Our Best Grilling Menu Ideas

Introducing: Our most delicious BBQ menu ideas! Steaks, burgers, salmon—so many proteins are way better when cooked over an open flame. Snag our top grill recipes for the entree portion of the meal, then pair that with our stellar grill food menu side dishes and desserts.

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Not all agree on the gas vs. charcoal debate, but we can agree that almost every meat and seafood—and even vegetables—taste amazing when cooked with this healthy, low-fuss cooking method.

Here's the formula for each of these grilling menu ideas:

 • 1 grilled main dish

 • 1 side you can cook on the grill

 • 1 side that comes together in the oven or in your slow cooker 

 • 1 dessert

Crank up the heat by making any (or all) of these grill-out menus this week.

Nail the cook temp every single time with our free downloadable grilling charts.

Grilled Burger Menu

Grilling menu ideas don't come much more classic than a juicy burger. We take that concept to new flavor heights with a garlic, herb, and Worcestershire mix blended into the one-to-one mix of beef and pork. Top with a spoonful of sweet-savory honey-mustard sauce.

Get the recipe: Our Best-Ever Grilled Burgers

Burger Grill-Out Menu Sides and Sweets

Potato Side Dish

No burger grill food menu is complete without a side of fries. These fast food-inspired curlicues get their showy shape by way of a spiralizer. Fry in a deep pan until golden and toss with your favorite spices (a bit of garlic powder would echo the burger seasonings) and plenty of salt.

Get the recipe:  Curly Fries

 

Vegetable Side Dish

Yes, you can grill lettuce! The leafy greens, plus tomatoes and bread, all cook on the grill right alongside your burgers for a grill-out menu that is the ultimate multitasker. Make a double batch of the bacon-laced vinaigrette and drizzle the extra over salads or veggies later in the week.

Get the recipe: Grilled Romaine Panzanella

 

Dessert

Cool off after this easy outdoor grill recipe lineup with a scoop of homemade ice cream. Stick with the classic or stir in tasty extras like donut bites, lemon curd, or strawberries and biscuits.

Get the recipe:  Sweet Cream Ice Cream

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Grilled Chicken Menu

Fresh mint and smoky paprika are the two key ingredients in the chicken marinade that make this white meat meal taste far from bland "diet food" grilled chicken recipes. With just 15 minutes or prep time and 15 minutes of cook time, this grilling idea is great for busy weeknights.

Get the recipe: Smoky Paprika Garlic Chicken

Chicken Grill-Out Menu Sides and Sweets

Pasta Side Dish

Shine a spotlight on the versatility of white meat by mixing chicken thighs into this bacon-loaded slow cooker mac and cheese. Start it around lunchtime and let the chicken pasta simmer in your slow cooker on low until dinnertime. Drizzle with barbecue sauce and add a scoop to your plate next to that spicy grilled chicken.


Get the recipe:
Barbecue Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

 

Vegetable Side Dish

Paprika goes double-duty in this grill food menu—this time in the compound butter that gets rubbed all over grilled sweet corn. Lime and cilantro brighten things up.


Get the recipe: 
Grilled Corn with Smoky Lime Butter

 

Dessert

We can't stop buzzing about this homemade ice cream and coffee creation. Cold vanilla ice cream is topped with hot espresso and crunchy candied pecans for a treat that trumps any coffee shop creation.


Get the recipe: 
Vanilla-Cardamom Affogato with Candied Pecans

Learn about the top eight vegetables to grill—plus get how-to instructions to char everything to perfection.

Grilled Steak Menu

An herb rub peppers these flat-irons with flavor, but the real crowning glory of this grill recipe is the ridiculously decadent Avocado Butter that melts and drips down the sides of the warm steak. Slice up a baguette and use it to mop up every last drop.

Get the recipe: Flat-Iron Steaks with Avocado Butter

Steak Grill-Out Menu Sides and Sweets

Potato Side Dish

Opt for petite potatoes to cut down on cooking time and allow for more variations. Top a third of the spuds with cheddar, a third with Swiss, and a third with provolone, then enjoy one of each as part of this hearty steak and potato grill-out menu.


Get the recipe:
Twice-Baked New Potatoes

 

Vegetable Side Dish

Mashed sweet potatoes, beans, and greens (spinach works great!) get sandwiched between whole-wheat tortillas to create this meatless masterpiece. The original recipe calls for cooking on a grill pan, but you can also make this as an easy outdoor grill recipe since your fire will already be going for the steaks. As the quesadillas cook, stir together the refreshing cucumber-radish relish.

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Cucumber Relish

 

Dessert

This stone fruit ice cream tastes like summer. A splash of bourbon adds complexity to this brown sugar-sweetened treat. Try it in a bowl, scooped into a waffle cone, or served atop of a slice of pound cake.

Get the recipe: Peach Ice Cream

Before you start preparing these cookout menu ideas, study up on our three-step method for flawless grilled steak. 

Grilled Salmon Menu

Low in carbs, high in protein, and done in just 30 minutes, this is sure to become one of your new favorite grill recipes. Spread rosemary butter over the grilled salmon and leeks for a scrumptious final touch.

Get the recipe: Grilled Salmon and Leeks with Rosemary-Mustard Butter

Salmon Grill-Out Menu Sides and Sweets

Bread Side Dish

Use a bit more of that fresh rosemary in this garlic and olive flatbread. To make it even easier, grab a ball of pizza dough from your local parlor or grocery store rather than mixing up your own.

Get the recipe: Cracked Black Pepper and Rosemary Focaccia

 

Vegetable Side Dish

Because asparagus spears are nice and thin, this grilling idea calls for only seven minutes of cooking time. Pile the green veggies on the grill right after you take off the salmon and leeks. By the time you finish smearing the butter on the entree, your healthy grill-out menu side dish will be done.

Get the recipe: Grilled Asparagus in Dill Butter

 

Dessert

Wrap up this seafood grill food menu with a light and fruity make-ahead dessert. Berries, watermelon, lime, and sugar are all you'll need for one of the easiest frozen treats you can DIY.

Get the recipe: Watermelon Sorbet

Grilled Rib Menu

Baked until tender then grilled for a smoky, charred exterior, these saucy pork ribs are just as amazing as the ribs people wait hours for at Kansas City restaurants. Try these BBQ menu ideas when you have an afternoon: This grill recipe takes about three hours, but is worth every single minute.

Get the recipe: Kansas City Ribs

Rib Grill-Out Menu Sides and Sweets

Bread Side Dish

Since this bacon-topped corn bread practically cooks itself in your slow cooker, you can keep your focus on the ribs. A handful of frozen corn kernels add nice texture to this delicious, down-home bread.


Get the recipe:
Bacon Corn Bread

 

Vegetable Side Dish

Part tangy, part sweet, and totally refreshing, this simple 10-minute salad is the perfect light side to pair with decadent ribs. Opt for jarred dressing our make your own using this formula for a citrusy poppy seed drizzle.

Get the recipe: Mandarin Orange Poppy Seed Summer Salad

 

Dessert

Grilled dessert? Yes—it's a thing! This easy outdoor grill recipe calls for cooking a pan of apple crisp over coals, then topping with a beer-infused toffee sauce. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is optional—but highly recommended.

Get the recipe: Grilled Apple Crisp with Porter-Toffee Sauce

Even More Grill Recipes You'll Love

Keep the flame going! Here are even more grilling ideas that showcase the versatility of this quick cooking method.

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