fourth july

A Whole30® Fourth of July

U.S. Independence Day is just around the corner, but your independence – from bland potato salad, gut-bomb-brownies, and greasy chips and dips – starts NOW.

We’re kicking off another official Whole30® (sponsored by It Starts With Food) on August 1st, but it’s never too early to start incorporating Good Food dishes into your party recipe repertoire. Backyard barbeques and summertime pot-lucks are super easy to swing Whole30-style – and we’re about to show you how delicious Whole3o-friendly summertime cookouts can be.

We asked our some of our amazing foodie friends to contribute recipes for their favorite summer cookout dishes to this Dream Whole30 Fourth of July BBQ menu. Just imagine showing up at your next summer soiree to a table filled with these goodies!

Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad

Contributed by Melissa Joulwan, Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire, author of Well Fed, and bloggess at The Clothes Make the Girl

Serves 2-4, but it’s easy to double or triple for a big family picnic or potluck.



  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced very thin and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into very thin moons
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced

Ranch Dressing

  • 1/4 cup homemade mayo
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

“Wing” Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup hot sauce


  • Put all chicken-related ingredients in a pan, bring to a boil, then simmer, partly covered, for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let chicken rest in the hot water spa for an additional 15-20 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  • Slice all the salad ingredients as thinly as possible — a mandoline slicer works great, if you have one. Toss everything in a very large bowl and refrigerate until it’s time to assemble.
  • Place all dressing ingredients — except salt and pepper — in a small bowl and mix energetically with a fork until blended. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, shred the chicken with two forks. It should fall apart pretty easily. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the coconut oil or ghee. When it’s melted, add the chicken, toss to coat, then pour in the hot sauce and toss until it’s coated. Toss the salad with the ranch dressing. Divide the salad between plates and top with a mound of Buffalo Chicken.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Contributed by Melissa Joulwan, Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire, author of Well Fed, and bloggess at The Clothes Make the Girl

Serves 3-4, but it’s easy to double or triple for a big family picnic or potluck.



  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • a few fresh basil leaves


  • 1 medium to large jicama
  • 2 medium carrots, minced
  • 4 medium radishes, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dry roasted cashews, finely chopped
  • 6-8 large basil leaves, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional; I like Red Boat)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • homemade mayo
  • Brine the chicken. Place a 1-gallon zipper storage bag inside a large bowl so the bag is standing up. Pour 4 cups of water into the bag, then add 3 cloves garlic, salt, and peppercorns.
  • Stir with your hand to dissolve the salt, then add the chicken to the bag. Seal the bag and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then rinse the chicken and set aside until poaching time.
  • Prep the jicama. Wash and peel the jicama, cut it in half, then slice into 1/4-inch thick ovals. Place in a covered container and place in the fridge to chill while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  • Poach the chicken. Place the chicken in a single layer in a large pot. Add 2 cups water, coconut aminos, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and a few basil leaves. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat way down to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, then turn off heat, allowing the chicken to relax in the covered spa bath for 15-20 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred it and set aside. While the chicken is cooking…
  • Prep the relish: In a large bowl, mix the carrots, radishes, jalapeo, garlic, cashews, basil, and mint until combined. Add the lime juice, rice vinegar, oil, and fish sauce. Toss with a rubber spatula to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste, then let the relish sit at room temperature so the flavors can meld.
  • Assemble: Spread an jicama slice with a little bit of mayo, then sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Pile shredded chicken on the jicama, then top with a few spoonfuls of the relish.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat. Eat with your hands, licking your fingers often.

