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Grilling Ideas for Summer Gatherings

Wow! What a headline! After over a year of maintaining distance, gathering sounds so sweet. Doesn’t it? Add in some summer and some grilling and we have the perfect setup for a fun family weekend. Below you will find our favorite grilling ideas for summer gatherings. We have suggestions for the best marinades, plus great grilling ideas for chicken, beef, and shrimp. Enjoy!

The Best Marinade Recipes for grilling chicken, pork, shrimp, and steak.

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The grill is the summer equivalent of a fireplace; everyone gravitates to it.

Katie Lee

It All Starts With A Great Marinade

The most successful cookouts start the night before. We love to tenderize and marinate our meat, letting it soak overnight before we toss it on the grill. And, we do have a favorite marinade that works great with chicken, pork, steak, and shrimp. It’s super easy too.

Best Marinades for Grilling Chicken, Steak, and Shrimp

Anything Goes Marinade

  • 2 cups pineapple juice (for shrimp you can use pineapple/orange juice)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Dale’s Steak Seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp torn cilantro

That’s all there is to it! Mix it all together. Reserve 1/4 cup for basting. Pour the rest into a freezer bag. Add your protein and lower it into a bowl full of water to push out the air before sealing and then let it soak in the fridge for at least four hours. (Note: For shrimp only marinate for twenty minutes.)

Here are a few more favorites from across the web.

Chicken Marinade

The Best Chicken Marinade Recipe from Modern Honey earns high praise from reviewers. This is very similar to our go-to marinade but she omits the pineapple juice, adds brown sugar, Worcestershire, and lemon juice plus a few other changes.

Steak Marinade

This World’s Best Steak Marinade from Sparkles to Sprinkles is super simple too and packs a lot of flavors. I love the additions of onion powder and honey. Some reviewers love this marinade so much they end up using it for everything. Even folded into hamburger for hamburger patties.

Shrimp Marinade

This Garlic Grilled Shrimp from Spending With Pennies has landed on our grill more than once. It’s so quick to through together and everyone loves the flavor. We think you will too.

Bets Grilling Recipes for Beef and Steak

Grilling Ideas for Beef

Soy Grilled Steak

The lime and the ginger in this marinade make this Perfect Soy-Grilled Steak from The New York Times one of our very favorite ways to grill steak.

Steakhouse Burgers

A grilled hamburger is one of the flavors that best marks summer. We cook a lot of them. These Juicy Steakhouse Burgers from Once Upon A Chef are ridiculous good! If you’re not adding bread and milk to your grilled burgers you need to give it a try. Seriously.

Grilled Tenderloin

If you want to get fancy with your grilling, and who doesn’t? Try this Grilled Beef Tenderloin With Herb Garlic Pepper Recipe from All Recipes. Reviewers use the word phenomenal so frequently you wonder if they are in cahoots.

The Best Grilled Chicken Recipes

Grilling Ideas for Chicken

There is no doubt that any cut of chicken and a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce will deliver the flavors of summer every time. But eventually, you are going to want to mix it up. Especially if you grill as much as we do. So, here are a few more super flavorful options.

Greek Kabobs

These Greek Chicken Kabobs from Damn Delicious are OH-mazing! We like to make extra so we can throw them in pita the next day with some homemade Tzatziki. (We make this Tzatziki from Cookie and Kate)

Chicken Shawarma

I’m dangerously obsessed with the recipes I’ve collected from Half-Baked Harvest. It’s Tieghan’s fault. Her recipes are just SOOOO good. So at the risk of getting hooked yourself, may I suggest her Grilled Chicken Shawarma? Think paprika, cumin, turmeric, and lemon… Also, here is a link to her cookbook. You can thank me later 😉

Foolproof Grilled Chicken

This Grilled Chicken Recipe from Epicurious is awesome for multiple reasons. First, it includes a brine which always makes for extra juicy chicken. Second, lime, mint, and cilantro… Need I say more?

The best grilled shrimp recipes.

Grilling Ideas for Shrimp

Shrimp is at its best on the grill. The thing to remember is not to marinate over twenty minutes or your shrimp will have an odd and unpleasant texture. Also, don’t overcook. Set a timer.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

This Spicy Grilled Shrimp Recipe from New York Times delivers in a hurry. It’s almost too easy to be so good. Almost… Think cayenne, paprika, garlic, and lemon…

Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Caper Sauce

This Grilled Shrimp with Oregano and Lemon Recipe from Food&Wine offer the fresh flavors of Italy in a crustacean. Well, on a crustacean. It’s the sauce actually that is so crazy good. But the sauce is great with grilled shrimp! You need to try this one for sure!

Grilled Cajun Shrimp Packets

These Grilled Shrimp Foil Packets pulled together by Delish are fun to make! We do recommend you parboil the potatoes before tossing them in the packet or they may be a touch underdone. But seriously tasty goodness.

Grilling Side Dishes

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables

These Balsamic Grilled Vegetables from Sweet Phi are addictive which is really rare for vegetables in my experience. It’s the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy, and fresh herbs that make these tastier then most veggies ever dream of becoming. Find out for yourself.

Grilled Street Corn Salad

This Grilled Street Corn Salad from Half Baked Harvest is the perfect side dish for just about anything you are planning to throw on the grill. The herbs and the lime make it so refreshing and the combination of raw and grilled corn gives it this crunch that is amazing!

Grilled Green Beans

I know what you’re thinking, “Geez, Gwen! Green beans and grilling don’t match.” But they do. They really, really do. Reserve judgement until you have tried this Grilled Green Beans Recipe from All Recipes. You’re going to be grilling green beans all summer long.

Look The Part!

Ok, are you as hungry as I am? I hope this collection has helped you pick out a menu that will please everyone at your next backyard cookout. If you have a favorite recipe please share it with us in the comments section below. We love to hear from you!

Keep Calm and Grill On, my friend,


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