Summer is in full swing here with temps in the upper 90s. The last thing I want to do is heat up my kitchen by firing up my oven to make dinner. I’m always thankful for my grill, but even more so this time of year.
A lot of folks don’t know that a grill or smoker can be be used just like an oven, but without the inconvenience of adding more heat to an already hard-to-cool house. Whether you’re making brownies, a cake, pizza or a casserole, all of it can be cooked on a grill or smoker!
If you’ve never used your grill in place of your indoor oven, there are a few tips to know before getting started.
- If using a smoker, set it to the highest temperature setting for 10 to 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 300 – 350 degrees and cook desired recipe as usual. If using a grill, cook your food over indirect heat. Indirect heat simply means to turn off the burner directly under where you place the food. Use the burners on either side to provide the heat.
- Cook your food uncovered for a smokier taste. If you want to avoid the grill flavor, cover your food with foil before baking. Take note that this may affect the baking time slightly.
- Avoid opening the grill or smoker lid while the food bakes. A crazy amount of heat escapes every time the lid is opened. So, keep that lid closed and let that food do it’s thing!
- I like to use disposable aluminum pans for all of my grill/smoker baking. It makes for easy cleanup, and this lazy cook loves the idea of no (or few) dishes after dinner.
I’ve rounded up some of our family’s favorite casserole recipes that work incredibly well on the grill or smoker (I use my Traeger for these). While casseroles may not seem like a summer dish, they’re a must when the house is full of kiddos (and their friends) for summer break. There’s no need for side dishes and all the mess that goes along with a full spread dinner. Instead, I prefer the convenience and ease of throwing together a quick casserole and letting everybody dive in.
In my list of Top 10 Summer Casserole Recipes for the grill I’ve included several ideas that are comfort food favorites that we enjoy all year round. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! Click on the photo or recipe title for the full recipe.
This tasty casserole is a mash-up of the ever-popular John Wayne Casserole and Tater Tot Casserole (aka hotdish). Loaded with meat and veggies and topped with garlicky tater tots and cheese, this is a comfort food lover’s dream.
This recipe is reminiscent of the taco casserole my mom made when I was a kid. With layers of chicken, nacho cheese Doritos and plenty of cheese, this dish can be on the table in 30 minutes.
You can’t go wrong with mac & cheese. It’s one of the few dishes that we never seem to outgrow. This grown-up twist on the childhood favorite includes the addition of tomatoes, a great way to use those fresh from the garden veggies. We put tomatoes on only half of the mac to accommodate those picky kids who would rather just have the cheesy pasta.
Breakfast for dinner is definitely a thing around our house. While homemade chocolate chip waffles are a standard go-to for my kids when they want brinner, I prefer a savory dish for the last meal of the day. This breakfast casserole is loaded with sausage, hash browns, cheese, eggs and flavor. And, it can be made ahead of time…a huge plus when I know I have a crazy day coming.
There are so many things to love about this casserole. One of the biggest selling points is that it can easily be made ahead of time and makes for a great side dish or main course. The use of a smoker or grill adds so much to this already flavorful dish.
Made with a combination of ground beef, spicy sausage, and three kinds of cheese, this casserole has a flavorful kick reminiscent of our favorite homemade lasagna. But, we think the gooey mozzarella cheese and pepperoni topping is what puts this dish over the top!
Described as “a twist on a ratatouille-style summer side,” this casserole can be served as a side or main course. It highlights one of our favorite summer veggies…squash! This casserole features ingredients that most southern cooks won’t have in their spice cabinet, but we assure you that it’s worth it to expand your culinary horizons with this one.
30-Minute Skillet Gnocchi Lasagna
ULTIMATE Copycat Restaurant Spinach Queso
How to Make Crack BLT Skillet Totchos
How To Make Lunch Lady Brownies
How To Make Ranch Style JOHN WAYNE CASSEROLE
You Can Make Whipped Hot Chocolate...Three Ways!
How to Make Honeycomb Toffee (aka Sponge Candy)
How to Make Old-Fashioned Divinity
Johnny Cash's Mom's Pineapple Pie