Summer Potluck Primal & Paleo BBQ Recipes

I am pretty sure that Minnesota invented the word “potluck” because we love us some potlucks, especially in the summer! After our winter hibernation, we seem to take every single warm weekend as a chance to have a potluck party in the backyard!

What could be more fun than coming together with family and friends, being outside, and enjoying some amazing food?! Oh, and the best part is: you only have to bring one dish to share! Heck, I can certainly whip up my Famous Kale Salad, sit in a lawn chair, and watch my husband grill while the kids play. Throw in some Tequila Gummies (adults only) and I will show up every weekend! 

But, I have had many people email me asking what they can do when going to potlucks and family gatherings when they are following a Paleo, Primal, AIP, gluten free, allergen free, M&M and things that are orange colored free (kidding about the last one 😉) diet. Well, you need to show up prepared and with a game plan. Here are the steps we take:

  1. Call the person hosting the potluck to find out what you should bring along. Then OWN IT. Bring something that you CAN eat, and if that’s the only thing you eat at the potluck, at least it will be within your personal guidelines. Do not, I repeat DO NOT fall into peer pressure and make something that you think everyone else will like, that you can’t eat. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Take care of yourself first, always! They have other stuff to eat if they don’t like kale salad.
  2. Don’t show up hungry. Eat before you go. If you show up hungry then you will be more likely to fall off the wagon and fall face first into Snicker Bar salad. Don’t go there. Just don’t! We both know that the end result is not pretty.
  3. Stay hydrated. Yep, it’s pretty important. When you get thirsty, you will have strange cravings. Just go with this one. Bring a large water bottle. Bottoms up! If you decide to have some alcoholic beverages with your meal, then drink even more water. They dehydrate you. Rehydrate.
  4. Relax and enjoy yourself. Don’t get all caught up in restrictions or it will never stick. Do not overthink this. I personally love to throw a pile of lettuce on a plate, top with a side that I can eat (that I usually bring) and then have something off the grill with it. Example: greens, paleo coleslaw, a burger cut up, olive oil, hot sauce. Pile it high. YUM! #thatwaseasy

So, here is a compilation of Primal & Paleo BBQ recipes that you can pick and choose from to make sure you are eating delicious food at those summer potlucks, while not feeling deprived! Believe me, these are goooood! Impress your friends, don’t tell them that these foods are healthy. Then surprise them with all of this deliciousness. Game on!

Appetizers & Snacks

Bacon Deviled Eggs


“Deviled eggs have always been one of my go-to party foods because they are easy to make and are inexpensive to make in large quantities. What makes every food on the planet taste even better? BACON!”


Curry Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


“I love pepitas! Not only are they tasty, but they are also a great source of zinc….which is very important for a strong immune system! The turmeric also has anti-inflammatory effects on the body. These spiced pumpkin seeds taste amazing on a salad or your favorite cream-soup!”


Simple & Savory Watermelon Salsa


It’s the perfect addition to spicy grilled meats and seafood, like our favorite Grilled Shrimp Skewers. And of course, this fruit-acular salsa is delicious all on it’s own with a side of tortilla chips … Or for those of us who are grain-free, a side of crispy plantain chips! (Mmm! A real favorite of mine!)”


Fermented Watermelon Rind Pickles


“So I have this issue with throwing away food. I always want to find a way to use up my scraps, either in another recipe or in my compost bin. This summer my husband and kids decided to go on a watermelon binge and I had rinds coming out of my ears. I had heard of watermelon rind pickles, but never actually tasted one. Fermenting foods is one of my favorite “cooking” methods, so I decided to give these a go.”



Famous Kale Salad 


Have you ever just eaten a piece of kale? Not the most amazing snack in the world: kind of woody, unusual flavor. Well, add in some tasty toppings, a little dressing, and a brief massage and you will have something so delicious that you will bring it to every potluck you go to. I do. By request. Always!


Green Papaya Salad (Nom Xoai Xanh)


“But on our excursion to the Asian market this past week, we found green papaya and a whole plethora of other goodies! Therefore the first recipe I share with you from our Vietnamese adventure is Green Papaya Salad. I made a few alterations to keep it Paleo (no sugar and no peanuts) and added a couple of ingredients of my own, such as pomegranate seeds and created my own “fish sauce”.”


Middle Eastern Inspired Salad 


“This salad might be chock full of ingredients, but everything in there is harmonious; cucumber for instance would have no place here, however tempting it might be to put salad vegetables in every salad.”


