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Healthier, mouthwatering barbecue dishes under 350 calories

When you think of low-calorie meals, BBQ doesn’t usually come to mind. For one, the sauces you buy are often laden with sugar and preservatives and are high in calories. Second, pulled pork and fatty beef ribs aren’t exactly Weight Watchers friendly either. Skipping the BBQ may be necessary for weight maintenance, but it’s not fun. That’s why we made some lower-calorie adjustments to some tangy barbecue favorites.

Now, how can these be 350 calories or under? Easily. We’ve skipped the high-calorie and high-carb buns for salads, tortillas and pizza crust, and opted for lower-calorie meats, like shrimp, tofu and chicken, instead of fatty beef. So now you don’t have to skip the ‘cue; instead you can dive right in.

1. Spicy BBQ chicken and black bean taco recipe

Spicy BBQ chicken and three bean taco

Serves 4


  • 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup low-calorie barbecue sauce, divided
  • 4 low-calorie tortillas
  • Spinach
  • 4 tablespoons black beans
  • 4 tablespoons corn
  • Sriracha sauce, for glaze
  • 4 tablespoons low-calorie, part-skim cheddar cheese


  1. Place the chicken breasts into the basin of a Crock-Pot, and add 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce. Cook on low for about 6 to 7 hours, stirring every hour or so to prevent the sauce from burning.
  2. Once the chicken has cooked, shred the meat with two forks, and mix in 2 tablespoons of the remaining barbecue sauce.
  3. To assemble the tacos, place a handful of spinach into the center of each tortilla. Top with 1/4 cup of shredded chicken, 1 tablespoon of black beans, 1 tablespoon of corn and 1 tablespoon of cheese. Drizzle Sriracha sauce on top.

2. BBQ tofu salad recipe

BBQ tofu salad

Serves 4


  • 1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu
  • 3/4 cup low-calorie barbecue sauce, divided
  • 4 cups spinach or mixed greens
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, finely chopped into pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons wasabi peas
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  1. Press the tofu for 30 minutes. Once pressed, cut it into quarters. Place the quarters into a glass baking dish, and toss with 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce. Mix with a spatula to evenly coat.
  2. Chill the tofu for about 1 hour to marinate. Once the tofu has been marinated, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the tofu for about 20 minutes. Using a spatula, push it around so each side cooks evenly. Brush with more BBQ sauce, and bake for about 20 more minutes.
  3. Separate the spinach or greens into 4 bowls. Top evenly with the tofu, 1/2 ounce of mozzarella cheese, the bell pepper and 1 tablespoon of wasabi peas. Drizzle the salads with the remaining BBQ sauce, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

3. Pulled pork cheesy spaghetti recipe

Pulled pork cheesy spaghetti

Serves 5-6


  • 1/2 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 4 cups cooked and shredded pulled pork
  • 1 cup low-calorie barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1-1/2 cups part-skim cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set it aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, and whisk until a thick paste is formed. Gradually stir in the milk. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheeses, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix the pulled pork with the BBQ sauce.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the cheese sauce with the spaghetti, and pour it into a large serving or casserole dish. Top the spaghetti with the pulled pork.

4. BBQ shrimp pizza recipe

BBQ shrimp pizza

Serves 2


For the crust

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Dash salt
For the toppings
  • 1/3 cup low-calorie barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup small shrimp, cooked
  • 3/4 cup part-skim cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
  • Cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a pizza stone with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, water and honey. Let the mixture sit until it becomes foamy, about 10 minutes. Mix in the olive oil, salt and flour, and stir to combine.
  3. Move the dough to a floured surface, and knead it until soft and elastic. Roll it out to a personal pizza size, and place it on the greased pizza stone.
  4. Smooth the top with BBQ sauce. Scatter with mozzarella cheese, and top with the bell pepper and shrimp. Top with cheddar cheese, and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  5. Remove the pizza from the oven, garnish it with cilantro, and serve.

More low-calorie summer recipes

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4 Healthy summer recipes for a flat belly
4 Low-calorie ways to add crunch to your lunch

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