25 Easy Healthy Summer BBQ Dinner Ideas

  • Ditch those high calorie BBQ Dinners.
  • Instead Check out these easy to make healthy summer BBQ dinner ideas.

It’s summertime again, the perfect time for grilling. So get your tongs ready, dust your grill and enjoy a perfect weekend with friends and family. 

And while grilling can be a fun way to enjoy a weekend with friends and family, there are so many epic meals you can enjoy out of the grill, other than the usual burger and bacon. 

Table of Contents

Healthy Grilled Vegetable BBQ Dinner Recipes

1. Quinoa-Black Bean Salad

Enjoy this amazing quinoa and black bean salad as a simple dinner recipe for two or as a flavorful side dish for your grilled chicken or beef. 

 The recipe contains plant-based proteins, quinoa, black beans, and fresh veggies like grilled corn and zucchini for vitamins in every bite. 

 If you can’t handle 3 hours prepping for dinner in the summer heat, why not take 30 minutes making this simple yet satisfying salad instead? You might be surprised by how good healthy eating tastes. 

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn, husks removed
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (see Associated Recipes)
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of no-salt-added black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup pico de gallo, divided
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • ¾ cup crumbled cotija cheese, divided
  • 1 avocado, diced, divided

2. Grilled Peas

Grilled peas for dinner; why not? It’s simple, flavorful, and addictively good that you’ll make them your go-to snack whenever you’re in a rush. 

The meal is a good source of filling proteins, vitamins that strengthen your immune system, and fiber that helps you with digestion. 

Moreover, grilling with olive oil makes the peas flavorful and has an enticing aroma that’s hard to resist. 

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh peas, in the pod
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

3. Whole Tandoori Cauliflower With Jewelled Rice Salad

This healthy BBQ meal is well-balanced and high in fiber to ensure ultimate satisfaction while promoting good digestion throughout the night. 

The spices make an excellent marinade for the cauliflower giving your summer meal the best aroma and your body the right nutrients for healthy living. 

Moreover, it has lower fat and calories making it an excellent addition to your weight-loss meal prep.  

Ingredients

  • 200g natural yogurt
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 large cauliflower, with an X, cut into the base of the stem

Salad

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp dried mint
  • 2 x 250g pouches of ready-cooked rice
  • 50g pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 50g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 100g pomegranate seeds
  • A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 lemons, juiced

4. Chicago-Style Carrot Dogs

Who doesn’t love the original Chicago dogs made on a poppy seed bun with lots of mustard and grilled veggie? It’s heaven on earth.

If you need a break from the calories, you can try grilling this tasty Chicago-style carrot dog instead. 

The meal comprises lightly toasted buns, well-grilled carrots, and additions like sweet relish, yellow mustard, and seasoning.  

 You can enjoy a healthy dinner with this recipe without worrying about midnight snacking because this meal is as filling as it is nutritious. However, you might need some extra prep time for it. 

Ingredients

  • Carrot Dogs
  • 8 medium carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Buns & Toppings
  • 8 whole-wheat hot dog buns
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 8 dill pickle spears
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup minced white onion
  • 8 teaspoons chopped sport peppers or pepperoncini
  • 8 teaspoons of sweet relish
  • 8 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 8 pinches of Celery salt

5. Red Cabbage Slaw

Cabbage slaw is a fantastic side dish and a delicious topping on a sandwich. But did you know you could have grilled red cabbage slaw as a healthy bbq meal for dinner? 

Red cabbage is a good source of vitamins and nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and zinc, suitable for maintaining a healthy body. It’s also high in fiber, simplifying digestion while actively supporting heart health.

Take this recipe for a spin and discover new flavors in grilled veggies you never imagined. You can even use the slaw as toppings for your grilled fish tacos.

Ingredients

  • 1 head red cabbage shredded
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and shredded about 3 cups
  • 1 green chili or jalapeno deseeded and diced
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • For The Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or sub with red wine vinegar or lemon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

6. Cauliflower Steaks With Chimichurri

Steaks aren’t only about meat. You can also grill cauliflower to perfect golden brown, top them off with zesty, green chimichurri sauce, and enjoy it as your main meal for the night. 

