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84 grilling recipes to cook all summer long

Fire up your grill with dozens of recipes for steak, burgers, kebabs and more.
/ Source: TODAY

Nothing beats the feeling of firing up the grill and cooking dinner outside on a warm summer night. For some reason, breaking free from the confines of your kitchen to grill outside makes preparing dinner feel like less of a chore and more of an excuse to kick back and relax while your meal just so happens to cook in the background.

Of course, that’s only true if you’re someone who feels confident taking charge of the grill, which might not be the case if you’re someone with preconceived notions that grilling should be left to the pit masters or barbecue pros. Rest assured that anyone can man the grill. (Seriously, put me in front of a grill with a pair of tongs and I suddenly have the urge to tattoo every ingredient I can get my hands on with perfectly crosshatched grill marks.)

Not only does grilling seem more laid back than most other cooking methods, but grilled foods are arguably more delicious to eat, too. (Think: juicy burgers, tender steak, playful kebabs, spicy wings, quick-cooking pizzas and more.) Plus, if you make dinner exclusively on the grill, you don’t have to dirty your entire kitchen. It’s a win-win.

Once you master the basic principles of grilling, your kitchen is going to wonder where you’ve been all summer. So whisk up your favorite marinade, blend a restaurant-worthy chimichurri, prep some summer side dishes and head outside with tongs in hand. Your grill awaits!

Grilled Double-Cut Pork Chops with Maple-Pecan Butter

For tender pork chops every time, marinate them overnight in a brine made with water, sugar, salt, garlic, rosemary, thyme and peppercorns. The next day, pat the pork chops dry, then grill and top with a maple-pecan compound butter. The maple syrup in the butter complements the natural sweetness in the pork for a winning combo.

To take a rich, juicy tri-tip steak to the next level, balance it out with a fresh and zingy chimichurri. This bright green sauce is simple to make: Combine chopped parsley, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and chili flakes and let it sit overnight for the flavors to meld.

Peach-Glazed Barbecue Ribs

The secret to great barbecue ribs lies in the sauce. This sticky, sweet peach barbecue sauce — made with ketchup, peach preserves, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and seasonings — does just the trick. Plus, this recipe calls for a layer of dry rub, which doubles the flavor.

Grilled Shrimp Salad

This salad is loaded with rainbow produce including lettuce, squash, radishes, sliced strawberries, plus grilled shrimp. Don’t forget to top this salad with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and strawberry vinaigrette for the best summer flavor.

Quick-cooking skirt steak is a great weeknight option for when you want to get dinner on the table — fast. Top it with a versatile red chimichurri made with garlic, sherry vinegar, sugar, smoked paprika, olive oil, shallots, Fresno chile and roasted red peppers.

Grilled Lemon Pepper Prawns

Turn up the heat with these spicy jumbo prawns, which are marinated with a hefty amount of red chile flakes, garlic and onion powder, then grilled to perfection. Serve with a side of spicy lemon-pepper sauce.

Chef D's Grilled and Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Rather than a dry rub, season these ribs overnight with a “wet” rub made with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and cider vinegar. Cook the ribs low and slow on the grill and sit down to enjoy some of the most flavor-packed barbecue you’ve ever tasted.

Grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich

Here, chimichurri works double duty as a marinade for the skirt steak and a sandwich spread. Layer the sliced steak on ciabatta bread, with caramelized onions, creamy herbed cheese, arugula and more chimichurri for a hearty bite that’ll keep you satisfied.

A duo of sweet honey and cayenne pepper are used to marinate boneless chicken thighs before grilling. Slather the thighs with more of the Sriracha-honey glaze, which will get smoky and sticky as the meat finishes cooking. Pair the chicken thighs with a side of grilled vegetables or build a sandwich bun with a crunchy, cooling slaw.

Level up your pork chop game with this recipe, which calls for coating the chops in a brown sugar and soy glaze. Grill the pork until cooked through and charred alongside corn on the cob. Turn the smoky corn into a delightful elote salad, dressed with sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, lime, crumbled cotija cheese and jalapeño peppers.

