I, like so many, regularly buy bananas for smoothies and snacks and they always ripen faster than I think they will. So I make banana bread, of course—but now that it’s hot out, I don’t relish the thought of turning on the oven. The grill, however, is seeing lots more action, so easy grilled banana desserts are definitely in order. They’re the perfect Labor Day dessert too.
These recipes are equally good made on a charcoal grill in the backyard or cooked over a campfire (though some will be easier to assemble when you’re not in the wilderness). And while you’re exploring the wonderful world of grilling bananas, try grilled fruit of other kinds.
For most of these recipes, you don’t even need any special equipment besides foil. But be sure to have an ample supply of napkins on hand!
Think of these as fruity, self-contained s’mores that you eat with a spork. All you do is slit a banana lengthwise—like you would a baked potato—stuff it with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips (or whatever else you’re feeling), wrap it up in a foil jacket, and cook it in the embers or on the grill grate until delightfully warm and gooey. Get our Campfire Banana Boat recipe.
You could, if so inclined, just break out your skillet and make regular bananas Foster on the grill, but this is a less messy version that also won’t put you at risk of flare-ups, since you don’t add the optional splash of rum until after it’s cooked—which means even kids can enjoy this cinnamon-kissed, caramelized treat. Get our Campfire Bananas Foster recipe.
For those who like the idea of banana boats but would miss the sweet crunch of graham crackers, this is closer to classic s’mores while packing in a lot more stuff. Simply layer sliced bananas, marshmallows, peanut butter, and chocolate chips into a waffle cone, then wrap it in foil and grill. If you don’t mind extra goo, a little salted caramel is a welcome addition. And if you’re at home, there’s no reason not to turn these upside down over a scoop of ice cream for an inverted sundae-cone of sorts. Get our Campfire Cones recipe.
4. Upside Down Banana Coffee Tart (or Upside Down Banana Cake)
You will need your cast iron skillet for this one—and yes, you absolutely can bake on a grill. You can go the classic banana cake route, or try our coffee-spiked banana tart that owes a debt to the famous French tarte tatin. You can use store-bought pie dough to make it really easy if you want. Get our Upside Down Banana Coffee Tart recipe.
Lodge Chef Collection Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, $29.95 from Sur La Table
Our Banana Split Sundae recipe actually calls for broiling the bananas, which is a worthy option if you don’t have a grill, but if you do, you can cook the halved bananas on a well-oiled grate (obviously, make sure it’s clean first too). Then pile on the ice cream and toppings of your choice, and eat it fast before it melts.