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Grilling Ideas for a Unique Barbecue

Grilling Ideas for a Unique Barbecue

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Try these grilling ideas for your next barbecue

Have fun with these easy and unique grilling ideas!

Hosting a barbecue event is always a challenge for a host or hostess who consistently pushes the envelope to host mastery-level events. Barbecues are pretty straightforward: you grill some meat and some seasonal vegetables and nom, you are done. However, as a mastery-level host or hostess, deep down you know that there is a way to make a barbecue something more; something that pushes grilling to the limit. To help you put your barbecue skills to full use, we've come up with some grilling ideas that will make your barbecue the signature event of the summer.

Make It Themed
Barbecues are a good time no matter what, but this year, why not host something more memorable? Try a beach- or baseball-themed BBQ to make it unique!

Try Grilling Fruit
Literally everyone will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, but why not surprise your guests with a unique menu that will delight and dazzle? Grilled peaches are particularly delicious on a warm day!

Make Boozy Pops
Ice pops always refresh guests. So if you are hosting an adult barbecue, put some boozy pops in the freezer for a unexpected signature cocktail.

Unique Grilling Ideas

If you're firing up the grill, take a break from the trusty steak, burgers, chicken breasts and grilled shrimp and try one of these unique grilling recipes instead! Here's where you'll find the unexpected—from the best-ever corn on the cob and grilled pizza to neat 'n easy s'mores (yeah—that's a foil-pack recipe!) we've got the best unique grilling recipes to pique your taste buds. Discover unique grilling ideas that will make the warmer months even more special and add a little fun to your summer cookout!

If you're firing up the grill, take a break from the trusty steak, burgers, chicken breasts and grilled shrimp and try one of these unique grilling recipes instead! Here's where you'll find the unexpected—from the best-ever corn on the cob and grilled pizza to neat 'n easy s'mores (yeah—that's a foil-pack recipe!) we've got the best unique grilling recipes to pique your taste buds. Discover unique grilling ideas that will make the warmer months even more special and add a little fun to your summer cookout!

Deliciously Unique BBQ Recipes That are Perfect for Patio Season

Now that the weather is finally warm, our friends are rushing to their local patios in droves, eager to enjoy each other’s company during as many warm evenings as possible while they share all kinds of delicious meals. We’re most often found joining in on these plans, but on the nights that we can’t make it or people feel like taking it a little easier than a restaurant requires, you’ll still find us eating our dinner outside! In fact, we actually do most of the cooking for those dinners outside in the spring and summer as well, especially if we’re having friends over. In order to take full advantage of patio and barbecue season this year, we’ve been collecting as many unique and scrumptious looking grill recipes as possible and we absolutely plan to treat our loved ones to as many of these as we can as the season goes on.

Just in case you’d like to give some new, unique BBQ recipes a try this summer as well, here are 15 of the most fantastic grilled dish ideas we’ve come across in our search so far!

1. Grilled peach and mozzarella salad

Are you the kind of warm weather worshipper that starts to crave cool meals like fresh salads the moment the sun starts coming out in full swing? Well, we certainly can’t say we blame you because we’re very much like that as well, but that doesn’t mean we won’t fire up the grill to make those salads taste even better than usual! Grilling fruit might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but we think that will change once you’ve tried this fantastically flavourful grilled peach and mozzarella salad recipe featured on Clare Cooks.

2. Grilled spaghetti

Speaking of things that you wouldn’t necessarily think of immediately when you start thinking about food ideas for your grill… did you know that you can actually grilled spaghetti? We didn’t either, but we’re absolutely ecstatic to have found this unbelievably delicious idea from The Daily Meal now that we’ve tried it! The taste is nearly the same as the classic favourite, but with that subtle added magic of barbecue flavour.

3. Grilled pumpkin crab cakes

Just because it’s not fall doesn’t mean we can’t be obsessed with pumpkin and all its delicious flavour! That’s especially true where grills and seafood are concerned. If you think that’s a strange flavour combination and you’re feeling unsure, we’d recommend trying out these grilled pumpkin crab cakes featured on Kalamazoo Gourmet immediately. We promise you won’t regret it!

