6 Easy and Nutritious Summer Grill Recipes

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6 Easy and Nutritious Summer Grill Recipes

August has arrived, and so has the peak heat of summer. When dinner rolls around, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven or stovetop and bring more heat into your home.

Grilling is a great way to make food on a hot day without having to crank up the A/C. Looking for some easy and healthy summer meal ideas to shake up your everyday dinner plans?

Step aside burgers and hot dogs. We’ve got all the simple yet nutritious grilling recipes you and your family can savor outside this summer — from mouth-watering main dishes to succulent sides and a delicious dessert.

Enjoy these 6 healthy summer grill recipes that are just what you need to beat the heat.

1. Indonesian Grilled Sambal Chicken

 

 

Photo courtesy of Feasting At Home

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

This grilled chicken recipe brings the flavor to any barbecue. In less than 30 minutes, you can wow your friends with this juicy and flavorful dinner with Indonesian-style red chili paste.

The chicken pairs great with salads, noodle bowls, and any of your favorite veggies for the perfect summer meal. 

Have a vegetarian in the family? No problem. The flavorful marinade can go over tofu, fish, a Portobello burger, or any meat substitute.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ lbs. chicken (boneless, skinless thighs)
  • 4 gloves garlic
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup sriracha sauce
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rice brown vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ cup garlic chili paste (Sambal Olek)
  • Skewers pre-soaked
  • Crushed peanuts, mint leaves, scallions to garnish

How to Make it:

  1. Soak wooden skewers in warm water for at least 30 minutes (this prevents them from burning)
  2. Cut chicken into pieces small enough to skewer
  3. Mix all ingredients except chili paste in a blender and blend until smooth
  4. Stir in the chili paste last
  5. Pour the marinade over the chicken in a Tupperware or gallon-size plastic bag
  6. Leave chicken in the refrigerator for 15 minutes (or overnight) to marinate
  7. Fire up the grill to medium high heat
  8. Skewer marinated chicken
  9. Pour leftover marinade into a small pot and let simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat (it will become thickened and reduced)
  10. Put chicken on heated an greased grill and cover for 5 minutes until grill marks appear
  11. Turn chicken over, baste with leftover marinade, and cover for 5 more minutes
  12. When you both sides are seared, turn heat down to low and move chicken to the upper rack until ready to serve
  13. Pair with a salad, noodles, or slaw

 

2. Grilled Mahi Mahi with Jerk Spice

 

 

Photo courtesy of All Women’s Talk

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

This might just be the fastest dinner recipe to grill up after a long day and when you’re just not in the mood to cook.

Throw your seasonings in a food processor, smother your fish, toss it on the grill, and voilà: you’ve got dinner ready in no time. We’re definitely saving this one in the recipe book.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Mahi Mahi fillets (5-ounces each)
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • Green tops of 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. white pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

How to Make it:

  1. Put everything but the fish in a food processor and process for 15 seconds
  2. Store extra marinade in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or frozen for 2 months
  3. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons of marinade on each side
  4. Place fish onto a hot grill and then turn the heat down to medium
  5. Brown fish for 2 minutes, then turn over and cook for 3-5 more minutes, until fish is fully cooked through

 

3. Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowl

 

 

Photo courtesy of Feasting At Home

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

This healthy summer grill recipe brings traditional Vietnamese flavor with plenty of vegetables that pack a nutritious punch.

To get the most out of your flavors, you can marinate your chicken thighs a few days ahead — the longer you marinate, the better the flavor.

Vermicelli noodles cook in a flash, too, so you can entertain your guests on the porch without having to keep a close eye on the stove.

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • ½ cup finely chopped lemongrass (3 stalks of the white part)
  • ½ cup quartered shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp ground Chinese five spice
  • ¼ cup olive oil or peanut oil

Bowl:

  • 1- 1 ¼ lbs. chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
  • 8 oz. Vermicelli rice noodles, cooked and cooled down
  • 1 red pepper, sliced in strips
  • 1 cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 radish, grated
  • 1 handful fresh basil and mint leaves
  • Crushed peanuts, bean sprouts to garnish

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup lime juice (or sub part rice vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. sugar or honey
  • 1 medium spicy red chile

How to Make it:

  1. Chop lemongrass into thin slices and put into food processor until very fine
  2. Add remaining marinade ingredients and pulse until finely chopped
  3. Add oil and pulse to create a paste
  4. Massage marinade onto chicken thighs and let sit for at least 30 minutes (or up to 48 hours refrigerated)
  5. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water
  6. Slice up veggies
  7. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
  8. Grill chicken on medium-high heat until marks appear and cooked all the way through
  9. Assemble your bowl with noodles, veggies, chicken, and fresh herbs topped with dressing

 

4. Fig and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

 

 

Photo courtesy of Feasting At Home

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

This colorful salad is great for summer nights in the backyard when you’ve got the friends or family over.

You can prep everything ahead of time, toss it together, and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve your guests. It’s really that easy.

Plus, the vivid colors make it a perfect salad to snap a picture and share on your IG feed. Just be sure to add this healthy salad to your next barbecue night, too!

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 5 ounces baby arugula (about 7 cups)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • 6-8 figs, stems removed and quartered
  • 10-15 basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup firm goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • Optional: ¼ tsp. vanilla

How to Make it:

  1. Thinly slice red onion and soak in salted water for 15 minutes
  2. Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly toasted (5-6 minutes)
  3. Place arugula, pecans, drained onions, and basil in a large bowl
  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve
  5. Add figs and goat cheese
  6. Lightly toss to combine
  7. Drizzle with dressing and serve

 

6. Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Dipping Sauce

 

 

Photo courtesy of Cookie and Kate

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Nothing’s more refreshing than a cool Caprese salad on a hot summer day. 

Mix up your grill party with this subtle spin on an old-time classic. Not to mention how easy these are to make for big groups and celebrations!

You can even get the kids to make these easy appetizers while you grill up the main event out back.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint small cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium ripe peach, cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 8 ounces Ciliegine (mini mozzarella balls)
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil leaves
  • Small skewers

Dipping sauce:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup or honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make it:

  1. Thread one of each ingredient onto each skewer (you can mix and match patterns)
  2. Whisk together dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and separate into smaller dipping bowls

 

7. Grilled Apples à la Mode

 

 

Photo courtesy A Couple Cooks

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

We don’t know about you, but we simply won’t skip dessert at a summer barbecue.

Foil packet desserts are great for throwing on the barbecue while the sun goes down. We love this simple grill dessert that’s actually pretty healthy — before you add the ice cream!

Ingredients:

  • 2 red apples (Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, you pick!)
  • 2 tbsp. butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • Vanilla ice cream to serve

How to Make it:

  1. Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat
  2. Cut your apples into ¼” slices (don’t need to peel)
  3. Place apples in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil
  4. Top with butter cubes, sugars, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and toss to combine
  5. Seal the foil packet on top with another piece of foil, then poke small holes on top to allow moisture to escape
  6. Grill for 20-25 minutes, or until the apples are fork tender
  7. Top with ice cream and serve in bowls or out of foil

Dig in to this dessert to cool off on a hot day >

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