I love to cook, with a passion. I hate doing dishes and cleaning up, with an equal amount of passion, if not more! I love the summertime for this very reason. When the grill comes out of the shed after being hidden for the winter months, I’m in my happy place! If we had better outdoor accommodations, I’m sure that I would be grilling year-round. When my husband and I are able to buy our first house together, that is top on the list! But for now, we make the most of it, and the summer grilling marathon begins!
I am the grill master in the family. I proudly wear that hat (and apron) and have had fun coming up with delicious grilling combinations that the whole family can eat! Here are just a few that I think you should try out this summer.
Easy to cook, very little clean up, and minimal dishes to clean afterward! I mean, admit it. Summer is the season of paper plates and aluminum foil cooking!
For an easy and tasty side dish, I grew up making grilled potato packets. We just sliced up some potatoes and onions, loaded it up with butter, salt and pepper, wrap in foil and grill for 20 minutes. As I’ve gotten older (and I’d like to think “wiser”), we’ve gone in the direction of healthier selections. Two of our favorites are grilled sweet potatoes with herbs and seasonings and a grilled vegetable medley. Both have relatively the same cooking instructions:
1/2 cup-1 cup each (depending on how many you are feeding) of Zucchini, Squash, Tomatoes, Onions, TriColor Peppers, Sliced/Diced
2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon each of Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning
Pinch of Paprika & Chili Powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until all vegetables are coated. Separate into 2-3 Packets, depending on grill size and servings. You want to make sure that your packets are not too full so that all the vegetables are cooked through. Double wrap in foil. Grill 10 minutes on each side.
Sweet Potato Packets:
1 Extra Large Sweet Potato Peeled and Sliced/Diced
1/2 Cup Tessemae’s Green Goddess Dressing**
Salt & Pepper to Taste
**Any similar dressing will work. This is just my go to dressing because the flavor is perfect. Not to mention, this dressing is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, and All Natural.
Put the cut potatoes, dressing and extra seasonings in a gallon Ziploc bag and let it marinate for about an hour. When done marinating, separate into 2 foil packets. Grill 10-12 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite meat. This marinade/dressing is also great on grilled chicken or pork!
These are just two of the side dish combinations I cook on the grill. The options are endless, depending on your taste. The clean up is easy since you grill it in foil and serve right from the foil on to your plates!
Now, on to the main dish! Both of these are kid-friendly and can be easily tailored to your likes and dislikes.
The first one is Grilled Quesadilla Pizzas. This has become a fast and easy favorite in our house. One of my sons is not a big meat eater, so his go-to meal is a cheese quesadilla or pizza quesadilla. During the summer, while I’m grilling a lot of meats and vegetables, this easy quesadilla pizza has been a quick add-on to the menu. The grill is already hot and ready. I don’t have to heat up the stove and make my already warm kitchen more unbearable. The recipe and directions are so simple, your kids can make this while you’re grilling up the burgers and hot dogs.
Easy Grilled Quesadilla Pizzas
Flour Tortillas (2 used for each pizza)
Pizza Sauce (Either canned or homemade. I make homemade with tomato sauce, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, staples in my pantry).
Mozarella & Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (1/2 cup per pizza)
Toppings of your choosing
Take each flour tortilla and spread the pizza sauce out. About 2 Tablespoons per tortilla. Top one tortilla with the cheese and your chosen toppings. Top with the other tortilla. Brush a little olive oil on the flour tortillas before placing on the grill.
Cook on the grill 2-3 minutes on each side. The outer tortilla will be slightly charred and the cheese will be melted. If you add additional toppings, you will grill it a little longer to make sure everything is cooked through. Easy and delicious!
The next grilled meal is for a Mexican Pizza. Another simple recipe with completely customizable ingredients. We always make this vegetarian style, but you can easily add meat based on your preference. This meal is so easy to put together and very filling.
Grilled Mexican Pizza
1 Large Boboli Premade Pizza Crust
1 Can Refried Beans
1 Package Shredded Cheese
Guacamole (I make homemade, but any kind you have/make is acceptable).
Stir the refried beans until they are a soft mixture. Spread a layer on the pizza crust, like you would tomato sauce on a pizza. Top with cheese, and olives. Place on heated grill. Cook 10-12 minutes, until crust is crispy and cheese is melted.
Once cooked, you can add your remaining toppings, starting with the shredded lettuce, then the diced tomatoes, then guacamole and sour cream.
If you want to add meat to your pizza, you can place the already cooked meat on top of the spread refried beans prior to adding the cheese on top. Then proceed to cook as instructed above.
Slice and serve. No clean up needed since you will grill the crust directly on the grill rack.
In addition, you can always roast some marshmallows after dinner for some quick and easy s’mores since the grill will still be hot for a while. There’s your complete meal, quick and easy, all done on your grill. I love grilling season and look forward to grilling out with my family multiple times a week.
What’s your favorite quick and easy grilling recipe? I’d love to add more to my ever-expanding list!