Whether you're wondering what to bring to a cookout or you're hosting a Labor Day bbq, these cookout recipes are major crowd pleasers!
I'd say it's hard to believe it's August already, but it's been HOT here in Texas. Is it too early to start anticipating the slightly cooler weather that will (hopefully) come with September?
While I'd be okay with saying goodbye to the heat, one thing I am not ready to give up is all of the delicious summer flavors!
Summer produce is just the best and I love whipping up a fresh salad and grilling some shrimp or grass-fed burgers to share with friends and family.
Here are 12 of my favorite healthy grilling and cookout recipes. I'd love to hear about your family favorites in the comments!
Summer Cookout Recipes
If you feel like going classic with burgers but want to elevate them a little, give these Mediterranean lamb burgers a try! They hit the perfect balance between approachable and exciting and include superfood spices ginger and turmeric for a healthy boost.
For more of a classic beef burger, you can't go wrong with these BLTA burgers. Make sure to serve them with my Paleo ketchup!
Whenever I'm hosting I try to include something to fit everyone's dietary restrictions and preferences. Make a batch of these black bean & quinoa veggie burgers for a protein-packed vegetarian option. They just may become a new family favorite!
For the perfect summer recipe that doesn't involve the grill, check out my slow cooker bbq ribs recipe. The homemade bbq sauce makes this perfect for a summer cookout but you cook them in the slow cooker. This is a good one if you want to bring a protein to a friend's cookout or if you want to have everything ready when your guests arrive so you can actually socialize.
Grilled coconut lime shrimp are a favorite with our subscribers and for good reason! Despite having fewer than ten ingredients, these have so much summer flavor packed in. Bonus – you can prep them ahead and then cook in about 4 minutes so they're easy to throw on the grill right as your guests start to arrive.
I couldn't talk about cookout recipes without including these classic sides! These healthified versions of baked beans and coleslaw taste every bit as good as the originals but are SO much better for you. They get their sweetness from pure maple syrup with just the right amount of tanginess from apple cider vinegar. They'll leave you feeling satisfied, but not weighed down.
Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing is one of those recipes that just screams summer. I often stick with a simple balsamic dressing but when I really want to make something special, I whip this one up. It's sweet and tart and everything a summer salad dressing should be.
Pro tip: If you're going to a friend's cookout, make a little extra and bring a bottle of this salad dressing as a hostess gift!
Do you like adding fruit to your salads? I personally love it and this salad has a special place in my heart because we served at our wedding! The salty feta is so tasty with the sweet watermelon, this dish just may steal the show.
It's easy to get stuck in a rut with salads but there really are so many options – you don't even have to include greens! This lettuce-less salad holds up well on a hot day and makes a great addition to a cookout spread.
Frozen treats don't have to be unhealthy! Popsicles are one of my favorite summer treats to make because the homemade variety can be so nutritious (I use these molds). A whole batch of these has only 1 tablespoon of honey, they get the rest of their sweetness from watermelon. Pairing the melon with mint and lime turns these popsicles from a classic kid treat to a refreshing dessert adults and children alike will love!
No one at your cookout will guess that this cobbler contains no refined sugar. It's actually sweetened with dates! It's also gluten free and Paleo, so you can feel good about providing a dessert anyone can enjoy. Cherries are so delicious here, but play around with your favorite summer fruits, using peaches, nectarines or blackberries if you like.
Infusing tea is a really fun thing to do anytime you have guests. Get creative, combining different teas, fruits and herbs to make your own signature iced tea. Blackberry green iced tea? Peach mint white tea? There are so many summery combinations that sound delicious!