10 Diet-Friendly Barbecue Recipes

Fitness - Fuel

10 Diet-Friendly Barbecue Recipes

Jun 4, 2015 //

Nothing says summer has arrived quite like sunshine, long days, fresh breezes, and of course grilling. If you take one look at your barbecue and think you can’t use it while sticking to a healthy diet, think again. There are so many ways to bring healthy flavors to the grill. Opt for lean means or veggies, lay off the white bread and buns, pump up your vegetable dishes, say no to mayonnaise-laden sides, and you’ll be grilling healthy meals in no time. These 10 light barbecue recipes will help you get started.

1. Grilled Shrimp Skewers Over White Bean Salad

(Recipe From EatingWell.com)

Hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks get a lot of the glory during summer barbecues. If you’re in the mood to mix things up and keep it light, opt for seafood instead. There are only 212 calories in this fiber- and protein-packed meal. Invite the crew over and whip this up for a tasty dish your guests won’t see coming. 

2. Sesame and Garlic Flank Steak with Grilled Asparagus

(Recipe From FitnessMagazine.com)

“Steak” and “low-calorie” don’t always appear in the same sentence, but when done right, steak can be a nice, light treat. This dish has only 258 calories, so you can save room for dessert. The asparagus add a nice dose of antioxidants and vitamins. This is a good recipe to try when you’re torn between wanting to eat healthy and wanting to sink your teeth into a big steak. Make this healthy version and have it both ways.

3. Tangy Barbecue Sandwich

(Recipe From Health.com)

Sometimes you want to eat healthy without feeling like you’re eating healthy. Although this recipe is more indulgent than others on this list (it's 370 calories), the lean turkey breast makes it much lighter dish than a traditional pulled pork sandwich. Your taste buds will not disappointed by the tangy barbecue sauce.

4. Healthy Chicken-and-Rice Foil Packs

(Recipe From FoodNetwork.com)

This dish is also 370 calories, but here you’re getting an entire meal. Rice, beans, chicken, salsa: it’s all wrapped up in one big, satisfying dish. No need to make sides with this one – think of it as a crockpot recipe in grill form. This low-fat, high-protein dish will keep you healthy and happy.

5. Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple, Corn and Bell Pepper Relish

(Recipe From MyRecipes.com)

Get your fruits, veggies and lean protein in one meal with this delicious dish. At only 242 calories, this flavorful meal may become your new favorite dish of summer. Bold colors, big flavors, and minimal fat and calories are the hallmarks of this recipe. Whether you are or not, eating this tropical dish will make you feel like you’re on vacation.

6. Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Sandwiches with Roquefort Dressing

(Recipe From MyRecipes.com)

This is a hearty sandwich that’s easy to make and clocks in at only 261 calories. Eggplant is a great vegetable to grill because its texture is almost meaty. Flavors abound in this recipe, thanks to the blue cheese, parsley and garlic. This sandwich is worthy of a nice thick bread to keep the delicious filling in place.

7. Barbecued Sweet Potatoes

(Recipe From Laloosh.com)

It doesn’t get much better than a side dish that’s only 100 calories. Take antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes, add a tangy barbecue sauce, and you have yourself a side dish that will please everyone: vegans, foodies, friends on a low-fat diet, and guests who don’t care how healthy it is and just want something that tastes delicious. 

8. Black Bean Nacho Pizza

(Recipe From EatingWell.com)

We tend to get a little one-tracked when we grill: we think burgers and sandwiches, steaks and sides, and we rarely think beyond. Grilling pizza is a fun way to add more flavor and variety into your grilling repertoire. Impress your vegetarian friends and carnivores alike with a pizza that tastes like nachos but has only 317 calories per serving.

9. Grilled Vegetable Platter

(Recipe From TasteOfHome.com)

Don’t forget the veggies! We tend to think that grilling and meat are synonymous, but you can just as easily – and for much fewer calories – whip up a vegetable dish to delight your guests. This one has it all: asparagus, carrots, red pepper, summer squash and onion. Its vibrant colors look beautiful when served on a platter and there are a mere 144 calories in each serving.

10. Philly-Style Cheeseburger

(Recipe From Prevention.com)

These healthy recipes are great and all, but what if you just want to eat a messy cheeseburger that reminds you of the summers of your childhood? This is the most decadent recipe on this list and it still comes in under 400 calories (387, to be exact). Lean meat, reduced-fat cheese, mushrooms, a dash of olive oil, and whole grain buns make this tasty dish a healthy one, too.

Healthy grilling is all about making healthy choices. When you have your choice between meats, choose the leaner one. If one side dish is creamy pasta salad and the other is fresh grilled corn, choose the corn. Choose whole grain buns and breads for your sandwiches. Keep the sauces light. There’s no reason your grilled meals can’t be among some of the healthiest meals you make all year. Have fun and get grilling!

Kristen Forbes

Kristen Forbes is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon who enjoys hiking, running, vegetarian food, and intuitive eating. She is always on the lookout for innovative recipes, fun workouts, and new ideas for taking care of her body and mind.

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