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Father’s Day Low-Carb BBQ Ideas

By Dana Babeu, R.D. | June 19, 2020



Planning to BBQ for father’s day this weekend? Here are some tips and ideas to keep your barbeque'd meal low in carbs and big on taste.



Let’s start with a few general tips. 

  • Always plan your meal or plate around a good source of protein. 
  • If you’re doing the prep, be sure to season your protein before cooking. Use things like fresh herbs, natural seasoning blends, ground pepper and a small amount of good quality salt, such as Himalayan pink salt. (about ¼ tsp per serving) 
  • Generally speaking, boneless cuts of meat will cook more quickly and evenly. 
  • Invest in an instant-read meat thermometer if you are unsure how long to cook things on the grill.


There’s just something fun about food on a stick, and the protein and veggie combinations for making kebabs are endless. You can get reusable metal skewers or soak wooden skewers in water for about an hour prior to grilling depending on your preference. To promote even cooking, cut all your foods to roughly the same size and turn often to grill until cooked through. Here are just a few of the endless combinations. 

  • For an Asian twist, marinate chicken, shrimp or tofu in a teriyaki style sauce along with some bell pepper chunks, halved white or cremini mushrooms and zucchini chunks. 
  • Try a non-sandwich version of sausage and peppers. Cut some green and red bell peppers and your favorite type of onion into big chunks. Toss with a little olive oil and some Italian seasoning, then skewer with thick slices of hot or sweet Italian chicken sausage and grill. 
  • Caprese salad skewers make a delicious vegetarian option. Use a variety of colorful grape or mini heirloom tomatoes and skewer with bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls. Spray lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling just a few minutes on each side. Serve with a side of fresh pesto or balsamic vinaigrette for dipping. 


So you’ve got your main dishes planned out, let’s talk about how to avoid all those high-carb side dishes. Think beyond potato and pasta salad with these fresh and flavorful ideas. 

  • Roasted Peppers: Pair roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella with spicy arugula. Sprinkling of pine nuts - optional. 
  • Low Sugar Coleslaw: Save time by using pre-shredded veggies to whip up a quick batch of low sugar coleslaw.
  • Deviled Eggs: Gourmet deviled eggs are a great source of protein and work well atop a green salad or as an appetizer.
  • Side Salads: Take advantage of summer’s abundance of fresh veggies and make side salads like cucumber, onion and tomato.
  • Veggie Platter: A raw veggie platter with hummus or Greek yogurt ranch dip lets you crunch on something way healthier than potato chips. 
  • Mixed Bean Salad: Drain and rinse canned beans and toss with prepared vinaigrette for a quick mixed bean salad. 


Here is a snack idea that you can make on your own and season to taste

  • Reduced Carb Tortillas: Last but not least, make your own chips using a reduced carb tortilla. Cut one tortilla into triangles and spray lightly with oil. Season with just a touch of salt and pepper and bake until crispy. (I recommend using a countertop toaster oven for this to avoid heating up your kitchen on summer day.) Serve alongside a protein-based meal or with a hearty dip like buffalo chicken or spinach and artichoke. 


I hope these ideas have you feeling confident and excited for your father’s day BBQ event. Until next time, happy grilling!

Dana Babeu, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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