30 Grilled Appetizers and Sides

Round out any cookout or barbecue with these grilled recipes

Ribs, burgers, and other main dishes aren't all a grill is good for—we love throwing vegetables, marinated shrimp, and breads over the fire, too, for side dishes and snacks with a smoky char. These grilled appetizers and sides make great additions to any cookout or barbecue.

Salads might be most closely associated with raw vegetables, but grilled ingredients can add delicious flavors to the party. Romaine lettuce is much more interesting with a smoky char, especially when topped with blue cheese and bacon. Grilling endives with honey softens their bitter edge. In our Swedish grilled shallot salad, cooking the alliums with olive oil and butter lets them soften and caramelize, which gives them a deep, sweet flavor.

Other vegetables are at home on the grill, too. Marinating ripe summer tomatoes in soy sauce gives them an umami-rich flavor. Corn becomes sweet and smoky when grilled—serve it on the cob with a goat cheese compound butter or pesto, or make it into a succotash with tomatoes and edamame.

Toasting bread is boring—grilling it gives it a more flavorful char. We love grilling up homemade flatbread and topping it with pickled peaches and plums, as well as burrata and arugula. Storebought bread can be given new life on the grill and topped with briny crab, a refreshing parsley and onion salad, or hearty kale and salty prosciutto.

Next time you have a cookout, grill more than the mains with these grilled appetizer and side recipes.

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip
Nothing tops bubbling, hot-from-the-oven cheese dip—unless that dip is also loaded with fresh, sweet, lightly charred summer corn and fresh herbs. Get the recipe for Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip »Matt Taylor-Gross

Greek Grilled Eggplant Spread (Melitzanosalata)

Melitzanosalata
Charcoal-grilled eggplants are a common Greek meze dish. There are many variations, but Kostas Feidantsis and Dimitris Koparanis of Dr. Benefits prefer this simple version. Use the dark purple fat eggplants, not the long ones. If no charcoal grill is available, roasting the eggplants is the next best thing. Get the recipe for Greek Grilled Eggplant Spread (Melitzanosalata) »Matt Taylor-Gross

Grilled Squash and Scallions with Chile-Honey Vinaigrette

Grilled Squash with Scallions And Chile Honey Vinaigrette
Grilling adds smokiness to summer squash, a flavor that chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta's Miller Union balances with bright ingredients like vinegar, chile, and honey. Get the recipe for Grilled Squash and Scallions with Chile-Honey Vinaigrette »Matt Taylor-Gross

Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
Chef José Andrés likes to cook these calçots, here served with asparagus, in the traditional manner: in a newspaper. The newspaper traps in steam from the cooling calçots, making them more tender and soaking up any excess oil. These tender Spanish green onions, always served with Romesco sauce, are a classic springtime treat. Get the recipe for Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce »Farideh Sadeghin

Pickled Stone Fruit and Burrata Flatbread

Pickled Stone Fruit and Burrata Flatbread
A light vegetarian lunch, or even savory summer dessert, the sugary pickling brine in this recipe helps the peaches and plums caramelize on the grill. Get the recipe for Pickled Stone Fruit and Burrata Flatbread »Michael Turek

Grilled Oysters on a Bed of Salt

Grilling, Grilled Oysters
"You can grill any oyster you'd eat raw," says John Finger of California's Hog Island Oyster Co., "but bigger is better, since the longer they cook, the more they shrink." Rules of thumb: Opt for Pacific over Eastern, and look for 4–5-inch shell size. Have your fishmonger shuck one before you buy; the meat should almost fill the shell. Get the recipe for Grilled Oysters on a Bed of Salt »Michael Turek

Grilled Shiitake Mushroom with Chile and Thyme

Grilled Shiitake Mushroom with Chile and Thyme
Chef Chris Fischer likes to lay out these charred mushrooms at the start of a meal for snacking—they put cheese plates and crudités to shame. Tossing them with the marinade infuses them with deep flavor. Get the recipe for Grilled Shiitake Mushroom with Chile and Thyme »Elizabeth Cecil

Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios

Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios
Inspired by the classic combination of prosciutto and melon, chef John Karangis of Union Square Events created this elegant summer appetizer that marries the sweetness of smoky grilled peaches with salt-cured Italian ham. When choosing peaches for grilling, be sure to pick fruit that's slightly firmer. If they are labeled "freestone," all the better—the pit will pop out without much struggle. Get the recipe for Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios »Matt Taylor-Gross

Escalivada Catalana

Escalivada Catalana
Akin to Puerto Rican escabeche, roasted, tender vegetables are marinated in a simple sherry vinegar dressing for an easy side dish to grilled fish, roast pork, or tender rib eye steak. Get the recipe for Escalivada Catalana »Farideh Sadeghin

Crab Toast

Crab Toast
Spreading mayonnaise on both sides of the bread before grilling yields a perfectly golden brown crust. Get the recipe for Crab Toast »Marcus Nilsson

Shaved Fennel and Grilled Corn Salad

Shaved Fennel and Grilled Corn Salad
A base of crunchy, fresh fennel contrasts perfectly with grilled corn kernels and crumbled feta cheese in this summer salad. Get the recipe for Shaved Fennel and Grilled Corn Salad »Elizabeth Cecil

