Bank holiday weekends and barbecues go together like salt and pepper. Even if the weather isn’t the scorcher we hoped for, that good ol’ British spirit will still see many of us turn up to a friend’s garden complete with umbrella.

If you’re hosting a BBQ and fancy branching out beyond burgers and sausages, we’ve compiled a few recipes below that are sure to impress!


Tandoori Chicken

Not an unusual dish by any means, but it’s often overlooked when planning a BBQ. You can buy a tandoori mix from your local supermarket or Indian shop, or you can do it the old fashioned way and mix the spices yourself. For the best flavour your chicken needs to be marinated for 24 hours, so this one needs a little bit of prep.

8 skinned chicken portions
For the marinade:
250ml natural yoghurt
1 tsp grated root ginger OR a pinch of ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 crushed peppercorns
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 bay leaves

Mix together all the marinade ingredients, then add the chicken and ensure each piece is well coated. Marinate in the fridge for at least six hours, but 24 hours will give you the best taste.
Grill on a medium-high heat for approx 20 minutes, turning often. Serve when cooked through and charred.

Marinated Tuna Steaks

Tuna goes so well on the barbie. It’s a deliciously meaty fish and makes a great base for any number of flavours. You could use a shop bought marinade – those for chicken work especially well. Like the tandoori, the longer your steaks are marinated for, the better they’ll taste. You could also use swordfish, and of course both taste delicious on their own as well.

You can make your own marinade using lemon juice, olive oil and mixed herbs – combine all ingredients together and brush it over the steaks, leaving a little to brush over whilst they are cooking. Again, marinate overnight.

Barbecue Beans

These are so easy to make and are bound to be a hit at any BBQ. If you’re not hosting, they’re also a good dish to take along as a thank you.

1 large tin of baked beans
1 tin of mixed beans of your choice (strained)
1 small onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcester Sauce

Mix together all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Season to your liking.


Beer Bread

Many people call beer ‘liquid bread’, and they weren’t lying – turns out you can bake with it! Not strictly something you can cook on the barbecue (unless you have the right kind of tin), this still makes a delicious side and is perfect for mopping everything up!

480g self-raising flour
340ml beer
Pinch of salt

Simply mix all the ingredients together and transfer the dough to a greased loaf tin. Cook in the oven for an hour at 180°.

Spinach & Avocado Salad

This light salad is the perfect accompaniment to all that meat, fish and bread! It’s easy to make and lends itself to plenty of different variations.

250g baby leaf spinach
2 avocados, stoned, peeled and sliced
Your choice of extra salad, such as pepper, olives, onion or tomatoes
For the dressing:
6 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps red or white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Chopped chives
Pinch of salt

Assemble the salad. For the dressing simply combine all the ingredients together, and then drizzle as much or as little as you like over the salad. To jazz the salad up, consider adding nuts or seeds, such as pine nuts, cashews, flaked almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds. You can also add onion, feta, even bacon – the sky’s the limit!

Salud! by Maureen Didde, licensed under CC BY


There are so many things you can add to your BBQ to give it that bit extra. For example:

  • Grill some halloumi and serve it with tzatziki
  • Vegetables roasted with a little olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper make an excellent side dish
  • Cheesy baked potatoes – bake a potato, scoop out the inside and mix it with cheese, a little salt and pepper, pop it back in the hollowed-out jacket, sprinkle paprika over the top and pop under the grill
  • A big jug of sangria goes down a storm – mix a cheap bottle of red wine with orange juice, brandy and cointreau/triple sec to taste and add in plenty of fruit

Whatever you’re doing this bank holiday, have a great time and let’s hope the weather stays dry!

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