Summer cookouts are a great way to get your friends and family together for endless fun in a casual atmosphere. Everyone has a different taste preference so it's important to have enough food options to satisfy a large crowd. (Bonus points if seconds and thirds of the healthiest dishes are ensued!) Here are some simple, healthy sides to make at your next summer get-together!
1. Mango Salsa: Could this dish get any more summery? Watch the video below to see how to make our delicious mango salsa, or click here for the recipe.
2. Quinoa Mexi-Lime Salad: Simple, full of flavor and versatile, our Quinoa Mexi-Lime Salad pairs well with chips and salsa and other Mexican-inspired dishes. Click here to get the recipe!
3. Crispy Green Bean Fries: Revamp your French fry craving with a fresh tray full of our crispy green bean fries. So crunchy and so delicious! Check it out here.
4. Creamy BLT Macaroni Salad: Think of your favorite macaroni salad recipe. Now add spinach, bacon and a few skinny swaps and you’re left with this delicious crowd-pleaser. Speaking of skinny swaps, this recipe calls for center-cut bacon, which has 30 percent less fat than regular bacon, and is only 44 calories per slice when baked in the oven, as opposed to fried. Click here for the recipe.
5. Light Egg Salad: Our low-cal, low-fat egg salad recipe will be a hit at your next family get-together! We use Greek yogurt in place of mayo to cut down on calories and fat, while going back to the basics and letting sweet relish, mustard, dill, and — of course — eggs shine through. Check out the recipe by clicking here.
6. Baked Sweet Potato Chips: Love the crunch of potato chips but hate the calories and fat that come with them? A serving of Lays Classic Potato Chips (15 chips) contains 160 calories and a whopping 10 grams of fat. A serving of this sweet potato chip recipe, however, contains only 71 calories and two grams of fat — and that’s for 20 chips! Looks like you’ve found your next snack! Click here for the recipe.
7. Baked Broccoli Tots: Do you have picky eaters that typically skip their green veggies at dinner? This is the perfect recipe to introduce broccoli to those who won’t come near it! Resembling our childhood favorite tater tots, this is a healthier take on the fried potato snack, baking (instead of frying) fiber-rich broccoli (instead of taters). Check out the recipe.
8. Balsamic Orange Brussels Spouts: Many turn their nose away from Brussels spouts, but this recipe makes you think twice about the preconceived notions about this vegetable. Roasted to a crisp and delightfully sweet. This recipe is a culinary masterpiece — check it out here!
9. Cauliflower 'Breadsticks' with Marinara Sauce: For a tasty appetizer you won’t feel bad about, try making these cauliflower ‘breadsticks’ with homemade marinara sauce. Cauliflower is super trendy right now and can cut out a TON of carbs! Who’d have thought it was so versatile? PLUS, for two “breadsticks” you’re only consuming 112 calories — and that includes the marinara! Click here for the recipe.
10. Clean Eating Quinoa Salad: This salad is an office favorite at Skinny Mom HQ. Not only is it delicious, refreshing and filling, but it’s super healthy! Kale is one of the most cleansing foods you can get your hands on, and we use protein-packed quinoa, red and yellow bell peppers, shallots and sunflower seeds to really give you that cleansing kick you need. The red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing pulls it all together for a fantastic finish. Here's the recipe.
11. Crispy Veggie Fries: For a healthy take on French fries, these Crispy Veggie “Fries” are the perfect alternative. These are the perfect way to feel like you’re eating French fries without the fried part! We coated carrots and parsnips in an egg white, cumin, salt, pepper and panko bread crumbs for a healthy, crispy, crunchy and satisfying fry. Here's the recipe.
12. Skinny Country Green Beans: Do you have picky eaters that typically skip their green veggies at dinner? This is the perfect recipe to introduce broccoli to those who won’t come near it! Resembling our childhood favorite tater tots, this is a healthier take on the fried potato snack, baking (instead of frying) fiber-rich broccoli (instead of taters). Here's the recipe!
13. Watermelon and Feta Salad: Our watermelon and feta salad is super easy to make and goes great with a variety of popular entrees. Use our recipe at your next barbecue and impress your party guests! Click here to see!
14. Skinny Broccoli Salad: Broccoli salad is an example of a recipe that is both loved and avoided by many. Our broccoli salad recipe uses healthier ingredients (compared to a traditional broccoli salad recipe), meaning that you can have a full serving without feeling guilty. Click here for our recipe!
