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26 Father's Day barbecue recipe ideas — from grilled meats to fruits

Celebrate dad the best way you know how — with great food.
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

You picked out the perfect Father's Day gift, bought the card, and now all you need to do is plan a fun day. What screams "family fun" more than a backyard barbecue?

Whether you're planning a huge party or just a relaxing day with the family, these easy Father's Day recipes are sure to impress dear old dad. (If you need a little charcoal 101, check out these charcoal grilling tips to go from beginner to expert in no time.)

Grilled beef recipes

Giada's Marinated Bistecca Fiorentina

Bring Italy into your home with this classic grilled rib eye steak from Florence, called bistecca alla Fiorentina. Giada De Laurentiis' genius addition of a squeeze of grilled lemon brightens the dish and brings out the flavors of the meat. Bonus: It only takes five minutes of prep time!

If you want the robust flavor of a great steak but don't want all the heavy sides that usually accompany it, this Southwestern-inspired salad invites the garden to the party for a light, yet meaty, dish.

Sunny's Nacho Bacon Burger

The secret to this burger's over-the-top flavor is in the center. Hiding inside is a molten pocket of gooey nacho cheese dip. Food Network star Sunny Anderson said you'll never go back to a basic burger again!

Inspired by the Los Angeles food truck scene, chef Curtis Stone created these Korean steak tacos that are filled with tender grilled flank steak, crispy shredded cabbage and creamy guacamole. The marinade is so good that Stone guaranteed you'll want to try it with Korean-style short ribs, pork tenderloin and grilled chicken.

Grilled chicken recipes

If wings Dad's favorite food, impress him this Father's Day with these spicy and sweet chicken wings. The key is to bake them first, then throw them on the grill and baste them with an easy homemade barbecue sauce.

The bright, creamy yogurt sauce is such a great paring with tender, smoky chicken skewers. The depth of flavors make it like a fancy dinner even though it comes together in just a few minutes.

This Peruvian-style recipe features the unexpected sweetness of rice vinegar along with West African palm sugar which imparts a rich, caramel flavor.

These juicy grilled chicken breasts will become your new go-to easy summer dish thanks to a simple mixture of herbs, chiles and garlic that does double duty as a marinade and sauce (using half to marinate and the other half to serve on the side). When thinly pounded, boneless and skinless chicken breasts cook so quickly that the flavor and color of the marinade remain vibrant and bright.

Up your classic chicken and vegetable kebabs on Father's Day with the addition of fruit. Grilling pineapple makes it extra juicy and adds a hint of smoky sweetness and brightness to the skewers.

Grilled chicken thighs aren't only more flavorful than white meat, they're also way more affordable. If you're grilling chicken for a crowd this Father's Day, buy a big pack at the supermarket, then coat them with a quick rub of brown sugar, chile powder, smoked paprika and salt. The sugar will caramelize on the grill and make the rest of the spices adhere to the juicy dark meat.

Grilled pork recipes

TODAY's Al Roker said that his grilled pineapple and pork chop combo will "blow you away with bold flavors." After the fruit is caramelized on the grill, Al adds a squeeze of lime juice and a hit of chile powder before serving with the juicy pork chops.

Feel free to substitute other fruits for the pineapple in the salsa, like peaches, nectarines or apricots. Katie Lee likes to put the sour cream in a squeeze bottle because it's much easier to put on the tacos.

St. Louis-Style Ribs

All these traditionally St. Louis-style ribs need is a simple rub and spicy-sweet glaze to complement the fall-off-the-bone tender meat. Serve these tasty ribs with summery salads, seasonal grilled veggies and traditional barbecue sides like baked beans, potato salad or mac and cheese.

Grilled lamb recipes

Turn your backyard into a Brazilian churrascaria with these easy grilled lamb chops from Fogo de Chao. The lamb can also be cut into pieces, then marinated and skewered before grilling. Serve the quick-cooking meat with refreshing mint jelly and mint leaves.

"The art of eating a single lamb chop is lost," says Carson Daly. "Ordering one 'lollipop chop' is a power move. It's only four or five bites of meat and it's even got a small-portioned petite filet beat. Meat craving satisfied, without over-indulging."

Grilled seafood recipes

Grilled Peel-and-Eat Shrimp

Peel-and-eat shrimp are a great interactive appetizer but also a conversation starter. Put out a big bowl of the flavorful morsels and let the party begin!

This quick and healthy grilled fish is as delicious as it is visually stunning. It's perfect for an elegant Father's Day barbecue and can also double as an easy weeknight dinner. Best of all, using foil packets to cook all the ingredients at once makes cleaning up super easy.

This brunch recipe from chef Gavin Kaysen won't make you want to go back to bed. This light, summery meal is a great way to usher in the new season.

Salmon and Zucchini Skewers

If dad doesn't want heavy barbecue or red meat, these salmon-and-zucchini skewers are a delicious, lighter alternative.

Grilled vegetable and fruit recipes

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches

OK, so it isn't barbecued exactly, but this healthy vegan barbecue pulled pork is made with jackfruit and tastes so similar to real barbecue pulled pork that you won't believe it's vegan.

Grilled Corn with Chili Honey Butter

A Father's Day cookout isn't complete without grilled corn. Rubbing the ears with a quick chile honey butter gives you a combination of sweet, spicy, smoky and salty in one bite.

Barbecue Sweet Potato Wedges

The sweet potato and all-purpose barbecue seasoning are just a match made in heaven. These fries also give a vegetarian option a very recognizable barbecue flavor.

If you've never grilled romaine lettuce, you're in for a treat. Strange as it may sound, grilling romaine totally changes the flavor of the lettuce and, dare I say, makes it better. It's as if romaine finally finds its purpose, developing a smoky, almost meaty quality.

If you haven't tried grilled watermelon yet, now is the time. The smokiness of the grill brings out a richness in the fruit. Top it with crunchy nuts, salty feta, zesty lemon and cool mint for a sweet and savory grilling side.

When you can't decide between a dessert and a cheese course, make this dish. It's a little savory, a little sweet, and perfectly balanced. It's just the thing when the grill's been fired up all day but you're not quite ready to let those hot coals go.

Grilled Pineapple with Candied Cashews

Pineapple is great on the grill because it can caramelize and sear without falling apart, and its already sweet juices get even sweeter when subjected to heat.

Love these recipes? Check out more delicious TODAY Food grilling recipes you can make all summer long.