Friday Recipe: DIY Grilling and Barbeque Toppings!

July 22, 2011 | Written By:

Grilling and barbequing are all about flavor, and with all that delicious food, it’s nice to have toppings that lighten up the meal.

Here are some fresh ideas to help you switch up the traditional toppings for some of the most popular grilling and barbeque fare.


Hamburger Topping: Caramelized Onions and Fennel


  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: ¼ cup red wine


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan until it’s glistening, then add sliced onions and fennel.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cook until caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.  Your onions and fennel will be greatly reduced and a rich caramel color when they are done.
  3. If you are using wine, add halfway through cooking and allow to completely cook away.
  4. Top your burgers with this sweet and savory topping! Fennel can be substituted for mushrooms or peppers as well.


    Bratwurst or Sausage Topping: Greek Yogurt Sauce


    • 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • ¼ cup diced cucumber
    • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. Combine all ingredients and mix in a bowl.
    2. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow flavors to come together.
    3. Serve with grilled bratwurst or sausage. This makes a great dip for fresh veggies as well!


    Grilled Fish Topping: Peach and Cilantro Salsa


    • 2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and diced
    • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Optional: Add some diced jalapeno, to taste, for a spicier version


    1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are chopped and combined.
    2. Allow flavors to come together in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
    3. Serve over grilled fish, or with tortilla chips!


    Barbeque Pork or Beef Topping: Homemade Pickles


    • ½ cup white vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 clove cracked garlic
    • 2 tablespoons fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 4 kirby cucumbers,* sliced thin


    1. In a small saucepan, add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt and garlic.
    2. Simmer over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
    3. Put dill, bay leaf and cucumbers in a heat-proof bowl and pour the liquid over them.
    4. Allow to cool or chill before eating.
    5. Serve on top of barbeque beef or pork, or as a burger topping!

    *You can also try substituting other veggies like onions or radishes!

    Plus! Check out this homemade barbeque sauce recipe for another DIY topping!

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