If you’re hosting a 4th of July BBQ, look no further than this post for all the best 4th of July Recipes! This collections features all the best main dishes, sides, desserts, and drinks for a summer holiday party.
What to bring to a cookout
I love hosting a backyard party to celebrate America, with lots of water activities to cool us down!
When I am the guest, I choose to bring dishes that are easy to transport and serve without much fuss. I also choose recipes that can be made easily and that will feed 12-15 people.
A tip I’ve learned from personal experience: be sure to let the host know what you plan to bring so they can plan accordingly. 😉
Tips for hosting a 4th of July BBQ
Are you hosting friends and/or family for Independence Day? If so, we wanted to share some of our top tops for hosting a holiday cookout this year. As always, we suggest making assignments so you don’t have to make EVERYTHING. Most are willing to help out with the food. 😉
- Grill meats, fruits and veggies. The char marks add a unique grilled flavor.
- Utilize the crock pot. You can still get delicious main dishes and side dishes without spending time in an oven hot kitchen.
- Keeping food cool outside: put the food table in the shade, don’t put everything out at once, put dishes on ice, keep food covered.
- Take the party outside and end the night with fireworks. Check out this post about firework safety.
- See the individual recipe posts for more tips and tricks to cooking these yummy dishes.
Whether you want to grill up a delicious piece of meat, or add some extra flavor to your fruits and veggies, grilling lets you do both!
- Grill Size: It’s helpful to have a grill large enough that you can adjust the temperature on different sections.
- Map it Out: Create a chart that lays out what item will be grilled in what section, as well as how long each piece of meat or vegetable will need to cook. Be sure that you don’t overlap the different types of food before or during grilling.
- Clean It: Clean the grates and apply a thin layer of oil to help keep food from sticking to the grill grates.
- Prepping Meat: Take meat out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before grilling. It can be tempting to poke, prod and flip the meat, but don’t.
- Flipping: You should only flip it once. By doing so you allow each side to heat up enough to start forming a nice caramelized crust.
- Sauce: If you add barbecue sauce or other flavorful sauces too early, it just tends to char. Allow your meat to cook almost completely before coating it with the sauce.
- Let it Rest: Allow meat to rest for a few minutes before cutting.
- Grilling vegetables and fruit takes a fraction of the time as meat. Since meat needs to rest once it is done cooking, this is a perfect time to reduce the heat and grill up your veggies. You can lay your vegetables across the grates so they don’t fall through, or use a grilling basket.
- Safety: Have a box of baking soda on hand in case of a grill fire.
- How Much? Plan for ½ lb of meat per person. If you know certain guests have bigger appetites or you want to be sure there are leftovers, plan for ¾ lb per person. For burgers plan 1-2 per adult and 1 per child. Hot dogs plan 1-2 per child and 2-3 per adult.
4th of july Grilling RECIPES + main dishes
Grilling is the way to go for the 4th of July food, but there are some other options too! These tasty July 4th recipes will help make planning your party menu a breeze!
Hot Dogs In Crock Pot – The easiest way to make hot dogs for a crowd! Cook hot dogs in the crock pot for all of your summer potluck needs. Serve on buns with your favorite condiments.
Slow Cooker Kalua Pork – This Slow Cooker Kalua Pork is a classic Hawaiian favorite made easily in your slow cooker with just a few ingredients. Eat it on it’s own, or in tacos or sliders.
Teriyaki Chicken Wings – Homemade Teriyaki Wings – one of the best recipes you’ll ever try! Lots of flavors make these chicken wings a great appetizer for any get together!
Carnitas Recipe – Carnitas AKA Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork takes minutes to prep and is great in tacos, bean burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas and more!
Pulled Pork – This Delicious and Easy Pulled Pork Recipe is one that is made in the slow cooker and takes just minutes to prep!
Huli Huli Chicken – This Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is the juiciest and most delicious Hawaiian chicken you’ll ever try! Great alone or served on rice or noodles!!
