Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

May 23, 2024

Family-Friendly Fourth of July Recipes

We have delicious - and healthy - recipes for your family's Fourth of July barbecue right here!

(Feature photo by Colleen O’Connell Owner/Instructor at Fit4Mom Central Cincinnati)

You decided to head to the last minute Fourth of July party you’ve been pondering about. Sure, you’ll go. But what will you bring? Don’t fret – we rounded up some quick, delicious and healthy recipes you can whip up in a flash – and the kids can get in on it, too!

Photo and recipe by Colleen O’Connell Owner/Instructor at Fit4Mom Central Cincinnati

These are always a hit with our ‘independent’ tots! Here’s how to make these healthy #flags:

Graham crackers
Greek yogurt fruit dip – 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup whipped cream (we LOVE toasted coconut Greek yogurt)
Sliced strawberries plus blueberries 
For more easy patriotic recipes, check out the FIT4MOM blog:
(All photos and recipes below by Rhian Allen, founder of The Healthy Mommy.)

Dragon Sauce Turkey Burgers

Serves 2
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins

Turkey is a great lean protein, making a burger you can enjoy, while still working towards your weight loss goals.


1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
4 teaspoon tamari gluten-free soy sauce
4 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1/4 pound lean ground turkey
1 free-range eggs
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated, 1/2 yellow onion, finely grated, cooking oil spray
2 whole wheat bun (5.64 oz)
1/4 medium avocado (1.06 oz)
1 cups baby spinach (1.06 oz)
1/2 tomato, sliced (1.76 oz)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (0.88 oz)


Make the dragon sauce by combining the garlic, ginger, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, tomato paste, seeds, some pepper and the chili flakes in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly. Set aside, keeping warm. Make the burgers by combining the turkey, egg, carrot and onion in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly and then divide into 2 portions and roll into patties.

Heat a frying pan or barbecue grill over medium heat and lightly spray with cooking oil spray. Add the patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Slice open the buns and spread the bottom half of each with some avocado. Top with some baby spinach, tomato, red onion and a turkey patty on each burger. Drizzle over the dragon sauce and top with remaining half of bun (per serving) to serve.

Beef Burger with Herby Cheese and Zucchini Fries

Serves 1
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Eating healthy doesn’t need to be boring or expensive when you can make these tasty, restaurant style burgers served with a side of vegetable fries at home. The perfect meal to make for your next barbecue.

1/4 pound lean ground beef
1 zucchini, sliced into batons, 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 whole wheat bun
4 teaspoon reduced-fat cottage cheese
4 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/2 cup mixed lettuce leaves


Season beef with salt and pepper and form into one burger patty per serving. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Dust the zucchini in cornstarch. Place on the prepared tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. While zucchini fries are cooking, heat a frying pan or barbecue grill over medium – high heat. Cook each burger patty for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.

Slice the bun(s) in half. Combine the cottage cheese, parsley, dried herbs and garlic. Spread this mix over the bottom half of each bun. Place in the oven, with the zucchini fries and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese topping is golden. Assemble the burger(s) by placing a beef patty on top of the cheesy half of each bun and top with tomato slices, lettuce leaves and the remaining top half of each bun. Serve with zucchini fries on the side.

BBQ Beef With Salsa Verde

Serves 1
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins

A tasty barbecue meal that will appeal to many tastes. Creating a delicious herby, salsa verde makes this recipe a little bit different from the usual meat and salad. You can even make the salsa ahead of time so all you need to do is cook the beef and prepare the salad when ready to serve.


1/4 pound lean beef sirloin
Cooking spray
1/2 tomato 
1/4 red onion
4 teaspoons fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic
1 teaspoon small capers, 1/4 bunch fresh parsley
1/4 bunch fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste


Heat the barbecue grill to high heat and add a little cooking oil spray. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Cook the meat for 5-10 minutes on each side, until cooked to your liking. While the beef is cooking, dice up the tomatoes, onion and cilantro and combine in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of olive oil per serve and half the lemon juice per serve to dress and toss together well.

Prepare the salsa verde, by pulsing the garlic, capers (drained), parsley and basil in a blender and then slowly adding the remaining lemon juice and olive oil until everything is well combined. Place the steak on a plate and top with the salsa verde and the tomato salad on the side (divide salsa verde and salad evenly between however many serves you are preparing).

Steak with Rainbow Curly Fries

Serves 1
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins

A healthy version of steak and fries. These curly fries are a great way to get the family to try new vegetables with their funky shape and fun colors.

1/2 zucchini
1 medium fresh beet, peeled
1/2 small sweet potato, peeled 
1/2 medium carrot, peeled
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound lean steak of choice
1 tablespoon reduced fat mayonnaise 
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line a tray with baking paper.

Use a spiralizer or vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini, beet, sweet potato and carrot into thin noodles. Combine with the olive oil and spread over the prepared tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden.Season the steak with salt and pepper and cook in a frying pan or on a barbecue for 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking.

Combine mayonnaise with garlic and lemon juice. Place steak on a plate with rainbow curly fries and garlic mayo. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Chicken Skewers With Mango Salad

Serves 1
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 8 mins

 An easy to assemble family dinner. Marinate the chicken ahead of time if you like and then just cook and prepare the salad when you’re ready to serve. A delicious meal for your next barbecue.


1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons tamari gluten free soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 mango 
1/4 red onion 
1/4 cucumber 
5 mint leaves
1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice


Combine the lemon juice with tamari/soy sauce and half the finely diced ginger to create a marinade. Dice chicken breast and pour over marinade and place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Thread marinated chicken onto skewers per serving and barbecue or pan fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Meanwhile, prepare the mango salad. Remove the skin and stone from the mango and finely dice. Finely chop the onion, cucumber and mint leaves. Combine in a bowl with the mango. 

Combine the remaining ginger, sweet chili sauce and lime juice and pour over the mango salsa. Spoon salsa over chicken skewers and serve with lime wedges.

Notes: If using wooden skewers, place skewers in chilled water for 1 hour before use to avoid them burning on the barbecue.

Grilled Corn with Spicy Salsa

Serves 1
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins

A great meal to prepare using the barbecue. Make the salsa ahead of time so you have a healthy dinner on the table in minutes.


1/2 tomato, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced 
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 small red chili, seeds removed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons lime juice 
1 corn cob 
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

About the Author

Amanda Hayward

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a mom of three with one on the way. If she's not writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.