These 4th of July recipes are some of my all-time favorites to bring to our family’s annual cookout, but most of them are just as appropriate for any other time of year, and they all taste great.
Whether you’re looking for something patriotic for the Fourth, a quick and easy side dish for a last-minute cookout, or a tasty dessert for Sunday dinner, you can find it here.
Plus, if your family is anything like mine, you probably have a diverse crowd.
Maybe there’s a niece on the keto diet, a save-the-world vegan auntie, a baby brother who’s “off dairy right now,” and a grandpa who doesn’t eat anything that didn’t once draw breath.
Luckily, this list has it all, from hamburgers and corn dogs to veggie skewers and fruit kabobs.
So get ready to settle on a menu for your next family get-together, whether it’s the Fourth of July or Uncle Timmy’s 80th Backyard Birthday Bash.
This list has you covered.
Everyone makes hamburgers for cookouts. Why not do something a little different with these copycat White Castle burgers instead?
They take less than 30 minutes to make, and they have all the cheesy, meaty, oniony flavor of the real things.
Plus, since they aren’t full-size burgers, no one has to feel guilty about eating more than a couple.
If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly burger option, these chickpea burgers are always a big hit.
They have a similar, though not exact, texture to beef patties, but they’re much less greasy.
The onions, garlic, and other seasonings give them a fantastically flavorful and herby taste, and they take only 30 minutes to make!
Sweet potato fries take nearly an hour to make, but all you’ll need for them are sweet potatoes, water, and seasonings. They’re so easy to prepare.
They’re also salty, herby, and wonderfully crispy. One taste of these, and you’ll never look at regular French fries the same way again.
I can’t get behind potato salad unless it has a ton of flavor, and this potato salad does.
Between the radishes, green onions, celery, and paprika, it’s one of the most flavorful potato salad recipes I’ve ever tried.
The dressing is creamy; the potatoes are crunchy, and it’s just a delightful side dish for any summer meal.
5. French Fries
I 100% stand by my sweet potato fries. However, if you’re going to eat regular French fries, they might as well be the best, and these copycat Popeye’s fries certainly qualify.
They’re crunchy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and perfectly seasoned.
They also have a bit of a spicy kick to them, which I happen to love.
Anytime I can enjoy a bit of heat in my food, I’m happy.
6. Tomato Salad
Have a bunch of extra garden tomatoes and don’t know what to do with them? Tomato salad will make good use of them.
All you need are tomatoes, onions, basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Mix everything in a bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes so that all your flavors really come alive.
Then serve it as-is, with thick, crusty bread, or even with some herb and garlic crackers.
It’s a bit like bruschetta, but simpler and fresher.
Macaroni salad is a must-have for any summer cookout, but why buy the everything-in-a-box kind when you can make a fresh, homemade version in just 30 minutes.
The macaroni is tender; the sauce is creamy; the vegetables are crunchy and flavorful. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Whether you make a rotisserie chicken yourself or buy one at your local deli, put it to good use in this fresh, light, and delicious rotisserie chicken salad.
Assuming your chicken is fully cooked, you should be able to pull it together in just 15 minutes.
It’s ideal for those days when you don’t have the time to cook.
Everyone has a different recipe for broccoli salad, but Paula Deen’s is the one for me.
With raisins, grapes, sugar, cheese, bacon, and more, it’s sweet and savory, crunchy, and creamy.
10. Veggie Skewers
There are few things better than fresh garden veggies, and if you have plenty to go around, you should slice them, marinate them, and stick them on the grill.
These veggie skewers are so easy that a child could make them, but they taste so good that even the pickiest eaters will come back for more.
Whether it’s Game Day, the Fourth of July, or just a lazy Saturday afternoon, buffalo chicken wings are always a hit.
The buffalo sauce is thick and zesty, and the chicken is tender and juicy.
Plus, you can cook them in the slow cooker with practically no effort.
As a child, I thought the only decent way to cook corn was in a massive pot of boiling water on the stove. Boy, was I wrong.
With some olive oil, salt, and a little butter, you can make sweet, buttery corn on the cob right on your backyard grill.
13. Beer Can Chicken
Beer can chicken takes a little time to make but only about 10 minutes to prepare.
It has a bold, savory flavor and is some of the juiciest chicken you’ll ever eat.
The delicious homemade rub makes all the difference, too. Garlic-y, peppery, smoky, and herby – it’s pretty unbeatable.
14. Caprese Salad
Aside from the dressing, Caprese salad only needs four ingredients – bocconcini, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, and balsamic glaze.
It’s fresh, light, and absolutely packed with flavor. Plus, you can make it in 15 minutes (less if you already have the dressing).
It’s hard to find anything wrong with that.
Why make pigs in a blanket when you can make pigs in a blanket on steroids – figuratively speaking, of course.