15. Healthy Stovetop Mac N Cheese: We modified a mac and cheese recipe in order to make it "skinnier" than traditional mac recipes. Kids love it and adults do too! Guaranteed to be completely devoured at your next cookout: Click here for the recipe.
16. Black Bean and Corn Salsa: Two words for this lightened-up salsa recipe: simple and delicious! It can be made in five minutes and we're willing to bet you already have the ingredients in your pantry. Here's the recipe!
17. Five-Minute Zesty Guacamole: What would a cookout be without a little guac? Our healthy version is super simple and savory. Check it out here.
18. Five-Minute Garden Fresh Salsa: This might even be easier than our five-minute guacamole! This low-calorie salsa will be a hit at your cookout. Try it here.
19. Slow Cooker Southern Black Eyed Peas: Southern cooking and summer go hand in hand. Try out our slow cooker southern black eyed peas recipe at your next cookouts and see why people consider this one of their favorite side dishes! Click here to see.
20. Skinny Chickpea & Vegetable Pearl Couscous: Larger than Moroccan-style but smaller than the Lebanese-style, our chickpea and vegetable pearl couscous is a dish that you must try! This goes well with grilled chicken or fish. Get the recipe here!
21. Skinny Cole Slaw: A barbecue isn't complete without a side of traditional cole slaw. With just a few ingredient modifications, we transformed an originally unhealthy recipe into a healthier, cleaner but still delicious recipe. Click here to check out our recipe!
22. Healthy Bean and Bulgar Salad: Our healthy bean and bulgar salad recipe has a great texture, a colorful variety of vegetables and a high-protein content without excess fat or carbs. Try it now! Click here for the recipe.
23. Pineapple Salsa: This is the perfect pairing for several dishes to add natural sweetness! Try it with our Slow Cooker Cuban Pork to switch up your usual dinner routine. At only 48 calories and ZERO grams of fat, you can definitely afford seconds of this salsa. Here's the recipe.
24. Simple Skinny Queso: Cheese lovers, rejoice! This Simple Skinny Queso recipe is the answer to your weight loss prayers! We combine cornstarch, almond milk, tomatoes, cheese and all kinds of yummy ingredients for a warm, delicious and HEALTHY queso recipe. In fact, a quarter-cup of this goodness clocks in at only 53 calories and 3 grams of fat! Click here to check it out.
25. Cauliflower Pizza Bites: Get all the good flavor of pizza without the fat and calories! This low-calorie, low-fat recipes uses riced cauliflower, ricotta cheese, oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese and other yummy ingredients for a skinny pizza bites recipe everyone will love. Here it is!
26. Skinny Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Cups: These are a great way to get big flavor in a small bite! This cute wonton chicken cup appetizer won’t ruin your meal, and will be a hit at your next backyard BBQ. At 133 calories per serving, that adds up to only 66 calories for one prepared cup! Check out the recipe.
27. Skinny Pineapple Cucumber Couscous: This recipe is light, fluffy, and has subtle hints of fruity sweetness. Couscous is fun to experiment with, especially in the summer when grilling recipes need a tasty companion. Click here to get our recipe.
28. Skinny Southern Baked Beans: Yet another barbecue staple. Baked beans are a must-have side to any outdoor cooking event that involves popular grilling recipes. A plate with corn on the cob, coleslaw and some sort of char-grilled entree is just asking for a small side of baked beans to go with it. Check it out!
29. Chipotle Corn On The Cob: For a fun twist on a summer staple, you must try our Chipotle corn on the cob recipe. It will become a frequently requested menu item at the rest of your cookouts. Here it is!
