I put together a clean eating BBQ menu of my favorite healthy summer recipes that don’t include over-sized hamburger buns and enormous amounts of meat (and no, BBQ dinner is not a meat grilling fest).
The menu includes not only grilling recipes but healthy recipes for dishes that can be served at a summer BBQ party. I know most people have their BBQ favorites and might not be ready to give them up even if these dishes aren’t particularly healthy.
Instead, I wanted to offer you some healthy recipe ideas that you could incorporate into your BBQ menu to make it more healthy overall.
Condiments & Salsas
Condiments make everything taste better, but they can also be loaded with hidden sugar and unwanted additives. Think beyond ketchup and mustard and make something new that will help enhance the flavor of other dishes.
This fresh peach salsa is like summer in a bowl. It tastes great with everything, and the secret ingredient adds a nice unexpected kick.
These tangy and crisp marinated onions are the perfect condiment for grilled meats. And the best part is that they are very easy and quick to make and no cooking is required.
Appetizers are small bites that are great to snack on before the main course is ready. Sliced fresh vegetables with dips make the perfect appetizers for summer outdoor parties. If you want to make something extra, try crostini or a fun dip.
These Goat Cheese and Mushroom Crostini are a great starter to your dinner party. They are very easy to make. You can prepare the mushrooms in advance and keep them in the fridge. Just make sure to warm up the mushrooms before serving because the crostini taste better when they are slightly warm.
This Roasted Eggplant and Feta Dip is another great appetizer that is perfect for a barbeque party. I roasted the vegetables in the oven for this recipe because I posted it in January and didn’t feel like going outside to grill the veggies. During summer, I would roast the vegetables on a BBQ. This dip tastes best served with some healthy crackers or veggies.
Salads make the best side dishes for a BBQ dinner. They are light, easy to make, and you can also often prepare them in advance. Here I have five salad recipes for you to choose from. I usually make two different salads for our BBQ dinner parties.
This Potato Salad with Asparagus is a great clean eating alternative to the traditional potato salad. It’s full of wonderful seasonal veggies and really easy to prepare. This salad keeps well in the fridge so you can make it a day ahead. I think it almost tastes better the next day because the veggies marinate a bit, and the flavors blend nicely together.
If you are looking for a way to serve potatoes in a healthy way, this recipe is for you. This New Potato Salad with Tomatoes and Dill is bursting with flavor. Very easy to make, this salad is perfect for a BBQ dinner party.
Another salad that’s great for a summer BBQ dinner is this Romaine Salad with Chopped Veggies and Feta. This salad is also very easy to make and super healthy. If you decide to prepare this salad in advance, do not mix it with the dressing. Keep the salad and the dressing separate in the fridge and mix just before serving.
This Healthy Cabbage Salad is an excellent alternative to the traditional coleslaw. It's made without mayo, and the best part is that you can make it in advance because it tastes even better the next day. It's also very budget-friendly.
This German Cucumber Salad is a summer favorite because it's light and refreshing. The recipe offers two dressing options. You can make this salad with the vinegar-based dressing or with the sour cream-based dressing.
Grilled meats, fish, poultry, or vegan alternatives are, of course, the highlight of the show at any summer BBQ dinner party. When planning the main dish, think beyond burgers and sausages and consider trying something new.
These Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs are perfect for a clean eating barbeque menu. You can marinate them in the morning and quickly put on the grill after the guests arrive. They take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook.
Summer vegetables are perfect for grilling. Just rub them with a little bit of olive oil, and they are ready for the BBQ. Try zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, asparagus, corn, and more!
As a side dish, we always grill veggies. Our favorites are these Armenian Grilled Vegetables. We grill these veggies whole without cutting them and then just pull off the skin and add some salt and pepper. They taste great and are super healthy. Besides, they don’t require any prep work.
There is nothing more healthy and beautiful than summer fruits and berries. In addition, with all the prep work you have to do to organize a BBQ party, you might not have any more time or energy to make a dessert. And if you do, try a fruit or berry crisp!
This Healthy Peach Crisp is the ultimate summer dessert. It’s very easy to make and can be served warm or cold, on its own or with ice cream. And the best part is that it's made without any flour or cornstarch.
On a scorching day, drinks and ice might be the most important parts of your clean eating BBQ menu. I love making homemade drinks for dinner parties. They are a lovely unexpected touch and are always well received.
This strawberry soda is easy to make and very refreshing. Whip up the strawberry concentrate in a blender and mix it with sparkling water, and some ice cubes when ready to serve.