Grilling an entire chicken can take a lot of time — and guesswork — but spatchcocking the bird so it lies flat on the grates makes the process a breeze. Serve the cooked chicken with a punchy Peruvian green sauce featuring jalapeños, cilantro, mayonnaise,, lime, vinegar, and honey.

Nothing screams grilling season quite like a juicy bacon cheeseburger. Instead of ketchup, dress up your patty with an easy tomato and caramelized onion jam, then top with blue cheese-crusted brioche buns. The candied bacon is what makes this burger a true standout — and prevents the bun from getting soggy.

This nostalgic flank steak recipe is a great reminder that sometimes the best marinade is the simplest. This Italian marinade — made with olive oil, red wine vinegar and lots of seasonings — infuses the flank steak with flavor overnight, while helping to tenderize the meat.

Make a big batch of that Italian marinade to use it on all types of proteins this grilling season. For this sandwich, start by butterflying chicken breasts and popping them in a bag to marinate overnight. Grill the chicken until it’s nice and charred, then assemble on thick slices of Texas toast with herb mayonnaise, butter lettuce, bacon, tomatoes and sliced avocado.

Meat lovers and vegetarians alike will love these hearty tofu skewers with pineapple chinks and red onion. They’re extra flavorful, thanks to a generous coating of chipotle-pineapple barbecue sauce. Be sure to baste continuously during grilling for added sweetness and caramelization.

Skip a visit to the steakhouse and make this over-the-top salad with blue cheese dressing at home. Layer crunchy romaine and radicchio with sliced pear, cucumbers and perfectly cooked, sliced steak. Drizzle everything with a creamy blue cheese dressing just before serving.

Make these easy margarita grilled shrimp with a cocktail in hand! Marinate shrimp in olive oil, garlic, minced jalapeño, brown sugar, spices and a splash of tequila. Skewer and grill until cooked through and charred (this won’t take long!) then garnish with chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges.

Simple Grilled Flank Steak

The secret to budget-friendly flank steak is not overcooking it. By marinating the meat ahead of time, you can ensure this leaner cut will be tender and juicy instead. Serve your perfectly cooked flank steak with a bright chimichurri or lemon garlic sauce to round out the main.

Grilled Pizza Margherita

Grilling isn’t only for meat lovers! Did you know you can cook pizza from scratch right on the grill? Instead of heating up your house by cranking up the oven, make margherita pizzas that’ll taste like they’re fresh out of a wood-fired oven.

Feeling ambitious? Make Nashville-style hot chicken at home Rather than deep frying your chicken, let the grill do the tricky part while you sit back and enjoy cooking al fresco. Be sure to serve this spicy sweet chicken with pickle chips and some summer sides.

To make perfectly cooked flank steak, master Jet Tila’s “press test.” If the meat feels like poking your cheek, it’s rare. If it feels like the front of your chin, it’s medium rare. The firm point of your nose? Well done. To really feel like a chef, pair it with an herby chimichurri sauce.

Chili on the Grill

You can cook smoky, complex chili on a covered grill without sweating over your stovetop. Brown ground beef along with a chopped yellow onion, garlic, spices, tomato sauce and red wine vinegar for the ultimate scoopable chili or hot dog topping.

This spicy, sweet and smoky piquillo pepper sauce — made with vinegar, olive oil, fresh ginger, Greek yogurt, paprika and garlic — is a great reason to break out your food processor. Not only does it make a fantastic marinade for shrimp, but it’s also ideal for pairing with in-season vegetables and grilled seafood

Forgo ground beef and make juicy, teriyaki-glazed burgers with pork instead. The burger is made with ground pork, chili crisp, furikake, sesame oil and grated garlic, then brushed with store-bought teriyaki glaze. Serve this burger with a heaping pile of chili crisp cabbage slaw,. If you’re feeling even more extra, add a mirin-fried egg.

