20 Festive 4th of July Recipes!

By Ann Fulton

Bringing a dish to a 4th of July party this summer? The following 20 recipe ideas can be made ahead, travel well, and are sure to please a crowd!
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Bringing a dish to a 4th of July party this summer? The following recipes can be made ahead, travel well, and are sure to please a crowd!


Of course, if you are hosting your own get-together, these recipes have you covered as well. From appetizers and salads to main dishes, desserts and drinks, the recipes are all easy to make ahead of time so that you can be ready for hosting duties when your guests arrive. 

For hot off the grill 4th of July recipes, from ribs to steakchicken and shrimp, simply enter the key word in the search bar.


1. Classic Deviled Eggs

What’s a party without them? Add some hot sauce and garnish with paprika to make them truly deviled!

2. Fruit Rainbow

I first made a fruit rainbow for a birthday party when my kids were young and it became a party staple. I remember the time there was leftover pizza and cake but the fruit platter was scraped clean! Little did I know the significance a rainbow would take on in my life. So whether you make it for a birthday party or a backyard barbecue, make it, watch it disappear, and love everything it represents. #pride

Everyone loves a rainbow, but for a 4th of July variation, layer red and blue fruit with marshmallows in between!

3. Greek Pasta Salad

A fresh and welcome accompaniment to any summer gathering, the dressing is also a fabulous marinade for chicken! 

4. BLT Pasta Salad with Avocado

The classic sandwich inspired this winning pasta salad, which complements burgers, grilled chicken, steaks, and more. For the ranch dressing lovers among us, BLT Ranch Pasta Salad offers a tasty alternative.

5. My Favorite Broccoli Salad

My Favorite Broccoli Salad -- Perfect for a potluck, casual entertaining, or a satisfying lunch, this tried-and-true rendition of the classic broccoli salad can be assembled in advance in minimal time and varied according to preference.

Something green is nice, even on a red, white, and blue day! When I take this classic broccoli salad to a potluck, the bowl is always scraped clean. The go-with-everything dish has also garnered countless recipe requests over the years. 

6. Avocado, Watermelon & Mint Salad with Feta Cheese 

While this vibrant salad does come together easily, showing up with some simple watermelon wedges is a great option too!

7. California Potato Salad

Buttery avocado, juicy tomatoes, and a bit of crisp bacon will shake up your potato salad routine for a light yet filling spin on the classic dish.  

Shake up the traditional potato salad routine with this mayo-free version, or try my Roasted Potato Salad with Special Sauce, which can be made with regular or sweet potatoes – or a mix!

8. Corn and Cucumber Salad with Basil and Chives

Perhaps the easiest salad with the biggest reward, this corn and cucumber salad is summer in a bowl. Optionally, Mexican Street Corn Salad is another crowd pleaser that packs a flavorful punch.

9. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

An economical can of beans mixes with fresh veggies and a flavorful vinaigrette in this versatile, plant-based salad that can be adapted in countless ways. 

Fresh, festive, and no cooking required. This colorful side dish will also rise to entree status for the vegetarian friends and family among us.  

10. Cumin Lime Coleslaw

Crisp texture, vibrant flavor, and impressive versatility make this super simple side dish a favorite way to eat veggies in our house!

Thanks to a few key ingredients, this simple recipe elevates the standard coleslaw yet still pairs well with anything that comes off the grill. And while you can enjoy the crisp slaw alongside burgers and pulled pork sandwiches, it’s super tasty ON them!

11. Cowboy Caviar 

A make-ahead recipe with a cheeky name, this bean-based dip, commonly served with tortilla chips, is equally delicious as a salad or salsa. Perfect for family meals and casual entertaining, Cowboy Caviar is always a hit! 

Perfect for casual entertaining, this salad can be served as a side dish or as a dip with chips! Similarly versatile, my Black Bean Dip is ideal for backyard barbecues. Both also offer hearty fare for those who don’t eat meat.  

12. Cornell Chicken

Cornell Chicken  --  Reminiscent of the classic roadside barbecue, advance prep and tender, juicy meat make this chicken dinner a real winner.  For those who enjoy, a favorite sauce could be served on the side.

Spot-on for the chicken you get at a roadside barbecue and can be enjoyed hot off the grill or at room temperature if you’d like to take it to a friend or family get-together. The succulent chicken pairs beautifully all the traditional cookout side dishes, included the above-pictured Succotash Salad.

13. Super Crunchy Oven Fried Drumsticks

SUPER CRUNCHY OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS - Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. (Can be served warm, cold or room temp with convenient advance prep options.)

Crispy, crunchy, and no fryer needed! Perfects for picnics because the drumsticks can be served at room temperature.

14. Peach Ginger Shrimp Kabobs

Keep a bag of frozen shrimp on hand and this dish will come together in a snap with just a few refrigerator and pantry staples. The shrimp taste great hot or at room temperature, and the apricot variation is delicious as well.

15. Blueberry Lemon Cornbread

This delightful twist on the usual cornbread comes together quickly with pantry ingredients and fresh or frozen blueberries. An easy tip ensures leftovers are never dry — making them perfect for breakfast!

Serve as a side dish or a dessert – you choose!

16. Mini Lemon Pies

These cool, creamy, and tart mini pies are the perfect hand-held dessert for gatherings, and can be made with a few key ingredients in advance!

Make-ahead, handheld desserts are easy for large gatherings, and these pies are a cool and creamy reprieve from the summer heat. Serve with a side of Blueberry Lime Jam for a festive touch!

17. Blueberry Crisp 

Plump, juicy blueberries provide a sweet foundation for an irresistible crisp topping you’ll want to use with other fruits too. Quick to make with dairy- and gluten-free options.

I offer simple dairy- and gluten-free adaptations for this classic July 4th dessert so that even more of us can enjoy it. (You’ll want to use the delicious topping with other fruits too!)

18. Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler

Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler --  sweet peaches, a novel yet easy preparation, and those crispy edges make this seasonal dessert a perennial favorite!

This clever recipe has earned itself legions of fans (some who have been known to enjoy leftovers for breakfast!). Fresh Peach Cake is another seasonal and simple dessert to return to every year.

19. Chipwich Bars

Everyone loves a chipwich, so why not make it easier – and more fun – by making a sheet panful? There's even a simple trick for a cookie that isn't rock hard when frozen, and the science behind it is fascinating! 

Red, white, and blue sprinkles will make this an on-theme 4th of July favorite! Or try the same patriotic toppings with my Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches. If traveling with these, be sure to use a cooler with ice. (Dry ice is a great option for especially hot days and longer car rides.)

20. Big Batch Frozen Margaritas

Slushy-like with spot-on Margarita flavor, a big batch of this party favorite takes minutes to mix up and can be done well in advance for added convenience.

While the big batch recipe requires day-ahead prep, it will keep in the freezer for weeks. For a smaller group, a pitcher of Beer Margaritas captures the classic cocktail flavor with similarly incredible ease. 

What’s on the menu for your July 4th celebrations this year?

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