Grilled Dinner Ideas

Grilling season means charred meats and veggies…and delicious BBQs and parties! To make your summer evenings spectacular, I have some fantastic grilled dinner ideas for you!!

More Collections: Pasta Salad Recipes, Green Salad Recipes, 50+ Homemade Salad Recipes

A collage of multiple grilled dinner ideas.

Grillin’ and Chillin’

Our family loves to grill in the spring and summer, because there’s just something that makes dinner feel a little more special when it’s cooked on the grill.

From chicken breasts to burgers, steak to ribs, there are SO many options for dinner dishes that can be cooked on the barbecue.

Fortunately, any time is a good time to grill. If the weather isn’t to your liking, just whip out a grill pan! You can have those mouth-watering grill lines any time of the year.

Today’s list of ideas will ensure you get to grill and chill with these delicious grilled dinner ideas.

Grilled dinner ideas - grilled turkey burger on a plate with strawberries and grapes.

Grilling Tips

These tips will make sure every grilling venture is a success! Be sure to check them out when preparing all your favorited grilled dinners.

using your grill

  • Preheat the grill so it’s hot and ready to immediately begin cooking the food once it is placed on it. Preheating is also helpful because it loosens any stuck on bits of food. Give the grates a quick brush before rubbing on an even layer of cooking oil.  Your grill should be 400-450°F for high, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat.
  • Direct heat: This area of the grill is where the open flame is. The flame will sear the outside of the food very quickly. Once seared to your liking, move the meat to the indirect heat. 
  • Indirect heat: This section of the grill does not have any open flames under it. The area is still hot and will act more like an oven and slowly finish cooking the center of the meat without burning the outside. 
  • Lid: Thicker cuts of meat need the grill to act like an oven in order for the center to cook properly. Every time the lid is opened the heat escapes which slows down the cooking process. Thinner cuts of meat don’t really need the lid down. An easy guide: if the meat is less then ¾ inch the lid doesn’t have to be down. If it’s thicker than ¾ inch keep the lid down and utilize both direct and indirect heat.
  • Let it Be: It can be tempting to poke, prod and flip the meat, but don’t. You should only flip it once. By doing so you allow each side to heat up enough to start forming a nice caramelized crust. 
  • Cold weather and higher altitude can cause longer grill times. Also, wind will cause charcoal grills’ temperature to rise and gas grills’ temperature to lower. 
  • Sauce: If you add the sauce too early, it just tends to char. Allow your meat to cook almost completely before coating it with the sauce. 
  • Flames: Have a box of baking soda handy. It’s normal to have flames flare up, but sometimes you might experience a burning fire. This is often caused by fat build up in a dirty grill. Turn off the burners. If possible, quickly remove meat, then sprinkle baking soda over the fire. 
Grilled dinner ideas - steak kabobs cooking on the grill.

grilling safety

  • Only use your grill outside, even small table top grills. And use it 10 feet away from any structures.
  • Make sure that you place the grill on a flat surface.
  • Keep your grill free of charcoal ash and empty and grease trays.
  • Never leave the grill unattended.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing, especially loose sleeves. Wearing an apron not only keeps clothes clean, but ties clothing close to the body.
Grilled dinner ideas - grilled cilantro lime chicken on a white plate.

Caring for your grill 

Clean the grate. Fire up the grill and let the grate experience about 5 minutes of intense heat. This will help burn away any leftover food particles. Use a good quality grill brush to scour the grates. 

OIl the grate: Before adding any food you’ll want to brush the grated with oil to help keep food from sticking. You can use peanut oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil. Dip a paper towel into the oil and add alight coat of oil evenly over the great. A little goes a long way. Avoid using too much oil because the drips will cause the fire to flare up.

After grilling: Turn off propane if applicable. Don’t clean the grill grate. The leftover food and grease will protect the grate in between grilling sessions. Allow the grill to cool and clear out any charcoal ash. Otherwise, moisture can cause it to become like cement. 

Cover it: most grills are kept outdoors and using a grill cover will protect and keep your grill lasting for much longer. 

Grilled dinner ideas - a grilled teriyaki chicken burger on a white plate with chips and fruit.

best grilling practices

No matter what items you may be grilling, there are certain “best practices to follow”. Different items will need to grill at various temperatures, and the temperature it needs to reach in order to be fully cooked also varies.

Here are some tips and tricks for grilling fish, vegetables, chicken, and beef!

