From Memorial Day to the Fourth of July to Labor Day and everything in between, warm weather is accompanied by outdoor get-togethers. Food on the grill, carb-loaded side dishes and high-sugar desserts are at the center of the seasonal cookout. You’ve decided to make the change to lead a healthy, low-carb lifestyle with the help of South Beach Diet. But this doesn’t mean you need to avoid the countless neighborhood barbecues to ensure you stay on track with your healthy diet. In fact, we’ve got plenty of low-carb recipes that are perfect to bring along to the cookout.
Check out 20 of our favorite, low-carb recipes you can enjoy at the cookout this year:
Cookout at 3? Perfect. Just toss some chicken, beans, tomatoes and spices in your slow cooker and let that magic machine do all the work. Six hours later you’ll have perfectly cooked chicken and plenty of flavorful fixins.
What’s more refreshing on a hot day than a cool dessert? This guilt-free treat tastes rich and creamy thanks to a ripe avocado, coconut (or almond) milk and some chocolate protein powder.
Healthy avocado takes the place of mayonnaise in this recipe while lemon, mustard, salt and pepper add some delicious zest. Eat this sandwich as your entrée or make a few “tea sandwiches” for sharing.
Eight minutes under the broiler is fast enough for even the busiest weeknight meal. But at that weekend cookout, the grill is the perfect place to BBQ shrimp and veggies. Get a skewer or veggie basket to keep things from falling through the grates.
Sometimes you just need a burger…especially at a cookout. This recipe calls for ground turkey, red peppers, scallions and goat cheese which make for truly satisfying sandwiches. Serve these with South Beach Cole Slaw or Sweet Potato Fries.
Plan ahead for your big BBQ and prepare foods in advance. This dip keeps five days in the refrigerator and freezes for up to a month. Double the recipe for dinner next week and use it to top chicken or roasted veggies.
Salsa is an Extra on South Beach Diet and always a crowd-pleaser. Lime, vinegar, parsley and cumin give this classic a modern update. Get creative with your dippers: Try sweet potato slices, jicama, broccoli stalks or kale chips.
Having a BBQ picnic? You need food that travels well—like this wrap. The lime juice adds zest while ranch and avocado add a buttery smoothness. You may also sub the lettuce for a whole wheat tortilla that has at least three grams of fiber, just make sure it fits into your net carbs for the day.
These chicken tenders aren’t breaded and fried; they’re kissed with spices and paired with an almond-cilantro sauce that’s as colorful as it is flavorful. Grill the chicken if your party is outside and serve as appetizers or the entrée.
One of the things dieters love most about South Beach is that cheese is 100% approved. Therefore, you can enjoy cheesy classics like this dip without a tinge of guilt. Want to impress your crowd? This dip will do it. Carrots and celery are mild enough to let the flavors sing.
This barbecue staple begs to accompany a turkey burger, smoked chicken or a grilled sirloin. Be sure to find olive oil-based mayonnaise and don’t forget the celery seed. Coleslaw just isn’t coleslaw without it.
This summertime staple will go in the weekly rotation. Prepare as directed or make the dish your own with a honeydew, mango or pineapple salsa. We also call for bass but virtually any seafood will work here: Tilapia, flounder, salmon, shrimp or lobster.
The longer you marinate, the more flavorful these chops will be. Also, no one likes dry pork—especially your party guests. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145-degrees with a three-minute rest time. Pink pork is perfectly acceptable.
Presentation is important, and color is a terrific way to impress. Give your guests a feast for the eyes with these loaded veggie skewers. The yogurt-based dip is creamy and satisfying but watch your portions. This recipe makes two servings.
Jambalaya. Etouffee. Gazpacho. Gumbo. Some of the best New Orleans-style recipes begin with the classic trip (onion, pepper and celery) just like this tasty dish. Enjoy over cauliflower rice in or whole grain brown rice (if it fits into your daily net carb limit). You can also sub the bacon for turkey or chicken sausage to spice things up.
Simple recipes are usually the best. Case in point: our sweet potato fries. This four-ingredient recipe is ready in just 30 minutes. Add some turnips, rutabaga or parsnips for color and variety, and because you’ll need the extra ingredients. These fries will fly off your guests’ plates!
The most popular party desserts are individually portioned. (No one wants to cut a pristine cake or fight with a stuck-to-the-pan sweet.) So not only will these cheesecakes be popular at the BBQ, but they’ll satisfy year-round. Love nuts? Add them. Love berries? Serve them on top.
Break out of the burger and hot dog rut and prepare grilled tuna for your cookout guests. Believe it or not, marinating for just 15 minutes adds plenty of saltiness to the fish. Meanwhile, the grill brings out the sweetness of both the mango and red pepper. Perfect contrast complete.
How do you know if you’re buying great scallops? Look for the words “diver” or dry-packed and avoid scallops that are unnaturally white and soggy because they’ve been sitting in a preservative solution. Hit up the farmers market for the veggies!
We saved quite possibly the best recipe for last. Here’s how you enjoy a juicy cheeseburger without falling off track. This recipe combines Swiss cheese with mustard and onion for flavor. Feel free to add a whole wheat bun if it fits into your daily net carb limit.