4 Summer Grilling Recipes You Can't Resist

You've tried grilled salmon, shrimp, and flank steak before, but Kevin Alexander's smoky take on these classics will open your eyes. They're even better when paired with his grilled quinoa macaroni and cheese!

With warm weather creeping in, there's no better time to break out the grill and add an outdoor element to meal prep. Soak in the sun, fire up the pit, and bask in the glory of these fresh-off-the-barbie dishes. They're protein-rich, flavor-packed, and ready to cool off any hot summer day.


Grilled Southwest Salmon

Salmon is one of the best proteins to add to your diet. It's flavorful, loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and hearty enough to give you long-lasting energy. When it comes to seasoning, don't get too fancy; just keep it simple! A little flavoring on this fatty fish will go a long way.


Wild-caught salmon 4 fillets, or approximately 1 lb.

Extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp

Smoked paprika 1 tbsp

Sea salt and pepper to taste

  1. Set your grill or oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Rub the fillets in the seasoning until they're completely covered.
  3. Place the fillets on the grill or on a baking sheet, and cook for about 15 minutes or until just cooked through.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 fillet
Recipe yields: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 237
Fat12 g
Carbs0 g
Protein31 g

Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Kabobs

What's better than the meaty texture of grilled shrimp? How about the addition of grilled avocado? This easy grilling recipe uses minimal ingredients but packs in maximum flavor. Throw on some peppers and onions and top with a lime-infused marinade. The whole thing takes about 30 minutes to whip up. The best part: It passes the #FitMenCook 3-color meal rule.

What's that, you ask? Challenge yourself to eat at least three different colors at each meal. The colors can only be from a vegetable, fruit, grain, or legume. Animal-based proteins are not included.


Jumbo prawns 1 lb.

Large avocados, ripe but firm 1-1/2

Red bell pepper 1

Orange bell pepper 1

Yellow bell pepper 1

Red onion 1

Garlic paste 1 tbsp

Cayenne pepper 1 tsp

Sea salt and pepper to taste


Extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tbsp

Large lime juice 1

Bragg's apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp

Ginger paste 1/2 tsp

Garlic paste 1-1/2 tsp

Cilantro, finely chopped 1/8 cup

Sea salt and pepper to taste

  1. Set your grill or oven to about 400 degrees F.
  2. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Chop veggies and avocado into large pieces. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails. Season them with garlic paste, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  4. Assemble the kabobs. I like to use chunks of red onion as the end caps, but feel free to make the recipe your own and toss in your favorite seasonable vegetables. Opt for fibrous vegetables, because they're more filling and will likely hold up well under intense heat.
  5. Spray your grilling rack with olive oil (or nonstick cooking spray if you are using an electric grill). Place the kabobs on the grill, and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  6. In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the marinade. When the kabobs have finished grilling, brush them with the optional marinade and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 kabob
Recipe yields: 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 256
Fat12 g
Carbs14 g
Protein22 g

BBQ-Grilled Healthier Mac & Cheese with Asparagus

If you're looking for the next epic side dish for your upcoming barbecue or picnic, here you go. This healthy take on a classic comfort food takes things up a notch, since it's baked on a wood-pellet grill like a Traeger. Stick it on the grill right beside your meat and veggies, then sit back and enjoy epic grilling at its finest. I guarantee, this crowd pleaser will make you the life of the party.


Uncooked quinoa pasta or wheat pasta 4 oz.

Chopped asparagus 2 cups

Red onion, diced 1/3 cup

Uncured, nitrate-free turkey bacon 3 slices

Garlic minced or paste 1 tbsp

Low-sodium chicken broth 1 cup

Quinoa flour or wheat flour 2 tbsp

2% Greek yogurt 1/2 cup

Goat cheese 1/3 cup

Freshly rosemary, chopped 1 tbsp

Reduced-fat shredded mozzarella 1/2 cup

Wheat panko crumbs or homemade wheat-bread crumbs 4 tbsp

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Coconut oil spray as needed

  1. Set your grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the instructions provided on the package and set aside.
  3. Spray a nonstick skillet with coconut oil and warm it to medium-high heat.
  4. Cook garlic, red onions, and bacon together in the skillet for about 4 minutes, or until the red onions turn brown and the edges of the bacon are crispy.
  5. Stir in chicken broth, flour, Greek yogurt, and goat cheese, and allow the sauce to simmer momentarily.
  6. Mix in cooked pasta, chopped asparagus, and fresh rosemary. Stir thoroughly, then remove from the heat.
  7. Pour the contents into a baking dish. I used mini cast-iron dishes in order to better measure out individual portion sizes.
  8. Top with mozzarella and panko crumbs.
  9. Bake for at least 20 minutes, or until the bread crumbs have turned brown.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 bowl
Recipe yields: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 258
Fat7 g
Carbs35 g
Protein18 g

Garlic Peppered Flank Steak With Lime

Since installing my new wood-pellet grill, I've been in a grilling frenzy. I've especially been loving grilled flank steak. Not only is it one of the leanest cuts recommended by the American Heart Association, it's also nearly impossible to mess up. While lean, flank steak is such a soft cut of beef that you don't have to worry about it being too tough after cooking. Check out this recipe I whipped up, and try it for yourself.

Meal Plan Header

Flank steak with fat trimmed 2 lbs.

Garlic, minced or paste 1 tbsp

Smoked paprika 1-1/2 tbsp

Red pepper flakes 1-1/2 tbsp

Coarse ground pepper 2 tbsp

Sea salt 1 pinch

Olive oil to spray

Parsley, freshly chopped garnish

Lime juice to taste

  1. Set grill or oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Spray the tops of the flank steak with olive oil. Add the seasonings, and rub them into the meat, ensuring the top side has "texture." This means you can see the red pepper and black pepper.
  3. Place the flank steak on the grill with the seasoned-side facing down, or place the steaks in the oven on a wire baking rack.
  4. Cook the meat for about 18-20 minutes, then flip it over and cook for an additional 7-10 minutes. Reduce the heat on the grill, and allow the wood pellets to smoke and flavor the meat for an additional 5-7 minutes if grilling, or if baking, just cook until the meat is cooked to desired readiness. Most people prefer flank steak cooked to medium.
  5. Remove from the heat and garnish with fresh parsley and lime juice. Slice by cutting across the grain of the meat, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 6 oz.
Recipe yields: 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 281
Fat13 g
Carbs0 g
Protein38 g