4th of July Recipes

This year, give the fireworks a run for their money with a delicious and unforgettable menu that is sure to set patriotic hearts aflutter.

Crowd-pleasing 4th of July Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Crowd-pleasing 4th of July Recipes

Roll out the red, white, and blue for some of our best summertime fare that’s perfect for your 4th of July celebrations. Whether it’s for a family reunion, backyard barbecue, or a lakeside party, these dishes are sure to please.

Blueberry and Blackberry Galette with Cornmeal Crust makes the perfect ending to any Independence Day menu. The rich, buttery pastry dough is easy and forgiving. Simply roll it out onto parchment paper with a lightly floured rolling pin, and then use the parchment to transfer it to a baking sheet. If you're lucky enough to find wild blueberries like the ones that grow in Maine, use them in this rustic summer tart.

View Recipe: Blueberry and Blackberry Galette with Cornmeal Crust

4th of July Recipes: Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic

Photo: Randy Mayor

Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic

A reinterpretation of the familiar gin and tonic, this cocktail includes fresh watermelon and cucumber juices for a refreshing taste. Hendrick's, a small-batch Scottish gin that's infused with the flavor of cucumber and rose petals, is ideal for this recipe. For even better results, try premium tonic water, such as Fever-Tree or Q Tonic. Serve any remaining juice mixture (which you can make a day ahead) over ice for guests who prefer a nonalcoholic drink.

View Recipe: Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic

4th of July Recipes: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

4th of July party guests are guaranteed to be impressed with this deceptively easy Pulled Chicken Sandwich recipe, which includes a seven-ingredient rub and a simple 15-minute sauce that comes together while the chicken grills. Serve on buns, over fresh greens, or on top of a baked potato for a filling dinner.

View Recipe: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

4th of July Recipes: Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

This recipe uses a trio of potatoes and makes a festive July 4th recipe. Use only one type if you prefer.

View Recipe: Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

4th of July Recipes: Lattice-Topped Blackberry Cobbler

Photo: John Autry

Lattice-Topped Blackberry Cobbler

Using whole almonds in the topping gives it a little color from the skins, but substituting sliced or slivered almonds will work in this recipe, as well.

View Recipe: Lattice-Topped Blackberry Cobbler

4th of July Recipes: Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

This recipe yields slow-cooked barbecue flavor in less than an hour. The sandwiches need to be broiled at the last minute, but the rest of the menu can be made ahead of time.

View Recipe: Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

4th of July Recipes: Lemon-Cornmeal Pound Cake with Berries and Cream

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Lemon-Cornmeal Pound Cake with Berries and Cream

This is a light and refreshing dessert that won’t leave you feeling overindulged. Fresh berries and fluffy whipped cream make a patriotic display of color that will complement any table.

View Recipe: Lemon-Cornmeal Pound Cake with Berries and Cream

4th of July Recipes: Marinated Green Bean and Potato Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Marinated Green Bean and Potato Salad

This simple recipe combines elements of traditional bean and potato salads. Crumbled bacon provides a smoky accent.

View Recipe: Marinated Green Bean and Potato Salad

4th of July Recipes: Fresh Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Photo: Quentin Bacon

Fresh Cherry Cheesecake Bars

With their combo of shortbread-like crust, creamy cheesecake, and fresh summer cherry goodness, these bars will make you the hit of the picnic.

View Recipe: Fresh Cherry Cheesecake Bars

4th of July Recipes: Beer-Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue Sauce

Photo: Randy Mayor

Beer-Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue Sauce

"I like any recipe that starts with 'open a can of beer and drink half,'" says recipe developer and chef Steven Raichlen. American ingenuity has produced a variety of beer-can roasters that hold the can in place and stabilize the tipsy chicken. Aluminum cans bend easily under the pressure, so when piercing holes, it's a good idea to use a can-holding gadget.

View Recipe: Beer-Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue Sauce

4th of July Recipes: Double-Crusted Apple Pie

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Double-Crusted Apple Pie

The developer of this recipe, Chuck Williams, especially enjoyed making pies with his grandmother. She would give him pastry scraps that he rolled out and heaped with apples or peaches. Piled high with tart-sweet apples and covered with a flaky crust, this pie is the type of dessert that evokes memories of family.

View Recipe: Double-Crusted Apple Pie

4th of July Recipes: Watermelon Margaritas

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Watermelon Margaritas

A long, tall version of the great summer sipper, with only 105 calories. This is just the thing to have in hand as you watch the fireworks display light up the sky this year.

View Recipe: Watermelon Margaritas

4th of July Recipes: Caramel Corn Ice Cream

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Caramel Corn Ice Cream

The just-frozen ice cream is still soft enough to stir in the melted caramels. For fun, sprinkle with caramel popcorn.

View Recipe: Caramel Corn Ice Cream

4th of July Recipes: Fresh Cherry Pie

Photo: Randy Mayor

Fresh Cherry Pie

This not-too-sweet cherry pie is delicious on its own, and even better served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

View Recipe: Fresh Cherry Pie

4th of July Recipes: Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade

Photo: Randy Mayor

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade

Not too tart, not too sweet, not too watery - here's the perfect recipe for lemonade. To get the most juice out of your lemons, bring the lemons to room temperature before juicing.

View Recipe: Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade

4th of July Recipes: Watermelon Salad

Photo: Douglas Mirriam

Watermelon Salad

Instead of offering watermelon wedges at your Independence Day cookout, branch out with this sweet and savory watermelon salad featuring cubed watermelon, red onion, kalamata olives, mint, and feta cheese. Even with all the added flavorful ingredients, it still weighs in at only 46 calories per 1/2-cup serving.

View Recipe: Watermelon Salad

4th of July Recipes: Peach Ice Cream

Photo: Oxmoor House

Peach Ice Cream

Ripe peaches at peak season are key to this creamy, refreshing ice cream. It's best eaten the same day it's prepared.

View Recipe: Peach Ice Cream

4th of July Recipes: Simple, Perfect Fresh-Ground Brisket Burgers

Photo: Charles Masters

Simple, Perfect Fresh-Ground Brisket Burgers

We loved the flavorful patty we got from grinding inexpensive beef brisket. Ask for the flat cut of brisket for the leanest choice. Traditional condiments like ketchup and mustard are an option, but we found this burger so good on its own that all we added was cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

View Recipe: Simple, Perfect Fresh-Ground Brisket Burgers

4th of July Recipes: Gingered Blueberry Shortcake

Photo: Randy Mayor

Gingered Blueberry Shortcake

Sweet, juicy, peak-season berries make this dish shine. For convenience, make the berry mixture, whipped cream, and shortcakes in advance, then assemble just before serving. Prepare the berry mixture and whipped cream earlier in the day, and refrigerate; bring berry mixture to room temperature or warm slightly in a pan before serving. Make the shortcakes as time permits, freeze them, then defrost at room temperature when ready to serve.

View Recipe: Gingered Blueberry Shortcake

4th of July Recipes: Fire-Seared Antipasto Platter

Photo: Randy Mayor

Fire-Seared Antipasto Platter

More of a game plan than a set recipe, this dish lends itself to an assortment of ingredients you may have on hand. For example, if you can't find capocollo—cured sausage similar to salami—substitute salami or pepperoni. Serve the platter while vegetables are warm or at room temperature.

View Recipe: Fire-Seared Antipasto Platter

4th of July Recipes: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Roasted Jalapeño Butter

Photo: Anna Williams

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Roasted Jalapeño Butter

This summertime favorite gets a flavorful makeover. Charring the pepper eases the heat, yielding a versatile, not-too-spicy butter.

View Recipe: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Roasted Jalapeño Butter

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