Grilled Greens and Leek Tops with Chile-Garlic Sauce

Grilled Greens and Leek Tops with Chile-Garlic Sauce
When buying leeks for this dish, cookbook author Amy Thielen says to look for ones that have all or most of their dark green tops still attached. If trimmed leeks are all you can find, use the dark and light green parts only. Get the recipe for Grilled Greens and Leek Tops with Chile-Garlic Sauce »William Hereford

Summer Succotash Salad

Summer Succotash Salad
Grilled sweet corn, plus fresh edamame in place of the traditional limas, elevates this light summer salad. Get the recipe for Summer Succotash Salad »James Oseland

Warm Red Potato Salad

Warm Red Potato Salad
Tender grilled red-skinned potatoes are doused in herb vinaigrette in this warm salad. Get the recipe for Warm Red Potato Salad »Laura Sant

Parsley and Onion Salad

Parsley and Onion Salad
Fresh red onions add cool spice to this simple parsley salad from Jeremiah Cooks (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2002), by Jeremiah Tower. Served on grilled bread with a touch of mint and a sprinkle of capers, the salad looks as appealing as it tastes. Get the recipe for Parsley and Onion Salad »Todd Coleman

Grilled Corn with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter

Grilled Corn with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter
Sweet corn grilled in its husk is enhanced by an herbal goat cheese compound butter. Get the recipe for Grilled Corn with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter »Todd Coleman

Endive Salad with Bee Pollen Vinaigrette

Endive Salad with Bee Pollen Vinaigrette
A thick honey vinaigrette pairs with pleasingly bitter endives that are steamed, grilled, and marinated in this recipe from Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island. Get the recipe for Endive Salad with Bee Pollen Vinaigrette »Ingalls Photography

Grilled Eggplant With Basil Vinaigrette

grilled eggplant
Sliced, grilled vegetables served in a simple marinade or vinaigrette are a fixture at many Tuscan meals. Get the recipe for Grilled Eggplant With Basil Vinaigrette »Matt Taylor-Gross

Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta

Cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) bruschetta
Cavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, or Dinosaur kale, balances thinly sliced, salty prosciutto over toast. Get the recipe for Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta »Laura Sant

Chile-Garlic Shrimp (Gambas Al Ajillo)

Chile-Garlic Shrimp (Gambas Al Ajillo)
These shrimp are cooked in a hot cast iron pan with tons of garlic and red Thai chiles. Get the recipe for Chile-Garlic Shrimp (Gambas Al Ajillo) »Todd Coleman

Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Cups

Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Cups
Iceberg lettuce leaves make great vessels for eating marinated grilled shrimp. For added kick, drizzle with sweet chile sauce. Get the recipe for Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Cups »Mark Roper

Grilled Shallots with Dill (Schalottenlök i Folie)

Grilled Shallots with Dill (Schalottenlök i Folie)
Milder than their cousin the onion, shallots are ideal for grilling. For a midsummer cookout in Sweden, home cook Asa Johanson tosses shallots in butter and olive oil, wraps them in foil with dill, and cooks the package slowly on the grill until the shallots soften and caramelize, taking on a deep, sweet flavor. Get the recipe for Grilled Shallots with Dill (Schalottenlök i Folie) »Felix Odell

Tadashi's Grilled Tomatoes

Tadashi's Grilled Tomatoes
Ripe tomatoes develop umami-rich flavor when grilled with a soy sauce marinade. Mitsuba, a Japanese relative of parsley, lends a mild cilantro-like freshness. Get the recipe for Tadashi's Grilled Tomatoes »Todd Coleman

Grilled Vegetable Salad (Sallad på Rostade Grönsaker)

Grilled Vegetable Salad
Beets, asparagus, eggplant, cauliflower, and fennel are slathered in olive oil and grilled, then tossed with lemon juice and zest to make this warm, smoky grilled salad. Get the recipe for Grilled Vegetable Salad (Sallad på Rostade Grönsaker) »Felix Odell

Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Bacon Recipes
Fresh heads of romaine lettuce are split down the middle, grilled until charred and smoky, and then topped with blue cheese and bacon for this satisfying salad. Get the recipe for Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon »Penny De Los Santos

Grilled Gremolata-Stuffed Sardines

recipe-grilled-gremolata-stuffed-sardines-500x750-i164
Stuffing sardines with fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon before grilling suffuses them with zesty flavor. Get the recipe for Grilled Gremolata-Stuffed Sardines »André Baranowski

Grilled Scallion Skewers (Kao Xiang Cong)

Grilled Scallion Skewers (Kao Xiang Cong)
Double-skewering scallions ensures they don't fall through grill grates and allows for easier basting and flipping. Get the recipe for Grilled Scallion Skewers (Kao Xiang Cong) »Todd Coleman

Grilled Corn with Pesto

Grilled Corn with Pesto
Grilled ears of corn take on a smokiness that pairs well with a garlicky pesto. Get the recipe for Grilled Corn with Pesto »Todd Coleman