10 kid-friendly dinners you can make in a jiffy on the grill
Great outdoor meals your family will love.
On a warm work night, turning on the oven to make your home even hotter is not so appealing—but using your outdoor grill can be a speedy alternative. With these 10 dinner recipes from Char-Broil Grilling for the Family: 300 Delicious Recipes to Satisfy Every Member of the Family, your kids can enjoy the open-air while you prepare a dish that’ll satisfy their picky taste buds. From grilled pizza to vegetable quesadillas, these meals are easy-to-make and can be cooked under 30 minutes (including prep!), leaving you with time (and energy) to spend with your family.
PREP: 15 min. • GRILL: 5–10 min.
Vegetable cooking spray 2 pounds ground turkey4 ounces green chiles, chopped and drained 1 cup onion, chopped 1-ounce taco seasoning mix 8 8-inch flour tortillas 16 ounces refried beans Lettuce, shredded 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated and divided 2 cups salsa
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, chiles, onion and seasoning mix. Evenly divide the turkey into eight rectangular burgers.
- Grill the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes; turn them; and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes or until they reach 165°F on a meat thermometer and the turkey is no longer pink in the center.
- Remove the burgers and keep them warm. Heat the tortillas according to the package directions. Spread each tortilla with 1/4 cup refried beans and sprinkle with lettuce.
- Place the burgers in the center of each tortilla and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese over the top. Fold the sides of the tortilla over the burger to create a burrito. Serve with salsa.
PREP: 20 min. • GRILL: 8–10 min. • REST: 3–5 min.
1-pint egg whites or yokeless egg substitute 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil 1/2 cup parboiled and diced new potato 1 cup julienned red onion 1 cup julienned red bell pepper 1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach (or frozen if unavailable) 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the grill to high. Place a seasoned 9- to 12-inch cast-iron pan atop the heat. Once the pan is heated, add the oil and potatoes and cook until crisp, about 3–5 minutes. Add onions and peppers and soften while stirring.
- Reduce the heat to low, and add eggs, spinach, cheese, salt and pepper. Cover the grill and bake until the egg firms. Let them cool for 3–5 minutes; slice into four wedges, and serve straight from the pan.
PREP: 20 min. • GRILL: 3–5 min.
Courtesy of Barry “CB” Martin, on Twitter: @BarryCBMartin.
1 premade pizza dough Cornmeal for dusting pan 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 cup Italian-style tomato sauce Fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
- Scatter a handful of cornmeal over pizza pans. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into two portions; form each into a smooth ball and then press each ball with hands to flatten. Gently stretch each round into a disk about 1/2 inch thick and 8 inches across. Using a flour-dusted rolling pin, roll out each disk to about 1/8 inch thick—dusting the surface with additional flour if necessary—until dough measures 12 to 14 inches in diameter.
- Place dough on pizza pans and shake to cover bottoms with cornmeal. If dough sticks anywhere, lift the edge gently and sprinkle more cornmeal underneath.
- Preheat grill to medium. Slide the first pan onto the grill and cook until lightly browned about, 4 minutes. Pop any bubbles with tongs. Remove pan from grill; flip the dough over. Return to grill and cook about 30 seconds more until just set. Remove from grill and repeat steps with second pizza.
- Brush both pizzas with olive oil; scatter on garlic; sprinkle on cheeses; dab on tomato sauce; and sprinkle on basil. Return to grill, and close lid. Cook about 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottom crust is browned.
2 cups (4 ounces) uncooked cavatappi (or other spiral, tube-shaped pasta) 1 pound assorted mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 Tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups milk 6 ounces fresh goat cheese 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
- Preheat grill to medium heat. Cook pasta according to package directions. Grill mushrooms in a disposable foil pan with oil until mushrooms brown on one side. Turn mushrooms and grill until the other side is brown. In a large saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour.
- Cook to lightly toast the flour. Stir in salt and whisk in milk. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to slightly thicken the sauce, about 5 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and add goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, rosemary and thyme; stir until cheeses melt. Stir in mushrooms and pasta and place into a 4- to 6-cup foil pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil and place on grill; close lid. Bake until cheese bubbles around edges, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
1 pound ground beef 1/3 cup steak sauce, divided 4 (1-ounce) slices cheddar cheese 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into strips 1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into strips 1 Tbsp butter 4 hamburger buns, split 4 slices tomato
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, combine ground beef and 3 tablespoons steak sauce. Mix lightly but thoroughly. Divide the mixture into four equal parts.
- Shape each part into a patty, enclosing one slice of cheddar cheese inside each burger and set aside. Place a skillet on the hot grate and cook onion and bell pepper strips in butter, heating until vegetables are tender.
- Stir in remaining steak sauce and keep warm. Place burgers on the hot grate. Cook burgers over the grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once until cooked to desired doneness.
