8 sizzling barbecue recipe ideas

There’s a lot of great things about summer, but not much compares to the sweet smell of barbecued food wafting past your nose on a sunny day. Plus, this year more than ever, many of us will be looking forward to filling the warmer days with good company and delicious food.

The beauty of barbecuing is that it can be as simple or as complex as you like, whilst still remaining delicious. For example, you might like to select recipes that require little more than putting your meat, fish or veggies on the grill with a little seasoning, and letting them cook. Or perhaps you’d prefer to go for the full-works and select trickier recipes – which can involve making things like burgers and marinades from scratch.

To offer you some inspiration, we’ve put together a list of deliciously varied barbecue recipes, which we hope will stir up your appetite. From Moroccan lamb chops and succulent ribeye steaks, through to honey-glazed halloumi and jackfruit burgers, here are 8 tasty barbecue recipes to try this spring and summer.

1. Teriyaki glazed barbecue salmon

Salmon is one of the UK’s most popular fish and is reputed for its many health benefits. Salmon is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also especially rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which have various health benefits, such as helping to reduce risk factors for heart disease, fight inflammation, enhance eye and bone health, and reduce liver fat – to name a few. You can read more about some of these health benefits in our article, Omega-3: What is it and why do we need it?

Because salmon is naturally rich in flavour and easy to cook, it’s a great option for a light but delicious barbecue dish; measuring in around 200 calories per fillet. It’s easy to flavour to your personal taste too, for example by seasoning it with garlic and herbs, using a honey-soy marinade, or even adding some chilli flakes for an extra kick.

One of my favourites has to be this teriyaki glazed salmon recipe from Simply Homecooked. It’s  quick and simple to make, and will leave you with a deliciously juicy, flaky piece of fish, that strikes a perfect balance between sweet and smoky flavours. If you’d like to make the sauce yourself, you could try whipping up this teriyaki sauce on BBC Good Food, which takes around 15 minutes to make. However, if you’re looking to avoid the faff and save time, you could always buy a pre-made teriyaki sauce from your local supermarket.

Grilling salmon on the barbecue is easy as long as you follow a few simple rules to avoid the fish breaking apart or overcooking. For example, it’s usually best to use skin-on salmon fillets and make sure your grill is squeaky clean before you get started. If you’d like to follow full instructions on grilling salmon on the barbecue, then you might want to check out this article by The Spruce Eats.

Aside from having the skin on, the type of salmon you go for will usually be down to personal preference. For example, wild-caught salmon tends to have a stronger, fishier flavour, but if you prefer a more mild fish, then farm-raised salmon might be better.

We recommend serving your barbecue salmon with a simple side of rice – perhaps fried rice to follow the Chinese theme – plus grilled vegetables such as asparagus, onions, portobello mushrooms, and colourful peppers, which you can brown on the grill barbecue too for added flavour.

You can find more tips and tricks on how to barbecue salmon in the video below…

2. Laquered rib eye steak

Many will agree that there’s something irresistible about the smell of a tasty steak cooking away on the barbecue. Ribeye steak especially – which is often a restaurant favourite – is known for being extremely tender, juicy, and dripping with flavour.

Meat and barbecue enthusiasts are sure to appreciate the crunchy bark-like outer layer that this recipe by Bon Appetit produces on the ribeye steak. By covering the meat in a homemade lacquer made from part fish sauce, the meat will begin to caramelise under the heat – resulting in a crispy coating not too dissimilar from dry-aged beef, and a centre that remains succulent and tender. Though this might sound complex, it’s actually pretty easy to achieve. The lacquer itself is straightforward to prepare and is made from common ingredients like garlic, soy sauce and vegetable oil – and the steak can be cooked in less than 20 minutes.

However, when it comes to choosing your cut of rib-eye meat, you might want to consider taking a trip to your local butcher, as they’ll be able to advise you on the best quality. Alternatively, you could order your meat from an online butcher such as Farmison & Co who have an amazing range of high quality, free-range, grass-fed beef, available to be delivered straight to your door.

For more tips and tricks on how to cook rib eye steak on the barbecue, you might want to have a watch of the video starring Michelin-star chef Tom Kerridge, below.

3. BBQ pulled jackfruit burger

When it comes to barbecue food, probably the last thing you’d think of using as a burger filling is a prickly green tropical fruit. But amazingly, when slightly under-ripe, jackfruit has a texture very similar to shredded slow-cooked meats and makes a perfect vegan substitute for meaty barbecue classics, such as pulled pork.

