Everyone loves a good BBQ side and mine are both tasty AND healthier options. Prepare these easy BBQ sides with friends and family and be prepared to share the recipes, too!

serving buffalo cauliflower bites as an easy BBQ side with a vegan ranch dipping sauce in the center.

Summer is fast approaching and so are the invites to party. I love a spontaneous weeknight dinner with friends or a casual neighborhood block party, yet it can be hard to decide what to bring. I’m taking the guesswork out of planning and giving you healthy BBQ sides that translate well to a variety of settings.

Whether you need a grab n’ go side or frozen treats for those hot summer nights, I’m sure one of these easy BBQ sides will work for you.

Table of Contents
  1. Savory BBQ Side Dishes
  2. Sweet BBQ Sides
  3. Fresh Summer Salads
  4. Healthy BBQ Sides FAQs
  5. Plant-Based Entrées

Depending on the type of party, the table can be filled with processed, store-bought dishes. Instead, bring a little homemade love with one of these recipes that actually taste good.

Savory BBQ Side Dishes

A summer barbecue is a perfect time to break out a fresh new vegetable recipe. Since heavier main dishes are usually abundant, I’m sharing four easy side dishes that my family enjoys sharing with others.

baked potato wedges
Baked Potato Wedges
5 from 5 votes
Whether you need a great side dish or a fun appetizer, these baked potato wedges are delightful. They come out perfectly crispy with just the right amount of seasoning.
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Simple Vegan Coleslaw
4.7 from 7 votes
I’ve always been a coleslaw lover, but struggled these last few years as I’ve been moving away from mayonnaise and most processed foods. This vegan coleslaw has an amazing crunch and a sweet and creamy bite that tastes even better than traditional coleslaw to me, and it’s perfect for topping any taco.
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Sweet Potato Nachos
5 from 1 vote
Kick back and dig into this sweet n' savory plant based sweet potato nachos. Gorgeous fresh chips baked to perfection and topped with a rainbow of toppings, you'll never order nachos again! These are really pretty easy to make and so worth it for the warm flavors.
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tofu nuggets recipe
Crispy Tofu Nuggets
4.8 from 5 votes
These plant-based tofu nuggets are packed with protein and amazing crunch. The secret sauce is tearing pressed tofu to get craggily edges that help to make the crispiest nooks and crannies for your favorite dipping sauce to cling to. Try using your air fryer for an equally delicious nugget!
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roasted cabbage wedges
Roasted Cabbage Wedges
5 from 5 votes
I grew up on roasted cabbage so it's a staple in my St. Patrick's Day celebrations with my family. Enjoy this simple yet comforting recipe and start a plant based tradition with your family, too!
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Recipe for vegan buffalo cauliflower wings
Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
4.9 from 9 votes
I’ve never been a fan of chicken wings—yet I love the spicy-hot flavor! I was so excited when I got this plant-based recipe to work. Welcome to the world of Cauliflower Buffalo Wings!
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Layered Greek dip in glass dish
Layered Greek Dip
5 from 1 vote
This layered Greek dip is a Mediterranean-inspired dish loaded with sauces and marinated fresh vegetables to create an irresistible appetizer. This recipe is easy to double if you are feeding a large group.
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stacked fudgy brownies on a wooden tray.

Sweet BBQ Sides

Whether you want handheld desserts or cold options for those hot summer nights, I’ve got the healthy BBQ treats for you. These are my go-to recipes for warm-weather parties, and many of them are easier than they appear! Healthy BBQ sides can be delightfully sweet.

Blackberry Coconut Sorbet
4 from 6 votes
Looking for a refreshing, beautiful dessert? Look no further than this scrumptious blackberry Coconut Sorbet recipe. Fun to serve with coconut whipped cream and fresh berries.
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Vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
4.8 from 5 votes
These are simply THE BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies around! We’ve given them another upgrade by adding in toasted coconut (you can buy it or make it) and toasted almonds for extra flavor and crunch. Use your favorite dark chocolate chips and bake up a batch or two. They make great gifts and store well in the freezer for when a craving hits. 
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Banana Nice Cream
5 from 6 votes
This vibrant banana nice cream recipe nourishes and satisfies. The gorgeous color comes from the superfood spirulina, which provides vital cell support. Perfect for breakfast or as a midday pick me up, banana nice cream is a delicious treat (while still getting in healthy nutrients).
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fresh watermelon popsicles sitting on ice with fresh strawberries and watermelon slices.
Watermelon Popsicles
4.7 from 159 votes
Two simple ingredients is all it takes to make watermelon popsicles sweet enough to fall in love. Ask your kids to join in making this refreshing summer treat.
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Platter of gluten free fudgy brownies
Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies
5 from 6 votes
Thick, fudgy brownies that also happen to be vegan and gluten-free. (No one will be able to tell!) Loaded with delicious chocolate flavor and a great texture, this Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownie Recipe really hit the spot.
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Creamy Lime Popsicles
5 from 3 votes
This healthy popsicle recipe is creamy and refreshing on a hot summer day. Slightly sweet with loads of tangy fresh lime juice and plenty of creaminess from the avocado and coconut milk, it’s hard to believe these are a part of our 21-Day Cleanse, but they totally are!
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Rice Crispy Treat Recipe for Healthy Kids Snack
Healthy-ish Rice Krispie Treats
5 from 18 votes
This Rice Krispie Treats Recipe uses plant-based whole foods from brown rice to almond butter. Not only will you find more protein and fiber, but the flavor will blow you away. 
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Strawberry milkshake recipe that's simple
Strawberry Vegan Milkshake
4.9 from 16 votes
This simple strawberry vegan milkshake has passed the taste test with my kids and their friends—so trust me, it’s a winner! Plus you won’t suffer the bloating or breakouts that traditional strawberry milkshakes can cause thanks to me using coconut milk. Feel free to swap out the coconut milk for another nut milk you prefer, such as almond milk or cashew milk.
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serving pasta salad as a fresh BBQ side in a glass bowl with a stainless steel serving spoon.

