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Tips for Creating a 4th of July Menu

It's customary to commemorate the United States of America's independence day with a summer cookout. Use these tips and recipe ideas to plan your next 4th of July menu.


Tips for Creating a 4th of July Menu

Use these suggestions to elevate your Fourth of July menu:

Desserts should be themed. To play up the 4th of July theme, choose desserts that match the colors of the US flag. When displayed, they can become a part of your décor.

Cook a large amount of food. Choose dishes that can be made in bulk if you plan to host a group. That way, you can spend more time celebrating and less time cleaning up. To avoid having to restart the grill or chop vegetables mid-cookout, make a larger bowl of salad and more burger patties than you think you'll need.

Prepare both hot and cold dishes. To beat the July heat, serve classic barbecue dishes (burgers and ribs) alongside cool dishes (pasta salad and ice cream).

Put a new spin on old favorites. Make a few dishes stand out to make your BBQ meal stand out. Cook arrosticini (grilled lamb skewers) instead of grilled chicken kabobs, for example.


16 Recipe Ideas for your 4th of July Menu

These 4th of July recipes will help you plan your menu:

1. Arrosticini: Arrosticini will wow your guests (grilled lamb skewers). Arrosticicini are a simple dish from the Italian pasturelands that can be grilled at home. Simply sprinkle rosemary on the skewers and serve with crusty bread.

2. Baked beans: Baked beans are a traditional 4th of July side dish. Slow-cooked beans in a sweet-and-savory sauce comprise this dish. Depending on the region and personal preference, baked bean sauce is often made with animal fat—usually bacon or salt pork—and a sweetener such as maple syrup, brown sugar, or molasses.

3. Blueberry cheesecake: Make a show-stopping blueberry cheesecake to round out your 4th of July menu. This white-and-blue dessert will complement the theme and look lovely on display. Finish with strawberries to complete the red, white, and blue color scheme.

4. Burgers: Burgers are a summertime grilling staple. They're simple to make and a big hit. Make Massimo Bottura's famous Emilia burger for a more elevated take on the classic dish, or make sliders to feed a large group quickly.

5. Caprese salad: Caprese salad (insalata Caprese in Italy) is an Italian salad with basil leaves, mozzarella, and summer tomatoes. Caprese salad is a delicious appetizer or side dish to serve in the summer when fresh tomatoes are plentiful.

6. Chocolate ice cream: Ice cream will keep your guests cool on a hot July 4th. Chocolate ice cream can be easily made at home by combining and freezing milk, cream, melted chocolate, sugar flavored with cocoa powder, and additional mix-ins. Toppings (such as marshmallows or sliced nuts) can be added to a batch of homemade chocolate ice cream.

7. Coleslaw: A popular side dish at cookouts, picnics, potlucks, and barbecues is cole slaw. Make a classic coleslaw recipe or change up a few ingredients to customize the flavor of the traditional cabbage mixture for your Fourth of July cookout.

8. Corn on the cob: Corn on the cob is a summertime favorite that is simple to prepare. A fresh ear of corn, butter, salt, and pepper are the only ingredients needed for a simple corn on the cob recipe.

9. Grilled chicken: Grilled chicken is an adaptable option. Serve your grilled chicken with grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, if you've taken the time to set up an outdoor grill. Try a grain salad with farro and summer tomatoes or quinoa and greens as a hearty side.

10. Mustard BBQ sauce: Carolina mustard barbecue sauce has a yellow mustard base and is tangy, sweet, and spicy. This BBQ sauce complements a variety of smoked and grilled proteins with a complex balance of savory, sweet, and acidic flavors, so serve it alongside whatever meat you cook for your 4th of July menu.

11. Potato salad: Serve cool, creamy potato salad alongside smoked meat, cornbread, baked beans, and braised greens. Potato salad is a simple side dish that should be on your 4th of July menu. It is common fare at many BBQs, cookouts, potlucks, and deli lunch counters.

12. Ribs: Serve ribs to live up to your guests' BBQ expectations. Learn how to smoke pork ribs on a smoker for a unique flavor. Serve with pasta salad and your preferred barbecue sauce.

13. Salsa verde: Begin your meal with a light appetizer like salsa verde. Try Gabriela Cámara's verde salsa. This green salsa is a Mexican salsa with a lush profile of green ingredients, including fresh green tomatillos, green chiles, perfectly ripe avocado, aromatic cilantro, and crisp lettuce.

14. Sangria: Sangria is a fruity alcoholic beverage that goes well with tapas and other Spanish dishes, as well as warm-weather dishes from other cuisines. The color of red sangria will look great at your party.

15. Strawberry cobbler: Strawberry cobbler is a baked dessert with juicy baked strawberries and a fluffy biscuit-style topping. To complete your 4th of July color scheme, top the strawberry cobbler with blueberries and vanilla ice cream.

16. Watermelon salad: Sweet watermelon and salty feta cheese make an amazing summer flavor combination. Make a watermelon feta salad as a refreshing side dish for your Fourth of July cookout. It pairs well with Mediterranean lamb chops, crispy fried chicken, tacos al pastor, grilled chicken and zucchini, tomato and balsamic vinegar bruschetta, and arugula avocado pasta salad.

Author: Wispaz Technologies