These pigs in a blanket are huge. You’ll use slices of American cheese, full-size hot dog wieners, and buttery, flaky crescent rolls for the blanket.
Yes, they are as good as you’re imagining.
16. Watermelon Salad
Despite what many people think, watermelon isn’t strictly a sweet food.
For example, it tastes incredible as part of this savory watermelon salad with feta, avocado, onions, and cucumbers.
Thanks to the jalapenos, there’s even a bit of heat in the dish, as well.
17. Root Beer Float
When it comes to a cookout, you can’t overlook the drinks, especially if the person responsible for bringing them is notoriously unreliable.
As long as you have enough of these decadent root beer floats on hand, no one will even notice that somebody forgot the drinks again.
They’re sweet, cool, rich, and creamy, and best of all, they double as dessert.
Although I’m generally partial to plain lemonade, I have to say, I was impressed with this watermelon lemonade recipe.
It manages to retain pure lemonade’s flawless sweet and sour balance while adding just a touch of fruity tanginess as well.
These firecracker milkshakes won’t set your mouth on fire, but they taste so yummy that they just might bring all the boys to the yard.
Really, these milkshakes are just scoops of vanilla ice cream that you’ll turn into a smoother, more milkshake-like consistency.
The “firecracker” nomenclature comes from the addition of red and blue food coloring to some of the ice cream, allowing you to make patriotic red, white, and blue shakes.
With 10 minutes and several everyday kitchen staples, you can make cool, creamy KFC copycat coleslaw.
The carrots and cabbage help it retain a bit of crunch, but for the most part, this coleslaw is smooth and scrumptious.
Be cautious adding the sugar; you may want to start with a single tablespoon and add more as you taste and adjust.
Otherwise, it can get really sweet really quickly.
Speaking of smooth, creamy copycat recipes, you’ll love this one for Chipotle guacamole.
You’ll only need six ingredients to make it, and there’s no cooking involved.
If you can mash, stir, and slice, you’ve got this guacamole in the bag.
Don’t forget to pick up some tortilla chips for dipping, or you could always make your own!
22. Three Bean Salad
I love the gorgeous array of colors in this salad almost as much as I love the taste, and trust me; it tastes phenomenal.
Best of all, you can whip it up in less than 15 minutes, so if you’re crunched for time and have to make a side dish on the fly, this is a fantastic option.
People don’t usually think of wraps as “cookout food,” and that’s a real shame because they’re light, cool, fresh, and fabulous.
They’re filling, but they don’t weigh down your stomach.
You can eat one of these and a few sides and be completely satiated, and then you can hop up and play a rousing game of badminton, horseshoes, or cornhole without feeling sick.
24. Corn Dogs
Frozen corn dogs are so simple to make, even more so if you have an air fryer.
The next time you’re craving warm, sweet, and savory corn dogs, pull out the air fryer instead of the microwave or oven.
25. Fruit Kabobs
Although you might not be able to work every color of the rainbow into these rainbow fruit kabobs, you can come pretty close.
Use whatever fruits you like; just be sure to cut them so that they’ll fit nicely on the skewer with the other pieces.
I like to add a few blueberries, grapes, and mandarin orange slices for additional hues.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who doesn’t enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries.
That’s why I bring them to gatherings so often.
These are my favorites for patriotic-based holidays.
Simply dip the strawberries in melted white chocolate, then add blue sanding sugar to the bottom third of them.
They’re perfect, simple, and delectable.
These red, white, and blue star-shaped cookies look like they’re complicated and time-consuming to make.
Really, though, they aren’t difficult at all. (They do take a bit of time, though.)
The marble icing simply comes from using different colored food dyes and swirling them together with a toothpick.
Trust me; you’ll do great, and if it does take you a few tries to get them right, that just means you get to eat more cookies guilt-free.
You can’t possibly waste them, after all.
Looking for a cold, creamy dessert that you can make in 10 minutes or less? I have you covered!
These white chocolate-covered bananas are insanely good, and they take practically no time or effort to fix.
Just be sure you leave enough time to freeze them for at least an hour before you plan to serve them.
(These are also great for any other holiday. Just buy a different pack of holiday-themed sprinkles!)
If you want to guarantee your dish will be the talk of the party at your next Fourth of July cookout, take the time to make this gorgeous American flag fruit tart.
It takes about half an hour of prep work, but the end result is simply stunning, and that’s before you even taste it.
Of course, it’s almost too pretty to eat, so getting someone to take the first bite is likely to be a challenge.
Once someone makes that first cut, though, it won’t last long.
30. Patriotic Bark
This crunchy, chocolatey patriotic bark is a red, white, and blue edible masterpiece.
The kids will love it, but there will be plenty of adults stopping by to crack off a piece, as well.
With only five ingredients, you can have this treat done in 15 minutes.
Just be sure you make enough for everyone because it’s surprisingly popular.
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