Chicken Souvlaki – Chicken Souvlaki is a savory kabob infused with Greek flavors. With marinated chicken, onions, and peppers, it’s hearty and delicious.
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Loaded with juicy grilled pineapple, red onion and crisp lettuce, this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken sandwich is perfect for summer entertaining!
Ranch Burger – These Ranch Burgers make the BEST homemade hamburger patties!! This easy burger recipe is complete with the most delicious secret sauce that compliments the ranch burger perfectly!
Dr. Pepper Ribs – Pork ribs cooked in Dr. Pepper, grilled to perfection, and smothered in BBQ Sauce. These Dr. Pepper ribs are fall off the bone delicious!
Best Steak Marinade – This is Our All-Time Favorite Steak marinade! It requires only four ingredients, and makes our steak taste SO amazing! Everyone always asks for this Easy Steak Marinade recipe because it’s just that good!!
Assigning sides is the easiest thing to do, especially since most are so simple. Whether it’s a veggie, fruit, slow cooker side or salad, guests will be happy to help out.
I like to provide 3-4 different types of side dishes for 6 or fewer guests, then I’ll add another type of dish for every 5 more guests. In my experience most adults will have about 3-4 total servings of sides. Children will have 2-3 servings.
Be sure to check out our complete collection of 4th of July Side Dishes.
Fruit Kabobs – Colorful fruit kabobs are the best appetizer or side for any occasion! Load up your favorite fruits and get snacking. Great for dipping in fruit dip, too!
Macaroni Salad – A simple, creamy macaroni salad loaded with pasta, peas and ham. It’s perfect for parties, family dinners, and potlucks!
Boiling Corn On The Cob – Boiling corn on the cob is a cinch! You will love this juicy corn on the cob to put on the side of any summer meal.
Homemade Potato Salad – Our all-time favorite Potato Salad – it’s simple, flavorful and filled with chunks of potatoes, eggs and olives! It’s the perfect addition to any BBQ or picnic and is so creamy and tasty, it will wow everyone who tries it.
Best Way To Cut A Watermelon – Is there anything better than a ripe juicy watermelon? Learn how to cut a watermelon into cubes efficiently and easily with our tips!
Chicken Pasta Salad – Creamy chicken pasta salad is quick, easy, and SO tasty. It is packed with hearty ingredients for a filling side or main dish!
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus – Bacon Wrapped Asparagus is a smoky and savory side dish. It is crispy, delicious, and takes about 20 minutes to prepare!
Easy Coleslaw – This quick and Easy Coleslaw makes the perfect side dish for any picnic or BBQ. It takes just minutes to put this classic coleslaw recipe together, and it can easily be customized with the spices and flavors you love most.
Summer Corn Salad – This Summer Corn Salad is a light, flavorful salad filled with corn, tomatoes, feta, basil and cucumber. It’s so simple and quick that it’s perfect for get togethers and BBQs.
Favorite Broccoli Salad – This Sunny Broccoli Salad is a simple, tasty and hearty broccoli salad served with bacon, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and mixed with a delicious, homemade mayonnaise-vinegar based dressing that is perfect for BBQs and get togethers.
Baked Beans – Easy Homemade Baked Beans is a must-have at all of our BBQ’s. Everyone who tries it agrees it’s the best baked beans recipe!
Grilled Asparagus – Grilled asparagus is the best side dish alongside almost any dinner recipe! Sprinkled with salt, pepper, and a little parmesan cheese—this recipe is incredible!
No one can forget dessert for a holiday function! We try to stick with fruity or cool treats because they’re especially delicious when it’s warm. The dessert is also where I’ll bring in all the fourth of July colors and festive toppings.
Plan for each guest to be able to have two total servings of dessert. The more dessert options there are, the less of each dessert you’ll have to make.
Check out our full collection of 4th of July Desserts.
