Healthy BBQ Ideas - Trim & Terrific Cooking Tips & Recipes
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Healthy BBQ Ideas Your Tastebuds and Tummy Will Love

Sahara S350 Gas Barbecue closed hood with window

There’s plenty to love about cooking with a gas BBQ. It’s easy, fast, super-tasty and – if you follow these great ideas – it’s good for you.

Is BBQ food healthy?

Mini BBQ grey lifestyle wood top

It certainly can be, but it ultimately comes down to the food choices you make and the way in which you do the cooking. 

For instance, a grilled steak with a drizzling of olive oil and fine sprinkling of sea salt will have more health benefits – and less fat – than a steak burger with mayonnaise, cheese, onion rings and all the trimmings. It all comes down to understanding your gas BBQ capabilities and having confidence that healthy cooking techniques can still deliver taste sensations! 

However, don’t forget to look beyond the food and preparation. There are less obvious signs suggesting BBQ food is healthy for you. For example, if you’re cooking outdoors, you’re most likely eating al fresco. That’s already a step in the right direction for connecting you with nature. You’re likely to be more relaxed, sitting down (as opposed to eating on the run), and your breathing is regulated. 

These factors all contribute to better digestion and absorption of nutrients, so you’re already on your way to eating well and feeling fantastic.

Benefits of BBQ cooking

People looking to lose weight, lower their cholesterol and just make healthier life choices turn to BBQ cooking. Why? There are plenty of reasons. 

  • Nutrition-rich: Super-quick cooking helps maintain nutrients, ensuring maximum goodness from every serve. 
  • Reduced fat: Using accessories such as a Sahara Searing Grill BBQ Insert can reduce the amount of fat required. 
  • Temperature control: Using a digital BBQ thermometer ensures you cook food safely and thoroughly without compromising flavour. This is particularly important when working with protein such as chicken and fish. 

You can certainly do plenty to really make the most of this healthy way of eating. Here, we share ideas, recommendations and recipes so you make the most out of this fantastic form of cooking. And the proof is in the pudding (or lack thereof!). You’ll be convinced when you finish your BBQ feast feeling clean and energised, as opposed to bloated and sluggish. 

So, let’s fire up the gas and find out more! 

Cooking techniques – BBQ healthy ideas & tips

What are some of the techniques and tips you can use to make BBQ food as healthy as possible?

Rapid assembly cooking tomatoes on the top rack
  • Grilling is great 
    BBQ accessories such as our poultry roaster or flat BBQ skewers enable you to cook with a whole lot less fat. Indeed, not only do you add less butter or oil, but the food doesn’t sit cooking in its own fats and juices. 
  • Smoking can be good for you
    Well, smoking your food as opposed to having a puff on a cigarette! There is no denying fat tastes great. The best way to get around that is by introducing taste in other ways. 

    A BBQ smoker box does exactly that, giving food a rich, smokey edge that won’t have you craving calories. Here at Sahara BBQs, we sell a variety of flavoured BBQ smoking chips that keep tastebuds excited and wanting more. 
  • Oil food with a brush
    Rather than pour oil onto the griddle or plate, try lightly brushing your food with it instead. This allows enough coverage to enable the food to cook without sticking. It also helps enhance the flavour. However, it means cooking with significantly less fat. 
  • Vege-out
    Max your plate with veggies. Aim for as many different colours as possible to provide a greater range of nutrients. Fill up on these wholesome taste sensations so you don’t eat quite as much protein. 
  • Mind the mayonnaise 
    Mayo is a particularly favourite condiment for BBQing, but there are other tasty options. The healthiest would have to be a humble squeeze of lemon juice with a sprinkling of sea salt. You might even sprinkle some fresh herbs into the mix to really send flavours into overdrive. 

    We’re big fans of DIY French vinaigrette. It’s so easy. Just grab a spare empty jar from your cupboard (like the ones you’d use for bottling jam). Add a few teaspoons of mustard, a generous dash of quality olive oil and white vinegar. Adjust volumes for taste. Close the lid, shake, and, hey-presto, you have yourself one of the tastiest, lowest-maintenance salad dressings imaginable. Perfect for a no-fuss barbecue! 
  • Burger alternatives 
    We can almost hear you draw breath as you read this. A BBQ without burgers? We wouldn’t dream of it! We’re simply suggesting some healthier options. For example, rather than frying mince patties, what about grilling some lean steak, chicken breast or a slice of tofu instead? We particularly love our Sahara chicken burger recipe online. 
    If you are open to the idea of an all-out burger replacement, don’t go past our grilled fajitas. Just a word of warning – you may never want to return to burgers after trying one of these! 

Healthy food to cook on BBQ

Now we’ve reached the most flavoursome part of our article. Here, we share some truly stand-out recipes that we’ve tested ourselves. Not only are they jam-packed with taste, but they’re oh-so-good for you. These healthy things to cook on a BBQ will win you over.

  • Grilled lamb chops – the Mediterranean diet knows best! Lamb is rich in protein, iron, zinc, B12, and selenium and is excellent for muscle growth and repair. 
  • Honey chicken kebabs – lean protein kept healthy thanks to the grilling technique. Rich in B6, niacin and selenium, fill up fast on this wholesome white meat. 
  • Grilled salmon – rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B12, selenium, iodine and a sensational source of EPA and DHA, which help maintain heart & brain health and reduce inflammation. 

Healthy vegetarian BBQ food ideas

Once upon a time, a non-meat eater would never have stepped foot near a BBQ. Thankfully, those days are well behind us, and barbecues can be a Mecca of vegetarian versatility and creativity. Some of our favourite recipes include:

Mushroom IMG 0508
  • Grilled beans and grilled asparagus – your ma always said to eat your greens. You’ll be happy to oblige when they taste this good! You could grill them until they’re luscious and soft. However, we recommend keeping them a little crispy. It not only creates a nice slight crunch, but it will preserve more nutrients. 
  • Grilled peppers stuffed with goat’s cheese – there’s something super special that happens to peppers when they cook. That silky texture is out of this world, especially when paired with sublime, soft goat’s cheese. 
  • Grilled stuffed mushrooms – a cracking Autumnal dish that brings out the earthy goodness of the classic mushroom. 

More healthy BBQ food ideas

For more healthy BBQ meal ideas, head over to our Sahara BBQ recipes. You’ll find plenty of flavoursome, nutritious meals to tantalise taste buds and keep healthy eating fresh and fun. We’d love to hear from you if you have your own failsafe healthy eating ideas. Otherwise, we hope you’re now convinced that BBQing is healthy for you!