Summer is officially here — which means it’s time to ramp up the backyard bbq’s and pool parties while the season is hot. If you’re like me, you’ll jump at any excuse to bring friends and family together for some fun in the sun, a margarita (or two!), and summer eats packed with seasonal flavors. This summer, instead of my traditional build your own hot dog or burger bar (although always a crowd favorite!), I’ve decided to spice it up and add a few new and unexpected things to my grilling repertoire.

If you’ve mastered the usual suspects when it comes to grilling — burgers, steaks, hot dogs, and every variety of teriyaki kebobs — it may be time to try something new.

Here’s a list of 10 unusual things we’re planning to test out on the grill this summer. Word on the street is that they taste even better with some char, and you’ll never go back to cooking them any other way. Fire it up!

Sweet Potatoes.

These Yakitori style grilled sweet potatoes by Dr. Weil of True Food Kitchen will be on repeat on our dinner menus all summer long. Yakitori meas “grilled fowl” in Japanese, but the term has come to refer to any food cooked on a skewer. Kids also love these; they make a good side dish for grilled chicken or turkey burgers. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes to keep them from burning.

Get the recipe here.

image by lindsay maitland hunt for Delish

Pineapple.

Grilling is by far the best way to eat pineapple. Even slightly underripe pineapples taste amazing, since grilling brings out all of the pineapple’s juices as it starts to caramelize. It’s a perfect snack, appetizer, side dish, and even dessert.

Get the recipe here.

image by love & lemons

Avocado.

Grilling avocados adds a layer of smoke to the fruit and “makes it really creamy. If you’ve never tried it, it’s time for that to change asap! This tart veggie ceviche over lightly charred, creamy avocado is a delicious side for any summer meal.

Get the recipe here.

image by the comfort of cooking

Peaches.

Juicy, sweet grilled summer peaches make the most mouthwatering dessert with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream! Add basil or mint for fresh fragrance and even more eye appeal. So easy and elegant.

Get the recipe here.

image by eating richly.

Romaine Hearts.

Take your chicken Caesar salad to the next level with grilled romaine hearts and seasoned grilled chicken, drizzled with a quick and easy, creamy Caesar dressing. This dinner recipe is gluten free, low carb and keto, and packed with flavor!

Get the recipe here. 

image by rasamalaysia

Oysters.

There’s few things better than big, fat, juicy and succulent oysters on the half shell during the summer. They are one of the easiest things to make, and the end results are so delicious that I can just eat so many of them. Pour yourself a cold glass of white wine champagne to enjoy with these!

Get the recipe here.

image by the endless meal

Mushrooms.

These grilled mushrooms would make the best side dish for Father’s Day dinner. Steak + garlic butter mushrooms + a big pint of beer = one happy dad. Am I right?

Get the recipe here.

image by kitchen laughter

Bananas.

If you’ve only eaten bananas as a standalone piece of fruit or as a quick bread, you’re missing out on the vast potential of this potassium-rich favorite. No longer meant to be enjoyed as just a healthy snack or ice-cream topped dessert, get a little creative this summer and throw a few bananas on the grill for a light treat. Grilling bananas is as simple as searing meats and other easy-to-char fruits such as peaches and pineapples. Top with cinnamon sugar, caramel sauce, nut butter, vanilla ice cream, or berries!

Get the recipe here.

image by downshiftology

Beets.

Because plain hummus can sometimes be just, well, plain boring. Grill up some fresh beets for a smoky, homemade dip that pairs perfectly with pita chips.

Get the recipe here.

image by cooking on the weekends

Watermelon.

Chile-Lime Grilled Watermelon will be the hit of your summer BBQ! Sweet, subtly spicy and super refreshing, it’s the perfect side dish to all sorts of grilled foods.

Get the recipe here.

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Ashleigh Amoroso