4. Deconstructed falafel salad

One of our very favourite things to make on the grill in the summer is actually falafel because they’re so full of flavour already, and that situation only improves once you’ve thrown them on the BBQ. We also, however, have been known to avoid carbs whenever possible because we’ll fully admit that we’re wary of how our bathing suits fit. That’s why we thought this “deconstructed” salad idea from Dine X Design was such a neat idea! Skip the pita, throw those grilled falafel right on top, and dig in.

5. Grilled brie and bacon

We might sound like we’re giving into our wildest cravings when we talk about literally grilling cheese on the barbecue, but we promise it’s an actual recipe made by other people who are not just us! If we’re being honest, it’s actually one of our very favourite things to make on the grill. If you cover it in barbecue sauce and bacon the way Grillin’ Fools did here, it’s practically a gourmet dish worthy of absolutely any company you might have this summer!

6. Grilled oysters

Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about grilling seafood but crab cakes are something you feel you’ve eaten all too often and you’d rather try something just a little more challenging? In that case, we’d suggest taking a look at how Bon Appetit made these irresistible grilled oysters! They even give you homemade sauce ideas so you get to enjoy them in all kinds of flavours within one batch.

7. Grilled summer ratatouille

Have you been scrolling through the options we’ve given you so far and wondering whether there might be veggie-heavy dishes for you because you’re actually a vegetarian, or someone you love is? Then we have a feeling you’re going to love this delicious grilled ratatouille idea outlined on Kalamazoo Gourmet! They’ve combined cucumber, red and yellow peppers, and onions in one place for an absolutely mouth watering combination!

8. Spaghetti squash with grilled summer vegetables

Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about delicious grilled spaghetti but you’ve been steering clear of pasta because you’re trying to watch your carb intake a little bit? Perhaps you’re just trying to find an alternative recipe to what we showed you before because you’re vegetarian and would prefer to find a meal with a meatless sauce? In that case, check out this fragrant spaghetti squash topped with all kinds of nutritional grilled vegetables, as featured on Sonima!

9. Fruit salsa with grilled cinnamon chips

Not every recipe you make on the grill has to be savoury or entree based! There are plenty of delicious sweet snacks and desserts that you can use your barbecue as well. This delicious fruit salad featuring grilled cinnamon chips for dipping is the perfect example of what we mean. Homemade Interest combined strawberries, kiwi, peaches, and apples in their salad, but you can use any fruits you choose!

10. Grilled avocado filled with basil, cherry tomatoes, and pine nuts

Speaking of delicious vegetarian meals, here’s one for the avocado lovers in your life! Check out how Chimera Obscura grilled halved and pitted avocados on the barbecue and then filled them with halved cherry tomatoes, basil, and pine nuts. Drizzle them in lemon juice, and voila! This is one of those satisfying recipes that has a combination of textures, between the smooth avocado and the crunch of the pine nuts.

11. Grilled sangria

Okay, so we know that you can’t really grill liquids, of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make delicious “grilled” sangria that has all the smoked flavour of a barbecued dish! Just in case you’re not sure what we mean, here’s a grilled sangria recipe that makes a perfect example. Check out how Dine X Design used their barbecue to grill cherries and other fruits before mixing them with homemade vanilla syrup and soaking the entire mixture in red wine.

12. Grilled avocado with shrimp salad

Are you actually still thinking about how delicious the grilled avocado recipe we mentioned to you above sounds but you’re just not sure that such a tomato-heavy meal is quite right for you? In that case, perhaps you’d prefer to try this grilled avocado and shrimp idea featured on Our Family World instead! They show you how to perfectly season both the halved and pitted avocados and the shrimp for one of the best flavour combinations we’ve ever produced on our grill!

13. Grilled watermelon

We’ve mentioned a number of grilled fruit ideas by this point, but we still find that we know so many people who have never tried making grilled fruit of any kind before! Just in case you’re intrigued by the idea of grilling fruit but you haven’t seen an idea that involves your favourite on our list yet, here’s another alternative for you to try out this summer. Check out how Genius Kitchen grilled watermelon on skewers.

14. Grilled figs stuffed with goat cheese

Have you actually been scrolling through our list looking for a recipe that seems a little bit more gourmet than the others because you’d really like to challenge yourself and impress the people you’re having over for dinner? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Meatwave made these mouthwatering grilled figs! As if that doesn’t sound yummy enough, they also stuffed them with goat cheese that melts perfectly on top for awesome flavour and texture.

