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 & Savory Season

#1 Mayo-Free Rainbow Coleslaw with Greek Yogurt Dressing

What’s a BBQ dish without a side of coleslaw? Made with protein-rich Greek yogurt and colorful veggies, this lightened-up side is the perfect alternative to traditional coleslaw — it’s even made without mayo! Enjoy alongside burgers, hotdogs, tacos, and your favorite grilled veggies!


  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley or cilantro, finely chopped (optional) 

Greek Yogurt Dressing:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (or sweetener to taste)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


Step #1: In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, and sliced red onion. Toss until well combined. 

Step #2: In a separate bowl, make the Greek yogurt dressing. Whisk together the Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey or maple syrup, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste test, adjusting ingredients as needed.

Step #3: Next, pour the Greek yogurt dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss until well coated. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before serving.

#2 Classic Homemade Hummus with Flavor Variations

Whether you’re spreading it on a summer pizza, serving it with a Greek salad, or using it as a dip for roasted veggies, classic hummus is always a crowd-pleaser. Give this easy-prep recipe a try! Looking to give it a summer flavor twist, here are some delicious variations:

And if you’re not a fan of chickpeas, not to worry! Simply swap out garbanzo beans for white beans or black beans!


  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • ¼ cup creamy tahini
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 
  • 2-3 tbsp water (optional, for desired consistency)

Hummus Flavor Variation Ideas:

  • Beet hummus: base recipe +  1 cup steamed beets
  • Roasted red pepper hummus: base recipe + 1 cup grilled red pepper
  • Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Hummus: base recipe + ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil) + handful of fresh basil 
  • Chipotle Hummus: base recipe + 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce


Step #1: In a high-speed blender or food processor, add all chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, cumin, sea salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding one tablespoon of water at a time as needed to blend. Blend until desired consistency is reached. Taste test, adjusting ingredients as needed.

Step #2: Option to modify the recipe with any additional flavor variations or garnish with fresh herbs, paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Step #3: Once desired taste and consistency is achieved, transfer the hummus mixture to a serving dish. Serve and enjoy!

#3 Simple Summer Guac

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. 


  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced 
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, optional 
  • 1 lime or lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed (optional)
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, finely chopped with seeds removed (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional add-ins:

  • Diced red bell pepper
  • Diced fresh mango or pineapple
  • Diced serrano pepper
  • Lemon or lime zest
  • Cumin 


Step #1: Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash the avocado with a fork until desired consistency is reached.

Step #2: Add the tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeño pepper (if using) to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Taste test and adjust as needed, adding in any additional ingredients. Mix until well combined. Serve and enjoy!

#4 Fresh & Zesty 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
  • ½ cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 lemon, juiced (option to add lemon zest)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 


Step #1: Add the basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and optional lemon zest to a food processor or blender. Pulse until lightly chopped. 

Step #2: While the food processor is blending, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth and well combined. Taste test, adjusting ingredients as desired. Serve and enjoy!

#5 Greek Yogurt 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 seedless cucumber, grated
  • 1 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp red wine vinegar, optional 
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 


Step #1: Prep the cucumber by grating with a grater or food processor. Once grated, squeeze out the excess liquid from the cucumber using a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer. Set aside.

Step #2: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped fresh dill. Add the grated cucumber, then season with sea salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before serving. Serve chilled, enjoy!

#6 Oil-Free Healthy 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 cup fresh parsley, tightly packed
  • ½ cup cilantro, tightly packed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • dash red pepper flakes (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste 
  • 1-2 tbsp water (option to sub with olive oil)


Step #1: In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, water, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined (you may need to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure everything is blended evenly). If needed, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to blend.

Step #2: Taste test, adjusting the ingredients as desired. 

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

#7 Creamy 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.


  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chili flakes, optional 
  • 2-4 tbsp water (as needed for desired consistency)


Step #1: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk until smooth and creamy. If the dressing is too thick, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to thin it out. Taste test and adjust ingredients as needed.

Step #2: Enjoy as a dip or serve over roasted veggies, grain bowls, salads, or main meals.

#8 Refreshing 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
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, diced (about 1 small red onion)
  • ½ cup bell pepper (any color desired), diced
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely diced, optional 
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


Step #1: Add the fresh tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, lime, garlic, cilantro, and optional jalapeno pepper to a high-speed blender or food processor. Pulse until the mixture is well blended.

Step #2: Pour the salsa into a large bowl. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir until well combined. Taste test, adjusting ingredients as desired. Serve and enjoy!

#9 Summer 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 pound tomatillos
  • 1 small white or sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 


Step #1: Preheat the grill and lightly grease the grill pan. 

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. Once charred, remove from the grill and let cool. Alternatively, place the tomatillos on a baking sheet and broil them on high for about 5 minutes. 

Step #3: Once charred, let the tomatillos cool. Add to a food processor or high-speed blender along with all of the ingredients. 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.