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!

man turning food on a bbq
Burgers and Kebabs on Barbecue Grill

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.

mushroom pate


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.

Buffet table

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.

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!

falafel burgers

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.

butternut squash veggie burgers
Butternut Squash veggie burgers

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.

Peri Peri chicken
Peri Peri chicken

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.

Falfel burgers on a green plate
Falafel burgers

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.

Pork burgers
Pork burgers

Jerk chicken is easy to make and perfect for the BBQ alongside Caribbean rice.

Jerk chicken and caribbean rice

Black bean veggie quinoa burgers are another vegetarian burger better cooked on a solid grill or BBQ.

Quinoa burger
Quinoa burger

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.

Sticky chicken salad
Sticky chicken salad

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.

jacket potatoes

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.

kebabs on grill

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 chicken
BBQ chicken

BBQ pulled jackfruit is an alternative to BBQ pulled pork this can be made in the slow cooker and served at the BBQ.

BBQ Jackfruit
BBQ Jackfruit

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.

Pulled pork sandwich
Pulled pork sandwich

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.

Mango couscous
Mango couscous

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.

Spicy potatoes
Spicy potatoes

Crustless mini quiches are Easy and quick to make earlier in the day and a snack which is perfect eaten with fingers!

mini quiches
Mini quiches

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.

wooden spoon of vegetable couscous

Caribbean rice is a fruity tasty rice dish perfect for any summer meal but also great for BBQs and garden parties.

bowl of  Caribbean rice

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.

mini quiches
mini quiches with crust

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.

jollof rice
Nigerian jollof rice

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.

sweet potato cakes
Sweet potato cakes

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.

Sweetcorn fritter
Sweetcorn fritter

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.

If you found this helpful please share!

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