5 Healthy Summer Grilling Recipes
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2024

5 Healthy Summer Grilling Recipes

Summer is barbecue season. While hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs and sausages are always popular choices, they are not always necessarily the healthiest options. Often loaded with sodium and saturated fats, these backyard-grilling staples raise the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.

But, before you put the cover back on the grill, consider these five healthier meal alternatives that are loaded with flavor.

Grilled vegetable skewers: Thread cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions onto skewers. NOTE: If using wooden skewers, soak them in a pan of warm water for at least 30 minutes before using. Brush threaded skewers lightly with olive oil and your favorite herbs. Grill until tender.

Grilled lemon-herb salmon: For the best flavor, marinate skin-on salmon fillets for at least an hour in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and herbs of your choosing. Remove from marinade and let rest for 10 minutes to drain off excess juices. Heat grill to 450°F. Once hot, brush grill lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking. Place salmon skin-side down directly on the grill and cook with lid open for about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the salmon. If it sticks, let it cook for another minute or so until it lifts easily. Flip salmon, close the lid and cook skinless side down for 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature is a least 135°F.

Turkey burgers: Mix ground turkey with chopped onions, garlic, and your favorite spices. Form into ¼-pound paddies and grill until internal temperature is at least 160°F. Let rest five minutes then serve on whole-wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, and avocado.

Portobello mushroom burgers: Clean mushroom and remove stems. Marinate caps in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic for at least an hour at room temperature. Set grill to medium-high heat. Once warm, lightly grease the grill then cook mushrooms until tender; roughly five minutes per side. Serve on whole-wheat buns with your favorite toppings.

Grilled chicken skewers: Line a baking sheet with foil.

Create a marinade by combining 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. cumin, ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper, and 4 cloves of minced garlic in a medium bowl. Mix well. Trim fat from 2-3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts and cut into 2” cubes. Slice up a large red onion into 2-inch pieces.

Thread chicken onto skewers, alternating with pieces of onion. Place skewers onto lined baking sheet and brush with marinade. Refrigerate overnight or for at least eight hours. Heat grill to medium high and then brush grates thoroughly with olive oil to prevent chicken from sticking. Place skewers directly onto grill and cook for roughly 15 minutes. Use a spatula to turn every 3-5 minutes to ensure even cooking.


Russell Carrier is the nutrition and dinning kitchen manager at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.


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