26 healthy recipes for BBQ season | The ultimate guide to healthy summer potlucks


Brace yourselves: barbecue season is upon us. This summer, be prepared to light up your grill like nobody else. We put together a handy guide to help you find the best healthy recipes for BBQ season. No more scrolling (and scrolling) through Pinterest, Tumblr, and Food Gawker. No more scrambling for potluck ideas on a whim. Our ultimate guide has you covered, regardless of what tickles your fancy. Marvellous Mains The best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season - Marvelous Mains // PumpUp Blog Favorites

Best Burgers The best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season - Best Burgers // PumpUp Blog Favorites

Not-so-sad Salads The best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season - Not so sad Salads // PumpUp Blog Favorites

Scrumptious Sides The best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season - Scrumptious Sides // PumpUp Blog Favorites

Grilled Desserts The best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season - Grilled Desserts // PumpUp Blog Favorites

These healthy recipes for BBQ season can't be beat. This is our ultimate guide of tried and true creations that are celebrated and beloved by wellness aficionados all over the globe.

Marvellous Mains

Seafood Skewers
Grilled Salmon Kebabs
Grilled salmon kebabs from skinnytaste // PumpUp Blog Favorites - the best healthy recipes for summer bbq season
Boost your BBQ with heart-healthy omega-3s! Carefully fold thin slices of lemon between each salmon piece to infuse your kebabs with a juicy, citrusy flavor. Get the recipe.

Grilled Pork Blueberry Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Blueberry Grilled Pork Tenderloin // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season
We know what you're thinking, but it's not so weird: if you maple bacon is great, why shouldn't blueberry pork tenderloin be? This combination simply 'blue' our minds. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and damn delicious. Get the recipe.

Grilled Chicken Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken

Grilled honey balsamic chicken from the Recipe Critic // Best recipes for BBQ season - PumpUp Blog Favorites

See the sheen on that glaze? It means something wonderful. This grilled chicken recipe uses honey, rather than the straight-up brown sugar that most recipes call for. There's tons of lycopene in this glaze thanks to the ketchup, but be sure to use a homemade version if possible (here's our favorite sugar free recipe).  The chicken will be tender and juicy, never bland. Get the recipe.

Grilled Beef Brazilian Grilled Flank Steak

Brazilian Flank Steak from My Mans Belly // The best healthy recipes for BBQ season - PumpUp Blog Favorites
Nobody wants their steak to taste like leather. Visions of tough and flavourless steak will no longer haunt your sleep thanks to this bold, lean, and juicy recipe. The key is to marinate the flank steak overnight, then to flash grill the meat on high, allowing it to sit quietly in its own juices before serving. Get the recipe.

Grilled veggies Fuss-free Cauliflower Steaks

Fuss free cauliflower steaks // The best healthy summer BBQ season recipes from the PumpUp Blog

These are the answer to your vegetarian barbeque dreams. Cauliflower is thick and hearty enough to withstand a bit of grilling and roasting with pantry staples: salt, pepper, olive oil, and chili pepper. Get the recipe.

Grilled veggies Grilled Graffiti Eggplant
Grilled Eggplant from A Family Feast // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best summer recipes for BBQ season
Eggplants will quell your deepest vegetarian desires. Grilled eggplant is warm, garlicky, full of fiber, and vitamin B1. A smattering of freshly grated Parmesan cheese will make this dish an instant crowd pleaser. Get the recipe.

Healthy Burgers

Best Sweet Potato Burger

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger 
10 ingredient sweet potato black bean burger from the Minimalist Baker // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best healthy burgers for summer BBQ season
Did you make a little noise as soon as you scrolled down and saw this picture? Because that's what we did when we stumbled upon the Minimalist Baker's latest and greatest creation. This is a burger with a big capital “B”. It’s a mixture of a dizzying array of flavours: sweet, savoury, spiced, and smoky. Get the recipe.


