19 Healthy Recipes To Make at Your Next Cookout — Eat This Not That


Labor Day may be around the corner, but there are still a lot of warm late-summer days to enjoy an outdoor cookout before the chilly fall months settle in. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to always settle for the same go-to’s every time you fire up a grill! Sure, burgers and hot dogs work well when you’re cooking for a crowd, but why not surprise your guests with these deliciously tasty recipes the next time you have everyone over?

Between grilling recipes, tasty sweets, and all of the side dishes and appetizers you could ever want, here are some of our favorite healthy recipes to whip up for an outdoor cookout. And if you’re looking for even more Labor Day inspiration, here are our 20 Best Labor Day Recipes for End of Summer Fun.

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Why not give that usually grilled chicken sandwich a major upgrade by adding a grilled slice of pineapple? Slather on some teriyaki sauce and serve with sliced ​​red onion and pickled jalapeños on a whole wheat bun.

Get our recipe for Spicy-Sweet Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich.

Low-calorie grilled Caesar salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sure, you could just serve a salad…but why not grill it? This recipe has you grilling heads of romaine lettuce, and topped with the usual Caesar salad fixings. Plus, the presentation of this grilled salad is so beautiful, that your guests will be wowed!

Get our recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad.

Butternut squash pasta salad
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

If grilling salad isn’t your thing, why not make this easy butternut squash pasta salad instead? This veggie-forward pasta salad includes cubes of roasted butternut squash, spring mix, apple, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and a homemade vinaigrette to bring it all together.

Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Pasta Salad.

Healthy smokey deviled eggs
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you need something for your guests to snack on while you get the grill going, these tasty deviled eggs will keep them satiated. The smoky chipotle powder and paprika paired with bacon will pair perfectly with a bubbly beverage.

Get our recipe for Smoky Deviled Eggs with Bacon.

Low-calorie grilled pork & peaches
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Looking to turn your cookout into a proper dinner party? Skip the burgers and grill up these pork chops instead, served with juicy peaches that are in season as the summer draws to an end.

Don’t feel like serving burgers? These grilled pork chops will

Get our recipe for Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches.

Vegetarian grilled apricots
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Speaking of peaches, did you know you can actually throw peaches and apricots onto the grill? Scoop out the pit and serve with a small scoop of ice cream or yogurt, top with granola, and you have the perfect light dessert to finish off your meal.

Get our recipe for Grilled Apricots.

Healthy grilled ratatouille salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Need a way to use up all of that fresh summer produce? This grilled ratatouille salad calls for zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, bell pepper, and portobello mushrooms all in one. Plus, if you have any asparagus in the freezer from the spring, you can use that up by throwing them into this light side dish as well!

Get our recipe for Grilled Ratatouille Salad.

steak chimichurri recipe
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Want to elevate your cookout offerings? Serve thin slices of flank steak with homemade chimichurri sauce and a side of grilled vegetables. This light meal is satisfying but won’t leave you feeling sluggish compared to a cheesy burger and potato chips.

Get our recipe for Grilled Flank Steak With Chimichurri.

old fashioned potato salad
Shutterstock

You can never go wrong with a classic potato salad at a cookout! This recipe calls for all kinds of classic potato salad fixings like red onion, pickles, celery, and hard-boiled eggs. If you’re looking to lighten up the salad (and add in some protein) you can swap out a Greek yogurt-based mayonnaise.

Get our recipe for Potato Salad.

bowl of avocado hummus with celery and spoon
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Can’t decide between serving guacamole or hummus with your crudités? Why not combine the two flavors with this avocado hummus? This dip is packed with flavor and is perfect with fresh-cut veggies, chips, crackers, and more.

Get our recipe for Avocado Hummus.

fudgy raspberry brownie on white plate with fork
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

You can never go wrong with a pan of brownies at a cookout, especially brownies that are stuffed with raspberry goodness. Not only are these fudgy brownies mixed with 1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries, but they also have applesauce to make them fluffy, giving these brownies an extra nutritional punch with every bite.

Get the recipe for Easy Fudgy Raspberry Brownies.

bubbly rose kombucha float
Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha

Don’t feel like drinking alcohol? These kombucha floats are the perfect mocktail that still brings the fun without the booze. Serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream (or dairy-free ice cream), and pop some raspberries and mint into the glass for a refreshing treat to end the day.

Get the recipe for Bubbly Rosé Kombucha Float.

Vegetarian melted brie vegetables
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Serving a block of brie with sliced ​​bread is always a fun appetizer, but why not take it up a notch with these melted brie bites? The recipe is easy—you’ll sauté onions, pear, and zucchini together, spread on small slices of toast, then spread gooey baked brie on top. Then serve!

Get the recipe for Melted Brie with Vegetables.

Healthy grilled fruit kebabs with yogurt and honey
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If the grill is already fired up from dinner, why not also grill up some dessert? These fruit kebabs combine peaches, pineapple, and watermelon, and are served with dollops of yogurt and a drizzle of honey for the perfect light, summery dessert.

Get our recipe for Grilled Fruit Kebabs with Yogurt and Honey.

Healthy shrimp cocktail
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sure, you could serve your shrimp cocktail cold like usual, but have you tried roasting that shrimp instead? Roast the shrimp with olive oil and some Old Bay seasoning, tip into a homemade cocktail sauce, and serve with a frothy beer. With just under 10 ingredients, it makes for an easy and tasty appetizer that your guests are going to glom.

Get the recipe for Oven-Roasted Shrimp Cocktail.

healthy stuffed dates
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You can never have too many snacks at a cookout, right? These sweet dates are stuffed with creamy blue cheese to compliment the salty bacon and will make your taste buds dance with every bite.

Get the recipe for Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates.

Asian tuna burgers with wasabi mayo
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you love a good burger at a cookout but want to try something different, why not try a tuna burger? These burgers

Get the recipe for Tuna Burger with Wasabi Mayo.

chicago hot dog
Shutterstock

And if you can’t imagine not having hot dogs at your cookout, at least give them an upgrade with these Chicago-inspired hot dog combos. Chicago “dragged through the garden” hot dogs are exactly how they sound, topped with lots of veggies, an entire pickle, and celery salt. but never add the ketchup—in Chicago, ketchup on a hot dog is an absolute travesty.

Get the recipe for Chicago Hot Dogs.

RELATED: 15 Quick & Easy Kebab Recipes.

Hoisin beef kebab
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Get our recipe for Grilled Hoisin Beef Kebab.

Kebabs not only make for an easy meal for a cookout but a fun activity for your guests as well! Let your guests put together their own kebabs with whatever combination of meat and veggies—these call for sirloin, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes, but you could always create a kebab “bar” and offer plenty of fixings for your guests’ liking.

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