When hosting your own barbecue or making a barbecue feast, you definitely want to keep your attention on not only the meat you want to grill, but the sides you want to make with it! Everyone loves some good sides and I find that delicious food sides make me a lot more excited to eat the main dish! If you feel as if the meat you are cooking, makes you feel guilty about the lack of nutrition (the saltiness and fattiness aspect), then I have a great array of nutritional sides that you can whip up to make you feel less guilty about the meal you are about to devour! Fruits and vegetables are a wonderful option to consider as a side dish to the main attraction, so definitely keep them in consideration. They are light on the stomach and very refreshing, which can help immensely in between bites of savory meat! Whether you are grilling in the comfort of your own home or in the presence of friends and family, don’t throw these delicious fruit and vegetable recipes aside! Trust me when I say they are well worth it for your next barbecue!
Grilled Fruit Recipes
Let’s first divert our attention to the myriad of creative and delicious grilled fruit recipes that are out there! If you are looking for a way to provide a unique aspect to your barbecue and really enjoy the taste of fruit then these recipes are surely something you should try! The fruit offers a sweet and juicy taste, while the grilling part of the fruit recipes allow for a smoky flavor that would normally sound gross with the sweet taste of fruit, but actually complements the flavors very nicely!
Grilled Summer Fruit (www.foodnetwork.com)
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
● Nonstick spray
● 3 tablespoons of sugar
● 3 firm, but ripe nectarines that are halved and pitted
● 3 firm, but ripe red plums that are halved and pitted
● 3 firm, but ripe purple or black plums that are halved and pitted
● 6 metal skewers or thick, wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for about 30 minutes
1. Spray some nonstick spray on the grill rack of the barbecue and heat the barbecue to about medium-high heat. Thread approximately one piece of each of the three fruits on each of the six skewers. Make sure that the sides where the fruit has been is cut are lined up properly so that you are able to lay the skewers flat on the barbecue rack. Then proceed to sprinkle sugar over the cut sides of the fruit and allow the sugar to dissolve (this will be about 10 minutes long).
2. Then proceed to place the fruit skewers on the grill, cut side down and grill up all the fruit until it has been heated through and caramelized. This should take about 5 minutes, Transfer about 1 fruit skewer to each plate and serve.
*If you do not want to do plums, some other delicious alternatives can be apricots or peaches!
Saucy and Sweet Grilled Pineapple (thekitchn.com)
Yields: 12-18 pieces
● 1 plastic squirt gun
● ½ cup of grand marnier liqueur
● 1 cup of brown sugar
● 1 whole pineapple
● 1 stick of butter that is melted
1. Start by cutting your pineapples into 1-inch spears (think of it like a pickle!). Toss the pineapple spears in the melted butter then the brown sugar, making sure that each and every pineapple is coated as evenly as possible. Then proceed to fill the squirt gun up with the Grand Marnier.
2. Heat your grill up to medium-high heat. Place the pineapple spears directly over the grill grates and squirt them all with Grand Marnier. Turn all the spears over and proceed to spray them again. Repeat the process over until all the sides of the spears have been caramelized slightly and they show signs of grill marks. Remove all pineapple spears from the grill and place them on a plate. These will surely be a delicious hit among your friends and family! Enjoy!
Grilled Fruit Skewers with a Spicy Maple Cumin Glaze (www.epicurious.com)
Yields: 4 bamboo skewers
Ingredients for Glaze
● ½ cup of pure maple syrup
● ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
● ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
● ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
● About 4 cups of fruit chunks such as pineapple, peaches, and or bananas
1. Soak up the bamboo skewers in a bowl of water and set the skewers aside. Build up a charcoal fire that is great for direct grilling!
2. Combine the maple syrup, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and ground cinnamon in a medium bowl and be sure to mix well. Add in the fruit chunks and toss them gently in order to coat with the glaze properly. Proceed to cover the bowl and refrigerate.
3. Thread the fruit on the soaked skewers making sure to alternate between each fruit type. Then place the skewers on the grill and cook them up directly over the medium-high heat for about 1-½ minutes on each side or until the fruit is browned and caramelized. Be sure to serve the fruit warm.
I showed you some recipes for delicious grilled fruit as a great side to accompany your barbecue meal, but if you feel like you have other sides to pursue and want to think of healthy, delicious dessert alternatives than check out these mouthwatering desserts, fruit grilling recipes! The best part is that they are so incredibly easy, so you do not need to spend so much time and effort to come up with a unique dessert!
Grilled Strawberries and Bananas over Ice Cream (www.keepinglifesane.com)
● About 12 strawberries
● About 3 bananas
● Brown sugar
● Some vanilla ice creams
● Chocolate sauce (optional)
1. First begin by washing off all the strawberries and cutting of their stems.
2. Proceed to alternate a banana and strawberry on each skewer.
3. Sprinkle on some brown sugar (you can totally decide how much you wish to sprinkle!)
4. Place the skewers on a hot grill and grill them up for about 4-5 minutes. Flip the skewers over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
5. After grilling them up, place the cooked fruit on top of some vanilla ice cream. You can add chocolate sauce if you are feeling really fancy!
