Healthy Barbeque Meal Ideas and Quick Recipe Tips for Summer

healthy barbeque skewers

Healthy Barbeque Meal Ideas and Quick Recipe Tips for Summer

Barbeques are a great part of summer and can make memories while also offering some of the tastiest foods of the season. Planning a healthy barbeque can help you stay lean and satisfied with the right nutrition.

Just because the food is grilled doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy! There are a wide variety of healthy barbeque recipes that are as easy to make as the traditional go-to’s.

The recipes and sides you can make on a barbeque can be just as tasty as their traditional counterparts! Here are some foods and methods of barbequing them that can make you feel full, healthy, and satisfied.

Healthy barbeque recipe tips

Cook healthy barbeque chicken recipes by grilling lean chicken meat. Marinate it with a lean vinegar sauce instead of adding cheese or mayonnaise.

Skip the hamburger buns. Avoiding the carbs of the bread hamburger and hot dog buns can help blood sugar levels. But that doesn’t mean that you have to skip a bun altogether. You can make your own bun by using the bottom half of a tomato, a lettuce leaf wrap, or a grilled slice of pineapple.

Healthy sauces and spices for grilled foods

To focus on low-calorie sauces, use garnishes, vinegar, and powdered spices instead of oil, mayonnaise, and butter. This will actually increase the nutrient quality of the food and help you to avoid eating too many calories.

Cooking the foods

Preheat your grill for 25 minutes to make sure it reaches the right temperature to kill any bacteria. Make sure to cook meat and fish thoroughly.

When grilling vegetables and fruits, avoid over-cooking. This can damage the nutrients in the food. Lightly grilling most fruits and vegetables is the best option so you can get the most nutrition out of your foods.

Barbeque packets

You can make a variety of softer meats, like fish or shrimp, in parchment paper inside an aluminum foil wrap (aluminum is a heavy metal and when used alone can leach into food when heated). . Here are a variety of garnishes and spices you can add to foil wraps:

  • Lemon slices or lemon juice
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Spicy or bell peppers
  • Spiced nuts
  • A savory salsa with pineapple and peppers
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Basil

This can make for a very savory and flavorful dish.

Barbeque grilled vegetables

Don’t forget about the other food groups than meat! Vegetables grilled can offer a great balance to a healthy barbeque meal. You can grill asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, peppers, or cauliflower.

Grilled fruits

Grilled fruits can offer a variety of flavors and side dish options. You can even include them for dessert. Grilled peaches, nectarines, bananas, and pineapples make a great option for a sweeter side dish.


A great way to add a variety of food groups to your plate is to use skewers. You can alternate between meat and vegetables, and you can even include fruit. This can also help you focus on portion control because you can pre-plan the amount of food for each skewer.


Fruits can make the best desserts at a summer barbeque. You can either grill the fruits, as mentioned previously, or you can serve fresh fruit in its own bowl. You can carve out a watermelon and use the rind as a bowl for a fruit salad.

Another fun dessert, if you’re close to a location with a freezer and electricity, is to make your own healthy version of ice cream with a blender. This version is called “nice cream”, created by Julie Cohen of Mad Nutrition. It uses frozen bananas and a splash of coconut or almond milk, and whatever kinds of fruit you’d like for flavoring. Add peanut butter or coconut cream to make it creamy, and maybe a little cocoa powder for a chocolate “nice cream” that would be very sweet. You can even add some additional fresh fruit, nuts or granola on top.

For more great tips on how to eat healthy this summer at barbeques and other summer destinations, contact us to find out more about our nutrition services!

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