Deconstructed Gyro Salad

Contributed by Melissa Joulwan, Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire, author of Well Fed, and bloggess at The Clothes Make the Girl

Serves 8-12


Lamb “Gyro”

  • 3-4 pounds lamb shoulder roast (you can sub beef if you don’t like lamb)
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • water


  • Diced tomatoes. red onion, cucumber
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Fresh parsley or mint (or both), minced


  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/4 cup homemade mayo
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon za’atar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  • With a sharp knife, cut the lamb shoulder into 3- to 4-inch chunks. Place the lamb pieces in a large ziplock bag.
  • In a small bowl, rub the mint and oregano leaves between your palms to crush them. Add the cumin, Aleppo pepper, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; mix with a fork until blended. Add the spice blend to the bag, zip it closed, and shake assertively until all the lamb pieces are coated with the spices.
  • Place the lamb in a large, deep pot. Pour the lemon juice into the bottom of the pot, then add water to just cover the meat. Place the pot on high heat and bring the water to a rip-roaring boil. When it’s rolling, reduce the heat to keep a steady, strong simmer with the pan uncovered.
  • At about the 2-hour mark, check the pot. The water should be much lower and maybe even almost gone. Allow all the water to cook out of the pan and watch as the meat magically fries and caramelizes in the fat and fruit juice.
  • Carefully turn the hunks of meat — without shredding them — to brown all sides, then remove the hunks to a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes before eating.
  • While the meat rests, make the dressing. In a small bowl, crush the dried mint with your fingers, then add mayo, parsley, za’atar, Aleppo pepper, and garlic. Blend well with a fork. Drizzle in the lemon juice, mixing with the fork, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the raw vegetables on the plate, add the lamb, drizzle with the dressing, and sprinkle with minced, fresh herbs.

Fiona’s Phenomenal Grilled Green Chicken 

Contributed by Michelle Tam, bloggess at Nom Nom Paleo and  creator of the Nom Nom Paleo iPad App

Makes 6 Servings


  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 1/4 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • Zest from 1 medium lime
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • 2 medium limes, cut into 8 wedges


  • Combine the first 10 ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Sample the marinade for seasoning and add salt to taste.
  • Place the chicken in a gallon-size plastic bag and pour the marinade on top. Make sure the air is squeezed out before sealing the bag. Place the bag of chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour and up to a day.
  • Take the chicken out of the fridge at least an hour before you roast it off so it can come to room temperature.
  • Throw the marinated chicken on a medium-hot grill for about 25 minutes, turning every 5 to 7 minutes. The chicken is finished cooking when the internal temperature is 170 F or when the juices run clear.
  • Serve the roasted chicken thighs/drumsticks with lime wedges.

Grilled Shrimp & Watermelon Skewers

Contributed by Michelle Tam, bloggess at Nom Nom Paleo and  creator of the Nom Nom Paleo iPad App

Makes 16 skewers


  • 2 pounds (approximately 40-50) large fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined with tails intact
  • 2 pounds watermelon meat (from about a half of a medium watermelon), diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons macadamia nut oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper or curry powder
  • 4 limes, quartered
  • Special equipment: 16 thick bamboo or metal skewers


  • On each skewer, thread 2 to 3 shrimp and 2 to 3 watermelon chunks, alternating each.
  • Brush oil on the prepared skewers and sprinkle on the lemon pepper seasoning.
  • Lay the skewers on a grill over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once.
  • The skewers are done when the shrimp turns a bright orange and is no longer translucent.
  • Serve immediately with lime wedges (or season to taste with the juice from the limes just prior to serving).

Grilled Goat Chops with Winter Savory and Garlic

Contributed by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, bloggers at The Food Lovers Kitchen and authors of Make it Paleo

Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 18 oz goat chops, rib or loin (18 oz = 6 chops)*
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 sprigs fresh savory (herb), minced
  • 1 pinch salt, per chop, on each side
  • 1 pinch black pepper, per chop, on each side

*If goat is not your thing, feel free to sub lamb, chicken, or pork


  • Rinse chops under cool water, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly, press garlic and herb mixture into the meat, flip to the opposite side, and repeat.
  • Grill chops medium-high heat, 4-5 minutes per side.