Chicken Marbella is traditionally braised in the oven for hours, which makes for a great winter dinner party dish. To make it more apropos for casual summer gatherings, this version reimagines the classic, swapping the oven for the grill, chicken quarters for thighs, dried prunes for figs and the syrupy braising liquid for a brighter marinade. Of course, one thing remains the same: a ton of crushed Castelvetrano olives.

Barbecue Pork Skewers

Skewers have the power to turn any ingredient into a finger food — even pork butt! Marinate cubes of pork in a combination of soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, chopped garlic, oyster sauce, Coca-Cola, and black pepper. Pop the skewers on the grill until golden brown and some coveted char marks appear.

If you’re feeling up to the challenge, add this burger recipe to your summer grilling bucket list. To mimic the flavors of chef Matt Abdoo’s NYC-based barbecue restaurant, follow his recipes for copycat barbecue seasoning, mustard sauce, burger sauce and a batch of quick pickles. Once you take a bite, you’ll see that the effort was definitely worth the reward.

Creamy yogurt provides the base for this flavorful shrimp marinade, along with ginger, garlic, tandoori masala and fenugreek leaves. Thread the marinated shrimp on skewers, alternating with vegetables like onions, peppers and mushrooms, then grill quickly. Serve these bites with a side of tomato chutney .

These spicy grilled pork ribs are inspired by a popular street food in the Molise region of Italy. Season the ribs with fennel pollen, paprika, mustard powder, oregano, sugar, honey and Calabrian chili peppers. Grill low and slow for a few hours, then serve with a cooling, crunchy yogurt slaw.

Grilled Shrimp Po'Boy

Instead of deep frying, opt to grill the shrimp for these po’ boys instead. Toss the shrimp in Cajun seasoning before grilling, then pair with a homemade Remoulade. Pile everything into sliced French bread for the full effect.

If you’ve never considered making a burger with two garlic French bread “buns” before, now’s your opportunity. Slather the bread with garlic butter, then heat while you grill the beef patties. Top with garlic mayo for more allium-powered goodness.

For a light summer dinner, make grilled coconut shrimp with a savory tomato-melon salad. The fruit salad base provides a welcome freshness, thanks to diced watermelon, fresh mint, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber tossed in a combination of fish sauce, soy sauce, olive oil and lemon juice. Top with grilled coconut shrimp and avocado for a sensory combination of hot and cool.

Little Red Bavette

Bavette, also known as a butcher’s cut, is a type of thicker, more tender skirt steak. Grill the steak until medium rare, then let it rest. Slice against the grain and top with an herby chimichurri for a quick summer dinner that’s anything but boring.

These turkey burgers are anything but bland, thanks to the addition of chopped bacon and brie cheese. For a sweet and tangy sauce, combine your favorite fruit jam with mustard, onion powder and black pepper.

Hoisin Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

This baby back rib recipe from NYC restaurant Pig and Khao gives new meaning to the term “finger-licking good.” The barbecue sauce is the clincher. Made with hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and five spice powder, this glaze coats the ribs with caramelized goodness.

What’s not to love about the Italian bread salad known as panzanella? Tossed with smoky grilled shrimp, cucumbers, basil, red onion, tomatoes and balsamic, the crunchy croutons soften slightly to the ideal texture. Talk about a great warm weather meal.

Whisk together Dijon mustard and honey to brush on grilled chicken thighs, then tuck it into lettuce wraps and garnish with a briny relish.

Grilled skirt steak is ultra-versatile. Slice and serve it in tacos, over rice bowls, in salad, or even simply on a plate surrounded by your favorite sides. To bring it to the next level, make an herby chimichurri-ish sauce with parsley, cilantro, mint, garlic, pine nuts, lime juice and olive oil.

Victory Chicken Burgers

These chicken burgers will blow you away with how flavorful they are, thanks to a custom blend of “chicken salt” made with salt, celery seed, cumin seed and onion powder. Use that to season ground chicken, then mix with an egg, breadcrumbs and a splash of sherry vinegar. Grill the patties over high heat, then melt a slice of American cheese atop each one.

