Grilling season is here! Break out the BBQ and get ready to try these delicious summer BBQ recipes.
Just in time for the 4th of July weekend, these flavorful recipes will impress guests at your next potluck or BBQ but are healthy and easy enough to put together for your family on a weeknight as well.
The bright and creative BBQ mains and sides included in the list below are some of my favorites to serve up when I’m craving something light and fresh on a hot summer day. Let’s get grilling!
Delicious Summer BBQ Recipes
1. Grilled Chipotle Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
These grilled fish tacos are everything I want from a flavorful fish taco. Grilling the fish instead of breading or frying leads to not only a healthier but fresher and lighter result - making these tacos perfect for a toasty summer day.
The flavorful chipotle marinade is easy to throw together in a blender, making your prep time in 5 minutes or less. If you’re not a fan of spice, try adding just 1 chipotle to your marinade, or if you like it spicier, add 3 or 4.
I tend to aim for a happy medium with 2 chipotles because it lends enough spice for me to be satisfied, but not enough for picky eaters to be scared away.
Top with fresh mango salsa or your favorite store-bought salsa for ease! I also love queso fresco, lime, a touch of sour cream, and hot sauce. Feel free to top with your favorite toppings and make these deliciously grilled fish tacos your own!
Fish Marinade Ingredients:
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- From 1 can of Chipotles with Adobo
- 2 Chipotles
- 1 Tbsp Adobo
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Lime, juice of
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Mango Salsa Ingredients:
- 2 Mangos, diced
- ¼ Cup Red Onion, finely chopped
- ½ Jalapeño, finely chopped
- ½ Cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed Lime Juice
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Taco Toppings Ingredients:
- Sour Cream
- Queso Fresco
- Hot Sauce
- Make the fish marinade by combining ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.
- Add fish marinade to a large Ziploc bag, and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Make mango salsa by combining ingredients. Serve immediately or save in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Grill the fish over high heat to get a nice sear on both sides. Make sure the grate is clean and oiled, and use a metal spatula to help with sticking. After 4-5 minutes on each side, move to a cooler spot on the grill and finish cooking until the desired doneness.
- Sear tortillas on the grill.
- Assemble tacos with sour cream, fish, mango salsa, queso fresco, fresh lime, and your favorite hot sauce.
2. Chimichurri Jalapeño Turkey Burger
I’m all for a classic beef burger, but if you’re trying to go lighter and leaner to hit your health goals this summer, turkey or chicken burgers are great options! With the flavorful combination of these chimichurri jalapeño burgers, you may never want to go back to the classic.
Both ground chicken or turkey will play along beautifully with fresh summer herbs and a touch of jalapeño in this delicious homemade burger recipe. But what really makes this burger shine is the chimichurri mayo.
If you’ve never had chimichurri before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a colorful and flavorful sauce that adds so much to meat dishes. This chimichurri is a beautiful addition to grilled steaks or chicken in the summer but mixed with mayo, and it makes a unique topping for a burger that will wow both you and your guests.
I topped my burger with Havarti cheese, guacamole, chimichurri mayo, and arugula; but this burger would also be great with red onion, tomato, mixed greens, or jalapeño or poblano peppers blistered on the grill. As always, make this burger your own!
Biting into this juicy, mouthwatering burger is like taking a straight bite of summer. These burgers are fresh and flavorful, light and satisfying, and sure to be the star of the show at your summer gatherings and BBQ this year.
Turkey Burger Ingredients:
- 1 LB Ground Turkey or Chicken
- 1 Tbsp Jalapeño, minced
- 2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
- ½ Cup Cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Coriander
- ½ tsp Pepper
Chimichurri Mayo Ingredients:
- ¼ Cup Red Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1-2 Tbsp Jalapeño
- 1 Cup Cilantro
- ½ Cup Parsley
- 3 Tbsp fresh Lime Juice
- 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (I forgot my red wine vinegar when making this video (oops), so I subbed with more lime juice, you could use lemon or white wine vinegar as well)
- ¾ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika (optional)
- ¼ tsp Chili Flakes (optional)
- ¼ - ½ Cup Mayo (depending on desired consistency and flavor)
Burger Toppings Ingredients:
- Toasted Bun (or lettuce for a lettuce wrap)
- Chimichurri Mayo
- Combine turkey burger ingredients, mix in a large bowl. Separate into 4 individual patties and shape using your hands or Saran wrap.
- Make the chimichurri mayo by combining all ingredients in a blender except for mayo. Once blended well, combine with mayo, and mix to desired consistency and flavor.