Detox Salad (Whole Foods Copycat)


“A neighbor of mine brought this salad to a pot-luck party and it was a huge hit! Of course I needed the recipe and she told me it was a variation of “Whole Foods Detox Salad“, but she had made some modifications. I immediately made a batch and modified it even further. Here is what I came up with….”


The Best Paleo Coleslaw Ever


“So, I came up with my own version that includes healthy homemade mayo and some extra ingredients to really make the flavor pop! Sprinkle on bacon bits to take it to an even higher level of coleslaw goodness! Sure to please the potluck-goers because this is definitely the best paleo coleslaw ever!”


Grilled Thai Pork Salad


“Since I usually keep the ingredients listed in this recipe on hand, this Thai pork was a breeze to whip up and grill for a simple dinner at home. And by the way, both of my kids inhaled this meal!”


BBQ Sauces and Condiments

Bacon & Bone Broth BBQ Sauce


“I happen to love BBQ. I also love bacon. I have been experimenting with recipes trying to find the perfect match of bacon and BBQ sauce, when I decided to add in my homemade bone broth as the liquid in the recipe. Wow did it turn out amazing…..and good for your gut!”


Baconaise (homemade bacon mayo)


” I have been experimenting with making my own mayo and using different oils as the base. Then one day I decided to try out some bacon grease I had left over. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon? Wow, baconnaise was born! So delicious and it really lends an amazing flavor to so many foods.’


Pork Dishes

Paleo Pork Ribs


“So today I am sharing a recipe I’ve made many times – ribs!  They come out perfectly every single time.  The secret is the low and slow steam they get in the oven before getting a quick crisp on the grill.  Slather them in your favorite BBQ sauce and get messy!”


Pulled Pork With Peach BBQ Sauce

pulled pork with peach barbecue sauce 2

“I’m not sure where to start: there are so many exciting things going on here! We’ve got a tangy, sweet, paleo peach barbecue sauce, spice-rubbed, slow-cooked pork that’s perfect on its own or drenched in the aforementioned sauce, and a pair of hard-core, handy-dandy meat claws.”


Indian-Style Pulled Pork


“Who doesn’t love barbecue? Juicy, slow-cooked meat smothered with sauce… oh it’s so good. Well, all you barbecue lovers are in for a treat because this Indian-Style Pulled Pork is going to be unlike any barbecued pulled pork you’ve had before. Like all great barbecue, the secret is in the sauce.”


Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches


“The pork chops are rubbed with just enough spices to make them taste like better versions of themselves without overwhelming their natural flavor. The peaches are grilled just long enough to be extra juicy and warm throughout. And the avocado and salad provide a pop of refreshing green. I recommend using bitter greens here, like arugula, because their flavor provides a nice contrast to the sweet peach and savory pork chop.”


Beef & Lamb

Garlic & Herb Greek Lamb Kabobs


“Garlic, lemon and herbs go a long way toward making the most of a good piece of lamb.  Welove this recipe for Greek Lamb Kebabs, and I think you will, too. It’s super simple and quick to make.  We even took some of this camping a couple of summers ago, and cooked it on the beach— one of our best meals ever.”


Stuffed Cheddar Burgers


“These burgers are juicy and cheesy and downright delicious. Serve with your favorite toppings and you have a quick and easy meal that is sure to please everyone. You could also mix it up and use whatever cheese is your favorite. I always have cheddar…”


Grilled Skirt Steak


“A delicious and quick gluten, grain and dairy free meal. Meat needs to marinate so allow time for that. You will cook meat and vegetables simultaneously, but start with veggies since they take a little longer”


Kalbi Short Ribs

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“I can’t think of any other food that’s sweeter, more savory, and more super addictive than Korean kalbi. It takes practically no cooking skills to make (yup, I’ve found a shortcut to make them) and the entire family can sit around a big table and enjoy this finger licking, super cheerful and happy food”


Grilled Cumin Crested Lamb Chops


“My mum recently started making these great grilled lamb chops – so tender, so flavorful! And so I just had to share this recipe with you. Plus they’re really easy.  Even if you think you don’t like lamb, give these a taste when you next fire up the grill!”



Cilantro Lime Chicken


“This super easy Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is my new go-to favorite. I love that I can make the marinade ahead of time, which means even faster turn-around time on busy weeknights! I also throw some veggies on the grill at the same time for a simple side dish that complements the chicken perfectly and adds a boost of nutrition!”


