When you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, grilling is the way to go on hot summer nights. Instead of the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs, try one of these fun recipes.
1. Honey lime chicken skewers
For a quick grilled chicken dinner, try these honey lime chicken skewers. These marinate for a mere hour — and, because the chicken is cut into small chunks, it cooks up fast. Check the post from the blog Kitchen Meets Girl for the recipe.
2. Brazilian grilled flank steak
Go Brazilian! And we mean Brazilian flavor — not painful waxing! Flank steak is an inexpensive cut of meat that grills up beautifully after marinating overnight in this herb-infused sauce recipe from the blog My Man’s Belly. This dish is easy, quick and sure to impress! Way more exciting than burgers.
3. Homemade root beer BBQ sauce
For a great BBQ, you have to have the perfect sauce. Janel, the brilliant mind behind the blog A Mom's Take, has a yummy sauce recipe made with root beer! This sauce is both easy and inexpensive to prepare. Cook up a batch for your next cookout, or grab her free printable and give a pint-sized jar of sauce as a gift.
4. Grilled lemon-garlic zucchini
How about a veggie side dish instead of the usual corn on the cob? Make use of the abundant zucchini this summer by making these delicious grilled lemon and butter zucchini rounds. Even the kids will love this recipe from the Damn Delicious blog!
5. Sweet and spicy sweet potato wedges
These perfectly grilled sweet potato fries will please any palate. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and with the yin and yang flavor of sweet and spicy. Check out the recipe at the blog High Heels and Grills.
6. Loaded potato foil packs
If regular baked potatoes are more your style, try these foil packs from the blog Must Have Mom. It’s everything you want on a potato in a neat little package! Check out the post for the recipe and for great decorating and tablescape ideas.
7. Captain America kid’s drink
This layered drink made of patriotic colors will please both kids and adults. The author of the blog This Worthey Life created this fun recipe in honor of the "Avengers" movie. Check out the post for the details and for downloadable Captain America coloring and activity pages. What a deal!
8. Strawberry shortcake kabobs
Strawberry shortcake as backyard BBQ finger food? Yes, please! Everyone will love this great interpretation of strawberry shortcake from the Sugar Apron blog. Check out the post for the details and more great ideas.
9. Banana s’mores
Be a BBQ hero by serving up these delicious banana s’mores from The Typical Mom. Kids can add their own toppings, and an adult can cook them up for ooey-gooey goodness! Parents of little kids will be happy that they aren’t supervising the marshmallow roasting over an open fire!
10. Sand pudding
For a dessert that is also a conversation piece, check out Sand Pudding from the Ma Nouvelle Mode blog. This simple recipe is a showstopper, especially if you serve it in a bucket and use a shovel as a serving spoon! Check out the blog for this and other great ideas.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in July 2015, and updated in June 2020.