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25+ Recipes to Help You Do BBQ Your Way This Summer

June 30th, 2021

Sharing a meal outdoors adds a feeling of festivity to any gathering, and whether you’re grilling up classic, juicy cheeseburgers or cooking kebabs over smoky coals, al fresco dining is a great way to unite a group—especially after a difficult year apart.

This summer, we’re Thriving Outside with recipes that star Thrive Market’s sustainable meats and seafood. Ethically raised and sourced from purveyors we trust, products like our organic chicken breasts, grass-fed steaks, and wild-caught tuna are better for the planet—and your barbecue guests. And if you don’t eat meat, you’ll also find a selection of the best in plant-based meat alternatives that use only non-GMO, whole food ingredients.

What Makes Thrive Market Meat & Seafood Different?

Our frozen meats, seafood, and plant-based meat alternatives is a best-in-class selection that puts the planet first. If you’re planning impromptu picnics or barbecue spreads this summer, here’s why these may be the perfect additions to your next Thrive Market box. 

Thrive Market Beef 

We went to the Patagonian prairies of Osorno, Chile to source our beef, where 100% grass-fed cattle are free to roam the fields. This better quality of life results in a selection of hormone and antibiotic-free ribeye steaks, burger-ready ground beef, tender sirloins, and other premium cuts of beef. 

Thrive Market Chicken

Thrive Market’s organic and pasture-raised chicken selection includes premium poultry sourced with care, so whether you’re marinating chicken breasts in barbecue sauce or roasting a whole chicken over open flames, you can feel good about each tender, juicy cut. Our chicken comes solely from family-owned farms that allow their chickens to roam freely outdoors, without the use of added hormones or antibiotics. 

Thrive Market Seafood

Thrive Market navigates the murky waters of commercial fishing by offering only wild-caught or sustainably farmed seafood. From MSC-certified wild Alaskan salmon to shrimp caught using techniques that reduce bycatch and minimize fuel use, our seafood practices help protect oceans from overfishing and pollution.

Thrive Market Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

When curating a selection of plant-based meat alternatives, Thrive Market chose only industry-leading brands that put whole food ingredients first. You won’t find products made with GMOs or heavy processing—instead, these plant-based meats are loaded with plant protein, veggies, and other nutrient-rich ingredients. 

Ready to get cooking? We’ve put together your complete guide to summer barbecuing: recipes for every diet, pro tips for perfect grilling temps, flavorful homemade sauces, and the cocktails (or mocktails) to cool you down while you fire up the grill. 

Mains

Whether you think of slow-smoked meat as the focal point of any barbecue or you’re searching for meat-free recipes for your vegan guests, the first step in planning a good barbecue is choosing your main course. Gone are the days of limiting your menu to just burgers and hot dogs, though—today, you’ll find a plethora of plant-based meat alternatives, dressed-up veggies taking center stage, and ethically sourced meats that make it easy to shop by your values. 

Grilled Chicken Fajitas (GF with tortilla substitute)
Feeding a group? They’ll love to assemble their own fajitas from a spread of juicy chicken, grilled veggies, and zesty toppings loaded with Southwestern flavor. For those with dietary restrictions, swap the traditional tortillas for a coconut-based paleo tortilla alternative.

Best Burger Recipe
It’s a bold claim, but we think grass-fed beef sourced from the fields of Patagonia combined with flavorful Dijon and Worcestershire sauce just might make this the best burger recipe ever. 

Lemon-Yogurt Chicken Kebabs (GF)
The warming flavor of turmeric and the cool zest of yogurt combine to make these kebabs a main course with major flavor. They’re already gluten free as-is, but you can also omit the honey to make them keto or paleo.

Cedar Plank Salmon With Grilled Vegetable Kabobs (K, P, GF)
Serve up superfood salmon marinated in coconut aminos, citrus juices, and vibrant spices for a healthy main dish that takes center stage on your grill. 

Grilled Fruit & Seafood Kabobs (GF)
Swap out the veggies in favor of sweet peaches and pineapple on these elevated tuna and shrimp skewers.

Mushroom, Spinach and Chickpea Veggie Burgers (V, GF)
Vegan burgers have a tendency to feel crumbly, dry, or mushy—but not this vegan burger! This expert take on the homemade plant-based burger uses veggies, seeds, and legumes to deliver the bulk without the heaviness. 


Grilled Shrimp Louie Salad Recipe (GF)
An updated, barbecue-ready take on a classic salad. Smoky paprika gives the shrimp a deep flavor, and you can easily toss them on the grill for an al fresco summertime preparation.

Shrimp Tacos With Chipotle-Lime Slaw (K, P, GF with tortilla substitute)
Take your next taco night outdoors with this grillable recipe for shrimp tacos. A chipotle-lime slaw adds some crunch, while chili powder and cilantro bring some big flavor. 

Portobello Sliders (V, GF, P, K)
Have you ever thought of using mushrooms in place of a burger bun? This recipe calls for bacon, but you can get creative with a vegan burger patty, a traditional beef burger, or even just a stack of char-grilled veggies.

