These Easy Grill Recipes Call for 8 Ingredients or Fewer (But Are Full of Flavor)

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad
Photo: Karla Conrad

When the mercury rises, keep your cool with these easy grill recipes. Even though they taste remarkably complex, each dish in this collection of our best easy grilling ideas cooks up with 8 ingredients or fewer. Mix and match juicy steak, grilled veggie pasta salad, loaded brats, and more with these options for an easy grill meal that will keep your kitchen cool—and your menu hot.

01 of 18

Peanut Butter Burger

Peanut Butter Burgers
Matthew Clark

A burger is a must on any barbecue menu if you ask us. This easy outdoor grill recipe is not your basic beef patty, though. Peanut butter plays double duty as an unexpectedly delightful condiment and as a ground beef supplement to ensure succulent, juicy results. Top the PB patties with a couple slices of crispy bacon, garnish as desired, and be sure to have some napkins handy.

02 of 18

Reverse-Seared Grilled Ribeye Steaks

Reverse-Seared Grilled Ribeye Steaks
Carson Downing

If you haven't tried reverse-searing before, you simply must the next time you fire up your grill. This slow-and-low then high-heat method is a favorite of blue-ribbon barbecue pros, and the juicy results you score with this easy grill dinner will be all the evidence you need to understand why. To complete the meat and potatoes experience, whip up Grilled Potato Slices at the same time—then get ready to accept your own barbecue trophy.

03 of 18

Grilled Sausages with Balsamic Onions

Grilled Sausages with Balsamic Onions
Carson Downing

Beat the clock with this 25-minute meal that will make you the barbecue MVP! Grilled chicken sausages are only the beginning here. Sweet grilled onions, spicy arugula, and tangy goat cheese make this easy grill recipe one of the most flavorful things served on a hot dog bun you'll ever eat.

04 of 18

Shrimp Salad with Lime Dressing

Shrimp Salad with Lime Dressing
Blaine Moats

Low in calories and prep time yet heavy on flavor and protein, this easy grilling idea is one we turn to again and again once the heat rises above 80°F. Create this dish in less than 25 minutes. Atop a bed of tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and avocado—and lettuce, if you please—you'll find spicy grilled shrimp and some zesty lime vinaigrette. This light yet filling meal will save just enough room for a scoop or two of ice cream later.

05 of 18

Grilled Potato Leek Pizza

Grilled Potato Leek Pizza
Brie Passano

You might think of pizza as an easy cookout side, but this fully loaded pie is absolutely entrée-worthy. Slices of buttery Yukon gold potatoes, crunchy crumbled bacon, and grilled leeks adorn the Alfredo-sauced pizza dough. Grill for 8 minutes, pair with a salad, and prepare for a fight over the last slice.

06 of 18

Quick Tandoori-Style Chicken

Quick Tandoori-Style Chicken
Blaine Moats

When you're on the fence about ordering Indian takeout and firing up the grill, we suggest that you enjoy the best of both worlds with this easy cookout recipe. The curry-spiked yogurt marinade not only flavors the chicken but also makes it super-tender and moist. Grill bite-sized pieces, then serve over rice or alongside naan and with plenty of mango chutney.

07 of 18

Grilled Herb Scallops with Balsamic Syrup

Grilled Herb Scallops with Balsamic Syrup
Karla Conrad

You've likely ordered scallop recipes off restaurant menus, but have you tried your hand at whipping them up at home? This easy grill meal, which calls for a mere 6 minutes of cook time, will convince you to make it a habit. The skewers make the small seafood pieces simple to flip, and the balsamic reduction topping and a pile of peppery arugula round out this light and lovely appetizer.

08 of 18

Flat-Iron Steaks with Avocado Butter

Flat-Iron Steaks with Avocado Butter
Blaine Moats

Keto dieters and carnivores (and let's be honest, anyone who adores a hearty meal) will go wild for this easy cookout food idea. To transform grilled steak into a dazzling restaurant-quality dinner, simply schmear on a pat of creamy, herb-infused avocado butter. Our recipe calls for chervil or parsley, but feel free to toss in any green herb that's fresh in your garden.

