Light and Tasty: Healthy Memorial Day Recipes for Your BBQ

Watermelon feta salad

Memorial Day is a time to remember our fallen service members, reflect on our freedom, and spend time with friends and family. It’s a day that marks the onset of summer, filled with backyard barbecues, picnics in the park and an abundance of food.

If you’re on a weight-loss journey or you’re simply trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, navigating traditional Memorial Day dishes, which are generally rich and calorie-heavy, can be challenging. However, you don’t have to choose between enjoying the holiday and sticking to your health goals. You can do both! Try the healthy Memorial Day recipes below.

Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

1. Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers


  • 2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a bowl, combine lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and ensure they are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers.
  • Grill the skewers for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
  • Serve hot with a side of grilled vegetables.

2. Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango


  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Rinse the quinoa under cold running water. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add the quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, black beans, mango, red bell pepper and cilantro.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over the quinoa salad and toss to coat evenly.
  • Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

3. Balsamic Grilled Vegetables


  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


  • Preheat the grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper until they are well coated.
  • Place the vegetables on the grill, either directly on the grates or in a grill basket. Grill for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and charred.
  • Remove from the grill and garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.

4. Watermelon and Feta Salad


  • 4 cups of cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine watermelon, feta cheese and mint leaves.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the watermelon mixture and gently toss to coat.
  • Chill the salad in the refrigerator before serving. It’s a refreshing side dish that pairs wonderfully with any grilled main course.

This Memorial Day, delight your guests and yourself with these healthy dishes that don’t compromise on flavor. They are perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the holiday while maintaining a balanced diet. Eating healthy does not mean missing out on delicious food; it’s about making smarter choices that benefit both your body and taste buds.

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