It’s grilling season and time to head outdoors to enjoy delicious turkey inspired menus that are perfect for a special occasion or family meal.

Enjoy these tasty, nutritious options for Father’s Day or any hot summer day when you don’t want to turn on the oven.

  • Asian barbecue turkey thighs
  • Grilled turkey zucchini boats

Asian Barbecue Turkey Thighs

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 3/4 cup plain barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions, white and green parts
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh gingerroot, peeled and minced
  • 2 pounds turkey thighs, skinned and excess fat removed
  1. In 2-cup measure, combine barbecue sauce, onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic and ginger. Remove 1/3 cup, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Pierce holes in thighs using tines of fork.
  3. In self-closing food-safe plastic bag, combine thighs and remaining marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally to marinate evenly.
  4. Prepare grill for indirect heat cooking (see note below). Cook thighs over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes per side until food thermometer, inserted in thickest portion of thigh, registers 170 -175 degrees F. During last 10 minutes of cooking, brush with reserved marinade.
  5. Serve hot with favorite rice dish and a vegetable, if desired.
  6. NOTE: To set up GAS grill for indirect cooking, preheat all burners on high. Turn one burner off; place thighs over "off" burner. Reset remaining burner(s) to medium. Close lid to cook. To set up CHARCOAL grill for indirect cooking, arrange hot coals around outer edge of grill; place disposable aluminum pan in open space. Place thighs over open area and close lid to cook.

Grilled Turkey Zucchini Boats

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 pound ground-turkey
  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • ½ cup sweet-onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • Pinch of chili powder, optional
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, your choice
  1. In a large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic and petite tomatoes, stirring frequently until soft and dry.
  3. Crumble ground turkey, adding it to the pan. Continue to crumble while cooking. Mixture will be dry, but if it starts to stick, add a little more extra virgin olive oil.
  4. While cooking, split zucchini in half lengthwise. Spoon out center with a spoon or melon baller, you can reserve for salads, dressing or a smoothie or discard.
  5. Spoon turkey mixture into zucchini boats.
  6. Heat grill to medium-high heat and oil grates. Carefully set zucchini onto grates using a long spatula or tongs. Grill for 4-5 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese and close lid with heat off for 1-2 minutes to allow cheese to melt.

Recipe Source:

Courtesy: Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, Nutrition & Culinary Consultant

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