Summer Showdown: Recipes From Chopped Judges

Chopped judges like Alex Guarnaschelli and Marcus Samuelsson share their best summer recipes, from refreshing cocktails and seasonal salads to juicy burgers and grilled chicken.

Related To:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geoffrey's Grilled Rib Eye Steak

Geoffrey Zakarian's grilled steak is amped up with a bright sauce made with romaine, watercress and cilantro. Crown each juicy rib eye with a pat of butter for a special-occasion-worthy summer dish.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Romaine Marmalade and Watercress

Aarón's Corn with Chile Lime Butter

Aarón Sánchez takes a summer staple, grilled corn on the cob, to the next level by slathering it with a lime-and-chili-spiked butter.

Get the Recipe: Corn with Chile Lime Butter

Alex's Blackberry and Gin Slushie

Alex Guarnaschelli blitzes macerated blackberries, gin, club soda and lime juice in the blender for an icy grownups-only summer treat.

Get the Recipe: Blackberry and Gin Slushie

Big Marc Burger

Plain-old hamburger buns don't do Marc Murphy's signature burger justice — he serves his beefy patties on homemade cheddar-and-black-pepper buns.

Get the Recipe: The Big Marc

Ted's Bruschetta

Ted Allen's easy summer bruschetta is a perfect last-minute appetizer — it takes just 20 minutes to prepare. He tops crusty slices of baguette with creamy ricotta, salty prosciutto and fresh arugula.

Get the Recipe: Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Ricotta and Arugula

Aarón's Vine-Ripe Tomato Salad

Aarón makes the most of sweet, juicy summer tomatoes in this simple salad spiced up with serrano chiles and Mexican oregano (use regular if you can't find it!).

Get the Recipe: Vine-ripe Tomato Salad with Queso Fresco, Cilantro, and Serrano

Geoffrey's Gingered Coleslaw

Geoffrey's take on this classic picnic side is flavored with ginger and garlic, giving it a slight Asian accent.

Get the Recipe: Gingered Coleslaw with Golden Raisins

Chris' Ultimate Burger

Chris Santos' backyard burger is made with a combination of ground chuck, brisket and lamb, and it's seasoned with paprika for a super-juicy, flavor-packed bite. Smoked chili ketchup, mustard aioli, crispy bacon and classic American cheese top off this must-try burger.

Get the Recipe: Ultimate Backyard Burger

Amanda's Organic Lamb Burger

Amanda Freitag combines ground lamb with nutty quinoa for a flavor-packed patty with lots of great texture. Since the grains are mixed in, this burger doesn't need a bun — just a dollop of cooling Greek yogurt with mint.

Get the Recipe: Organic Lamb Burger with Fresh Mint Yogurt and Quinoa

Maneet's Nimbu Pani Mint Julep

Maneet Chauhan gives her classic mint julep an Indian accent by using black Indian rock salt in a sweet-salty simple syrup. If you can't find it, use the same amount of regular rock salt or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Get the Recipe: Nimbu Pani Mint Julep

Scott's Grilled Chicken with Charred Lemon

Served with grilled scallions and onions, thick-sliced heirloom tomatoes and charred lemons, Scott Conant's juicy grilled chicken feast is perfect for a summer cookout.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Charred Lemon and Heirloom Tomatoes

Marcus' Tea-Glazed Grilled Salmon

Marcus Samuelsson makes a flavorful glaze for grilled salmon with tea, cardamom pods and star anise. Brush some of the syrup over the fillets an hour before grilling to let them marinate, then reserve the rest for serving.

Get the Recipe: Tea-Glazed Grilled Salmon

Scott's Hot Dog with Gorgonzola

Scott's fancied-up dogs are loaded with Gorgonzola cheese, marinated tomatoes and grilled onions.

Get the Recipe: Scott's Beef Hotdog with Gorgonzola, Marinated Tomatoes, Grilled Onion and Frisee

Alex's Bibb Lettuce Wraps

"I like the idea of a wrap for summer because it's really light and fun to eat," Alex says. Here, she fills cups of Bibb lettuce with shrimp tossed in a lemony vinaigrette and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.

