20 Grilled Side Dishes That Light up the Barbeque
When you've already got the gas on or the coals lit for your barbecued or grilled main dish, smart cooks like you create sides that can be made right at the same station. Preparing side dishes over the same heat as your barbecue or burgers infuses them with a smokiness that both pairs well and keeps sides from getting overshadowed. And when everything happens in one place, there's no more running back and forth into the house, and guests can gather around to ooh and aah about all the goodness on the grill.
The easiest sides to grill are whole vegetables (like these perfect asparagus) that simply need oil, salt, pepper, and a quick grill over the coals.
Roasted Peppers in Oil (Peperoni Arrostiti Sotto Olio)
"Just like my nonna and mother made, fresh from their gardens, often served at the table as part of the meal," says naples34102.
Few vegetables undergo such a marvelous transformation on the grill as cabbage. The high-heat shifts it from bland and water-logged to supercharged with caramelized edges and ruggedly crisp texture. Experiment with your favorite flavors, as it's a welcoming dish to miso, butter, barbeque sauce, or topped with your favorite dressing to make a grilled salad.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
"The corn was excellent. Sweet and juicy. For some of you who had trouble getting your corn done quick enough, here's a hint that applies to any food that's wrapped in foil: Wrap the corn on the cob with the shiny side in. This keeps the heat in and helps to cook faster. With the shiny side out, the foil is reflecting more of the heat, so longer cooking time," Ann Partain says.
Skewered Grilled Potatoes
For heartier vegetables, even cooking and good char require slicing and skewering. Some smaller vegetables need skewering to keep from falling through the grill.
"If you like onions, you'll love this grilled treat! When I barbeque, I like to try and make the whole meal on the grill. This dish can be prepared as an appetizer or a side dish," Linda Smith says.
Brazilian Grilled Pineapple
Bring the churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) right into your house with this sweet side dish. Grilling fruit brings out its natural sweetness which complements the meatiness of steaks. Plus, the caramelized fruit is always a big hit with kids. If it's all adults, a sprinkle of cayenne will give the flavor some kick.
Grilled Lemon-Pepper Zucchini
A light touch with the seasoning brings out the summery flavors of this light and simple side dish. If you have leftovers, toss with cooked pasta, rice, or other grain, cheese, and olive oil for an easy lunch.
"I don't know if it's the lightly-grilled flavor or the brown sugar that transforms the cauliflower flavor into a little slice of heaven!" says connie1903.
Benny's Famous Jalapeno Poppers
Spicy, crunchy, cheesy: all the essential flavors for a hit appetizer. These easy-to-make, easy-to-eat snacks always disappear first. For a vegetarian version, twist a leaf of well-oiled kale around the pepper in place of the bacon.
Italian Grilled Eggplant with Basil and Parsley (Melanzane Grigliate al Basilico e Prezzemolo)
"This Italian side dish, aka contorno, couldn't be easier!" says Kim's Cooking Now. "We make this often during the summer when we have an abundance of basil and parsley growing in our garden. Works well with zucchini, too!"
Grilled Potato Salad
This classic picnic-packer lightens up without mayonnaise but also deepens the flavor with the addition of grilled potatoes. It takes a little while for the potatoes to cook, but if you let them grill while you make the main dish, then you can dress the salad and serve right away — when it's best.
Grilled Yellow Squash
"This was excellent," says PRL63. "I cut up the squash and put it in foil and grilled it with the olive oil and garlic. It was easy to just flip the foil pack rather than each individual squash piece. Turned out excellent!"
Mexican Corn on the Cob
All over Mexico, you'll see people munching ears of corn on sticks. But at home, grilled corn can be the perfect side dish for carne asada or grilled tacos. If your corn isn't the sweetest of summer, give it a soak in salt water before grilling—it will cook more evenly and taste better. Watch this video to see how to make this street-style treat.
Grilled Fava Beans
Long, green, and elegant, fava beans are beautiful but annoying to shell. Grilling them, though, makes life easy. A few minutes over a hot flame, and they can be served as is, letting guests do the (now much less) hard work of removing the beans from the pod.
Grilled Eggplant Rollups
"Tasty grilled eggplant complements the flavors of goat cheese and roasted red pepper in this 'couldn't be easier' recipe that is good served hot, cold, or as leftovers," says recipe creator BUSYBEE25. "To re-warm, place on low-heat grill for two minutes."
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
"This was a big hit at our house," says crideout. "My husband said it tasted like grilled steak and asked for seconds. That's the highest rating you can get from him."
Grilled Cheesy Garlic Bread
"This takes only minutes to make and is perfect to throw on the grill just before serving dinner. I like to make this with different cheeses, such as Parmesan or Gruyere, or whatever I happen to have on hand. Keep an eye on it constantly, as it tends to burn easily," says France C.
Pizza On The Grill I
Home ovens don't reach the searing-hot temperatures that a pizza oven does, but a backyard grill can come close, so amateurs can replicate that restaurant char. The dough will cook quickly at such high heat, though, so be sure to use pre-cooked ingredients and be totally ready to go before you start. Get all the tips you need to grill pizza at home.
Unbelievable Grilled Garlic Bread
Grilling any bread with just a smear of butter will wow guests, but this recipe takes everything up a step with a creamy, fragrant cheese spread. Feel free to be a bit messy—the crisped-up edges will be the best part. Add your choice of fresh herbs or thinly sliced scallions or chives to add extra color and flavor.