Healthy Barbecue: best recipes

Let's see some ideas for making a healthy barbecue, a great option to enjoy a good time with friends while taking care of ourselves.
Healthy Barbecue: best recipes

Last update: 09 November, 2019

A barbecue consists of cooking meat or other types of food directly in the heat of fire or embers. The food is placed on a grill, which is a grid-shaped utensil placed on top of the fire or embers. The grill is at a safe distance from the flame, so as not to burn the food.

Tips for a healthy barbecue

1- Regarding the food, it’s better to choose fish such as salmon or meat such as chicken. If you choose meats, it’s better to choose those that contain less fat, such as the tenderloin or filet mignon.

Red or processed meat isn’t recommended since this can increase the risk of rectal colon cancer in diets that include a large amount of these products.

2- Before cooking the meat, it’s advisable to marinate it in a mix of salt, vinegar, or lemon juice inside the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will cause less chemical compounds to form.

3- You shouldn’t expose the meat to the fire on the grill for a long time. If you like well-cooked meat, it is best to cook it first in the oven and then grill it. The formation of chemical compounds is directly proportional to the amount of time that the meat stays on the grill.

Red or processed meat can increase the risk of rectal colon cancer.

4- Slow cook the meat to avoid excessive burning of the food and remove the fat, as it can cause flames to appear.

5- Add vegetables to your barbeque so it can have more color and flavor in addition to being healthier. Keep in mind that the flame leaves these foods crispier, which makes them ideal for making skewers.

6- To complete your healthy barbecue, choose natural juices, water, or drinks that don’t contain sugars. You will finish this meal with fruit, they bring flavor and natural aroma with hardly adding any calories.

What to cook in a healthy barbecue


Instead of choosing to start the meal with battered and high-fat foods, you can replace them with:

  • Grilled whole wheat bread, accompanied by tomato brochette, chickpea puree (hummus), and other natural seasonings.
  • Skewers of seasonal roasted vegetables such as pumpkins, onions, peppers, etc.

Main course:

Substitute hamburgers and hotdogs for:

  • Fleshy mushrooms marinated in equal parts of oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. From this, you will obtain nutrients that support the immune system.
  • Moreover, studies have shown oleocanthal, one of the most abundant anti-inflammatories in olive oil decreases the body’s inflammatory process and helps to reduce pain sensitivity with a pharmacological effect similar to ibuprofen.
  • If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or on a diet, use tempeh. It’s a low-calorie food from Indonesia that contains all the essential amino acids you need.
  • If you aren’t intolerant to gluten, try seitan (sometimes called “vegetable meat”). It’s another food with high protein content. This is an alternative to meat that is consumed in Japan and comes from wheat gluten. Both can be grilled by cutting them into steaks and marinated to your liking, as Milanese, or even in tacos with corn tortillas.
Mushrooms offer nutrients that support the immune system.


Replace ketchup (which contains 2 teaspoons of sugar per tablespoon) or mayonnaise (relatively high in fat) with:

  • Salsa or pico de gallo, which are full of antioxidants. A spoonful only contains 4 to 5 calories and zero fat, plus a plethora of nutrients. The ingredients contained in this sauce are: tomatoes cut into small squares, onions also cut into squares, finely cut chilies or jalapeños, lemon juice, salt, and chopped cilantro.
  • Pesto with an olive oil base or dehydrated tomato spread. The three ingredients: olive oil, tomato, and basil are full of anti-inflammatory properties.


Substitute salads dressed in mayonnaise, cheese, or cream for other salads with fewer calories:

  • Tomato slices with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and spices. You can choose between basil, oregano, or other herbs of your choice and benefit from their multiple properties.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.