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Grill It: 5 Unsuspecting Foods That Taste Glorious When Grilled

pineapple, mangoes, and figs charred on grill

If you live in America, you’ve likely spent the summer barbecuing. It’s estimated that 74% of Americans own a grill or smoker, and this report shows that 88% of grill owners typically barbecue meat or steak. That means many people grill and tend to eat the same things, finding themselves in a barbecuing rut by the end of summer. We’re here to change that and inspire you to try something a little out of the ordinary. Crank up the heat and expand your palate with these best meals to grill

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

When you think about lettuce, nothing exciting comes to mind—unless you have the inside scoop on its magical grilled flavor transformation. Lettuce gets a bad rap for not producing enough health benefits to rival some of its green, leafy counterparts like spinach and kale, but it sure provides the satisfying crunch that any summertime salad can benefit from. To amp up the taste of a romaine heart, here's what to do:

  • Cut it in half
  • Brush with a little olive oil
  • Place cut-side down on a grill for about 1-2 minutes until grill marks appear but before wilting occurs.

Last but not least, sauce with a minimal amount of your favorite salad dressing and devour.

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Grilled Avocado

avocados on grill with grill marks

The avocado may be one of the world’s most versatile fruits--and ranks as one of the best foods to BBQ. Packed full of nutrients and boasting a kid-approved mild taste, the avocado is consumed in many forms: whole, mashed, blended, and fried, to name a few. It’s no surprise that this well-loved fruit is at the top of our must-grill list. To get it ready, wash and cut the avocado in half and brush with a bit of olive oil—that’s it! Place it cut-side down onto the grill and keep it there until grill marks appear, then remove and add to your favorite salad, stuff it with foods, or season and eat as-is.

Grilled Watermelon

There’s no doubt that watermelon needs nothing else to make it more enjoyable, but summer’s quintessential fruit is found in several delicious recipes like this watermelon Caprese salad or this watermelon salsa. Now, just imagine this sweet and delightful fruit grilled. The taste is unexpected—in a good way. With a meatier texture and a smoky, caramelized sweetness, grilled watermelon can be enjoyed on its own or kabob-style with other grill-friendly fruits like pineapple, apple, and grapes. This is a summertime treat you don’t want to miss!

Food safety is important. Here's how to store produce to keep your fruits and veggies safe--and delicious! 

Grilled Bread

The toaster isn’t the only method for warming up your favorite carbs. The grill is perfect for French breads and sweet breads alike. Slice up a loaf of bread and brush a small amount of olive oil on both sides of each slice. After prepping, place on the grill and heat each side for about 1-2 minutes. Use the grilled slices for appetizers, like this bruschetta, or sandwich with cheese for the ultimate grilled cheese. Angel food cake also works well on the grill. Prepare and heat like you would French bread and serve it with your favorite grilled fruits and ice cream of your choice. Enjoy!

Grilled Peaches

grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup

A summertime staple, peaches taste amazing on their own, but tossing them on the grill makes them even better. Here's what to do for a sweet seasonal treat:

  • Slice the peach in half 
  • Remove the pit
  • Take the skin off (or leave it on if you want!) 
  • Brush with honey and cinnamon or brown sugar 
  • Place on grill cut-side down
  • Cook for about 8 minutes 

Ta-da! Your grilled peaches will be extra juicy and caramelized with a touch of smoky flavor. Eat alone or top them with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for absolute peachy perfection. 

Find the Perfect Companion to the Best Meals to Grill

With these easy foods to grill, you'll be ready for a summer packed with good meals to cook at home. While grilled avocados, romaine lettuce, watermelon, bread, and peaches are great, no barbecue is complete without refreshments the whole family will love. Check out our article, “5 Mocktail Recipes That Are Perfect for Summer,” for totally non-alcoholic mocktail ideas.