Sidekick Boxing

Best BBQ Meal Ideas For Lean Muscle Gain

It is that time of year again, were summer is on its way and we go dig out the BBQ and check to see if its good for this years grilling. We take the cover off to see how rusty it has gone and how many creepy crawly’s are living in it. And a little dust off and shes good to go for another year.

BBQ’s are a fabulous way to entertain, cook some great grub, yet being out of the kitchen and soaking up some rays (with a beer or two). They are also healthier than cooking in the frying pan with oil as the fat drips off too. Another good thing about having a BBQ is that it is mainly meat orientated, which means it will be high in protein.

Protein is especially important to help recover muscles faster and grow muscle mass, essential for a martial artists or fighters lifestyle. However, we can tend to over indulge at a BBQ and may also consume few too many carbs, that it can be counterproductive, especially if we are on a strict diet like a fighter.

Fighters also have to make a specific weight for their division that they try to avoid a simple few gained pounds. Read our article ‘Why do fighters cut weight’ here.

So, we will go through some delicious healthy meals that taste great on a BBQ and won’t make you top the scales.

What are the best BBQ meals for lean muscle gain?

Dan Knight, the founder of Sidekick Boxing, loves his BBQ’s and has gone through his top tips to a perfect barbie for both taste and diet. Firstly, we need to get you fired up, no not literally, but to choose what type of barbecue is best.

Charcoal vs Gas: What is the best BBQ?

Many debate if a gas BBQ is better than coal, or if you need dual fuel for the best results. We would always recommend coal, it tastes better than gas, easier to control the heat, feels more authentic, and funny enough, just as easy to light when you buy a briquette bag of coal at the supermarket.

The only real downside to coal is it can be more messier to clean.

Gas BBQ’s, the minute they get a bit of dripping fat over the flames go up like a leaking gas-pipe. The gas still needs replacing, and overall, you might as well just of cooked it in the kitchen.

Now we have our BBQ sorted lets discuss some of the best BBQ meal ideas.

As much as everyone loves a burger and sausages, they’re not really a wow, no matter how gourmet you think they are. Not only that, but if your friends and family are also in to their fitness, they may want something a bit more nutritional.

Fish is a brilliant alternative to meat and you will find, cooked right it is more tender than a tough burger. Also, if you are trying to keep it on the lighter side, you wont need buns.

Here are our top 5 BBQ meal ideas:

Salmon Fillet in Barbecue Sauce

Prep: 15 minutes.

Nutrition value per 100g:

Protein 20g

Fat 10g


  • Salmon fillets
  • BBQ sauce

This salmon recipe is quite unique as it the salmon fillets or steaks are basted in a rich barbecue sauce. It is delicious and quite easy to make. While you can put salmon straight on the grill, we recommend using foil packets as it keeps the flavours in.

Salmon should be grilled over medium heat, about 375 to 400 degrees F. This recipe is for grilled salmon in foil on a coal BBQ, yet it also works well on a gas grill.

Sea Bass in Garlic Butter with Lemon

Prep: 15 minutes.

Nutrition value per 100g:

Protein 18g

Fat 3g


  • Sea bass
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Butter

This lemony, garlicky, seabass dish is full of flavour and certainly tastes the best grilled on the barbie. If you don’t like the thought of filleting the Sea Bass it may be best to get the fish mongers to do. Place the Seabass in tin foil packets. Add butter, squeezed fresh lemon and some finely minced garlic. Cook for approx 25 minutes.

Chilli and Lime Tiger Prawns

Prep: 10 mins

Nutrition value per 100g:

Protein 20g

Fat 2g


  • Tiger prawns Lime
  • 1/2 tsp pre-chopped chilli

Combine the lime zest, chillies, garlic, in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Peel the middle sections of the shells from the prawns, leaving the heads and tails intact, and de-vein. Add the prawns to the marinade and toss to coat and put in foil packets and place on to the grill.

Minted Lamb Burger with Halloumi

Prep: 20 mins

Nutrition value per 100g:

Protein: 14.5g

Fat 16.4g


  • Minced lamb
  • Mint
  • Cumin
  • Halloumi
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Tzatziki
  • Brioche bun 

This is by far not the leanest meal, however as it is quit rich in flavour, one lamb burger is generally more than enough. To make the lamb burgers we used the same recipe for lamb koftas and made it in burgers using a press instead.

So if you would like the healthier option, get some pita and salad instead. To start get a large bowl and put your mince in. Chop the mint and add to the mince. Sprinkle in the cumin and mix it up. You can add an egg if you like the burgers to bind together better.

Final thoughts

Everyone loves a BBQ, and it is even better the fact you can make it just as healthy as anything else. For athletes like fighters it is a perfect way of getting the source of protein their muscles need, without feeling stuck to the regimented meals.

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