35+ Healthy Grilling Recipes for Summer

Ready to start tasting those smoky summer flavors again? We’ve got you covered with these healthy and nutritious grilling recipes. From some of the best plant-based foods for grilling to classic barbecued chicken and more, these recipes are sure to become staples in your summer repertoire. Recipes like our Grilled Salmon and Peaches with Basil-Pistachio Gremolata and our Grilled Zucchini with Parmesan are the perfect way to enjoy all the freshness summer produce has to offer.


Grilled Bone-In Pork Chops


Juicy grilled pork chops with a tiny bit of sweetness and a faint hint of spiciness make for an excellent dinner main that pairs with practically any side. A simple brine imparts flavor, but mostly keeps the pork chops from drying out; just don’t marinate the meat for any longer than 4 hours or it’ll soften the texture.



Grilled Lemon-Pepper Salmon in Foil


We’re willing to bet that this easy grilled salmon in foil recipe will become a regular in your weeknight dinner rotation. Cooking fish in foil keeps it super-moist, plus you don’t have to worry about the fish sticking to the grill. Butter, lemon pepper and fresh parsley perk up the flavors for this versatile main course. Cook some vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini and corn, alongside the fish packets for a healthy dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes.



Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Caper Sauce


This healthy grilled chicken breast recipe–a twist on chicken piccata–features a creamy white-wine-and-caper pan sauce that gets a burst of summer flavor from fresh grape tomatoes and basil. Pounding the chicken prior to grilling ensures even cooking and makes this easy dinner even faster. The piccata sauce would also be great with shrimp, firm white fish or pork.



Charred Green Beans with Mustard Vinaigrette & Hazelnuts


Our go-to trick for this crunchy, mustardy vegan side dish: Use a grill basket–it lets you cook all the things that would ordinarily fall through the grill grates, no skewering required. Pick one up from the hardware store or order one online for less than $15.



Grilled Salmon and Peaches with Basil-Pistachio Gremolata


Grilling a large salmon fillet is a surefire way to wow guests at the table. It’s also easier than grilling individual fillets and adds a little insurance against overcooking. If you’re nervous about grilling the fish, take heart: You don’t have to flip it, the skin keeps it intact, and even though you’re cooking it over both direct and indirect heat, it stays put on the grill. The skin crisps up beautifully, and the spice rub adds bold notes that pair well with sweet peaches and red onion.



Grilled Beef & Vegetable Kebabs


These easy grilled beef & vegetable kebabs are not only delicious–they’re economical too. Tri-tip is an inexpensive and flavorful cut of beef that takes beautifully to cooking over an open flame. Thread it onto skewers with colorful veggies and marinate for up to eight hours before cooking on the grill or over your campfire. Either way, it’s a healthy and tasty summer meal.



Grilled Salmon with Cilantro-Ginger Sauce


Ginger, fish sauce and honey combine to create a delicious basting sauce in this easy grilled salmon recipe. Look for Thai red chiles in the produce section of your grocery store, or use a green or red jalapeño instead. Not only is this salmon dish delicious, it also takes just 25 minutes to prepare, making it the ideal centerpiece for a healthy weeknight dinner.



Mojito-Marinated Chicken Kebabs


A quick mint, lime and rum marinade does double duty as a sauce for these easy grilled chicken kebabs. Using agave cuts the sugars in this recipe by half compared to granulated sugar. Plus, we love the added south-of-the-border flavor. Grill some vegetables and corn on the cob along with the kebabs and you have a healthy weeknight dinner that’s special enough to serve to company.



Grilled Eggplant Salad


This easy grilled eggplant salad is the healthy side dish you’ll want to serve all summer long. It comes together in just 25 minutes and can be served warm or at room temperature, so it’s equally suited to casual parties and weeknight dinners. The combination of eggplant, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, red onions and fresh herbs makes for a salad that’s full of bright flavors and colors. Serve it with grilled chicken or fish or as part of a vegetarian mezze platter with dips like hummus and pita bread.



Grilled Fennel-Rubbed Pork Chops & Apricots


Toasting and grinding your own spices for a flavorful rub is the quickest, easiest way to build surefire flavor in this easy pork chop recipe. Serve with a simple tossed salad and some roasted sweet potatoes to round out the meal.



Vegetarian All-American Portobello Burgers


Portobello mushrooms stand in for meat patties in this recipe for veggie burgers with all the fixings. Mushrooms are a source of glutamate, a naturally occurring compound that gives the fungi their umami flavor. But to really give these “patties” a savory boost, we brush them with steak sauce. Add a simple side salad or some grilled veggies for a satisfying and easy dinner on the grill.



Herb-Grilled Chicken Frites


We combine fresh herbs, capers, lemon juice and olive oil along with the juices collected from the chicken as it rests to make a simple sauce that livens up this take on poulet frites, or chicken and fries.



Easy Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Salsa Verde


Fresh cilantro, parsley, and lime juice make a tangy green salsa that adds lively flavor to this easy grilled shrimp recipe.



Grilled Zucchini with Parmesan


Grilled zucchini is one of the great food joys of summer. In this easy recipe, the crunchy, bright breadcrumbs offset the sweet, soft zucchini in the most delightful way. Serve this healthy side with grilled chicken, fish or shrimp or as part of a vegetarian summer meal. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you have a bumper crop of zucchini.



Grilled Corn Salad with Chili-Miso Dressing


Serve this Asian salad with grilled steak, chicken or firm white fish like halibut. You can also double the recipe and bring it to your next potluck. If you can find tatsoi, a peppery Asian leafy green, use it instead of mild-mannered spinach. Store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce and umami-packed white miso build fast flavor in this easy summer salad.



