Family Dinner Ideas

Summer Grilling Recipes

Moms are always looking for easy family dinner ideas. Summer grill season’s a true boon to family dining. Ingredients are fresh and healthy, kitchen prep’s a snap and cooking time’s minimal, giving you more time to linger over the best part: enjoying a meal together! Here are my family’s five favorite summer grilling recipes.

Grilled skewers

Make an assembly line of cubed meats and veggies to skewer kebab-style, then have the kids move down the smorgasbord, choosing their personal lineup. (My only stipulation is that the kiddos select at least one veggie in their mix.) We’ve used chicken, shrimp, pineapple, tomatoes, peppers, onions, summer squash . . . and they all work great.

Grilled pizza

If you’ve never tried grilled pizza, you’re missing out. It tastes amazing, and the kids can help — rolling out store-bought or homemade dough, choosing their own toppings and assembling their pie. Make sure your grill is h-o-t (about 600°F) before you place the dough directly on the grate. For the four of us, we make either four individual pies or two bigger ones.

Grilled taco buffet

At our house we have a weekly “Taco Tuesday.” Come summer, in lieu of the traditional ground meat, we grill up chicken, fish or shrimp as our main protein. This is another meal your kids can help make, by chopping vegetables, grating cheese and assembling a taco buffet with all the fixings.

Grilled sandwiches

Pile French bread up with fresh basil and tomatoes (extra points if you can pick it fresh from your own garden), add your favorite meat (ham and grilled chicken work great), then place it on the grill with a foil-wrapped brick on top. You can be creative and fill your bread with almost anything (sliced gouda, mushrooms, bacon, red onion). Remember that one-veggie rule!

Pasta with grilled veggies

Most kids are pasta fans. By adding grilled veggies, you add a whole new flavor dimension to their meal. Some of our faves are summer squash, eggplant, peppers and red onion. To get the kids involved, I send them out to our home garden and have them pick the veggies they’d like to toss in their pasta. 

Trina O’Boyle is a Drexel Hill mom of two, a contributor to MK’s MomSpeak blogroll and an organic-cooking expert. Check out her meal plans, recipes and ruminations at O’Boy Organic

Categories: Food & Nutrition, Health & Nutrition