15. Grilled steak tacos with cilantro chimichurri sauce

Have you actually been looking for a recipe that’s a little more along the lines of classic summer dishes, but perhaps with some more creative toppings than usual? Then maybe you should consider taking a look at how Feasting at Home made these fresh tasting grilled steak tacos! They topped theirs with a flavourful homemade cilantro chimichurri sauce, which their recipe and tutorial also show you how to make.

Do you have another favourite summer grilling recipe that’s pretty unique and always a hit, but that you don’t see on our list? Tell us all about how you make it or link us to the recipe in the comments section!

80 Best Grilling Recipes to Try This Summer

There's a reason so many people love firing up the grill in the summer: It brings back wonderful memories from past cookouts with friends, relatives, and neighbors, and it beckons those same people back for more good times. Oh yeah, and it's just plain delicious.

Here, you'll find a compilation of fabulous grilling recipes, each of which will inspire you to get creative at the grill. There are dozens of summer recipes for meat lovers, of course, like Ladd Drummond's legendary grilled tenderloin, plus an impossibly easy tutorial for a ribeye steak dinner with a decadent onion-blue cheese sauce and&mdashwait for it&mdashthe dreamiest grilled enchiladas. Yum! You'll also find plenty of grilled chicken recipes (the perfect addition to your Fourth of July menu!). And because nobody likes feeling left out, this best-of list is loaded with less typical favorites: vegetarian-friendly grilling options, salads made with grilled ingredients, picnic sides galore, and even Fourth of July desserts you can cook right alongside your mains.

Here's to great memories, great friends, and even better food. Fire it up!

80 Best BBQ Sides to Throw a Delicious Backyard Cookout

There are endless reasons to love the summer (sunburns and mosquito bites aside, of course). One of the best warm weather pastimes is gathering your friends and family for a good old-fashioned backyard cookout, enjoying your favorite summer recipes. After prepping all the best grilling recipes out there, you've got to come up with some equally delicious BBQ sides. It's hard to know where to start: Fresh corn on the cob? A big pot of baked beans? A refreshing fruit salad? All of the above? (Yes, yes, and yes!) We rounded up the best barbecue sides that are guaranteed to make repeat appearances this season.

These delicious summer sides work wonderfully for any occasion: You can add a few to your 4th of July menu or pack some up for a casual weekend celebration with some tasty picnic side dishes. Don't worry, the classics are more than covered here&mdasheveryone's got to have few good potato and pasta salad recipes for the summer. (Try Ree Drummond's spicy pasta salad with smoked gouda&mdashadobo sauce gives it such a nice kick!) There are also some great slaws in the mix, plus a few dishes to make on the grill. You can also give some of these sides a try as an appetizer to complement your dip recipes, like the sausage rolls or fried zucchini.

Find the best BBQ sides for your cookout right here&mdashyou can't go wrong with any of them!

So let’s talk Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd

Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd: Main Dish

Usually menu planning for a BBQ begins with the main dish.

What are you planning on serving your guests? How much room do you need to cook or even to serve?

These questions will help you consider what items might be the easiest to prepare or throw on the grill.

They will also allow you to use Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes.

For the most frugal parties, hamburgers, hot dogs and brats seem to be the answer.

Those are perfect, sales are in abundance in the summer months and they definitely feed a crowd.

But there is so much more you can do, to feed your guests well.

Our favorite BBQ main dish is actually pork ribs.

They are delicious, almost everyone loves them and of course if you can find a sale (also often in the summer) you’ll be whipping up a Budget Friendly BBQ Dish in no time flat.

You can usually watch the meat case for great deals starting in early Spring, buy up what you think you’ll need and freeze it until you’re ready to use it. Especially if you know you’d like to entertain.

Pork is a pretty inexpensive meat on it’s own, but then when you watch for sales or deals you can wind up with quite a lot for not a lot of money. 10lbs of Ribs for $19 is enough to feed a party of 15.

These two packages of Pork Ribs are 10lbs and cost $19 total. That’s less than $20 to feed a large party of 15.

Even buying enough hot dogs and hamburgers, plus buns and condiments to feed everyone, can go way over that.

Scroll to the bottom of post for a very easy Pork Rib recipe

Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd – Side Dishes

We can’t forget the side dishes and there are so many budget friendly recipes and options for frugal side dishes.

You can feed any crowd for less with these great recipes. It’s imperative to have several choices for side dishes when feeding a large crowd.

You want to ensure that nobody goes hungry and not everyone will like every side dish.

