Back Yard BBQ Food Ideas

Back Yard BBQ Food Ideas, Throwing a barbecue does not have to be an expensive way to entertain friends or family. Since food picks up the smoky flavours from the barbecue, cooks can use less expensive choices to create delicious courses for summer cookouts.

Choosing food that is on sale, combined with manufacturer’s coupons, can also help save money when planning a meal. Making salads, bread and desserts from scratch can further trim the cost of the meal. So here are some BBQ menu ideas with delicious side dishes for your next barbecue party:

The Juicy Meat And That Charred Flavor

Meat often anchors a barbecue, but instead of serving a high-cost cut of meat like steak, serve chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers to provide a solid and acceptable alternative for home cooks. Buying pork shoulder roasts or a juicy brisket on sale and slow-cooking them over indirect heat to make pulled beef or pork is also a way to save money on meat for a barbecue. Country-style pork ribs have more meat than the more expensive back ribs or baby back ribs. Cooks can also make barbecue sauce from scratch by using a recipe to save money.

Burgers and hot dogs present the most classic backyard barbecue food duo. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be boring for your taste buds. Instead of just including ground beef in your hamburgers, add flavorful ingredients like herbed bread crumbs, tomato chutney, jalapenos and other spices. To make hot dogs more exciting, offer a wide spread of toppings, from traditional ketchup and mustard to the more unusual avocado or feta.

Ribs With BBQ sauce Are A Great Option

Ribs can be the messiest, most fun food to eat at a barbecue. Cover them in typical barbecue sauce or experiment with other flavoured sauces to make them extra spicy or sweet, depending on your personal preference. Use regular-size ribs as the main course of the meal, or grill some baby-back ribs on a hot grill as a delicious appetizer.

Chicken To The Next Level

Try chicken for a juicy barbecue alternative of main dishes to the typical red-meat fare. One crowd-pleaser is margarita chicken wings or chicken thighs, which is made by coating the meat with a mixture of lime juice, chili powder and a splash of tequila before grilling. Chicken also works on kebabs when cut into smaller pieces. Alternate chicken cubes with cheese and cubes or slices of vegetables on the skewers.

A Fresh Salad

You can save money by purchasing whole vegetables such as a head of leaf lettuce or cabbage, carrots, onions and radishes, and cutting them up at home for a salad instead of buying the prewashed and prepackaged salads. Cabbage is one of the least expensive vegetables available and can easily be combined with shredded apples, carrots, broccoli and dressing to make a healthy coleslaw.

Starches Are A Good Idea

Potatoes are typically an inexpensive and classic starch to serve at a barbecue. Serve them baked with a variety of toppings like butter, sour cream, diced scallions or crumbled bacon or mash them up for a potato salad. Many consider grilled corn on the cob a necessity for a barbecue and buying it with the shucks on or frozen with a coupon saves money.

Barbecued or baked beans are not only an inexpensive starch to serve; they also provide a great deal of nutrition, especially protein. Dried beans cost less than prepared beans and beans cook well in slow cookers. Pasta salads mixed with dressings, diced vegetables or fruit do not cost much and often accompany other entrees at barbecues.

Vegetables On A Hot Summer Day For A Large Crowd

To inject some healthy alternatives to a meat-heavy barbecue, throw some fresh vegetables on the grill. Vegetables that grill well include corn, eggplant, peppers or skewers with mixed vegetables, including onions. Grilling vegetables, instead of cooking them in traditional ways, adds a bold, slightly charred taste that enhances the barbecue flavour.

Vegetables cooked on the grill retain their healthy nutrients because they can be cooked quickly, and kept crisp. Grill-cooked vegetables are also colourful and tasty additions to any summer BBQ foods.

Prepare vegetables to grill ahead of time by washing them and slicing them into grillable shapes and serveable portions. Ideas for the most effective shapes and sizes of vegetables are described below.

Also, find simple and natural easy appetizer ideas for enhancing the natural flavor of vegetables when cooked on a grill.

Healthy And Quick Summer BBQ Foods: Vegetables On The Grill


Grilled asparagus can be eaten while warm, or served later in a salad. Toss asparagus with freshly ground pepper, Kosher salt and Balsamic vinegar. Place spiced asparagus on a piece of aluminium foil and grill until tender but while they still have their rich green colour, similar to the green they were when raw, except brighter. Do not let the asparagus turn a greenish-grey while grilling it.


Eggplant can be sliced into circles, discarding the stem and the bottom. Keep the peel on. Enhance the natural flavour of eggplant by basting or spraying with olive oil and Italian herbs. Use an Italian Seasoning spice mix or add your own fresh thyme and oregano. Add a bit of Kosher salt to taste.

Grill the eggplant until tender and juicy. Serve with grilled tomatoes, or use it to make healthy eggplant-style nachos without the breading. Eggplant can be re-warmed for sandwiches, or eaten cold in salads with a couscous or lettuce base.

Onions/ red onions

Peel a yellow onion and cut it in half. It needs no condiments or added flavours. Use non-stick spray on the grill (while still cold) to keep the onions from sticking. Grilling onions directly brings out their natural sweetness.

Red Peppers

Red peppers, as well as yellow peppers or green peppers, are another sturdy vegetable that can stand up to the heat of the grill and the best thing to have as a side. Remove the stem and seed from a pepper, rinse, and cut in half or in quarters. Baste with olive oil or a favourite vinaigrette and place directly on the grill grate.

Peppers can also be used on skewers or with meat kabobs.

Tomatoes, Cherry

Cherry tomatoes can be grilled on a skewer, after marinating in Italian dressing and fresh basil. The best part is that they can be grilled on their own, as part of a vegetable skewer, or alongside meat kabobs.

Cherry tomatoes hold up well on grill. The tomato skin picks up a grilled flavour quite well.

Tip for the home chef: when serving grilled tomatoes to children, cut the tomatoes in half first, to eliminate a chance of burn or choking.

Yellow Squash With A Tasty Sauce

Yellow squash is not as sturdy as peppers, but can be grilled effectively. Cut in half, the long way. Baste with olive oil, fresh ground pepper, sea salt and thyme. Cook on both sides, watching the seed side so it does not burn.

Adding vegetables to your grilled meals on your next backyard bbq adds some healthy nutrients, plus the cook time is short and it’s easy!

Desserts And A Sweet Treat

Making desserts from scratch at a BBQ party saves money and can be a healthier alternative to using bakery products, frozen cookie dough, cake mixes or canned frosting. Cookies are also easy and nearly foolproof to make at home. Fruit salads also provide a sweet, healthy close for a meal. Using an in-season fruit topping for handmade shortcake increases the nutritional content of the meal.

During spring and summer eating outdoors in the sun and warmth can be irresistible. Barbecues offer the ideal way to enjoy outdoor dining without running back and forth from the kitchen, since most barbecued food can be made on an outdoor grill. Barbecued food can be as messy as it is tasty, so outdoors is the perfect place to eat.


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