09 of 18

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad
Karla Conrad

Clean out your fridge or put that new farmers market haul to use in this easy cookout side. While we call for a mix of zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and asparagus, you could toss nearly any grill-friendly vegetable into this pasta salad recipe. (Eggplant, large mushroom caps, carrots, and green beans all work great, too.) Nutty whole grain rotini, bright balsamic vinegar, and verdant fresh oregano help the nicely charred vegetables pop even more.

10 of 18

Grilled Zucchini and Goat Cheese Toasts

Grilled Zucchini and Goat Cheese Toasts
Carson Downing

The best easy grill meals kick off with a grate appetizer. For these Mediterranean diet-inspired crostini, brush zucchini planks with olive oil, then season with salt and za'atar. Grill the squash and several baguette slices, then build itty-bitty open-faced sandwiches by topping the toast with a scoop of goat cheese, a grilled zucchini slice, and fresh chives.

11 of 18

Brats with Mango Relish

Brats with Mango Relish
Karla Conrad

Brats rank among the best easy things to grill. But this time around, skip the ketchup and mustard on top. A savory-sweet topping of grilled mango, onion, jerk seasoning, salt, and pepper takes classic brats to the next level—as do little details like grill-toasted buns and a side of grilled romaine.

12 of 18

Barbecued Salmon with Fresh Nectarine Salsa

Barbecued Salmon with Fresh Nectarine Salsa
Andy Lyons

Grilled salmon is a summertime favorite and this 17-minute meal makes the concept even more exciting. One bite will prove that while fruit salsa is excellent with chips, it's exceptional atop this easy grill recipe. The fresh blueberry and nectarine topping complements the spice of the barbecue sauce beautifully.

13 of 18

Fruit-and-Fire Flat Iron Steaks

Fruit-and-Fire Flat Iron Steaks
Andy Lyons

We bet you can guess where the "fruit" part of this easy grill dinner's name comes from. (How perfect is it that grilling season and stone fruit season almost perfectly align?) The "fire" comes in via the meat marinade that's more umami-forward than crazy-hot thanks to a mix of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, lemon, and crushed red pepper.

14 of 18

Grilled Salmon with Garden Mayonnaise

Grilled Salmon with Garden Mayonnaise
Andy Lyons

Since it's one of the quickest proteins to grill, seafood of all varieties is our go-to when we're in the mood for easy cookout recipes. Oil, salt, and pepper are all you need to get the salmon and fresh asparagus grill-ready. As those cook to perfection in just 10 minutes or so, stir together a garden-fresh sauce featuring celery, green onion, tarragon, lemon juice, and mayonnaise.

15 of 18

Grilled Pork and Pineapple

Grilled Pork and Pineapple
Jason Donnelly

Pork chops and applesauce might be the traditional pairing, but come summer, we crave this tropical combo. Even better than the flavor? The fact that this entire easy grill recipe can be yours in less than 20 minutes. Pair it with a zippy orange marmalade-infused yogurt and this is like dinner and a grilled fruit dessert all at once.

16 of 18

Chimichurri Chicken

Chimichurri Chicken
Kritsada Panichgul

When you're craving a fresh twist on cookout spicy chicken, turn to this speedy option that has a little—or a lot—of kick based on how much crushed red pepper you add. After grilling the chicken, spoon on the five-ingredient Chimichurri sauce for the ultimate summery condiment. Early in the season, pair it with fresh green beans, and as fall inches closer, try corn on the cob as the starring side.

17 of 18

Grilled Salmon with Garden Mayonnaise

Grilled Salmon with Garden Mayonnaise
Andy Lyons

Wondering what to serve at cookouts that will please gluten-free eaters, carnivores, and produce-lovers all at once? We recommend a BYOS (build your own skewer) station so each diner can construct their kabob as desired. Several pantry staples team up in the simple yet flavorful steak marinade that does double duty as glaze for the peppers and potatoes.

Buy It: OXO Grilling Skewers ($15, Bed Bath & Beyond)

18 of 18

Pesto Chicken and Radicchio Skewers

Pesto Chicken and Radiccio Skewers
Carson Downing

Purchased basil pesto is the secret to whipping up this four ingredient dinner. Marinate cubed chicken breast in pesto and lemon juice for up to eight hours. We like to prep this before work so it's ready at dinner. Once it's time to grill, skewer the chicken with radicchio wedges and that's it!

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