15 Healthy Barbecue Recipes
Healthy barbecue recipes
Barbecue is a summer staple, and it's easy to see why—the slightly sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors add a delicious element to your savory warm-weather dishes. But loading up on lots of red meats, creamy side dishes, and decadent desserts during outdoor grill season isn't the healthiest way to spend a weekend. That's where these lightened-up summer recipes come in: we've got burgers, potato salad, pork, chicken, fish, and even fries that are made with low-fat and low-sodium ingredients. We've even got a tasty twist on ice cream, so you don't have to skip out on dessert. The result? You can enjoy the tastes of summer without feeling overly weighed-down.
Bison Burgers With Barbecue Sauce
Try this recipe: Bison Burgers With Barbecue Sauce
Swap out your typical beef burgers for bison patties, which are a great source of iron and vitamin B12. Topped with an easy homemade barbecue sauce, these burgers will be the standout main dish at your next gathering. Pro tip: purchase grass-fed meat, since this variety is more nutrient-rich than its grain-finish counterparts.
Ingredients: Butter, garlic, chipotle pepper, cider vinegar, ketchup, honey, tomato paste, ground bison, salt, pepper, avocado oil, iceberg lettuce, tomato, dill pickle chips
Try this recipe: Baked Beans
The perfect side dish to go with your barbecued chicken, burgers, or veggies, these baked beans are made with low-sodium ingredients, so you can enjoy a home-style favorite without loading up on salt.
Ingredients: Bacon, white onion, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, great northern beans, pinto beans, cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper
Try this recipe: Shrimp Burgers
A barbecue doesn’t have to be all about heavy beef and pork, and these lighter, seafood-based shrimp burgers prove it. Made with mayo, Old Bay seasoning, garlic, and parsley, these patties have that fresh-from-the-ocean flavor and ring in at just 404 calories each, making them a diet-friendly burger alternative.
Ingredients: Olive oil mayonnaise, relish, Old Bay seasoning, shrimp, egg, garlic, parsley, butter, English muffins, tomato, Bibb lettuce
Try this recipe: Tangy Coleslaw
This anything-but-traditional coleslaw dish will boost the flavor at your summer grill fest. White miso, mustard, and cilantro add a tangy kick to green and red cabbage. Plus, this version has a fraction of the fat of normal coleslaw and good-for-your-gut ingredients like sauerkraut and miso.
Ingredients: Carrots, butter, green cabbage, golden raisins, olive oil, white miso, mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, fermented red cabbage, parsley, cilantro, roasted almonds
Purple Potato Salad With Za’atar
Try this recipe: Purple Potato Salad With Za’atar
Bring a little color (and a lot of flavor) to this picnic classic that’s seasoned with pepper, Dijon mustard, and za’atar, a tasty Middle Eastern mixture of herbs and spices. Potatoes make the perfect companion to a meat entrée—and at only 230 calories per serving, you can feel good about indulging in this flavorful dish.
Ingredients: Purple potatoes, Dijon mustard, honey, cider vinegar, tomato paste, butter, za’atar, pepper, salt, white onion, parsley
PB Banana Nice Cream with Strawberry Sauce
Try this recipe: PB Banana Nice Cream with Strawberry Sauce
End your barbecue with a sweet treat. This simple recipe involves blending frozen bananas, coconut milk, peanut butter, and vanilla in a blender. You’re left with a dessert that's the same consistency as your favorite ice cream, without the dairy and added sugars. For a flavor boost, drizzle strawberry sauce with chopped peanuts on top. At only 196 calories and 7 grams of fat, you won’t find another dessert as healthy as this one.
Ingredients: Bananas, strawberries, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, salt, coconut milk, peanut butter, vanilla extract, peanuts
Korean Barbecue Burgers
Try this recipe: Korean Barbecue Burgers
These burgers are based on bulgogi, a traditional Korean barbecue specialty of marinated sirloin. Dark sesame oil adds richness to the marinade while ginger and green onions bring a little zest. Serve with kimchi, a spicy Korean version of coleslaw.
Ingredients: Green onions, brown sugar, fresh ginger, low-sodium soy sauce, dark sesame oil, black pepper, garlic, ground sirloin, whole-wheat buns, red lettuce leaves, radishes
Try this recipe: Barbecue Fries
You don't have to eat a full meal to enjoy barbecue flavor. These hot and spicy fries make the perfect snack, and the potatoes are rich in Resistant Starch, a fiber that keeps you full longer.
Ingredients: Olive oil, limes, barbecue sauce, hot pepper sauce, black pepper, paprika, cumin, russet potatoes, sour cream
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Try this recipe: Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Get delicious barbecue flavor—plus some vitamin C-packed veggies—with this simple pizza. Buying store-bought dough saves time, but be sure to get the whole-wheat variety to bulk up on fiber. For extra zest, add a few red onions.
Ingredients: Yellow and red bell peppers, olive oil, packaged pizza dough, mozzarella cheese, Fontina cheese, barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, parsley
Barbecue Roasted Salmon
Try this recipe: Barbecue Roasted Salmon
This Caribbean version of barbecue brings a fresh take to your typical grilled fare. Pineapple juice and brown sugar add sweetness while chili powder and cumin provide the traditional smoky flavor. The result is a heart-healthy dish with plenty of spice.
Ingredients: Pineapple juice, lemons, salmon fillets, brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, ground cinnamon, cooking spray
Barbecue Meat Loaf
Try this recipe: Barbecue Meat Loaf
Too hot to stand over the grill? You can bake this delicious meat loaf while you sip a cold drink in the next room. Extra-lean ground beef cuts down on fat, and the spicy combo of mustard and barbecue sauce adds the perfect kick.
Ingredients: Extra-lean ground beef, dry breadcrumbs, onion, barbecue sauce, mustard, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, eggs, cooking spray
Asian Barbecued Pork
Try this recipe: Asian Barbecued Pork
Adding a little bit of soy sauce and chili garlic sauce give this pork a tangy Asian flavor. And pork tenderloin is so lean, you can enjoy a serving for less than 200 calories and only 5 grams of fat.
Ingredients: Pork tenderloin, salt, hoisin sauce, ketchup, low-sodium soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, garlic, fresh ginger, cilantro
Easy Barbecue Chicken
Sweet paprika and brown sugar balance out the barbecue seasoning in this simple chicken meal. The sweet and savory flavors make a mouthwatering rub for the chicken. The best part? It’s all ready in about 30 minutes.
Ingredients: Hungarian sweet paprika, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, chicken breasts, olive oil, barbecue smoke seasoning, barbecue sauce
Terry’s Barbecue Ribs
Try this recipe: Terry's Barbecue Ribs
Ask the butcher to cut the rack in half lengthwise for more manageable portions. Trimming the fat off the ribs and adding a low-cal spicy flavor with chili powder, cumin, and hot dry mustard allows you to enjoy ribs that are less than 250 calories a serving.
Ingredients: Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, dried oregano, dried thyme, hot dry mustard, salt, pepper, ground cloves, pork back ribs, limes
Tangy BBQ Sandwich
Try this recipe: Tangy BBQ Sandwich
Using lean turkey breast instead of pork cuts down on calories, but the tangy barbecue sauce packs plenty of flavor. Serve with this low-cal coleslaw for a complete meal.
Ingredients: Unsalted butter, large onion, kosher salt, cider vinegar, barbecue sauce, water, cooked turkey breast, black pepper, Kaiser rolls, dill pickles, hot sauce