Looking For a Healthier BBQ Side Dish to Pass? Try These 3 Recipes

We are approaching peak grilling season here in Michigan. With Memorial Day approaching, you’ll most likely be going to a cookout soon and taking a dish to pass. The staples of baked beans cooked in brown sugar or maple syrup and mustard potato salad filled with mayonnaise are sure to be popular, but as tempting as they look, they also threaten to derail your attempts to develop healthy eating habits. These dishes are full of empty carbohydrates and saturated fats — not to mention they make a great habitat for potential food-borne illness.

How do you stay on track? Try one of these cookout recipe alternatives that are lower in fat and sugar but still pack a ton of flavor.

Hot German Potato Salad


4 medium round red or white potatoes (1 1/3 lb)
3 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon celery seed
Dash pepper
½ cup water
¼ cup white or cider vinegar


Place potatoes in 3-quart saucepan; add enough water just to cover potatoes. Cover; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook covered, 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch slices.

In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

Cook onion in bacon fat in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat.

Stir water and vinegar into onion mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat.

Stir in potatoes and bacon. Heat over medium heat, stirring gently to coat potato slices, until hot and bubbly. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings (about 2/3 cup each)

Recipe from Betty Crocker

Spicy Summer Pasta Salad


3 cups rotelle pasta (Pro tip: chose whole wheat pasta)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, chili powder and parsley. Add the peppers and tomatoes and stir to coat. Add the pasta and mozzarella and toss until evenly coated. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Melon and Prosciutto Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano


3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed honeydew melon (about 1/2 medium melon)
3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed cantaloupe (about 1 medium melon)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cracked black pepper (optional)
Mint sprigs (optional)


Combine first 5 ingredients, tossing gently. Arrange melon mixture on a serving platter. Arrange prosciutto evenly over melon mixture; sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Garnish with cracked black pepper and fresh mint sprigs, if desired.

Wine note: I adore the sweet-salty-herbal flavor of this salad. It’s so refreshing and so summery. A good wine partner should exude the same characteristics. While you could opt for an Italian pinot grigio, I find a fuller-bodied California pinot grigio works even better, especially given the full flavors of the prosciutto, mint, and Parmigiano. A great choice: Estancia Pinot Grigio 2005 (California), $12. –Karen MacNeil

Recipe from MyRecipes.com

What is your favorite salad to take to a cookout?


Photo courtesy of jules:stonesoup

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