It’s summertime, the July 4th holiday is looming ever closer, and everyone in your neighborhood will probably be hosting a cookout, and you know what? You should, too. But what can you make if you’regluten-free and trying to eat healthier? I’ll share ideas for healthy summer BBQ recipes that everyone will enjoy AND will support your health goals.

There is no better time for your barbecue stand to make an appearance than now. Yes, I know you’re probably wondering, “How does serving large chunks of meat and all sorts of fatty foods fit into my healthy meal plan?”

Barbeque season doesn’t necessarily have to mean glutenous food/cross contamination season. In fact, there are a lot of barbeque recipes that include healthy ingredients and will keep you right on track with your healthy lifestyle goals, and if you’re doing the hosting, you control what food is served, ie; no cross contamination!

In this post, I’ll go over some of those recipes. But first, let’s go over some pointers you can apply to any party menu.

Tips to Keep in Mind:

Choose Lean Protein

Let’s start with protein. To keep things healthier, stick with lean meats like skinless chicken or turkey. Because a good portion of the fat is in the skin, try cooking without it.

Barbecues aren’t just about the meat. Seafood like salmon and shrimp are great options, too. If you’re vegetarian, so are tofu and tempeh.

Offer Veggies and Fresh Fruit

When you plan your menu, make sure to include plenty of fresh vegetable and fruit options. Of course, you can serve a salad, but if you want to get a little more adventurous, try grilling zucchini or cauliflower or one of my favorites, grilled pineapple, strawberry and melon kabobs.

A plate of cut-up fruit or sliced watermelon is always a crowd pleaser and super simple to put together.

Serve Sugar-Free Thirst Quenchers

Skip the store-bought lemonade and make your own lemon water. Simply squeeze fresh lemon juice into a pitcher of water to taste, add ice and voila!  You have a healthy sugar-free thirst quencher.

If you absolutely must have some sweetness, choose honey, or my favorite, pure organic stevia, to add to your drink.

Now that you’re armed with some useful tips let’s talk about the recipes.

Healthy Summer BBQ Recipes

Grilled Jerk Chicken with Mango Nectarine Salsa 

This perfect mix of sweet and spicy by Half Baked Harvest is all you need to start your summer on the right note. The chicken is marinated using jerk seasoning (you can get the jerk seasoning mix from your local grocery store, or you could make the mix using your favorite herbs and spices, just be sure that all ingredients are gluten-free) and the mangoes and nectarine are used to create a delicious salsa.

This meal is made with fresh produce, and the chicken breasts are skinless, that way you get to enjoy a healthy chicken meal without worry. To create this meal, you will need skinless chicken breasts, jerk seasoning, olive oil, nectarines, mangoes, citrus and any other herb or spice you want to add.

Grilled Halibut 

If you are more of a seafood person, then you will absolutely love this recipe on Delish by Makinze Gore. Halibut is an ultra-lean fish that makes a great alternative to your traditional beef steak.

The salsa adds a colorful touch of flavor and the entire dish takes less than 25 minutes to make. I mean, does it get any better than this?

Grilled Steak and Cesar Salad

You know this list will be incomplete without the much loved, all American grilled steak. The key to preparing the perfect grilled steak is to make sure you marinate it with the right herbs and spices.

I’m going to go out on a limb here as a health coach, and say that beef is perfectly okay to eat in moderation. As long as it is grass fed, organic beef. It is not the beef that is bad for you, it is what the beef is eating.  Combined with some fresh vegetables, grilled steak will create a very healthy and delicious meal.

More Ideas

Other healthy summer BBQ recipes include salmon or veggie burgers, swordfish or cauliflower steak and my recipe for grilled shrimp and citrus salad. [Link to the Grilled Shrimp and Citrus Vinaigrette Salad recipe]

Go forth and party!

With these meal planning tips and healthy summer BBQ recipes, you won’t have any excuse to skip out on family time or the neighborhood party. You have all the tools you need to create healthy and delicious BBQ meals. So, go ahead and set a date.


Share with us in the comments any recipes you like to serve at your summer parties.


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