Grilled Side Dishes
Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream
Whether fruit, vegetable, or meat, pretty much anything can be improved by grilling. Adding a deep smoky flavor to recipe ingredients, like salad or dip components, results in dynamic dishes that are sure to please. Or just choosing more unusual foods to grill (pineapple, anyone?) can provide an interesting side that will leave guests talking.
Grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches, and the caramelization created by the fruit on the searing hot grates adds a bittersweet bite you'll never forget. You can use apricots or nectarines instead of peaches if you have those. Garnish with mint, if desired.
Charred Bean Salad
If you can find long beans at a farmers or Asian market, cook them directly on hot grill grates. Otherwise, put string beans in a grill basket set over high. The salad will keep for 2 days in the fridge. Make a weekly stash of this vinaigrette, a sweet, sour, salty, spicy, smoky condiment to spoon over grilled veg, fish, and pork.
Grilled Tempeh Skewers
The salty-sweet glaze complements the nutty, slightly tangy flavor of the tempeh. If you've never experimented with this soybean cake before, this is a good recipe to start with.
Crab-Stuffed Grilled Bell Peppers
This fast appetizer combines stuffed mini bell peppers and creamy crab dip into one pretty, portable bite. Use multicolored peppers for extra pop.
Andrew Zimmern's Grilled Corn and Snap Pea Salad
You can assemble this salad the day before you plan to serve it, but toss in dressing just before serving to keep Zimmern's salad as crisp as he intended.
Grilled Eggplant Planks with Miso Aioli
Grilling eggplant allows its flavor to really shine, but our four simple toppings take this speedy side to the next level. Top it with Miso Aioli, Sherry Vinaigrette, Creole Salsa, or Creamy Lemon-Garlic Dressing. Be sure to choose smaller eggplants; they'll be easier to slice and easier to handle on the grill.
Grilled Baba Ghanoush
Grilling the eggplant adds a charred note to this classic Middle Eastern dip. Let the slices steam after cooking so the flesh becomes even more tender. Serve with toasted pita, slices cucumber, or fennel.
Garlic-Lime Grilled Corn
A garlic and lime sauce adds delicious flavor to grilled corn, making for a perfect barbecue side.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
Ditch the deep-fryer for the grill in this lightened version of the typically breaded and fried party favorite. While our recipe cuts calories, fat, and sodium, we’ve still managed to sneak in crumbled bacon and plenty of cheesy goodness.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Okra
A sweet-tangy balsamic glaze makes this summertime appetizer irresistible. Using two skewers for the wrapped okra makes it easier to flip on the grill.
Grilled Green Onions with Corn and Tarragon
This combo goes well with grilled chicken or flank steak. Or serve with grilled zucchini planks.
Grilled Corn on the Cob With Roasted Jalapeño Butter
Charring the pepper eases the heat, yielding a versatile, not-too-spicy butter.
Smoky Red Pepper Dip with Grilled Crudités
Step aside, boring crudités—enter deliciously crunchy, lightly charred fennel and broccoli paired with grilled bread and juicy tomatoes.
Grilled Watermelon and Halloumi Salad with Minty Green Beans
If your farmers' market doesn't have slender haricots verts, grab a handful of regular green beans and cook them a couple of minutes longer. Halloumi is a wonderfully salty-nutty cheese that's firm enough to stand up to grilling; if you can't find it, use ricotta salata or queso fresco.
Grilled Asparagus with Fried Eggs and Pancetta
Asparagus and fried eggs are a classic springtime combo for good reason—they're delicious together. Medium-thick asparagus spears will char nicely outside while staying crisp-tender within.
Grilled Zucchini with Sea Salt
For more tender zucchini, leave slices in the pan an extra 1 minute on each side. When the flesh starts to look translucent, the zucchini is done.
Grilled Eggplant with Freekeh Pilaf
Pomegranate molasses brings tartness, and the feta adds a salty finish to this hearty side dish. Find the molasses where you buy Middle Eastern ingredients, or substitute balsamic glaze. Freekeh is a whole-grain cracked wheat with a nutty flavor and texture. If you can't find it, bulgur will work as well.
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks
What a showcase for garden treasures! Rainbow layers of veggies benefit from extra basil tucked in between for more flavor. Grilling brings out earthy tones that are balanced out by the tangy-sweet balsamic glaze.
Lemony Grilled Potato Salad
Grilling the vegetables brings unexpected smokiness to a familiar picnic staple.
Grilled Baby Eggplants with Green Onion Salsa
If you can't find Indian eggplants, as we used here, go for small, slender Japanese eggplants instead.