Grilling Fish:

  • Choose a more sturdy fish like salmon, swordfish, tuna, snapper or mahi-mahi.
  • Use skewers for cubed fish. (This also works to grill shrimp skewers)
  • Allow the fish to come to room temperature before grilling. This will only take about 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill to 400-450°F and only add the seafood when the grill is hot and ready.
  • Simply dip a paper towel in olive oil and brush coat of oil directly onto the grates before placing the sea food on.
  • Allow the fish to cook long enough that it will naturally pull away from the grates before flipping it. This may take several minutes.
  • Only flip the fish once to reduce the chance of it breaking apart.
  • Once the fish has been cooked, let it rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.
Grilled dinner ideas - bacon wrapped asparagus skewers cooking on a grill.

Grilling vegetables

Since you already have the grill heated up, why not use it to make some grilled veggies to serve on the side to go with your grilled dinners?

Corn is a really easy vegetable to grill. Some other vegetables that hold up well include zucchini, bell pepper, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes. Some general tips when grilling vegetables include:

  • Slice them all the same size to ensure an even cook.
  • Coat the grill grates with oil to keep them from sticking.
  • Coat them with a bit of olive oil. Season them with some salt or fresh herbs.
  • Grill for 3-5 minutes, flip and grill for another 3-5 minutes or until hot and tender.
  • Larger vegetables can lay perpendicular to the grill grate so they don’t fall through. Smaller vegetables can be grilled in a basket or laced onto skewers. 
Grilled dinner ideas - chicken kabobs cooking on a grill.

Grilling Chicken

When grilling chicken, preheat the grill to 425-450°F. While the grill is preheating, allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Cold chicken doesn’t cook as evenly as room temperature chicken does. Use the following times and temperatures as a guide when grilling: 

  • Boneless Thigh: Grill at 400°F for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway. 
  • Bone In Thigh: Grill at 450°F for about 10-13 minutes. Flipping halfway. Check the internal temperature. If it needs more time, move the thigh to indirect heat and cook until done. 
  • Boneless Breast: Preheat grill to 400°F. Grill over direct heat for 8-10 minutes. Flip and grill for another 3-5 minutes before moving the chicken to indirect heat (don’t flip). Allow the chicken to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. 
  • Bone in Breast: Preheat grill to 450°F. Grill over direct heat for 9-10 minutes. Flip and grill for another 9-10 minutes before moving the chicken to indirect heat. Allow the chicken to cook for an additional 10-20 minutes 
  • Drumsticks: Grill at 350-400°F for about 25 minutes. Rotate them every 5 minutes.
  • Chicken is done when the internal temp is 165°F. A good indicator is that the juices run clear and the center is no longer pink. Take chicken off the grill at 160°F and allow it to rest. The temperature will rise another 5-10 degrees bringing it to the safe 165 degrees.

Keeping the Chicken Moist: Dry chicken can easily turn a delicious dish into a forgettable one. You can marinate, brine, or braise your chicken before grilling to help keep it moist.

Grilled dinner ideas - marinated steak cooking on a grill.

Grilling Beef

When grilling beef, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minute before cooking it.

Using a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to tell which cooking stage the beef is at. 

Once the meat has reached the correct temperature remove it from the grill and let it sit for a few minutes before you cut into it. This allows the center to continue to heat up another 5-10 degrees as well as evenly distributes the juices. 

The right Temp: Beef can be cooked 3 ways. Unless you like raw and burnt…err…I mean rare and well done, then there are 5 ways. 

  • Rare: The internal temp reaches 120°F. The center is completely red while the outside is seared and crisp. 
  • Medium rare: Cook to an internal temp of 126°F. The crust will be seared while the center will only be half cooked with a thick center section of red. 
  • Medium: The internal temp will be 134°F. The outside will be crisp and seared. The inside will be ¾ cooked with about a ¼ of the center showing a thin red line.
  • Medium well: Cook to an internal temp of 150°F. The inside will be done all the way through with a pink hue. 
  • Well done: The internal temp will be 160-170°F.  The meat will be firm to the touch. The center will be brown all the way through with no sign of red or pink.

*Note: remember the above temperatures are when you take the meat off of the grill. The inside will cook another 5-10 degrees which produces the final desired cook. 