Having great sides will help fill everyone up, and they won’t need seconds and thirds of the main course, which is good.

My favorite go-to frugal side dishes are always my Grilled Corn with Herbed Butter and my Bacon Potato Salad. (links to recipes below)

I get rave reviews anytime I serve these and they are such a traditional BBQ item plus they fit our Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd theme so well.

Corn is a great inexpensive side dish to serve with any BBQ. The reason being is that corn usually runs about .28 an ear and if you’re lucky you can go to the local farmer’s market and get it for 4/$1, sometimes better – for a party of 15 that’s less than $5 for a side dish and corn is a popular item at BBQ’s! Who doesn’t enjoy corn?

While it is totally okay to freeze corn on the cob, I don’t suggest it. Once thawed and cooked it can become mushy and the flavor changes.

Instead, just store ears whole and unwashed in a sealed plastic bag in your vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. It will help keep for longer if you take those steps.

If you DO want to freeze corn, may I suggest that you cook or blanch it before you freeze and store in freezer safe containers.

It will stay good for 6-8 months in the freezer that way. This awesome recipe is our favorite way to grill fresh corn on the cob.


I love potatoes as an easy and inexpensive side dish. You can usually get HUGE bags of baking potatoes for around $3-$5 – anywhere from 5lbs to 10lbs and it’s definitely enough to serve a small army.

Stay away from the specialty potatoes when you’re working on Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd.

They are more expensive and you get a LOT less.

Just purchase regular baking potatoes in large bags and it will stretch further, you get more for your money and everything STILL tastes great.

Potatoes can be prepared in so many different ways.

You can make your own french fries, or Mash ’em for some yummy Creamy Mashed Potatoes.

You can even take them a step further and make these beautiful, fancy Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes OR these mini Loaded Hasselback Potatoes.

Our favorite thing to do for a BBQ though, is to make up a large batch of this Bacon Potato Salad (pictured below) that is always a huge hit.

Everyone asks for the recipe and it’s so super simple and delicious, and goes with practically anything.


Obviously there are dozens of ideas you can use to create a perfect side dish.

Veggies and fruit are always a popular item and if you plan around sales and seasonal availability, you can really get some great deals.

Easy Summer Vanilla Fruit Salad – click photo to see recipe

Salads in general tend to be popular and inexpensive.

Even just a regular salad, but think outside the box and create a great pasta salad (pasta is cheap!) or egg salad or fruit salad.

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette – (click photo to see recipe)

Creamy Bacon Avocado Pasta Salad – Click Photo for Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad – Click Photo for Recipe

Beans are a popular BBQ item and go great with just about any meat you throw on the grill.

Cornbread is also a very inexpensive way to throw in a side dish.

This award-winning Moist Sweet Cornbread is one of the most popular recipes on my blog and is a favorite!

Moist Sweet Cornbread – Click Photo for Recipe

It is totally possible to find Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd that don’t have to cost a ton of money to be successful, taste fantastic and have everyone stuffed.

Your BBQ will be a huge hit and you won’t break the bank!

I’d love to know what your favorite budget friendly main dish or side dish happens to be for a large BBQ. Tell me in the comments below.

Here’s a very easy Marinated Pork Ribs recipe:

How do I plan a BBQ on a budget?

1. Determine your budget

How much does it cost to host a BBQ? Well, it’s up to you!

The first step in throwing a bbq on a budget is to decide what that budget actually is! Depending on what size crowd you expect, a $50-$100 budget is perfectly reasonable.

How much you have (or want) to spend will help determine the grilling menu, decorations, drinks, and how many people you can invite.

2. Make guest list

An easy way to stay within your summer entertaining budget is to keep your guest list small. The fewer people you invite, the more you can spend per person.

Plus, it’s simply best practice to invite just the people you like, and who like each other. There’s no need to have 25 guests unless you really want to.

Inviting the right people is more important than inviting everyone anyway.

3. Make it a potluck

There’s no shame in asking people to bring a dish. In fact, most people like it!

They’ve probably seen some fun summer recipes on Pinterest that they’ve been wanting an excuse to try.

Or they have a signature dish that everyone always praises them for that they would be willing to bring.

To ensure you don’t get lots of duplicates, you can ask a few people to bring side dishes, and others to bring drinks or desserts.

Even more specifically, you can ask people to bring something in particular (like a salad), to make sure all bases are covered.

