Sweet Sixteen Party Grill Menu

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Photo courtesy of Bryan Oakley

Your sweet sixteen grill party menu needs to be a hit this weekend and we have you covered. After you survived your March Madness opening weekend grill party your guests will be looking for something unique from their favorite grill master. For the sweet sixteen party menu, we are breaking out some classics for you. These will satisfy any guest and will also provide you with some easy menu items too. For the easy main dish, we are going with Italian sausage and peppers. As for the sides we are taking it up a notch with our infamous onion bombs and also easy to grill Cajun mushrooms.

Sweet Sixteen Party

Italian Sausage & Peppers

  • 3-4 pounds Italian Sausage
  • 6-8 large red/yellow/orange/green peppers
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • Salt, pepper, Lawry’s seasoning salt, granulated garlic, grated parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 long loaf of Italian bread

Italian sausage & peppers is as simple as it sounds. You will want to buy your Italian sausage in “the rope” if possible. If you do not have access to a deli or butcher that carries fresh Italian sausage, you will have to use the frozen links sold by most grocery stores. It will not be as delicious and fresh, but your guests will still love it.

First up is to grill your Italian sausage indirect, making sure you get that impressive char on the outside. Your sausage should look done on the outside while still being juicy on the inside. To test this you should have a sausage “suffer an unfortunate accident” on the grill. Break it into pieces and share with anyone hanging around the grill while you cook. They will appreciate the gesture from the host!

While the sausage is grilling, it’s time to saute the peppers and onion. Cut the peppers into one-inch wide strips from top to bottom. Do the same with the sweet onion. Drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet, and then add in the peppers, onion, chopped garlic clove, and seasonings. Be sure to save the grated parmesan cheese for the end. Gently toss the peppers & onions so that they are completely covered in the olive oil and seasonings. Saute the peppers & onions until they are cooked through but not caramelized.

The Final Steps

When your sausage is done, cut it into three inch long pieces. Take the sausage links and grated parmesan cheese and add them to the skillet.  Be sure to gently mix everything together to blend the flavors. Serve the sausage & peppers on a large platter along with the Italian bread. Just before serving cut the bread loaf into three-inch-long pieces. Your guests can make themselves a sausage & pepper sandwich they will remember forever.

Onion Bombs

Photo courtesy of Bryan Oakley
  • 2-3 large sweet onions
  • 2 pounds thick sliced bacon
  • 2 pounds ground Italian sausage, turkey, chorizo, or breakfast sausage
  • Wooden toothpicks

Take the sweet onions and slice them in half from top to bottom. Remove and throw out the outer layer, then separate all of the onion halves and line them up so they match. Take a handful of the sausage and roll it into a large meatball. Take the matching onion halves and surround the meatball with the onion halves trying to enclose the meat completely. Use a toothpick and secure one end of a piece of bacon to the top of the onion bomb. Wrap the bacon around the onion and secure the other end of the bacon slice with a toothpick. Add a second slice of bacon, making sure to cover most of the onion with bacon.

Your onion bombs are now ready to be grilled. Grill them indirect for 1.5 to 2 hours until all of the filling is cooked. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature when cooking. Follow the guidelines on the thermometer that matches the type of meat filling you use. When serving, remove all of the toothpicks for your guests, they will appreciate that a lot.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Oakley

Also be sure to not grill the onion bombs over direct flame, especially on a gas grill. The dripping bacon grease will create a huge flame up problem, and burn the onion bombs. This lesson was relearned by the Grill Guy this past weekend as he almost became an internet sensation while using the in-laws’ gas grill.

As an option, you can baste the onion bombs with your favorite BBQ sauce while they cook. The BBQ sauce also makes a great dip for your guests.

Cajun Mushrooms

Photo courtesy of Bryan Oakley

For those who love mushrooms, grilling Cajun Mushrooms turns them up several notches in the flavor department. They are also an easy side dish for the grill master trying to watch his brackets!

  • White Mushrooms or Baby Portobello Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Cajun Spice
  • Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • Chili Powder (optional)
  • Cumin (optional)

Take the mushrooms and give them a good rinse under cold water, and then snip off the end of the stems. Air dry or paper towel dry the mushrooms. For easy cleanup, place the dried mushrooms in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Drizzle in enough olive oil to coat the mushrooms thoroughly, Then sprinkle in the desired seasonings, and close the baggie. Shake the mushrooms until they are all coated in the seasonings. Remove the mushrooms and grill them directly on your charcoal or gas grill. Be sure to grill them on all sides and remove them after they get a good grilled crust on the outside. Be sure not to overcook them! Serve them with ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce or enjoy them plain. 

Last Word On Your Sweet Sixteen Party

You have completely impressed your guests with another grilled masterpiece during the sweet sixteen weekend of the tournament. They will be left begging for another party for the final four. Stay tuned for next week’s edition of the March Madness Grill Menus. We will bring you some more incredible meal options next weekend. These will also be easy on the cook so you can spend more time watching the games versus grilling. Good luck in your brackets everyone!

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