Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be strictly associated with a day of relaxing at the spa or chit-chatting over manicures. Especially this year when a lot of us will be celebrating with our moms over Zoom instead of in-person. If you are hunkering down with your mom during or you’re both vaccinated and celebrating together and want to treat her to an extra special surprise this year, we suggest dressing up the backyard, firing up the grill and blending a batch of frozen margs. We honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon than with a Mother’s Day cookout.
Whether your mom is a health nut or a carnivore to the core, we’ve pulled together grilling recipes that run the gamut, from a vibrant veggie platter that looks almost too pretty to eat to the juiciest, most flavorful turkey burger she’ll probably ever bite into. We’ve even thrown in a few grilled cocktails we, personally, can’t wait to try for ourselves, as well as a couple of grilled desserts you will both gobble up in a flash.
Let’s start with the cocktails, naturally.
Grilled watermelon habanero cocktail
For a refreshing, fruity cocktail with a spicy kick, reach for this grilled watermelon habanero margarita. Mix El Yucateco Caribbean Hot Sauce with mint, white tequila and watermelon; then garnish with grilled watermelon. Easy as that.
Get the recipe from Easy Cooking with Molly.
Grilled pineapple Moscow mule
Kick up the classic Moscow mule a notch with fresh, grilled pineapple. Whitney Bond’s recipe mixes Smirnoff pineapple vodka with ginger beer and a quarter-cup of grilled pineapples.
Get the recipe from Whitney Bond.
Stuffed grilled avocados with shrimp & mango salsa
Start your meal off with a protein-packed avocado, topped with a couple garlic- and paprika-seasoned, juicy shrimp and sprinkled with a fresh, sweet-and-spicy mango salad a la the Roasted Root.
Get the recipe from The Roasted Root.
Tequila jalapeño shrimp
Hey, it’s a holiday; pull out the tequila and use it in this jalapeño shrimp dish concocted by We Are Not Martha. This quick-and-easy appetizer may have some heat behind it, thanks to the jalapeño slices, but the yogurt dipping sauce not only complements the dish, but it’ll also cool you off.
Get the recipe from We Are Not Martha.
Balsamic garlic grilled mushroom skewers
Who needs meat when you have this vegan-friendly grilled appetizer from Closet Cooking?
Get the recipe from Closet Cooking.
Grilled Caesar salad
Once you’ve charred the romaine lettuce just enough to give it an irresistible crisp, top with Caesar dressing, Parmesan crisps and a dash of pepper — and voilà! — grilled Caesar salad.
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Grilling.
Grilled zucchini with lemon & feta cheese
What’s a better time of the year than late spring/early summer to indulge in a bright, citrusy Greek-inspired dish? The Delicious Plate’s grilled zucchini with lemon and feta cheese dish is easy, quick and requires very minimal grill time, leaving you with plenty of time for the main courses (and more cocktails).
Get the recipe from The Delicious Plate.
Grilled Panzanella salad
We tried to think of something more delicious than crispy bread soaked in the juices of perfectly ripe summer tomatoes and then we realized there simply is nothing more delicious. And in case you need even more convincing, this is the perfect way to use up any leftover bread!
Get the recipe from Leite’s Culinaria
Grilled salmon with lemon dill seasoning
As Hey Grill Hey proves, lemon dill is the perfect counterpart to salmon. It’s light, acidic and enhances its flavor. Hey Grill Hey even lists helpful tips to perfectly grilling your salmon, and you’d be wise to follow them.
Grilled vegetable platter
This grilled veggie platter is too beautiful to eat.
Make a day of this preparing dish by spending the morning with your mom at the farmer’s market picking out cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, asparagus, carrots, zucchini and more. Bonus points if you pick up locally sourced honey, mustard and herbs for this platter’s vinaigrette.
Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.
Grilled Hawaiian stuffed chicken
If calorie counting is thrown out the window on Mother’s Day for you and Mom, add this grilled Hawaiian stuffed chicken to the menu. With large, juicy chicken breasts stuffed with salty slices of ham, thin slices of provolone cheese and chunks of pineapple, you’ll be going in for seconds before you know it.
Get the recipe from Destination Delish.
Grilled fish tacos
We’re suckers for fish tacos, especially when the fish is grilled. And these fish tacos from Tastes Better from Scratch are loaded with all the toppings you could ever want: cabbage, pico de Gallo, homemade crema, avocado, cotija Mexican cheese and fresh lime juice.
Get the recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch.
Jalapeño curry turkey burgers
Moist, incredibly flavorful and, best of all, a healthier burger option: Skip the traditional beef patties for these jalapeño curry turkey burgers. Ketchup won’t even cut it for these burgers; instead, Ambitious Kitchen has a curry tahini sauce that doubles as a dip for both the burger and your side of fries, should you opt for that side dish.
Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.
Grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream
The smoky, warm finish on the peaches paired with cold, creamy vanilla ice cream? Game over; this is the only dessert you need on Mother’s Day.
Get the recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking.
Grilled pineapple with coconut rum sauce
Just kidding; you’ll want this dessert, too.
We can’t describe this mouthwatering dessert-meets-cocktail better than House of Yumm does: “Sweet, juicy, caramelized grilled pineapple drizzled with a creamy coconut rum sauce. Tropical paradise!”
The coconut rum sauce alone is too good to pass up; it’s made with coconut milk, cream of coconut, coconut rum and butter — and does it get any better than that?
Get the recipe from House of Yumm.
A version of this article was originally published April 2019.