When it comes to summer grilling
, we look to the experts at Food Network
to find the best barbecue recipes. While classics like cheeseburgers
and ribs never go stale, sometimes you need more inspiration. We tapped the cable network for their top summer barbecue recipes, including updated versions of a macaroni salad and grilled steak. Click through and get grilling.
Watermelon Punch Keg:
Serve up a fanciful cocktail in a carved watermelon keg to impress your guests. The blend of watermelon, rosé, and orange vodka is ultra-refreshing on hot summer days.
We love how the layered tropical fruit looks in this coconut-pineapple sangria. Make sure to serve it in a glass pitcher, so you can show off all of those colors.
Pineapple Flower Piña Coladas:
Bake up some pineapple flower rings, and all of your drinks and desserts will look a little sweeter. They're an especially appropriate garnish for these creamy piña coladas.
Freeze this pineapple keg, then fill it up with your favorite drink. It'll keep everything nice and cold even on hot days.
Mint Julep Cucumber Salad:
Sweet and tangy cucumbers dressed with bourbon and honey, courtesy of Southern cook Damaris Phillips, are one of the most refreshing things you can put on your plate. Don't forget to add some chopped mint!
Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad:
For this cold pasta recipe from Rachael Ray, swap the usual macaroni for your favorite fresh tortellini. Skip the creamy dressing in favor of a garlicky vinaigrette that lets each ingredient shine.
Juicy watermelon and crisp cucumber are dressed with tangy crumbled goat cheese, olive oil, lemon, and a few chopped cashews on top for crunch.
Classic Potato Salad:
There are some recipes everyone should know how to assemble, and a classic potato salad is definitely one of them.
Asian Cucumber Salad:
Whether it's in your garden, the farmer's market, or the grocery store, cucumbers are easy to access in the warmer months. Use 'em up in a few different salads; we love this Asian-inspired version that's kissed with ginger, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.
Creamy Cole Slaw:
Whether you serve it on the side or stack it atop your favorite burgers and sandwiches, this is the cole slaw recipe (from grilling guru Bobby Flay himself) that you'll want to have in your arsenal.
American Macaroni Salad:
Salty, a little sweet, and creamy as can be, this mild American macaroni salad just begs to be served alongside bolder barbecue items. On your plate, each cool bite of this dish helps balance your meal.
Creamy Cucumber Salad:
The secret to this creamy cucumber salad is chopped pickled cherry peppers. They add just a touch of spicy sweetness to the mix that'll make you keep going back for "just one more" bite.
Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Salad:
Can we talk about this super-simple mélange of tomatoes, onions, and cucumber from Rachael Ray? When you have juicy summer tomatoes, you don't need much else to make your dish pop.
Ropa Vieja Roulade:
Turn the classic Cuban stew Ropa Vieja into a barbecue party-worthy meal. Flank steak's infused with the rich flavor of peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, and herbs.
Grilled Fish on Pineapple Planks:
Pineapple is known for keeping meat tender, but it also imbues filets of fish with fruity, caramelized flavor when used as a grilling plank. Just place the fish atop your pineapple slabs, grill, and serve.
If you have a penchant for a notorious fast food chain's rib sandwich, this recipe is about to blow your mind. Juicy grilled ribs add huge flavor to this sandwich, and the fluffy hero roll soaks up every last bit of sauce.
Antipasti-Stuffed Flank Steak:
Antipasti platters are a crowd-pleasing first course, and those same flavors (think ham, mozzarella, and pickled peppers) can transform grilled flank steak into a memorable entrée too.
If you can't actually travel to the woods, these campfire cookies are the next best thing. Kids will have fun decorating them too.
Giant Pineapple Cake:
This giant pineapple cake may fool some folks! Celebrating with fruit (cake) never tasted so good.
School-of-Fish Cupcake Cake:
For summer birthday parties and family celebrations alike, this adorable fish-themed cupcake cake will be FTW.
Follow us on Pinterest for more summer barbecue inspiration.
(Photos via Food Network)