Artichoke Spinach Chicken Burgers


“I was obsessed with this dish! So good! When my friend and I were chatting later that Memorial Day, I told him what I made for my own personal BBQ. Lets just say he was very jealous as he told me about his lowly grilled chicken breast 😛 I like to make things fancy…what can I say 😉”


Easy Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken


“This week we made an easy Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken Recipe that will become a regular fan favorite with your family. The house smelled amazing, it took just a couple of minutes for me to get into the slow cooker and my husband and I went nuts over this meal.”


Thai Grilled Chicken With Lemongrass, Basil & Lime


“Yesterday I had an intense craving for some pungent Asian flavors.  But I wanted something light– not like curry, but more reminiscent of the barbecued street food you might find in Asia.  I happened to have a good collection of bright, aromatic herbs on hand, so Thai Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass, Basil & Lime was just perfect for these hankerings.”


 Balsamic Grilled Chicken


“I like to marinate the chicken overnight for the best flavor, but I also tried it out with a 2 hour marinade and that worked as well. It’s really important to control the heat when you’re grilling chicken that’s been marinated, if the grill gets too hot the chicken will burn before it cooks all the way through.”



Grilled Salmon with Chipotle Butter


“Summer time in the Pacific Northwest where I live means lots of salmon will be hitting the grill. This recipe cooks up quick and is loaded with healthy fats and inflammation fighting Omega-3s. Finish the dish with a few slices of avocado, fresh cilantro and squeeze lime juice over the whole plate”


Lemon Butter Halibut


“This is Lemon Butter Halibut with Zoodles and you can make this gorgeous dish in 15 minutes! Both the halibut and the zucchini noodles, or zoodles as they are called, take less than 5 minutes to cook. And the prep is about ten minutes. Super easy, no refined carbs, plenty of protein, and my favorite healthy fat, grass fed butter! (or clarified butter for my Whole 30 friends!)”


Halibut Fish Tacos With Avocado Aioli 


“This recipe may look like it has a ton of ingredients, but I promise it’s not difficult to prepare at all. It’s mostly just making tortillas and throwing garnishes on top of tacos. So worth it!”


Side Dishes

Spicy Apple Slaw


“This slaw pretty much requires that you own a mandoline or at the very least a Julianne vegetable peeler.  I have had my mandoline for almost 10 years and it is awesome!  We use it all the time for salad prep, slicing sweet potatoes for chips, making quick work of prepping veggies for stir-frys and sautéing…”


Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus 


“You can serve this dish as a side, but it’s also good enough to be the star of the show. The first night I made this, the 2 of us ate the whole pound as a main course with a side of perfectly ripe French cheese slathered on crackers (so good and so simple)!”


Summer Garden Ratatouille


“Ratatouille is considered a summer garden dish. It is bright and perfectly acidic. Topped with a poached egg, it makes a perfect light summer lunch.”


Potato Salad with Bacon & Chives 


“Real food potato salad is easy to make and it tastes BETTER!  It seems like I’ve said this a million times by now, but when you control the ingredients, you control the taste and the quality of the food you are preparing.”


Grain-free Mac & Cheese


“This reheats wonderfully and the smell is just heavenly when it’s baking away in your oven (Seriously it will make your house smell like a big hug).  Even with Spring approaching the smell just took me back to Fall.  I hope you like it!”



Homemade Macadamicia Nut Caramel


“The only thing sweet that I had in the house was coconut sugar….and I had been contemplating eating it right out of the can with a spoon. I mustered up some self-control and decided that I had to mix it with something and save myself some dignity. I wanted caramel. Bad! The macadamias in the fridge came to mind so into the Vitamix they went and macadamia nut caramel was born. Oh sweet victory!”


Luscious Lemon Bars (Gluten-Free)


“Who doesn’t love lemon bars?! Well I sure love ’em and so do my kids. I wanted to come up with a more nourishing version that were also gluten free. These luscious lemon bars are less sweet than most and a bit on the tart side…”


Fourth of July Parfait 


“Now, go fourth and watch The Sandlot as you nosh on your anti-oxidant rich, anticarcinogenic, brain boosting, star-spangled birthday treat. Giving you yet another reason to multi-task…how truly American of me! Haha!”


Key Lime Bars


“These are definitely a special occasion treat, considering how much sugar they have and how long it takes to juice and zest key limes! The work on the limes alone is enough to make this a once-a-year treat. But, they are heavenly and if you’re feeling extra decadent, I encourage you to try them!”



Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation

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eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody

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In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.

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