Healthy Grill Dinner Ideas


Celebrate warmer weather with these healthy dinner Ideas grill recipes! Including grilled meats, fish, shrimp, and veggies – there’s something for everyone at your next BBQ/cookout! Even better, the majority of these easy outdoor grill recipes can be prepared with an indoor grill pan for those days the weather just isn’t letting up!

Grilling is a fun way to prepare and enjoy food outside. However, it involves open flames which can be scary and even dangerous for some people. So, here are several advantages of grilling that might help you become a grilling pro!

Table of Contents

Healthy Grill Dinner Ideas

What Is The Healthiest Way To Grill Recipes?

There are a few ways you can enjoy a healthy (but delicious) BBQ experience, including:

  • Use lean meats: Trim off excess fat before marinading and then remove the skin from poultry (you can do this after grilling, so the meat stays moist during the cooking). Lack of excess fat also means less chance of fire flare-ups!
  • Avoid overly processed foods: Hot dogs and pre-packaged burgers can be filled with all sorts of preservatives, nitrates, and other ‘baddies.’ Skip these and stick to homemade burgers (options below) and other natural products!
  • Use a healthy, homemade marinade: Not only are most homemade marinades super simple to prepare, but they usually contain a fraction of the sugar/salt. More so, according to some research, marinating meats before grilling can reduce the formation of harmful HCA’s (associated with an increased risk of cancer) by up to 96% – even a dry rub can reduce it by up to 70%!
  • Pair your protein with lots of veggies: There are tons of veggies you can sneak onto the grill while you cook and complement the below easy outdoor grill recipes. Even better, they are ready in minutes. Asparagus, squash, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, corn, leek, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, mushrooms, etc.! You can do the same with several fruits too, like mango, pineapple, figs, pear, apple, and more!

If you’re worried about the formation of HCAs on your grilled meat you can also flip the food more often, which is said to help prevent the formation of HCA’s – just make sure to flip it with a spatula! (if you prod the ingredients they can release juices that cause flare-ups or even fall apart!). Most of these easy outdoor grill recipes can also be made indoors with a grill pan, eliminating the risk of char altogether!

Top Tips for Grilling

Whether you’re lucky enough to be grilling outside or using a grill-pan indoors, there are a few top tips for the best results every single time!

  • Don’t forget the oil: In some cases, you can rely on a cooking spray (I use Misto), but the majority of the time, you’ll need to use oil on your grill/grill pan. This is important to make sure your dishes don’t stick to the grill and fall apart when trying to flip!
  • Enjoy grilled recipes year-round: With an indoor grill pan, you can enjoy grilled recipes even when it isn’t grilling weather!
  • Make sure not to overcook the meat: It doesn’t take long at all for juicy, tender meat/fish to become tough and dry if you’re not paying attention. Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165F/74C (check with a meat thermometer). For the best results, I get my chicken to 155F and then remove it from the heat and allow it to rest covered for 5 minutes, the residual heat will continue to cook the chicken and increase the temp past 165F, and your meat with be tender and juicy. Likewise, salmon should reach around 125F for medium-rare or 140F for medium; it should no longer be translucent but flaky and tender with a fork and will similarly continue to cook off the heat.
  • Marinating to perfection: Make sure to pay attention to the marinating instructions in the recipe. It’s important to stick to maximum marinating instructions as the marinade can actually toughen, break down, or even begin to ‘cook’ the meats after this time, and then all your waiting was wasted!
  • Don’t re-use marinade: While some marinades can be boiled and re-used, for food safety reasons, I recommend keeping some aside BEFORE marinating if you want to use more when serving (or make a little extra). Otherwise, get rid of the marinade after you’ve used it with the raw meat/fish.
  • Cook the meat covered: This will help the meat to cook through while also leaving those nice grill marks we all like to see!
  • Use Uniform ingredients: Whether you’re grilling meat, fish, or vegetables, it’s best to use uniform-sized pieces, so they cook at the same time. If you have different sized bits of chicken, then cook them in batches, with similar sizes together.
  • Make sure to allow the grilled meat to rest: After removing your grilled meat from the grill/grill pan, make sure to allow it to rest, covered, for at least five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

Best Sides to Serve with Grilled Food

No matter what protein you choose to grill, there are some classic healthy grill recipe ‘sides’ that are perfect for adding to your BBQ table, including:

  • Leafy salads: Greek salad, arugula salad, or Caesar-like lemon kale salad are easy to prep while your protein is grilling or can be made ahead! Check out this list of 45 healthy salad recipes for even more inspiration!
  • Veggie-Packed salads: Like this Mexican street corn salad, bean salad, tomato mozzarella salad, and more are all a great addition to the table!
  • Fresh salad ‘appetizers’: Like healthy potato salad, creamy cucumber salad, and healthy coleslaw. Salsas also pair wonderfully with grilled food like mango salsa, pineapple salsa, pico de gallo, or even guacamole.
  • Whole grains: Enjoy with any healthy whole-grain sides like quinoa or brown rice. Veggie-packed grain salads will also work – like this Mediterranean quinoa salad or quinoa tabbouleh. For a low-carb version, you could enjoy cauliflower rice dishes.
  • Potato salad: A classic summer side not to be missed at the BBQ like this healthier potato salad, Instant Pot potato salad or ‘faux’ cauliflower potato salad – and if you love summer classics you will want to make baked beans and corn on the cob, too!
  • Pasta salads: Most proteins will pair wonderfully with a fresh pasta salad like this Italian pasta salad, healthy veggie pasta salad, or tomato pasta salad, and similar sides such as couscous and orzo.
  • Hot pasta: The grilled meat, fish, and shrimp can also pair well with pesto pasta (and zoodles), mac n cheese, Tuscan pasta, or zucchini tomato pasta, etc.

Grilled Chicken Recipes

Grilled Chicken Breast

This grilled chicken breast is a tried and tested classic that yields tender and juicy results every single time! All you need is just 30-minutes of marinating and a few simple ingredients for this summer staple. Next thing you know you’ll be enjoying it for dinner, lunches, with salads, over pasta – you name it!

best grilled chicken breast

Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs

Combining coconut milk, lime, cilantro, onion, and jalapeno into a quick and simple marinade provides you with coconut lime grilled chicken thighs that explode with flavor while remaining tender and moist throughout. Adapt the spice to your needs and marinate from as little as 30 minutes to 24 hours- then enjoy with skin on or off, whatever you prefer!

best coconut lime grilled chicken thighs

Chimichurri Chicken

Chimichurri chicken is a herby, garlicky flavor-splosion waiting to happen and it’s super versatile too; especially when you have three herbs to choose from for the fresh chimichurri sauce. Use half the sauce for a quick 30-minute marinade and half to spread over the charred-to-perfection chicken! Even better, when it’s not grilling weather, you can still enjoy this chicken pan-fried or baked!


Chili Lime Chicken

Enjoy this flavorful Mexican chili lime chicken in as little as 30 minutes with a quick and simple lime, chili, cumin, and maple-based marinade! Once grilled to perfection, enjoy it within tacos, salads, burritos, fajitas, and more!

chili lime chicken for grill

Cilantro Lime Chicken

This cilantro lime chicken is tangy, garlicky, and packed with cilantro flavor and a touch of heat! Marinate it from 30 minutes to 48 hours for a delicious prep-ahead option for BBQs, potlucks, and gatherings!

cilantro lime chicken breast

Cajun Chicken

This cajun chicken recipe combines spices like oregano, thyme, paprika, garlic, cayenne, and chili flakes for a flavor-packed, heat-adaptable (a big win for the kids!) grilled chicken with a crispy-crusted outside and tender, juicy middle!


Greek Chicken

Greek chicken infuses the chicken with the flavors of the Mediterranean in as little as 30 minutes! The resulting chicken can be enjoyed hot, cold, turned into Greek chicken kabobs, over salad, in souvlaki, etc!

best greek chicken

Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Simplicity at its’ finest – this lemon and rosemary chicken is marinated in a simple rosemary and lemon marinade then topped off with grilled and lightly caramelized lemon slices for chicken that is truly juicy and packed with flavor!

lemon rosemary chicken on plate

Greek Chicken Kabobs

These Greek chicken kabobs are slathered with a super-herby Greek marinade, combined with bell peppers and zucchini, and then grilled to perfection with a dash of garlic-infused oil – ready to be served as souvlaki, with rice, salad, and more!

greek chicken kabobs on plate with sauce and pita

5 Easy Chicken Marinades

Can’t decide what marinade to use next? You don’t have to! This list contains 5 easy-to-make chicken marinades to have you grilling your chicken to juicy and flavorful perfection every single time. Best of all, they’re so simple you can use more than one at a time and impress the entire family!

easy chicken marinades

Grilled Chicken Tacos

This list just wouldn’t be true to the iFoodreal ‘brand’ without at least one taco recipe up here. These grilled chicken tacos combine all the usual greats from tacos with a spiced meat rub and the added smoky, charred flavor you can only get from grilling – chefs kiss!

Closeup of Chicken Tacos with some cilantro and pico de gallo in the background.