Better-Than-Buffalo Wings

To get shatteringly crisp skin on your chicken wings, listen up. Give them a dry brine a day ahead, smoke them to render out any excess fat, grill until charred, then pan fry for the finishing touch. It’s a laborious process, but one you’ll thank us for later. Toss them in a Buffalo honey sauce and serve alongside homemade ranch.

Toss your favorite pasta shape with grilled summer veggies like green beans and sweet corn and a simple olive oil sauce. Despite its simplicity, the result is anything but. Swap in your favorite summer produce to mix up this easy weeknight dish all season long.

Can you tell that we’re obsessed with chimichurri? To make the most of this herby sauce, start by marinating flank steak in it before grilling, then drizzle more over the top before serving.

The title of this recipe makes a bold claim, but stick with us. Break down an entire chicken, then make a quick dry rub with salt, pepper, sugar and garlic powder. Wait 24 hours, then grill, intermittently basting the chicken with homemade Texas barbecue sauce until caramelized and charred.

Don’t worry: you won’t need to make a full porchetta to enjoy these Italian-style pork burgers. Incorporating the flavors of the classic (yet laborious) dish into ground pork, including herbs, garlic, fennel and lemon, will suffice. Grill the patties, then top with your favorite burger fixings such as cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

Argentinians know their steak, and picanha is no exception. This cut is tender, meaty and marbled, but the piece de resistance is the rich fat cap, which everyone at your table will want to fight over. Grill it alongside red bell peppers until charred, then top with a complex red chimichurri made with chipotles in adoboi.

Grilled Shrimp Mafaldine

If garlic butter shrimp sounds up your alley, then this pasta dish featuring grilled shrimp is for you. Marinate shrimp with garlic, lemon and chives, then grill until cooked through. Meanwhile, boil long pasta noodles, then toss with grilled shrimp, wine, lemon zest and butter. Top with toasted chile breadcrumbs for added crunch.

Michelada Carne Asada

A michelada, which is delicious on a hot summer day, is traditionally made with beer, lime juice, hot sauce, spices and chili peppers. Naturally this combination makes for a great marinade for carne asada, too. The blend of spices, tomato juice, orange juice and beer tenderizes the meat overnight, resulting in juicy, buttery grilled steak.

We love a sauce that does double duty, and this bright ginger-scallion sauce does just that. Not only does it work as a marinade for the chicken thighs, but reserve a portion to double as a dipping sauce.

Grilled Caesar Salad with Sirloin Steak

Caesar salad is a year-round favorite, but here’s how to give it a slight makeover for summer: Grill flank steak and halved heads of romaine lettuce until cooked through and charred. Toss the lettuce with Caesar dressing, grated Parmesan cheese, croutons and sliced steak for the perfect warm weather meal.

Salmon Kebabs with Herb Sauce

What sets these salmon kebabs apart is a bright herb sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley and basil. Grill skewers with Italian-seasoned salmon, red onion and quartered lemons, then serve with a drizzle of herb sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Salmon Kebabs with Herb Sauce

No smoker? No problem! Use the grill to impart a bit of smokiness while cooking an entire chicken in a fraction of the time. Make a big batch of “chicken rub” with assorted spices such as chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne and turmeric to use in grilling recipes all summer long.

Michael Symon's Grilled Rib-eye Tacos

Rib-eye is a pricy cut of steak, which makes it a deliciously elevated taco filling. Season the steaks with a rub of salt, pepper, chipotle powder, coriander, cumin, paprika and brown sugar, then grill. Tuck slices of the meat into tortillas and top with bright tomatillo salsa.

Michael Symon's Grilled Rib-eye Tacos

Pork chops don’t have to be boring — especially if you marinate them in chipotles, shallot, garlic, agave and peach juice. Grill the pork chops alongside peach halves until charred, and serve both with fresh parsley.

