19 Top Chef Grilling Recipes to Make This Summer

Grilled Scallops with Miso Corn Salad
Photo: Victor Protasio

As soon as the weather gets warm, we look forward to turning on our grills and pulling out some of our favorite summer recipes, from fresh grilled vegetables (hello, corn on the cob) to juicy burgers. In this collection, we've gathered some next-level dishes from Top Chef contestants and judges that will help you make the most of your grill this season, from Sheldon Simeon's Huli Huli Chicken Wings to Gail Simmons' Grilled Scallops with Miso-Corn Salad. If you're looking for something more vegetable-focused, we've got options for that too, including Grilled Asparagus with Taramasalata from Zoi Antonitsas and a Grilled Garden Vegetable Salad from Ludo Lefebvre that features grilled green beans, yellow wax beans, and tomatoes. Keep reading for even more grilling recipes to make all summer long.

01 of 19

Shrimp-and-Okra Kebabs with Grilled Peaches and Jalapeño-Bourbon Vinaigrette

Shrimp and Okra Kebabs Recipe
Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

Sue Zemanick (Top Chef Masters Seasons 3 and 5)

A splash of bourbon in the vinaigrette adds a sweet, boozy kick of flavor and helps tenderize the shrimp in 2008 F&W Best New Chef Sue Zemanick's shrimp and okra kebabs. Cutting okra in half lengthwise keeps it big enough to skewer and get charred and crispy on the grill without falling through the grates. Zemanick recommends salting the okra and cooking at a high heat for the best texture. "Everything about this dish screams summer to me," Zemanick says. "Being able to cook with ingredients that are in season simultaneously helps to ensure a delicious dish. Although I truly believe fresh is best, feel free to save time by buying peeled fresh or frozen shrimp."

02 of 19

Sweet-and-Spicy Spareribs with Korean Barbecue Sauce

Sweet-and-Spicy Spareribs with Korean Barbecue Sauce
© Christina Holmes

Mei Lin (Season 12)

Top Chef winner Mei Lin slow-roasts these ribs in the oven until they're super-tender and then glazes them on the grill with a sweet and spicy sauce spiked with gochujang. She also uses the sauce to dress pulled pork, as a dip for french fries, and mixes it with melted butter to toss with fried chicken.

03 of 19

Grilled Snapper with Four-Herb Gremolata

Grilled Snapper with Four-Herb Gremolata
John Kernick

Jennifer Carroll (Seasons 6, 8: All-Stars, and 17: All-Stars)

For snapper fillets with perfectly crisp skin, chef Jennifer Carroll seasons just the flesh side before placing the fish on a very hot grill. The accompanying gremolata can be refrigerated for three hours if you want to make it slightly in advance.

04 of 19

Grilled Asparagus with Taramasalata

Grilled Asparagus with Taramasalata
© Nicole Franzen

Zoi Antonitsas (Season 4)

Taramasalata is a Greek dip or spread made with salted fish roe, olive oil, and bread (or sometimes potatoes). Chef Zoi Antonitsas' creamy version is a perfect accompaniment to grilled asparagus.

05 of 19

Braised Pork Shanks with Grilled Peach Salad

Braised Pork Shanks with Grilled Peach Salad
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Nina Compton (Season 11)

Here, 2017 F&W Best New Chef Nina Compton uses a jerk-style rub on meaty pork shanks before slowly braising them in the oven. For balance, she serves the rich shanks alongside a summery grilled peach salad.

06 of 19

Anticuchos de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Skewers)

Peruvian Chicken Skewers
Greg DuPree

Stephanie Izard (Season 4)

These Peruvian skewers are coated in a thick chile marinade that withstands the heat of the grill and clings to the chicken, yielding caramelized, charred bits. Serve the skewers with Huacatay Dipping Sauce.

07 of 19

Grilled Pickled Carrots with Charmoula and Almonds

Grilled Pickled Carrots with Charmoula and Almonds
© Nicolas Gourguechon

Beverly Kim (Season 9)

Pickling and then grilling carrots gives them a briny and charred flavor that matches perfectly with the spicy charmoula sauce. This recipe from chefs Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark would make a great summer side dish.

08 of 19

Grilled Scallops with Miso-Corn Salad

Grilled Scallops with Miso Corn Salad
Victor Protasio

Gail Simmons (Judge)

"What's not to love about scallops?" Top Chef judge and cookbook author Gail Simmons asks. "It's hard to find fault in their naturally beautiful shape, pillowy texture, and distinctly sweet, mild flavor. They take well to an infinite array of preparations and cooking techniques, adapt to almost any cuisine, and (as any Top Chef contestant will tell you) can be cooked incredibly quickly or served raw, making them the ultimate blank canvas for everything from black truffles to black bean sauce, citrus to sambal. In summer, I cook them on the grill until just kissed by the flames and pile them on top of warmed veggies with a bright dressing. This version, a favorite for quick and easy backyard dinners, incorporates miso, ginger, and toasted sesame, adding a savory dimension to the salad and a rich contrast to the corn and scallops' inherent sweetness."

09 of 19

Grilled Garden Vegetable Salad

grilled vegetable salad
Chloe Crespi

Ludo Lefebvre (Top Chef Masters Seasons 1 and 2)

Chef Ludo Lefebvre says the key to perfect vegetable salads is properly cooking each vegetable. Blanching and shocking the green and wax beans before grilling gives them an evenly tender bite with delicious flavor from the grill.

10 of 19

Pimento Cheeseburgers with Bacon Jam

Pimento Cheeseburgers with Bacon Jam
© Abby Hocking

Edward Lee (Season 9)

"This is like a bacon cheeseburger that went to heaven," says chef Edward Lee. The pimento cheese and sweet bacon jam both melt into one dreamy, messy bite. Save any leftover spreads for an out-of-this-world grilled cheese sandwich.

