Healthy Eating

The Healthiest Sauces & Dips For BBQ Classics

Chimichurri, summer salsa, mayo-free coleslaw, and more!

By: Lexy Parsons

It’s barbeque season! Now that summer is here, you can find us by the grill all season long. From BBQ classics like burgers and meat to lesser-known (but equally as delicious) grilled delights (hello pineapple and romaine), we’re soaking up every opportunity to enjoy some crispy grilled goodness. And while these perfectly charred foods are delicious in their own right, there’s nothing like a good sauce or dip! From chimichurri and tzatziki to guac and hummus, we’ve got you covered with all the best healthy sauces and dips! Light, flavorful, and perfect for any summer plate. Fire up the grill and prepare to get saucy! 

The Healthiest Summer Sauces & Dips for a Sweet and Savory Season

#1 Colorful Coleslaw (Mayo-Free)

What’s a BBQ dish without a side of coleslaw? Unlike traditional coleslaw, this healthy recipe is made without mayo! Instead, we gave it a lightened-up twist with protein-rich Greek yogurt and colorful veggies. Enjoy this summer side alongside burgers, hotdogs, tacos, and your favorite grilled veggies!


  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup sliced and roasted almonds, optional  
  • ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds, optional 
  • ¼ cup diced parsley, optional 

Greek yogurt dressing:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, unsweetened
  • 2 – 4 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 


Step #1: In a medium mixing bowl, mix the cabbage, carrots, parsley, and seeds. Toss until well combined. 

Step #2: To make the Greek yogurt dressing, combine all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth and well combined. Taste test and adjust any ingredients as needed. 

Step #3: Pour Greek yogurt dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss until well combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. 

#2 Classic Hummus (with Flavor Variations)

Slather it on your summer pizza, serve it with your Greek salad, or use it as a dip for your roasted veggies like red pepper, eggplant, and mushrooms! Want to give classic hummus a summer twist? Try these yummy variations!


  • 1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 3 tbsp creamy tahini
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-5 tbsp of water, as needed

Base Recipe + Flavor Variation Ideas:

  • Turn this into beet hummus by adding 1 cup of steamed beets
  • Make a roasted red pepper hummus by adding 1 cup of grilled red pepper
  • Not a fan of chickpeas? Swap out garbanzo beans for white beans or black beans!


Step #1: Add all of the above ingredients, aside from water, to a high-speed blender or food processor.

Step #2: Blend until thick, smooth, and creamy. Note: If using a blender, you may need to stop and start the blending process periodically while scraping down the sides. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time as needed to blend.

Step #3: Once desired consistency is achieved, transfer to a serving dish. Option to modify the recipe with any additional flavor variations or garnish with fresh herbs, paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil.

#3 Must-Have Guacamole

Full of omegas, antioxidants like lycopene, and tons of fresh flavor, this simple summer guac will add a healthy dose of nutrition and flavor to any plate! Enjoy it on tacos or burgers, use it as a spread for sandwiches or wraps, serve it with ceviche or poke, or use it as a dip for veggies and chips. It’s easy to customize, too! Spice it up with fresh mango or pineapple or add additional veggies like bell peppers or kale. 


  • 3 medium avocados, ripe
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced 
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 lime, juiced (or sub lemon)
  • Sprinkle of salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional add-ins:

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • ½ cup fresh mango or pineapple, chopped 
  • jalapeño pepper, diced, to taste


Step #1: Slice the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Then, scoop out the flesh and add to a bowl. Next, mash the avocado with a fork, leaving several large chunks.

Step #2: Fold in the remaining ingredients, including any additional add-ins. Taste test and adjust ingredients as needed. Serve and enjoy!

#4 Herby Summer Pesto

Put your summer herbs to good use! This fresh and flavorful summer pesto pairs well with grilled veggies, fish, and meat, and can be served hot or cold. Use it as the base for your warm or chilled pasta dishes, or drizzle it over fresh Caprese. Want to make it dairy-free? Sub parmesan for a dairy-free alternative, or use extra pine nuts in place!


  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Step #1: Add everything to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

#5 Dairy-Free Tzatziki 

This protein-rich dip pairs well with all kinds of grilled protein — beef, fish, shrimp, tofu, chicken, and more! Drizzle it over meat or veggie skewers, Use it as the dressing for a simple cucumber salad, or serve it as the dipping sauce on your summer snack board!


  • 1 cup English cucumber, grated 
  • 1 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1-2 tsp red wine vinegar, optional 
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste 


Step #1: Using a grater or food processor, grate the cucumber. Drain the liquid from the cucumber using a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer.

Step #2: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. For best results, cover and store in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour to let the flavors marinate. Serve chilled.

#6 Lightened-Up Chimichurri 

This oil-free chimichurri sauce is everything you need. Made with zesty lime and fresh summer herbs like parsley and cilantro, slather it over all your BBQ favorites — no guilt attached! Pairs well with veggies, steak, salad, salmon, shrimp… the possibilities are endless!


  • 1- ½ cups flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil, optional 


Step #1: In a high-speed blender or food processor, add cilantro, parsley, garlic, paprika, oregano, and sea salt. Pulse or blend until smooth. 

Step #2: Next, add the red wine vinegar and lime juice. Pulse until smooth and fully combined. If needed, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to blend. Option to add 1 tbsp in place of water. 

Step #3: Once desired consistency is achieved, spoon the mixture into a serving bowl. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

#7 Lemon Tahini Dressing

Use it as a salad dressing, drizzle it over charred veggies or protein, or use it as a dipping sauce for anything your heart desires! Made with less than 10 ingredients, this healthy lemon tahini is mouth-wateringly delicious.


  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp hulled tahini
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup filtered water


Step #1: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Serve over vegetables, salads, or main meals.

#8 Summer Salsa

Why settle for store-bought when you can make a simple summer salsa with less than 10 ingredients? You’ll avoid excess sodium and get a significant flavor upgrade, thanks to the ripe flavors of summer! Because let’s be honest, nothing compares to perfectly sweet and deliciously juicy summer tomatoes — yum! 


  • 1 15 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 4 oz. can green chiles, diced and undrained
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced (about 3 tbsp)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ – 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


Step #1: Add all of the above ingredients, aside from the crushed tomatoes and green chiles, to a food processor or high-speed blender. Pulse until the mixture is well blended.

Step #2: Pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined. Taste test and adjust ingredients as needed. Serve and enjoy!

#9 Simple Salsa Verde 

Made with tomatillos instead of traditional tomatoes, this light, and refreshing grilled green sauce is a summertime favorite. Serve it warm or cold on your favorite BBQ grilled goods, or enjoy it with dishes like salads, tacos, or any Mexican-inspired recipe! Made with less than 10 ingredients, this is a yummy and healthy side for all your savory needs!


  • 1 ½ pounds tomatillos
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil spray


Step #1: Preheat the grill and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Step #2: While the grill is preheating, cut the tomatillos in half. Evenly place them face down on a grill pan, adding garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Next, coat the tomatillos with olive or avocado oil spray and grill for 5 minutes or until slightly charred. 

Step #3: Once charred, remove from the grill and let cool. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.

Step #4: Serve immediately or store in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Turn Up the Heat With Mouthwatering Summer Flavor

Turn the oven off and fire up the grill up — it’s time to embrace the summer grilling season! These simple and healthy dips and sauces are the perfect way to level up any dish — without sneaky ingredients or excessive calories. In fact, you can soak in all the flavors of summer by mixing in your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies to these recipes. From creamy dips to lighter marinades and sauces, we’ve got everything you need for a fun and flavorful season.