How comfortable are you with your grill? Some people, like my coworker Morgan Bolling, are absolute grilling wizards. Morgan can figure out how to grill anything, from a Texas barbecue brisket to a smoked prime rib and everything in between. Me? I’m more comfortable with baking and admittedly a little intimidated by grilling.
But during grilling season, I like to get out there and try my hand at it, following simple, carefully developed recipes that will lead to success even when I’m feeling less than confident in my grilling skills.
Enter these recipes for weeknight grilled dinners.
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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
The test cooks at Cook’s Country spend weeks (even months) on development, ensuring that our recipes will be failproof for the home cook. Plus, each of the following recipes was designed to take less than an hour and use 10 or fewer ingredients. Any beginner griller can gain some confidence—and kudos from their dinner guests—with these easy grilling recipes, and even seasoned grillers will appreciate these laidback weeknight meals.
The Best Gas GrillsIt doesn’t matter how powerful a grill is. If it can’t distribute and hold the heat where you want it, your food will suffer.
Setting Up the Grill for Weeknight Grilling
Before we get into the recipes, here’s some helpful information about getting the fire in your grill just right for whatever recipe you’re following. Most of the recipes below call for a hot fire.
- A “hot fire” should register about 500 degrees. You’ll know the grill is hot if you hold your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate and can leave it there for only 2 seconds.
- A “medium fire” should register between 300 and 400 degrees. You should be able to hover your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate for 5 to 6 seconds.
- A “low fire” should register somewhere in the 250- to 300-degree zone. You should be able to hold your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate for 8 seconds.
- To achieve a hot fire on a gas grill, preheat it on high, with the lid down, for about 15 minutes.
- To achieve a hot fire on a charcoal grill, you’ll need about 7 quarts of charcoal, or one heaping chimney.
Charcoal GrillsWe’ve happily made do with Weber’s basic kettle for years. But would newer, more tricked-out charcoal cookers be worth the upgrade?
Grilled Chicken Weeknight Dinners
Grilled Barbecue Chicken and Peach Salad
What says summer more than barbecue and peaches? The two come together in our Grilled Barbecue Chicken and Peach Salad. To make it, you’ll season and grill chicken thighs, brushing them with barbecue sauce until sticky and charred, and then you’ll grill peach halves until caramelized. A simple barbecue sauce–flavored salad dressing and a little kitchen assembly of greens, goat cheese, onion, and the peaches and chicken is all it takes to put this hearty summer salad together post-grilling.
Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad
Cobb salad is delicious as is, but when you grill the chicken and the avocados and the romaine for it, you add another layer of flavor. Our Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad takes a little kitchen work, making the dressing and prepping all the components (tomatoes, eggs, and bacon, in addition to the chicken, avocados, and romaine), so the grilling is actually the easiest (and quickest) part here.
Grilled Chicken Fajitas with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream
Crowd-pleasing chicken fajitas, but take them out to the grill—that’s what we were thinking when we developed our recipe for Grilled Chicken Fajitas with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream. Start by briefly marinating the chicken in a chili powder–infused marinade and mixing up the cilantro-lime sour cream. Then, grill the chicken along with bell pepper quarters and onion rounds. When the chicken and veggies come off the grill, warm some tortillas on the grill, slice the chicken and veggies, and set out the spread for everyone to assemble their own fajitas.
Grilled Spiced Chicken and Carrots with Bulgur
For a nicely composed meal off the grill, there’s our Grilled Spiced Chicken and Carrots with Bulgur. Start by microwaving the carrots to give them a head start. Then make the bulgur, and take the chicken and carrots out to the grill. When they’re done cooking, slice the carrots and toss them into the bulgur along with some feta and pine nuts. Slice the chicken and plate it with the bulgur, being sure to drizzle everything with a simple sauce of tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil to tie it all together.
Grilled Seafood Weeknight Dinners
Grilled Cod and Summer Squash Packets
Our Grilled Cod and Summer Squash Packets are light and summery, not to mention bright and vibrant. To make them you’ll start by microwaving some oil, garlic, and shallots to make a fragrant oil to toss with sliced summer squash, tomatoes, and capers. You’ll lay out four sheets of foil and arrange the vegetables on top, followed by the cod and some lemon slices. Crimp up the packets and toss them on the grill for about 10 minutes. After letting the packets rest for 5 minutes, they’re ready to serve. (And cleanup is so easy!)
Grilled Shrimp Boil Foil Packs
Once you know how to make a foil packet, you’ll find that you can grill other things that way too, such as our Grilled Shrimp Boil Foil Packs. This recipe is inspired by a shrimp boil, so in addition to the shrimp, there’s andouille sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes. And everything is flavored with Old Bay, lemon, and butter.