Miso Grilled Vegetables
Miso adds worlds of savory depth to fresh grilled vegetables.
Spicy Grilled Mango with Chiles and Crema
Grilled mango is a charred sweet treat, and here we top the gently charred slices with chiles, cilantro, and tangy Mexican crema. This quick dish is a study in balance: Sweet, spicy, sour, and salty flavors come together harmoniously and for maximum effect. Look for Mexican crema in the supermarket dairy section or in ethnic markets, or substitute crème fraîche.
Grilled Sweet Potato and Napa Cabbage Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
To save time, you could also cook the pumpkin seeds in a skillet directly on the grill.
Grilled Eggplant with Moroccan Spices
Cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and mint provide North African flavor for the tender grilled eggplant. A tangy spiced yogurt sauce complements each sweet and smoky slice.
Grilled French Bread
With only 3 ingredients, our healthier version of French bread delivers a simple and flavorful accompaniment to the table—fast.
Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad
Tender, savory lentils paired with cooked peppers and cilantro converts this dish from a bland bean salad to a delectable and healthy meal. Use any combination of sweet bell peppers you like: green, red, yellow, and purple.
Indian-Spiced Grilled Shrimp and Okra
Here's a fun way to cook okra; it retains some crunch and doesn't even think of getting slimy. The fresh serrano chile and curry powder offer a good bit of heat; seed the chile or omit it for a milder dish.
Grilled Pineapple-Avocado Salsa
Grilled pineapple brings a delicious layer of irresistible flavor—not to mention, a bed of bold color on which to pile the rest of your favorite taco fillings or a topping for your favorite chicken recipe.
Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado
This Latin-accented side is studded with guacamole components: jalapeño, cilantro, white onion, lime, and avocado. It’s a three-bean salad with a reason to be—spicy, creamy, beany.
Grilled Corn, Poblano, and Black Bean Salad
Here's a great side for grilled meats and fish. Be sure you don't skimp on the fresh cilantro. It brings an extra dash of fresh flavor.
Grilled Scallop Scampi Kebabs with Arugula and Herb Salad
Loads of flavor come from a simple combo of olive oil, garlic, and reduced white wine that serves as both a basting liquid and a dressing for the herbaceous salad.
Grilled Green Onions with Lemon and Parmesan
Bright green onions get a facelift when they hit the grill. A simple lemony dressing takes them to next-level freshness. Serve with grilled zucchini planks.
Grilled Watermelon Pizza
Get creative at your next cookout with this handheld take on watermelon salad. This all-star melon creates the perfect base for the bold flavors that are highlighted in the toppings.
Bell Pepper, Tomato, Cucumber, and Grilled Bread Salad
Bread salads put day-old loaves to brilliant use. The crunchy bread (it needs to be good, chewy bread) sops up the dressing, softens, and makes a counterpoint to the vegetables. Toss in grilled shrimp or chicken.
Grilled Leek and Radicchio Salad with Citrus-Walnut Vinaigrette
Bitter meets sweet in this warm salad. Leeks gain caramelized sweetness when given a subtle char, and citrus spiked with a touch of honey counters the radicchio's bite. It's important to let the vegetables sit for a bit after they're grilled to allow them to steam and become supple.
Grilled Apricot Halves
Brush grilled apricots with a mixture of olive oil, honey, and fresh thyme and serve as a simple side dish, over a bed of greens, or even as a topping for grilled pizza.
Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette
Briny capers are a lovely addition to Dijon vinaigrette—especially when drizzled on grilled asparagus.
Plank-Grilled Zucchini with Couscous, Spinach, and Feta Stuffing
Grilling zucchini over a cedar plank gives smokiness that enhances its mildly sweet flavor. Even when time is short, don’t skip the step of soaking the plank beforehand—this will prevent it from burning on the grill. Use the largest zucchini possible to prevent the filling from spilling out while cooking.
Kale Salad with Grilled Artichokes
Let those fresh artichokes simmer with lemon, wine, and herbs, then use them to top this supremely satisfying salad. Kale offers earthy flavor and chewy texture; pine nuts add crunch; plumped raisins balance the zingy Dijon-spiked dressing.
Grilled Summer Squash With Gremolata
This all-purpose, easy summer side goes great with just about any main dish. You can keep the cooking indoors by using a grill pan; because of the smaller surface area, you'll need to cook the squash in two batches.
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
Cooking the sweet potatoes on a grill retains vitamins that would be lost if they were boiled, and gives them a crisp, charred edge that contrasts with the sweet interior. Tossing them with the lemon-olive oil dressing brightens the flavor.
