tandori Chicken

Grilled Lemon-herb Chicken Breast (With Salad)

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

This dish perfectly balances our cravings for flavor-filled, grilled meat with our need to eat a light meal on the hottest days of the year.  The chicken and the honey mustard bacon in this dish are to die for and the salad will leave you feeling full, fresh, and energetic.

As always, you will want to make sure that you marinate the chicken and the bacon overnight before you start cooking. Even if the recipe does not explicitly call for it, we like to make a little extra of each sauce to soak the meat in later.

You do not want to reuse the sauce you have been soaking the raw meat in, as you can risk giving your guests food poisoning.

This combination of salad and rice will leave everyone with full bellies but won’t cause anyone to feel sluggish after their dinner.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Applewood

Pine

Cedar

Best Served With

Avocado Salad

Honey Mustard Bacon

Fresh Tomatoes

Tzatziki

Feta

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Steak Tacos With Chimichurri

Grilled steak

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

If you thought that Leftover Brisket Tacos were a good idea, what until you hear about these Steak Tacos – they are to die for.

This may be the ultimate Tex-Mex combination, steak and tacos. We also recommend that you whip a batch of Chimichurri Sauce to serve with this dish.

We love making tacos because they are so easy to make and easy to customize – which means everyone can make themselves the meal that they want. We like to cook up a big patch of stake and then let our guests create their own tacos.

To complement the texture of the stake, you are going to want to make sure that you have lots of other soft fillings to go with it – like Pico de Galo, Guacamole, and grilled peppers.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Applewood

Best Served With

Steak Fries

Nachos

Pico de Galo

Chimichurri Sauce

Guacamole

Root Beer

Grilled Chicken Shawarma

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

We have suggested a lot of different ways to enjoy grilled chicken in the article, but this dish has to be one of our top favorites. Especially, when it is served on top of Israeli Salad with a healthy dollop of Tzatziki.

Just writing about this dish is making our stomachs rumble.

What makes this dish even better is that it is so easy to make. All you need to do to prepare the brine is to blend fresh garlic, lemon, salt, and olive oil in a food processor until it is creamy. Then leave your chicken to soak in it overnight.

You should prepare the salad about half an hour before you are ready to eat. You can serve these two dishes as part of a larger buffet or as the main course.

You can make Shaearma wings, kebabs, or fillets – they all work well and taste delicious.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Applewood

Best Served With

Quinoa

Rice

Israeli Salad

Tzatziki

Grilled Thai Turkey Burgers

Burger

For Meat Eater, Gluten Free

Recipe Inspiration

We love using Thai flavors when we grill because they make such an exciting combination with the smokiness the meat develops. Anyone who has ever had a Thai fish cake will back us up on this one.

Cilantro and Lime are two key ingredients in Thai cuisine and they feature heavily in this dish. This recipe also features a good amount of lemongrass and ginger. With all four of these ingredients, you can’t include too much of them in your Turkey burgers.

You can buy pre-made Turkey burgers, but nothing compares to making them at home from mince and mixing in these delicious Thai ingredients. You might also want to prepare a few Thai-inspired condiments to put on your burger – like pickled cucumber, sriracha mayo, and spicy coleslaw.

We adore Thai cuisine because it manages to be full of flavor but still leaves you feeling fresh and energetic.

Best Wood Chips

Applewood

Best Served With

Coleslaw

Gherkins

Shredded Carrots

Grilled Vegetables

Mac and Cheese

Sriracha Mayo

Japanese Farm-style Teriyaki

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free (Options)

Recipe Inspiration

We have already talked about using Miso on the grill, and now we want to talk about another Japanese flavor – Teriyaki.

Teriyaki sauce is typically made from a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. The meat is soaked in this sauce before being grilled or boiled. The word Teri means lustre and yaki means to grill or broil. We would also recommend adding some ginger and garlic into the mix.

You can serve this Teriyaki Chicken with your normal barbecue sides – like corn on the cob, fries, and mashed potatoes. Or you can serve it on sushi rice with pickled salad, edamame beans, and other types of salad.

If you want to make your Teriyaki Chicken farm style then just leave out the sugar, for us, mirin is more than sweet enough on its own.

If you are looking for a Vegan alternative to this dish, you can replace the Chicken with Portobello Mushrooms.

Best Wood Chips

Pines

Best Served With

Teriyaki Mushrooms

Gherkins

Edamame Beans

Fries

Fresh Salad

Grilled Italian Chicken

For Meat Eaters, Gluten Free 

Recipe Inspiration

Our final Chicken suggestion today is Italian Style Grilled Chicken served with Salsa Verde.

This is a simple recipe that requires very little effort to cook, but, man is it delicious! Sometimes, you can add too much sauce and spices to the meat, and you can lose its original flavor. Not with this dish.

Everything about the brine for the Chicken and the Salsa Verde only highlights the natural, smoky flavors of grilled chicken. This recipe is perfect for those hot summer days or the days when the weather is awful and you want to pretend you are sitting on the Italian Riviera.

Why not make this the main feature of an Italian-themed dinner. That features capers, olives, artichokes, grilled fish, a Caprese Salad, and some pesto pasta.

This recipe is so simple that it is nearly impossible to get it wrong. You will end up with a delicious dish every time.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Pine

Best Served With

Fresh Salad

Salsa Verde

Parmesan

Avocado

Grilled vegetables

Olives

Capers

Grilled Fava Beans

Suitable for Vegans, Gluten Free 

Recipe Inspiration

Our final suggestion is a simple vegan side that will be a big hit with everyone at the table. We also recommend making a large bowl of the Mint, Lemon Zest, and  Sumac dip because no one at the table will be able to get enough of it.

Fava beans are a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is becoming more and more popular across the world. While many choose to mix these beans in with other ingredients, after you have tried this dish you will learn that they are tasty enough to be served on their own.

All you need to do to cook Fava beans is to brush their shell with olive oil and a little salt and then pop them straight onto the grill. Give each side 4 minutes before serving them up to your hungry guests.

Best Wood Chips

Oak

Pine

Cedar

Best Served With

Fresh Salad

Grill Vegetables

Ribs

Steak

Summary

Grilled food

Summer is the season of adventure, so why not extend that to your cooking and your grilling? This is the season to experiment with delicious new flavor combinations and unexpected ingredients.

If you love to use your grill then this is the perfect time of year for you to get it out and cook on it every weekend (and maybe even on a few work nights). A day spent at the grill is never wasted.

If you are looking for something new, exciting, and of course, mouth-wateringlly good, then you will find all of that in the article above.

We have included 20 grilling dishes that we swear by and have been big hits amongst our friends and family. Now, if you excuse us, we will be cooking up some of those Masala Spiced Corn cobs this evening. What will you be cooking up for your family this summer?