6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (2024)

Get grilling this summer with healthy recipes for burgers, veggies, seafood and more

by Lori Powell

Conquer your cookout

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (1)

Grilling for good health is easy when you’re manning the barbecue this summer. Each delicious recipe here clocks in at less than 400 calories—and we don’t skimp on the meat or sausage, either, so your cookoutis sure to please the whole family.

Shellfish with Sausage and Beer

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (2)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

1/4 lb fresh chorizo, casing removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 c chopped garlic
1 bottle (12 oz) light beer
1 bottle (8 oz) clam juice (we used Bar Harbor)
2 lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/2 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Prepare grill for medium heat.

2. Cook chorizo in oil in large cast-iron skillet (or grill-safe pan) on grill, stirring and breaking up lumps, 4 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and pour in beer. Return pan to grill and simmer until beer is reduced by one-quarter.

Handy tip: Heat-resistant potholders are necessities when handling a hot cast-iron skillet on the grill. Buy flexible ones that fit your hand size and have silicone grips.

3. Add clam juice, mussels, and clams. Simmer, covered, removing shellfish to large shallow serving bowl as they open, about 10 minutes (discard any that do not open). Stir in shrimp during last 3 minutes and cook through. Add remaining cooked shellfish and broth mixture to bowl.

4. Add parsley and lemon juice to bowl and carefully toss shellfish to combine. Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving)
314 cal, 32 g pro, 12 g carb, 1 g fiber, 12.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 641 mg sodium

More from Prevention:Best and Worst Summer co*cktails

Marinated Pork Tenderloin over Black Bean Salad

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (3)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes + marinating and standing time
Servings: 4

1/2 c finely chopped cilantro
1/2 c finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 c sherry or red wine vinegar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 red bell pepper
1 fresh poblano chile pepper
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients with 1/2 tsp salt. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for sauce and pour remaining into zip-top bag. Add pork to bag and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.

2. Prepare lightly oiled grill for medium heat. Remove sides from peppers, discarding stems and seeds. Lightly coat with olive oil spray.

3. Remove pork from marinade (discard marinade). Grill pork and peppers, turning, until peppers are charred and tender and meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes for peppers and 25 minutes for pork. Let tenderloin stand, covered, 10 minutes, then slice.

Handy tip: Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure this lean cut stays juicy. Remove the pork when you get a 145°F reading; the temperature will keep rising while the pork rests.

4. Remove skin from peppers and chop while pork rests. Toss with beans. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

5. Serve pork on top of beans and drizzle with reserved sauce.

Nutrition (per serving)
318 cal, 28 g pro, 15 g carb, 4 g fiber, 15 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 546 mg sodium

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Philly-Style Cheeseburgers

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (4)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

1 lb 90% lean ground beef or bison/buffalo
1 1/2 Tbsp reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
8 oz mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 tsp olive oil
4 slices (1/4" thick) onion (optional)
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split
3 oz reduced-fat Cheddar, American, or provolone

1. Mix together beef, Worcestershire, and 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper. Gently form into 4 patties, pressing down to create a shallow well in the center of each.

2. Prepare lightly oiled grill for medium heat. Toss mushrooms with oil and cook in grill basket (or cast-iron skillet), stirring, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

3. Coat onion (if using) with olive oil spray. Grill onion, turning, until tender, 4 minutes. Grill buns cut side down until marked, 1 to 2 minutes. Grill burgers 4 minutes, flip, and cook 3 minutes longer for medium or until desired doneness. Top with cheese and grill, covered, until melted, 30 seconds.

4. Serve burgers on buns and top with onion and mushrooms.

Nutrition (per serving)
387 cal, 32 g pro, 25 g carb, 4 g fiber, 18.5 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 591 mg sodium

Asian BBQ Steak Lettuce Wraps with Mango

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (5)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

1/2 lb trimmed skirt steak
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp Asian chili sauce
8 small leaves Bibb or Boston lettuce
1/2 c chopped mango
1/4 c cilantro sprigs
1/4 c mint leaves

1. Prepare lightly oiled grill for medium heat. Toss together first 4 ingredients in zip-top bag, massaging to coat beef. Marinate 15 minutes at room temperature.

