Let's Grill: Sizzling Good Recipes

By Ann Foster Thelen

Celebrate summer by firing up the grill and serving sizzling-good foods! These Iowa-inspired recipes are sure to become barbecuing favorites.

Grilling is the soundtrack of summer. Cooking delicious foods over an open fire creates a melody of options for flavors and creativity. Perfect over charcoal, wood or gas grilling, these recipes hit all the right notes for a summer afternoon barbecue or an easy, relaxing evening meal.

Make the most of an outdoor kitchen by adding spectacular new recipes to your meal “playlist.” Step away from the indoor stove, embrace Iowa's sunny days and long summer nights, and take in the delightful smell and sizzling sounds of grilling creations wafting through the air. From fresh salads to perfect proteins, these Iowa-inspired foods create an ultimate backyard meal and are sure to be a hit for family and friends.

Grab your tongs, pour a glass of lemonade, crank up the tunes and get grilling to turn mealtime into a breeze.

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Summer Grilled Vegetable & Quinoa Salad with Eggs. Photo Credit: Iowa Egg Council

Summer Grilled Vegetable & Quinoa Salad with Eggs

This savory salad combines the garden jewels of eggplant, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and red onions with fresh parsley and mint. Protein-rich eggs and quinoa pair with the perfectly grilled veggies for a summertime recipe that’s a meal or a side dish. A mixture of lemon juice, tahini, hot sauce and olive oil blanket the vegetables and quinoa for a dressing with notes of heat and subtle tartness. Topped with a sunny-side-up egg, each serving of the salad has 13 grams of high-quality protein and is an excellent source of folate and choline and a good source of vitamin A. Find the recipe here.

Sizzle Reel: Fresh eggs produce the best-looking fried eggs – a compact oval with a thick white and a high-centered yolk. When cooking the eggs, heat matters. If the heat is too high, eggs will become tough and rubbery. Gentle heat preserves nutrients and allows for even cooking.

Ancho Chile Spiced Street Tacos with Pineapple Salsa and Jalapeno Crema

These street tacos might be the hottest recipe of the summer. They're sweet, spicy and delicious! Ancho chile spiced grilled sirloin is topped with jalapeno crema and pineapple salsa and served as street tacos. Ancho chiles have a mild fruity flavor with undertones of plum, raisin, tobacco and a slight earthy bitterness. Known as Poblano chiles in their fresh state, the mild Ancho chile complements the tender beef with perfect harmony. Pineapple salsa – complete with cilantro, lime juice and red onion – adds zing; jalapeno cream with avocado and sour cream adds smooth heat. Find the recipe here.

Sizzle Reel: Top sirloin is a flavorful beef cut that’s versatile, lean and juicy. It’s great served as a steak or cut into cubes for kabobs, stir fry or other recipes. Each 3-ounce serving contains 26 grams of protein and is an excellent source of essential B vitamins. To make cutting steak easier before cooking, freeze the sirloin for up to 30 minutes.


Southwestern Turkey Burgers. Photo Credit: Iowa Turkey Federation

Southwestern Turkey Burgers

Fresh, vibrant and full of flavor, these turkey burgers bring great taste and bold colors to the plate. Whether you're grilling out with a group or whipping up a quick weeknight dinner on the grill, these burgers are sure to please. Plus, this simple recipe comes together in minutes. The tomato salsa allows you to make the most of fresh-picked garden produce, including cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, scallions and cilantro. Find the recipe here.

Sizzle Reel: June is National Turkey Lovers Month! Turkey's flavor, versatility and nutrition make it worth enjoying and celebrating all year, not just at Thanksgiving. A 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless turkey breast is low in fat and contains 26 grams of protein. Protein is essential for fueling busy lives and helping bodies perform at their best.








Grilled Tofu Fries. Photo Credit: The Soyfoods Council

Grilled Tofu Fries

For a crispy and protein-packed accompaniment to your favorite burgers this summer, try tofu! Low in carbs, tofu is an excellent alternative to traditional potato fries. Tofu is a canvas for absorbing desired flavor profiles, making it easy to create sensational fries! This recipe simply uses soy sauce, vegetable oil and Kosher or sea salt to create delicious fries. Served with ketchup or barbecue sauce, devouring fries has never felt so good! Find the recipe here.

Sizzle Reel: Tofu is a soft food similar to the texture of cheese that comes from the coagulated protein in soymilk. It’s highly versatile and has multiple uses in cooking. Tofu is a complete protein – meaning that it has a well-balanced amino acid profile – in addition to fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese. Extra-firm or firm, non-silken tofu is best for grilling. Cooking over medium heat typically yields the best results.

 Grilled Pizzas with Two-Ingredient Greek Yogurt Pizza Dough. Photo Credit: Midwest Dairy

Grilled Pizzas with Two-Ingredient Greek Yogurt Pizza Dough

Grilling and pizza – now that’s a combination for an award-winning hit! This two-ingredient Greek Yogurt pizza dough recipe proves Greek yogurt’s versatility, and it’s a sink-your-teeth-into foundation for summer garden goodies from zucchini to tomatoes to peppers and more. Dusted with cornmeal, it’s a great foundation for all kinds of cheese. For inspiration, try these homemade pizza combinations – grilled zucchini with harissa, mozzarella and feta; tomato, basil and Havarti; or an iconic Iowa version of sweet corn, cilantro, jalapeno and cotija cheese. Find the recipe here.

Sizzle Reel: Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt typically contains twice the protein and about 14% less lactose (a naturally occurring sugar). Just like traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt has a powerful nutrient package that includes essential nutrients like calcium and protein. Plus, some Greek yogurts contain live and active cultures, which may be good for your health.

 Grilled Pork Chop Street Tacos. Photo Credit: Iowa Pork Producers Association

Grilled Pork Chop Street Tacos

These knife-and-fork street tacos are a fiesta in every bite. Pork loin chops are grilled to perfection, then cut into bite-sized pieces and wrapped in a tortilla along with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, cojita cheese and avocado salsa. Cotija cheese is a milky tasting cheese with an addictively salty flavor. Depending on how long the cheese has been aged, it will either be soft (like feta) or hard (like parmesan) Find the recipe here.

Sizzle Reel: Pork chops are the most popular cut of pork. For tender and delicious pork chops prepare your cut of meat to the internal pork cooking temperature of 145 degrees F, as measured by a digital meat thermometer, followed by a three-minute rest. Pork is packed with protein and essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.