This plant-based recipe offers all the necessities of a balanced diet while ensuring great seductive flavor in every bite.

The cauliflower provides an excellent fiber and vitamin source, while the chimichurri is loaded with calcium, carotenes, iron, and various vitamins.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Olive or canola oil cooking spray
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

7. Shredded Charred Corn Salad

Throw your corn cobs on the grill for a sweet and smoky flavor in your summer salad alongside cabbage and carrots. With less than 100 calories, this charred corn keeps your heart healthy by reducing cholesterol levels. 

The cabbage and onions introduce fiber into your diet and help you fill up while supplying your body with vitamin C and other minerals.  

Ingredients

  • ½ small white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 corn cobs
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

8. Sriracha & Lime Potato Salad

Don’t let your summer potato salad be plain and boring for the family. You could always add a twist with spicy sriracha and zesty lime juice dressing and introduce a few veggies that would bring out the healthier side of it. 

Potato salad is packed with vitamin B, folate, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium that help maintain a healthy body. At the same time, the other ingredients spice up the flavor for a tasty bbq dinner.  

Ingredients

  • 750g new potatoes, halved if large
  • 80g mayonnaise
  • 50g soured cream
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)

9. Sweet Potato Wedges

These sweet potato wedges are full of carbs that keep you full for longer and are a good source of fiber to help digestion. You can serve sweet potato wedges with ketchup or your preferred dipping sauce.

You’d also get essential vitamins and minerals from this bbq summer recipe which is also suitable as a main dish or served with proteins like fish or chicken. 

Ingredients

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2” wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Curry Tahini Dip
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

10. Aubergine Kebabs With Charred Onion Salsa

Aubergines are basically eggplants. They’re tender perennial plants that make a mean bbq any summer evening. 

The aubergine kebabs with charred onion salsa are creamy with the recommended Greek yogurt serving and come packed with antioxidants from the onions and garlic sauce used in the salsa.  

Ingredients

  • 3 aubergines, sliced lengthways into ½cm slices
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Aleppo pepper flakes, (see cook’s notes)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium onions, sliced into thick rounds
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves, finely shredded
  • ½ tbsp dried chili flakes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Couscous mixed with soft herbs, (such as mint and coriander)
  • Greek yogurt, seasoned with salt

11. Courgette lollipops

Lollipops aren’t the healthiest meal options unless they’re made with courgettes like in this recipe. These grilled vegetable skewers with courgettes soaked in a sweet and spicy marinade bring out the best of bbq flavors. 

The courgettes are also naturally fat-free, low in calories, high in protein, and a good source of folate, vitamin C, and potassium for effective blood control.

Ingredients

  • 8 baby courgettes
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ground to make 1 tsp black peppercorns

Healthy Chicken BBQ Dinner Ideas

12. Barbecued Chicken Fajita Skewers

Barbequed chicken fajita skewers are a healthy summer bbq dish bursting with flavor from all the natural spices and raw veggies. The chicken is a healthier beef alternative and perfect for a hot summer dinner. 

This healthy chicken bbq meal will increase your protein supply and reduce calorie intake to help with weight loss. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, making it as good as grilled beef. 

Ingredients

  • 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely grated
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 mixed colored peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • For the guacamole
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 lime
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • warmed tortillas, chopped coriander, soured cream or yogurt, plus chili sauce for the grown-ups, to serve

13. Cajun Grilled Chicken Burger

When it’s time to spoil yourself, you can take the healthier alternative with all the mouthwatering ingredients of a regular burger. 

This grilled cajun-spiced chicken burger is divine and built like your normal burger, with bacon, guacamole, cheese, and spinach between ciabatta buns. 

The burger is perfect for gluten-free diets and has spinach that provides you with all the vitamins and minerals that a regular beef and bacon cheeseburger lacks. 

Ingredients

  • For the chicken:
  • 500 g Chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 tablespoon Ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pinch of Sea salt and black pepper
  • For the coleslaw:
  • 1 Large carrot, shredded
  • 0.25 Small red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 Head of little gem lettuce, shredded
  • 3 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 pinch of Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Lime (juice and zest)
  • Other:
  • 4 Ciabatta rolls to serve.