Fresh Summer Salads

Fresh produce makes whipping up a salad easy and inexpensive. Plus, you can easily customize these to fit your ingredients and time constraints when preparing for a soiree! Brighten up your spread with a leafy green salad or vibrant fruity option.

Crunchy Carrot Salad
4.2 from 162 votes
This is my plant-powered take on a classic recipe. It is lighter, brighter, and not weighed down by mayo. Serve as-is for a wonderful side dish or double and enjoy as the main event.
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healthy pasta salad
Healthy Pasta Salad
4.7 from 191 votes
Whether you're in need of an easy week of lunches or a delicious potluck recipe to share, this vegan pasta salad is for you!
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arugula salad. in a bowl with salad tongs.
Lemon Arugula Salad
4.4 from 237 votes
This lemon arugula salad is a feature on any table. It's got unique (yet findable!) ingredients + an elevated flavor profile that makes me feel like I'm at a fancy restaurant. The perfect salad to mix up your lunch routine.
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Fresh Vegan Potato Salad
4.4 from 347 votes
Step aside traditional potato salad! A new version is in town and it's delightful. Try this vegan potato salad out on your next gathering and be ready to share the recipe!
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Berry Salad
4.8 from 181 votes
This is the perfect dish to bring to Sunday brunch. I try to enjoy all the fresh berries I possibly can while they're here, and this salad brings them alive.
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Mediterranean Greek Salad Recipe
5 from 2 votes
This colorful salad is as full of flavor as it is color. Your skin will be glowing after incorporating this dish into your lunch routine, and Mediterranean inspired classic!
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Strawberry Arugula Salad
4.7 from 128 votes
This gorgeous strawberry arugula salad is as delicious as it is beautiful. Topped with a unique Meyer Lemon vinaigrette, this rockstar salad is for you. It tastes like bright sunshine.
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cold noodle salad
Vegetarian Noodle Salad
5 from 4 votes
This refreshing noodle salad is a great light lunch or yummy side for dinner. Take it to the beach and enjoy at sunset for the ultimate summer night.
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Healthy BBQ Sides FAQs

What goes well with barbecue?

I’ve got arugula salad, roasted potatoes, vegan potato salad, watermelon popsicles and more to make you the life of the next party you attend. Not up for making a hot dish? No problem! Salads bursting with texture and taste work well too.

What is the healthiest side dish?

No matter what you’re looking to make, stick to whole food! Use fresh plants, seasonal fruits and vegetables. You’d be surprised how delicious fresh produce and a good spice blend can be mixed up and roasted.

What are some easy plant-based side dishes?

You can’t go wrong with a colorful salad (I’m not talking about the ‘garden salad’ that comes with your meal, I’m talking about one bursting with flavor and variety!) or keep it simple with roasted veggies. Whether you’re looking for a sweet or savory side, I’ve got you covered.

delicious food for a party shown including a black bean burger and sweet potato fries

Plant-Based Entrées

If you know there will be plant-based guests at your gathering, then you may want to include a few main dish options for them alongside these healthy BBQ sides. Here are my favorite summer recipes when I’m heading to or hosting a BBQ:

portobello mushroom burger on a white plate topped with arugula, sauce and tomatoes.
Portobello Mushroom Burgers
5 from 3 votes
These marinated portobello mushroom burgers are the perfect, hearty main dish for all your summer parties. They are surprisingly easy to make and delight both meat and plant eaters!
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Vegan Black Bean Burger
5 from 15 votes
Perfect for a backyard BBQ or a fun family meal, this vegan black bean burger is a winner. My family loves to pair them with homemade fries and load them up with fresh tomatoes. 
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jackfruit tacos
BBQ Jackfruit Tacos
5 from 19 votes
Pulled BBQ jackfruit is a meatless wonder to make all of your Taco Tuesday dreams come true. Jackfruit Tacos only take about a half hour to prepare – perfect for getting dinner on the table in a hurry. 
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BBQ Vegetarian Pizza
5 from 6 votes
Enjoy the BBQ vegetarian pizza recipe that's loaded with protein and flavor. This recipe is also gluten-free thanks to the homemade quinoa crust. A bit time-consuming to make, yet no one ever regrets it. Bon appetite!
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Austinite Vegan Tacos
5 from 5 votes
When I created this vegan taco recipe, it just felt like it had an Austin flair going on, so I named it after that city. This unique taco is loaded with sweet potato, chickpeas, cauliflower and exploding with flavor.
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What are some of your go-to healthy BBQ sides to share? Drop a comment and let me know! I love trying out new recipes, especially when I can share them with friends.

Looking for more great party dishes? Choose recipes that fit your needs:

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Comments

  1. Perfect timing for 4th of July! Can’t wait to use some of these recipes for our next cookout.

    1. These are perfect for a cookout. Hope you have a fun one!