6 Healthy Backyard Barbecue Recipes to Grill Up This Summer

kabobs on a grill
Nothing says summer quite like firing up the grill and flipping burgers in your backyard with friends.

by Cheryl S. Grant

Nothing says summer quite like firing up the grill and flipping burgers in your backyard with friends. But while you love the opportunity to socialize and indulge in your favorite summer activity, you might worry that a barbecue could derail your healthy lifestyle.

No need to fret! There are plenty of healthy BBQ recipes that can keep you on track all summer long. Try these six.

1. Simple Burgers

What you'll need:

  • 12 ounces lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1/4 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

To begin, fire up your grill and set it to medium-high heat. Combine all ingredients to form four patties. Then grill both sides until charred and the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees for ground beef and 165 degrees for ground turkey. Put a patty on a bun (or atop a bed of lettuce) with your favorite toppings and enjoy! This recipe yields four servings.

2. Sweet & Spicy Chicken

What you'll need:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/3 cup peach preserves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed peppers
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Directions:

Whisk together lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken to the mixture and marinate for 30 minutes. While waiting, mix preserves, crushed peppers, warm water, and the remaining oil in a separate container. Now heat your grill to medium-high and start grilling. When the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees, baste one side with the preserve mixture. After one minute, flip and baste the other side. Then grab three of your close friends and dig in!

3. Fish Kebabs

What you'll need:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 pounds of halibut cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • Package of bamboo skewers

Directions:

To start, soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. In a large bowl, toss together the veggies, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place fish in a separate bowl and add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Next, heat your grill to medium-high. Now assemble skewers and brush with remaining marinade. Cook until internal temperature of fish is a minimum of 145 degrees, flipping them just once. This is a great recipe for a party, as it serves six to eight people.

4. Grilled Sweet Potatoes

What you'll need:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Canola oil for brushing

Directions:

Boil sweet potatoes in salted water until tender, then drain and cool. Combine maple syrup, mustard, olive oil, and chipotle pepper in a bowl. Cut each potato into approximately seven wedges; brush with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Now heat the grill to medium-high and grill wedges for three minutes per side or until brown. Then remove them from the grill and brush with maple syrup mixture. This recipe serves four to six people.

5. Grilled Eggplant Salad

What you'll need:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large Vidalia onion cut into rounds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (and little extra for brushing)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • A pinch of oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Trim eggplant ends and cut into 3/4-inch thick slices, then brush eggplant and onion with oil. Grill the eggplant slices on medium heat until they're soft and the onions until they have a slight char. Remove them from the grill and place on a cutting board until cool. Now chop them and add to a medium bowl. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. To finish, simply toss eggplant and onions with the mixture. This is another great dish to serve at a party, as it feeds six to eight people.

6. Grilled Pineapple

What you'll need:

  • 1 large ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 10 wedges
  • A small amount of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups of vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of honey

Directions:

Heat your grill to medium-low. Brush the pineapple slices with oil and place them on the grill. Cook each side for around seven minutes (or until charred grill marks appear). In a bowl, mix cinnamon and yogurt together. When ready to serve, garnish the pineapple slices with a dollop of yogurt and drizzle with honey. This recipe serves six to eight people.

Now that you have some healthy BBQ recipes to choose from, invite some friends over, fire up the grill, and enjoy! Good friends, tasty food, and outdoor fun is what summer is all about.