Eat Empowered, Healthy Recipes

9 Super Delicious Healthy Side Dishes to Serve at a Barbecue


You’ve got your grass-fed beef burgers ready to go, but what about barbecue side dishes?

In our minds, sides are just as important as the main course, since they tend to be filled with veggies (and flavor!). In fact, you could totally just make a ton of these for a fully plant-based pool party.

RELATED: 6 Surprising Fruits and Vegetables You Can Grill

Whether they’re the main event or accompaniments, all are filled with nutrient-dense, flavorful ingredients to guarantee a healthy, delicious spread.

They’re also incredibly simple to make, so you’ll have plenty of time for lounging on your swan float after the grilling is done.

9 Simple Healthy Barbecue Side Dishes

  • Simple Slim Slaw

    With five ingredients and five minutes, you’ll have a yummy slaw that skips the creamy, fattening dressing in favor of flavorful Dijon and vinegar.

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  • Spicy Roasted Zucchini and Corn

    Throw these two supremely summery vegetables together with a little cayenne for a kick.

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  • Berry Quinoa Salad

    You probably always go savory with your quinoa, but adding fresh berries and peaches (and greens, of course!) is a totally novel, delicious way to go.

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  • Cucumber Salad with Chickpeas and Broccoli Rabe

    Your typical cucumber-tomato salad gets an upgrade with the addition of nutrient-dense broccoli rabe. This is also great for vegetarians who are skipping the hot dogs, since it includes chickpeas for protein.


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  • Pineapple Cucumber Lime Salad

    Pineapple and cukes might sound like a strange combo, but they’re actually a perfect sweet-and-savory pair. Both are light and hydrating, and the lime adds a zesty touch.

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  • Corn and Tomato Salad with Pine Nuts

    Especially in August, hit up a farmers’ market and both corn and tomatoes will be at their peak. Since this recipe is simple, it spotlights their fresh, natural deliciousness, with just a little added zest and crunch.


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  • Fresh Mozzarella and Farro Salad

    Everyone loves a good grain-based side dish, and this one pairs nutty farro with the classic, crowd-pleasing tomato-basil-mozzarella combo.

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  • Raw Rainbow Salad

    If you’re looking to add some color to your spread, definitely opt for this salad made with purple cabbage, red peppers, orange carrots, greens, and more.

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  • Grilled Prosciutto Jalapeno Poppers

    Forget deep-fried, cream cheese-filled jalapeño poppers. These peppers wrapped up with goat cheese in delicious prosciutto and thrown on the grill may be the perfect party food.

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