11 of 19

Grilled Chicken with Banana Pepper Dip and Fattoush

Grilled Chicken with Banana Pepper Dip Recipe
Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

Anita Lo (Top Chef Masters Season 1)

2001 F&W Best New Chef Anita Lo's 2018 cookbook SOLO celebrates the joy of cooking for one, just like this weeknight-friendly chicken recipe with a twist. "The banana pepper dip in this recipe is perhaps my favorite recipe that my partner's mother Bonnie Attea makes," Lo says. "It's a three-ingredient wonder that makes a weeknight chicken breast exciting. Banana peppers can vary on the heat scale so taste a little before mixing, and mitigate with a little cayenne per your taste." Leftover banana pepper dip works well as a spread in sandwiches, or as a dip with pita crackers or crudités. While pre-crumbled feta may be used in the dip, blocks of feta crumble easily, and result in a richer, creamier texture.

12 of 19

Grilled Corn with Cotija and Quicos

Grilled Corn with Cotija and Quicos Recipe
Aubrie Pick

Traci des Jardins (Top Chef Masters Season 3)

Hot off the grill, charred sweet corn gets slathered in tangy lime mayonnaise and topped with extra-large crunchy quicos, or corn nuts, in chef Traci des Jardins' version of elotes. For a plated version, cut the kernels from the cobs and toss with lime mayo and quicos, then scoop and serve.

13 of 19

Pulehu Steak Tip Skewers with Maui Onion Finadene Sauce

Pulehu Steak Tips with Maui Onion Finadene Sauce
Victor Protasio

Sheldon Simeon (Seasons 10 and 14)

Pulehu is Hawaiian for "to cook over hot coals." In this grilled steak tip skewer recipe from Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon, a punchy, bright basting sauce of sake, soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry vinegar, garlic, ginger, and scallions flavors the beef. Pulverized toasted barley is the secret ingredient in the sauce—it thickens the sauce and helps it coat the beef so it gets crispy when grilled. Simeon layers on even more flavor into finadene, a soy-based sauce, to serve with the skewers, with the addition of sweet Maui onions and Agrumato lemon olive oil, a citrusy finishing oil produced by pressing whole lemons and olives.

14 of 19

Grilled Sea Bass with Marinated Eggplant

Grilled Sea Bass with Marinated Eggplant
John Kernick

Tom Colicchio (Judge)

In this beautiful and simple recipe, chef Tom Colicchio makes a marinade with olive oil, chiles, and a mess of fresh herbs, and uses it to marinate eggplant both before and after it's grilled for extra flavor. The bass, on the other hand, is simply seasoned with salt and pepper before hitting the grill. Colicchio lets it cook through and become lightly charred, and then serves it with lime wedges and the eggplant.

15 of 19

Double-Cut Rib Eye with Sweet Gorgonzola Butter

Double Cut Rib Eye with Sweet Gorgonzola Butter
Victor Protasio

Suzanne Tracht (Top Chef Masters Season 1)

At her modern chophouse, Jar, in Los Angeles, 2002 F&W Best New Chef Suzanne Tracht's menu changes with the seasons. To celebrate summer, she says, "this juicy, sweet combo of Gorgonzola and beef alongside fresh heirloom tomatoes is how I kick off the outdoor months." A two-rib prime rib eye mini-roast makes it easy to light up the grill. Tracht offers good reason to source your steak from a trusted butcher: "You want your guests passing around the bones at the end." Serve the grilled beef with Sweet Gorgonzola Butter and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Ramp Vinaigrette.

16 of 19

Grilled Potato Salad with Mustard Seeds

Grilled Potato Salad with Mustard Seeds
© John Kernick

Stephanie Izard (Season 4)

For this potato salad recipe, Izard grills sliced potatoes in a pan of butter to give them an amazing crust, then dresses them with a super-tangy mustard seed vinaigrette, fresh scallions, and celery. Serve the side dish at your next barbecue or cookout.

17 of 19

Grilled Oysters with Bacon Vinaigrette

Grilled Oysters with Bacon Vinaigrette
Christopher Testani

Brooke Williamson (Seasons 10 and 14)

If you already have your grill on for your main course, these oysters are an impressive and super-simple starter. Top Chef Season 14 winner Brooke Williamson cooks the oysters ever so slightly on the grill for a kiss of smoke. "It firms up the flesh just enough so it feels like you're eating shellfish," she says.

18 of 19

Grilled Quail with Sweet-and-Sour Plum Glaze

Grilled Quail with Sweet and Sour Plum Glaze
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Melissa King (Seasons 12 and 17: All-Stars)

Plums and blackberries form the backbone of this sweet-savory glaze from Top Chef Season 17 winner Melissa King; it's perfect for quail but also delicious with bone-in chicken thighs or pork chops. Serve alongside a crisp and refreshing Arugula-Radish Salad with a tangy lime-sesame dressing for the perfect summer meal.

19 of 19

Huli Huli Chicken Wings

Huli Huli Chicken Wings
Greg DuPree

Sheldon Simeon (Seasons 10 and 14)

Simeon uses fresh ginger and pineapple juice to add bright heat and tang to the sweet, teriyaki-like homemade huli huli sauce that coats the chicken wings and pineapple slices in this recipe. The marinade helps the wings get smoky-sweet on the grill and retain a delicious juicy bite. Huli huli means "turn turn"—huli huli chicken is a local specialty on Oahu, where vendors thread chickens on a special rotating grill and broil it over charcoal. When grilling at home, be sure to turn the chicken wings often so they crisp evenly. The slices of fresh, glazed pineapple get smoky on the grill and play off the juicy, caramelized chicken.

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