Summer is here — turn off the stove and warm up the grill, it’s time to get cooking! With grilling season upon us, we’re giving you fourteen reasons to keep the grill going all summer long. While burgers and steak will always be summer classics, there are some other foods that deserve the spotlight! From grilled watermelon and peaches to pizza and bacon, we bet you’ll be surprised to see some of these foods on our list! We’re inviting you to get adventurous (think: grilled avocado, oysters, pineapple, and cheese). Oh yes, this summer is going to be smoking.
14 Delicious Foods You Can Grill This Summer
Kicking off our list of foods you can grill is no other than the quintessential fruit of summer — watermelon. Watermelon is one of the most hydrating fruits, plus it’s rich in nutrients like the antioxidant lycopene. You’ve probably heard of (and love) everything from watermelon popsicles, salads, and ceviche, but have you tried this seasonal summer favorite with a bit of char? A few minutes on the grill gives watermelon a sweet caramelized flavor, making it the perfect treat for any summer day.
Cut it into wedges and add your flavoring of choice. Try grilling it with a squeeze of lime, your favorite herbs like basil and cilantro, or a sprinkle of cayenne with honey for a sweet and zesty spice.
If you’re looking for healthy foods you can grill, look no further than this tropical fruit. Pineapple may be low in calories, but it comes with impressive health benefits (on and off the grill). Just one cup contains well over the RDI of Vitamin C! Plus, this fruit is loaded with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that have been shown to speed exercise recovery and contains the enzyme bromelain, which may help support digestion.
Preparing this grilled fruit is as simple as cutting it into wedges and tossing it on the grill for 3-5 minutes. Pair it with coconut or greek yogurt for a dessert bowl, or elevate any salad, tacos, or veggie dish with its melt-in-your-mouth sweet flavor.
Another grill-worthy fruit to add to your list? Peaches. Every juicy bite is a flavor bomb in your mouth! All you have to do is slice them in half, remove the pit, and grill them open-faced until you get a nice char.
The best part? They make a delicious addition to both sweet and savory dishes. For savory dishes, try grilling them with red onion and balsamic. Serve with your favorite protein like grilled chicken or salmon, or slice them for a summer salad with leafy greens, avocado, walnuts, and mozzarella or feta. For a sweet dish, try serving your grilled peaches with a drizzle of honey and a scoop of banana nice cream or with coconut whipped cream. Yum!
Light, crispy, crunchy, and delicious. If you’re thinking, “grilled salad?” Trust us. You’ll be shocked at how much you’ll love this grilled green! Think of grilled romaine as the summer cousin of kale chips — simply changing the cooking preparation changes the experience! And, one cup of romaine is only about 10 calories.
Simply cut a head of romaine lettuce in half lengthwise, brushing it with a bit of olive oil. Place it face down on your grill for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle it with your favorite homemade dressing, toss it with your favorite sauce, or mix it together with your other grilled veggies of choice.
Honestly, what can’t avocado do? It may not have been on your list of foods you can grill, but are you surprised to hear it tastes delicious? This fatty fruit contains more potassium than a banana and is loaded with fiber. Skip the guac and save your ripe avocados for the grill. Serve it with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey, enjoy it as a tasty breakfast addition alongside eggs and toast, or fill the scooped-out center with your favorite protein like flaky salmon or shrimp.
Lightly brush with olive oil, season it with paprika or chili powder, and toss it on the grill for 3-5 minutes!
ICYMI, air-fried banana splits are all the rage. But, we’ll give you one better: grilled bananas. It’s everything you love about banana bread muffins and banana splits all in one decadent recipe. Serve it up with homemade coconut whipped cream, a drizzle of melted chocolate or dairy-free chocolate chips, and a hint of nut butter.
Here’s how to do it:
Step #1: Choose a firm banana (one that’s bright yellow or yellow with a hint of green)
Step #2: Slice it lengthwise down the middle (but don’t remove the peel!). Option to brush the open-faced side of the banana with a tsp of maple syrup or coconut oil and optional spices such as cinnamon
Step #3: Grill the banana face down on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Once charred, flip the banana and grill 3-4 minutes on the peel side. Remove from the grill.
Step #4: Serve warm with your favorite toppings!