Best Mushroom Burger
Black rice & Mushroom Burgers with Cucumber Garlic Yogurt
Black rice and mushroom burgers from the Gouda Life // PumpUp Blog favorites - The best healthy burger recipes for BBQ season
It's different from a plain old slab of portobello mushroom. Nutty and earthy flavours make this burger a fibre-filled and protein-packed winner. It’s a fancy without any fluff. Get the recipe.


Best Shrimp Burger
Shrimp Burger with Wakame Slaw
Shrimp burger with wakame slaw from the Kitchy Kitchen // Best healthy burger recipes for summer BBQ season - PumpUp Blog Favorites
Filled with spunky herbs and summery flavours that taste anything but fishy, this shrimp burger will transform summertime sadness into pure and unadulterated joy. Get the recipe.


Best all-around veggie burger
The ultimate veggie burger
The ultimate veggie burger from the Awesome Green // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best healthy burger recipes for BBQ season
True to it’s name, the ultimate veggie burger doesn’t disappoint. Roasted beets and sweet potatoes dance with quinoa to create a bold, yummy (and darn-good-for-you) burger. Get the recipe.


Best chicken burger
Paleo Jalapeno Chicken Burgers
Paleo Jalapeno Chicken Burgers from Once a Month Meals // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best healthy burger recipes for BBQ season
This chicken burger is anything but bland. Jalapeño and red pepper flakes kick the heat up a little more than a notch. You can freeze these burgers ahead of time and play with the recipe by subbing the chicken for ground turkey. Get the recipe.


Best green burger
California fusion walnut burgers
California Fusion Walnut Burger // The best healthy summer BBQ burger recipes - PumpUp Blog Favorites
Being green has never been so easy. Edamame and walnut make surprising and delicious burger partners in crime. Full of healthy fat and protein, you’ll want to make these easy burgers long past the 4th of July. Get the recipe.

Not-so-sad salads 

Best chopped salad
Healthy chicken chopped salad
Chicken chopped salad from Ambitious Kitchen // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best summer salad recipes for BBQ season
There isn’t anything wrong with sharing this delicious and filling salad, but it’s okay to hog it all to yourself for dinner too. Toss together chickpeas, cooked chicken breast, and any vegetables in your kitchen and you have a sensational salad in your midst. Get the recipe.


Best bean salad

Easy-peasy Mixed Bean Salad

Mixed bean salad // Healthy allergy-friendly BBQ season recipes from the PumpUp Blog
You won’t be-leaf how delicious leafless salads can be. If you’re in a bind for your next barbecue, this fresh, crunchy, and healthy bean salad will be the talk of the party. Whip it up in an instant and thank us later. Get the recipe.


Best rainbow salad
Rad rainbow pad thai salad
Rad rainbow pad thai salad by Oh She Glows // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best healthy salad recipes for BBQ season
Eat the rainbow quite literally. There really isn’t anything on the Earth quite like this rad rainbow pad thai salad. Filled with veggies and seeds and topped with a punchy dressing, this salad is the answer as to where somewhere over the rainbow is. Get the recipe.


Best dressing
Deb’s Kale salad with apple, cranberries, and pecans
Deb's Kale Salad with Apple and Cranberries c/o Cookie + Kate // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best healthy salads for BBQ season
We're more than in love with the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. The dressing for this kale salad is one that you’ll want to make again and again. Crunchy apples and sweet cranberries help to offset the bitterness of the kale. Get the recipe.


Best slaw
Broccoli Slaw
Broccoli Slaw from the Healthy Maven // Life altering healthy BBQ recipes
If you’ve never made the Smitten Kitchen’s broccoli slaw, drop everything right now, pick up a leafy head of broccoli, and get chopping. This slaw is life-altering. Make it lighter with 0% fat greek yogurt instead of mayo. Get the recipe.


