5 Grilling Recipes You'll Want to Make Right Now—From Our Contest!

June 15, 2018

So many grilling go-tos, from hot dogs to corn cobs, are (not) recipes, which you know we love. But our current contest, is all about recipe recipes. About changing up classic burgers. Saying, yup, you can grill dessert. Sharing tips and tricks for a newfound grilling confidence.

Your submissions delivered all that and then some. We received a slew of recipes that made us ooh, ahh, laugh, scribble grocery lists, and scurry to our backyards (or, you know, balconies). Here are some fun facts on the competitors:

  • Most recipes involved meat, from chicken to pork to beef.
  • Of these, a few were burgers, but just a few. Not as many as we expected!
  • Just under 10 percent of submissions were seafood.
  • A similar quantity were sweet.

We’ve now narrowed the group down to five semifinalists. Give a round of applause to...

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Grilled Vegetable Pasta Sauce by louisez
We all know and adore simmered tomato sauce. And, when the weather turns warm, no-cook sauces are a given, right? This recipe flips all that on its head. Inspired by Alice Waters, louisez grills a CSA-worthy amount of vegetables—tomato, eggplant, onion, bell pepper—then dumps ’em in a pot, to cook into a standout, smoky pasta sauce. “It's one of my daughter's favorites,” she writes.

Grilled Steak Sandwich with Blue Cheese Coleslaw by meganvt01
“This recipe takes a spin on the classic beef and blue cheese combo and the pulled pork coleslaw sandwich,” meganvt01 shares. Did your ears just perk up, too? We can’t imagine a better picnic food and aspire to put blue cheese slaw on anything and everything from now until September. The recipe calls for a whole flank steak, but we imagine would work well with any leftover grilled steak, too.

Crispy Grilled Chicken with Blueberry BBQ Sauce by Christine
We’ll never stop looking for new favorite chicken recipes. (Can you ever have too many?) Christine is happy to help: Grill chicken parts until crispy (she has a trick to sidestep sticking, too!), then smother them in a homemade, fresh-blueberry BBQ sauce. It’s ketchup-based but full of big-personality ingredients: cider vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and soy sauce.

Spicy Miso Ginger Pork Skewers by Leith Devine
Pork shoulder—known at the butcher counter as pork butt—is signature to western North Carolina, low-and-slow BBQ. This recipe takes a different approach. Instead of wielding a massive cut of meat, you take cubes, skewer them, and marinate in a punchy, gingery, miso marinade. After cooking over indirect heat, there’s a bright, vinegary soy sauce waiting nearby.

Grilled Coconut Polenta and Peaches by Colleen Stem
Dessert! Here, the soft, spoonable foundation for our favorite weeknight braises becomes something else entirely. You cook cornmeal in coconut milk, turning it creamy and rich, cool completely in a pan, then cut into squares or slabs or whatever fits your fancy. Grill alongside juicy peaches and top both with dollops of whipped cream, coconut, or not. A new way to shortcake? Don’t mind if we do.

Thanks so much to all who submitted—you made our jobs tough, which is just how we like it. Now, we have a fun weekend project for you: Make one of these recipes! Then either: rate the recipe, share feedback in the comment section, or email us at [email protected]. Or all of the above. On Monday, we’re testing all of these (again!) in our office, to help us narrow down to our two finalists.

For now, share your congrats to our semifinalists in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sharon Giannattasio Reissman
    Sharon Giannattasio Reissman
  • BerryBaby
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Sharon G. June 15, 2018
Everything I have ever tasted that was prepared by Christine left me wondering how ingredients that I've eaten before tasted so flavorful. The provocative combination of blueberries and BBQ sauce already has my mouth watering!
BerryBaby June 16, 2018
I was curious after reading your post but didn't see additional recipes or information on Christine 's profile. I'd be interested in reading more!