There’s nothing like BBQ chicken to bring people together on a hot summer day.
But with the move to more health-conscious diets, it’s time to re-evaluate our BBQ chicken catering menus to find healthier alternatives to some of the more greasy offerings.
Grilled chicken is already a relatively healthy way of preparing chicken (especially compared to food like fried chicken); you just have to make sure you’re using a sugar-free BBQ sauce because that’s usually where it gets a little unhealthy.
So when putting together a menu along with your caterer, in which BBQ chicken is front and center, here are some healthy side dishes and dessert options you can add to your feasts.
There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than some freshly cut watermelon.
While you can always opt for something as simple as watermelon slices, you can also take it a step further by asking your caterer to whip up a delicious salad that includes watermelon.
A popular salad option comes with feta cheese, watermelon cubes, and a honey-lime vinaigrette; this is an ideal dish for a gathering as it has a great balance of salty, sweet, and sour flavors that go great with BBQ chicken.
Coleslaw can come with a slew of shredded ingredients, including shredded cabbage, carrots, onions, broccoli, and cauliflower, and is often a dish that can be modified to match people’s personal preferences.
To make this dish a little healthier than the classic mayo-drenched version, you can ask your caterer to top it off with a vinegar-based dressing.
Apple cider vinegar is great for gut health and can be added to this dish to get that delicious tangy flavor.
Instead of sugar, you can also ask your caterer to use some pure maple syrup to lightly sweeten the coleslaw.
Grilling vegetables is one way of getting a deep, roasted sweetness out of any plain old vegetable, with the heat bringing a smoky char to each bite.
You can have your pick of whatever vegetable you prefer and communicate it to your caterer.
To Make Your Choice a Little Easier, Some of The Best Vegetables For Grilling Are:
- Zucchini (green or yellow, both work well)
- Bell peppers or jalapeno peppers
- Portobello mushrooms or large brown mushrooms
- Green beans
Baked Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes
The best way to sop up any extra sauce from your BBQ chicken is with a baked potato.
You can ask your caterer to top the baked potato with any of your favorite accompaniments, like a little dab of butter or even a dollop of sour cream.
While a baked potato may be the standard offering, the sweet potato is also a healthy option that offers a lot of vitamins (particularly vitamin A) and minerals.
To make this a satisfying side dish, you can ask your caterer to add some butter, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper to the baked sweet potato and prepare for an amazing bite.
Every BBQ chicken catering menu needs some pasta.
While the traditional, and unfortunately unhealthy, offering is a mac and cheese dish, an equally delicious yet healthy alternative is a Greek pasta salad.
With some juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, and olives tossed in a Greek salad dressing, this is one of the best dishes for a healthy BBQ chicken catering feast.
This is another healthy side that’s filling, low in carbs, and low in calories.
This dish consists of cauliflower chopped down into rice grain-sized pieces in a food processor.
While this may not sound particularly appetizing, with the right combination of spices, lime, and fresh cilantro, your caterer should be able to produce an incredibly satisfying dish.
Grilled Fruit Salad
Celebrate the lovely abundance of summer fruits by serving a good selection of fresh fruit for dessert.
If you are looking to enhance some of this flavor, your caterer can throw some of these fruits onto the grill.
The Best Fruits for Grilling Include:
- Tomatoes (yes, tomatoes are fruits)
- Watermelons (although, you may not want to pick this if you opt for the watermelon salad)
There are Plenty of ways to Make BBQ Chicken Catering Healthy
The right caterer should be able to accommodate not only your tastes but also yours and your guests’ health requirements, no matter the occasion—whether they are helping you create a chicken catering menu that is healthy or even a fried chicken picnic menu.
So while most traditional BBQ chicken catering menus will have quite the selection of fried, fatty, and greasy foods, contact your chosen caterer to make it healthy!