28 Summer Dinners You Can Make on the Grill

Grilled Shrimp Boil Packets
Photo: Johnny Autry

Instead of standing in a hot kitchen, step outside and make one of these summer dinner recipes that use the grill. Using the grill imparts a delicious smoky flavor into your food and makes for an easy and quick cleanup. Recipes like Grilled Shrimp Boil Foil Packets and Prosciutto Pizza with Corn & Arugula are healthy, bright and seasonal.

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Summer Vegetable Gnocchi Salad

a plate with vegetables and a fork

This riff on pasta salad is best served warm while the gnocchi are nice and tender. Plus, the grilled veggies taste extra-good fresh off the fire in this easy gnocchi recipe.

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Steak & Potato Grill Packets with Blue Cheese & Rosemary

Steak and potatoes are a classic combo on the grill. We have taken the concept one step further by adding green beans and rosemary, and wrapping everything in a packet to make a complete meal. A sprinkling of blue cheese just before serving is the perfect finish for this steak-house special.

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Grilled Blackened Shrimp Tacos


Give juicy shrimp tacos a Cajun flavor spin with spices and a quick sear on a hot grill. An easy avocado mash adds creaminess to cool off the spicy kick.

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Chicken & Sweet Potato Grill Packets with Peppers & Onions


Cook your whole meal in a packet on the grill with this easy veggie-loaded recipe. The Mexican-inspired seasoning makes the chicken and veggies taste great served with warm tortillas and your favorite taco toppings for a healthy dinner.

05 of 28

Grilled Shrimp Boil Foil Packets

Grilled Shrimp Boil Packets
Johnny Autry

Here, we put all the components of a classic shrimp boil into foil packets for cute, individually portioned meals. Be sure to choose extra-large, shell-on shrimp, which stay plump and juicy during the 15 to 20 minutes on the grill.

06 of 28

Grilled Sea Bass with Charred Tomato & Corn Salad

Grilled Sea Bass with Charred Tomato & Corn Salad
Matthew Benson

Black sea bass is plentiful in the Atlantic near Stonington, Connecticut, home of Stone Acres Farm, source of the summer vegetables that inspired this recipe. Paired with a charred tomato-and-corn salad and served with a lip-smacking beurre blanc, the dish screams summer. The key to the sauce not breaking is to slowly melt the butter into it-if it happens too quickly, move the pan off the heat while you whisk, returning it to low heat as needed.

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Fideuà de Marisco (Grilled Pasta with Seafood)

"Fideuà de Marisco (Grilled Pasta with Seafood)"
Angie Mosier

The Costa Blanca, on Spain's Mediterranean coast, was ruled by the Romans for hundreds of years, and the mix of ingredients here reflects that Italian influence. Fideuà, a specialty of Valencia, is cooked like paella, but with pasta instead of rice. Look for Marine Stewardship Council certification or check SeafoodWatch.org to find sustainably sourced seafood.

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Grilled Sausage, Peppers & Onions with Herb Vinaigrette

Grilled Sausage, Peppers & Onions with Herb Vinaigrette
Johnny Autry

Adding a bright parsley-tarragon vinaigrette brings fresh flair to sausage and peppers. Serve with some crusty bread to sop it all up.

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Prosciutto Pizza with Corn & Arugula


Prosciutto and arugula elevate this simple grilled pizza. If you have time, let the dough stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to make rolling it out easier in this 20-minute healthy pizza recipe. Thawed frozen corn works in place of fresh, just pat it dry before sprinkling it on the pizza.

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Fideuà de Verduras (Grilled Pasta with Vegetables)

Fideuà de Verduras (Grilled Pasta with Vegetables)
Angie Mosier

Fideos are small strips of pasta that look like 1/2-inch pieces of thin spaghetti, although sometimes they're shaped like mini macaroni. (Broken angel hair pasta is an easy swap.) In Valencia, Spain, dishes that incorporate fideos are called fideuà-pronounced fee-dey-wha-and are cooked like paella.

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Greek Burgers with Herb-Feta Sauce


These healthy burgers get a Mediterranean twist with a yogurt sauce seasoned with oregano, lemon and feta cheese. If you can't find ground lamb, ask the butcher to grind some for you.

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Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
Caitlin Bensel

The eggplant is tender and cheesy and the sauce is juicy and fresh in this easy grilled eggplant Parmesan recipe. The toasted panko mixture gives this summery dish extra crunch.

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Watermelon Panzanella

Typically, panzanella is made with tomatoes and dressing-soaked bread cubes. Here, the salad goes sweet and savory but keeps the same look with ripe watermelon. Spring for your favorite bread--it has a starring role in this dish. Serving the salad with grilled pork tenderloin makes a healthy dinner that's simple enough for weeknights.

