The warm weather is fast approaching and this means it's BBQ season. As the season progresses, your schedule begins to fill with ample Saturday cookouts. If your like me, your momma taught you to never go to a party empty handed. So, naturally your decision is to bring a BBQ side that everyone will rave about. But in this new world of kale and actually wanting to eat your Brussels sprouts, a healthy BBQ side is hard to find in your local grocery store aisle.

Your only option? Make it yourself. Lucky for you, I have made it my mission to find some of the best tasting and healthy BBQ sides.

1. Bean Salsa

onion, vegetable, pepper, tomato, salad, corn
Danica Kim

With simple and fresh ingredients, this salsa is sure to be a hit.  The beans create an awesome alternative protein source for your meat-free friends and the tomatoes supply all party-goers with all the lycopene and vitamins A, K, and E they desire

2. Sweet Potato Fries

meat, carrot, vegetable
Jocelyn Hsu

A much healthier baked alternative to other potato products served at your annual 4th of July cookout. These oven baked sweet potatoes require minimal ingredients and effort to make. The epitome of a healthy BBQ side. 

3. Melon Basil Summer Rolls

Anya Kassoff

While this is not normally what you would see as a typical BBQ side, it is a great, fresh side that will prevent you from feeling over-stuffed from tons of the typical fare served. The purple cabbage is packed with fiber, an important nutrient for digestion, and vitamin C, which supports immune health. 

4. Cauliflower Tater Tots

potato, meat, chicken
Camila Bolívar

A childhood classic with a healthy twist. You seriously won't be able to tell the difference between this healthy BBQ side and your childhood favorites. Sneaking in this potassium-rich veg, will surely be a fan favorite at your next cookout. 

5. Kale & Watermelon Salad

oil, lettuce, watermelon, pepper, tomato, cheese, vegetable, salad
Emily Nadler

This list wouldn't be complete without at least one kale item. Kale, as we all have discovered in recent years, is a superfood filled with folate, a key vitamin for brain health. The watermelon, the poster child of summer fruits, provides a sweet crunch to the salad that will have people coming back for seconds. 

6. Coleslaw 

slaw, red cabbage, coleslaw, beet, lettuce, vegetable, salad, cabbage
Nadia Doris

This recipe trades in the typical gloopy, fat-filled mayo with a fresh and zingy rice wine vinegar dressing. This recipe does require a little more prep than its original recipe but is worth the trouble to avoid all the artery-clogging fat that mayo has. 

7. Healthy Mac and Cheese

vegetable, sauce, pasta, chicken, spinach
Amanda Shulman

One of my favorite BBQ sides is mac and cheese. This recipe alters the classic with dairy-free and whole-wheat substitutes. I recommend even adding a bit of broccoli to this dish to make it the ultimate healthy BBQ side.

8. Veggie Chips

sweet, meat, courgette, vegetable
Kirby Barth

Ditch the bagged chips and bring a bowl of these veggie chips instead. They're just as crunchy and satisfying as your bag of Lay's. Who knew eating your veggies could taste this good?  

9. Mexican Corn Salad

sweet corn, meat, hazelnut, cereal, pasture, vegetable, corn
Wallis Linker

With few ingredients and minimal prep, you can make this whenever you're in a rush to get to the cookout. It contains fresh lime juice, which helps boost your immune system and adds a fresh bite to the sweet corn.

10. Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic and Pomegranate Seeds

pepper, pasture, asparagus, vegetable
Alex Vu

Let's not forget our gluten-free and vegetarian friends at the BBQ. This take on a summer veggie plays with the tart and savory combo. Asparagus are also an excellent source of nutrients that can promote weight loss and prevent UTIs. 

11. Brownies

cake, sweet, candy, chocolate
Gail Rabasca

While it technically is a dessert, most BBQs I've been to serve dessert and dinner simultaneously. Skip the store-bought and try these healthy alternatives. They are gluten-free and contain Greek yogurt (a great source of probiotics and protein). 

There you have it, all of these recipes bring a new nutritional element your previous BBQ sides lacked. With simple substitutes or alterations to a recipe, you can get that satisfying taste in a healthy BBQ side.