WGN’s Dean Richards shares some recipes involving the grill — just in time for Labor Day!

Pasta salad with grilled vegetables  


  • 1 lb. uncooked orzo
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green zucchini,  sliced lengthwise
  • 1 yellow zucchini,  sliced lengthwise 
  • ½ pound asparagus
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup), divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted salted pistachios


Cook orzo according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water until pasta feels cool to the touch.

Cut the zucchini into medallions. 

Cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces.   Sprinkle with olive oil,  salt and pepper.

Seal into a foil packet. 

Grill over medium/high heat for 10 minutes;  flipping the packet.   

Stir together pesto, oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

 Add pasta and all other ingredients with 1/2 cup of the feta to pesto mixture; stir to combine.

Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pistachios and remaining 1/2 cup feta.

Foil French bread pizzas


  • One loaf French bread
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • Two cups mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of choice:
  • Pepperoni
  • Tomato
  • BBQ Chicken w Caramelized Onion
  • Shredded Chicken BBQ Sauce of choice (I like Famous Dave’s Sweet & Zesty) 
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil  


Slice the French bread lengthwise and then into three sections.

For tomato and pepperoni pizza bread,  spread on pizza sauce.

For BBQ Chicken pizza bread,  spread on BBQ sauce.  

Top with shredded cheese and desired toppings (pepperoni and/or tomato slices)

Mix shredded chicken/caramelized onion and BBQ sauce.  Top the bread.  

Tear 4 pieces of foil. 

Place the bread in the center of the foil and wrap it in the foil. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the grill/oven to 425 degrees.

Open up the top of the foil packs and bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Garlic steak and potato in foil packets 


  • 2-2 ½ pounds top sirloin steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 ½-inch pieces, (see note)
  • 1 pound baby yellow potatoes , quartered (or halved if they are already less than 1 inch in size, see note)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste , (I use about 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • fresh thyme or parsley for topping , (optional)


In a large bowl combine steak, potatoes, olive oil, salt and peppergarlic, and seasonings and toss to combine.

Divide steak and potatoes between four 12×12 inch sheets of foil, then wrap the foil tightly around the contents to form your foil packs.

Grill over high heat for about 10 minutes on each side or until steak and potatoes are cooked through OR bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through to desired doneness.

-Be sure to cut your steak into pieces that are at least 2×2 inches, and potatoes into pieces smaller than one inch. This ensures even cooking.

-For medium doneness on the steak, boil the potatoes first for five minutes before adding to the bowl and proceeding with the rest of the recipe. This will help them to cook faster once in the foil pack.

-If you prefer a char on your steak, you can open up the packets at the end and cook for a couple minutes directly on the grill, or for baking you can switch oven to broil for a few minutes (with packets opened).

Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley and serve immediately.

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