Our favorite grilled dinner ideas

Summer is grilling season! It’s the perfect time to get outside and heat up the BBQ. These best grilling recipes will make every BBQ, picnic, or family dinner a big hit!

Best Steak Marinade – This is Our All-Time Favorite Steak marinade! It requires only four ingredients, and makes our steak taste SO amazing! Everyone always asks for this Easy Steak Marinade recipe because it’s just that good!!

Teriyaki Chicken Burgers – Marinated Teriyaki Chicken Burgers are quick, easy and full of sweet, tangy flavor! Grilled pineapple makes these burgers perfection.

Cilantro Lime Chicken – This Cilantro Lime Chicken is full of flavor and an easy weeknight meal. Fresh lime juice, cilantro, and loads of fresh garlic make a flavorful marinade! 

Asian Honey Garlic Chicken – Asian Honey Garlic Chicken can be baked or grilled. It’s bursting with Oriental flavor, and requires just a few ingredients!

Teriyaki Chicken Burgers – Marinated Teriyaki Chicken Burgers are quick, easy and full of sweet, tangy flavor! Grilled pineapple makes these burgers perfection.

Best Chicken Marinade – This easy chicken marinade is the BEST way to marinate chicken breasts before grilling or cooking. It makes the meat juicy, tender, and so flavorful!

Huli Huli Chicken – This Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is the juiciest and most delicious Hawaiian chicken you’ll ever try! Great alone or served on rice or noodles!!

Chicken Caesar Salad – Ultimate Caesar Salad with grilled chicken, croutons, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, Parmesan cheese and tomatoes.

Carne Asada Tacos – Juicy grilled carne asada loaded in tortillas with all of your favorite toppings! This recipe makes perfectly seasoned steak tacos that everyone is going to enjoy.

Dr. Pepper Ribs – Pork ribs cooked in Dr. Pepper, grilled to perfection, and smothered in BBQ Sauce. These Dr. Pepper ribs are fall off the bone delicious!

Chicken Parmesan Sliders – Marinated and grilled chicken breast, melty cheese, marinara sauce, and lettuce all sandwiched between a ciabatta bun. These chicken parmesan sliders make for the perfect appetizer, but can hold their own as a main dish too!

Chicken Burrito Bowl – This Chicken burrito bowl is so easy and adaptable to your taste. It is a light, healthy, and filling meal!

Chicken Souvlaki – Chicken Souvlaki is a savory kabob infused with Greek flavors. With marinated chicken, onions, and peppers, it’s hearty and delicious.

Carne Asada – Carne Asada is the perfect Mexican flavored meat to add to tacos, burritos, salads, or quesadillas. It’s tender, flavorful, and juicy.

Ranch Burgers – These Ranch Burgers make the BEST homemade hamburgers!! This easy burger recipe is complete with the most delicious secret sauce that compliments the ranch burger perfectly!

Lemon Chicken Pasta – Flavorful Lemon Chicken Pasta is covered in a delicious sauce made from lemons, whipping cream, cheeses, and fresh basil.

Lemon Pepper Chicken – Flavorful and tender Lemon Pepper Chicken is simple and requires just a few ingredients. Served on its own or over rice, this buttery chicken dish is perfect any night of the week for a simple, quick dinner idea.

Steak Tacos – These steak tacos are marinated to perfection and bursting with fresh flavor! Tacos are quick and easy for a perfect weeknight dinner in under 30 minutes.

Turkey Burger – Lean & juicy turkey burgers are packed with flavor but light on calories. They are a perfectly delicious addition to your next BBQ!

Steak And Tortellini Salad – Delish Steak and Tortellini Salad is hearty and refreshing. Tortellini, sirloin & romaine in a creamy pesto dressing is a must-have!


The complete list

Here are the picture cards for all of the mouth watering Grilled Dinner Ideas listed above.

Fire up that grill and get ready to make something that will be a big hit with everyone no matter which recipe you choose!