Jackfruit is native to South India and is the largest tree fruit in the world. It’s significantly increased in popularity over recent years, and is used as a meat substitute in a variety of vegan and vegetarian recipes. Mild in flavour, jackfruit provides the perfect base to add any type of flavour to, to slot into a soft burger bun, and to add to all your favourite BBQ sauces, marinades and toppings. Even better: it’s gluten and soya-free, is a great source of fibre, vitamins A and C – and it’s rich in antioxidants.

If you like the sound of a barbecue pulled jackfruit burger, have a look at this recipe by Olive Magazine which also includes instructions for an apple, carrot, and red cabbage slaw, and homemade BBQ sauce to add to your burger bun. This barbecue dish comes in at between 500-600 calories per serving.

You can either buy a whole jackfruit and prepare it yourself, or buy it tinned instead. Whole jackfruit will need to be boiled for around 30-35 minutes (or until all the liquid has evaporated and the jackfruit feels tender), after which, you can begin shredding it into strands using a fork to give it that pulled meat look.

If you’re not a fan of jackfruit, there are still plenty of other vegetarian and vegan burger options to try. For example, you could have a go at making this spicy barbecue falafel burger, this portabella mushroom burger, or perhaps this smoky barbecue black bean burger.

To get more tips on how to make barbecue jackfruit, you might want to have a watch of the video below…

4. Spanish style chicken and chorizo skewers

Chicken and chorizo has long been a popular combination used in various Spanish-inspired dishes, such as paella. While grilled chicken is tasty, it can become boring on its own after a while (especially when you’re having one barbecue after another in the summer!). But, by simply wedging slices of chorizo between chunks of chicken on skewers – the spiciness of the chorizo will seep into the chicken in the heat, and add a delicious smokey kick.

The great thing about skewers and kebabs is that it’s entirely up to you what you add to them, so you can tailor the taste to your liking. For example, you could add chunks of red pepper, onion, halloumi, or mushrooms, for extra colour and flavour.

Chicken and chorizo skewers (depending on what else you add to them!) can also make for a great low-calorie, guilt-free barbecue option. For example, this chicken and chorizo skewers recipe from The Healthy Eating Hub adds up to just 259 calories per serving – or 372 calories per serving in this recipe from All Recipes.

If you’re not a meat-eater, there are also lots of ways to make these skewers vegan and vegetarian friendly as well. For example, if you wanted to follow similar flavours to the recipe above, you could use chicken and chorizo meat substitutes from companies like THIS, Beyond Meat, Gardein, and Vivera (to name just a few). Alternatively, you could make vegetable-only skewers, add meat-free protein options like halloumi and tofu, or have a mix of both. This article on 13 delicious vegan kebab and skewer recipes from Vegan Food and Living might offer some additional inspiration.

When it comes to serving options, why not try serving your chicken and chorizo skewers alongside a refreshing summer salad? As this can help balance out the rich flavour of the chorizo – particularly if you use spicier sausage. For example, you could have a go at making this summer salad containing blackbeans feta, and avocado from BBC Good Food – or maybe something like a Mediterranean pasta or potato salad if you’re looking for something a little more filling.

For more tips on how to make Spanish style chicken and chorizo skewers, have a watch of the video below.

5. Welsh lamb and feta burgers

If you’re looking to add some variety to your barbecue and try something different from regular beef burgers, then why not have a go at making these delicious Welsh lamb and feta burgers? Welsh lamb is particularly flavoursome because of the special herbs, plants and flowers that the sheep eat on the Welsh hills. And it offers an extremely succulent, tender, and wonderfully sweet cut of meat. This recipe by Eat Welsh Lamb and Beef for lamb and feta burgers involves just three simple steps, so anyone can give this mouthwatering recipe a go at a weekend barbecue.

What makes these burgers particularly special is the premium quality Welsh lamb that they’re made from. Welsh lamb is reputed for being produced on the finest grass, using the best breeding methods, and comes with PGI status (the tag that guarantees premium quality). Plus, Welsh sheep and beef farms have also been marked among the most sustainable farming methods in the world due to their low greenhouse gas emissions.

Welsh lamb and feta burgers are super easy to cook and take only ten minutes to prepare. The ingredients list is also very simple and you’ll only need fresh mint, crumbled feta cheese, black pepper, guacamole, and of course some Welsh lamb mince; which is available to buy in supermarkets, at local butchers, or online (starting around £6 for 500g).

Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of feta cheese, you could always alter the recipe slightly and top your burgers with a different type of cheese. For example, you could add some rarebit to your burgers, or you could even make them spicy. You could also have a watch of the video below, which outlines a special recipe that uses caerphilly cheese served with a side of guacamole.

6. Grilled halloumi with honey skewers

Grilled halloumi on the barbecue is a quick, simple, yet irresistible meat-free dish that’s great for both vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese often associated with the Greek island of Cyprus, where it’s been produced for many centuries. Made from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk, it’s perfect for the barbecue because the firm texture allows it to hold its shape well under heat, unlike other types of cheese.