Though they may look intimidating… this nutrient-dense veggie is actually extremely easy to cook! And aside from tasting delicious on the grill, artichokes are low in calories, full of fiber, and loaded with antioxidants. Enjoy them on top of a salad, as a healthy side dish for your favorite protein, or plain with a little lemon, garlic, and tahini drizzle!
Step #1: Once rinsed and patted dry, trim the thorny edges and remove one inch from the top of the artichoke. Next, peel the stem and slice an inch off the bottom. Rub the artichoke with a lemon wedge to prevent the newly exposed areas from oxidizing.
Step #2: Slice the artichoke in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the furry center choke. Rinse the artichoke to remove any remaining pieces.
Step #3: Before grilling, steam the artichoke halves for 45 minutes until soft and tender.
Step #4: Once tender, remove from the steamer. Brush with avocado oil (due to its high smoke point) and season with salt, pepper, and any spices of choice. Place artichoke halves face-down on the grill and grill on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
Not the grilled cheese you had in mind, but dare we say… better. Imagine your favorite cheese warm, melted, and with a light smoke. Mozzarella… Halloumi… Brie… you can’t go wrong! If it’s a heartier cheese like halloumi, try cutting your cheese into cubes and stringing it through a skewer. Favoring a meltier variety? Toss it in foil to keep all of that cheesy goodness contained! Grill for 2-3 minutes per side — serve with crackers, fruit, or enjoy it with a drizzle of honey or balsamic.
Of course, we love some fresh, juicy tomatoes in our summer salads, guac, and alongside mozzarella. But, you may want to give grilled tomatoes a try! Did you know cooking tomatoes increases the bioavailability of lycopene (the antioxidant responsible for this fruit’s bright red color)?
To prepare, slice your tomato in half, drizzle with oil, and cook face down for 2-4 minutes. Serve with bread, fresh greens, herbs, olive oil, and balsamic drizzle!
Chicken, steak, and seafood have had their time in the hot seat. It’s time to pass the torch to tofu — the plant-based protein that will undoubtedly secure a place on your grill all summer long! If you haven’t considered tofu one of the best foods you can grill, you’re about to. Tofu soaks up any marinade or flavoring, plus it gets a delicious smoke on the grill. Try the extra firm variety for a “meat-like” texture, grilling for about 8-10 minutes per side.
If you thought you loved bacon made on the stovetop, wait until you try it grilled! It’s crunchy, crispy, and infused with a mouth-watering smoky flavor. Serve it with your eggs and avocado for a morning meal, crumble it up on your favorite salad, or enjoy it inside a stacked sandwich.
To make grilled bacon, you’ll want to use thick-sliced bacon. Cook it in a cast-iron skillet over the grill or lightly coat it with oil and cook it directly on the grill gate.
Once you try grilled sweet potato wedges, you’ll never go back to oven-made. This summer classic screams comfort food and pairs well with nearly any flavor or dish. Cut into wedges and cook on each side until you see grill marks. Enjoy grilled sweet potato alongside grilled protein and greens, dip it in guacamole, or even toss it into a yogurt bowl with fruit and honey for a nourishing yet sweet dish.
Want an extra boost of antioxidants? Try grilling a purple sweet potato!
Looking to heat up the barbeque with new foods? Try grilled steak — cauliflower steak, that is! This simple and savory appetizer will please any crowd. Plus, cauliflower’s neutral taste makes it the perfect blank canvas for any flavor preference.
Marinate it in barbeque sauce, flavor it with lemon and cilantro, or simply brush it with a drizzle of oil. With a mere 25 calories per cup, cauliflower is one of the best foods you can grill for both taste and weight loss!
Whether it’s frozen, leftover, or freshly made, throw your pizza on the grill! If making a fresh dough, follow your favorite recipe as usual. Once it’s ready to cook, lightly brush your pizza crust with oil. Grill it for 2-3 minutes until the grill side is charred (the top side should be bubbly and airy). Then, assemble your pizza with your favorite fixings and grill again for 2-3 minutes!
Spice Up Your Favorite Foods This Summer
There’s nothing like enjoying yummy food at a family cookout or spending a warm summer night cooking by the grill. Grilling can be a fun way to spice up your plate while enjoying your favorite foods in a new way! Now that you have a healthy list of foods you didn’t know you could grill, head to the farmers market, stock up on all the fresh summer produce, and heat up the barbeque!