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5 Fresh Grilling Recipes To Welcome the Season

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Bye-bye winter and hello spring! 

When I think of spring, I picture colors, flowers, and a lot of greenery. 

During this season, the sun’s finally out and the weather’s more manageable, making me want to do a lot more outdoor activities, and there’s one activity in particular I’m looking forward to — grilling!

Even if summer is technically the peak of grilling season, springtime marks the beginning of cookouts. Meaning, it’s the perfect time to get the ball rolling with some fresh and exciting grilling ideas. 

And of course, I came prepared. So, here are some BBQ spring recipes I have in store for you.

1. Grilled Sweet Potatoes With Chimichurri

We’re starting off easy with these grilled sweet potatoes with chimichurri. Sweet potatoes are actually super popular during fall and winter, but as it turns out, they also make a great spring dish.

With just a handful of basic seasonings and spices, you can add more color and flavor to this veggie. And the best part is, this recipe only takes 15 minutes to make — so, no sweat at all. 

To get started, get two pounds of sweet potatoes, three to four tablespoons of olive oil (or avocado oil if you prefer), a teaspoon of sea salt and pepper, and half a teaspoon of paprika and garlic powder. 

If you plan on making chimichurri from scratch, you’ll need a cup of packed flat-leaf parsley, two tablespoons of fresh oregano, two garlic cloves, a small shallot, and one small serrano chili — all finely minced.

On top of those, grab two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, half a teaspoon of sea salt, a pinch of ground black pepper, and half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. 

Once your ingredients are ready, turn your grill on and oil its grates. 

While your grill is heating up, slice your sweet potatoes either diagonally or vertically. Then, place them in a bowl along with your olive oil and seasonings. 

Toss them all together to combine and after that, put them on the grill. 

Cook your seasoned sweet potatoes for about seven minutes per side. However, if your slices are much thicker than a quarter inch, you may need to leave them on the heat longer. 

One way to find out if your potatoes are done is this: pierce them with tongs or a fork, if they feel soft and pliable, they’re good to go.

But before then, just sit back and relax. Or, better yet, take the downtime to make your chimichurri sauce.

All you have to do is blend your parsley, oregano, garlic, shallot, serrano pepper, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. While stirring, drizzle some olive oil on top.

When all the ingredients are starting to come together, give your sauce a taste and adjust the seasoning as you see fit.

By this time, your potatoes should be done, so transfer them to a bowl and season them with more salt. Pour your chimichurri on top, and your dish is ready to serve. 

Spring grilling recipes are all about being light and refreshing, and I think our first recipe captures that. 

2. Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

I’m excited for this next dish because we’re upping the ante a little bit. Now, we’re entering a new territory, and it involves a lot more than two components to complete.

For this recipe, we have a juicy and savory grilled chicken, a hot and melty mozzarella layer, and a topping of fresh basil and tomato salsa. They’re all mouthwatering, I know.

So, if you’re all set, let’s hop to it!

Get four boneless chicken breasts (pounded to about 1” thickness), two tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and garlic powder, some salt and black pepper, and as many mozzarella slices as you like!

To make your tomato basil topping, get three Roma tomatoes (diced), two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, two tablespoons of finely chopped fresh basil, and — don’t forget your trusty salt and pepper.

After gathering everything you need, prep your chicken first.

To do this, combine your pounded chicken breasts with oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir everything together until the chicken is nicely coated. 

Then, place your chicken breasts on your grill and let them cook for eight minutes. After eight minutes, flip them over and do the same on the other side. 

While your meat is cooking, you can move on to the next step, which is preparing your fresh and zesty bruschetta topping. 

All you need to do here is to get a bowl and combine your tomatoes, seasoning, lemon juice, and basil. Mix, mix, mix, and you’re done (at least, for this part)!

Going back to your chicken breasts, check if they are fully cooked through. If they are, add your mozzarella slices on top and leave them on the heat for just a minute to melt the cheese.

After that, gently take your chicken breasts (with the mozzarella) off the heat and move them to a serving plate. Spoon some of your homemade bruschetta sauce over them, and you’re ready to eat! 

In my opinion, this is such a perfect lunchtime recipe. Just imagine eating this dish out in your backyard, under the bright sun, surrounded by greens. Is there anything more divine?

3. Grilled Minted Lamb Burgers

If you’re in the mood for something heartier or more filling, don’t fret because these grilled minted lamb burgers are here to save the day.

It’s got fresh vegetables, crumbly cheese, cooling herbs, and of course, tender lamb. These should be enough to keep you and your tummy satisfied for a long time. 

To get started, get 24 oz. of lean ground lamb, three tablespoons of fresh mint, two tablespoons of fresh oregano, a teaspoon of chili flakes, 6 oz. of feta cheese, and four large buns (lightly toasted).

