Make Sides The Star At Your Summer Barbecue!

barbeque sides


There’s nothing we like more than spending warm summer evenings with friends and a barbecue. In addition to the obligatory grilled meats or vegetables, and the right drinks, side dishes can be often overlooked.

Much more than just lettuce leaves, we believe sides can make a barbecue. So why not whip up a selection of delicious side dishes and make them the highlight of your next grilling evening?

Here are three of our favourite sides to wow your guests next time you have a barbecue. All of these can be prepared in advance and served cold, giving you more time to spend with your guests.


Easy Beetroot Tzatziki

Enjoy this delicious beetroot tzatziki both as a dip or a sauce to go alongside barbecued meats. So much better than a shop bought tub, which is never enough and it’s so easy to make your own!


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon wine vinegar (red or white)

100ml goat’s milk yoghurt (this can be substituted for Greek style yoghurt instead)

¼ cucumber, deseeded and finely diced

100g cooked beetroot, finely diced

Small handful fresh mint, finely chopped

Small handful fresh dill, finely chopped

To serve:

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill



Mix the oil and vinegar with the yoghurt.

Add the cucumber and beetroot, stir well, the mix in the herbs. Cover and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with the dill to serve.

Chickpea, Chilli and Feta Salad

This salad is a real crowd pleaser and super easy to whip up in less than 10 minutes. The chilli heat is perfectly balanced with the creaminess of the feta and the nutty bite of the chickpeas.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

40ml cider or white wine vinegar

400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

80g feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 spring onions, finely sliced

Small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

Small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

2 Handfuls baby leaves (such as rocket, lamb’s lettuce, or a mixed variety)



In a small non-stick pan, heat the oil, chilli, garlic, and onion over a medium heat. Sweat for 3-5 minutes (or until the garlic starts to brown), stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Add the vinegar and leave to boil rapidly, until the liquid has almost completely evaporated – about 3-5 minutes.

In a bowl mix the chickpeas, chilli and onion mix, feta cheese, olive oil, spring onions, coriander, and parsley, and stir well. Season to taste with black pepper.

Divide the chickpea mix between serving plates and top with the mixed leaves. Serve immediately.


Barley couscous tabbouleh

For our version of tabbouleh, we’ve substituted the traditional bulgar wheat for barley couscous. The barley gives this dish a nuttier, more wholesome taste and texture.


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

80g barley couscous

160ml hot vegetable stock

Small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

Small handful fresh mint, finely chopped

2 spring onions, white parts only, finely sliced

¼ cucumber, deseeded and cut into small dice

2 tomatoes, quartered, deseeded and diced

To serve:

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Freshly ground black pepper



Place the oil in a small pan over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir, and then cover. Sweat for about 5-7 minutes, until soft.

Add the cumin to the onion mix and stir thoroughly. Leave to cook for 2 minutes.

Place the couscous in a large salad bowl, add the onion mix and pour over the hot stock. Cover with cling film and leave for 5-10 minutes so that the liquid absorbs.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then mix through the parsley, mint, and spring onion, so that they are easily incorporated.

Stir the cucumber and the tomatoes into the couscous mix.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Drizzle over the couscous and serve.


Find all these recipes and more in Jennifer’s books, The Diet for Food Lovers available on Amazon (The Orion Publishing Group) and The Balance Diet. 


Going away this summer? Why not plan ahead and book a Balance Box delivery to arrive on your doorstep for when you get back from your holidays? With a delicious range of menus and options to choose from, Balance Box takes the stress from meal planning so that you can maintain your healthy holiday eating habits long after the moment you arrive home.