11 Healthy, Low Cal Grilling Ideas

Looking for something healthy but tasty for your everyday meals or on special occasions? Here are some healthy grilling recipes you can try at home!

1. Lemon-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Get the grill going on summer or sunny days! These savory-sweet Lemon-Garlic Shrimp pair well with crisp and fruity wines. Look for something that doesn’t dwell too long. Go for bubbly sparkling water for a non-alcoholic option. It has 214 calories and 19 grams of protein and minimal carbohydrates. (1)


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp, rinse and pat dry
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Mix the salt and sugar in a bowl. Add in the shrimp and coat with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. Rinse shrimp, drain, and set aside. Mix olive oil, parsley, lemon peel, garlic, and pepper. Add shrimp into the mixture and run through skewers, once on the tail and again on the head end.
  3. Grill shrimp skewers over white-hot coals or gas grill on high. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp turn pink and opaque.
  4. Serve skewers and add lemon wedges. Squeeze lemon juice over shrimp before eating.

You may add a grilled corn or warm corn tortillas on the side too!

2. Mojito Shrimp

Marinate shrimp in a combination of fresh herbs, juices, rum, lime zest, salt, and sugar for a fresh, tropical take on the classic mojito cocktail. It has 150 calories and 19 grams of protein. It is a refreshing take, combining classic flavors of shrimp and mojito. (2)


  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. peeled, deveined shrimp (21 to 30 per lb., tails on)
  • Mojito Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Mint sprigs


  1. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for high heat (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above the cooking grate for only 1 to 2 seconds). Meanwhile, put shrimp in a 1-gal. resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade.
  2. Seal and marinate at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t marinate for more than the recommended time or the rum and lime juice will “cook” the shrimp and ruin their texture.
  3. Remove shrimp, reserving marinade. Thread shrimp onto 6 or 7 (10- to 14-in.) metal or bamboo skewers.
  4. Arrange shrimp on grill and baste with marinade (dab some mint and shallot onto shrimp); close the lid. Cook until shrimp are just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over, baste again, and close the lid. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until browned but still moist in the center (cut to check). Transfer shrimp to a platter, drizzle with lime juice and garnish with mint sprigs.

3. Grilled Shishito and Shrimp

Ridged shishito peppers are usually pleasantly bitter with mild to medium heat, but watch out: Every so often, you’ll get one that packs a fiery punch. They’re typically pan-charred and served with a sprinkling of coarse salt, but this recipe calls for cooking them over an open flame on the grill for even more delicious char and smoke flavor. It has 265 calories and 24 grams of protein. (2)


  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (about 24), peeled and deveined (tails on)
  • 16 (2-in.) shishito peppers (about 3 oz.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a glass bowl, the orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, oregano, and pepper should soak the tuna steaks. Ensure all sides are coated. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the grill for high heat. You’ll want to sear those grill marks.
  3. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook the tuna steaks for 5 minutes each side and make sure to baste the tuna with the marinade for flavor

4. Grilled Tuna Steaks and Orange Juice

If you want to try something aside from the usual grilled salmon, try this recipe! This serves four, the orange juice, garlic, and soy sauce are a refreshing marinade that makes for a tasty and low-calorie meal. Tuna is a firm, light lean fish.  The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in tuna fish may help to reduce the level of omega-6 fatty acids and LDL cholesterol that can accumulate inside the arteries of the heart. (3)


  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 (4 ounces) tuna steaks


  1. In a large glass dish, mix together the orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, oregano, and pepper. Place the tuna steaks in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the grill to high heat.
  3. Lightly oil grill grate. Place the tuna steaks over the hottest part of the grill. Leave that side down until browned and crispy. Then, flip to the other side and sear and continue to cook it to your desired doneness level.

You can top it with some sauteed mushrooms.

Per Serving: 200 calories; protein 27.4g; carbohydrates 3.7g; fat 7.9g; cholesterol 50.6mg; sodium 944.6mg.

5. Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Lime and Maple Glaze

Probably one of the most delicious recipes for grilling are bacon and scallops!

Grilled or pan-seared, these bacon-wrapped scallops are brushed with a tangy, sweet lime and maple glaze. Great as an appetizer, starter at a dinner party, or finger food. Gluten-free, paleo, low-carb. Each serving should be 3 scallops and contains 212 calories and 7.9 grams of protein. The bacon serves as a savory contrast to the fresh flavor of the scallops.


  • 12 scallops (out of the shell)
  • 6 rashers of thin bacon or prosciutto, cut in halves
  • 2.5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1.5 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, olive oil or butter for cooking
  • 12 short bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 10 minutes)


  1. To prepare the scallops, check for any firm muscle band still attached to the sides of the meat. It’s like a little tag that you can peel off. It’s safe to eat but becomes rubbery when cooked. Sometimes your fishmonger will have those already removed. The little orange part is the roe, called the coral, which is also fine to eat but I removed them to keep the scallops perfectly round and easier to wrap. Pat scallops dry with paper towels.
  2. Wrap each scallop in a piece of prosciutto or bacon, overlapping it twice and then use the skewers to pierce through and secure everything in place.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan or use your outdoor BBQ grill. Once sizzling hot, add the wrapped scallops and bring the heat down to medium-high. Grill for about 2.5 minutes on each side.
  4. In the meantime, combine the lime juice with maple syrup and drizzle over or brush the scallops on each side once cooked.

6. Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Steaks

Yellowfin tuna is Firm, light meat with full flavor. Lean fish. It has 307 calories and 41.8 grams of protein.  Tuna is traditionally cooked to rare or medium-rare in the center. For a rare center, cook two minutes on each side; for a medium center, cook three to five minutes; and for a well-done center, cook five to eight minutes. As tuna cooks, it turns from pink or red to tan or ivory white. (4)


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 (6-ounce) Yellowfin tuna steaks (about 1 inch thick)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • ½ cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • ⅓ cup presliced red onion
  • 1 navel orange, sectioned and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) or Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)


  1. Heat the grill and coat the grates with cooking spray to prevent your steaks from sticking
  2. Salt and pepper your tuna steaks. Cook it to your desired level of done-ness on each side. Go for the grill marks if you like.
  3. In a large bowl, combine your cucumber, carrots, and onions. Add sugar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Reserve 1 tablespoon of dressing. Drizzle remaining dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.
  4. To serve, divide your salad mixture, cut each tuna steak across the grain into 1/4-inch slices; arrange over salad mixture. Drizzle 1 1/2 teaspoons of reserved dressing over each serving.

7. Grilled Halibut with Cilantro Garlic Butter

Halibut is great to fish to cook on the grill because it is not too delicate. It is a medium-firm white fish, so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart on the grill mid-cook. It has 276 calories and 35.4 grams of protein per serving, great for someone who wants to keep the calories low and the protein content high. It does have butter so if you want an even lower calorie meal, reduce the butter to cut the fat. (5)


  • 4 (6 ounce) fillets halibut
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat a grill for high heat. Squeeze the juice from the lime wedges over fish fillets, then season them with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill fish fillets for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and fish can be flaked with a fork. Remove to a warm serving plate.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir just until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter, remaining lime juice, and cilantro. Serve fish with the cilantro butter sauce.

8. Grilled Tilapia Fillet with Tapenade

This dish has 216 calories and 34.8 grams of protein per serving, which makes it a relatively low-calorie and high-protein meal. It is as tasty as it is cheap.


  • 4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 5 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the grill, use aluminum foil to wrap the tilapia. It is a delicate fish and prone to break apart.
  2. Grill tilapia until opaque and easily flaked with a fork, it only takes a few minutes so fully cook on a grill
  3. Combine chopped tomatoes, olives, onion, and capers in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until tomatoes begin to break down and tapenade flavors are combined, 5 to 10 minutes. Spoon tapenade over baked fillets.

9. Grilled Cod

Cod is a healthful type of fish with many dietary benefits. It is high in protein and low in fat, which makes it an excellent protein source. It has 152 calories and can be cooked and prepared in 35 minutes. Be careful when flipping your cod so that it does not break apart.


  • 2 (8 ounce) fillets cod, and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion (white part only)


  1. Stack about 15 charcoal briquettes into a grill in a pyramid shape. If desired, drizzle coals lightly with lighter fluid and allow to soak for 1 minute before lighting coals with a match. Allow fire to spread to all coals, about 10 minutes, before spreading briquettes out into the grill; let coals burn until a thin layer of white ash covers the coals. Lightly oil the grates.
  2. Season both sides of cod fillets with Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, salt, and black pepper. Set fillets aside on a plate.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir in lemon juice and green onion, and cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Grill fillets on the preheated grill until browned and flaky, about 3 minutes per side; baste frequently with butter mixture while grilling.
  5. Allow fillets to rest off the heat for about 5 minutes before serving.

10. Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

How about some grilled veggies? This recipe serves four and has 176 calories and 4.3 grams of protein per serving. This is a wonderful vegan alternative. Or can be an excellent side if you so choose.


  • 1 large head cauliflower, sliced lengthwise through the core into 4 steaks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat your grill to high heat, oil the grates to ensure that cauliflower doesn’t stick to it and you can get those desired grill marks
  2. Lay cauliflower steaks on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Brush tops of cauliflower steaks with 1/2 of the olive oil mixture.
  4. Roast cauliflower steaks in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Flip and brush tops with the remaining olive oil mixture. Continue roasting until tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.

11. Grilled Squid with Garlic, Chili, and Parsley

Another favorite healthy grilled ingredient is squid! When it comes to grilled seafood, simplicity is key and this grilled squid recipe uses simple cooking techniques and a few high-quality ingredients to prepare a stellar meal that is also very nutritious. This serves four and can be done in under 30 minutes. It has an estimated 183 calories per squid.


  • 4 fresh squid
  • 3–4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 long red chill, diced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • some parsley, chopped
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon


  1. Using a sharp knife, score the tops of the squid tubes in a few places and cut away the tentacle pieces. Using a paper towel, pat dry the squid really well to remove any surface moisture. This will help to cook the squid faster and prevent it from becoming chewy. Set aside and prepare the aromatics.
  2. Pat dry the squid and brush with a little oil, then grill for 2 minutes on each side over high heat.
  3. Prepare the garlic and parsley oil in a small pan or you can even keep it uncooked,
  4. Add 2-3 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Reduce the heat slightly.
  5. Add the garlic, chili, and most of the parsley to the pan and sauté in olive oil for a minute until the garlic is golden brown. Add the squid pieces back in and stir through. Cook together for 20-30 more seconds and drizzle with a little lemon juice (about 1/4 of a lemon).
  6. Serve on a plate with all of the garlic and parsley oil topped over the top.

If none of these suit your taste or preferences, you may also try some healthy grilled chicken recipes or pork chops and flank steak. They are likewise healthy and tasty.


  1. https://nutrifox.com/embed/label/71377
  2. https://www.nutritionix.com/food/grilled-shrimp
  3. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-tuna
  4. https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Buy-Fresh-From-Florida/Seafood-Products/Yellowfin-Tuna
  5. https://www.nutritionix.com/food/halibut
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