Healthy barbecue food the whole family can enjoy

Barbecue halloumi and vegetable skewers
Barbecue bonanza: kids will love halloumi and vegetable skewers Credit: Getty

Family nutritionist Catherine Jeans shares delicious recipe ideas for summer alfresco entertaining, all of which are packed full of goodness 

Barbecuing does not have to be a guilty treat when you try these nutritious ideas for entertaining outside. Be more adventurous than the traditional burnt banger in a bun, and enjoy alfresco food that suits all the family. 

“There are so many ways to get the best out of your barbecue,” says nutritionist Catherine Jeans. “Try baking marinated feta in foil parcels on the coals – Aldi’s Greek salad cheese is delicious drizzled in olive oil, with crushed caraway, cumin or chilli and some fresh rosemary. Bake for half an hour and serve crumbled over chargrilled vegetables and salads. 

Sweet potatoes baked in foil are better for you than a jacket potato

“Halloumi kebabs are another family favourite – Aldi’s halloumi is delicious marinated in lemon and olive oil, and grilled on skewers with yellow peppers and fennel. You can also grate halloumi and courgette, shape into veggie burger patties and serve in flatbreads with a crispy salad. 

“Barbecued fish is a lighter protein option on hot days. It’s packed full of omega oils. Try Aldi’s tuna steaks cooked with fennel and chilli – marinate for two hours in a blend of olive oil, crushed fennel seeds and chilli flakes, then cook on the barbecue. Or skewer chunks of Aldi’s salmon and white fish fillets marinated in a yoghurt, lime and tandoori masala dressing.

“With meat don’t burn it: blackened crusts are not good for you. Meat and vegetable kebabs make a balanced meal. Skewer a few pieces of marinated Aldi free-range chicken breast with dried apricot, peppers, carrots and mushrooms. Try making your own juicy burgers with Aldi’s Specially Selected Angus beef, or use lamb for a tasty change and try adding flavours like mint, ginger and mango chutney. Serve them with wholemeal rolls or in flatbreads rather than white rolls to boost the fibre and protein ratio. 

“Save room on the grill for Aldi’s Super 6 vegetables. Sweet potatoes baked in foil are better for you and more interesting than a jacket potato.

For sweet delicacies that are as good for you as they taste, try barbecued pineapple with lime

Alternatively, try corn cobs in foil with butter and a squeeze of lime, or roast chunky chopped Mediterranean vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and courgettes in parcels with a splash of white wine. 

Little gem or romano lettuce grilled lightly in wedges taste wonderful, as do broccoli, cauliflower and even avocado. Asparagus is another winning flavour on the barbecue, and can be used instead of breads or crisps to scoop up dips.” 

“Serve your barbecue with salads and sauces. Aldi’s whole almonds or walnuts make a great romesco sauce, blitzed with roasted red peppers and paprika – it’s delicious on grilled veg. Grains, pulses or couscous are great for salads with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh herbs and pumpkin seeds. Lastly, tomatoes are fantastic with smokey grilled meats: finely slice beef tomatoes and leave in olive oil and salt and a pinch of sugar to bring out the flavours. 

Finishing touches

Try these clever and healthy ways to take your barbecue to the next level with canapés and treats. 

Catherine says: “I love to make drop scones using wholemeal flour to use like blinis. Top each one with a barbecued king prawn on sour cream or cream cheese mixed with chilli, lime and lemon. Use little gem lettuce leaves as boats to serve roasted aubergines on crème fraîche.

For sweet delicacies that are as good for you as they taste, try barbecued pineapple with lime. Or split the skin of a banana and put in a little butter, cinnamon and dark brown soft sugar. Bake on the barbecue, wrapped in foil. For an extra treat, add in some dark chocolate.”