Healthy Barbecue Recipes + Tips

healthy barbecue recipes + tips graphic on blue wood

A few weeks ago, I did one of my weekly newsletters on a few healthy barbecue recipes (if you’re not getting my weekly emails…you should do that). You guys loved it so much, I thought about doing a follow-up with a few more recipes.

But I’m back home in Iowa for a visit, and we (of course) already had a classic Midwestern family barbecue my first day back, featuring three different meats and four different sides just for my immediate family. I realized another newsletter was not enough room to talk about all my favorite recipes for grilling out, so I decided to make it into a full post.

[BTW in the midwest a “barbecue” and “grilling out” are the same thing – BBQ sauce is not required]

Before I dive into recipes, I wanna take a sec to talk about some tips if you’re feeling anxious about eating at a [socially-distanced] barbecue.

  • Make sure you have a good PHFF breakfast/lunch first. You don’t need to starve yourself all day to “earn” a good dinner. In fact, doing this makes you much more likely to eat everything in sight when you show up at the party.

  • Start with finding a good protein (fish, grilled chicken, a burger – you’ll probably find a lot of options).

  • Pick ONE starchy carb. If you love a classic burger with a bun, have it. If you don’t care about it that much, wrap your burger in lettuce and pick your favorite side. I LOVE pasta salad and potato salad. You could also do some little samplings of a couple of your favorites.

  • Load up on veggies! Grilled vegetables are so good. You’ll also probably find a few yummy salads.

  • Make sure you get a healthy fat. Dips are a super easy and delicious way to get healthy fat in. You could also put avocado on your burger (if you haven’t tried this, trust me).

  • Stick with sugar-free cocktails. I’ll give some of my faves, but for more inspo, check out my post on alcohol.

One of my favorite tips: bring your own healthy dish!!! This way you can guarantee there will be at least one healthy option that you love. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite healthy cookout/barbecue/grilling/whatever-you-call-it recipes that everyone will love.

garlic-lemon salmon


cauliflower salad in bowl with fork


herby yogurt ranch dip


oatmeal raisin cookie dough bites


5-minute pink frose


What’s your favorite healthy barbecue recipe? Tag me on IG @megan.the.dietitian & let me know!

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