Healthy BBQ Sides to Switch Up at your Summer GatheringsI have to say that my one of my favorite things about summer is cooking outside. The summer breeze, a cool drink in your hand?
What is not to love? BBQs and picnics are a great way to get outside, enjoy the weather and spend time with friends and family. Traditional BBQ dishes can range anywhere from salad, baked beans, potato salad, and plenty of desserts.
I asked our dietitians to tell me what their favorite healthy BBQ sides were when planning for their summer festivities, check out their responses!
Take a look at our 12 Healthy BBQ Sides
1. Strawberry Fields Salad
Strawberry Fields salad is a great way to highlight the colorful, festive tasty strawberries. Click here for recipe.
2. Buffalo Cauliflower with Ranch Greek Yogurt
Buffalo Cauliflower with Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip is a surprisingly delicious way to enjoy cauliflower. Lightly battered, baked, and tossed in a spicy buffalo sauce, this will be a crowd pleaser and a fun alternative to the regular veggie platter.
3. Chickpea Tomato Salad
Chickpeas are another great source of fiber, and are the main ingredient in hummus! Our taste side dish uses chickpeas, tomatoes and cucumbers to make a delicious, mediterranean side dish. Chickpea tomato salad recipe.
4. Cowboy Caviar
Cowboy Caviar is great to serve with tortilla chips for scooping. It could also be a delicious topping for grilled proteins like a grilled chicken breast or fish.
5. Easy Edamame Salad
Easy Edamame Salad is a tasty side dish full of flavor and heart healthy fiber. With plenty of plant protein from edamame and beans, this could be enjoyed on it’s own, but like the Cowboy Caviar, could be scooped with chips or served over grilled proteins.
6. Mexican Street Corn Salad
Traditionally, Mexican street corn is grilled corn on the cob, that is covered in crema, queso fresco and some cayenne. This salad combines all of that into a simple, easy to make salad! Take a look at the recipe here.
7. Panzanella Salad
Panzanella uses seasonal veggies like tomato and cucumber to create a flavorful salad, but the best part is the addition of crunchy bread cubes that soak up the flavors of the salad.
8. Caesar Salad Summer Rolls
Summer rolls are typically fresh ingredients like veggies, avocado, shrimp, etc. rolled up into a rice paper wrapping. Our Caesar Salad Summer Rolls are a spin off of traditional summer rolls by wrapping the ingredients of traditional caesar salad up into rice paper, for a convenient hand held salad!
9. Lentil Salad
Lentils are a common ingredient used in Southeast Asian style cooking and are a great source of protein. Our lentil salad uses tomatoes and cucumbers, both which are in season during the summer! Top with some feta cheese for a yummy salad. This recipe is so easy:
Grab a package of cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s, and toss with cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil and champagne vinegar, and fresh cracked black pepper.
10. Greek Yogurt Cole Slaw
Another BBQ favorite, but can often be high in saturated fat and sodium! Our version uses greek yogurt, which cuts down on the fat, and increases the protein! Here is our easy homemade recipe.
11. Healthy Baked Beans
Who doesn’t love a good helping of baked beans with a hamburger? Beans themselves are a great source of fiber, which can help keep your regular, and keep your cholesterol down. However, canned baked beans can often be high in sugar and salt. Check out our version, that features a surprising ingredient! See recipe here.
12. Watermelon Feta Salad
This delicious watermelon salad recipe is and refreshing salad comes together in minutes, and pairs well with almost anything! Serve with grilled chicken and fish for a light summer meal.
Do you want more ideas on healthy BBQ side dishes to make for your next BBQ?
Check out our searchable recipe database by ingredient, meal, condition, cooking method and cuisine! Click here for RECIPE DATABASE.
Need dessert ideas? We have you covered! Grilled peaches are the best.
If you would like help planning your next meals for your next BBQ, make an appointment with one of our dietitians by clicking here or calling 301-474-2499.
Blog reviewed and updated April 2021.
Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a seasoned chef, Dietitian Klara will work with you to help you reach your nutrition goals. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating, Cooking with Diabetes and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Guide.