Healthy Backyard BBQ Tips

Created by: Kristen Carli, Dietetic Intern

Vary Your Proteins

Offer lean cuts of beef, pork, poultry and fish. Dress fish simply with lemon juice and herbs. Whip up a quick chimichurri sauce from garlic, parsley and olive oil to serve on lean pork. Make flavorful turkey burgers by adding herbs, shallots, or chili sauce. For a Greek-style turkey burger, mix in feta cheese, kalamata olives, and oregano. 

Offer Meatless Options

Grill some store-bought frozen veggie burgers, or create your own black bean burgers by mashing beans with bread crumbs, eggs, and spices. Marinate Portobello mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic; then grill and serve on toasted buns. 

Load Up on Veggies

Grilled vegetables are just as important as the entrees. Marinate vegetables in olive oil and herbs and grill until tender. Try red peppers, corn, eggplant, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, or onions. 

Fruit & Vegetable-Based Side Dishes

Pack your side dishes with produce. Combine sliced peaches with fennel and fresh mint, dressed with lemon juice and salt. Make homemade guacamole with mashed avocados, onions, salt, spices, lemon juice, and tomatoes. Serve mozzarella balls with fresh basil and tomato wedges. Create a chunky bean dip by stirring together canned beans, canned corn, and fresh chunky salsa. Make a mayo-free potato salad by combining cooked potato cubes with red onion, herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil. 

Creative Fruit for Dessert

Make fruit kabobs to grill using pineapple and peaches. Grill watermelon slices for 30 seconds each side. Serve berries with whip cream and nuts. 

Material adapted from

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