Burgers and brews for the red, white, and blue! Backyard barbecue parties may be one of my favorites to plan the menu for. Easy 4th of July (or Memorial Day!) recipes like potato salad, hot dogs, summer salads, and apple pie...who wouldn't love that lineup?
Whether you are planning the party or just want to bring the best appetizer to the party, this is for you! Rock that summer cookout and be confident in the kitchen with these tried and true patriotic recipes. The best 4th of July recipes have simple ingredients, are a little nostalgic, and something the entire family can enjoy.
Table of Contents
Hosting a Fourth of July Party
To host the best party you have to have the best food (and American flags of course!). Delicious recipes are essential to any good summer holiday party and these favorite 4th of July recipes are no exception! Planning your July 4th menu doesn't' have to be hard...
The best way to plan a menu is to break it down.
- I always start with what I'd serve for the main dishes.
- Then, I choose a 2-3 coordinating side dishes to go with it.
- Finally, round it out with the perfect dessert.
Breaking it down this way really takes the stress out of the planning portion and then you can have suggestions if people inevitably ask "what can I bring?"
After the food, I move on to decor so here is a simple table setting idea with a patriotic look that sets the scene for this special occasion. Can't you just picture serving up those cookout classics on this table?!
Main Dishes for July Fourth
My mind immediately goes to anything grilled for the main courses at a summer party. Hot dogs, burgers, BBQ sandwiches, are classic go-tos. But I'm also including some new recipes you may not have considered classic Fourth of July foods.
Burgers for 4th of July
- Bacon Jam Burger. Bacon and burgers? A crowd pleaser! This elevated burger recipe features a homemade bacon jam and loaded with cheese. It's an easy way to impress your guests.
- Herb and Goat Cheese Burger with heirloom tomatoes is a "fancy" way to serve a classic cheeseburger. I love the addition of goat cheese with fresh herbs to instantly take your burger bar to the next level.
- Coffee Rubbed Burger is a personal favorite of mine and my family loves the flavors of it. The Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce really takes is over the top.
Hot Dog Topping Ideas
- Chicago Style Hot Dogs I love this delicious way to top a hot dog. The tangy pickles and poppyseed bun screams old-fashioned summer fun.
- Chili Dogs looking for something more hearty? Topping a hot dog with chili is the perfect combination.
- Slaw Dog My personal favorite! Cool coleslaw with a dog right off a hot grill, it's the best part of this patriotic holiday! I even like to add a little squeeze of dijon mustard for extra tang.
New Recipe To Try In July
- Lobster Rolls if you are looking for something totally different to try for your July celebration, try out these rich lobster rolls!
- Summer Grilled Pork Chops Something totally different and definitely elevated are these summer pork chops with a delicious balsamic reduction!
- Spicy Margarita Grilled Chicken Fajitas All of the flavors of a spicy margarita infused into chicken. Grill it up and serve it on a fajita bar with toppings like fresh limes and sour cream.
- Grilled Bruschetta Chicken Lean, light, and totally delish! This combination of bruschetta flavors on top of grilled chicken is a new one you'll have to add to your menu.
Independence Day Side Dishes
Arguably the BEST PART of all Fourth of July recipes has to be the sides. Does every family have a recipe collection of July party recipes? (or summer parties in general!) Classic recipes that are found at Memorial Day parties, a family reunion, and obviously this patriotic holiday. Macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, chips and dips...the list goes on! Here are easy recipes that go well with traditional 4th of July foods.
Pasta Salad Recipes
- Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad It's loaded with tuna, mayonnaise, and dill pickles and it couldn't be more nostalgic!
- Summer Pasta Salad Tangy artichoke hearts with feta and cucumber is a flavor combo that goes well with any BBQ dish or summer party.
- Creamy Pasta Salad This unique pasta salad features a fun summer ingredient: pineapple! The salty and sweet balance in this creamy pasta salad is a must-try!
- Italian Zucchini Noodle Salad I've put a lean and green spin on this classic recipe my mom used to make by swapping pasta for ZUCCHINI pasta! Noodles made with zucchini. And it totally transforms this salad. One of the more healthy recipes for your holiday.
PRO PARTY TIP! Try serving these recipes up in individual mason jars for a fun table display! You can buy them in bulk here or check our local antique store for unique glass wares.
Unique BBQ Side Dishes
- Marinated Tomatoes Using up one of summer's most abundant foods: tomatoes. If healthy eating is important, marinated and served cold right next to your burgers or dogs is perfect for something lighter.
- Tomato Bruschetta I absolutely love this creative red side dish! Patriotic food is a must for this holiday and spice up your party table with this red and white tomato bruschetta. Burrata cheese and blistered tomatoes will be a crowd pleaser!
