Fire Up Your Grill for This Easy Mediterranean-Inspired Menu

updated May 10, 2021
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Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

Summer is vacation season. And while this summer is already looking a little brighter than last year, we’re not quite back to the road trips and jet-setting plans of years past. So, my plan for this year: bring the vacation to my backyard with a summer dinner menu for the grill that feels and tastes like a trip to the Mediterranean. And I hope you’ll join me!

Toss wholesome ingredients like colorful vegetables and seafood on the grill, and the result is something that truly feels special — no matter how many mouths you’re feeding at home. We’ve created an easy grilled dinner menu, along with an unfussy timeline, that brings the vacation to you this summer.

Kitchn’s Guide for an Easy Mediterranean-Inspired Grilled Dinner Menu

This menu is a celebration of the flavors of the Mediterranean and the wholesomeness of the diet, which means it’s full of colorful, in-season veggies and feel-good lean protein. And you’ll fire up the grill to cook all of it — everything from a fast-and-fancy appetizer to the main course to dessert. In the menu below, we’ve included a handful of simple recipe alternatives to swap in depending on your tastes or grocery availability, as well as an easy-to-follow timeline to help you pull it all together.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

To Start: Juicy Grilled Shrimp

Grilled shrimp is a fun thing to start the night with because it cooks quickly and you and your family can each grab their own skewer while you work on prepping the main event. A marinade of yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and mint ensures they’ll be tender and flavorful.

Get the recipe: How to Grill Juicy, Flavorful Shrimp

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Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

To Share: Grilled Gnocchi with Summer Squash and Burst Tomatoes

Make the main event family-style and serve a couple of entrées that can be shared together at the table. Grilling store-bought potato gnocchi is ingenious; it results in dumplings that are charred on the outside but tender on the inside. When tossed with grilled cherry tomatoes and zucchini ribbons, it’s a dish that’s both seasonal and comforting.

Get the recipe: Grilled Gnocchi with Summer Squash and Burst Tomatoes

Other Mains We Love

Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

To Share: Grilled Yogurt Flatbreads with Israeli Salad

To go with the gnocchi, serve up these crispy, chewy flatbreads and a colorful cucumber tomato salad. Let your family grab the flatbreads while they’re still warm and top their own with hummus, salad, feta, and olives.

Get the recipe: Grilled Yogurt Flatbreads with Israeli Salad

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To Finish: Grilled Peaches

Keep the grill on after dinner to make dessert. Fruit is oh-so good this time of year, so it’s an easy choice for a wholesome end to your meal. These simple grilled peaches can be served however you like them. They’re particularly good with vanilla ice cream, but are also nice with a dollop of yogurt or ricotta.

Get the recipe: How to Grill Peaches

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Your Simple Mediterranean Grill Timeline

The timeline for this menu is easy enough that you can get it started only about an hour before you want to sit down to the main course.

  • Before heating the grill: Soak wooden skewers for both the shrimp and the gnocchi in water for at least 30 minutes. Marinate the shrimp and make the flatbread dough.
  • Heat the grill: Once the grill is hot, cook the shrimp.
  • While everyone eats the shrimp: Make the Israeli salad and prepare the gnocchi components for the grill. Then grill the flatbreads and the gnocchi and vegetable skewers. Sit down to dinner but leave the grill on.
  • After dinner: Grill the peaches and serve.