Honey Garlic Chicken

This honey garlic chicken is the perfect option for those nights when you have no plan for dinner – made up of pantry staples like honey, soy sauce, and garlic- you can achieve this super saucy, tender chicken in under 30 minutes!

honey garlic chicken

Grilled Seafood Recipes

Grilled Salmon

Stepping away from poultry, let’s talk about this simple grilled salmon. It’s juicy, flaky, and packed with flavor – no marinating necessary! In no time at all, you’ll be enjoying restaurant-quality salmon!

grilled salmon

Grilled Fish Tacos

These grilled fish tacos are the perfect addition to your next taco night; combining flavorful grilled white fish (cod, halibut, mahi-mahi, etc.) with mango salsa and optional crema creates a wonderfully sweet, savory, spicy meal for all and the best grilled fish tacos recipe I’ve ever tried – all in under 30 minutes!

grilled fish tacos

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

These grilled shrimp skewers are charred to perfection and basted with a delicious lemon and garlic sauce – no marinating needed! Best of all, they are ready in under 20 minutes and are plump, juicy, and flavorful!

shrimp skewers

Cedar Plank Salmon

This cedar plank salmon gently steams and smokes the fish – yielding super tender, moist, flaky salmon with layers of earthy, smoky flavor that aren’t to be missed! Even better, it’s ready in under 30 minutes!

cedar plank salmon

Honey Garlic Salmon

This honey garlic salmon is tender and flaky inside with a sweet and sticky sauce that caramelizes on the outside and yields a wonderfully crispy skin – all ready in under 30 minutes!


Teriyaki Salmon

This healthy, homemade teriyaki sauce is packed with flavor and only a fraction of the salt and sugar in store-bought options, to yield wonderfully flavorful teriyaki salmon every single time – no long marinating needed! Perfect for serving alongside rice, noodles, and more!

teriyaki salmon with sesame seeds and green onion on baking sheet

Thai Salmon

Combine salmon fillets with a homemade sweet chili glaze for this sweet and spicy, lightly caramelized Thai salmon! Simply baste it over the grill and drizzle with a little extra sauce before serving for a flavor explosion!

Grilled Burger Recipes

Black Bean Burger

Perfect for meat-free Mondays and guests – these black bean burgers combine black beans with leftover rice and several veggies including zucchini for a wholesome, hearty, healthy, veggie burger! Serve up in a bun with lettuce and favorite toppings, like easy guacamole or even ‘naked’ in a salad or rice bowl!

Healthy Turkey Burger

You only need 5 simple ingredients for these moist and flavorful healthy turkey burgers– no unnecessary ‘fillers’ (like eggs or breadcrumbs) required. Instead, rely on a secret ingredient for perfectly moist burgers every time!

Salmon Burger

These juicy salmon burgers combine wild salmon with lentils and several aromatic ingredients for a hearty, healthy pescatarian treat that’s packed with fiber and omega fatty acids!

salmon burger

Chicken Burger

These healthy ground chicken burgers make for flavorful and juicy patties with no breading or batter needed! Grill to perfection and serve up in a bun or ‘naked’ alongside grains and salads!

chicken burger

. Red Pepper & Kale Beef Burgers w/ Grilled Onions & Goat Cheese

Savory, smoky, and lightly spicy wholesome Red Pepper & Kale Beef Burgers w/ Grilled Onions & Goat Cheese! This recipe is next level, delicious, and sure to impress anyone.

Red Pepper & Kale Beef Burgers w/ Grilled Onions & Goat Cheese!

2. Perfectly Grilled Steak

Perfect Grilled Steak with Herb Butter features a homemade steak seasoning and buttery herb finish. This easy sizzling grilled steak recipe is mouthwatering!

3. Steak Kabobs

These Steak Kabobs are marinated in a delicious steak marinade and stacked on a skewer with mushrooms, bell pepper, and red onion and grilled to perfection!

Healthy Grilled Chicken Recipes

4. Grilled Chicken Kabobs w/ Tzatziki Sauce

Delicious and healthy, these Greek Chicken Kabobs w/ Tzatziki Sauce are perfect for a summer barbecue!

Greek Chicken Kabobs loaded with delicious summer squash, zucchini, red onions, hearty Mezzetta Peppers, dipped in a creamy cucumber dill Tzatziki Sauce! These are sure to be a hit at your next summer barbecue party!

5. Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken

These Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken breasts are so easy to make, tender, juicy, and full of lemony flavor. Grilled with some zucchini and takes just 30 minutes of your time.

Seafood On The Grill

6. Spicy Grilled Shrimp w/ Pineapple Sauce

Spicy Grilled Shrimp topped w/ Pineapple Sauce!

Savory, delicious Spicy Grilled Shrimp topped off with cilantro, lime, and a sweet minced tomato and pineapple sauce. This healthy recipe is perfect for a fun spring and summer weeknight dinner or having friends over!