For the rest of your burger toppings, get four lettuce leaves, 16 slices of peeled cucumbers, eight tomato slices, four slices of sweet onions, and 16 mushrooms (optional, but highly recommended).

Now, make your lamb patty by mixing your mint, oregano, chili, salt, and pepper with your ground lamb. Be sure to use your hands to really mush it all together. 

Once you’ve made a uniform batch, divide the meat into four equal patties. After that, grease your grill grates with some oil and put your patties on top. 

Cook the first side for four minutes. Then, flip the patties around and cook the other side for about five minutes.

During the second half of the grilling process, you can brown your crumbled feta cheese and mushrooms in a lightly buttered frying pan.

When your patties are done, just set them aside to cool down a bit. In the meantime, grab your sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions and place them on the still-hot grill to char slightly.

Doing that will help add a hint of smokiness to your dish.

Then, when all of your elements are ready, go ahead and assemble your burger. Top it off with some garlic aioli or any other condiments you like, and serve!

This recipe is a great rendition of the classic cheeseburger. It has all the same components, but they are tweaked a bit to make the dish more spring-appropriate. After all, we are trying to follow a theme here. 

4. Grilled Sugar Snap Peas With Buttermilk Aioli

Another recipe that’s totally on theme is this grilled sugar snap peas with buttermilk aioli. Sugar snap peas usually come in season during spring to early summer. 

In many regions, you can find these veggies starting to pop up from late March to early June. As such, there’s no better time to make this recipe than at their peak.

And if making this dish is on your agenda today, you’ll need one small shallot, one and a half pounds of sugar snap peas, a tablespoon of oil-packed Calabrian chilis, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Plus, get half a cup of vegetable oil, two tablespoons each of olive oil, lemon juice, buttermilk, and crème fraîche, one large egg yolk, one finely grated garlic clove, and some sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Once you have all your ingredients, the first step is to prepare your aioli. To do this, grab two bowls. In the first bowl, mix your shallot and lemon juice, then set it aside.

In the second bowl, whisk your egg yolk, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, and two teaspoons of water. While whisking constantly, drizzle your olive oil gradually until your sauce starts to thicken. 

When that happens, gently stir in your buttermilk, crème fraîche, and shallot mixture (from bowl #1). Season with some more salt and pepper, and reserve for later. 

Now, it’s time to move on to the next step: grilling. But, before you char your snap peas, season them first with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

Depending on how far apart your grates are, you may need to use a wire rack or grill basket. This added tool is a great solution to prevent any of the peas from falling through the grates.

So, with your grill all set up, cook your peas — turning occasionally — until they’re lightly charred. In my experience, this usually takes around four minutes, but keep a close watch just in case this changes.

For the final step, transfer your grilled veggies to a plate and drizzle your homemade aioli on top. Sprinkle some chilis and more sea salt if you like, and your dish is complete!

Side Note: You can make your buttermilk aioli three days ahead of time. Make sure to cover and chill them properly to preserve their freshness.

5. Grilled Banana With Crema and Cheese

Thus far, I’ve taken you on quite a journey of springtime grilled dishes. We started with a simple recipe with only two components. Then, we took it up a notch with more intermediate-level creations. 

Now, for this last recipe, we’re taking it back to the basics because this grilled banana with crema and cheese is simplicity at its finest. 

But, in order for this dish to shine, you need to pay close attention to the three main ingredients: banana, cream, and cheese. 

As much as possible, get six heirloom bananas or small plantains that are at the perfect stage of ripeness. After that, get one cup each of high-quality crème fraîche and crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese. 

With your three ingredients laid out, let’s grill!

Place your whole bananas on the grates and cook them on indirect heat until they’re nicely charred (around 30 minutes). Turn them every 10 minutes until their peels open up and reveal a tender fruit inside. 

30 minutes later, take your bananas off the grill and carefully split the peel in half. And for the final step, drizzle some of your crema on top and sprinkle them with your cheese.

Although this dish only has three ingredients, its flavor profile is quite complex. 

With every bite, you’ll taste the natural sweetness of the bananas, then the creamy richness from the crema, and finally, the slight tang of the cheese. 

It really is quite a satisfying dessert option, perfect for spring.

Enjoy Spring Flavors on the Grill

One thing I like about these spring grilling recipes is that the flavors are more subtle, delicate, and balanced. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good bold summer grilling dish every once in a while, but sometimes I find them a little bit overwhelming on my taste buds.

So, in times when I just want something fresh, citrusy, and light, spring specialties are my go-to.

These recipes embody the essence of the season. And if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy making them just as much as you’ll enjoy eating them.

Sofia Exconde Avatar

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