Recipes That Are Perfect For The Grill

For most people, warm weather signifies the end of school, summer vacations, and countless beach days. But for the culinarily-inclined folks, the rising temperatures really mean that it's time to break out the grill. And that for a good reason: pure flavor. It's difficult to match that irresistible smoky taste that a grill creates and which elevates any piece of meat, be it chicken, steak, burgers, or seafood. But don't limit the grill to just meat protein. Almost anything can be cooked over an open flame (looking at you, summer vegetables). Even vegetarians and vegans can take part in the pure summer joy of a good grilled meal.

With a nearly unlimited amount of dish possibilities, you may be looking for some grill recipe guidance — and you've come to the right place. We have some easy, delicious recipes that will elevate your grilling game to new heights. Whether it's classic grilled chicken, some delectable seafood meals, a grilled vegetable salad, or even a copycat sandwich from one of your favorite fast food restaurants, these are the recipes that are perfect for the grill!  

Grilled chicken is a summer classic

Few types of meat are more often cooked on the grill than chicken. Now, this begs the question of how to make your grilled chicken stand apart from the field. The answer lies in the preparation. First, make sure the chicken breasts are thin enough to cook properly. If the chicken is left to cook while too thick — anything more than one and a half inches, usually — then the exterior may dry out before the interior is cooked. To avoid that pitfall, pay attention to the size of chicken breasts you're buying. Otherwise, you might consider butterflying your chicken pieces to even out the size, a technique that's similar to spatchcocking a whole chicken.

Next comes the flavor. While you may have a go-to marinade, the one for this grilled chicken recipe provides a delectable sweet and salty taste. It includes orange juice honey, rosemary, dried fennel, thyme, onion, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and black pepper. 

After the chicken has marinated for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours if you're prepping things ahead of time), it's ready for the grill. The average chicken breast takes about 10 minutes to grill. You'll know it's ready when the meat reaches 165 degrees inside — the minimum safe temperature for cooked poultry — or is white all the way through. Serve in salads, sandwiches, or alongside rice, potatoes, or pasta. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Grilled shrimp looks great at a party

If you think the delicate nature of shrimp prevents it from holding up well to the high heat of a grill, think again. The temperature actually helps, allowing the seafood to be cooked in just a handful of minutes. Just remember to pay attention and move quickly when necessary in order to avoid overcooked, rubbery shrimp. Prepping them on skewers, like in this grilled shrimp recipe, makes the process that much easier. 

When you have your peeled and deveined shrimp on kabobs, drizzle them with a marinade of lemon juice, melted butter, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. The shrimp take just three minutes on each side to cook through. Once they're ready, serve immediately with the leftover marinade drizzled on top or on the side for dipping.

Grilled salmon is a healthy and delicious meal

The idea of cooking salmon on the grill likely strikes fear into the heart of anyone who has had their fish fillet shredded after it got stuck to the grill grates. Well, fear not. In this grilled salmon recipe, you wrap the fish in aluminum foil to prevent any sticky situations. Simply place your brined and seasoned salmon in foil with the sauce and a few lemon slices and onto the grill. Once that recipes has helped your confidence, you can move ahead and learn how to keep the fish from sticking to the grill.

The salmon should take about 12 to 14 minutes to cook through, but make sure to start checking it after 10 minutes. Unlike whitefish, it's very easy to overcook salmon. Once done, slice it into two pieces, season with some more sauce, and enjoy!

Grilled summer vegetable pasta salad is a plant-based delight

The grill is more versatile than we give it credit for. As it turns out, the girl isn't just for cooking meat. This vegetable pasta recipe proves that a grill is great for veggies too, as the recipe combines fresh produce with a smoky grilled flavor to create one delectable dish. For the recipe, you will need a grill-safe basket. Add your prepped vegetables, including asparagus, red bell pepper, summer squash, zucchini, onion, and cherry tomatoes, to the basket and onto the grill over medium heat. 

After just 15 minutes, the veggies will be cooked through and ready to be combined with the pasta. A dash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt, oregano, cumin, and Parmesan cheese, and your dish is complete. The salad can be served warm or stored in the refrigerator for you to break out when the time calls.

This copycat Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken sandwich is as good as the original

Sure, the fried chicken sandwiches get all the glory at Chick-fil-A, but don't sleep on the grilled chicken version of this fast food sandwich favorite. That's doubly important now because you can make it at home with this copycat recipe. While the process of putting together this sandwich isn't overly complicated, there are no shortcuts to recreating that Chick-fil-A flavor. The grill's the thing, after all. 

First, you'll need to marinate the chicken breast in the refrigerator for at least four hours. After that, it's onto the grill. Press the chicken down with a small saucepan to ensure you get proper sear marks, which provide as much visual appeal as they do flavor. It should only take about six minutes for the chicken to be ready to throw on a toasted bun. Add some lettuce and tomato, along with your favorite condiments, and dig in!