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Healthy BBQ Dishes for the Summer
The summer is upon on is and therefore it’s the absolutely perfect time to get outside and turn on that BBQ that’s been gathering dust over the winter! The best thing about BBQ food is it’s incredibly versatile and quick – meaning you can get a healthy meal on the table for all the family in a matter of minutes!
BBQ’s don’t have to be just for big occasions – they really are brilliant for a weekday family meal too. Why? Because not only are BBQ recipes generally quick, they are also cooked in a really simple way and give food a really delicious smoky flavour. We’ve collated a list of BBQ food ideas, which has something for everything – scroll down for BBQ recipes for the family, something for the kids, fish and meat dishes, as well as the most scrumptious selection of vegan BBQ food. Of course, a BBQ isn’t the real deal without the salads and sides to accompany the main dish, so scroll down for some pretty yummy dishes you can prepare in advance and even enjoy for days after as a quick snack or lunch. We’ve also covered the sweet recipes, so you can really go to town to putting together your ideal summer feast.
Top tip: Some of these recipes could be adapted and cooked in the oven too, so don’t feel restricted if it starts to rain – or you simply don’t have a barbeque. Cooking times for barbeque food differ greatly depending on your barbeque type and temperature, so always make sure your food is cooked through before eating.
BBQ dishes for the family
Garlic and Lemon Butterfly Chicken
Ingredients and method: Marinade 4 chicken breasts in a splash of olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves and the juice of 2 lemons in the fridge for around 30 minutes. Take out of the fridge and butterfly the chicken breasts – you do this by carefully making a cut in the chicken breast to open it up, so you’re left with a flat chicken breast (this bit is messy but worth it!) Pop onto a hot BBQ and cook for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Double quantities if catering for more.
BBQ lamb steaks with homemade mint sauce
Ingredients and method: Lamb and mint is a long standing winning combination, so this is great for all the family. To make the mint sauce, finely chop a bunch of mint and add 5 tablespoons of boiling water along with 1 tablespoon of sugar – then leave to cool. Once cold, add white wine vinegar – add to taste. Leave again to cool and add more water if necessary. BBQ your lamb steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side and enjoy with the mint sauce.
The ultimate fruit salad
Ingredients and method: The absolute best thing about this dish is you can adapt to include your favourite fruit! We advise the following though: apple, strawberries, kiwi, mango, melon, grapes, blueberries, pineapple and nectarine. But you can of course change to your preference. Chop and prepare the fruit, and add to a bowl. In a smaller bowl, make up a dressing of limejuice, a splash of hot water, lime zest and sugar syrup (optional). Mix and pour over the fruit salad. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds to finish.
Ingredients and method: The easiest and most refreshing dish. Finely slice pineapple into wafer thin pieces. Arrange on a plate, zest over a lime and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
BBQ food for kids
Colourful loaded nachos
Ingredients and method: Okay so these don’t go on the BBQ per-se, but they are really colourful and easy to throw together for the kids. Start by loading a plate with tortilla chips – plain salted is the best. Cover with cheese and pop in the oven to melt. When they’re out, cover with delicious Mexican flavours – including chopped avocado, tomato and spring onions. Add a dollop of sour cream. Can be served with a fresh batch of tomato salsa, using olive oil, fresh tomatoes, basil and vinegar.
Mix and match kebabs
Ingredients and method: The best thing about these kebabs is the ability to create your favourite combo! Give your children the choice of 2 different meats, for example chicken and beef, and then 2 different veggies of their choice. Good vegetable options include peppers, onions, mushrooms, courgette and aubergine. Get them to assemble the kebabs, making sure there is plenty of veg on there and then let them watch them sizzle on the BBQ until the meat is cooked.
Simple fruit kebabs
Ingredients and method: You guessed it – fruit on a kebab! You don’t need to cook these, just the freshest and favourite fruit of your children on a kebab stick. Better yet accompanied with chocolate dipping sauce.
