Three Terrific Grilled Side Dishes

BlogHer Original Post

Grilling is a pretty simple way to get dinner on the table quickly. I love evenings when I can grill not only my main dish, but my side dishes as well.

Hot kitchens and summer evenings just do not mix. I get grumpy when I sweat. True story.

I've got three simple side dishes for you to try out on the grill this summer.

One quick and simple side dish is grilled corn on the cob. This seems like such a no-brainer, but so many people don't realize that, yes, you can totally grill your corn!

Not only is it easy to do, but it's another quickie recipe. I just husk my corn and remove all of the silks, butter the corn, and wrap it in foil. Next, I pop it on the grill alongside whatever else I'm cooking. You just need to turn the corn every four to five minutes, and it's done in about 15 minutes!

There are so many different ways to season your corn on the cob, from Mexican flavors, to barbecue, to just plain Parmesan cheese, but I'm sharing my favorite seasoning blend below.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Smoky Grilled Corn
Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 ears corn, husked
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and spices until well-combined.
  2. Place each piece of corn on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the corn in.
  3. Brush the corn with spiced butter and roll the foil tight around the corn.
  4. Grill for 15 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes.

This next recipe is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes.

Fresh, seasonal produce is just begging to be grilled, in my opinion. I chop up whatever veggies I have on hand and toss them in a little Italian salad dressing. This seriously could not be simpler, and it is always a crowd pleaser.

My kids even eat squash and peppers when I serve them this way!

The only special equipment you'll need is a grill basket, since you won't want your veggies falling through the grill grates.

Grilled Italian Vegetables

Grilled Italian Vegetables
This will serve 4, but feel free to adjust as needed, and don't be afraid to swap your favorite veggies for my suggested list!

Ingredients:

1 pepper, any color
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 onion
handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of Italian salad dressing
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Chop the pepper, squash, zucchini, and onion into bite sized pieces. They should all be similar in size so they'll cook at the same rate.
  2. Place the chopped vegetables and cherry tomatoes in a large resealable bag along with the salad dressing and vinegar.
  3. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before grilling over medium heat in a grill basket.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

I've just recently discovered my love for avocados and I've been making guacamole, eating smashed avocado on toast, adding slices to salads and sandwiches, and even deep frying wedges of them whenever possible.

Did you know that you can grill an avocado?

I could absolutely eat one (or maybe two, don't judge) of these for lunch, but they make an excellent side dish as well! I always struggle with what to serve as a side dish for tacos or other Mexican meals, but a grilled avocado filled with salsa is the perfect dish! They grill up in less than 10 minutes and are full of good-for-you fats.

Grilled Avocado

Grilled Avocado with Salsa
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish.

Ingredients:

2 avocados, halved and pitted
1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup salsa (homemade or store-bought)
salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill to high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the juice of the lime with the olive oil.
  3. Brush the lime and olive oil combo on the avocado.
  4. Grill for 5 minutes or until grill marks appear and the avocado is just warm.
  5. Remove from the grill and fill the whole with salsa. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

I hope these recipes inspire you to get out there, light up the grill, and have a little fun with your summer dinners this year!

This post is part of the BlogHer Light & Fresh Summer Grilling series, which includes 100 percent editorial content presented by a participating sponsor. Our advertisers do not produce editorial content. This post is made possible by Michelob ULTRA Light Cider and BlogHer.

What is your favorite grilled side dish? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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