Get the Recipe: Bibb Lettuce and Shrimp Wraps

Aarón's Margarita Granita

No need for a frozen margarita machine or even a blender for Aarón's easy granita. The margarita mixture can be prepared two days ahead, frozen, then scraped into glasses when ready to serve.

Get the Recipe: Margarita Granita

Aarón's Argentinean Steak with Parsley Sauce

Aarón serves flank steak with an Argentine-style sauce that he whips up in the blender with jalapeno, garlic and handfuls of herbs.

Get the Recipe: Argentinean Steak with Parsley Sauce: Carne y Chimichurri

Aarón's Bistec Con Chiles

When he's grilling New York strip steaks, Aarón seasons them with his adobo spice mixture, then tops them off with a bright and fragrant Epazote Butter. If you can't find this Mexican herb, use extra cilantro.

Get the Recipe: Bistec Con Chiles Verdes

Alex's Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken

Alex's yogurt marinade makes this grilled chicken extra juicy and flavorful. She serves it with a homemade harissa sauce loaded with spices, garlic and roasted red pepper.

Get the Recipe: Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken with Harissa

Alex's Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese

Romaine lettuce leaves are an unexpectedly delicious ingredient to grill. Alex cooks them for three minutes on each side until slightly warm and tender, then dresses them up with a vinaigrette and crumbled blue cheese.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese

Alex's Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Balsamic

For vegetarians at your cookout, Alex's grilled mushroom caps make a hearty main. She sauces them with a roasted garlic-balsamic dressing.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Balsamic

Alex's Arugula and Strawberry Salad

Alex created this light summer salad to "showcase how delicious strawberries can be when used outside of the 'dessert' realm."

Get the Recipe: Arugula and Strawberry Salad

Alex's Double Decker Patty Melt

Alex lightens up the classic double cheeseburger using ground turkey. Her trick: A little mayo mixed in with the meat makes the burgers extra juicy.

Get the Recipe: Double Decker Turkey Patty Melt

Alex's Marinated Beets

Alex gives roasted beets a quick 15-minute marinade in a mix of balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, pomegranate molasses and a touch of brown sugar.

Get the Recipe: Marinated Beets with Pomegranate Molasses and Toasted Pepitas

Amanda's Cucumber Pineapple Tequila Cooler

Amanda's refreshing summer cocktail made with pineapple and cucumber juices is perfectly balanced — not too sweet.

Get the Recipe: Cucumber Pineapple Tequila Cooler

Amanda's Kale and Farro Salad

Amanda's easy salad of Tuscan kale, hearty farro, aged goat cheese and a handful of pomegranate seeds makes a satisfying lunch or first course for a summer party.

Get the Recipe: Kale and Farro Salad with Aged Goat Cheese

Amanda's Summer Zucchini Panzanella Salad

Amanda gives traditionally rustic panzanella salad an elegant makeover by serving cherry tomatoes and seasoned croutons over thinly sliced zucchini.

Get the Recipe: Summer Zucchini and Tomato Panzanella Salad

Chris' Cherry-Chipotle Cooler

Chris' cocktail packs a punch of heat thanks to chipotle puree in the mix and chipotle powder rimming the glasses.

Get the Recipe: The Cherry-Chipotle Cooler

Chris' Deconstructed Mexican Style Corn

Chris takes all of the ingredients from traditional Mexican corn on the cob, or elote, and fashions them into an easy-to-eat summer salad.

Get the Recipe: Deconstructed Mexican Style Corn

Chris' Grilled Summer Pizzettes

Chris' summery flatbread is topped with caramelized peaches, creamy Burrata, crispy Serrano ham and arugula. Made with premade pizza dough, it's an easy and crowd-pleasing party starter.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Summer Pizzette with Caramelized Peaches, Burrata, Arugula and Crispy Serrano

Geoffrey's Grilled Salmon with Smashed Cucumber Date Salad

Geoffrey uses skin-on salmon fillets for extra flavor. He serves the grilled fish with a light and fresh salad of cucumbers, fennel and dates.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Smashed Cucumber-Date Salad

Geoffrey's Burger

Geoffrey's go-to summer burger is served on an English muffin with a slice of ripe beefsteak tomato.