Best pasta salad
Sun-dried tomato pesto pasta salad with kale and artichokes
Gluten Free Sun dried tomato pesto pasta from the Healthy Maven // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season
Sweat over the weather, and not over your pasta salad. This recipe from PumpUp blogger The Healthy Maven will dispel any misgivings and preconceptions that you have about bringing pasta to an allergy-sensitive barbecue, because these noodles are delicious and made entirely of gluten-free whole grains. Get the recipe.

Scrumptious Sides

Best Skewers Alton Brown's Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Alton Brown's Grilled Brussels Sprouts  // PumpUp Blog favorites - The best healthy grilled desserts from summer BBQ season
Brussels sprouts get an unfairly bad rap. When roasted or grilled, they taste more like chips rather than bitter spheres of fury. So make skewers out of sprouts. We promise they'll deliver. For this recipe, you'll essentially need one ingredient (the brussels sprouts) plus a few items in your pantry. Get the recipe.


Best Baked Potatoes
Paleo Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Paleo stuffed sweet potatoes from Civilized Caveman Cooking // PumpUp Blog Favorites  - The best healthy sides for summer BBQ season
Stuff your face with all things good for you. These paleo sweet potato pockets are loaded with a mix of sweet and savory: cranberries, bell peppers, apples, spinach, red onion, and bacon. If you're not a meat eater, feel free to omit the pork and opt for the substitute of your choice. Get the recipe.


Best chip and dip combo
Avocado hummus with crispy sea salt pita chips
Avocado hummus with whole wheat pita chips from Savor Home // Best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season from the PumpUp blog
Hello, avocado. We love you more than words can describe. If the tangy taste of guacamole gives you grief, cleanse your palette with this creamy and healthy avocado hummus instead. Toast up some whole wheat pita wedges in the oven, and you'll be able to dig deep into the smooth green sea of avocado abundance. Get the recipe.


Best Bite-Sized Snacks
Curry Grilled Zucchini Roll Ups
Curry grilled zucchini roll-ups from Edible Perspective // PumpUp Blog Favorites - best healthy recipes for summer BBQ season
Like pinwheel sandwiches, but better. Little as these zucchini roll ups may be, they are fierce with flavour. Colourful spices adorn these adorable vegetable treats with a smokiness that is quickly offset by subtle, creamy goat cheese.  Get the recipe.

Grilled Desserts

Grilled Pineapple
Grilled pineapple from Wine and Glue  // PumpUp Blog favorites:  best healthy grilled desserts
Once you go grilled fruit, you never go back. It will change you. Most grilled pineapple recipes call for a bit of brown sugar and butter, but that's not good for you. Take a pineapple, hack it up, and grill it over medium before drizzling it with a bit of cinnamon and honey. It's that simple. Get the recipe.


Grilled watermelon
Grilled Watermelon from My Recipes // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The best grilled healthy desserts
Yeah, we went there. Watermelons aren't only for drinking, after all. Grilling your watermelon is an out-of-body experience. If you can believe it, grilled watermelon tastes even sweeter. With a touch of balsamic and a bit of fresh basil and crumbed blue cheese, you won't be able to rest until you definitively cross grilled watermelon off of your priority list. Get the recipe.


Grilled peaches
Grilled peaches from the Framed Table // PumpUp Blog Favorites - The Best Grilled Healthy Desserts
You've committed to healthy eating. Practice what you peach without compromising on flavour. Gorgeous grilled peaches don't need an elaborate preparation ritual to be nutritious and delicious. Rosemary, oil, and balsamic: that's all you need. Get the recipe.


Grilled bananas
Grilled bananas from Nadia Lim // PumpUp Blog favorites : best grilled healthy desserts
Can that happen? Really? If there is a will, and a grill, there is a way. Halved bananas drizzled with a bit of maple syrup and cinnamon will caramelize nicely under the intense flame of the grill. It'll bubble and burst until a tasty banana baby is born right before your eyes. Get the recipe.