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.
BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta Slaw
This summery crunch-tastic slaw is guaranteed to find its way into your recipe rotation for the rest of the season. Using ripe, juicy peaches, it's the perfect sweet-salty side dish for any number of grilled or smoked proteins.
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Coleslaw
Our quick homemade BBQ sauce is lower in sodium than bottled versions. The vinegar in the slaw balances out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce nicely, while the vegetables in the slaw provide an added crunch to the sandwich.
Cost for 4: $9.15
Total Time: 23 minutes
Deep-Dish Strawberry Ice Dream Pie
The filling for our killer pie is somewhere between ice cream and mousse—a creamy concoction that's ridiculously easy to make.
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.
Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado
This Latin-accented side is studded with guacamole components: jalapeño, cilantro, white onion, lime, and avocado. It’s a three-bean salad with a reason to be—spicy, creamy, beany.
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple, Corn, and Bell Pepper Relish
We love the high-impact flavors in this recipe. The vibrant, colorful relish will not only look divine when plated atop grilled chicken thighs, but will taste just as amazing.
Tender biscuits get a little lift from sweet, floral lemon rind. For slightly taller shortcakes with soft sides, pack biscuits into a round cake pan; for separate shortcakes with crisp edges, arrange onto a baking sheet with space between.
Ultimate BBQ Chicken
This chicken is wonderfully moist, with a smoky sauce that will have you firing up the grill year-round. In our ultimate BBQ makeover, we remove the skin just before the chicken finishes grilling (saving 128 calories and 2.7g sat fat per breast), then baste with a spicy-sweet sauce. The best part? You'll save 183 calories, 3g sat fat, 26g sugar, and 854mg sodium over the traditional recipe, without losing any of the flavor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marinated Green Bean and Potato Salad
This simple recipe combines elements of traditional bean and potato salads. Crumbled bacon provides a smoky accent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August: Sangria for Every Season
Whether it’s sipped poolside on a hot summer day or savored at a festive holiday soirée, sangria highlights seasonal fruit—from sweet, juicy peaches in summer to delightfully bitter blood oranges in winter. While the ingredients can vary, this Spanish drink typically contains a dry red, white, or sparkling wine, a sweetener, fresh fruit, and a small amount of brandy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rustic Huckleberry-Blackberry Tart
If you can't find huckleberries, use blueberries.
Blueberry-Peach Cobbler with Pecans
Turkey Burgers with Roasted Eggplant
Leftover eggplant puree from this recipe is perfect as a dip for toasted pita wedges. Marmite is a concentrated yeast paste that helps give this burger meaty flavor—find it in supermarket baking aisles and health food stores. Use sesame-poppy seed buns.
Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil
Our Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil is light and perfect as an outdoor summer side. Choose a variety of tomato colors to make the salad more beautiful without any additional work.
Grilled Vegetable Caprese with Pesto
The original Caprese salad consists of mozzarella, tomato, and basil, but our take adds grilled vegetables and homemade pesto for a hearty twist.