Deliciously New Grilling Ideas.
We love a beautifully charred burger, steak, chicken breast or rack of ribs as much as the next grilling fan. But we also love exploring new flavors and textures on the grill, from grilled halloumi cheese to warm grilled peaches drizzled with balsamic glaze.
Below you’ll find some of our favorite “unexpected” grilling ideas. They’re the perfect way to add something fresh to your cookout spread. Who knows, you might even find a new go-to grilling recipe you’ll serve year after year—alongside those signature burgers, of course.
Cheese on the Grill
Two grilled cheeses, please—hold the bread! Heat brings out the best in these unique, grill-friendly cheeses (which can, of course, be sandwiched between two slices of bread, but are hearty enough to stand on their own).
Say “hello” to halloumi! This sheep’s cheese hails from Cyprus and is known for its high melting point, making it a uniquely grillable cheese. It’s best enjoyed hot off the grill, crispy on the outside with a savory, soft middle.
We love serving Grilled Halloumi and Watermelon Kabobs. These kabobs only need a short time on a hot grill to crisp the cheese and caramelize the watermelon. Just be sure to serve right away, since halloumi is best enjoyed hot off the grill. Finished with a drizzle of a tangy, herbaceous blend of roasted pistachios, lime and fresh mint, these kabobs make a unique side dish or equally delicious main course. Tip: the drizzle can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge!
For a delicious summertime appetizer, we also love Grilled Halloumi with Blueberries. Stonewall Kitchen's Wild Maine Blueberry Jam is vibrant and sweet, the perfect foil to thick slices of halloumi. Add crunchy pistachios and fresh mint leaves for a colorful finishing touch.
Romaine & Eggplant
Lettuce help you get the most out of your grilled romaine. This hearty green can stand up to a few minutes of direct heat, making it perfect for Grilled Romaine Salad. Grilling the hearts creates a slightly charred, smoky flavor and softens the lettuce.
We recommend topping your grilled romaine with tangy Caesar-style dressing as soon as it comes off the grill. Add grilled croutons made with our crusty garlic bread, and you’ve got an outstanding appetizer that pairs perfectly with any grilled entrée.
When it comes to eggplant, you’re probably accustomed to seeing it breaded, deep fried and paired with pasta sauce. Of course eggplant parmesan is delicious, but there’s more than one way to celebrate this tasty vegetable!
We love to slice it thinly, brush the slices with olive oil and grill them until the ends are charred. Finish your eggplant slices with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce to complement the rich, earthy flavor. Grilling eggplant also creates a soft texture that works beautifully on a sandwich with smooth, melty cheese, like our Grilled Eggplant and Fontina Sandwiches.
Potatoes & Mushroom
Potatoes are another one of our favorite vegetables to grill.
First, boil them, then slice them evenly and brush them with oil before tossing them on the grates. This helps the slices cook evenly without burning the outside. Place the hot potatoes in a bowl and top with butter, fresh chopped chives and dill.
We also love grilled mushrooms. They make a hearty meat substitute or satisfying side dish.
In our recipe for Grilled Portabella Mushroom Caprese, we use large mushrooms as a filling base for the classic Italian flavors of a caprese salad. Mushrooms act like sponges and also do well with light marinades, like the one we use in our recipe for Maple Balsamic Grilled Mushrooms.
Did you know grilling stone fruit releases sugars and juices that yield scrumptious caramelization? Whether you grill plums, peaches or nectarines and puree into a savory sauce for grilled meats, slice up for salads or dessert, grilled stone fruit is a delicious summer treat.
Choose a ripe fruit that’s still firm, so it will hold up to the heat.
Our favorite in-season stone fruits are eastern peaches and pluots. There are a variety of California pluots, each ripened to perfection. For a light, satisfying summer meal, try our recipe for Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad. It’s the perfect balance of flavors and textures, with salty pistachios and prosciutto paired with sweet peaches and smooth burrata.
We also love grilling pound cake or brioche to serve with grilled peaches, for a flavorful, unassuming dessert that comes together in no time. For a decadent, summery treat, try our recipe for Grilled Chocolate Brioche with Peaches, Honey and Mint, featuring toasty chocolate braided brioche topped with grilled peaches, fresh mint, honey and flaky sea salt.
Avocado & Pineapple
Ah, the avocado. You already knew it was delicious, but did you know it could be grilled? Grilling avocados adds a tantalizing layer of smoky flavor and makes the luscious green fruit even creamier.
When selecting the perfect avocado, pick one that’s slightly ripe—soft but not mushy. Then try our super-simple recipe for Grilled Avocado. We love topping each half with dollops of salsa and sour cream, along with fresh cilantro and pumpkin seeds, for a rich and satisfying combination of flavors and textures.
Another well-loved fruit, pineapple is a perfect match for the high heat of a grill. Our Produce Department saves you a step by cutting the fruit into grill-ready spears. The sugar content in pineapple allows the fruit to caramelize quickly.
Try Grilled Pineapple with Chili Lime Rub for a mouthwatering summer side. Or, impress your cookout guests with Ice Cream Sundaes with Grilled Pineapple and Caramel Rum Sauce.
The Perfect Grilled Corn
Nothing says summer like fresh grilled corn! A hot grill adds a little char while enhancing the corn’s natural sweetness, making every bite crisp and flavorful.
Tip: Before grilling, tie the husks back for easier eating and a striking presentation!
There are plenty of ways to enjoy this classic summer side depending on your tastes, but our favorite thing to make is Mexican Street Corn! Also known as elote, this is a popular street food featuring hot-off-the-grill corn slathered in a mayonnaise-based sauce and topped with cotija cheese, fresh cilantro and bold spices.
When making this recipe, save time with our all-in-one Elote Mexican Street Corn Spice Mix. This authentic blend features bold, lively spices like chili pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle powder and Himalayan pink salt.
Have you ever grilled naan for a pizza, or peaches for a salad? How about Vidalia Onions? These recipes feature unexpected ingredients you’ll want to grill all season long.