14. Ras El Hanout and Honey Bbq Chicken Thighs

Honey makes everything sweet when used in the proper recipes. In this juicy dish, you get a twist on the old-school easy chicken recipe with the ras el hanout and sweet honey marinade. 

Ras el hanout amplifies the dish’s flavor and aroma, allowing creativity in your grills. It also contains antioxidants from the many different spices used in the marinade that help fight the effects of high cholesterol.  

Ingredients

  • 8 whole chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, bashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried chili flakes

Healthy BBQ Dinner Ideas with Turkey

15. Turkey & Coriander Burgers With Guacamole

Guacamole seems to go with everything, including this grilled turkey burger. These snacks make for the perfect healthy summer bbq loaded with vitamin C and low on fat.

These burgers go well as a main dish or are served alongside fries for the ultimate summer experience. You don’t want to miss out on the excitement with this summertime meal. 

Ingredients

  • 400g turkey mince
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 85g fresh breadcrumb
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large ripe avocado, or 2 small
  • 1 chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • juice 1 lime
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 8 hot peppadew peppers, roughly chopped

16. Turkey Burgers With Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki

Have you ever tried tzatziki? It’s not as rare as it sounds but the fresh and tangy flavor with Greek yogurt and cucumber makes this sauce the best spread for your veggie burger. 

Tzatziki makes this bbq idea a low-calorie diet dish with low added sugars to help with weight loss. The meal also has a high protein content that keeps you full longer and sufficient calcium for bone health.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 small hamburger buns, preferably whole-wheat, split
  • 4 tablespoons tzatziki
  • 12 slices cucumber
  • 8 thick rings red onion (about 1/4-inch)

17. Turkey & Courgette Burgers

If you need a healthier alternative to red meat in your burger, try this turkey & courgette burger easy recipe for your next dinner.

The courgettes are naturally fat-free and low in calories, while the vegetables provide good sources of vitamins and nutrients to your balanced meal. You’ll get as much protein as possible from the courgettes and enough folate to help with digestion resulting in a healthy but delicious BBQ dish.

Ingredients 

  • 500g minced turkey
  • 1 large courgette, coarsely grated (about 200g in total)
  • 40g spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium free-range egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp course ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • about 100ml of sunflower oil for searing
  • Soured cream & sumac sauce:
  • 100g soured cream
  • 150g Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp SUMAC
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Healthy Grilled Seafood BBQ Ideas

18. Seafood, Pineapple & Coconut Kebabs

Pineapple may not go well on pizza, but it fits perfectly with grilled fish bringing out a delicious healthy meal. These skewers have grilled salmon, white fish, grilled shrimp, and pineapple: the perfect summer dinner with lots of protein but lower sugars.

This BBQ dinner recipe is low in saturated fats, high in proteins, and loaded with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.  

Ingredients

  • 16 large, unpeeled raw king prawns
  • 500g mixture of boneless salmon and white fish fillets, skinned and cut into chunky pieces
  • 200ml can of coconut milk
  • 100g fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 85g desiccated coconut
  • drizzle of oil
  • lime wedges, to serve

19. Hawaiian Prawn Kebab

You don’t need Hawaii to enjoy this tropical delicacy; you can cook on your grill.

Marinated sweet and tangy Hawaiian prawn skewers infused with tropical flavors and grilled alongside various vegetables for a savory and exotic dinner in the summer. Pineapple is best for grilling fish and makes this meal flavorsome.

The prawns are also an excellent source of vitamins B-6, B-12, and Niacin, giving you more energy after a hot summer evening.

Ingredients

  • 15 – 20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup pineapple, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes

20. Barbecued Squid With Charred Lemon and Caper Dressing

I bet your local fish shop sells fresh squid; you can bbq when the summer heat gets too cozy. This recipe for grilled squid with charred lemon and caper dressing is quick and simple to make and still delectable.  

The charred lemon and caper dressing compliments the meat and amplifies its flavor for a more flavorful taste. 

Squid is also a good source of healthy protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, calcium, and iron for good heart and skin health.  

