Fire up the grill and enjoy this easy colorful dinner any day of the week. The grill seems to be burning hot just about every summer evening at our house. There are so many reasons I fall in love year after year with grilling season.
For starters, My Better Half takes over most of the cooking outside, maintaining an organized and neat kitchen inside. Except for a few odds and ends, clean-up is a breeze and I get a window (and by window, I mean a whole hot second) of chilling while Bill takes over. I’m always game for that!
Another reason to love grilling season? The entire family, pup included, seems to step outside and stay outside the whole summer evening when the grill is lit, ending in a night of dining al fresco and very enthusiastic and silly conversation, especially from The Bean.
And certainly, the main reason to love the grill is that the food just tastes better with a little char and smokiness. A fire-kissed meal is so satisfying!
Whether it is a quick weeknight dinner or a warm-weather weekend gathering, an all-grill approach to dinner makes summer dining so fun and almost effortless. Loaded tostadas right off the grill are a go-to dinner in the summer. They are easily customizable with the best summer produce from the garden or the local farmer’s market.
Here, I am grilling up summer corn and zucchini. I’m a sucker for summer corn! I’m also a sucker for a punch of heat to my dinner, so I’m giving my jalapeños some char too. For a super-speedy option, chicken tenders are awesome! Seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and oregano, it gives me my always-in-the-mood-for Mexican flavor.
After Bill is off the hook with his dinner duties, I cut and combine the zucchini, corn, and jalapeño with cherry tomatoes, scallion, and fresh cilantro from my herb garden.
We can’t wait to dig in! We top quick grilled crunchy tortillas with the vegetable mix and cut up chicken tenders and sprinkle it with cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime. A little dollop of sour cream and a side of avocado, and this family is ready to sit, chat, and devour a fresh all-grilled dinner on the deck.
The only issue with this easy, colorful, smoky charred dinner is which way to eat it. The boys picked it up and attacked it like a taco. The girls went for a tear-apart approach. I stuck with a knife and fork bite. Either way, our bellies and tastebuds were pleased with the simple flavors and textures of this summertime dinner. Try my Summertime Grilled Vidalias and Grilled Greek Chicken for more easy grilled dinner ideas. And if you love a loaded salad, try grilling up some romaine lettuce like I did in my Charred Romaine and Steak Salad.
What’s on your grill this summer?
- 1 large or 2 small zucchinis cut in half vertically
- 4-6 fresh corn on the cob depending on how much corn you prefer
- 2 jalapeños cut in half with seeds removed
- 1 lb. chicken tenders in seasoning
- cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 bunch of scallions green parts only, cut in slices
- cotija cheese
- lime slices for squeezing over tostado
- sour cream
- flour tortillas
- salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE CHICKEN SEASONING:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- pinch of salt and pepper
- dash of cayenne optional
- Pre-heat your grill to medium-high heat.
- In a zip-lock bag, combine chicken and all its seasonings. Shake and set aside.
- Sprinkle the corn and zucchini with salt and pepper.
- Use cooking spray to coat your grill racks, and then place the corn, zucchini, and jalapeños directly over the hot fire, and grill, turning occasionally.
- Remove the zucchini and jalapeños after about 5 minutes and add the seasoned chicken.
- Continue to cook the corn and chicken about 5 more minutes until charred and cooked through, turning occasionally.
- Remove all food from the grill.
- Using a large bowl, stand the corn on end and cut off the kernels.
- Cut the zucchini into bite size pieces and dice the jalapeño and add it to the corn.
- Add the tomatoes, scallion and cilantro and gently toss all vegetables together to combine.
- Cut the chicken and set aside.
- Grill your tortillas for 1 minute per side.
- Top tortillas with the vegetable mix, chicken, cortija and a squeeze of lime.
- Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream and a few slices of avocado.
Have a favorite hot sauce or salsa? Go ahead and add it.