It’s not a celebration at my in-laws unless the grill is on. Every year on the 4th of July, they’re out grilling ribs, hamburgers, and all-beef sausages. Though I miss attending the big 4th of July celebrations like we did when we lived nearby, we carry on the grilling tradition at our house.
The grill is a versatile tool. It can cook high and fast or low and slow. It can be fueled with gas or charcoal. If you’re new to grilling and not sure where to start, we have lots of resources on how to cook everything from vegetables, fish, and meat.
This drool-worthy list is full of highly flavored skewers, easy vegetables, hamburger variations, and bold meats. It’s a celebration after all, so spending a little extra time to make a spicy chili paste or brine the pork will make the meal shine. Your effort won’t go unnoticed. So gather your friends and family and fire up the grill. You’ll be glad you did.
Grilled Skewered Meatballs
Yes, you really can grill meatballs. Inspired by Turkish köfte meatballs, this version leans on oregano and garlic for flavor. Be sure to get flat metal skewers to keep the meatballs from spinning when flipped.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Pizzas
I love mushrooms on my pizza and this grilled version makes portobello mushrooms the star. Scoop out the inside and then grill the mushrooms before adding the toppings. Serve with a green salad.
Grilled Cedar Plank Brie
If you need me, I’ll be over here munching on grilled slices of baguette slathered with blackberry-topped brie. The brie is warmed on a pre-soaked cedar plank for extra flavor.
Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich
Summer’s favorite salad gets taken from side dish to main attraction. Juicy grilled chicken breast, ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and bright green basil are held together on a ciabatta roll. Marinate the chicken for up to 8 hours for the best results.
Grilled Pork Chops with Adobo Paste
Growing up, I knew we were having a special guest come for dinner when my dad was grilling thick pork chops. These pork chops are coated in a hearty paste of Mexican dried chilies. The paste lasts for up to a week in the refrigerator or can be frozen for 1 month.
Sweet and Salty Grilled Watermelon
You’ve cut the watermelon into thick wedges, now what? Try tossing them on the grill and giving each slice a smoky flavor and eye-catching grill marks. Make sure the grates are clean and that it’s sufficiently heated before grilling.
Grilled Shrimp with Konkani-Inspired Masala
Shrimp slathered in a tropical paste of coconut, chilies, garlic, and tamarind will have everyone wanting more. Look for large or extra-large raw shrimp and serve the grilled shrimp with coconut rice.
Grilled Lobster Tails
We may not all have childhood memories spent at Cape Cod, but we can all eat grilled lobster tails. Frozen lobster tails are readily available online and worth every dollar.
Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken Thighs
Mouthwatering sweet and spicy bone-in chicken thighs are grilled until deeply browned. The key to this Korean-style chicken recipe is the simple paste of gochujang, sweeteners, and aromatics that you baste throughout the grilling process.
Cambodian Grilled Lemongrass Beef Skewers
Serve these steak skewers as an appetizer for a special event or a main course along with rice and pickled carrots and daikon. The Angkor Cambodian Food brand of kroeung is a good choice for this recipe.
Blue Cheese Burger
If you’re in a burger rut, try out this blue cheese version. The cheese is mixed right into the patties. Opt for a wedge of blue cheese whenever possible. Pre-crumbled cheese won’t melt quite as well.
Whole Grilled Eggplant
Skip the prepwork and grill the whole eggplant. Serve for Meatless Monday or as a side for chicken skewers. Leftovers last for 2 days and can be eaten as is or whirled into baba ganoush.
If you’re looking for a plant-based burger, you’ve come to the right place. This burger is made from ingredients you probably already have in your pantry: walnuts, quinoa, and chickpeas. Ground flax and the liquid from the can of chickpeas replaces the egg that many veggie burgers need to hold it together.
Cedar Plank Salmon
Grilling salmon on a cedar plank gives it a subtle smoky flavor without the hassle. Not only does it add flavor, it’s also easier to cook because you don’t have to worry about the fish sticking to the grates. Win! Turn leftover salmon into salmon patties for a quick lunch or dinner.
BBQ Chicken on the Grill
While I’m partial to Kansas City barbecue sauce, I’ll eat any grilled chicken that’s been basted in sauce and cooked until crispy and juicy. Start the chicken on the hot side of the grill and then move it to the cool side so that it can cook low and slow.
Grilled S’mores Sliders
When you think about it, s’mores are a dessert sandwich with graham crackers acting as the “bread”. This recipe takes away the pretense and uses buns. There’s a lot to love about this recipe and being able to make it on a gas grill is high on my list.
Grilled Lamb Skewers with Haitian Epis
Haitian epis is an easy marinade made of fresh herbs, aromatics, and peppers. It’s an important part of Haitian and Creole cooking and an incredible dip for lamb skewers.
Chicago Hot Dogs
Do it like they do in Chicago and make a hot dog worthy of the Windy City. Make sure to get all beef hot dogs and don’t skimp on the fixings. If you can’t find sport peppers, then substitute pepperoncinis.
Grilled Halibut with Calabrian Chile Gremolata
Host like Gaby Dalkin and serve this quick and easy fish at your next backyard soiree. Halibut grills in 10 minutes so you’ll be eating in no time at all. This recipe uses crushed Calabrian chilis but jarred whole chilis work as well.
Grilled Chili Lime Flank Steak
Flank steak’s rich flavor is complemented by a bright and smoky marinade. Give it at least 2 hours to soak in the flavor or marinade it ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 months before thawing and grilling.
Grilled Spicy Citrus Ribs With Bourbon Glaze
Grilled ribs are high on my summer must-eat list. These are brined before grilling and then glazed with the winning combination of bourbon and brown sugar. Grill over indirect heat for about an hour and glaze when the ribs are almost ready to be taken off the grill.
Greek Pizza on the Grill
Once you have the technique down, grilled pizza is a fast and easy summer meal. Fresh vegetables and herbs sing of summer. Plan ahead so that your dough is ready when you are.
Grilled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Skip the utensils and grab this grilled chicken sandwich with two hands. Marinate boneless chicken breast, grill, and then shred it for a crowd. The recipe makes enough for 8 sandwiches.
Grilled Ginger Sesame Pork Tenderloin
This easy pork tenderloin is marinated in savory soy sauce, spicy ginger, and fragrant sesame oil. It’s helpful to have an instant read thermometer to ensure the pork doesn’t dry out from overcooking.
Grilled Mushroom Swiss Burger
This should be called double mushroom swiss burger because it uses both dried and fresh mushrooms. Shitake mushrooms pack the biggest flavor but any kind will do for topping. If you’re disappointed this is a beef burger, check out this vegetarian portobello mushroom burger.