Beyond Burgers and Brats: 3 Simple, Sophisticated Grill Recipes

  • Copy and photography by Jennie Lussow:

Often times when we think about grilling we think: burgers, brats, ribs and maybe some corn on the cob. No offense to burgers and brats, but I encourage you to up your game and try some of these slightly more sophisticated, yet super simple recipes. Consider these the healthier, softer, gentler side of grilling! 


Grilled Salmon with Mango Jalapeno Salsa

This sweet and spicy salsa is the perfect counterpoint to salmon’s rich, buttery flavor. You can make the salsa in advance and set it aside until ready to use. It’s also great paired with chicken, shrimp or pork. 

1 ripe mango peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (use more or less depending on your taste)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
salt and pepper to taste
4 6 oz salmon fillets
olive oil

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring gently to combine—take care not to mash the avocados! Season with salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This salsa will last 4-5 days in the fridge. 

Preheat grill on high heat for 10 minutes with the lid closed. 

Lightly brush each side of the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean and place the salmon fillets on the grill. Close the lid and let the salmon cook over direct heat for approximately 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Using a spatula and tongs, gently turn the fish over, close the lid and cook another 1-2 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish has reached 125 degrees. 

Remove the salmon from the grill and top with the mango salsa. Serve immediately. 

Tip: If the salmon sticks when you try to turn it, close the lid and let it cook another minute or two then try again. 


Balsamic Marinated Grilled Vegetable Platter

This simple marinade uses ingredients you probably already have on hand and brings bright, fresh flavor to basic grilled vegetables. Use any grilled vegetables you prefer—portobello mushrooms, sweet onions, and carrots also work well with this marinade. Make an extra batch and use the leftovers for a veggie frittata or toss them in with tomato sauce and whole wheat pasta for a quick, healthy weeknight dinner. 

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch asparagus, rough ends trimmed off
2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
2 orange bell peppers, quartered and seeded
2 yellow squash, sliced into 1/4″ rounds

In a large bowl toss the vegetables with all of the marinade ingredients until the vegetables are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper. 

Preheat grill on high heat for 10 minutes with the lid closed. 

Using a grill brush, scrape the grates clean and turn the heat down to medium. Place the vegetables in a single layer on the grill taking care not to overcrowd the grill. Close the lid and let the vegetables cook over direct heat for about 4-5 minutes. Using tongs, carefully turn the vegetables over, close the lid and allow to cook another 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly charred and crisp-tender. 

Remove vegetables from the grill and serve immediately. 


Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream and Salted Caramel Sauce

Lightly caramelize the pineapple by putting it on the grill for a few minutes. The super sweet pineapple tastes great with vanilla ice cream and your favorite salted caramel sauce. 

1/2″ thick pineapple slices, core removed
Vanilla ice cream
Salted caramel sauce (I like Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping)
Olive oil

Very lightly brush each side of the pineapple slices with olive oil to prevent it from sticking to the grill. 

Preheat the grill over high heat for 10 minutes with the lid closed. 

Using a grill brush, scrape the grates clean and turn heat down to medium. Place the pineapple slices on the grates of the grill. Close the lid and grill over direct heat for about 3-4 minutes or until the pineapple has nice grill marks. Using tongs, turn the pineapple slices and grill for another 2-3 minutes. 

Remove pineapple from the grill and serve warm with the ice cream and caramel sauce. 



  • This looks delicious! I love the idea of grilling the big slice of pineapple with the skin on, looks so much nicer that way too!

    xo Jessica

    • Thanks, Jessica. I agree with you, it looks pretty and it’s easier too!

  • it is 10am and I am drooling over that grilled pineapple with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel!! Cannot wait to try all of these

    • Thanks, Megan! I’ll put salted caramel on just about anything. 🙂

  • Shaakira Haywood

    Can’t wait to try!