4. Borrow serving pieces

Instead of buying a bunch of pricey serving platters, ask to borrow some.

Most people are happy to share what they have, because they spent money on them, and want them to get good use.

5. Save on ice

For a week or two before the party, start saving ice from your freezer in large Ziploc bags.

That will help save on the cost of buying ice at the grocery or corner store.

And it will ensure you have backup ice when the first batch melts.

Plus, there’s something kind of seriously annoying about buying ice. Or is that just me?

6. Shop at Aldi

Stocking up on condiments, buns, cheese, chips, and veggies at a discount store like Aldi will save you SO MUCH money.

You can probably buy everything you need at Aldi, but I find the items above to be where the biggest savings is.

7. Save on decorations

Truthfully, most people don’t even notice decorations. They’re usually far more interested in the food and other guests.

If you do want to have some cute BBQ decorations, check out your local dollar store.

Some basic string lights (for when the sun goes down) will have the most impact for little cost. And you can use them all summer!

23 Mouthwatering Burger Recipes for National Burger Day

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1. BBQ Burger Bar

Why settle for boring burgers when your summer BBQ can have an amazingly tempting Gourmet Burger Bar and tablescape featuring burgers, a variety of buns, and all the toppings you can think of?! via CardStore

2. Popcorn Bar

I LOVE the idea of a cute Popcorn Bar with your BBQ party, don&rsquot you? Grab these darling printables from Pen + Paper Flowers and get ready to WOW your guests!

3. Outdoor Movie Night BBQ Idea

With popcorn on the brain, why not treat your BBQ party guests to a fun Outdoor Movie Night? Grab your burgers and dogs, create your gourmet popcorn, then cozy up on the lawn in front of a big screen while you stuff your face! via Fresh American Style

4. S&rsquoMores Bar

Traditional BBQ faire pairs well with the classic deliciousness of a Gourmet S&rsquoMores Bar!

5. BBQ Hot Dog Bar

Another classic turned incredible is this Gourmet Hot Dog Bar with all the fixings! via Fantabulosity

6. Ballon Picnic BBQ Idea

This balloon picnic sure makes the perfect backdrop for your BBQ festivities! via The House that Lars Built

7. A BBQ to Feed a Crowd!

I just love this beautiful, but traditional BBQ Setup, complete with a darling gingham table cloth! via Wedding Chicks

8. Gourmet French Fry BBQ Bar

There&rsquos no better combination of food than a burger and fries, am I right? This French Fry Bar has everything you could ever want to make your French fries and onions rings even more AWESOME! via Southern Revivals

9. Simple BBQ Centerpiece

The coloring of this simple sunflower centerpiece against the blue gingham is making my heart so happy! via Kate Parker Designs (This link is no longer valid. Sorry about that!)

10. Beautiful Pool Accessories

Decorate your Pool with dozens of brightly colored balloons! via The House that Lars Built

11. BBQ Cake Pops

The details on these BBQ Desserts are killing me! How cute are these. via The Hostess with the Mostess

12. Classic Country BBQ

All the details of this Outdoor BBQ are a must-see! via Celebrations at Home

13. Grillin + Chillin BBQ Party

Another must-see &ndash this darling BBQ party has TONS of amazing details! via Catch My Party

14. Homemade Mosquito Repellant

Make your guests even more comfortable by getting rid of annoying pests with this Natural Mosquito Repellant, that also doubles as a darling centerpiece! via HGTV

15. DIY Napkin Rings

A cute way to add a little flair to your place settings, these DIY Napkin Rings are my favorite! via Martha

Grilled-Peach Sundaes In 15 Minutes Or Less

Servings: 4


2 peaches
¼ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons flaky sea salt
Pint of vanilla ice cream


1. Cut peaches in half and remove the pits, then cut peaches into quarters, wedge-style.
2. Heat grill over high heat. Brush peaches with oil and place peach quarters, flesh-side down, on the grill. Grill until definitive grill marks appear. Turn peaches to grill the other side of the flesh. Remove peaches from the grill.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in brown sugar and let cook for 2–3 minutes, mixing steadily. Pour in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whisk for a minute until caramel comes together, then whisk in the flaky sea salt. Remove from heat.
4. Place 2 ice cream scoops in a small bowl or ramekin. Place 2 grilled-peach quarters on top and drizzle with salted caramel.