By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Looking for healthy BBQ sides to add to your BBQ food list? These tasty, good side dishes won't disappoint. Enjoy these healthy BBQ side dishes and healthy BBQ recipes!
Hooray, it's BBQ season! Even if you're hosting just your immediate family, it's hard to figure out what to serve when you're entertaining.
Thankfully, I've got the solution for you. Go ahead and cook up a whole bunch of these healthy BBQ side dishes for your next summer menu. You and your guests will love these easy side dishes.
I grew up in Florida, which means I also grew up grilling. And I've taken that grilling with me to the northeast. On warm summer days, I love whipping up a whole bunch of healthy BBQ side dishes.
Some of my favorite combos: pairing grilled tofu and polenta with yummy grilled veggies, as well as grilled peaches for dessert (drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar, of course!).
So you can have your BBQ celebration and feel good about it, I've put together this easy guide to healthy BBQ side dishes for your next gathering. Whether you're hosting or attending—or simply cooking up a nice dinner at home for just you and your loved ones—I've got all the makings of a nutritious meal.
Eating healthy at gatherings this summer will help you embrace what's most important about any holiday: the company.
Healthy BBQ Sides to Try Right Now
Do you love to create dinner menus as much as I do? When I'm hosting a gathering, I spend weeks thinking of what appetizers, dishes, and drinks I'll serve and how I'll display everything.
Whether you entertain guests just once in awhile or all year long, you likely want to make the get togethers memorable and healthy without breaking the bank. What do you want guests to notice the most?
When it comes to the basics of a healthy BBQ recipes spread, here's the BBQ food list I start with: a spread of colorful appetizers, like bite-size endive boats and a brie cheese appetizer, and a homemade condiments bar are good places to start.
As a dietitian who loves to cook for family and friends, I have a few tips for creating great-tasting menus with a nutritious twist. Ready to take your soirée to the next level?
I chatted with KSL about my favorite healthy BBQ side dishes. In the article, I shared one of my go-to summer salads for a BBQ that's so delicious it makes me smile.
All these easy side dishes for parties are pretty simple to whip up. If you want the kids to help in the kitchen, take a look at these fun and easy cooking projects for kids.
And don't forget about the condiments. Tired of ketchup and mustard? Think jarred jam is too sugary? Wow your guests with a delicious, homemade condiments bar at your next party. I share one of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes in this WomensRunning.com post.
Now, go on and enjoy grilling season and this list of side dish recipes! Most of these ideas are quick and easy options.
And here are more dietitian-approved BBQ dishes to enjoy:
- Simple Balsamic Grilled Peaches from my own kitchen
- Honey Lime Grilled Corn Salad from my own kitchen
- Grilled Garlic Asparagus from my own kitchen
Good Side Dishes That'll Help Your Health
Many healthy dishes are anti-inflammatory by nature. But when you have a chronic condition such as arthritis or Celiac disease, it's smart to be extra diligent about eating foods that will help keep inflammation in check.
This is really the case for anyone, because lowering inflammation helps keep you healthy and helps lower your risk for disease.
When the folks at Aaptiv asked me for me top anti-inflammatory easy BBQ sides, I realized that pretty much all the nutritious recipes on my site are filled with good-for-you, inflammation-fighting ingredients! So I decided to share a couple of healthy BBQ sides that are super summery and easy to whip up.
Does your BBQ shopping list need a little help? Buying in bulk can save a lot of money. But with so many products for sale, you might have a tough time picking out the healthiest foods to feed a crowd.
More Great Ideas to Add to Your BBQ Food List
If you're running short on BBQ ideas, try these summer side dishes:
- Sweet potato fries
- Oven-roasted asparagus
- Pasta salad
- Goat cheese crostini
- Healthy grilled salad
- Roasted green beans
- Potato salad
- Roasted potatoes with olive oil
- Grilled salmon
- Grilled fish tacos
Amy's Healthy BBQ Recipes to Try
Make this recipe: Easy Brie Cheese Appetizer!
I love to entertain, but I don't always want to spend hours and hours making food. So here is my go-to shortcut appetizer, one of my top healthy recipes for lazy summer afternoons.
I get guests asking for it again and again! If you want to serve it with the main spread, pair it with a salad—a piece of jam-topped brie will taste even more amazing on a bed of greens!
Bonus recipe: Avocado Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika!
I love eggs—they're budget-friendly, easy to cook, and good for you. So go ahead and give this classic party recipe a healthy makeover. This tasty deviled eggs app is made with avocado for an extra boost of heart-healthy fat.
This blog post was updated in August 2020.
- 10 Easy Side Dishes for Your Next Barbecue,
- 8 Homemade Condiments For Your Summer BBQ,
- 3 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes for Your Next BBQ, Aaptiv.com
- Brittany Poulson, MDA, RDN, CDCES, author of The Healthy Family Cookbook
- Christina Ellenberg, RD, nutrition blogger at Dietitian Dish
- Shahzadi Devje, RD, food blogger at Desi~licious RD
- Shannon Garcia, RD, food blogger at Kiss in the Kitchen
- Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, nutrition blogger at Melissa Traub
- Kara Holton, RD, food blogger at The Cheesy RD
- Klara Knezevic, RD, co-author of Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide
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I'd love to hear from you! What healthy BBQ side dishes do you love? What other grilling recipes do you enjoy? What are your go-to BBQ side dishes that are healthy?
Want to go shopping with a dietitian? Here's your chance! I just opened up my very own storefront, full of my fave tip sheets, cookbooks, kitchen products, and more! Check it out!
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