Cooking outdoors is one of the greatest pleasures of the summer season. If you regularly grill out, you’re probably already familiar with standby foods to grill like hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, ribs, chicken and fish. But there are plenty of unexpected foods to grill as well.
We’ve rounded up 14 of them here, so you can stock up the next time you head to the grocery and throw something unique on the grill next to your steaks.
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Avocado has become increasingly popular over the last several years, with everything from avocado toast to smoothies utilizing the nutritious powerhouse showing up on menus. It turns out that avocado is pretty tasty on the barbecue as well. The best way to grill them is to simply cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and grill each half for about five minutes over medium heat, until grill marks show up.
For a pretty presentation, use grilled avocado halves as serving vehicles for salads or bruschetta.
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Skip delivery one night this summer because pizza is one of the best unexpected foods to grill. The key is to grill the dough first on one side. Then, add sauce and toppings and return it to the grill to finish. When you close the lid on the grill, it basically turns it into a pizza oven, perfectly melting the cheese while the crust gets crispy and brown. This fun and fresh twist on a traditional pizza will quickly become a go-to summer favorite!
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Searching for the perfect dessert to serve at your next cookout? Look no further than this recipe for honey-rum grilled bananas from Taste of Home. It comes together in just 15 minutes. Serve alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an impressive after-dinner treat that takes virtually no work.
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Pineapples are another sweet food to grill. Try out this recipe for Fireball grilled pineapple for a yummy and spicy dessert with a boozy kick. It will taste like a tropical vacation on a random weeknight.
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5. French Toast
Breakfast on the grill? Yes, please! Invite friends over for a summertime brunch that’s sure to impress. If your grill is big enough, you can grill up to 12 slices in just a few minutes. Yum!
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Clams are a summertime staple and one of the best foods to grill that couldn’t be easier. Just heat the grill to medium, put the clams directly on the grates and wait about eight minutes for them to start opening. Try adding some butter and garlic, and serve them as an appetizer.
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7. Grilled Cheese
It’s right there in the name, but usually, when you make grilled cheese, it’s actually prepared on the stove or griddle. You can actually make this comforting sandwich on the grill, though, with virtually no changes to the typical recipe. Be sure to choose a thick and hearty bread that can withstand the heat, like a loaf of crusty artisan bread from your local bakery.
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8. Romaine Lettuce
When you think of foods to grill, lettuce is probably not top of mind. Surprisingly, grilled romaine makes for a nice side dish, such as in this popular recipe from The New York Times. Try it with some Caesar or any other type of dressing for a smoky, elevated salad.
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9. Pound Cake
Searing some prepared pound cake on the grill lends the classic dessert a yummy, toasty flavor and texture. All you need to do is slice your pound cake — either store-bought or homemade — put some butter on it and grill it over medium heat for a few minutes. Serve it with some berries and whipped cream for the ideal summertime dessert.
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Bacon is a star ingredient, no matter how you cook it. That goes for the grill, too! The smoky taste will add a delicious new dimension to your favorite breakfast meat.
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Of all the unique foods to grill, pasta may be one of the most unexpected. The trick is to boil the pasta until it’s about halfway cooked. Then, drain it and toss with olive oil before grilling for three to four minutes, as in this recipe for grilled spaghetti from Food Network.
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Tofu is a super-versatile plant-based protein source, and throwing it on the grill is just one more way to enjoy it. A little soy sauce or hot sauce is all you need to make slices of grilled tofu shine.
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13. Grilled Vegetable Soup
Grill up a bunch of the best vegetables of summer, such as zucchini and tomato. Rather than eating them as is, though, use them to make a hearty soup. This recipe for summertime grilled vegetable soup from The Peasant’s Daughter is fresh and delicious, offering the perfect change of pace when you’re growing tired of your usual seasonal staples.
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14. Ice Cream
Ice cream on the grill? No, we’re not talking about ice cream soup. By smoke roasting it on a charcoal grill, you’ll end up with a unique taste reminiscent of roasted marshmallows. Huffington Post shared a method that keeps the ice cream from melting while also infusing it with that complex flavor. You may never go for plain ice cream again!
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