Michael Symon's Grilled Rib-eye Tacos

Often (incorrectly) compared to Buffalo chicken, Nashville hot chicken is in a class of its own. The heat comes from a mixture of cayenne, paprika and black pepper that infuses the chicken with a deep spice. In this recipe, the key to juicy grilled chicken breasts is marinating them in a secret ingredient: pickle juice!

Grilled Steak Kebabs

Nothing screams summer quite like dinner straight from the grill — especially one that’s served on a stick. For perfect kebabs every time, be sure to cut the meat and the vegetables to around the same size, so everything cooks evenly. Leave some space between the meat and vegetables so the ingredients char rather than steam.

To give these spareribs the smoker style treatment (without the smoker), use a charcoal grill. Season the ribs generously with a simple brisket rub made with garlic salt and black pepper. Periodically glaze the ribs with apple juice throughout the cooking process for moisture and added sweetness.

If you take one thing from this recipe, let it be the umami-packed marinade made with tamari, fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. Not only is it a great marinade for the flank steak, but it’s also a great salad dressing, stir fry base, and sauce for vegetables. (Plus, a big bottle of this will last in the fridge for months.)

Grilled Steak and Corn on the Cob

Looking for a foolproof way to make juicy steak? This overnight brine will do just the trick. Pat the steaks dry and grill quickly, then transfer to a hot cast iron pan with butter, garlic and herbs to baste until cooked through to your liking.

The star of this recipe is the homemade Peruvian-style adobo sauce, which makes an ultra-flavorful chicken glaze. To make the sauce, sauté onions, ginger, garlic, chiles, palm sugar and tomato paste. Pour in stewed tomatoes, vinegar, soy sauce, chicken stock, bay leaves and whole spices and simmer until reduced. Use half as a marinade and save the other half for serving.

Steak and Corn Salad

Have leftover grilled steak and corn from your weekend cookout? Here’s an easy way to use them up in a new way. Cut the charred kernels off the corn cobs, then toss with salad greens, baby tomatoes, red onion and homemade lemon vinaigrette. Thinly slice leftover steak and serve (hot or cold) over the salad.

Grilled Chorizo and Halloumi Skewers

This elevated snack will feel like a restaurant appetizer. Skewer sliced Spanish chorizo, halloumi cheese and Castelvetrano olives, and give them a good grill. Serve with an herby piquillo pepper marinade as a dipping sauce.

This recipe calls for toasted pecans or walnuts to give this salad its signature crunch. It’s packed with charred romaine hearts, grilled chicken, a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and your favorite Caesar dressing.

Marinated Skirt Steak

If you think steak dinner is a weekend only affair, think again. This skirt steak cooks quickly, so you can have dinner on the table (plus sides!) in less than 20 minutes.

Grilled Chicken Giambotta Skewers

Giambotta is a traditional southern Italian dish meant to use up summer vegetables, which perfectly translates to this summer skewer recipe. Just soak chicken, sausage, onions, potatoes and bell peppers in an Italian marinade, then grill.

Pencil in this grilled leg of lamb recipe for a summer Sunday. The marinade, made with mint, lemon zest and juice, garlic and red pepper brings a warm weather brightness to this hearty meal and balances the earthy lamb.

Peach Caprese Burgers

For a totally new take on burger night, make these summery turkey burgers. Grill the garlic-basil patties alongside peach slices until charred, then layer on burger buns with a slice of mozzarella, arugula and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken

Once you try za’atar seasoning, you’ll never be the same. It packs a powerful punch in this chicken marinade, alongside sumac, sesame seeds, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Grill the marinated chicken and garnish with sliced scallions and mint for a flavor-blasted main course.

It’s no secret that the rib-eye cap is the most prized piece of a steak. Enjoy the finest of cuts in all its glory by preparing it simply: grilled and sliced on toasted French bread with a spoonful of chimichurri.