Coconut Shrimp (K, P, GF)
Crunchy, shareable shrimp make the perfect appetizer, and this recipe shows you how to make coconut shrimp using only whole food ingredients.

Tips for Grilling Meat & Seafood:

When Is A Charcoal Grill Ready?
Best Ways to Cook Beef: Tenderloin, Steak, Ground Beef, and More
How To Easily Keep Fish From Sticking To The Grill
Grilling Ideas: Your Backyard BBQ Menu Made Easy

Plant-Based Grillable Meat Alternatives: 

Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers
Good Catch Plant-Based Crab Cakes
Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers
Good Catch Plant-Based Fish Burgers
Daring Plant-Based Chicken Pieces

Snacks & Sides

Let’s be honest: the sides are often the best part of a barbecue. Put together a shareable charcuterie board for guests to enjoy while you’re grilling, then get to work on the creamy potato salad, spicy grilled corn, and colorful salads filled with seasonal veggies.

Grilled Corn With Chipotle-Lime Mayonnaise (GF)
Inspired by Mexican street corn, which is topped with spices, cheese, and a healthy squeeze of lime, this handheld side is the perfect silverware-free accompaniment for a burger or kebab.

Keto Wedge Salad Toasts  (K, GF)
If you have keto guests in attendance, they’ll love these appetizer “toasts” that are made with almond flour and hemp hearts.

Cold German Potato Salad
A tried-and-true summertime classic, this potato salad offers traditional flavor made with simple, elevated swaps, like creamy coconut oil mayo, apple cider vinegar, and stone-ground mustard.

Vegan BBQ Mac and Cheez (V)
Equal parts spicy and “cheesy,” this fun, vegan take on traditional macaroni and cheese features barbecued jackfruit that makes it so you won’t even miss the meat.

Creamy Walnut Pesto Potato Salad
Not exactly a potato salad purist? Then you’ll love this pesto-infused take, which gets a delicious crunch from toasted walnuts. 

Creamy Avocado Dip (V, GF)
A bit creamier than guacamole, this simple, vegan avocado dip will find its place right next to the chips and salsa. 

Keto Low-Carb Buffalo Chicken Dip (K, P)
A keto version of everyone’s favorite game day dip, this low-carb recipe blends shredded chicken with ranch dressing, coconut milk, and buffalo sauce—and comes together in just 10 minutes.

Colorful Kale Salad with Sweet Potato and Tahini Dressing (V, GF)
Fill your plate with veggies in a seriously delicious way with this marinated kale salad topped with an unexpected dressing. 

Desserts

We think the best BBQ desserts are ones that require little to no planning, like no-recipe-required s’mores or fresh, seasonal fruits. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, make these equally shareable desserts before the festivities begin. 

Grilled Peaches With Yogurt and Granola (GF)
Does fruit even really count as dessert? When it’s as delicious as these sweet, smoky grilled peaches, we think so. 

Paleo Berry Crumble Pie (P)
Pack a paleo picnic with this classic berry pie that uses almond flour and ghee to create a crumbly crust. 

Raw Matcha Ice Cream Cake (GF, V)
When it’s too hot to fire up the oven, this matcha ice cream cake comes in at just the right temperature: frozen! 

Drinks

Alcoholic or not, drinks are a key component of any hot weather hangout. Having something fruity to sip on makes things feel festive, so whether you prefer yours with a splash of sparkling wine or a sprinkle of spirulina, these cocktails—or mocktails—will keep you cool and hydrated.  

3 Simple + Fresh Wellness Cocktail Recipes
While the spirits make these cocktails party-ready, a turmeric wellness shot base gives them a boost of feel-good healthiness that sets them apart from your typical boozy beverages.

Kelis’ Favorite Red Sangria Recipe
Pop superstar Kelis showed us her favorite thing to sip in the summer: a traditional red sangria recipe that’s sweetened with agave, filled with fresh fruit, and topped with herbaceous mint. 

Ice Pop Sangria
What’s cooler than sangria in the summertime? Frozen sangria—and this genius recipe shows you how it’s done. 

Sweet Spirulina Swirled Frozen Pina Colada
Get all the benefits of spirulina, you’ll want to try this vegan version of a pina colada (with a superfood upgrade).

Collagen Blackberry Bramble Mocktail
Doing a summertime Whole 30? You won’t even miss the booze if you’re sipping on this fruity, sparkling mocktail. Bonus: It’s infused with beauty-boosting collagen peptides.

Sauces & Condiments:

To many people, the sauces are what make the meats (or the veggie burger). This is especially true when grilling, so we’ve rounded up the essential sauces and condiments that every BBQ needs. 

More Tips for Planning the Perfect BBQ: 

Kitchen Hack: How to Clean Your Gas, Charcoal, or Electric Grill, Step by Step

How to Cook a Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Kid-Friendly Barbecue Spread

Perfect Summer BBQ Pairing: Try These 4 Condiment Recipes

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Amy RobertsAmy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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