BBQ fish ideas
Garlic infused prawns
Ingredients and method: Prawns are simply delicious with the smoky hues of the barbeque, so this is definitely worth a try! Marinade king prawns in olive oil, crushed garlic, lime zest and red chilli for 1-2 hours. Then chuck straight onto the BBQ, turning and cooking until the prawns go pink.
Asian sticky salmon fillets
Ingredients and method: The pan Asian vibes of this simple sticky salmon dish are just divine. Marinade your salmon in soya sauce, fresh chopped ginger, crushed garlic and honey. Make sure there is an even coating all over the salmon. Pop the salmon fillets in a foil parcel and BBQ for 13-14 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.
Ingredients and method: You can see a strong kebab theme here in this BBQ list, but they just work so well on a summer plate. These are indulgent and a little pricier than a meat and vegetable kebab, but perfect if you’re looking to try something different or are a pescatarian. Add chunks of tuna, cod, salmon and prawns to a skewer and cook on the BBQ until cooked through. Simple!
Cod in a parcel
Ingredients and method: The ideal all in one dish, which wouldn’t require the prep of additional sides. Chop up courgette, red onions, red pepper and put into the base of a foil parcel. Lie the cod on top and drizzle with olive oil and juice of one lemon. Add a spring of thyme to the parcel. Close the foil parcel and cook on the BBQ for 14-15 minutes until cooked.
BBQ Meat ideas
Ingredients and method: Turkey burgers are an excellent lean source of protein and really delicious in a burger. Place your turkey mince in a bowl along with salt, pepper, garlic powder, one egg, chopped fresh chives and finely chopped red chilli. Mix together and then make medium sized patties. BBQ until cooked through.
Ingredients and method: Here we are switching to lamb mince to make this Middle Eastern inspired dish. You’ll need lamb mince, onion, garlic, fresh red chilli, paprika, mint leaves, fresh ginger, chopped coriander and cumin. Mix all of these together and then separate into 4-5 cm long sausages. Gently push a skewer through the sausage and BBQ until cooked.
Vegan BBQ Food
Garlic Portobello mushrooms
Ingredients and method: All you need for this is big juicy mushrooms, olive oil and garlic. Crush the garlic into the mushrooms and cover in olive oil. Grill on the BBQ until the garlic smells amazing and the mushroom is soft.
Pine nut and pesto pasta salad
Ingredients and method: Take your choice of pasta and put on the boil. Meanwhile, use a food processor to make your own vegan pesto using basil leaves, walnuts, olive oil, nutritional yeast (this gives it the cheesy flavour) and garlic. Once smooth, mix together with the cooked pasta and sprinkle over some lightly toasted pine nuts.
Vegan chocolate truffles
Ingredients and method: The perfect thing to finish off a delicious BBQ meal! All you need for these is dark chocolate (vegan), mint extract, coconut oil and cacao powder. Melt the dark chocolate, mix with coconut oil and the mint extract. Place in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours. When malleable, mould into balls and roll in the cacao powder. Just that easy!
BBQ Salads and Sides
Paprika sweet potato wedges
Ingredients and method: Simply chop up your sweet potato into wedges and cover with paprika and olive oil. Put into the oven for around 30 minutes at 180C – until soft and sweet.
Asparagus with balsamic and Parmesan
Ingredients and method: Grill your asparagus on the BBQ until charred and cooked through. Serve on a plate with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and shavings of Parmesan.
Aubergine, pomegranate and feta salad
Ingredients and method: Chop up the aubergine into chunks and roast in the oven for 30 minutes with olive oil until soft and cooked. Serve on a plate with feta and pomegranate sprinkled over. The flavour combination is an absolute treat.
We hope these fish, meat and vegan recipes have got you inspired for a simple and healthy summer meal! You can find plenty more recipes on our website – why not take a look recipes for plant based breakfasts, cheap healthy meals for the family and summer lolly recipes!