For anyone who loves grilling, the warm temperatures and consistent spring sunshine can’t come soon enough! Cooking outside over open flames or glowing charcoal is a fun, interactive way to prepare a meal. Plus, grilling means there’s no need to light the stove or oven, which keeps the house cooler as the temperatures outside start to rise.
Whether you enjoy grilling as a tasty way to get the family outdoors for some quality time or simply love getting into the grilling zone, we all know fresh, delicious produce and proteins taste amazing. Most grilled meals are made with a rustic “less is more” approach, with meats and vegetables dressed with olive oil, seasonings and perhaps a hint of citrus or zesty sauce. So, whenever you fire up the grill, quality is key!
Here are 12 delicious ways to freshen up your grilling game this season.
1. Fruity & Savory
There’s a reason sweet and savory is a common flavor mashup. It’s balanced and oh-so-delicious! So, use fruit in savory dishes for an unexpected pop of color and sweetness. For an incredible main dish, try slightly charred chicken and plum skewers. Seasoned with paprika, garlic, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper, this grilled meal idea is simple to allow for the smoky grilled flavor to shine with a sweet and salty taste that will have you wanting seconds and maybe thirds.
And for a fruity and savory side dish to round out a grilled meal, try grilling peaches and adding them to a salad with fresh tomatoes and corn. Take a peek at our Grilled Corn, Peach and Tomato Salad on our recipe portal!
2. Grilled Fruit Treats
Grilled fruit on its own also makes for an incredible dessert to enjoy after your grilled meal, especially when topped with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or spooned over vanilla ice cream. So many fruits can be grilled, from peaches, apples, apricots, cherries and pineapple, to thick slices of watermelon and nectarines.
In fact, here’s a recipe idea for indulgent grilled nectarines coated with a honey bourbon mixture and topped with a pecan crumble and lemon cream cheese. Sounds pretty scrumptious, right? Snag the full recipe here!
3. The Perfect Steak
Knowing how to grill a perfect steak is a rite of passage for many home cooks. There are many different techniques, but we suggest starting with a quality ribeye, sirloin, NY strip or flank steak, giving it time to marinate, and then grilling it over medium-high heat for six to eight minutes on each side.
While the meat is grilling, resist the urge to move it around so you’ll get great grill marks on both sides. If you ever have questions about which steaks are best for grilling, just ask the friendly staff in your neighborhood Food Lion meat department and they will be more than happy to assist!
4. Grilled Pizza
Try grilling pizza! A super-hot grill is a perfect environment for cooking pizzas. As the bottom of the pizza is nicely charred, the air that’s circulating under the grill’s cover simulates a wood-burning pizza oven and cooks the top in minutes flat.
5. Grilled Vegetables
Grilled veggies often make their way to a BBQ spread, usually seasonal classics, like summer squash (also known as yellow squash), bell peppers and corn. But don’t stop there! Plenty of other veggies can be grilled to smoky perfection.
Potato and sweet potato wedges work exceptionally well on the grill, developing a crisp, charred exterior and a fluffy interior. Yams are also delicious simply tossed with garlic, olive oil and herbs. Additionally, grill some Yukon gold potatoes for potato salad with bacon and baby potatoes drizzled with ranch for a smoky and creamy side dish that’ll go perfectly with any grilled meal.
6. Skewers & Kabobs
Meat on a stick is a universally beloved way to serve casual bites. Not only do kabobs and skewers cook nice and quick on a hot grill, but the cut vegetables and cubes of meat provide maximum surface area for sweet, savory or spicy sauces.
Try brats and veggie kabobs, honey sriracha chicken skewers or vegetarian tofu kabobs (if you want to skip the meat) — just don’t forget to soak the skewers in water for 20 to 30 minutes before threading them up. That’ll keep them from burning up in the flames.
7. Burgers with a Twist
Get creative with burgers! Cheese and bacon are tried-and-true toppings, but why not raid the produce crisper for a fresh take on the season’s most iconic sandwich? Try pineapple and avocado, salsa, arugula or coleslaw!
You could also channel your favorite restaurant with a cowboy-style burger topped with BBQ sauce and onion rings or homemade blue cheese sauce and crispy onions. Or, switch up your proteins and try ground turkey or chicken instead of the traditional beef. Both are slightly lighter options, which can become even more nutritious grilled meals if you substitute the bun for crisp Iceberg lettuce leaves.
8. Grilled Appetizers
It’s not just entrees that deserve time on the grill! Appetizers and finger foods also benefit from a quick spin over hot flames. After all, what goes better with a grilled meal than a grilled starter to keep everything on the theme? Here are five ideas for appetizers cooked on the grill:
9. Foil Packets on the Grill
Borrow from the French tradition of cooking en papillote, which basically translates to bundles of vegetables and meats cooked in parchment paper or foil packets. Combine sausage or tilapia with vegetables, wrap them up snugly in tin foil and grill for perfectly steamed meats (no chance of overcooking them this way) and crisp-tender veggies.
Or for something on the sweet side, you can even use this method to make s’mores-esque chocolate banana boats for dessert. Made with bananas, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and cinnamon cereal, this treat is easy to put together and super low-cost with only those four ingredients (and some aluminum foil) needed.
10. Grilled Taco Fillings
Taco Tuesday gets a playful refresh when you fire up the grill! All sorts of taco fillings can be grilled for extra-bold flavors from onions and peppers to corn and proteins such as steak like in this recipe for Chimichurri Steak Tacos.
Or, instead of tacos, enjoy a grilled spin on quesadillas filled with eight different vegetables, including zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion, mushrooms, sweet potato, radishes and bell pepper. This veggie-packed grilled meal is then served with a creamy avocado and whipped feta sauce for dipping.
11. Grilled S'mores
No starry spring night is complete without s’mores! There is no need to build a bonfire — the hot coals of a grill are just right for toasting marshmallows. You can make a batch for your whole family in a sturdy cast iron pan, layer on seasonal springtime berries or stick with the classic.
Want to change up the chocolatey flavor of your s’mores? Try using dark chocolate or even white chocolate for a simple switch. Or, get even more creative by adding your favorite chocolate bars, like peanut butter cups or caramel-filled treats.
12. Drinks with Grilled Fruit
Don’t forget the drinks with your grilled meal! The grill’s fiery touch brings a whole new dimension to fruit, caramelizing some of their natural sugars. Use this fact to enhance drinks like lemonade (or pineapple lemonade for a tropical twist).
Another option would be to grill up halves of lime and use them to make incredible margaritas. And for a fabulous adult punch, try grilled sangria!
At Food Lion, we’re passionate about fresh, affordable ingredients! In fact, our 100% Fresh or Double Your Money Back guarantee is our stamp of confidence on our fresh products and private brand items.
Our meat and produce departments are stocked with everything you need for all of your grilling needs, from fun-filled barbecues and simply seared steaks to vibrant vegetable salads. So, stop by to pick up everything you need to make all your family’s cookout favorites!