Summer Grilling Recipes

Debbie Henry - Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Summer Grilling Recipes

{April 10, 2013}—Forget spring… the warm weather means summer is fast approaching.  I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for BBQ and backyard grilling!  I have provided a few mouth-watering grilling recipes to help break-in the grills as we make our way toward summer.  Try some out and let me know what you think!

Margarita Chicken

                The flavors of this dish incorporate lime, chile, and tequila.  It can be served hot or cold with salad greens.  I think this would also be delicious left over as a quesadilla!


  • zest from one lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, from about 4 limes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tequila, optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, 6-8


Place all ingredients, except for the chicken, in a gallon-sized zip top plastic bag. Squish to combine.

 Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight.

Coat grill pan (or grill) with cooking spray. Heat pan (or grill) to medium-high. Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, turning breast a quarter turn after two minutes if cross hatch marks are desired. Serve immediately.

Finger-Lickin’ Ribs        

                Mmmmm…BBQ!  This recipe can be simplified by using a store-bought sauce rather than the homemade one. 


2 large, meaty racks of babyback ribs

Rib Rub

  • 1/4 cup regular (not smoked) paprika
  • Slightly less than 1 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (fresh garlic will burn)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 TBSP vinegar, (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Heat your oven to 275.

Mix together the dry ingredients of the rib rub.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together well. (Note below.)

Lay the ribs on a large, rimmed baking sheet, then rub them all over with the rib rub and pop them in the oven to bake for 3-4 hours -- the longer the better. If at any point the ribs seem to be browning excessively, turn the heat down to 250.

Make the barbecue sauce while the ribs are baking: Fry the bacon in a pot over medium heat until it has given off most of its fat, then add the thyme, onions, and garlic and fry, stirring, until the onions are translucent and golden. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Fish the bacon out before using.

Finish by barbecuing the ribs: Heat a gas grill to medium (you can add hickory chips for a nice, smoky flavor), or else let a nice wood or charcoal fire burn down to coals.

Slather the ribs with sauce and then grill them for about five minutes a side, until the sauce is burnished but not burned; the sugar will make the sauce inclined to burn, so watch them carefully and err on the side of not blackening them too much (you could do this under the broiler in a pinch -- they would still be good).

Use a sharp, heavy knife to cut the racks into individual ribs, and serve with the rest of the barbeque sauce and lots of napkins.

Grilled Summer Vegetables

                These make an excellent side dish for any of the above recipes.  They can also be made into a tasty quesadilla (add cheese) for a vegetarian dish. 


  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick rounds
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 yellow squash, cut crosswise on the bias into 1/2 inch-thick slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut crosswise on the bias into 1/2 inch-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as tarragon, thyme and/or basil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat grill to high heat. Working in batches, arrange veggies on the grill and cook, flipping once, until tender and just beginning to char, 3 to 5 minutes for the zucchini and squash, 6 to 8 minutes for the peppers and eggplant. Spread out to cool slightly on a large baking sheet.

Roughly chop hot veggies into bite-size pieces and toss with herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper on a large platter. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Recipes courtesy of Disney® Family and Whole Foods Market.