The Fourth of July is one of the most festive of our homegrown American holidays.
It’s a time for celebrating the red, white and blue with family and friends…As well as with music and food!
But before all of the festivities begin, a lot of work has to go into pre-planning your menu so that you can deliver a bountiful meal, or at least bring a dish or two to the potluck without getting stressed out.
Because we know planning this momentous occasion is enough work in and of itself, we’ve curated a list of 10 easy recipes that will take all of the hard work out of your next Independence Day get together, and replace it with fun!
Whether you’re hosting your party in your backyard, front yard, in the park, at the beach, or anywhere else, we’ve got you covered with a mouthwatering selection of everything from savory potato salads and hot dog recipes to sweet-tooth satisfying desserts.
Got any other favorite 4th of July dishes? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!
1. Hot Dogs
Whether we’re talking about corn dogs, beef franks, a vegan alternative, or any other type of “dog”, if there was one food that is an essential part of any Fourth of July, it’s the hotdog.
Real Housemoms comprised a great list of hot dog recipes that includes everything from a Bahn Mi Slaw to a Peanut Butter Bacon hot dog.
Like the dogs themselves, which can be made from virtually anything from meat to non-meat substitutes, there are also an endless amount of toppings you can use as well, which gives you an endless amount of flavor profiles to play with.
If you have the space, you might consider making a DIY smorgasboard of toppings your guests can choose from.
Food Network also has a great collection of gourmet-style hot dog recipes.
If you want a healthier alternative, give Fast Company’s The 5 Best Veggie Dogs to Enjoy on National Hot Dog Day a read through for a few vegan hot dog brands you’re sure to enjoy.
2. Potato Salad
Image Source: A Spicy Perspective
With all of its rich creaminess, a potato salad is one dish that’s hard to get wrong.
And with a recipe as perfect as A Spicy Perspective’s take on this 4th classic, your potato salad will never miss a beat. We promise.
This version uses a few updated ingredients, such as paprika, dill, sweet pickle relish, celery seeds and more.
Scroll to the middle of the page for the full recipe!
As it turns out, creating a vegan version of potato salad isn’t that hard, either. So if you are looking to balance your dish offerings with some that a bit more healthier, try this The Best Classic Vegan Potato Salad recipe.
3. Grilled Chicken
Image Source: Serious Eats
While perhaps not as iconic as eating hot dogs and hamburgers while firecrackers go off in the background, grilled chicken makes another great entree for any fourth celebration.
Serious Eats has a variety of grilled chicken recipes for the wings, cutlets and many other parts of your chicken.
Food and Wine’s 7 Awesome Grilled Chicken Wings for a Fourth of July Party has several great recipes for your next get together.
Image Source: Serious Eats
Like hotdogs, hamburgers are one of the greatest American eats there are…
And speaking of eats, Serious Eats has lined up the best of the bunch in their list of 15 July 4th Burger Recipes.
From barbeque-flavored, kimchi-style, Greek to plain ol’ traditional grilled burgers, there are more than a few old and few favorites for you to choose one that will work with you and your acquaintances flavor palette.
If you need help narrowing down a list of vegan hamburger brands, try Peta.org’s list of 10 ‘veggie’ burgers.
5. Shrimp Pasta Salad
Image Source: Taste of Home
Whether it’s a pasta or potato salad, no Fourth of July is complete without a salad of some kind.
Our first dish is a lightweight yet creamy pasta from Taste of Home.
The flavors here transcend perfectly from tasty to healthy. Because this dish doesn’t include heavy proteins such as beef or pork, it’s an indulgent treat that anyone can enjoy without worrying about their waistline.
The main protein is shrimp, which is flavored with mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt.
Tip: Where possible you can substitute plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise; using herbs such as dill and vegetables such as cucumber to give the sauce a flavor that is as delectable as any mayo concoction.
Check out the rest of Taste of Home’s inventory of crowd favorites for more pasta salad recipe ideas.
If you’re looking for more healthy alternatives, try Ambitious Kitchens 18 of the Best Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes.
6. Baby Back Ribs
Image Source: Joyful Healthy Eats
The sight and smell of barbeque (or a similar concoction) roasting on the grill is one of the most iconic parts of the Fourth of July.
Krista from Joyful Healthy Eats has a great twist on an old favorite that everyone is bound to call finger-licking good. She pairs a delicious blend of cinnamon, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and ground pepper, salt, garlic cloves, and a large, sweet onion for the spice rub.
For an alternative dry rub, try Foodie Crush’s The Best Dry Rub for Ribs recipe.
7. Baked Beans
Image Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything
Lastly, this recipe, titled The Best Baked Beans makes our list for your must-have Fourth of July menu.
What makes this recipe different?
This dish contains sizeable portions of barbeque, Worstershire and soy sauce, as well as ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and proteins including beef, bacon and pork.
It’s basically what would happen if all of your favorite meat dishes got together and had a party.
8. Firework Blondes
Image Source: Country Living
Desserts color coordinated in red, white and blue are perhaps an obvious choice for the 4th. But with a little thoughtful preparation, you can make some very creative treats with this color scheme.
From donuts to cake rolls, Country Living has a few different munchies that will allow you to show off your patriotism in a flavorful and stylish way.
Martha Stewart has 30 more ideas for color-coordinated 4th of July desserts.
9. Fruit-Tart Flag
Image Source: Food Network
Clocking in at under 5 minutes, these fruit-tart flags are literally as easy as 1-2-3 to make.
The 3-step process requires no baking, and only includes filling tart shells or phyllo cups with mascarpone and then topping with blueberries or strawberries for a patriotic touch.
Here are a few more red, white and blue desserts, courtesy of Food Network.
10. Chocolate Ginger Chess Pie
Image Source: Saveur
Our first dessert on our list is this Chocolate Ginger Chess Pie by Saveur.
The ingredients in this pie include: Sugar, eggs, cornmeal, ground ginger, melted chocolate, candied ginger, and salt, among others.
Despite the gorgeous and expertly-crafted final product, this pie is actually quite easy to make if you have roughly 2-2 ½ hours to spare for preparation and baking.
Food and Wine compiled a list of Stunning Pies (Other Than Apple) for the Fourth of July that will give you even more dessert ideas.
Well there you have it.
With these 10 sweet and savory recipes, planning and cooking your next Fourth of July meal will be a breeze.
We’ve chosen 4th of July recipes that have both a homemade and gourmet feel so that you can mix and match the comforts of home with the experience of totally new flavors.
Want to see what else we're up to?