15 Cheap Grilling Ideas That Don't Skimp on Flavor

Hosting a BBQ on a Budget? Try These Recipes

Grilled Burgers

The Spruce/Ulyana Verbytska

Looking for cheap grilling ideas that are also easy to make and packed with flavor? Our best budget grilling recipes will stretch your food dollar while satisfying your family and friends. From beef, chicken, pork, and fish, to perfectly grilled vegetables, you'll find the best low-cost barbecue ideas here.

  • 01 of 15

    BBQ Chicken Legs

    BBQ Chicken Legs

    The Spruce

    BBQ chicken is always a hit at summer cookouts and an affordable way to feed a large group. This essential grilling recipe for barbecued chicken legs requires some prep time to brine the meat, but the cooking is easy and results in moist, tender, tangy, saucy, finger-licking chicken every time.

  • 02 of 15

    Grilled Stuffed Chili Rellenos

    Grilled Stuffed Chili Rellenos

    Jolinda Hackett

    Use poblano peppers or green bell peppers for Mexican-style chili rellenos that cook over indirect heat on the grill. With a savory stuffing of baked beans, garlic, onion, fresh cilantro, and optional cheese, they make a tasty and filling vegetarian main.

  • 03 of 15

    Grilled Burgers

    Grilled Burgers

    The Spruce/Ulyana Verbytska

    Juicy grilled burgers are perfect for a summer cookout or backyard dinner. You only need inexpensive ground chuck, plus a small amount of bread crumbs, grated onion, tomato juice, and simple seasonings, to create a patty from scratch.

  • 04 of 15

    Marinated Vegetable Kebabs

    Marinated Vegetable Kebabs

    Rachel Slepekis/Getty Images

    Quick and easy marinated vegetable kebabs make a colorful, nutritious side dish—or a main dish salad with the addition of quinoa or leafy greens. Soak bamboo skewers in warm water for 30 minutes prior to grilling to prevent scorching.

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  • 05 of 15

    Beer Brats

    Beer Brats

    Rusty Hill/Getty Images

    All you need to create a delicious, budget-conscious cookout meal are bratwurst, a couple of onions, and a can of beer. Add some fluffy hot dog rolls and you're on your way to serving your family and friends a delicious grilled meal.

  • 06 of 15

    Grilled Teriyaki Flank Steak

    Grilled Teriyaki Flank Steak

    Sabrina Baksh

    Flank steak is one of the least expensive cuts of beef, so it's a great option for grilling on a budget. This recipe tenderizes the meat in a garlicky teriyaki marinade made with canned pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, and a few other pantry ingredients, for maximum flavor.

  • 07 of 15

    Perfect Grilled Eggplant

    Perfect Grilled Eggplant

    The Spruce

    Creamy, smoky, and tender all at once, nothing beats the flavor of perfectly-grilled eggplant. The secret is starting with a salt water brine, which removes any bitterness before you grill. Enjoy the grilled veggie as part of an appetizer platter, or add it to your summer salads.

  • 08 of 15

    Juicy Grilled Pork Chops

    Juicy Grilled Pork Chops

    James Baigrie/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    Pork chops marinated in a sweet and savory glaze, and grilled to juicy perfection, are so extremely tasty, you would never guess they were a cost-saving choice. Serve with pasta salad, roasted broccoli, or skillet kale.

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  • 09 of 15

    Grilled Curry Chicken Thighs

    Grilled Curry Chicken Thighs

    Robert Linton/Getty Images

    Chicken thighs have more flavor than skinless chicken breasts, for a lower cost. This quick and easy recipe uses Indian flavors to transform humble chicken thighs into something special on the grill. Serve with basmati rice or veggie kebabs.

  • 10 of 15

    All-American Sliders

    All-American Sliders

    J-Roman/Getty Images

    All-American sliders are cute, fun to make and eat, and a great way to stretch your dollar when you're planning a cookout. You can serve these mini burgers as your main protein, rounding out plates with your potato salad, pasta salad, or cole slaw.

  • 11 of 15

    Honey Grilled Sweet Potatoes

    Honey Grilled Sweet Potatoes

    Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    There's lots to love about easy, grilled sweet potatoes, with their tender insides, and lightly charred, crispy outsides. The simple glaze of honey and butter caramelizes on the surface of potatoes as they cook, for a phenomenal taste.

  • 12 of 15

    Grilled Turkey Chops

    Grilled Turkey Chops

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

    Low-cost turkey chops go tropical in this delicious, island-style spin on grilled poultry. Jamaican seasonings, soy sauce, and pineapple create a gorgeous marinade for lean turkey meat, that keeps it juicy on the grill.

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  • 13 of 15

    Grilled Blackened Red Snapper

    Grilled Blackened Red Snapper

    The Spruce/Victoria Heydt

    Perfectly grilled fish is a thing of beauty, and looks impressive on the plate. Make the most of your local catch with this easy, Cajun-style recipe that needs only dried pantry spices, lemon juice, and butter to dress up fresh fish fillets.

  • 14 of 15

    Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash

    Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash

    The Spruce

    When your garden overflows with fresh summer squash, that's the time to make this easy, nutritious BBQ side dish. You need only your grill, plus a little olive oil and sea salt, to maximize the fresh flavors of summer vegetables.

  • 15 of 15

    Grilled Italian Sausage Po' Boy Sandwiches

    Grilled Italian Sausage Po' Boy Sandwiches

    mphillips007/E+/Getty Images

    Create a popular and inexpensive main dish for cookouts with just a package of Italian sausages, and another of submarine buns. Top grilled subs with mayo, mustard, cole slaw, and other desired add-ons. Easy peasy!