Avocado Peach Salad

 Contributed by Tom Denham, Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire and blogger at Whole Life Eating

Prep and Cook Time: 5-7 minutes


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 ripe peaches
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper


  • Cut avocado in half lengthwise and discard the pit. Dice flesh into bite-sized pieces with a knife within the halves and then pop out into a serving bowl.
  • Cut peaches in half and discard the pit.
  • Slice peach halves into bite sized pieces. Mix avocados and peaches. Splash with apple cider vinegar and dust lightly with cayenne pepper. Enjoy!
  • Notes: Balsamic vinegar is another good choice to splash on the salad, but I like apple cider vinegar myself. Avocados brown quickly after being peeled, so this salad is best prepared and eaten immediately.

Turnip Salad

 Contributed by Tom Denham, Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire and blogger at Whole Life Eating

Serves 6-8


  • 6 big turnips
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1.5 ounces of capers
  • 1/2 of a big orange bell pepper
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 5-6 tablespoons of mayonnaise (see recipe below)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
  • 6 eggs
  • Red chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt


  • Add eggs to a pan, cover with water, place lid on pan and bring water to a swift boil.
  • As soon as the water boils, turn off heat and let eggs sit in hot water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Peel turnips and cut into bite-size cubes. Add to a pot, cover with water, and add a generous amount of salt. Cover and bring to a slow boil. After 5 minutes, start testing them with a fork for doneness. They should begin to pierce easily in less than 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat when done and let sit covered 5-10 minutes before draining and adding turnips to a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, chop two stalks of celery, half of a big bell pepper, and one small onion into small bits. Add chopped veggies to mixing bowl. Add capers.
  • Cut 4 slices of prosciutto into small pieces and add to bowl.
  • Peel boiled eggs, chop eggs into small pieces and add to bowl. Add a heavy dusting of garlic powder and a light dusting of red chili powder.
  • Add 5-6 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 1-2 tablespoons of mustard and mix all ingredients well. Taste and adjust spices as needed – salt, garlic powder, or red chili powder.

Fried Chicken

Contributed by Julie and Charles Mayfield, authors of and bloggers at Paleo Comfort Foods


  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder (optional)
  • 2 pounds chicken- thighs, drums, breasts


  • Heat oil in large frying pan to 350F and preheat oven to 400F
  • Whisk eggs in medium sized bowl
  • Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
  • Dip chicken in whisked eggs.
  • Coat/cover chicken in dry mixture and place in hot oil.  Allow both sides to brown (about 2-4 minutes each side).
  • Place drying rack on sheet pan and assemble check on the rack so ther is space between all pieces.
  • Put chicken in oven for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove and serve.

Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

Contributed by Julie and Charles Mayfield, authors of and bloggers at Paleo Comfort Foods


  • 4 cups watermelon, deseeded and either cubed or shaped into balls using a melon baller
  • 2 cups English cucumber, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1–2 teaspoons balsamic or red wine vinegar (optional)


  • This truly is as easy as it sounds. Take the watermelon, cucumber, mint, and lime juice, and mix in a bowl.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Do Ahead—You can prep the watermelon, cucumber and mint ahead of time, but don’t add the lime juice or any salt until it is close to time to serve.

Devilish Eggs

Contributed by Julie and Charles Mayfield, authors of and bloggers at Paleo Comfort Foods


  • 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
  • ½ cup homemade mayo
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickles, finely chopped (read your ingredients!)
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard (read your ingredients!)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Paprika, to garnish


  • Cut eggs in half (lengthwise).
  • Empty out yellow yolks into medium bowl.
  • Mash with spoon and add mayonnaise, mustard, chopped pickles, salt, and pepper. Mix/mash all these ingredients well and spoon into a ziplock bag or icing bag.
  • Assemble egg halves on your serving platter and pipe the filling into each egg. Garnish with paprika and enjoy.

Share Your Own Dish

Do you have a favorite summertime cookout dish? Post the recipe, a link to the recipe, or a description in comments. And Happy 4th of July to our U.S. friends!


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  1. says

    @Kristina: We actually like to say to check the ingredients on EVERYTHING so that you’re certain it’s compliant, but we know that mustard, in particular, often has sugar in it. It’s easy just to assume that since it’s only mustard, that the ingredients are clean, but that is very often not the case at all.