Healthy Eating

8 Healthy Side Swaps That Won’t Give You FOMO

Plus a mango salsa recipe that is totally drool-worthy

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Summer is almost here, and if you have summertime BBQs on your mind, we totally feel ya — it’s been a long spring, and with warmer weather, I think many of us are looking forward to some time outside. And seriously, what better way to enjoy the warmer temps than with a BBQ? To kick off the start to the grill season, we’re sharing eight healthy BBQ sides for the whole fam.  

Whether you’re planning some BBQs or you’re sticking home, there’s something for everyone and healthier side dishes that won’t leave you with a case of FOMO. 

So get excited because BBQ season is here! 

8 Healthy Side Swaps

#1 Guac vs. Queso

Avoid the added calories and heavy dairy-based dips and opt for some guac instead — you won’t miss out on any flavors, and you’ll be adding in a dose of healthy fat at the same time. #healthybbqwin. 

#2 Veggies & Hummus vs. Chips & Dip 

While not all chips are bad, choosing veggies and hummus makes for one of those healthy BBQ sides that makes it easy to say no to the calorie-heavy chip bowl. 

Try enjoying bell peppers, cucumbers, or even cherry tomatoes for some BBQ-friendly options. And if you’re craving some chips, there are healthier picks like Terra chips or Siete brand that make great grain-free options. 

#3 Salsa vs. Ranch Dip 

Salsa is another great lower carb and lower calorie healthy BBQ side that makes a great swap for ranch or other calorie-dense dips or dressings. 

Plus, you can enjoy salsa over tons of BBQ foods — we’re talking:

  • Burgers
  • Salads
  • Or even as a dip for veggies and cassava flour chips 

Feeling adventurous? Try making a mango salsa that’s perfect for summer. 

Summertime Mango Salsa 


  • 3 cups ripe mango peeled and cubed
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste 

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss to combine. 

Chill for 1 hour and enjoy! 

#4 Healthier Pasta Salad 

Pasta salad is a staple at many BBQ get-togethers, but you can totally make a healthier version by making some simple swaps. 

Here are some of our favorite ingredients to make pasta salad one of those healthy BBQ sides you may find yourself making time and time again. 

  • Chickpea pasta (like Banza brand) 
  • Black beans 
  • Red onion 
  • Feta cheese 
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Avocado oil 

#5 Go For the Veggies (Even When Making Your BBQ Burgers) 

Adding more veggies to your BBQ spread is a great way to enjoy some of your fav recipes, made healthy. Plus, veggies can taste pretty darn good, especially when seasoned with tons of flavorful herbs and spices. 

Try making veggie burger sliders one of your healthy BBQ sides that won’t leave you missing the meat-based options. 

Here are some delicious ingredients to add to a homemade veggie burger. 

  • Black beans 
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Cumin 
  • Oregano 
  • Garlic 

The options are truly endless, and you really can’t go wrong! Just be sure to add some of your fav herbs and spices to make your veggie burger sliders packed full of flavor. 

#6 Sweet Potato Fries vs. Regular Fries 

Nothing says a BBQ like a yummy burger with a side of fries — and turns out, you can make those french fries a tad healthier without feeling some serious french fry FOMO. 

Try enjoying sweet potato fries instead, or if you’re really wanting to try something different, places like Whole Foods often sell Parsnip fries, taking this BBQ side to a new healthy level. 

#7 A Healthier Cheese Spread Everyone Can Get on Board With 

Big cheese fan? We hear ya — cheese is delish, and you can totally enjoy it as part of a well-balanced BBQ spread. Try some cubed grass-fed cheddar cheese with some grapes and almond flour crackers. It’ll make for one of the most yummy healthy BBQ sides that all cheese lovers will be coming back for more. 

#8 Berries & Coconut Cream vs. Ice Cream 

We can’t forget about dessert — while ice cream is generally one of the go-to summertime treats, we can make things a bit healthier without feeling deprived. Try making a bowl of berries with coconut cream.

All  you need is a can of full-fat coconut milk and a splash of vanilla. Whip it all up in a blender to make a whipped cream-like consistency and serve with berries of choice… yum! 

Healthier BBQ Side For The Win

Summer is here, and if you are looking for some tasty ways to take a healthy spin on traditional BBQ grub, these eight healthier BBQ sides are sure to be a hit.