Food, warm weather, and good company.. what more could you ask for? Don't miss out on summertime cookouts just for fear of breaking your clean-eating streak. Take advantage of fresh summer flavors and your grill to create a healthy menu of lean meats, tart sauces, and gorgeous salads.
Orange Chicken Skewers with Jalapeño-Mint Yogurt DipTangy Greek yogurt and fresh mint are a refreshing balance to the heat of a jalapeño, but to tame the spice a bit more, simply remove the seeds of your jalapeño before dicing and stirring into the yogurt. This recipe serves 2, but is easily doubled to serve more (or if you want to make sure you have leftovers). If you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in cold water prior to grilling.
Grilled Avocado SaladAvocados are the charred base for cherry tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, and pickled red onion in this vibrant and satisfying salad.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Charred Asparagus and Snap PeasGet the extra charred flavor by cooking the veggies in your cast iron skillet directly on the grill, rather than the stovetop.
Cacio e Pepe Roasted Potato SaladCheese and potatoes are an indisputably good combination—and this side's sure to become a picnic, cookout, and even a weeknight favorite. Try this peppery potato salad alongside a grilled steak and be sure to serve it immediately to retain the potatoes' crispy texture.
Caramelized Tomato BruschettaOne of our favorite grilling techniques is to use a cast-iron skillet. It’s ideal for charring cherry tomatoes, since it keeps them from falling through the grate. If you have the real estate on your grill, you can do steps 2 and 3 at the same time.
Grilled Salmon with White Bean and Arugula SaladAsk for salmon fillets from the head end of the fish--the tail end is much thinner. This light salad is the perfect base for any fresh fish that you desire.
BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta SlawThis summery crunch-tastic slaw is guaranteed to find its way into your recipe rotation for the rest of the season. Using ripe, juicy peaches, it's the perfect sweet-salty side dish for any number of grilled or smoked proteins.
Grilled Four-Onion PizzasThis pizza showcases the best of the allium family--from the sharp top notes of fresh chives to the deep flavors of sautéed leeks. Go green with your pizza and you won't look back. Grocers like Publix and Whole Foods sell pre made, whole-wheat dough, making this recipe a breeze.
Mushroom-Potato Salad with Miso "Mayo"The salad holds up well and can be made up to a day ahead--but bring it to room temperature before serving for the biggest umami blast. White miso is the umami-bomb base of the dressing that will have you licking the bowl. It's potato salad like you've never had before, guaranteed to steal the show at your next barbecue.
Grilled Peaches with Honey CreamYou can use apricots or nectarines instead of peaches. We recommend garnishing this dessert with fresh mint.
Summer Melon SaladPut to good use all of the in-season melon at hand this time of year with a delicious, savory and sweet salad. Use a small scoop or melon baller to form perfectly formed individual melon spheres.
Ginger-Lime Fruit SaladJust a little lime and ginger help to macerate the fresh fruits so they can release their juices. Grapes, diced nectarines, or blackberries would also be delicious.
SoCal Shrimp TacosMarinate shrimp for 10 minutes and hit them with high heat on your grill before wrapping them in corn tortilla with your toppings of choice. This recipe includes direction for fried avocado slices and a citrusy cabbage and radish mixture for toppings.
Chili-Lime CornEvery cookout has corn. Butter is great, but easoning corn with chili powder and grated lime rind takes corn from a backyard favorite to something really special. The instructions call for a grill pan, but your outdoor grill is even better.
Cucumber-Tomato SaladA crunchy, refreshing salad meds well with warm temperatures and savory meats. Using fresh, farmers market tomatoes with really make a difference in this bright side.
Charred OkraOkra is its best this time of year. Skip the fryer and toss them on your grill with garam masala for a much needed (and healthier) change of pace.
Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp SkewersGrilling watermelon adds a smoky note to the fruit and gives it a slightly meaty texture that matches well with shrimp. Cooking takes only a couple of minutes, so have both sets of skewers ready before you start. You'll need 12 flat metal skewers (12 in. long) or 18 skewers (8 in. long)--or use bamboo skewers of the same size, soaked in water for 30 minutes.
Summer Fig and Watermelon Salad with FetaBalsamic glaze is a syrup of concentrated, cooked-down, sweetened balsamic vinegar; it adds a sweet and tangy element to this refreshing salad. Look for it near the vinegar.
Grilled Jamaican Jerked DrumsticksMake your own Jamaican jerk seasoning in a food processor by combining onion, jalapeño pepper, garlic, ginger, allspice and sugar. Add orange juice to make a marinade for these island-style grilled chicken drumsticks.
Tex-Mex Flank Steak and VegetablesChipotle salsa - both a key ingredient in the marinade and a condiment for the meat and vegetables in this recipe - has a smokier, more full-bodied flavor than regular tomato salsa.
Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Guava GlazeRubbing lean pork tenderloin with a fragrant spice mixture before grilling infuses flavor into the meat. To carry out your island theme, serve the pork with rice and a mango salsa.
Grilled Tenderloin with Warm Vegetable SaladSimply seasoned grilled beef tenderloin steak served with a medley of grilled summer squash and tomatoes makes an ideal dish for summer entertaining.
Smoky ChickenPaprika, cumin, and lime juice give this chicken that perfectly seasoned, summery flavor.
Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple-Plum RelishJerk seasoning originated in the Caribbean and is used as either a marinade or rub for grilled meats. The blend of cinnamon, allspice, thyme, black pepper, and habañero pepper give the seasoning its characteristic sweet heat.
Kansas City Barbecued ChickenSauce up some chicken with this sweet and spicy Kansas City-style sauce. This version has a nice balance of brown sugar and vinegar so the sauce isn't overwhelmingly sweet.
Hoisin and Bourbon-Glazed Pork TenderloinAdd a little sweetness to smoked pork by adding hoisin sauce and maple syrup to the bourbon marinade. This is one of our most popular pork tenderloin recipes
Beer-Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue Sauce"I like any recipe that starts with 'open a can of beer and drink half,'" says recipe developer and chef Steven Raichlen. American ingenuity has produced a variety of beer-can roasters that hold the can in place and stabilize the tipsy chicken. Aluminum cans bend easily under the pressure, so when piercing holes, it's a good idea to use a can-holding gadget.
Carolina Pulled Pork with Lexington Red SauceCarolina-style barbecue features a thin, vinegar-based sauce that gives the shredded pork a tangy kick. Vinegar-based sauces are typically lower in sugar than sweet, tomato-based sauces, and here, the sauce is brushed on a bone-in pork shoulder, also known as Boston butt.
Beer-braised PorkA dark ale is needed to braise this pork, such as Dos Equis Amber.
Grilled Chicken with White Barbecue SauceFans of white barbecue sauce love its tangy creaminess with just the right kick from both black and red ground pepper. This sauce is low in fat because it uses reduced-calorie mayonnaise, vinegar, and a splash of lemon juice.
Flank Steak With Radish SalsaThis balsamic flank steak and veggies is a light dish that can be served with the radish salsa on top of grilled Italian-Herb Bread for a filling meal.
Chicken SandwichesLayer grilled chicken, feta cheese, and an olive- and tomato-topping for these fantastic dinner sandwiches. The tomato mixture also tastes wonderful when served on slices of toasted baguette as an appetizer.