If you think the Fourth of July and Labor Day are the only holidays you can enjoy barbecued foods, think again. This barbecue Thanksgiving menu will be all the proof you need that grilling is always a good idea.

By BH&G Holiday Editors
Updated July 08, 2020
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A grill is a time-crunched cook's best friend, so a menu of easy grill recipes for Thanksgiving is good news on the busiest cooking day of the year. It's time to make the holiday season a part of barbecue season, too. And what better way to celebrate this discovery than with a grilled feast for the day of overeating! Make these delicious barbecue side dishes to save the day—especially if your pumpkin pie is taking up all the spare room in your oven. We already have the BBQ Thanksgiving menu ready, so prepare your grill for a "grate" holiday feast. We'll be serving up this grilled Thanksgiving menu featuring a barbecue turkey recipe and our best grilled side dishes, no matter how chilly the weather. First things first: Make sure your grill is cleaned and ready before you begin cooking. If the climate is simply too frigid to stand outside at the grill all afternoon, opt for a Chefman Smokeless Indoor Grill ($50, Target) to get that smoky grilled flavor without having to don snow boots and a hat.

Barbecue Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Be sure to stock up on plenty of napkins for these six barbecue Thanksgiving recipes (they're messier than most):

See photos and learn more about each of these barbecue-inspired recipes, below.

Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chile Croutons with toast

Soup: Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chile Croutons

Asparagus tastes delicious when grilled. And when it's mixed into a soup that's full of flavor and paired with grilled croutons coated in chile butter, it tastes even better! Start your barbecue Thanksgiving menu on a light, healthy note with this warm appetizer. Running short on time? It won't be a problem—this dish can be ready to serve in 30 minutes. Need it quicker than that? Bypass the grill and blanch the asparagus instead. Toast the baguette slices under a broiler for quick croutons.

Grilled Green Beans on blue plate

Vegetable Side Dish: Grilled Green Beans

If there's one thing that makes us want to gobble up more greens and veggies, it's eating them when they're grilled to perfection. As a Thanksgiving classic, green beans deserve a place on the dining table. But instead of green bean casserole, give your green beans the barbecue treatment this year by grilling them and serving with a drizzle of olive oil. Plus, you can spice things up on the grill and add a kick of jalapeño peppers and flavorful garlic. You won't regret adding this vitamin-packed side to your BBQ Thanksgiving menu (especially because this is a healthier side dish than most casseroles). Don't be fooled by the health benefits: This is one of the tastiest Thanksgiving grill ideas we've tried.

Get the recipe: Grilled Green Beans

Buttermilk Mashed Grilled Potatoes bowl with wood spoon

Potato Side Dish: Buttermilk Mashed Grilled Potatoes

While we're on the veggie grilling train, let's take an unexpected detour. That's right: Grilled potatoes are totally a thing, and we're completely on board. To make grilled Yukon gold potatoes Thanksgiving-appropriate, we recommend mashing them with a bit of buttermilk, butter, and fresh chives. Then dig in to the creamy buttermilk flavor you're accustomed to with mom's mashed potatoes while savoring the fresh-off-the-grill flavor you love. This Thanksgiving mashed potato recipe will easily become the star of the show, barbecue Thanksgiving dinner or not.

New England Grilled Turkey

Entree: New England Grilled Turkey

This turkey is for the true barbecue-lover—and guests who are seeking far-from-bland white meat. If you're not sure how to barbecue a turkey, we've got you covered: Cooking turkey on the grill isn't as intimidating as it might sound! This delicious bird has all the authentic spice-rubbed flavor you could want, balanced with a serving of festive pitted cherries and peaches. Plus, a grilled Thanksgiving turkey means you'll have more space in the oven for the more traditional side dishes.

Grilled Baby Carrots with sauce serving dish

Vegetable Side Dish: Grilled Baby Carrots

Rather than serving carrots raw on a crudite platter, try tossing these delectable root vegetables onto the grill for a healthy Thanksgiving side dish. Lightly season, then top these veggies with a delicious spiced yogurt. Steak rub and salt ensure it's savory and scrumptious. It's a perfect veggie dip for grilled carrots. (Sorry, ranch.) Sprinkle with some pistachio nuts for extra crunch factor, and you've got carrots like you've never tasted them before.

Tip: Make sure you buy plain Greek yogurt rather than vanilla so this side can skew salty/savory rather than sweet.

Get the recipe: Grilled Baby Carrots

Grilled Apple Crisp with Porter-Toffee Sauce with ice cream

Dessert: Grilled Apple Crisp with Porter-Toffee Sauce

You didn't know dessert could be grilled? It can—and it tastes amazing! Skip the baking this year without sacrificing the sweets. This apple crisp is prepped, packaged in foil, then cooked on the grill. To make this dessert even yummier, top with a Porter-Toffee Sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's almost like Thanksgiving apple pie, but much, much tastier.

Tip: To make the Porter-Toffee Sauce outdoors, simply follow the instructions and use a small saucepan on your grill grates or grill side burner rather than on the stovetop.

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