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Our Top 5 Tricks for Lighter Grilling

From produce-packed side dishes to grilled fruit for dessert, here’s how to brighten up your cookout.

grilled meat, shrimp and peaches on white table

What’s the perfect excuse for spending time outside? Your grill. It’s also an easy way to enjoy a colorful, produce-forward meal. Imagine: kabobs loaded up with vibrant veggies, ears of sweet summer corn, and juicy burgers piled high with a garden of fresh produce. Yes, this can all be yours. From mains to side dishes to dessert, here’s how to fire up your grill with better ingredients.

Grill veggies — all the veggies.

From smoky-sweet corn to charred sweet Vidalia onions (fact: these prized alliums are found in just 20 south Georgia counties), grilling has a magical effect on vegetables. How exactly does it work? By caramelizing their natural sugars, grilling brings out a subtle sweetness from veggies and makes them extra juicy. So, go crazy — and cover your grill with veggies, all the veggies, and you won’t be sorry.

What are the best veggies to grill? Find out in our guide to grilled vegetables.

Build a better-for-you burger.

Grilling burgers? Stick to this game plan to get the most from your meat:

  • Go lean: Choose ground beef that’s at least 90% lean. You’ll still get plenty of delicious, beefy flavor but for less fat and calories.

  • Choose produce-packed toppings: We’re talking crisp romaine lettuce, sliced heirloom tomatoes, sliced avocado, caramelized onions, grilled Vidalia onions, crunchy pickles, or even grilled pineapple. Bonus points for in-season produce.

  • Quality matters: Feeling good about the meat you’re buying (and eating) is important. That’s why our ground beef is from cows raised with no antibiotics, ever, and no added growth hormones. As always, we’re committed to transparency and traceability to farm or ranch.

If grilling burgers isn't for you, try grilling whole chicken with warm spices and a harissa yogurt sauce.

Image of chicken kabobs on white background

Pack in produce with kabobs.

Juicy, grilled beef or chicken kabobs are not only a cookout favorite, but they’re also an effortless way to get your veggie fix. Load up skewers with sweet Vidalia onions, multi-colored bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes alongside marinated meat — and you have yourself a flavor- and color-packed meal. One the side, pair with homemade tzatziki sauce and fluffy quinoa.

Pro tip: Save time by picking up marinated kabobs from our Meat department, which are fully prepped and ready to be grilled. We recommend 2 to 3 kabobs per person.

Serve produce-packed side dishes.

Balance hearty grilled mains like burgers and ribs with refreshing, produce-forward side dishes. Whether it’s a big, bright salad or a creamy rainbow slaw, the more color and textures you can showcase, the better. Try these ideas:

Recipe: Grilled Peaches and Arugula

Grill fruit for something different.

Make your cookout even more extraordinary with grilled fruit. From pineapples to watermelon, grilled fruit packs a caramelized sweetness and simply looks stunning. Top with a scoop of frozen yogurt (or your favorite non-dairy alternative) for a lighter alternative to classic cookout desserts like pie and cobbler. Grilled fruit isn't just for dessert — toss grilled peaches with crisp arugula for a refreshing side dish.

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