12 Easy Grilled Dinner Ideas

Want to fire up the grill? These grilled dinner ideas are perfect for entertaining or a laid back evening in, from shrimp tacos to grilled cheese.

Grilled dinner ideas

Wanna fire up the grill? Yes, grilling season is all about infusing that smoky, charred flavor into everything you touch. And the grill’s not just for burgers and hot dogs! There are so many grilled dinner ideas beyond the bun. Alex and I are huge grill fans: in fact, if it’s food, we’ve probably tried to grill it! We love unique things like BBQ Cauliflower and Grilled Romaine Salad, just as much as more traditional things like Cedar Plank Salmon.

Here we’ve collected our top favorite grilled dinner ideas! From our very best grilled veggie burger that stays together on the grill (we promise!) to our always popular grilled shrimp tacos, we think you’ll love every single one of them. Ready to get started?

Our top 12 grilled dinner ideas!

First up in our grilled dinner ideas...one of our favorite meals ever: Shrimp Tacos! These grilled tacos have a party vibe that works for both a summer dinner party or as an easy weeknight meal. The smoky shrimp are perfectly spiced, served atop a Mexican slaw and drizzle lightly with spicy mayo. Top with a spritz of lime juice and torn fresh cilantro, they’re pretty heavenly. (Another option with shrimp: Mango Salad with Grilled Shrimp!)

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Yes, it is possible to grill a veggie burger! Here's our best veggie burger recipe, made specifically to be easy to throw onto the grill. Most homemade veggie burgers turn out mushy: but not this one! It’s got a sturdy texture and big, big grilled flavor. Paint it with homemade BBQ sauce and top with creamy guacamole and oh my! It's just perfect.

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The best way to cook salmon? Cedar plank salmon. Grilling fish on a plank of wood infuses a smoky flavor that is to die for. If you’re into grilling, cedar planks are where it’s at. This is my parents’ favorite way to cook salmon, so they gifted us a cedar plank so we could try it too. We found the cedar plank method is easy and {almost} no fail. It's a truly easy grilled dinner idea: serve with pesto quinoa and blackberry salad.

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Do nachos count as a grilled dinner idea? Because we would eat them for dinner! Grilled nachos are a perfect grilling recipe to wow a crowd for entertaining. The grill brings a smoky, charred flavor to the nachos and they look stunning in a cast iron skillet. Serve them with a salad or a few sides and you've got a tasty grilled dinner.

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This buffalo cauliflower sandwich is a grilled dinner idea that will blow your mind! The buffalo cauliflower is a play on buffalo chicken wings and slathered in a spicy buffalo sauce. Top that with a creamy blue cheese ranch sauce and a few fresh celery leaves, and it’s an unforgettable (and a little messy) veggie sandwich recipe.

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Grilling transforms humble vegetables into something brilliant. And this is the case with these grilled veggie fajitas! Bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, and onions transform into the most delicious meld of savory flavors you could fit into a taco! Alongside them, grill up a packet of black beans. It’s one of our favorite crowd pleasing grilled dinner ideas.

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This grilled dinner idea was inspired by a sandwich shop we visited on a trip to Italy, and we've recreated it here! Focaccia bread is spread with basil pesto and Kalamata olive spread, and then it’s filled with grilled eggplant, juicy ripe tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It’s pretty darn heavenly, if we do say so ourselves. Even better: it's easy to put together!

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Here's a unique grilled dinner idea: grilled veggie pasta! It has double the grilled veggies: both for the pasta and blended into a grilled romesco sauce. Romesco is sauce made of roasted peppers and almonds that originates from Spain. It makes a creamy bright red sauce for the lightly smoky pasta. Top it with feta crumbles and enjoy!

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Grilled cheese on the grill? Yes, this grilled cheese is made on a charcoal grill, and once you've tried it you won't want to go back! Fire up the grill, grill the bread on both sides, and then top and grill until the cheese melts. The grill imparts a smoky flavor that’s a fine compliment to the gooey cheese and savory basil pesto.

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This grilled veggie skewers are a tasty dinner idea featuring colorful veggies and halloumi, a Greek cheese that you can grill along with vegetables. The halloumi adds a super savory, filling element to these skewers that’s irresistible! Serving the skewers over pesto-scented quinoa also makes it a filling dinner, and the bright green bed of grains looks beautiful for serving.

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Ever tried eggplant Parmesan...on the grill? Yes, grilling up the eggplant until it's tender, charred and smoky makes for the very best version of this Italian standard. It’s stunning enough to serve for entertaining, but a crowd pleaser that would work for a family dinner. Serve it with a glass of frose and a salad.

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And last up in our grilled dinner ideas...a portobello burger! Portobello mushrooms are juicy and savory when grilled, and the grill infuses a smoky flavor. Add to that melty provalone cheese, basil pesto, and a juicy tomato, and serve it on a grilled ciabatta bun. You won't believe the flavor in this one!

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Grilled side dishes

Want to grill up some sides too? Here are a few to add to these dinner ideas!

More grilled dinner ideas

And, just in case you still need more inspiration: a few more dinner ideas where those came from!

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Grilled shrimp tacos

Grilled Shrimp Tacos


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x

Description

These grilled shrimp tacos are a perfect grilled dinner idea for entertaining or healthy weeknight meal, featuring spiced shrimp, Mexican slaw and a spicy mayo drizzle. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used 2630 per pound size)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cupMexican Coleslaw (1/4 recipe; or 2 cups shredded red cabbage)
  • 8 tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican hot sauce (such as Cholula)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  2. Defrost the shrimp and peel it, as necessary. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and kosher salt
  3. Make the Mexican Coleslaw (or shred the cabbage and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt). 
  4. Mix together the mayonnaise and Mexican hot sauce. 
  5. Warm tortillas on grill for 10 seconds per side. Then grill the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until bright pink and cooked through.
  6. To serve, place the coleslaw into a tortilla and top with grilled shrimp. Drizzle with the spicy mayo and top with torn cilantro leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Grilled Dinner Ideas

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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