Handy tip: Zip-top bags make marinating less messy and more effective. Squeeze the air out of the bag to surround the meat with flavor enhancers, then toss the bag (and any remaining marinade) when you're ready to grill.

2. Remove steak from marinade (discard marinade). Grill, turning, about 4 minutes for medium rare or until desired doneness. Transfer to plate and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

3. Arrange lettuce on serving platter and top evenly with steak, mango, cilantro, and mint. Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving)
126 cal, 12 g pro, 7 g carb, 1 g fiber, 5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 368 mg sodium

More from Prevention:Fruits and Veggies To Always Buy Organic

Grilled Greek-Salad Skewers

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (6)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes + soaking time
Servings: 4

2 oz feta, cubed
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
2 slices (1" thick) Italian bread, cut into 16 cubes (1")
16 cherry tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and halved lengthwise
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1" cubes
20 inner leaves romaine
1 small cucumber, sliced
12 assorted pitted olives

1. Soak 8 bamboo skewers (8"-10") in water 30 minutes.

2. Toss together feta, oil, and oregano in bowl. Squeeze 2 lemon wedges over top. Season to taste.

3. Prepare lightly oiled grill for medium heat. Alternately thread bread, tomatoes, artichokes, and onion onto skewers. Coat with olive oil spray and grill, turning carefully, until golden brown (remove before tomatoes begin to fall apart), about 4 minutes. Transfer to plate.

4. Arrange lettuce on 4 plates and top each with 2 skewers. Divide cucumber, olives, and feta mixture among plates. Serve with remaining lemon wedges.

Nutrition (per serving)
235 cal, 6 g pro, 25 g carb, 4 g fiber, 12.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 631 mg sodium

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Citrus Sangria

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (7)

Serves 8

A great summer sangria starts with a medium-bodied red wine, such as Rioja or Malbec.

Cut 2 lemons, 2 limes, and 2 oranges into slices.

Combine in a large pitcher: 1 bottle chilled medium-dry red wine, 2 cups chilled lime or plain seltzer, 1 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup brandy (optional), and citrus slices.

Pour sangria into 8 tall ice-filled glasses.

More from Prevention:Waistline-Shrinking Smoothie Recipes

Safer Summer Grilling

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (8)

1. Start With A Soak
Marinating meat in a mix of vinegar (or lemon juice), fresh herbs, and garlic—as we did with our pork—adds flavor and helps prevent the formation of carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). If the mixture contains oil, be sure to let the excess drip off the meat (or pat it dry with a paper towel) to avoid flare-ups.

2. Get Finicky About Fat
Before grilling the skirt steak in our Asian BBQ wraps, we took the time to trim any excess fat. The smoke caused by fat dripping onto the hot grill contains other harmful chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). And don't press down on your burgers—you want to keep the juices in the patties, not in the flames.

3. Avoid Overcooking
Don’t char your meat. Scraping off burned parts won’t get rid of the offending compounds. A few light grill marks are fine—don’t go further than that.

4. Clean The Grate
A dirty grill is not only unsightly but unhealthy. You wouldn't want those charred bits to hitch a ride on your next meal. Clean the grate after you finish cooking (while the grill is still hot but not turned on), using a long-handled steel-bristled brush.

More from Prevention:More Backyard BBQ Favorites

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (9)

Lori Powell

Food Director Lori Powell develops Prevention’s recipes and styles the food photography that appears on the magazine’s pages. She has more than 22 years of experience in the food world, including stints at Gourmet, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, and Ladies’ Home Journal. In her free time, Lori enjoys being a chef-instructor for a kids cooking program, Kids Cook, at McKinely Elementary School in Allentown, PA.

6 Delicious Low-Calorie Cookout Recipes (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jeremiah Abshire

Last Updated:

Views: 5624

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jeremiah Abshire

Birthday: 1993-09-14

Address: Apt. 425 92748 Jannie Centers, Port Nikitaville, VT 82110

Phone: +8096210939894

Job: Lead Healthcare Manager

Hobby: Watching movies, Watching movies, Knapping, LARPing, Coffee roasting, Lacemaking, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Jeremiah Abshire, I am a outstanding, kind, clever, hilarious, curious, hilarious, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.