Halloumi is salty by nature – especially if stored in brine – and has a delicious flavour even when simply grilled on the barbecue by itself. However, for an extra kick, you could try adding a sweet marinade, such as honey. The sweetness of the honey marinade complements the salty halloumi perfectly, and will ensure that each bite is full of flavour.

All you’ll need for this tasty grilled halloumi with honey recipe by Good To Know is some olive oil, runny honey, oregano leaves, a lemon, and of course, the cheese itself, so the ingredients list isn’t too pricey. The method is pretty easy itself too and the cheese will only take around three minutes to cook. The only thing you’ll need to think about in advance is marinating the halloumi, as this will taste best if left overnight.

7. Bacon-wrapped barbecue prawns

There’s something about fresh shellfish that takes many of us back to that feeling of being on holiday or by the sea. And since we can’t travel abroad just yet, why not bring that holiday cuisine into your own home or back garden?

Not only are these bacon-wrapped prawns super easy to prepare and cook, but the crispiness of the bacon and mixture of flavours means they’re also delicious. Bacon wrapped barbecue prawns make for a pretty light, keto-diet friendly meal option (with this version from My Recipes coming in at 215 calories per serving), so you won’t be left feeling uncomfortably full afterwards.

It’s up to you what size prawns you use for this recipe, and different size prawns will work better in different contexts. For example, if you’re thinking of making this dish as an appetizer, then it might be best to use smaller prawns that are more bite-sized like easy-peel prawns you can get at the supermarket. Whereas if you’re serving them as a main dish, you might like to get larger types of prawn (for example, king or tiger prawns or crevettes) because not only are they meatier and slightly easier to wrap the bacon around, but they also look more impressive too!

When it comes to the bacon, the trick is to give it a head start in the oven before you wrap it around the prawns and put it on the grill, as this will allow it to properly crisp up.

You can get as creative as you like when it comes to choosing what dipping sauce to serve up with your prawns. For example, some recipes opt for slightly more complex sauces, like this sticky honey garlic sauce from Cafe Delitesfor. But, you could keep it very simple as Jamie Oliver does in the video below, using only a mix of olive oil, lemon zest, and fresh herbs as a marinade.

8. Moroccan lamb chops

Lamb chops are always a winner on the barbecue because they’re so quick and easy to cook and have a distinctively rich and savoury flavour. Lamb chops come from a prime area of the lamb which means they’re a little more expensive than other cuts of meat (such as lamb shank), but if you’re looking for a reliable tasty barbecue dish that everyone will love, then the price is well worth it. The trick is to use lamb chops that are around one inch thick as this means you’ll be able to brown the sides without overcooking the meat in the middle.

There are endless ways to season and flavour lamb chops – for example, you could make them tandoori flavoured, season them with garlic and rosemary, coat them in a sweet and sticky plum and sesame glaze, or use Moroccan mint seasoning and marinade.

This particular Moroccan themed recipe by The Spruce Eats plays on the all-time favourite combination of mint and lamb, and achieves a deliciously tangy and zesty flavour. For optimum results, it’s best to leave the meat to marinate several hours before cooking – or overnight if you can. If you’re a particularly big fan of lamb and mint together, then you could consider making your own fresh mint sauce to accompany the dish.

The great thing about lamb is that you can serve it with various sides and it will still taste great. For instance, you could prepare a bowl of this Moroccan spiced vegetable couscous from Erren’s Kitchen, which is packed full of delicious vegetables like red peppers, tomatoes, and corn. And if that doesn’t take your fancy, hopefully you’ll find some more inspiration in this article from The Kitchn which has an array of side dish recipes perfect for lamb including minty rice, carrot souffle, garlic broccoli and Hasselback potatoes.

Final thoughts…

Nothing really beats a barbecue piled high with delicious food in the summer shared among friends and family. And now that we’re fully immersed in outdoor dining season, there’s never been a better time to branch out, try some new barbecue recipes, and bring the sweet taste of summer food into your home.

As the recipes above have hopefully shown, barbecues can easily cater to absolutely any diet type – and they don’t have to be unhealthy either. From tender juicy steaks and flavoursome seafood, through to grilled cheese and delicious vegan burgers; there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And if you’re looking for some more inspiration and recipe ideas, you might like to have a read of our article 7 sunshine-inspired recipes ideas.

Have you got an all-time favourite barbecue dish? What new recipes have you tried on the barbecue recently? We’d love to hear from you. Join the discussion on the food and drink section of the Rest Less community forum, or leave a comment below. 

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