3 Healthy Menus for a Summer Barbecue

Choose from 3 perfect summer menus for your backyard cookout.

The weather is finally cooperating with our cravings for grilled food.  Summer barbecue season has officially arrived! There are few things better than an outdoor gathering with your friends and family, where you eat delicious grilled meat and vegetables and have ice-cold beverages.  The scent of freshly cut grass combined with the gently charred hamburgers and sausages.  The perspiration on the outside of your cold beer.  We are drooling just thinking about it! Bonus points for having either a bonfire or a pool.

Half of the fun of a summer barbecue is planning and executing the perfect menu.  If food isn’t your forté, or maybe it is but you need some inspiration, then look no further! We’ve rounded up our favourite picks from the exceedingly creative land of the internet.  We scoured blogs & popular recipe sits and put together 3 entire menu options (from drinks to dessert!) for you to enjoy!

The best part about this menu is that everything features lean protein and tons of fruits & veggies, making these summer barbecue options pretty healthy. Check out our menus below, and happy grilling! Feel free to mix & match.

Summer Barbecue Menus

Menu 1: Perfect Poultry

Chicken is delicious off the barbecue.  Juicy insides, crispy skin, the perfect amount of charred flavour, and (best of all for our summer bods) it’s low in fat!

Drinks

Planter’s Punch is filled with refreshing grapefruit flavours that will not only refresh your palette, but will prepare your taste buds for the savoury flavours ahead.  Plus, it looks gorgeous served in a pitcher, making it great for sharing at your summer barbecue.

planters punch

Appetizers

Grilled Tomato Bruschetta

A light appetizers that won’t fill you up, and will complement the fresh, earthy flavours of the chicken.

barbecue

Main Course

For the main course, we have a grilled chicken dish that has been dressed up with a peppered peach salsa, served alongside a fresh, crunchy avocado salad.

Grilled Chicken with Pepper Peach Salsa

Grilled Chicken with Pepper Peach Salsa

 

Crunchy Avocado Salad

Crunchy Avocado Salad

 

Dessert

Fruits and vegetables have played a prominent role in this refreshing, zesty menu so far.  Let’s keep up the trend of natural flavours! We have a Strawberry and Apricot Crisp with pine nut crumble for dessert.

strawberry-and-apricot-crisp-with-pine-nut-crumble-ma130124_vert

 

Menu 2: Grass Grazers

Beef was meant to be grilled.  There is nothing better then a grilled burger, or a grilled rack of ribs.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! This menu builds off a base of grilled beef, and is sure to satisfy a hungry palette.

Drinks

The perfect poolside sipper: a raspberry beer cocktail.  Refeshing, zesty, but not too sweet.  This beer cocktail is made with real raspberries and vodka, and looks best served in a mason jar.

Perfect sipper for a summer pool side party

Appetizers

A twist on one of my all time favourite appetizers- these “Benny’s Famous” Jalapeno Poppers are anything but ordinary.  They pack a punch of salty, creamy flavour and a subtle spicy heat.

Jalapeno Poppers

Main Course

For the main course, we have something that is so simple, yet sure to impress your guests.  A classic grilled steak with a grilled summer salad to go alongside.  The grilled flavour will be prominent, while still keeping this meal light enough to ensure that your guests have room for dessert.

Grilled Steak and Vegetable Summer Salad

Dessert

In my opinion, a summer dessert made without a seasonal fruit is a wasted opportunity.  You will have plenty of time to make chocolate cake without a side of fresh raspberries in the winter, so don’t waste your precious fresh fruit season by not using fresh fruit at every opportunity.  So for this dessert, we have a plain old vanilla ice cream, topped off with toasted coconuts and honey poached pears.  Get the recipe here, and you’ll probably want to print this one out, because you’ll be using it again and again.

Ice Cream with Honey Poached Apricots

Menu 3: A Taste of the Sea

Drinks

The most refreshing drink so far: a cucumber mint sangria! Perfect to prep your palette for all the sweet and savory grilled foods to come.

cuc sangys

Appetizers

This appetizer is the perfect precursor to an elegant grilled seafood meal.  It features proscuitto, which is not of the sea at all, but it is a decadent choice that will set the palette for the meal.  This recipe is for Grilled Asparagus wrapped in Proscuitto and Topped with Lemony Bread Crumbs.

Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Bread Crumbs

Main Course

For the main course, we have a delicious grilled swordfish steak with olive pesto.  If you aren’t a olive person, the pesto could easily be replaced with a basil pesto.  Serve this along side a fresh tomato and avocado salad.

Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Olive Pesto

tomato and red onion salad

Dessert

For dessert, we have a decadent summer tart; creamy lemon and blueberry.  Serve alongside a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream!

Creamy lemon blueberry tart

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