Six Delicious & Unexpected Recipes For The Grill

Everyone loves grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. They’re as traditional as homemade apple pie and peanuts at a baseball game. From the zesty BBQ sauces of Kansas City to the hickory rubbed briskets of Texas, the roots of barbecue are slathered in tradition. Still, when you’re relaxing in your backyard and cooking with an open flame, there are no rules.

As a modern grill master, you’re free to explore unusual ingredients. Big, bold flavors and textures are the result of creativity so why not try something a bit unexpected? These six unique grilling recipes are perfect for everyone… with options for our vegetarian and vegan friends, too!

It’s A Pizza Party On The Grill

Melting cheese. Bubbly crust. There’s no doubt about it… pizza loves heat. No need to order out when you can cook pizza right on your very own grill. While it may take a while to learn the art of cranking out a picture-perfect pie, a grill generates serious heat and is the closest thing to a pizzeria deck oven.

Depending on your personal preference, you can skip the meat toppings and go vegetarian instead. Heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil are a classic pizza combination. Or you can up the creative ante and use a squash-based crust with the toppings of your choice. If you’re pressed on time, don’t worry about cooking the dough from scratch, you can buy a ready-made dough at the grocery store.

Either cook the pizza directly on the grill or place a ceramic pizza stone on the grates. Let the stone get hot and use it like the floor of a pizza oven. Cooking a backyard pie with a ceramic pizza stone is easier, but grill-marked pizzas are certain to impress the neighbors.

Grilled Pizza

Pizza

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Pizza

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Servings
8servings
Servings
8servings

Ingredients
  • 1 lb Pizza Dough store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cups Cheese Of Choice shredded or sliced
  • 2 cups Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Flour for rolling
  • Other Toppings As Desired

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Ingredients
  • 1 lb Pizza Dough store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cups Cheese Of Choice shredded or sliced
  • 2 cups Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Flour for rolling
  • Other Toppings As Desired

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Instructions
  1. Make the pizza dough or use ready-made pizza dough.
  2. Turn the grill on high heat and grease with olive oil.
  3. Prepare the toppings in separate bowls so they are ready to go on the pizza.
  4. Flatten the pizza dough on a floured surface. Use your fingers to stretch the dough, let sit for 5 minutes. Push on the edges until you have a round shape (do not make a raised rim as it will interfere with grilling).
  5. Place the dough on the grill and let cook until browned on each side (it will start to bubble).
  6. Apply sauce and toppings.
  7. Reduce heat and cook until cheese is bubbly (about 2-3 minutes).
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Char-Grilled Oysters On The Half Shell

Instead of heading out to your favorite fish shack for a dozen briny bivalves, try cooking them on the grill. The intense heat concentrates their briny flavor, bringing the ocean to your backyard. The heat also pops open their shells, so there’s no shucking involved. For a sweet yet spicy kick, add mango pico de gallo and red chili horseradish to each oyster.

Grilled Oysters

Oysters

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Oysters

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Servings
6servings
Servings
6servings

Ingredients
  • 3 dozen Large Oysters
  • Lemon Wedges for serving
  • Herb Butter for serving
  • Hot Sauce for serving

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Ingredients
  • 3 dozen Large Oysters
  • Lemon Wedges for serving
  • Herb Butter for serving
  • Hot Sauce for serving

Servings: servings

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Instructions
  1. Turn the grill to medium-high.
  2. Clean and scrub the oysters.
  3. When the grates are warm, places the oysters cupped side down.
  4. Cover the grill. The oysters will pop open in 2-3 minutes.
  5. Transfer them to a plate and serve with the mango pico de gallo and red chili horseradish, hot sauce, lemon wedges, or herb butter.
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Grilled Polenta With Roasted Red Peppers

Whether it’s potato salad, baked beans, green beans, or mac and cheese, side dishes shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s time to one-up the classics with a modern twist by thinking outside of the grill lines completely.

Polenta is boiled cornmeal, which means it’s soft and mushy. However, when it’s cooked on the grill, polenta is more like a crisp pancake than a soft porridge. It can be served as a side dish, incorporated into a main meal (grilled polenta with shrimp and escarole), or dressed up as an appetizer.

