Healthy hot food ideas for retail outlets and caterers

Offering healthier hot food options in retail food outlets and catering can help consumers to make healthier choices.
Hot foods can be cost effective and easy to prepare. Try some of these healthy hot meal and snack ideas in your outlet, or when catering meetings, functions or social events.

(v) = vegetarian

Meal and snack ideas

Serving suggestions

Corn on the cob (v)

Offer with toppings such as reduced fat cheese, fresh lemon and herbs, or lime and chilli.


Offer vegetable-based, reduced salt varieties of soups.

Roast vegetable salad (v)

Serve on baby spinach and/or cous cous, topped with hummus or tzatziki.

Vegetable pasties (v)

Use filo pastry and healthy fillings like pumpkin and goats cheese, curried vegetables, pea and potato, spinach and fetta/ricotta.

Oven-baked vegetable wedges (v)

An alternative to hot chips. Serve with natural yoghurt or hummus. If serving with sour cream, use reduced fat varieties.

Skinless chicken drumsticks/skewers

Drizzle with a little honey soy marinade or stir-fry sauce and bake in the oven. These are great finger foods or canapés.

Zucchini slice (v)

Make a bulk batch, cut into serving portions and freeze. Defrost and serve hot or cold as required.


Use plenty of vegetables and small amounts of reduced fat cheese. Avoid processed meats such as salami, bacon and ‘pizza ham’.


Use lean cuts of meat or mince served in wholemeal pita bread with salad and hummus or reduced fat tzatziki.

Falafels are a great vegetarian alternative. Falafel mix can be purchased commercially and falafels are quick and inexpensive to prepare. Oven bake falafels for a healthier alternative.  

Warm chicken salad

Prepare a mixed salad of spinach, peas, baby potatoes and sliced avocado topped with slices of skinless grilled or roast chicken.

Fried rice

Add plenty of vegetables (fresh, canned or frozen) and avoid excess amounts of soy (or other) sauces.


Offer Mexican-style lean mince, beans or chicken served with reduced fat cheese and salad in a soft wholemeal wrap.


Use lean chicken or beef mince or lentil patties, served in a soft wholemeal bread roll with plenty of salad and a slice of reduced fat cheese.

Healthy fillings

Try these healthy filling ideas for toasted sandwiches or wraps, hot rolls, baked potatoes or filo parcels.

Savoury fillings

  • baked beans with grated reduced fat cheese• creamed corn, grated reduced fat cheese and diced lean ham
  • chilli con carne (a Mexican dish made from lean mince and kidney beans)
  • tuna (in spring water), grated reduced fat cheese, corn and diced capsicum
  • crushed pineapple, diced lean ham and grated reduced fat cheese
  • finely diced vegetables such as capsicum, carrot, corn, celery or mushrooms with reduced fat mayonnaise or salsa and grated reduced fat cheese.

Sweet fillings

  • ricotta cheese, honey and diced fruit
  • banana and cinnamon
  • banana, sultanas and coconut
  • canned apple with cinnamon
  • ricotta cheese, cinnamon and sliced banana or strawberries.

Where possible choose products that are reduced fat, low- or reduced salt and made with no added sugar.

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