Pasta and Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese
This vibrant vegetable entrée is light and delicious. To ensure even grilling, cut the vegetables into large, similar-sized pieces. After they're cooked, they're chopped into bite-sized pieces. You can substitute yellow squash for zucchini.
Brush plantains (cooking bananas) with a mixture of butter and brown sugar and grill them until they are soft and tender.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled in its husk, the corn takes on a wonderful, lightly charred flavor while its sugars caramelize and intensify. Soaking in salted water lightly seasons the corn and helps keep it moist as it grills. Then, since the silks have been removed, just peel and enjoy.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Summer Fruit Salsa
Fresh fruit and succulent grilled shrimp capture the essence of summer in this dish.
Marinated Grilled Apples with Mint
Serve these highly-flavored apple rings as a side with pork or chicken. (One serving size for this recipe is three apple slices, but you can easily double the number of slices for even larger, guilt-free portions of this healthy dish.) We liked this recipe with Granny Smiths. For a dessert version, use Pink Lady apples and serve with low-fat ice cream.
Grilled Asparagus Rafts
This recipe is a nice twist on traditional grilled asparagus spears. Skewering groups of asparagus spears together makes them easier to flip on the grill. Sesame seeds lend additional crunch and a sprinkling of color to the dark green spears. The secret for cooking asparagus is simple: don’t overcook it. The slender shoots should turn out crisp and bright in color.
Cantaloupe and Grilled Fig Salad
The contrasting flavors of the sweet fruit and tangy lime juice plus the variety of textures in the fruits, nuts, and vegetables create an intriguing and beautiful first course.
Indian-Spiced Grilled Baby Squash
Grilling underscores the earthiness of the cumin and coriander, and enhances the nuttiness of this summer squash. Use white, orange, or yellow pattypan squash for the most colorful skewers.
Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Prevent these cheesy, tomato and rosemary-stuffed portobello caps from sticking by spraying a liberal coat of cooking spray on the grill. Round out this recipe with grilled chicken breasts, or sandwich the Portobello between two sturdy bun halves, piling with crisp bibb lettuce and other accoutrements.
Grilled Okra and Tomato Skewers
Assemble skewers the night before; brush them with the oil mixture before grilling. Flavor oil mixture with dried ground herbs to suit your taste. Look for okra pods of similar size to assure even grilling.
Grilled Bean and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos
Grilling the peppers over blazing flames not only saves countless time in the kitchen, but it also results in a blackened, sweet-charred skin. Round out this recipe with creamy-crunchy-tangy Spicy Jicama Slaw on the side.
Grilled Polenta with Tomatoes and White Beans
To keep this recipe quick and easy yet deliver attractive grill marks, we used a grill pan instead of firing up an outdoor grill. If you don't have a grill pan, use a nonstick skillet.
Grilled Vegetable Caprese with Pesto
The original Caprese salad consists of mozzarella, tomato, and basil, but our take adds grilled vegetables and homemade pesto for a hearty twist.
Grilled Pepper Poppers
The three-cheese filling is a nice complement for the spicy peppers. You can also use a milder chile, such as a cherry pepper. Shredded cheddar cheese can take the place of Parmesan, if you like.
Grilled Nectarines and Plums with Vanilla Bean Syrup
Grilling heightens the fruit's sweetness and flavor. Slightly firm fruit will stand up to the heat; if you're using ripe fruit, take it from the grill just a few minutes sooner than directed. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Grilled Vegetables and Chickpeas with Couscous
Served over couscous, this vegetable-bean combination makes a complete one-dish meal with rich flavors of the Middle East. Add Grilled Onion Raita as a side dish, or serve with hot pepper sauce.
Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Healthy antioxidant rich vegetables get a flavorful punch when marinated in balsamic vinaigrette and grilled.
Potato Salad with Herbs and Grilled Summer Squash
A cornichon is the French version of a gherkin. You'll find these small, tart pickles in gourmet grocery stores; otherwise, gherkins will work just fine. Or, if you have capers on hand, you may substitute 1 tablespoon drained capers for the pickles. Make this potato salad recipe up to two hours ahead.
Grilled Romaine with Creamy Herb Dressing
A brief turn over hot coals wilts hearty romaine lettuce ever so slightly and infuses it with a delicious smoky flavor, yielding a special salad that's simple to prepare. Serve with any type of grilled meat, fish, or burgers.
Italian Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion
This simple side dish is tastiest at room temperature, so it's an ideal make-ahead. Any leftovers would be good the next day for lunch with couscous.