Main Course Steak Marinade Recipe
This is Our All-Time Favorite Steak Marinade. It requires only four ingredients, and makes our steak taste SO amazing!
Total Time: 1 day 5 minutes
4.9 from 28 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe
This Cilantro Lime Chicken is full of flavor and an easy weeknight meal. Fresh lime juice, cilantro, and loads of fresh garlic make a flavorful marinade! 
Total Time: 55 minutes
5 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe
Asian Honey Garlic Chicken can be baked or grilled. It's bursting with Oriental flavor, and requires just a few ingredients!
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
5 from 2 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Teriyaki Chicken Burgers Recipe
Marinated Teriyaki Chicken Burgers are quick, easy and full of sweet, tangy flavor! Grilled pineapple make these burgers perfection.
Total Time: 1 day 20 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches Recipe
Loaded with juicy grilled pineapple, red onion and crisp lettuce, this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken sandwich is perfect for summer entertaining!
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 2 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Dr. Pepper Ribs Recipe
Pork ribs cooked in Dr. Pepper, grilled to perfection, and smothered in BBQ Sauce. These Dr. Pepper ribs are fall off the bone delicious!
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
4.79 from 14 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Huli Huli Chicken Recipe
This Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is the juiciest and most delicious Hawaiian chicken you’ll ever try! Great alone or served on rice or noodles!!
Total Time: 21 minutes
4.96 from 23 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Carne Asada Tacos Recipe
Juicy grilled carne asada loaded in tortillas with all of your favorite toppings! This recipe makes perfectly seasoned steak tacos that everyone is going to enjoy.
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
5 from 4 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Chicken Marinade Recipe
This easy chicken marinade is the BEST way to marinate chicken breasts before grilling or cooking. It makes the meat juicy, tender, and so flavorful!
Total Time: 45 minutes
4 from 1 vote
Check out this recipe
Salad Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe
Ultimate Caesar Salad with grilled chicken, croutons, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, Parmesan cheese and tomatoes.
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 17 votes
Check out this recipe
chicken parmesan slider with lettuce on red plate
Appetizer Chicken Parmesan Sliders Recipe
Marinated and grilled chicken breast, melty cheese, marinara sauce, and lettuce all sandwiched between a ciabatta bun. These chicken parmesan sliders make for the perfect appetizer, but can hold their own as a main dish too!
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 2 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course, Salad Burrito Bowl Recipe
This Chicken burrito bowl is so easy and adaptable to your taste. It is a light, healthy, and filling meal!
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Check out this recipe
Main Course Chicken Souvlaki Recipe
Chicken Souvlaki is a savory kabob infused with Greek flavors. With marinated chicken, onions, and peppers, it's hearty and delicious.
Total Time: 41 minutes
5 from 9 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Ranch Burger Recipe
The BEST homemade hamburgers!! This easy burger recipe is complete with the most delicious secret sauce that compliments the Ranch Burgers perfectly!
Total Time: 20 minutes
4.85 from 13 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Carne Asada Recipe
Carne Asada is the perfect Mexican flavored meat to add to tacos, burritos, salads, or quesadillas. It's tender, flavorful, and juicy.
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
5 from 10 votes
Check out this recipe
Salad Steak and Tortellini Salad Recipe
Delish Steak and Tortellini Salad is hearty and refreshing. Tortellini, sirloin & romaine in a creamy pesto dressing is a must-have!
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe
Flavorful Lemon Chicken Pasta is covered in a delicious sauce made from lemons, whipping cream, cheeses, and fresh basil.
Total Time: 20 minutes
4.94 from 16 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Turkey Burger Recipe
Lean & juicy turkey burgers are packed with flavor but light on calories. They are a perfectly delicious addition to your next BBQ!
Total Time: 13 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe
Flavorful and tender Lemon Pepper Chicken is simple and requires just a few ingredients. Served on its own or over rice, this buttery chicken dish is perfect any night of the week for a simple, quick dinner idea.
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Check out this recipe
Main Course Steak Taco Recipe
These steak tacos are marinated to perfection and bursting with fresh flavor! Tacos are quick and easy for a perfect weeknight dinner in under 30 minutes.
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
4.63 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe

More Collections: Beef Dinner Ideas, BBQ Side Dishes, BBQ Appetizers

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Comments:

  1. We just bought a new grill & I am so excited to try more of these recipes. We love the grilled chicken & steak!

  2. All the recipes look delicious! I can’t wait to try them this summer! Thanks also for all your grilling tips, they’re super helpful!

  3. Another fun thing about summertime is the grilling! I like the fact that you can cook outdoors and not heat up the house. The ideas for grilling are endless and the food is amazing!

  4. The delicious grilled food pictures are what got me here and then I was pleasantly surprised to have so many grilling tips. Im the one who grills at my house, but Im not very good at it yet. With memorial day being on Monday Im excited to eat some great (fingers crossed) BBQ food.