Grilled Polenta

Polenta With Roasted Red Peppers

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Polenta With Roasted Red Peppers

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Servings
12servings
Servings
12servings

Ingredients
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 cup Fresh Corn Kernels
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 3 Red Peppers thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Fresh Basil Leaves thinly sliced

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Ingredients
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 cup Fresh Corn Kernels
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 3 Red Peppers thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Fresh Basil Leaves thinly sliced

Servings: servings

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Instructions
  1. Boil the red peppers until charred (about 15 minutes). Let cool and peel off the skin. Cut into thin slices and place in a small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with oil, vinegar, 3/4 salt and basil. Stir and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water and a pinch of salt to boil, reducing the heat to low.
  4. Whisk in cornmeal, stirring often (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add the corn. Cook until tender and polenta is think enough to mound on a spoon (about 5-10 minutes). Stir in cheese.
  6. Spread in greased 13x9-inch glass baking dish. Let set and cool (about 30 minutes).
  7. Cut polenta into 12 squares. Place on greased grill over medium heat. Close and turn once (about 8 minutes per side).
  8. Serve topped with red peppers.
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Grilled Curry Tofu With Sweet And Spicy Tamarind Chutney

Our vegan and vegetarian friends often get the short end of the stick when it comes to backyard barbecues, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Vegetarians need something to get fired up about too – something that doesn’t involve smoked and cured brisket or pasture-raised heritage hogs.

Tofu is perfectly suited for the grill because it’s firm and won’t crumble and slip through the grates. Plus, tofu is gluten-free, low calorie, and loaded with protein, iron and calcium. Serve it with sweet and spicy chutney and a side of broccoli and your vegetarian friends will be in nirvana.

Grilled Curry Tofu

Curry Tofu With Sweet And Spicy Tamarind Chutney

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Curry Tofu With Sweet And Spicy Tamarind Chutney

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Servings
8servings
Servings
8servings

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups Extra-Firm Tofu drained
  • 1 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup Tamarind Concentrate
  • 10 Small Dates pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Agave Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ginger finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper optional

Servings: servings

Units:
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups Extra-Firm Tofu drained
  • 1 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup Tamarind Concentrate
  • 10 Small Dates pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Agave Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ginger finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper optional

Servings: servings

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Instructions
  1. Blend tamarind concentrate, dates, agave syrup, ginger, cumin 1/4 teaspoon salt and cayenne in a blender until smooth.
  2. Cut the tofu into eight 1/2-inch thick slices. Lightly brush each slice with oil and season on both sides with curry powder and remaining salt and pepper.
  3. On high heat, grill the tofu slices until golden (about 2-3 minutes) on each side.
  4. Serve with tamarind chutney for dipping.
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Grilled Sesame Squid

Korean barbecue is just as mouth-watering as anything you’ll find in Kansas City. Most restaurants that serve Korean barbecue prepare the dishes on a gas or charcoal grill that is built into the table. But you don’t have to pay top dollar to enjoy this type of cuisine when you can do it right in your own backyard.

While the centerpiece of Korean barbecue is typically meat, you can exchange charred, juicy cuts of pork shoulder and short ribs for tender seafood. In fact, squid is a Korean barbecue favorite. The key is to buy whole squid and grill it on high heat. Pre-cut rings will slip through the grate, and high heat chars the squid quickly, keeping it springy and moist. Serve the squid with kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish made of fermented vegetables, or cucumber salad.

Grilled Sesame Squid

Sesame Squid

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Sesame Squid

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Servings
4servings
Servings
4servings

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds Squid cleaned
  • 2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Vegetable Oil for grilling

Servings: servings

Units:
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds Squid cleaned
  • 2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Vegetable Oil for grilling

Servings: servings

Units:
Instructions
  1. Prep the grill by rubbing vegetable oil on the grate.
  2. Toss the cleaned squid, salt, pepper, and toasted sesame oil in a bowl.
  3. Turn heat on high and grill squid until lightly charred (about 2-4 minutes).
  4. Serve squid whole or cut into rings.
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All Aboard The Banana Boat

Chances are you probably don’t think about whipping up a dessert on the grill. Summer is about ice cream and fresh fruit, right? But here’s the thing: you have to get creative and mix it up (even Ben & Jerry know that!).

Just about any type of fruit can be cooked on the grill, from peaches and pineapples to watermelon and grapefruit. Jazz up some grilled fruit with a scoop of sorbet and you have the quintessential summer dessert.

Or you can opt for something more decadent, and kid-friendly – grilled banana boats. It’s the sort of dessert you can easily whip up for the kids when you go camping. But it also has a “hip” factor – like the resurgence of pineapple upside-down cake – that will put a smile on anyone’s face.

Grilled Bananas

Banana Boat

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Banana Boat

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Servings
4servings
Servings
4servings

Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Ripe Bananas unpeeled
  • 4 tbsp Miniature Marshmallows
  • 4 tsp Chocolate Chips

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Units:
Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Ripe Bananas unpeeled
  • 4 tbsp Miniature Marshmallows
  • 4 tsp Chocolate Chips

Servings: servings

Units:
Instructions
  1. Create a pocket by cutting the peel lengthwise 1/2 inch deep.
  2. Fill the pocket with marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  3. Shape four pieces of aluminum foil around the bananas, creating boats.
  4. Grill the bananas over medium heat for 5-10 minutes (the marshmallows should be golden brown).
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