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Like you, we’re obsessed with alfresco entertaining during the summer, and nothing’s quite as seasonal as the humble barbecue. The problem? Coming up with fresh ideas that are a little more elevated than your standard beer-and-burger offering.
To figure out how to host a cookout with some serious foodie cred, we reached out to various folks who know a thing or two about cooking (and eating!)
Read on for some easy #BBQInspo, including a super-healthy, flavorful fish dish, tasty sides, a swanky alternative to soda, and a new way to do s’mores.
Photo: Lorna Jane
1. Blueberry, maple and lavender swill
Lorna Jane Clarkson is the founder of activewear juggernaut, Lorna Jane, the author of a healthy living cookbook, and delivers wellness inspiration to her 547,000 Instagram followers daily. She’s got a fancy–and healthy–alternative to serving soda at your barbecue.
3 or 4 lime wedges
10 mint leaves
1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup organic blueberry juice (look for no added sugar)
20 oz sparkling mineral water
1 cup ice
1-3 sprigs fresh lavender
2 teaspoons frozen blueberries
Step one: Gently muddle lime wedges into a large mixing glass. Add the maple syrup and blueberry juice.
Step two: Clap the mint leaves into your hands to release the aromas and add to the mixing glass. Shake or stir all ingredients well with ice.
Step three: Pour all ingredients into tall tumbler glasses and top with sparkling mineral water.
Step four: Garnish with sprigs of lavender, mint eaves, and frozen berries.
Photo: Jessica Sepel
2. Healthy barbecue fish
Nutritionist, author and Instagram sensation Jessica Sepel recommends this barbecue fish recipe as a lighter–and tastier–alternative to baking seafood. Once cooked, she recommends serving the fish in paper for an authentically summery finish: “Serve your fresh barbecued fish in a baking paper bag. Twirl each side and decorate the fish with fresh herbs and lemon pieces,” she said.
Enough pieces of fish to serve your guests
Step one: Create the sauce by mixing balsamic, tamari, chilli flakes, garlic, chives, olive oil together.
Step two: Place fish on baking paper and drizzle some of the sauce and a piece of fish. Fold, and seal by rolling the edges together all the way around.
Step three: Place the parchment pouches on the coolest side of grill, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. When the fish flakes and is opaque all the way through, serve immediately.
Photo: Lolly Jane
3. Grilled corn on the cob
Kelli and Kristi of the lifestyle blog Lolly Jane are known by their 60,000 followers for serving up incredible entertaining ideas. Their favorite barbecue recipe is this fail-proof method for making grilled corn on the cob.
Corn on the cob
Salt and pepper to taste
Step one: Soak the corn in a pot of cold water for 15 minutes
Step two: Preheat your grill on the medium setting.
Step three: Peel back corn husks, pull the silks off around the corn. Season the corn with butter, salt, and pepper, or your favorite seasonings.
Step four: Wrap corn rightly in tin foil to keep the steam in and speed up the cooking time.
Step five: Grill for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Then, peel back the husks and remove the corn. Serve!
Photo: My Baking Addiction
4. No bake s’mores cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounce container of frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip or TruWhip), thawed
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces heavy cream
6 giant marshmallows
Step one: In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between six individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer. Place serving dishes into the refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake.
Step two: Place 25 marshmallows in a large, deep microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power for 45-60 seconds. Marshmallows will puff up and begin to melt. Use a buttered spatula to stir the marshmallows until smooth. Set aside.
Step three: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese for about 2 minutes. Add in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat for an additional minute. Use a buttered spatula to scoop the melted marshmallows into the cream cheese mixture and beat for an additional minute. Use a rubber spatula to fold in whipped topping.
Step four: Spoon or pipe the cheesecake filling directly onto the graham cracker crusts and place them back into the refrigerator while you prepare the ganache.
Step five: Add chocolate to a heat-safe bowl. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour heated cream over the chocolate and Let stand for five minutes and then whisk to combine. Spoon chocolate ganache onto the cheesecake layer and place back into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Step six: Just before serving, toast six giant marshmallows on the grill, and top each cheesecake one.