7 Spring Grilling Recipes for Anyone Who’s Desperate to Get Outside and Cook

Goodbye snow, hello barbecue.

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Food Network Kitchen’s Slow Grilled Chipotle Chicken as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Matt Armendariz, Copyright 2015

Winter always lasts too long in my opinion. The chilly air is nice in December when you can bundle up in your coziest scarf and enjoy the change of season. But, by February, the shorter days and freezing-cold temperatures (and, depending on where you live, a few unpredictable snow storms) have us all wishing that winter would end.

One of the things I love most about spring is outdoor cooking. My uncle is an all-season griller so I’m certainly not deprived of juicy steaks and char-grilled veggies during the winter, but there’s nothing better than being able to join him outside. I look forward to the tantalizing aromas of smoke and spices — and the camaraderie we share as we pass the tongs back and forth to do the cooking.

If you’re anything like me, you’re taking a cue (or should I say, ‘cue?) from the longer, sunnier days and getting ready to really kick off grilling season. And, while it’s too soon for grilled corn or sweet, charred peaches, there are still plenty of foods that are made better on the grill — including in-season produce.

Ready to head outdoors and do some spring grilling too? Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Take taco night outdoors (well, the cooking at least) with this smoky, spicy chicken. A quick marinade of garlic, citrus and spices gives the chicken plenty of flavor, leaving lots of time for it to develop a nice char on the grill. When the chicken is done cooking, serve with warm tortillas and everyone’s favorite toppings for a perfect early-spring meal.

Asparagus is in season all spring long so there’s no better vegetable to throw on the grill when you’re cooking a meal outdoors. I love this version from Food Network Kitchen. It’s everything you want in a spring side thanks to a little feta, lemon and garlic: salty, bright, savory and satisfying.

Food Network Kitchen’s 2-Ingredient Grilled Pizza Dough.

Photo by: Matt

Matt

This pizza dough comes together in just ten minutes with no rising or resting time, which makes it perfect for no-fuss meals and casual weekend grilling. Plus, it makes two 10-inch pizzas so there’s plenty of opportunity for everyone to customize their piece.

Grilled Chimichurri Sweet Potatoes

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

The odds are good you’ve still got plenty of sweet potatoes stocked in your pantry come spring, so why not throw them on the grill along with your main dish? This recipe makes a family-friendly side simple by wrapping the potatoes in foil packets. The spuds cook up perfectly tender and cleanup’s a breeze.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Pork chops are one of my go-to proteins year-round. All I have to do is switch up the seasoning and somehow, they feel completely new every time I cook them. Not surprisingly, changing up the cooking method has the same effect. Giving them a few minutes on the grill layers them with smoky goodness that’s impossible to resist.

GRILLED MUSHROOM SKEWERSFood Network KitchenUnsalted Butter, Garlic, Soy Sauce, Cremini Mushrooms, Thyme,GRILLED MUSHROOM SKEWERS Food Network Kitchen Unsalted Butter, Garlic, Soy Sauce, Cremini Mushrooms, Thyme

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Whether you serve them as a vegetarian main with rice and veggies or as a side for steak, these flavor-packed mushroom skewers are guaranteed to become a must-have whenever you grill — regardless of the season.

Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote with Grilled Pound Cake.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Matt Armendariz, Copyright 2015

If you’re cooking a meal outdoors, you might as well make dessert too! All you have to do to make this springtime treat is let the fruit cook for 15 minutes in a foil packet with some vanilla, sugar and citrus zest. When the compote is done, throw a few slices of store-bought pound cake on the grill, just until they start to develop char marks, and you’re ready to indulge.

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