6 Meals You Can Cook Entirely on the Grill
Don't heat up the house! Cook your entire meal outside on the grill—including appetizers, side dishes, the main event and a dessert. These four-course menus are easy enough to pull off for a family dinner.
Taco Night: Grilled Appetizer
Grilled Guacamole is a fun spin on a classic appetizer we all know and love. It contains all the flavors of your favorite recipe, but grilling the avocados gives the dish extra depth. It’s the perfect way to start a taco-themed dinner.
Taco Night: Grilled Vegetable Side
It doesn’t get much easier than grilled corn. The corn takes longer than the tacos, so you’ll want to toss them on the grill first, but they’re grilled in the husks to make cleanup a breeze.
Taco Night: Grilled Dessert
This grilled pineapple dessert can be fully prepped before you start dinner. When you’re finished eating, toss the pineapple onto the grill and it will be ready to serve in about four minutes.
Make Ahead: Grilled Appetizer
This grilled zucchini recipe could easily serve as a side dish, but we love starting this menu with these cheesy bites. They’re easy to prep in advance and store in the refrigerator until your guests get hungry. After about 10 minutes on the grill, they’ll be tender and ready to eat.
Make Ahead: Grilled Main
We love these grilled honey-glazed chicken kabobs! You can season and skewer them ahead of time, and they cook up super quickly on the grill. Plus, the skewers contain meat and vegetables, so you don’t have to go crazy with the side dishes.
Make Ahead: Grilled Vegetable Side
The kabobs are already packed full of vegetables, so a veggie-rich farmers market orzo salad makes the perfect complement to this menu. It can be made several days ahead of time, so you won’t have to worry about timing out the main and side dish components.
Light & Fresh: Grilled Appetizer
Keep this grilled salad recipe in your back pocket, because we think you’ll use it again and again. Prepare it as a light appetizer for a menu like this, or use it as a vegetable side dish. You could even top it with a piece of grilled fish or salmon for a filling main.
Light & Fresh: Grilled Main
This easy grilled salmon recipe celebrates the flavor of rich salmon by complementing it with garlic and lemon. It’s flavorful enough that it doesn’t need a sauce, but you could also serve it with a creamy dill sauce. The sauce would be pretty tasty with the veggie side on this menu, too.
Light & Fresh: Grilled Vegetable Side
This grilled vegetable platter not only looks gorgeous, but its flavors pair perfectly with delicate fish. The veggies cook in about the same amount of time, too! Just be sure to plan ahead and marinate the vegetables for about an hour for best flavor.
Light & Fresh: Grilled Dessert
When peaches and nectarines are in season, grilled stone fruits are the dessert to make. After four minutes on the grill, the fruit will be marked with photo-worthy grill marks and ready to serve.
Dinner Party: Grilled Appetizer
These colorful zucchini roulades look incredible, and they’ll also activate your taste buds for a filling steak dinner. It’s as easy as grilling a few zucchini slices and stuffing them with a flavor-packed ricotta mixture. Yum!
Dinner Party: Grilled Main
Flank steak is one of our favorite cuts of meat for the grill. This marinated grilled flank steak recipe calls for marinating the steak for at least four hours (or as long as overnight) to break down the tough muscle fibers. When it’s finished, serve it with your favorite steak sauce or whip up a chimichurri.
Dinner Party: Grilled Vegetable Side
This easy grilled squash makes a stunning accompaniment to any grilled meal. The hardest part is peeling and slicing the squash. From there, they cook in the time it takes to rest the steak!
Dinner Party: Grilled Vegetable Side
The flavors of this simple grilled tarragon asparagus pair perfectly with the rich flavors of steak. Plus, adding a green component to the plate will look perfect alongside the vibrant orange squash.
Dinner Party: Grilled Dessert
Did you know you can grill cake? This recipe for grilled angel food cake with strawberries adds flavor to cake by giving it a kiss of char from the grill. Grill the sliced cake for about two minutes a side and plate it up with marinated strawberries for a decadent treat.
Classic Cookout: Grilled Appetizer
This classic barbecue menu is a heavier meal, so we’re going to start out nice and light with grilled crostini. The combination of tangy goat cheese and sweet balsamic vinegar is perfect with flame-kissed nectarines.
If you can’t find nectarines, feel free to use peaches. (It turns out the two are pretty similar.)
Classic Cookout: Grilled Main
There are few dishes as barbecue-worthy as grilled bratwurst! The sausages are boiled, then grilled, to keep them juicy on the inside and snappy on the outside. Check out our complete guide to grilling bratwurst if you want more pointers.
Classic Cookout: Grilled Vegetable Side
Potatoes take a while to cook, so make sure these potato packets are the first thing to hit the grill. The foil traps the steam inside, but it also seals in all the flavor, infusing the potatoes with bacon and green onion goodness.
Classic Cookout: Grilled Dessert
Finishing a rich barbecue meal with dessert kabobs just feels right! The grilled pound cake and bananas in these banana butter pecan kabobs taste even better when drizzled with butterscotch. Finish it with pecans and ice cream, and you’ll sleep happy!
Vegetarian: Grilled Main
Meaty eggplant steaks are the perfect centerpiece for this vegetarian meal. Feel free to turn this grilled eggplant with feta relish into sandwiches if you want to make the meal more filling.
Vegetarian: Grilled Vegetable Side
Mushroom and eggplant are a match made in heaven! Skewering the mushroom caps for these kabobs makes them so much easier to grill, and you won’t have to worry about any of them accidentally falling through the grates.