Grilled Swordfish and Pineapple Skewers with Couscous
For our Grilled Swordfish and Pineapple Skewers with Couscous, swordfish, pineapple, and onion get a flavor boost from a honey-lemon marinade before being skewered and hitting the grill. Meanwhile, some curry-flavored couscous comes together in just 5 minutes. Top the couscous with the skewers, drizzle extra marinade on top, and dig right into this delightful, colorful dish.
Grilled Swordfish with Potatoes and Salsa Verde
Packets and skewers are nice, but if you want a more elegant seafood dinner, a whole piece of fish grilled right on the grate is the way to go. For our Grilled Swordfish with Potatoes and Salsa Verde, that’s exactly what we did. Some potatoes, precooked in the microwave and then skewered and finished on the grill round out the dish. Finally, there’s a simple salsa verde (made with parsley, capers, lemon zest and juice, anchovies, garlic, and oil) to serve with both the fish and the potatoes.
Grilled Steak Weeknight Dinners
Flank Steak with Grilled Guacamole Salad
For our Flank Steak with Grilled Guacamole Salad, we start by rubbing the steak with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and lime zest to ensure that it will have lots of flavor when it comes off the grill. Along with the steak, we grill cherry tomatoes (skewered to make them easy to move on the grill), rounds of red onion (secured with toothpicks so they hold together), halved avocados, and a jalapeño pepper. Once everything is grilled, the vegetables get turned into a simple salad to pair with the steak.
Grilled Flank Steak with Tomato-Feta Salad
Summer dinners off the grill don’t get much easier than our Grilled Flank Steak with Tomato-Feta Salad. A little sugar, salt, pepper, and Greek seasoning go on the steak before it hits the grill. Once it’s done, you simply slice it and serve it alongside a dressed tomato salad with crumbly feta cheese. Making the dressing before you put the steak on the grill ensures that you won’t be overwhelmed trying to keep an eye on the steak while prepping the salad.
Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Summer Squash and Smoky Paprika Lemon Butter
Just because it’s a weeknight dinner, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a showstopper. These Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Summer Squash and Smoky Paprika Lemon Butter are sure to impress your family or your guests. The smoky paprika-and-lemon zest–infused butter that gets tossed with the squash and served with the steaks takes this dinner up a notch. You’ll grill the steaks first, and while they’re resting topped with the butter, you’ll quickly grill the squash.
Grilled Steak Tips, Broccoli, and Red Onion with Anchovy-Garlic Butter
Break out your skewers for this one. For our Grilled Steak Tips, Broccoli, and Red Onion with Anchovy-Garlic Butter, you’ll thread steak tips onto skewers and grill them alongside some broccoli and red onion. Cooking butter with anchovies, pepper flakes, garlic, and lemon juice makes the magic sauce that pulls the dish together.
Grilled Pork Weeknight Dinners
Grilled Garlic and Parsley Pork Chops with Potatoes
Our Grilled Garlic and Parsley Pork Chops with Potatoes recipe starts with blending up a boldly flavored parsley paste. Some of the paste goes on the pork chops before grilling to make sure they’re superflavorful, and the rest gets mixed with mayonnaise and lemon juice to make a side sauce for dipping potatoes and the grilled pork. The potatoes get a head start in the microwave, so they finish grilling at the same time as the pork chops.
Grilled Honey-Ginger Pork Tenderloin and Plums
Mild pork tenderloin takes especially well to grilling and to other flavors. That’s why we chose it when developing our Grilled Honey-Ginger Pork Tenderloin and Plums recipe. Once the pork is grilled (which takes less than 15 minutes), you brush it with a ginger-and-thyme-infused butter sweetened with honey. Then you’ll grill some cut plums, add lemon juice to the remaining butter mixture, and drizzle it over the pork and the plums. The juicy plums and sweet honey make this dish just right for hot summer evenings.
Grilled Italian Sausages and Balsamic Radicchio
Sausage is one of the easiest meats to throw on the grill. It’s already seasoned, so it can just go right on and cook until nicely browned. For our Grilled Italian Sausages and Balsamic Radicchio, we chose to pair Italian sausage with radicchio and grilled bread for a simple summer supper. We grilled the radicchio along with the sausage and then tossed it with a honey-balsamic vinaigrette to tame its bitterness.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Summer Squash with Chimichurri
If you really want a light summery dish with bold flavor, then you’ll want to try our Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Summer Squash with Chimichurri. For this dish, pork tenderloins get pounded to ½-inch thickness, so they cook quickly, like steaks. Once the pork and summer squash are cooked, they get drizzled with chimichurri (an herb sauce made with olive oil, parsley, cilantro, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano).