Easy BBQ ideas for dinner

To celebrate 25th National Barbecue Week, here are some delicious, but reasonably easy to prepare gastro BBQ recipes
easy bbq ideas for dinner

We’ve spent so much time indoors lately that we’re ready for some serious outdoor eating, here we have four easy BBQ ideas for dinner. Whether you fancy something light or have a whopping appetite, we’ll inspire you to deliver the best barbecue ever; enjoy!

Salt bath sardines

Salt-bath sardines

Serves 4 (as a starter)

Sardines and mackerel are two of the very best BBQ fish, although my personal favourite is the sardine! Encased in sea-salt, quickly grilled, (guts-in) then drizzled with a strong green extra virgin olive oil with a hearty squeeze of limes, simply sublime!


12 large sardines

1 pack of coarse sea salt

25 ml EV olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

Sea salt & rainbow peppercorn to taste


Wash the sardines and gut or not (adds flavour)

Sprinkle a good layer of sea salt on foil and place sardines on top, then sprinkle more salt over, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove sardines from fridge, brush off most of the salt and place on a fish grill tray

Mix oil and juice of ½ lime and brush over the fish

Grill on high heat on grill tray, about 4-5 minutes per side, baste with oil & lime juice.

Serve with remaining oil & lime juice, season with sea salt & rainbow peppercorn.

Asparagus with Parmigianino & Lime - easy bbq ideas for dinner

Asparagus with Parmigianino & lime

Serves 4 (as a starter)

I think this is one of the simplest, yet most impressive alfresco snacks or starters that you can prepare. I prefer baby or young asparagus with lots of Parmigianino, but please remember to shave; do not grate!


16 Asparagus spears

Juice of 1 lime

30ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

15ml Balsamic vinegar

A small wedge of Parmigianino Reggiano

2 tsp’s Sea salt

1 tsp Cracked black pepper


Mix lime juice, oil and balsamic plus ½ salt & black pepper

Coat asparagus and grill slowly on medium, turn frequently and baste occasionally. Remove asparagus once cooked through, lightly cover with shavings of Parmigianino and drizzle remaining lime, oil & balsamic, season with salt & black pepper to taste.

Classic Chicken Ciabatta

Classic chicken ciabatta

Serves 2

This is a long-time Barbi favourite. Seemingly easy but can be deceptively difficult to get perfect! A fruity, slightly exotic recipe that I created following a somewhat rambling tour around Tuscany – one too many Sangiovese’s and you’ve burnt the Ciabatta!


2 skinless chicken breasts

1 large Ciabatta

15g sundried tomatoes

1 Mango, coarsely chopped

25ml mango juice

10ml white wine vinegar

25ml extra virgin olive oil

1 lime, juiced

25g grated ginger

25g brown sugar

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 or 2 birds eye chillies, finely chopped & deseeded

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 tsp mixed turmeric & paprika

Splash Worcestershire sauce

Sea salt & black pepper to taste


For the marinade; mix ½ chilies, ginger & garlic with ¾’s lime juice & vinegar plus ½ oil add pinch of turmeric/paprika, black pepper & sea salt.

For the sauce; Use rest of chili, garlic & ginger, 1/2 toasted sesame seeds & brown sugar, mix with remaining lime juice into a paste, slowly add mango juice and chopped mango. Season with Worcestershire sauce

Marinate chicken and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, remove and sprinkle remaining sesame seeds and sugar over chicken.

Slice sundried tomato in strips and cut ciabatta/ciabatinni length ways, coat cut face of ciabatta/ciabatinni with olive oil.

Coat chicken with sauce and sear both sides on hottest section of the BBQ, then remove to medium heat, basting with sauce. Turn occasionally.

Oil grill bars, place ciabatta cut face down on medium heat to warm through.

Top the chicken with sun dried tomatoes and return to hottest section. Also transfer ciabatta to hottest section and sear outside. Remove ciabatta, drizzle with oil, place chicken on top, add remaining sauce and sundried tomato, garnish with rocket & basil and add top ciabatta.

Burger with Pancetta, Avocado & Blue cheese butter - easy bbq ideas for dinner

Best-ever burger with Pancetta, avocado & blue cheese butter

Serves 4 (or 2 very hungry people)

How the humble burger has grown-up, so discount it at your peril. Food snobs may try to decry, but I think a properly made and grilled burger, with proper add-ons is just about unbeatable – and for me the only way to eat – rare in a bun using your hands!


500g best fillet steak, minced

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 green chilli, finely chopped/deseeded

1 tbsp sea salt

2 tsp’s rainbow peppercorn, crushed

8 rashers pancetta

1 Avocado, peeled, de-stoned and sliced

125g unsalted butter

75g blue cheese

4 sesame buns


Soften butter and mix with blue cheese, form into roll and chill

Mix steak mince, onion, chilli, salt & peppercorn and form into four patties

Sear patties on both sides on high then grill 3-5 minutes per side on medium heat

Grill pancetta rashers on foil tray on high heat

Halve buns and light brush cut half with olive oil then warm through on medium heat.

Place slices of avocado on the pancetta rashers and allow to warm through

Slice butter roll and place one slice on each bun base, then build with patty, another slice of butter, pancetta and avocado – serve immediately to rapturous applause!

Thanks go to National Barbecue Week for these recipes.

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Last modified: June 14, 2021

Written by 12:29 pm Food & Drink • One Comment