Get the Recipe: Burger

Geoffrey's Pompelmo Fizz

For a cooling cocktail, Geoffrey combines gin, orange liqueur and fizzy grapefruit soda and serves it up in chilled glasses.

Get the Recipe: Pompelmo Fizz

Geoffrey's Grilled Corn Risotto

Geoffrey's summer risotto uses corn two ways: The cobs flavor the stock that he uses to cook the rice, and grilled kernels are folded in at the end.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Corn Risotto

Maneet's Chimichurri Seekh Kabab

Maneet's grilled kebabs are made from ground lamb, with chopped cashews folded in to add texture and a nutty flavor. She serves them with a bright green dipping sauce made with parsley and cilantro.

Get the Recipe: Chimichurri Seekh Kabab

Maneet's Chicken "Hot Dog"

Maneet makes her spicy homemade "hot dogs" with ground chicken and lots of fresh herbs and chiles. She tops them off with an easy mango mustard spiked with mint.

Get the Recipe: Malai Chicken Hot Dog

Maneet's Onion Rings

Maneet's addictive Indian-spiced onion rings will be the star of your summer gathering. You may never want an onion ring without chaat masala and toasted cumin again.

Get the Recipe: Onion Rings

Marc's Burnt Orange Negroni

Marc gives the classic Negroni a fresh twist by charring an orange on the grill and adding a smoky slice to each glass.

Get the Recipe: Burnt Orange Negroni

Marc's Grilled Mushroom Flatbread

Marc makes a simple pizza dough for these grilled flatbreads, but you could use premade to cut down on time. They need just two minutes per side on the grill, then load them up with oyster and cremini mushrooms and truffled cheese sauce.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Mushroom Flatbread with Truffled Pecorino

Marc's Grilled Corn on the Cob

Marc's grilled corn — topped Mexican-style with cotija cheese, lime and chili powder — takes just 10 minutes to prepare.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chili-Lime Butter and Cotija Cheese

Marcus' Spicy Ketchup

Making ketchup from scratch is worth it when you taste Marcus' version: a blend of peppers, horseradish, Dijon mustard, hot sauce and spices.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Ketchup

Marcus' Grilled Tomato Soup with Shrimp

Grilled beefsteak tomatoes are the base of Marcus' fresh-tasting summer soup. Top it off with sweet-and-sour shrimp for a light lunch or appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Tomato Soup with Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Marcus' Tomato and Grilled Corn Salad

The quintessential summer duo of tomatoes and corn is at its best in Marcus' colorful salad, dressed with an almond vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: Tomato and Grilled Corn Salad with Almond Vinaigrette

Scott's San Remo Cocktail

A classic on the menu at Scott's Scarpetta restaurants, this subtly sweet refresher is made with bourbon, orange liqueur and elderflower.

Get the Recipe: San Remo Cocktail

Scott's Summer Burger

Scott's go-to summer burger is made with a thick patty of 80/20 ground beef topped with Taleggio cheese, pancetta and an onion-mustard relish.

Get the Recipe: Burger with Taleggio, Pancetta and Onion-Mustard Relish

Ted's Killer Pickles

Ted's vinegary pickling brine is great for cucumbers, of course, but it also works well with carrots, turnips, onions, green beans, asparagus, jalapenos — even apples.

Get the Recipe: Fresh Refrigerator Pickles: Cauliflower, Carrots, Cukes, You Name It

Ted's Wild Flower Cocktail

Ted's crisp refresher gets its name from the muddled lavender that's mixed with dry white wine, elderflower liqueur, vodka and club soda.

Get the Recipe: The Wild Flower