30. Healthy & Hearty Balsamic Mushrooms and Onions: This skinny recipe is a great vegetarian option to have around for cookouts. It's relatively low in calories, full of savory seasonings and pairs well with seafood, grilled chicken or other grilled entrees. (via Danette May)
31. Skinny Hawaiian Slaw: Just by the looks of this dish, it's hard not to be mesmerized by the bright colors and variety of shapes and textures within — and the best part, it tastes even better than it looks! (via The Skinny Fork)
32. Zucchini Tots: These decadent little tots are a perfect way to make use of a healthy summertime vegetable. This recipe is quick and a great replacement to any potato recipe on your cookout menu! (via Old House to New Home)
33. Skinny Baked Cauliflower Tots: Cauliflower tots are perfect for those who are beginning to slowly add more vegetables in their diet. Their simple flavor and fun texture provides a great opportunity to experiment with seasonings and dips. Try this one out and see how enjoyable these healthy white vegetables can be! (via Gimme Delicious)
34. Skinny Jalapeño Poppers (With Dip): These jalapeño poppers are worth the spicy risk! By no means will they burn your tongue off, but they'll definitely tingle your mouth in the best, most delicious way. The dip included in this recipe is pretty fabulous too. (via Lose Weight By Eating)
35. Skinny Mexican Rice: This recipe is easy to throw together in a short amount of time, only has 139 calories per serving and is a perfect side to any kind of entree. Cumin, green chilies and fresh cilantro bring out the best in this recipe and will, without a doubt, become one of your new favorite go-t0 rice recipes. (via Skinny Ms)
36. Skinny Scalloped Potato Gratin: Thinly sliced yukon gold potatoes baked to heated perfection with a skinny layer of light buttery sauce and cheese, it's hard to imagine why anyone would turn away from this comforting dish! Try it out! (via Skinnytaste)
37. Skinny Broccoli and Mixed Vegetables Stir Fry: This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and loaded with a flavorsome cornucopia of fun vegetables. Add in proteins or eat as is! (via Averie Cooks)
38. Apple Walnut Cranberry Salad: This salad tosses together flavor-packed ingredients such as green apples, walnuts, dried cranberries and Gorgonzola cheese. A sweet and savory combination is perfected in this recipe, so try it out for your next dinner! (via Flavor Mosaic)
39. End of Summer Corn Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad: The dish is just as delectable as the title and is needed at your next dinner party this summer. This recipe mixes together flavorful quinoa, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and creamy avocado that can be appreciated by a variety of guests. (via Barker By Nature)
40. Simple Skinny Cucumber Salad: So simple, so satisfying and so low in calories. With only a few innocent ingredients, this cucumber salad recipe will go great with other summertime sides and entrees. Try it out! (via Healthy Seasonal Recipes)
41. Skinny Mexican Street Corn: This recipe is a restaurant favorite and is perfect for those who love the distinctive yellow vegetable corn. Perfect to serve in the summer at barbecues with other traditional cookout food items. (via The Cookie Rookie)
42. Skinny Macaroni Salad: Much like cole slaw, potato casserole and broccoli salad, macaroni salad is a dish that is avoided by many because of its unhealthy nutritional content. However, our macaroni salad recipe uses alternative ingredients in order to lighten up the calorie load and make it a dish that will be less stressed over, post-consumption. Click here to see!
43. Butternut Squash Risotto: This rich and creamy Italian rice dish is made with butternut squash puree, white wine, Parmigiano-Reggiano and a little bit of fresh arugula. Is your mouth watering yet? (via Skinnytaste)
44. Perfectly Seasoned Sugar Snap Peas: Snap peas are fun and healthy. Once you've nailed down a perfect way to season and cook these green goodies, you'll want to use them for every meal. (via The Foodie Affair)
45. Skinny Bacon Potato Salad: Betcha didn't think that bacon could be used in a dish with the word "skinny" in it. Check out this bacon potato recipe and notice how the ingredient modifications make this a lighter option that can be made for any summer cooking party. (via Marla Meridith)
46. Quick Spiralized Zucchini and Grape Tomatoes: Each serving of this zucchini dish has only 117 calories and packed with 5 grams of fiber. Colorful and flavorful — you gotta try it! (via Bloglovin')
47. Skinny Bang Bang Cauliflower Bites: These crispy baked cauliflower bites are drizzled with an addicting bang bang sauce, and is cooked so perfectly that you will be anxious to show this recipe off to your friends at your next cookout. (via Kirbie Craving)
48. Lemony Basil Orzo Pasta Sala: Orzo is another fun grain to experiment with, and can hold a variety of different cuisine influences. This recipe utilizes zesty lemon flavors with bright vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and bell peppers, and a herb variety that accommodates any summer food-related party. (via Unsophisticook)
49. Wild Rice Salad: This wild rice salad is a popular dish for vegetarians, but since it's so nutritious and tasty, it can be enjoyed by just about anyone. (via Fat Girl Trapped In A Skinny Body)
50. Skinny Mexican Casserole: This recipe has what we crave the most — something warm, comforting and guilt-free. Can you believe this dish is chock-full of vegetables and whole wheat tortillas? (via Damn Delicious)
51. Marinated Cherry Tomato & Herb Salad: Cherry tomatoes have such an easy flavor to tweak and dress with marinates and seasonings. This recipe takes advantage of summer herbs and dressings and go well with grilled entrees. (via The Yummy Life)