7. Grilled Seafood Foil Packs

Looking for a grilled seafood recipe? Then check out this shrimp, scallops and vegetables packs drizzled with butter (or oil) – a wonderful dinner topped with chives.

8. Grilled Fish Tacos

You just can’t go wrong with fresh, flavorful, and healthy Grilled Fish Tacos. These fish tacos are loaded with all the best toppings, including cabbage, pico de gallo and a simple homemade white sauce, or “crema”, and they can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Recipes On The Grill

9. Grilled Veggie Burger

This mouthwatering veggie burger recipe is slathered with barbecue sauce and doesn’t fall apart on the grill! One of the best vegetarian grill recipes you’ll find.

10. Veggie Skewers w/ Chimichurri Sauce

Colorful, 30-minute veggie skewers grilled to perfection and served with chimichurri sauce! The perfect plant-based side or main for summertime BBQs.

Sides And Desserts

11. Barbecue Ranch Pasta Salad

Barbecue Ranch Pasta Salad in a white bowl

Creamy, savory, hearty, fresh, flavor-loaded Barbecue Ranch Pasta Salad. This delicious summer side dish (or lunch recipe) is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

12. Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Gooey, hot, melty, cheesy goodness. I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a little bit of that in our lives! Especially since this Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip is super easy to make and perfect for a small gathering.

13. Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Need a sweet treat? These Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are light, fluffy, and perfectly moist. Topped with a delicious cream cheese icing and made with simple ingredients,these cupcakes are the perfect dessert for a warm, summer day!

14. Chocolate Cherry Crumble Dessert Bars

A top shot of chocolate cherry dessert bars with a cherry next to them.

Chocolate Cherry Crumble Dessert Bars made with wholesome oats, almond flour, creamy chocolate, and seasonal cherries. The perfect gluten-free sweet treat!

Advantages Of Grilling

1. Grilling provides incredible flavor

Nothing tastes better than grilled burgers. During the grilling process, there is a Maillard reaction “the browning of the meat” and this process gives flavor to the chicken, fish, beef, or anything else that you are grilling.

Different flavors can be created depending on what type of grill you use. Grilling on charcoal brings an entirely different flavor then grilling with propane.

Grilling over wood will add a different flavor profile as well, giving it a bit of a smokey flavor.

2. Healthier food is a benefit of grilling

chicken breast being grilled

When cooking in a pan the meat and vegetables sit in the fat that is rendered or the oil that the food is being cooked in. I have a full post on is grilled chicken healthier.

One of the biggest advantages of grilling is that fat falls away from the meat and that makes it a healthier option for cooking.

Think of grilled chicken tenders or grilled bone-in chicken where the fat just drips away and you’re left with the juicy flavor of the chicken.

You will keep more nutrition in the vegetables that you grill because they will cook quicker.

When you boil veggies and cook them for a long period of time a lot of vegetables will lose a lot of the beneficial nutrients which are found inside.

3. Grilling outdoors has advantages and benefits

There can be some great benefits of grilling outdoors. These three points below I feel are the biggest benefits of cooking outside.

4. No smells indoors

If you don’t want to have the cooking smell in your house or kitchen then grilling keeps the smell outside.

Think of when you are cooking that smoked bacon in the winter with the heat on or in the summer with the ac cranked and it gives off such a strong smell throughout your house, grilling it outdoors will eliminate that.

5. No heat indoors

During the summer month’s you might not want the heat from cooking trapped indoors and when you grill it keeps that heat outside.

An oven traps heat in the house for hours. In the winter that might not be such a bad thing but in the summer you are trying to keep the heat out of the kitchen.

Grill your next meal outside and enjoy the art of grilling!

5. Social experience

When you grill outside it tends to be a social type of cooking. A lot of people will congregate around a grill and enjoy what it’s all about.

Taking the opportunity to be outside and cooking brings us all back to our roots as people, it all started with cooking outside on a fire.

6. Cook at high temperatures

Another great advantage of grilling is that you can cook at high temperatures. This allows you to cook quicker and to also brown the meat better for flavor.

The best way to grill a good piece of meat is with high heat. You would never grill that prized ribeye steak at 300°F. You would get your grill screaming hot, the hottest you can get it to give that beef a great sear.

Some would say that when you sear the meat that you seal in the flavor but I think the jury is still out on this.

7. Grilling creates less mess

We all know how many dishes we use when we are creating that delicious meal for the family. Let’s be honest nobody likes doing the dishes!

When you grill your favorite dish you don’t have to worry about all the pans that you are going to get dirty.

The grill can be cleaned easily, you can get it really hot to burn off any unwanted leftovers with a wood scraper.

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