- Remove burgers from grate and place on buns. Top each burger with a tomato slice and some cooked onions and peppers.
PREP: 10 min. • GRILL: Until Done
1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper, seeded and halved 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices 3/4 cup olive oil 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice Salt and black pepper 3/4 cup Colby or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper 1 Tbsp oregano 1 Tbsp garlic powder 8 flour tortillas (8- to 10-inch)
- Preheat grill to medium. Brush pepper halves and onions with olive oil; grill over medium heat until tender. Cool and then coarsely chop.
- In a bowl, combine chopped pepper and onions, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine cheeses, cayenne pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. Brush tortillas with olive oil. Place four tortillas on grill surface over low heat.
- Spread pepper/onion mixture to cover tortilla and then sprinkle liberally with cheese mixture. When the bottom of tortilla is brown, place another tortilla over top of each.
- With a wide spatula, carefully turn the quesadillas and continue to grill until golden brown. Slice into wedges and serve with tomato salsa.
PREP: 15–20 min. • GRILL: 7–15 min.
1 pound shrimp, small to medium in size 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 1 shallot, roughly chopped 1 Tbsp grated ginger 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp salt 1 tsp finely grated black pepper 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened, toasted until light brown 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely diced 1 lime, juiced Rice flour or cornstarch as needed 8–10 lemongrass stalks, trimmed so that only white part remains Cooking spray as needed Soy sauce, low sodium, as needed (optional)
- Purée shrimp, garlic, shallots, ginger, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor until just slightly chunky. Transfer to a bowl, and fold in coconut, cilantro, peppers and lime.
- Add rice flour or cornstarch, a little at a time, until mixture starts to hold the form of a meatball. Mold a portion of shrimp mix around each lemongrass stalk, leaving just enough of lemongrass to hold like a stick.
- Preheat one side of the grill on high, leaving another half off or on low. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the cool side of grill; spray with oil, and arrange lollipops so that all of them fit.
- Cover grill and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until shrimp starts to "set." Reapply spray and transfer lollipops from aluminum foil to the hot side of the grill to sear. Cook to desired doneness and serve lightly drizzled with soy sauce.
PREP: 15 min. • GRILL: 15 min. (Until internal temp. is 160°F)
This recipe is presented courtesy of Gary House, "The Outdoor Cook" at Cooking-Outdoors.com.
4 eggs 2 green onions, sliced 4 large crimini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/2 red bell pepper, diced 1 tsp capers (no juice) 1/2 cup sharp cheese 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup frozen shredded hash browns 1 tsp dried parsley flakes 2 cloves garlic, minced Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup milk or more as needed
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. Grease the inside of a cast-iron pan or heavy skillet.
- Scramble eggs and milk together in a bowl; add all the other ingredients and mix. Pour mixture into the pan and place on grill over indirect heat. Close hood and cook for about 15 minutes. You may want to move the skillet around on the grates to ensure even cooking.
- Frittata is done when eggs are set and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 160°F. Slice into wedges, and serve hot or warm.
PREP: 10 min. • GRILL: 10 min.
Courtesy of Barry “CB” Martin, on Twitter: @BarryCBMartin.
2 onions, thinly sliced 1 pound sirloin steak (you can also use lamb, pork, or chicken) 4 cups shredded cheddar, jack, or Havarti cheese Salt and pepper 4 hoagie rolls 4 sheets heavy-duty foil
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray, and place one-quarter of the onion slices on each sheet.
- Cut meat into strips 1/8 inch thick; season with salt and pepper. Add one-quarter of the steak strips, followed by one-quarter of the cheese to the onions on each foil sheet. Fold foil over mixture, sealing edges firmly. Leave some space for food to expand during cooking.
- Grill 10 minutes on covered grill, turning once. Serve on hoagie rolls, topped with favorite BBQ sauce.
This is a great preparation method for picnics, tailgating, or any time you have a large group of folks to serve. Prepare the foil packets in advance, keep cool, and place on the grill as you need them.—CB
PREP: 10 min. • GRILL: 20–25 min.
John Dawson, aka Patio Daddio BBQ, is a regular contributor to “Sizzle on the Grill.”
1 cup pulled pork or other grilled meat, shredded 1 package refrigerated roll-up or extra-large biscuits
- If the filling is too dry, mix in a few drops of water, chicken stock or barbecue sauce.
- Roll out the biscuit dough and separate into precut triangles, squares or rounds. Place about 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of each. Roll up the dough to cover the meat and then pinch the sides. You can also use a fork to poke a few small holes in the crust to allow steam to escape.
- Preheat one side of the grill to medium. Place pasties on a baking sheet on the grill over indirect heat, cooking until the dough is browned.
- Serve with a dipping sauce, such as mustard or your favorite barbecue sauce.
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