Grilled Short Ribs & Cherry Tomatoes with Chimichurri


Short ribs lend themselves to braising–but don’t stop there. You can get surprisingly tender results on the grill too. Here the ribs are used in an easy dinner recipe that’s ready in just 20 minutes. Hailing from South America, chimichurri is a fresh herb sauce that gets a little heat from crushed red pepper.



Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Almond Pesto & Butter Beans


Need some new meatless dinner ideas? This vegan recipe for grilled cauliflower steaks with buttery (but butter-free!) butter beans and almond pesto comes together in just 25 minutes but is impressive enough to serve to guests. We’re sorry to ask you to buy 2 heads of cauliflower to make this recipe when you only cut a couple of “steaks” from each, but it guarantees the best results. Just think of it this way: having leftovers gives you an excuse to try one of our many other healthy cauliflower recipes!



Chipotle Chicken Satay with Grilled Vegetables


Plan ahead before you prep the grill for this grilled chicken recipe: marinating the chicken in a mix of peanut butter, lime, and chipotle peppers results in tender meat and bold flavors.



Tandoori Grilled Tofu with Red Peppers & Broccolini


Spiced yogurt does two jobs here as both the marinade and the sauce for this grilled tofu recipe.



Grilled Skirt Steak with Corn-Tomato Relish


Corn, tomato and basil scream summer, but simplicity makes this easy dinner recipe perfect for the season. Serve the grilled skirt steak and relish with salad greens for a quick and healthy dinner you’ll want to make over and over.



Heirloom Tomato Salad with Charred Corn & Pepper Salsa


The roasted pepper and corn salsa that tops this gorgeous tomato salad has a kick from the tart sherry vinegar and moderately spicy and fruity Aleppo pepper. Red-wine vinegar and ground ancho chile are good alternatives. Grill some chicken, fish or other protein along with the corn for an easy summer dinner.



Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa


For this easy grilled pork tenderloin recipe, both the pork and the salsa ingredients are cooked on the BBQ, so you don’t have to heat up the kitchen to prepare a healthy summer dinner. Grilling stone fruit caramelizes its sugars, enhances its sweetness and infuses it with smoky flavor. Any combination of peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots will work in this salsa–use 3 medium fruit total or about 4 to 5 small fruit. Try the salsa on chicken or fish too.



Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Honey-Balsamic Glaze


This lightning-fast side dish produces deliciously sweet Brussels sprouts, thanks to honey that caramelizes and crispy, salty bacon. They’re so good your kids will even eat them! If the Brussels sprouts are hard to skewer, consider microwaving them a minute longer and then try skewering again. If you’d like to make this Brussels sprouts recipe vegetarian, simply omit the bacon.



All-American BBQ Chicken Thighs


In this healthy chicken thigh recipe, bottled barbecue sauce–often loaded with sodium and high-fructose corn syrup–is replaced with a homemade barbecue sauce recipe. Use the barbecue sauce to baste the chicken thighs while cooking–but if you want to also serve the barbecue sauce at the table, separate some before grilling to avoid cross-contamination.



Grilled Asparagus


Grilling is a simple and fast way to cook asparagus that yields a delicious result every time. Trimming off about one inch of the asparagus yields the best flavor–the ends are tough and hard to chew.



Spicy Tamarind Chicken


This marinade is best on quick-cooking cuts of meat like this spicy grilled chicken, as the sugars in it can burn if on the grill for too long. Use the grill to cook the rest of your meal, too–Japanese eggplant and shishito peppers would be nice.



Grilled Broccoli Wedges with Herb Vinaigrette


Lightly charring the broccoli then finishing over indirect heat allows the stems to get tender without becoming too burnt.



Baked Potatoes on the Grill


Ever wonder how to make baked potatoes on the grill? It’s easy! Just wrap the potatoes in a double layer of foil (which keeps in the steam that cooks your potato) and transform your gas or charcoal grill into an oven. The result: a lightly smoke-flavored skin and a fluffy tender potato on the inside that you can flavor with a dollop of sour cream and your favorite seasonings.



Mexican Street Corn


Soaking the corn in its husk in water for up to two hours before grilling is definitely a new approach to cooking corn on the cob, but give it a try! The addition of salt, spices and cheese takes this side dish to new levels.



Spice-Rubbed Grilled Whole Chicken


Crispy skin, tender meat and charred skin make for a delicious dinner main. Plus, the blend of paprika, cumin and cinnamon match deliciously with the chicken. You can eat this grilled chicken as-is–perhaps with a side of grilled vegetables and roasted potatoes–or shred it and put it in a salad.



Ricotta-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Arugula Salad


This easy vegetarian meal gets a double hit of umami from mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. Grill some crusty bread, then rub it with garlic and drizzle it with olive oil to serve alongside these stuffed portobello mushrooms.



Grilled Pizza with Summer Squash, Feta & Basil


Spreading roasted red pepper hummus on this easy grilled pizza makes a fast and easy base for tender summer squash and salty chunks of feta. Best of all? This healthy pizza is ready in 20 minutes.



Grilled Eggplant & Summer Squash Salad


The homemade balsamic reduction is the key to this healthy grilled eggplant and summer squash salad. It’s easy to make but watch the vinegar as it reduces; it can burn easily. If you have any left over, drizzle it on strawberries.



Grilled Fish with Peperonata


This healthy grilled fish dish is made for easy summertime entertaining. The peperonata can be made in advance and reheated while you grill the fish.



Grilled Steak with Chimichurri


Chimichurri is a robust, herby sauce from Argentina that’s typically partnered with grilled beef–here we’re serving it with grilled flank or hanger steak, two lean and flavorful cuts of beef that are great for grilling, for an easy dinner recipe that takes just 30 minutes to prep. The sauce is equally delicious over grilled fish, pork or chicken.



Easy Grilled Zucchini


Looking for a new way to cook zucchini? Try grilling it.


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