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Herb-Grilled Chicken Frites


We combine fresh herbs, capers, lemon juice and olive oil along with the juices collected from the chicken as it rests to make a simple sauce that livens up this take on poulet frites, or chicken and fries.

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Simple Grilled Salmon & Vegetables


Grilled salmon and veggies make for a colorful and balanced seafood dinner that's ready in just minutes. The grill turns the salmon flaky and moist while tenderizing the crispy pepper and onion pieces. Round out the meal with brown rice or quinoa.

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Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Almond Pesto & Butter Beans


Need some new meatless dinner ideas? This vegan recipe for grilled cauliflower steaks with buttery (but butter-free!) butter beans and almond pesto comes together in just 25 minutes but is impressive enough to serve to guests. We're sorry to ask you to buy 2 heads of cauliflower to make this recipe when you only cut a couple of "steaks" from each, but it guarantees the best results. Just think of it this way: having leftovers gives you an excuse to try one of our many other healthy cauliflower recipes!

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Cobb Salad with Herb-Rubbed Chicken

Cobb Salad with Herb-Rubbed Chicken

Try this satisfying salad recipe for an updated version of the classic Cobb. Kale, feta and strawberries give this chicken salad a colorful upgrade.

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Grilled Polenta & Vegetables with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

This healthy grilled vegetarian dinner recipe is super-flexible: substitute any fresh vegetables you have on hand.

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Greek Grilled Salmon Kebabs with Tzatziki & Green Beans


This easy grilled salmon recipe is sure to help you win your next backyard BBQ. Lemon, garlic and herbs make a simple, flavorful marinade for the healthy fish souvlaki (souvlakia is the Greek word for kebabs), and the yogurt-based tzatziki sauce is one of the traditional pleasures of Mediterranean cuisine. A side of Greek-style green beans completes this healthy dinner recipe that's as suited to entertaining as it is to family meals.

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Eggplant Gyros


Eggplant's meaty texture is a delicious vegetarian stand-in for the lamb that typically fills a gyro sandwich. The vegetable absorbs the lemony-herby-spicy marinade like a sponge, so if you have time, let it marinate for the full day.

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Grilled Beef & Vegetable Kebabs


These easy grilled beef & vegetable kebabs are not only delicious--they're economical too. Tri-tip is an inexpensive and flavorful cut of beef that takes beautifully to cooking over an open flame. Thread it onto skewers with colorful veggies and marinate for up to eight hours before cooking on the grill or over your campfire. Either way, it's a healthy and tasty summer meal.

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Grilled Salmon & Cucumber, Fresh Herb & Feta Salad


Grilled salmon always plays well with a fresh, bright summertime salad. The tender, flaky salmon counters the crunchy cucumber salad while the rich fillet balances the saltiness of feta and the tang of the salad dressing. Serve the salmon warm or cold (your choice!) and pair the meal with a slice of crusty bread and a glass of wine.

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Grilled Halloumi & Summer Vegetable Tacos

Grilled Halloumi & Summer Vegetable Tacos
Jason Donnelly

Because of its semi-firm texture, halloumi is prone to sticking to the grill. Be sure to oil the grill grates well before adding the brined Cypriot cheese.

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Greek Summer-Squash Grilled Pizza


Spreading roasted red pepper hummus on this easy grilled pizza makes a fast and easy base for tender summer squash and salty chunks of feta. Best of all? This healthy pizza is ready in 20 minutes.

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Grilled Salmon and Peaches with Basil-Pistachio Gremolata


Grilling a large salmon fillet is a surefire way to wow guests at the table. It's also easier than grilling individual fillets and adds a little insurance against overcooking. If you're nervous about grilling the fish, take heart: You don't have to flip it, the skin keeps it intact, and even though you're cooking it over both direct and indirect heat, it stays put on the grill. The skin crisps up beautifully, and the spice rub adds bold notes that pair well with sweet peaches and red onion.

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Jalapeño Popper Burgers

two burgers

We've taken a simple burger recipe and made it pop with an easy three-ingredient jalapeño cheese topping. Ground sirloin is lean ground beef made exclusively from the center loin cut. It has less connective tissue than regular ground beef for a super-tender burger.

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Grilled Taco Pizza

Grilling pizza mimics the rustic flavor of a wood-fired oven. It cooks fast, though, so make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go for speedy flipping and topping. For this grilled pizza recipe we've topped the pie with classic taco toppings, including beans and salsa. Once you've mastered the method, you can use it as a template for how to grill pizza--just swap out the taco ingredients for your favorite toppings.

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Vegetarian All-American Portobello Burgers


Portobello mushrooms stand in for meat patties in this recipe for veggie burgers with all the fixings. Mushrooms are a source of glutamate, a naturally occurring compound that gives the fungi their umami flavor. But to really give these "patties" a savory boost, we brush them with steak sauce. Add a simple side salad or some grilled veggies for a satisfying and easy dinner on the grill.

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