15 Grilling Recipes Under 400 Calories
Nothing screams “summer” like hot-off-the-grill grub. Step up your BBQ game with tasty grilled recipes packed with health-helping ingredients, straight from the kitchens of registered dietitians and healthy chefs.
Grilled asparagus with lemongrass garlic rub: 110 caloriesCourtesy Amy Gorin
Talk about simply delicious: As a registered dietitian and healthy recipe blogger, I’m always looking for easy, tasty, and nutritious recipes, and this grilled lemongrass asparagus hits the spot. It requires just a handful of ingredients, and the simple mixture of olive oil, lemongrass, garlic, rosemary, and onion powder elevates the fiber-packed veggie to a whole new level.
Moroccan-spiced grilled shrimp: 385 caloriesCourtesy Tammy & Lyssie Lakatos
“This shrimp and salad dish is our go-to grilling recipe because it’s easy, light, healthy, and satisfying,” say Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CFT, co-authors of The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure. “We love the Moroccan-inspired flavors of the smoked paprika, cumin, and the cinnamon that perfectly spice up the shrimp skewers. The quinoa salad hits the spot, with sweetness from antioxidant- and fiber-packed California prunes. This meal is perfect for any weeknight dinner.”
Grilled steak fajita veggie bowl: 370 caloriescourtesy Lindsey Janeiro
“These grilled steak fajita veggie bowls are a favorite healthy summer grilling recipe,” says Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, CLT, a dietitian in Sarasota, Florida. “They utilize flank steak, one of the leanest cuts of beef, marinated with lime juice and flavor-packed spices. The bowl is rounded out with grilled fajita veggies and coconut cauliflower rice that adds flavor, texture, vitamins, and minerals for a grilled dinner full of protein and plants.” Here are 14 more BBQ foods that are actually good for you.
Honey lime grilled corn salad: 170 caloriesCourtesy Amy Gorin
Here’s a way to take fresh corn to a whole new level. For this grilled corn salad with honey lime dressing, just combine a few ears’ worths of corn kernels with red onions, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes to make yourself a super simple side dish packed with filling fiber and health-helping vitamins and minerals.
SB&J Burger: 374 caloriesCourtesy Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed on behalf of SunButter
In the mood for a burger? Toss these mouthwatering summer burgers on the grill, and finish them off with melted sunflower butter and easy homemade strawberry jam. “The sunflower butter and strawberries lend flavor and nutrients to the burgers,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, a nutrition partner with SunButter. “The sunflower butter offers seven grams of protein and [is] an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin E per serving, while the strawberries contribute vitamin C.” Vitamin E may be beneficial for heart health, and vitamin C is important for immune health. Try these tricks for grilling the juiciest burgers and steaks.
Grilled vegetable pizza: 243 caloriesalisafarov/Shutterstock
Love pizza? You can grill up a healthy pie loaded with fiber-rich veggies! “One of the healthiest and savory toppings you can add is grilled veggies,” says Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University. “Clean out your produce bin in your refrigerator by grilling up all the veggies you can find for this grilled vegetable pizza. You’ll not only reduce food waste by using up veggies that you may toss, but you’ll also make the best pizza in town.”
Veggie sriracha-grilled tofu and pineapple skewers: 280 caloriesCourtesy Abbey Sharp
“Perfect for a meatless weeknight dinner, this vegan grilled tofu is the perfect high-protein meal that will surely satisfy,” says Abbey Sharp, RD, a dietitian and recipe blogger in Toronto. “This dish is also perfect with a side of brown rice for a rich source of fiber.” That combo of protein and fiber can help keep you fuller for longer. Find out 11 essential things you need to know about grilling.
Grilled romaine hearts and figs: 200 calories
“These grilled romaine hearts with figs are my go-to summer salad dish because they’re a fun twist on veggies,” says Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, a dietitian based in New York City. “They’re full of filling fiber and are simple to make, thanks to the grill doing all the hard work!” The recipe boasts a hint of sweetness from the figs, without any added sugar.
Italian flatbread breakfast panini: 330 caloriesCourtesy Amy Gorin
Who says you can’t make breakfast on a grill? This simple grilled egg sandwich also hits the spot for lunch or dinner. With protein from both eggs and mozzarella, it packs in 29 grams of the power nutrient per serving—plus ample low-calorie flavor from fresh basil and plum tomatoes. Don’t miss these other 15 foods you didn’t know you could grill.
Confetti turkey burgers: 256 caloriesCourtesy Chef Julie Harrington
“So often, I hear complaints that turkey burgers are dry and chewy because they are very lean,” says Julie Harrington, RD, a culinary nutritionist in Morristown, NJ. “Indeed, ground turkey breast is very lean, with only 1 percent fat. Knowing that, how can we add more flavor and more moisture—and even stretch your dollars? Veggies! Finely chopping veggies and incorporating them into the ground turkey will help keep the burger moist and tender. When cooked, the water content from the vegetables is released, leaving you with a juicy burger.” Well, doesn’t this turkey burger recipe sound delicious?
Grilled summer veg kamut salad: 373 caloriesCourtesy Chef Catherine Brown
“This grilled salad is my summer go-to because it’s packed with flavor and works well for a BBQ, picnic, or potluck,” says Catherine Brown, a plant-based chef in Errol, New Hampshire. “Grilling vegetables adds incredible flavor and brings out their natural sweetness.” Try these other 31 delicious grill ideas.
Summer grilled zucchini: 103 caloriesCourtesy Jennifer Hunt
“In this vegetable side dish, grilled zucchini is elevated by salty feta, sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar, and fresh mint,” says Jennifer Hunt, RDN, a dietitian in Greenville, South Carolina. “This budget-friendly veggie also boasts a nice dose of vitamin C. It’s amazingly flavorful, simple, and quick!” Check out these other cheap, healthy meals you can make in 20 minutes or less.
Turkish turkey flatbread: 226 caloriesCourtesy Judy Barbe
Here’s a flatbread recipe with flavor inspiration from Turkey—including fresh mint, cumin, and garlic. “The bread is crisp and delicious,” says Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest. Each serving boasts an excellent amount of filling protein. Don’t miss these other 16 healthy weight-loss recipes that aren’t salad.
Miso-grilled salmon: 250 caloriesCourtesy Rebecca Stib
“This Asian-inspired grilled salmon is power-packed with nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory and heart healthy,” says Rebecca Stib, MS, RDN, a dietitian in Barrington, Rhode Island. “You may find yourself going for seconds!” Looking for a sweeter grilled salmon? Try a maple-lime grilled salmon from Judith Scharman Draughon, MS, RDN, author of Lean Body Smart Life.
Simple balsamic grilled peaches: 100 caloriesCourtesy Amy Gorin
When you’re grilling up a meal, you might as well whip up a quick dessert too! Grilling brings out the natural sweetness of peaches, and the addition of a balsamic glaze adds a hint of savory to the simple dish. Eat these balsamic grilled peaches as is, or use them as a topping for vanilla ice cream. Then try these 12 healthy desserts that can actually help you lose weight.
Amy Gorin is a freelance writer and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. She also co-runs Master the Media, a media training e-course for health professionals. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.