Ingredients

  • jalapeño pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 800g squid, beak removed and separated into hood and tentacles.
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp capers, plus 2 tsp kept whole
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • a pinch of smoked paprika
  • chopped to make 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley

Healthy Beef BBQ Dinner Ideas

21. Greek-Inspired Burgers With Herb-Feta Sauce

Are you looking for a lower-calorie alternative to the burger with the same amazing taste in every bite? These Greek-inspired beef and veggie burgers with herb-feta sauce should do the trick with their creamy sauce, grilled lamb, and feta cheese.

Just like your regular burgers, these come with all the raw toppings like seasonal onions and tomatoes for that sweet and crunchy taste with all the benefits of lower calories.

And since you’re making it at home, you can dictate the toppings that come with it. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 pound ground lamb or ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 whole-wheat pitas, halved, split and warmed
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 plum tomato, sliced

22. Hole-In-The-Wall Beef Skewers

Ever tried a healthy kebab? And we don’t mean the meat-free option. These beef skewers are easy healthy delicacies to make and cook fast on your grill. 

If you’re looking to beat the heat with a good barbecue for the family, these skewers are an excellent choice for a crowd. You can also customize the toppings as you wish to add more flavor to every mouthful.

Ingredients

Onion Salad

  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp sumac, (see notes below)
  • a small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Kebabs

  • 450g minced beef (ideally use 20% fat))
  • ½ onion, grated
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • a small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Lebanese seven-spice or Bharat, (see notes below)
  • 1 ½ tsp Aleppo pepper, (see notes below)
  • 25g pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Serve

  • 300g hummus, (see notes below)
  • flatbreads

More Healthy BBQ Ideas for Dinner

23. Spiced Halloumi & Pineapple Burger With Zingy Slaw

Looking to lower your calorie intake with a healthy but delicious burger? Try this spiced halloumi & pineapple burger with zingy slaw for a change and see how your summer evening feels like strawberries. 

This vegetable combo is a fantastic treat for your taste buds, while the halloumi supplies enough calcium for your bones because it’s packed with vitamins and fiber. The pineapple intensifies the fusion flavors while also being a good source of antioxidants. 

Ingredients

  • ½ red cabbage, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 100g radishes, sliced
  • 1 small pack of coriander, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • big pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 60g halloumi, cut into 4 slices
  • 2 small slices of fresh pineapple
  • 1 Little Gem lettuce, divided into 4 lettuce cups, or 2 small seeded burger buns, cut in half, to serve (optional)

24. Halloumi Skewers

These halloumi skewers are crispy on the outside but tender on the inside and combine all the flavors of perfectly marinated Cypriot cheese (halloumi) and veggies for a flavorful dinner. 

The cheese is also rich in calcium for bone growth and keeps you fuller for longer, preventing random snacking habits. 

Ingredients

  • 250 g halloumi cut in to 16 cubes
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper cut into squares
  • 1 courgette cut into ribbons
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon juice only
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper

25. Prosciutto Pizza With Corn & Arugula

You don’t need an all-veggie-based pizza to stay healthy because this grilled prosciutto pizza with corn and arugula makes the perfect healthy bbq meal in the summer. 

This pizza is rich in protein and sufficient calories to keep you full for longer hours and has high calcium content from the arugula, which is necessary for bone growth. It tastes just like a pizza but with a healthier twist.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 ounce very thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups arugula
  • ½ cup torn fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Final Take On Healthy BBQ Dinner Ideas

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or a full-blown carnivore, you can always find a bbq recipe that’s healthier and probably tastier than the original cooking process. 

Stick to the grill this summer and use all the bbq dinner options available to give you and your loved ones an unforgettable season.

FAQs on Healthy Barbecue Dinner Ideas

Is eating BBQ meat healthy?

Yes, eating BBQ meat is healthy because cooking the meat at high temperatures reduces fat and calorie levels.  

What is healthy to eat at a BBQ?

Whether meat or veggies, any BBQ is healthy with the proper recipe. Lean proteins, preferably chicken breast and vegetables, are all healthy options at a BBQ.  

How do you BBQ low calories?

BBQ over high heat reduces fat from the meat giving a tasty dish lower in fats and calories than regular cooked meat. 

More Healthy Recipes you may like to try;