Summer is party time, when we gather with friends and family to celebrate the warm weather, long days and a slower pace of life. And it’s the best season for enjoying good food outdoors, where everything seems to taste better. There’s no better time to get creative in the kitchen and whip up delicious recipes for the BBQ.
You can join the fun and stay on track toward your weight loss goals with delicious dishes you make yourself.
Here are 20 healthy recipes for the BBQ you’ll be proud to share at home or bring to a party:
1. Patriotic Booze-Free Sangria >
Raise a toast to our great country, summer days, or whatever inspires you with this sweet and fruity drink. It has just 53 calories per serving and counts as only half of a SmartCarb, which makes it one of our favorite recipes for the BBQ.
2. 7-Layer Southwest Dip >
Turn your party into a fiesta when you and the rest of the gang dig into the zesty flavors of beans, avocado, salsa, onions and more. The creamy texture is the perfect complement to crunchy carrots, cucumbers and other veggies.
3. BBQ Chicken Nachos >
You can make a classic appetizer in minutes that is sure to be a hit with everyone. Start with Nutrisystem’s BBQ Seasoned Chicken atop baked whole wheat tortilla chips, then add cheese, diced peppers and onions, and fresh cilantro. It’s meaty, cheesy and so, so satisfying.
4. Crab-Stuffed Cucumber Cups >
These crunchy bites bring sophisticated flavors to any gathering, but they’re ready to eat in just three simple steps—no cooking necessary. The crab provides you with lean protein (one PowerFuel), plus you get two servings of non-starchy vegetables and the summery taste of fresh seafood.
5. Heirloom Tomato Salad >
Tomatoes are at their peak during BBQ season, so it’s the perfect time to savor the extraordinary flavors and vivid colors of old-fashioned varieties. Chickpeas bump up this salad’s protein and fiber content, while fat-free feta cheese adds a delightful bit of creaminess and tang. Whip up this fresh salad and enjoy one of our favorite recipes for the BBQ.
6. Broccoli Slaw With Cranberries and Lime >
The classic slaw gets a flavorful and nutritious makeover with crunchy broccoli and jicama (aka the “Mexican potato”), tangy cranberries and lime, and a hint of sweetness from honey. Eat it as a side salad or add it to a sandwich or wrap.
7. Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad >
This dish is sure to become the new favorite at your BBQ. Start with sweet potato noodles (you can make or buy) and blend in corn, tomatoes, peppers and onions. The zingy flavor comes from the sauce of Greek yogurt seasoned with Southwest spices.
8. Gluten-Free Maple Cornbread >
Everyone can enjoy this sweet and savory cornbread, the perfect companion to barbecued meats. It’s lower in calories, fats and sugar compared to standard recipes, but still has that homemade taste and crumbly good texture. Each serving is just one SmartCarb.
9. Mega Beet Burger >
When you’re craving a hearty burger with cheese, whip up a batch of these moist and meaty veggie patties. The lentils, walnuts and beets fill you up with healthy fats and fiber while the cheesy dressing hits your happy spot. The easy recipe makes eight servings, so they’re ready to share.
10. Marinated Greek Chicken Skewers >
Simple yet sophisticated chicken skewers give you that fresh-from-the-grill flavor, and fill you up with plenty of lean protein and fiber from the seasoned meat and veggies. The skewers come together in minutes and pair perfectly with a serving of brown rice to make a complete meal.
11. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich >
One bite of this sweet and savory sandwich and you’ll see how satisfying meatless barbecue can be. When shredded, the tropical jackfruit (available fresh or in cans) has a consistency similar to pork or chicken. Sauce it up with a blend of sweet and tangy ingredients, top with slaw and dig in.
12. Chicken Sausage and Peppers Sandwich >
Skip the same-old hot dog and instead go for savory chicken sausage with grilled peppers and onions on a high-fiber, whole wheat bun. You get two PowerFuels, one SmartCarb and one serving of vegetables, but only 300 lip-smacking calories.
13. Old Bay Salmon Cakes >
Fish such as salmon are naturally low in fats and high in protein. Add breadcrumbs, egg whites, Greek yogurt and veggies to form these salmon cakes seasoned with Old Bay, the traditional seafood flavoring. Make them in advance of the party and they’ll be ready to serve in just 20 minutes.
14. Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Drumsticks >
With the honey-garlic marinade, these drumsticks really are finger-licking good. Cook them in the air fryer and they’ll be crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Be sure to make plenty—everyone will be clamoring for more.
15. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kebabs >
No matter where you are, eating grilled seafood outside feels almost like a day at the beach. These shrimp are brushed with a blend of butter, lemon and herbs that brings out the seafood’s natural sweetness. While your family and friends rave about the flavor, you’ll love that two kebabs count as just one PowerFuel and one Extra.
16. Skinny Brownies With Cream Cheese Filling >
Yes, you can bring a plate of brownies to the party and enjoy one yourself. With cream cheese filling and chocolate-y cake, these seem way too indulgent when you’re trying to lose weight. But they’re made with smooth mashed sweet potato, whole wheat flour and unsweetened cocoa powder, so they’re totally Nutrisystem-approved.
17. 5-Ingredient Watermelon “Cake” >
Forget baking on a hot day and turn a sweet watermelon into an instant cake instead. All you do is slice up the melon, decorate it with whipped topping and berries, and look for happy faces to break out around the table.
18. Cannoli Stuffed Strawberries >
If you think a cannoli is the perfect dessert, wait until you try this easy-to-make version to add to your recipes for the BBQ. The filling has real ricotta cheese, vanilla and chocolate chips, but it comes inside of a juicy, sweet strawberry. You get six strawberries and only 165 calories in a serving.
19. 2-Ingredient Fresh Fruit Popsicles >
Kids and adults alike will smile as they cool off with these sweet and fruity treats. They’re so simple to make and easy to customize—just choose a couple of fruits to include or make a variety so everyone gets their favorite. Best of all, they’re naturally sweet and have just 85 calories so you can treat yourself and stay on track toward your weight loss goals.
20. Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing >
Take ordinary fruit salad to the next level with a sweet and tangy dressing that brings out the flavors of melon, peaches and berries. Add a few snips of fresh basil or mint, and wait for the questions about what your secret ingredients are!
Check out 23 more delicious recipes for the BBQ >
Also, check out the rules to our awesome summer giveaway >