Healthy Recipes Using Barbecue Sauce That Are Super Fast

When it comes to mealtime, we usually face the unpleasant decision of healthy or easy. Grocery stores might be filled with ready-to-go products, but a lot of them are loaded with ingredients that aren’t exactly nutritious. Instead of buying the whole meal, try buying part of it instead. The condiment aisle can be a cook’s best friend, especially when it comes to barbecue sauce. It packs tons of flavor for a lot less fat and calories than most of the other choices. While it’s a no-brainer for pulled pork and ribs, that’s just the beginning. These 6 recipes prove taking a little bit of help can be delectable and good for you. You might want to pick up a few bottles.

1. Barbecue Turkey Burgers

Turkey burger |

When you’re aching for a juicy, stick-to-your ribs sandwich, these barbecue turkey burgers from Health really hit the spot. A little bit of grilled onion and a slathering of sauce make these patties taste like pure indulgence but will only set you back 324 calories. This recipe calls for dark meat turkey, which is a bit higher in fat than white meat, but it ensures the burgers stay really moist. Don’t be tempted to swap in ground turkey breast, or you’ll end up with something more dry than delicious.


  • 1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices sweet onion, grilled
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 (1.6-ounce) sesame seed buns, toasted

Directions: In a medium bowl, mix together the turkey, garlic, paprika, and cumin. Form into 4 (4-inch) patties; season with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium-high; cook, turning once, until burgers are just cooked through, about 7 minutes on each side. Serve with onions and sauce on top of buns.

2. Sufferin’ Succotash Salad

Succotash |

Try this succotash salad from to give the normally boring corn-and-bean combo a much needed flavor boost. Simply whisk together some barbecue sauce, rice vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss in the veggies, mix to combine, then send it off to the fridge to chill out. With only 15 minutes required to prep, you can make it in the morning and have it ready to go for lunch, dinner, or both!


  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Whisk barbecue sauce, rice vinegar, and oil in a large bowl to blend. Stir in corn, pepper, green onions, and white beans to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

3. Barbecue Tempeh and Mushroom Kebabs

Vegetarian kebabs |

These tempeh and mushroom kebabs from Cooking Light are a complete meal on a skewer. And food on a stick always seems to taste better. Marinate cubed tempeh in a little bit of salty soy, then add barbecue sauce for a little bit of zing. Thread onto skewers, alternating with veggies, and then hit the grill. Skewer choices come in just about every shape and size you can imagine. If using wooden ones, be sure to soak in water for about 20 minutes beforehand so they don’t burn up on the grill.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 8 ounces soy tempeh, cut into 16 pieces
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 16 small mushrooms
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 16 (1-inch) squares yellow bell pepper
  • 8 (8-inch) skewers
  • Cooking spray

To serve

  • Chopped green onions
  • Barbecue sauce

Directions: Combine olive oil, soy sauce, and tempeh. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Add ¼ cup barbecue sauce; toss to coat. Thread tempeh onto skewers, alternating with mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell pepper. Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook for 9 minutes, until browned, turning skewers occasionally to char evenly. Serve sprinkled with green onions and additional barbecue sauce.

4. Barbecue Shrimp, Corn, and Zucchini Salad

Grilled shrimp |

Shrimp is a winning choice for weekday meals because they’re loaded with sweet flavor, packed with protein, and super speedy to cook. When work has you feeling frazzled, this barbecue shrimp salad from Coastal Living will get you on your way to a relaxing dinner in just 20 minutes. The bottled barbecue sauce turns into a flavor-packed dressing with a little bit of vinegar, cumin, and olive oil. Grill the veggies and shrimp, then toss with some of the vinaigrette and serve on a bed of lettuce. Who says cooking has to be hard?


  • ½ cup prepared spicy barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ pounds peeled and deveined large raw shrimp, with tails
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved
  • 2 poblano peppers, halved and seeded
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Bibb lettuce

Directions: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large blow; reserve ½ cup of dressing. Toss shrimp in remaining dressing; set aside.

Grill corn, zucchini, and poblanos on greased grill grate, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Grill shrimp 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until just cooked through.

Cut corn kernels into large bowl. Chop zucchini and poblanos, and add to bowl. Stir in shrimp. Toss with reserved dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over lettuce.

5. Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Basket of sweet potatoes |

Loaded baked potatoes usually get stuck as a side dish, but they’re satisfying enough to make a whole meal. While the spuds usually get a dose of bacon and sour cream, these stuffed sweet potatoes from Ari’s Menu show they can also be good for your waistline. Sweet potatoes have more vitamins and fiber than white potatoes, plus fewer calories, so they’re a great choice for any meal. The naturally sweet flavor also goes fantastically with some sweet barbecue sauce and a little tangy goat cheese.


  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 6 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
  • Thinly sliced green onions

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a fork to pike several holes into each sweet potato. Brush sweet potatoes with about 1½ teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until easily pierced with a fork, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Heat chicken and barbecue sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until warmed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Slice sweet potatoes down center, leaving an inch uncut on either side. Stuff each potato with half the chicken mixture, then top with goat cheese and onion. Serve.

6. Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas

Quesadillas with mushrooms and barbecue sauce |

While Americans love their meat, cutting down on animal protein is better both for our health and the environment. For a meal that’s every bit as flavorful as any pork or beef dish, whip up Eating Well’s barbecue mushroom quesadillas. They’re spicy, sweet, hearty, and even a little bit gooey thanks to some melted cheese.

Spike store-bought barbecue sauce with some chipotle chiles and a bit of tomato paste, then toss in some cooked mushrooms. Layer the filling with some monterey jack between a few tortillas, then crisp them in a pan. Serve up with any of your favorite Mexican toppings like salsa or guacamole for a real feast.


  • ½ cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, or ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound portobello mushroom caps, gills removed, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 (8- to 10-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • ¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions: Combine barbecue sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, and chipotle in a medium bowl. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until the onion and mushrooms begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes more. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with barbecue sauce mixture; stir to combine. Wipe out pan.

Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 3 tablespoons cheese on half of each tortilla and top with one-fourth of the filling. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same pan over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting boards and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges. Serve with desired toppings.

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