- Grill the burgers over high heat to get a nice sear on both sides. Make sure the grate is clean and oiled, and use a metal spatula to help with sticking. After 4-5 minutes on each side, move to a cooler spot on the grill and finish cooking until the desired doneness, and add cheese on top if desired to melt.
- Grill buns until they’re toasted to your liking.
- Assemble burgers, topping with your avocado, arugula, chimichurri mayo, and any other desired ingredients.
Fresh Summer Sides to Bring to a BBQ or Potluck
3. Strawberry Spinach Summer Salad
This delicious strawberry spinach salad is the perfect showstopper to bring to a potluck or dinner party and is usually my first choice when assigned to bring a salad.
This salad starts with a base that may feel familiar with spinach, strawberries, and avocado. But the addition of red onions, sliced pistachios and almonds, feta cheese, and a sweet and zesty homemade strawberry Dijon vinaigrette takes this salad to the next level.
Make a little extra and leave the dressing on the side so you can enjoy this salad the next day. It makes for a delicious and healthy lunch or dinner when paired with grilled chicken or salmon. Feel free to sub out the feta for your favorite crumbled cheese or choose your favorite nuts to add a tasty crunch to this beautiful meal.
- 1 Package Spinach
- 8 oz Strawberries, halved
- 1 Large Avocado, sliced
- ½ Red Onion, thinly sliced
- ½ Cup Crumbled Feta
- ⅓ Cup Sliced Almonds
- ⅓ Cup Pistachios, shelled and chopped
Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1 Cup Strawberries
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Honey (optional)
- ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Garlic Clove
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Add dressing ingredients to the blender, blend at high speed until smooth.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Assemble salad, drizzle with dressing to taste.
4. Mediterranean Couscous Salad
This couscous salad is packed with flavor, easy to prepare, and contains delicious, good-for-you ingredients! This salad has a few more steps than most, but it comes together quickly and is worth the few extra steps that make this salad a standout!
The vegetables included are inspired by fresh Mediterranean flavors. The roasted chickpeas are lightly seasoned, add some protein, and bring a welcome crispy and savory touch to this salad.
The dressing is tangy and sweet and uses only honey to sweeten. With all its glorious flavor, it’s amazing how healthy this recipe is for you. Bring to your next get together or BBQ, and this salad will have guests asking for the recipe!
- 1 Can chickpeas, well rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ tsp each: ground cumin, ground chili powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Optional: ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Cup Cous Cous (cooked according to package)
- 1 ½ Cups chopped cucumber
- 1 ½ Cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ Cup Kalamata Olives, halved
- ¼ Cup Italian Parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Lemons, zest and juice of
- 1 ½ Tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- Feta Cheese (optionial)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chickpeas in a bowl, ad 1 Tbsp Olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Mix well, making sure chickpeas are completely covered in spices. Spread chickpeas in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing halfway, and cooked until crisp and lightly browned.
- Prepare cous cous according to package, and fluff with a fork when finished.
- While cous cous is cooking prepare veggies, by chopping everything up if you haven’t already.
- Prepare dressing by adding olive oil, lemon zest and juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and dried oregano. Whisk until combined.
- To serve as a salad combine cous cous, veggies, cooled chickpeas, and salad dressing in a bowl. Toss well and serve with feta cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If meal prepping to save for later, keep salad dressing separate, as this salad doesn’t save well if already dressed.
5. Summer Tex Mex Quinoa Salad
This zesty quinoa salad takes advantage of all the fresh flavors of summer. A blend of quinoa, pinto beans, fresh corn, and cucumbers converge with red onions and herbs, and a zesty red wine vinaigrette for a totally clean and tasty side - that would be perfect for taking along to summer barbecues and potlucks!
Feel free to mix up any of the veggies or herbs to your liking or use whatever you have on hand. I’ve been known to throw chopped grilled zucchini or charred bell peppers into the mix. And if I don’t have fresh cilantro or green onions, chives are a tasty substitute.
- 1 Cup Quinoa, cooked according to package
- 1 Can Pinto Beans (or Black Beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 Cup Corn (about 2 corn cobs)
- ½ English Cucumber, chopped
- ½ Red Onions, diced
- Big Handful of Spinach, chopped
- ½ Cup Cilantro, chopped
- ½ Cup Green Onions, chopped Sprinkle of Feta Cheese
- ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Chili Powder
- Ground Pepper to taste
- Combine salad ingredients and mix well.
- Make the dressing by combining red wine vinegar, cumin, chili powder, and ground pepper. Whisk to combine, and drizzle dressing over salad.
- Toss salad. Serve, or keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I hope you enjoy these delicious summer BBQ recipes, and I encourage you to get creative in your kitchen this summer. Share in the comments your favorite healthy grilling recipes and sides to make for summer get-togethers and potlucks!