- Mojito Watermelon Salad Delicious summer watermelon sliced up and served with classic mojito flavors! Watermelon Mojito Salad is so refreshing with limeand easy to make with only 5 ingredients! It has lime juice, rum, and flaky sea salt for a unique pairing.
- Air Fried Jalapeno Poppers Cream cheese and bacon stuffed into jalapenos with an everything bagel, crunchy topping! Air fry these and serve them on the festive spread for a unique twist on a classic side dish.
Salsas and Dips
- Chipotle Mild Corn Salsa A simple salsa recipe that tastes JUST like Chipolte's Roasted Chili Corn Salsa? Yes please! This easy roasted veggie salsa is full of flavor and a great healthy snack.
- Fresh Garden Salsa Its that time of year when everyone's gardens (hopefully!) are abundant with produce! Tomatoes, jalapeño, peppers, growing out of control. Let's use up the best fresh garden veggies you can round up (even if they are store bought, ha!) and let's make a Fresh Garden Salsa.
- Creamy Mexican Corn Dip This party favorite is one of my go-to's because it's easy to prep ahead of time!
- Layered Hummus Dip Hummus is one that kids of all ages like and I love serving it with pita chips or veggies like cucumber and green peppers.
PARTY PRO TIP! Choose side dishes that are MAKE AHEAD friendly! It takes the stress out of completing everything the day of and it frees up time to do more fun things, like sip spicy margaritas or your favorite white wine!
Classic Summer Salad Recipes
- Broccoli Salad Sweet cranberries, sunflower seeds, and broccoli make up this classic summertime salad.
- Lemon Poppyseed Dressing Salad with fresh berries and a bright and zesty dressing, this is one of those July food ideas that will be a staple throughout the summer!
- Prosciutto and Peach Salad talk about classic summer flavors! Peaches are one of my favorite things to slice and serve during the summer and this salad pairs it with fresh mozzarella or burrata for a slight richness in flavor.
Festive July Desserts
Now on to everyone's favorite: dessert! There are so many ways to serve up a patriotic dessert that my head is spinning. I think every families July 4th recipes are something they hold dear to their hearts. I still remembered this red, white and blue layered jello my mom made for us and I smile.
Classic Festive Desserts
- Cherry Pretzel Jello Tart - Is this just a midwest thing? But the combo of strawberries and salty pretzels is one I'll never forget and this twist with cherries is a fun dessert for everyone.
- Angel Food Cake Trifle Layers of angel food cake, berries, and pastry cream bring the American flag colors right to your dessert table!
- Apple Crisp We just couldn't have a classic American summer without apples! Apple slices and a crumble topping are just the perfect staple for a dessert table.
PRO PARTY TIP: Using small cookie cutters (like these!) you can cut fruit or crust into small star shapes to use for garnishing desserts drinks and more!
Chocolate 4th of July Dessert
- White Chocolate Cheesecake Cups - These little single serve cups are bringing the red and white to the party. I love an individual dessert and these would make a great choice if you were wanting to prep ahead of time.
- Ice Cream Sandwiches - homemade ice cream sandwiches can be made with cookies as the bread pieces and serve them up with all kinds of ice cream choices. There is something for everyone!
- S'mores Brownies - Is it even summer if we aren't serving smores!? Slice and serve up these smores brownies to impress your guests.
- Red White BLUE Blondies - these dessert bars feature a bright blue blondie, topped with red, white, and blue sprinkles. If you want to bake desserts for the 4th, this is the one you need to make!
- Blue Velvet Pudding - A twist on red velvet, this pudding cup is bright blue! Why is blue food so fun?!
Pies For Summer
- American Flag Pie Using extra pie crust, make the top of your summer berry pie look like a flag! So simple to do, and beautiful to look at.
- Classic Cherry Pie One of my FAVORITE desserts of all time is a tangy cherry pie. I'll use any holiday as an excuse to eat one and Fourth of July is no exception!
- Mixed Berry Pie Did you spend a Saturday morning this summer berry picking? Use up the fruits of your labor, literally, with a super delicious mixed berry pie.
4th of July Cocktails
Well, your guests have eaten many courses over the duration of your party and it's time to kick things up a notch. These fun and festive drink options are going to be easy to make in bulk, beautiful to look at, and may or may not be the hit of the party! Lets review some batch cocktails PERFECT for your summer soiree.
- Patriotic Pina Colada - Red, white, blue, and tropical! These Pina coladas are mixed up with blue curaçao and grenadine to give it the traditional American flag colors.
- Red, White, and Blue Sangria One of the easiest summer cocktails to make ahead of time and make A LOT of is sangria. This white wine sangria is filled with summer fruits and will keep your guests hydrated and happy.
- Cherry Limeade Beer-Rita - A really fun and unique twist to classic margaritas are these bright red cherry limeade beer-ritas.