Fire up your grill and make these cilantro-lime shrimp skewers in minutes. (The beauty of shrimp is that it’s ultra-fast cooking, so it’s great for weeknight dinners.) While you’re at it, grill up some corn, too, then slice the kernels off the cob to make a salad with avocado, red onion, crumbled feta and reserved cilantro lime dressing.

Foil packets are the definition of a hands-off dinner. Pack them up with chicken, brown rice, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and red onion, seasoned with a homemade shawarma spice blend. Not only are these delicious, but clean-up could not be easier.

Grilled side dish recipes

It’s asparagus season! Grab a bunch (or two, or three) and give them a quick blanch before grilling. Once charred and tender, dress with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. For added crunch, make a quick hazelnut dukkah with toasted sesame seeds, hazelnuts, Aleppo pepper and ground coriander .

Grilled Carrots with Balsamic-Honey Glaze

This side dish boasts hits every note you can think of. Season the carrots simply, then grill until blistered. Continue to flip the carrots while brushing with balsamic glaze, then serve with crumbled feta, sunflower seeds and cilantro.

To make elote, grill whole ears of corn until charred, then coat with creamy mayonnaise and sour cream. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and season with homemade barbecue seasoning for a warm weather side dish.

Grilling lettuce is underrated — especially when you coat the charred leaves with homemade Caesar dressing and garlic panko breadcrumbs. Assemble these personal Caesar salads by plating romaine hearts with dressing, breadcrumbs, freshly grated Parmesan and a sliced lemon wedge.

Bacon Barbecue Baked Beans

While you’re grilling burgers and dogs, make a batch of homemade bacon baked beans. Sauté the bacon until the fat is rendered, then use it to sauté garlic and onions. Add in a can of store-bought baked beans, paprika and pepper, then simmer until you’re ready to eat.

Once you try this all-purpose marinade, you’ll get your daily serving of veggies and then some. It’s made with a combination of pantry ingredients that are anything but boring: olive oil, vinegar, honey, water, garlic and onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Pop the marinated veggies on the grill until charred, then serve with more marinade.

Grilled Corn with Chili Honey Butter

Honey butter makes everything better — especially grilled corn. This version has some smokiness and spice, thanks to a blend of chili powder and cayenne.

Grilled Potato Salad

This is potato salad like you’ve never tried before. As chef Michael Symon remarks, “If you're firing up the grill, why not use it for everything?” Make a foil packet, fill it with halved baby Yukon gold potatoes and seasonings and pop it on the grill to cook while you finish the rest of your mains. Toss the taters with fresh herbs for a vibrant burst of flavor and color.

This recipe is summer in salad form. Grill sliced pineapple until caramelized, then toss with shredded lettuce, cabbage, diced red bell pepper, chopped scallions, peanuts and dressing. The nutty dressing ties everything together with sweet and spicy notes.

Here’s an Italian spin on traditionally Mexican elote. Grill corn on the cob until smoky and charred, then brush with generous amounts of garlic-basil butter and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Vegetable Paella

For a showstopping vegetarian main, consider this grilled vegetable paella. It’s loaded with seasonal produce including grilled artichokes,, broccolini, snow peas, sweet corn, shishito peppers and cherry tomatoes, making for a hearty, satisfying meal.

Grilled Corn Chaat

Chaat is a term that describes small bites and snacks, paired with multiple sauces and crunchy bits. This grilled corn chaat is paired with spicy cilantro and mint sauce, fresh herbs, crunchy onions, ripe pomegranate and a delicious cucumber kefir.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is the best kind of side dish, as it only gets better as it sits in the fridge. Make this veggie-packed version with tri-color fusilli, grilled zucchini, bell peppers, corn, cherry tomatoes, olives and feta. Toss it in a tangy red wine vinaigrette.

Halloumi is the only cheese that you can easily grill, so take full advantage! While you grill your cheese, give a few ears of corn a good char too. Then cut the kernels off the cob and toss with quartered tomatoes, halloumi and minty vinaigrette for a bright summery salad.