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healthy sides for Memorial Day: vegan salad with chickpeas

8 Healthier Side Dishes To Bring To Your Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer—meaning long-awaited beach days, Italian ice, and barbecues. Oh, how we missed the scent of barbequed ribs wafting into our backyards…

With any great BBQ, the grill is the star of the show, but that doesn’t mean you should sleep on those sides. And if you need some sides to bring to Mom’s annual Memorial Day feast that won’t clog everyone’s arteries, we’re here for you.

Whether you’ll be partying with veg-averse kids, paleo neighbors, keto cousins, or vegan friends, there’s a recipe here that will please everyone’s taste buds while helping them stay on track with their health goals.

1. The Best Herby Potato Salad

Can you really have a barbecue without potato salad? (Answer: Nope.) Swap out the usual mayo-drenched, high-calorie spuds for this recipe from Half Baked Harvest and you’ll feel a-okay going back for seconds.

The taters are bathed in a mixture of fresh basil, dill, chives, and a mustardy glaze made creamy by cashews. YUM.

watermelon salad (1)

2. 5-Minute Watermelon Salad

You don’t have to wait until dessert to dig into that watermelon! This mouthwatering recipe from Sailor Bailer leverages the fresh fruit, and turns it into a wow-worthy savory side with cucumbers, feta, and fresh herbs in just minutes.

Read: 6 Simple Ways To Create A Calorie Deficit

3. Everything Broccoli Salad

Vegetables don’t need to be boring—and this recipe from Dishing Out Health proves it. Combine broccoli, everything bagel seasoning, bacon, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and goat cheese dressing, and you’ve got a simple no-cook side even the kids will love.

instant pot baked beans (2)

4. Instant Pot White Beans

Put down that can of baked beans, because this super-easy recipe from The Defined Dish pairs perfectly with your plate of barbecue. A one-pot wonder, it amps up simple white kidney beans with bacon, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, and more. Talk about a win: The final product contains just a fraction of the sugar you’d get in the canned stuff—and is made with just clean-as-can-be ingredients.

5. BLT Pasta Salad

This packed pasta salad from Rachl Mansfield brings big flavor. It’s loaded with fresh tomatoes, avocado, arugula, and bacon for a side that’s as colorful as it is satisfying. Just drizzle on your favorite dressing and dig in! Of course, you can swap in any gluten-free or legume-based pasta alternative to account for guests following specific diet plans.

zucchini grilled

6. Grilled Honey Zucchini with Goat Cheese

Make the most of your grill with this hearty summer side from Walder Wellness. You’ll layer perfect slices of grilled zucchini on a platter, sprinkle on goat cheese crumbles and chopped basil, and then drizzle it all with honey. The result is a veg-packed side that’s perfectly sweet and salty.

Read More: 4 Culprits Of Summer Weight Gain—And How To Conquer Them

7. Paleo Asian Coleslaw

Channel some fun flavors with I Heart Umami’s Asian-inspired coleslaw salad. Using green cabbage, purple cabbage, snow peas, carrots, scallions, and bok choy as a base, it’s about as nutritious as slaw gets. From there, simply mix in her deliciously light paleo sesame dressing. You won’t miss the mayo one bit.

corn salad

8. Street Corn Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto

Ambitious Kitchen’s creative salad is the ultimate way to get your corn fix this summer. Gather summer corn with pasta, avocado, goat cheese, bell pepper, and more for bursts of flavor and color. And the delicate cilantro pesto sauce you’ll top it all off with? Herby, creamy, and dreamy. This will be your new favorite BBQ side, guaranteed.

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