Stone Fruit Pouches (www.foodnetwork.com)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
● 4 teaspoons of lime zest
● 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of sugar
● A pinch of salt
● 2 limes that are juiced
● 4 teaspoons of brandy
● 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
● 2 cups of crushed gingersnaps
● 4 plums that have the pit removed and cut into fourths
● 4 apricots that have the pit removed and cut into eighths
1. Begin by heating coals of grill or fire pit.
2. Cut 8 (about 18 by 18 inch) squares of aluminum foil.
3. Be sure to lay down about an extra layer of thickness to the foil and divide the gingersnaps amongst the 4 squares of foil (remember you are doing two foils per gingersnap).
4. Dot the gingersnaps with butter.
5. In a small bowl combine ingredient such as lime zest, sugar, and salt.
6. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the fruit and drizzle it up with the juice and brandy. Proceed to seal up the fruit within the aluminum.
7. Once all the coals are ash covered, lay the packets of aluminum over them and cover it up with the lid of a grill.
8. If you decide to cook these up in a fire pit then it is recommended that you try to partially bury the packets in hot coals. Proceed to cook for about 10 minutes.
9. Remove the packets from the heat and open them up carefully as the steam within the packet is very hot.
10. Serve them all up on plates and top off with some delicious ice cream!
Vegetable Grilling Recipes
If you are feeling as if the fruit grilling is not the direction you wish to head with your barbecue than maybe a delicious serving of grilled vegetables is what you need instead! Grilled veggies offer better nutritional value than other common barbecue sides but still hold true to that traditional smoky barbecue flavor that everyone enjoys! Check out these super easy grilled veggies recipes!
Grilled Vegetable Platter (www.tasteofhome.com)
Total Time: 20 minutes with a 10-minute grill time
● ¼ cup of olive oil
● 4 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
● 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
● 2 tablespoons of honey
● ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
● Dash of salt
● ⅛ teaspoon of pepper
● 1 medium red onion that is cut into wedges
● 1 medium yellow summer squash that is cut into ½ inch slices
● 1 large sweet red pepper that is cut into 1-inch strips
● 3 small carrots that are cut into halves lengthwise
● 1 pound of fresh asparagus, trimmed
1. Whisk up the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Place about 3 teaspoons of the marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add in the vegetables and then seal bag. Turn to to coat. Marinate your vegetables for about 1-½ hours at about room temperature.
2. Transfer the vegetables to a grilling grid and place the grid on a grill rack. Grill the vegetables up, covered, over medium heat for a time of about 8-12 minutes or until the veggies are crisp and tender. Be sure to turn them occasionally.
3. Place the veggies on a large serving plate and drizzle up with remaining marinade.
The Best Grilled Vegetables (www.thestayathomechef.com)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
● 2 sliced zucchinis
● 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
● 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
● 1 red onion, cut into chunks
● 1 teaspoon of salt
● 3 tablespoons of olive oil
● ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
● ½ teaspoon of onion powder
● ½ teaspoon of black pepper
● 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
1. Preheat any outdoor grill to a medium-high heat which is about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine all the vegetables into a mixing bowl and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Cook all veggies on a grill in a grill basket over medium-high heat until the vegetables become tender and the tomatoes pop. This will take about 15-20 minutes. If needed, add more salt and pepper to your desired taste. Serve the veggies hot.
World’s Easiest Grilled Vegetables (www.kalynskitchen.com)
Yields: 3-4 servings
Total Time: 25-30 minutes including marinating time
● 2 medium zucchinis
● 1 large sweet onion
● 1 large red bell pepper
● ½ cup of Italian salad dressing
● A pinch of dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, dried basil, or ground fennel
● Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season up the vegetables after grilling
1. Cut off the ends of the zucchini and then cut them lengthwise. Do not cut beyond 2 inches thick.
2. Peel the onion, cut off ends of onion, cut in half and then break apart each individual layer, cutting them into the same-size pieces.
3. Cut up the red bell pepper in half, take out the seeds and stem and then cut into pieces that are the same size as the onion and zucchini.
4. Put all the vegetables into a Ziploc plastic bag. Choose a bag or plastic container with a lid, that is small enough for the vegetables to be well coated by the marinade.
5. Pour in enough dressing to coat the vegetables (this is about ½ a cup). Add in dried herbs if you desire to and then close up the bag or container and proceed to marinate in fridge for about 4-6 hours. All day is fine too.
6. Place a grill pan on the grill grate and preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
7. Drain all vegetables into a colander and then let the dressing drain off while the grill stays preheated. Be sure the dressing is drained off properly so no flare-ups occur during the grilling process.
8. Once grill/pan are hot, pour out the vegetables and spread them around so that they all are touching the surface of the pan. Cook all veggies with the grill lid closed, but be sure to stir the vegetables up every 5 minutes or so, that way you can ensure that the veggies are browned on all sides.
9. Cook about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and slightly crisp/charred around the edges.
10. Serve your veggies up hot with some salt and fresh ground pepper for seasoning.
Hopefully these recipes have peaked your interest into what you can cook for your next dinner or large-scale barbecue event. Whatever it may be, you can feel confident that your barbecue sides and desserts are certainly not lacking when compared with the entrees, overall creating a quality barbecue experience that you will want to recreate over and over again!