Does having a BBQ mean that you can’t lose weight? No, it certainly does not! You can have a Healthy BBQ quite easily. Here are lots of healthy BBQ recipes to help you to plan that meal or even a family garden party to make sure it fits within your weight loss plan.
Of course, the choice is yours but if you want some tips and recipes to help you make your BBQ or summer buffet healthy then here you go!
Healthy BBQ Tips
Marinate any meat or Quorn without using oil! Mix the spices you like with fat-free natural yoghurt or just put the spices on direct maybe with a little lemon juice, experiment but do you really need the oil?
No, you really don’t! My sweet and sticky marinade is easy to make if you are running short of ideas.
Here is a full post of BBQ Marinades you may find helpful.
Dips and sauces
Make your dips instead of buying dips, you can make really low-calorie dips really easily, there are lots of recipes in my dips guide.
Drinks can be fun and refreshing without being alcoholic or full of sugar, adding fruit to water or sugar-free lemonade can be just as nice, not necessarily as every drink.
Have you looked at the differences in wine? Make sure you do when deciding which drinks to have. Alternatives are cranberry juice-based drinks or perhaps my low-calorie cocktails.
Think of the difference if you just swapped a couple of high-calorie flavoured ciders for something like this.
When it’s hot weather (I know we are in the UK but I can hope!) do you really want warm sausage rolls and drying-out sandwiches? Or would vegetable sticks and a dip be more refreshing?
Coleslaw, salsa, pasta salad, potato salad, all these extras we often have on a BBQ or buffet can be made so easily and so much healthier than many shop-bought ones.
Fat-free fromage frais is great for things like this.
Alternatives to a boring salad might be a bruschetta pasta salad, tomato and mozzarella salad or even a sticky chicken salad.
More tips for the perfect healthy BBQ
Swap the meat or Quorn (or alternative) for the lowest fat options and remove any visible fat before cooking because when you are actually eating it will you notice the difference?
Do you need a dessert with your buffet? What about summery fruit instead like a spiced melon medley? A big bowl of fresh strawberries and fresh melon is so refreshing and when it’s hot they are much more refreshing than cake or melting chocolate fingers!
If you are doing different food for the children just do the amount they will eat do not do extra because it will only tempt you.
Picking on chicken nuggets really won’t fill you but those extra unnecessary calories will make all the difference on the scales if you are not careful!
Barbeque some chunks of vegetables like peppers, it makes the food look so much more colourful and adds yummy vegetables to your meal very easily!
Serve everyone at the BBQ all these healthier options so you don’t feel like you are missing out!
Healthy BBQ recipes without a BBQ
We use teppanyaki grills instead of a traditional BBQ. It means you can cook anything you would usually fry on it and there are no gaps for it to fall through!
If you have a more traditional BBQ you could always use a griddle pan or similar for some items if it helps.
Healthy BBQ Recipes cooked on the BBQ or grill
Depending on the kind of BBQ you have some of these may be easier to make than others. Why not give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments below?
Butternut and sweet potato veggie burgers are better made on something like a teppanyaki or frying pan than a grill with gaps in as the mixture could easily fall through. It is a great vegetarian dish to try though.
Piri Piri chicken (more healthy chicken recipes here) is perfect for a BBQ simply marinate it earlier in the day and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to BBQ it.
Falafel burgers again are better cooked in a frying pan or a solid surface but they are tasty and worth making for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
Pork burgers that melt in the middle are a simple recipe that children can help make so they enjoy something quite healthy on the BBQ.
Jerk chicken is easy to make and perfect for the BBQ alongside Caribbean rice.
Black bean veggie quinoa burgers are another vegetarian burger better cooked on a solid grill or BBQ.
Sticky chicken is a perfect healthy BBQ recipe, simply marinate the chicken earlier in the day and then skewer and cook when you are ready.
Jacket potatoes are something you might not have considered but they can be cooked in the microwave and then crisped on the BBQ easily or if you have the BBQ on for a long time wrap them in foil and cook on the BBQ until cooked.
Chicken or tofu kebabs can be marinated in advance easily and skewered ready to cook as soon as you are ready. For tofu, use very firm tofu or it will easily fall apart.
Healthy BBQ recipes not cooked on the BBQ
These are meals perfect for a BBQ flavour meal but not cooked on the BBQ perhaps they would be good for a winter bbq flavour meal when the sun is in but you want those barbecue flavours again.
Barbeque Chicken can be made in the slow cooker and served easily with your BBQ.
BBQ pulled jackfruit is an alternative to BBQ pulled pork this can be made in the slow cooker and served at the BBQ.
BBQ pulled pork is perfectly made in the slow cooker and served as extra meat for inside a burger bun or to top burgers with.
Healthy BBQ recipes – side dishes
Sometimes Healthy BBQ recipes are not quite enough, you need some side dishes too.
Here are some great side dishes perfect to accompany your BBQ and ensure you have a healthy meal that everyone can enjoy.
Mango couscous is a fruity dish perfect to make in advance and keep in the fridge until the BBQ and then serve.
Spicy potatoes can be made in advance and reheated in the oven or enjoyed cold. If you time it well you could put them in the oven before the BBQ and take them out to serve in time.
Crustless mini quiches are Easy and quick to make earlier in the day and a snack which is perfect eaten with fingers!
Vegetable couscous is a great dish to make for a BBQ that everyone can grab a spoon of to add to their plate, with lots of veggies inside it adds that healthy element to your meal.
Caribbean rice is a fruity tasty rice dish perfect for any summer meal but also great for BBQs and garden parties.
Falafel is great finger food for a BBQ buffet or garden party and easy to make in advance and serve cold.
Mini pepper quiches if the crustless quiches are not for you then these quiches are made with tortillas for crusts, whilst you can make them in advance I would recommend not making them too far in advance as the “crust” easily softens again.
Nigerian Jollof rice is a tasty spicy rice option for BBQs and buffets in the summer. Easily made in advance it can be served with any of the usual BBQ food.
Spicy sweet potato patties These will need to be made either in the oven, a frying pan or a solid grill or the mixture falls through as it is cooking. They are a tasty side dish worth trying though.
Sweetcorn fritter and salsa is a great cold dish to serve with your BBQ as it is a bit more solid than a quiche but have a similar texture.
More healthy recipes you may enjoy
If you are looking for more summer recipes for healthy meals then I have a great selection of summer recipes for recipes specifically perfect for picnics check out this picnic roundup.