by Olena

32 Healthy Grill Recipes

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Olena Osipov
5 from 1 vote

Celebrate warmer weather with these healthy 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!

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:

You can also enjoy grilled proteins with grilled veggies that are cooked at the same time, some examples of which are included below!

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!

thai salmon

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!

black bean burger

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!

healthy turkey burger

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

Turkey Sliders

Looking for a low-carb option? These mini turkey sliders are loaded up with all the traditional fixings; bacon, cheese, veggies, and tender turkey patties wrapped up in a lettuce ‘bun’ for a flavorful BBQ appetizer!

turkey slider burger

Grilled Vegetables

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables

With your grilled protein sorted, it’s the perfect time to chuck some veggies on the grill to create a full meal. These grilled vegetables are lightly charred and flavored with a tangy balsamic marinade for veggies the whole family will enjoy!

grilled vegetables

Grilled Zucchini

All you need is just five ingredients and under 20 minutes for this simple, flavorful grilled zucchini! With a simple garlicky flavor and lightly charred results, this zucchini can be enjoyed year-round as a side for potlucks and BBQs!

grilled zucchini

Grilled Zucchini Pizza

Want to make something a little different with your grilled zucchini this year? How about these grilled zucchini pizza slices; grilled to perfection and topped with sauce, tomatoes, and mozzarella (or your choice of toppings) for a nutrient-dense, low-carb summery pizza!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Everything tastes better when it’s wrapped in bacon – this bacon-wrapped asparagus included! Ready in under 30 minutes, this flavorful low-carb appetizer is crispy, tender, and juicy, and a perfect addition to your BBQ, potluck, or picnic table!

Grilled Romaine

It may sound weird to some but this healthy grilled romaine lettuce recipe is absolutely delicious’ basted and charred to perfection for a subtle smoky flavor. It’s the perfect side dish to any of your favorite grilled proteins!

grilled romaine lettuce

Grilled Chicken Salad

Want to find a way to use your tender, juicy grilled chicken? This grilled chicken salad combines the chicken with fresh berries, nuts, tomatoes, feta, and a creamy poppyseed dressing. It’s summer in a bowl!

grilled chicken salad

Grilled Beef Recipes

Carne Asada

We couldn’t have a healthy grill recipes round-up post without featuring a piece of steak (aka carne asada) grilled to perfection with a perfectly moist and juicy middle and a mouth-watering Mexican marinade. Enjoy this alongside all the usual sides and within dishes like tacos, nachos, burritos, and even salads!

carne asada grilled steak

Carne Asada Tacos

Just one of the ways to use the juicy steak is for flavor-packed street-food style carne asada tacos. Combine the meat with guacamole, onions, and crumbled feta or cotija cheese for a dish that delights all the taste buds and is ready in under 30 minutes!

carne asada tacos

Want More Healthy Dinner Ideas?

If you enjoyed these healthy grill recipes, why not check out this list of 45 healthy dinner ideas , 65 healthy chicken ideas, or browse through my entire collections of potluck and grilling season recipes! If you are looking for more ways to keep your kitchen cool this summer (that don’t include the grill) use your Instant Pot for these summer recipes.

32 Healthy Grill Recipes

32 Healthy Grill Recipes: Best Ever Carne Asada

One of our most popular grilling recipes! Carne Asada is flavor loaded with bold citrus flavor that make everyone's mouths water. Mexican steak marinade results in tender steak everyone will love at your next BBQ, potluck or picnic.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs skirt or flank steak
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce I used Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 limes 1/4 cup, juice of
  • Handful cilantro minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeño with seeds minced
  • 2 tsp cumin ground
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place steak in a large flat dish with side.
  • In a medium bowl, combine marinade ingredients: soy sauce through pepper and mix well to combine.
  • Pour your marinade on top of steak in dish and coat steak gently an all sides.
  • Cover your marinated steak and refrigerate for 4 – 24 hours. Don't exceed 24 hours.
  • Preheat grill to 500 degrees F or medium-high heat.
  • Grill to your level of desired doneness. 5 minutes per side will result in a medium rare steak. covered for 5 minutes per side for medium rare, longer for more done. Tip: skirt steak is a thinner cut, to check if your steak is done cut with a knife right on the grill or transfer to a plate and check.
  • Use a well seasoned cast iron grill pan for indoor grilling.
  • Indoor or outdoor grilling: cover meat and let rest covered with foil for 5 minutes. This allows the steak juices to settle and become even. more flavorful!
  • Slice and serve along with your favorite southwest side dishes.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Freeze for 3 months.

    Video

    Notes

    • Which cut of steak should you use? This recipe as is calls for skirt steak. Sirloin, tenderloin or rib steak are also good cuts for making carne asada.
    • Gluten-free Soy sauce sub: Use tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free option. 
    • Apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar works
    • Optimal marinating time: Will depend on the cut  of your steak. Thicker cuts marinate for 24 hours and 4 hours for a thin cut.
    • Don’t overcook: Meat will keep cooking with residual heat during resting time. You may want to remove steak from grill before it reaches done. This will ensure your steak remains tender and not overcooked.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 4mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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