Fruit Pizza Recipe – The BEST Fruit Pizza recipe ever! A super soft cookie dough with a pineapple cream cheese frosting topped with your favorite fruit!
Jello Poke Cake – I Love Jello Poke Cake! I Went With Raspberry Here, But You Can Easily Make A Cherry Or A Strawberry Poke Cake.
Patriotic Trail Mix – Sweet and crunchy Patriotic Trail Mix is filled with candy coated cereal mixed with mini marshmallows, licorice and M&Ms.
Fourth Of July Rice Krispie Treats – Delicious, simple and quick 4th of July Rice Krispie Treats are always a hit, and are festive for any patriotic occasion.
Oreo Ice Cream Cake – This Oreo Ice Cream Cake makes for the perfect no bake dessert during warm summer months. Best of all, it only takes 5 simple store bought ingredients! No one can resist the layers of crushed Oreos, Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, Cool Whip, and MORE Oreos!
Frozen Strawberry Dessert – This Frozen Strawberry Dessert is made with a buttery graham cracker crust and creamy frozen strawberry filling. Topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, it’s the perfect summery treat!
Blueberry Delight – Blueberry Crumb Delight is a delicious layered dessert recipe with a cream middle and topped with blueberries and whipped cream!
Angel Food Ice Cream Cake – Angel Food Ice Cream Cake is creamy, light, & refreshing, made from layers of angel food cake and your favorite ice cream flavor. A scrumptious treat, chilled to frozen dessert perfection!
Paradise Parfaits – Paradise parfaits are a creamy combination of a delicious fluffy pudding and fresh fruit. They are simply heavenly!
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake – Oreo studded Ice Cream Sandwich Cake is cool, creamy and refreshingly delicious. It is perfect for hot summer days!!
Strawberry Shortcake Bars – A soft vanilla cake-like crust perfectly combines with a light layer of whipped cream cheese frosting. Top it off with fresh strawberries for delicious strawberry shortcake bars!
Cream Puff Cake – The BEST Cream Puff Cake ever!! A cake version of the popular cream puff, it has a puffy crust, pudding and whipped cream layers and often drizzled in chocolate.
And don’t forget drinks!
Plan to have enough drink mixed up for guests to have 1 serving for every hour of the party. Be sure to have water along with punch.
Be sure to also check out our full collection of 4th of July Drinks.
The Best Homemade Lemonade Recipe – The best homemade lemonade recipe includes sprite and pineapple juice for an extra punch of flavor. It is deliciously refreshing!!
Best Strawberry Lemonade – The BEST Strawberry Lemonade filled with chunks of your favorite fruit including strawberries, pineapple, mangos, cantaloupe and watermelon!
Sonic Ocean Water – Copycat Sonic Ocean Water – so easy to make and so refreshing! It’s perfect for parties or a hot, summer day!
Pineapple Pink Lemonade Soda – All-time Favorite Party Drink – this Pink Drink recipe (aka Baby Shower Punch) takes a minute to make and is made with 3 ingredients including – pink lemonade dry mix, sprite, & pineapple juice!
Mint Julep (Non-Alcoholic) – Disneyland’s Copycat Mint Julep recipe – a non-alcoholic drink that is refreshing and DELICIOUS!! Made with lemonade concentrate, creme de menthe syrup, lime juice, sugar, and club soda – topped with mint leaves and cherries!
Copycat Sonic Cherry Limeade – Delicious recipe for Sonic’s Cherry Limeade – tastes just like it! Ingredients include 7-Up, cherries, a lime, and maraschino syrup!
Frozen Hot Chocolate – Frozen Hot Chocolate only takes 3 ingredients and a few minutes to make! Top it off with whipped cream and chocolate curls for a real treat.
Patriotic Drink – This layered Patriotic drink is pure magic! It’s not difficult to make, all it takes is Hawaiian Punch, blue Gatorade, and sprite zero.
Copycat Orange Julius – Refreshing & simple Copycat Orange Julius takes a minute to make and tastes just like the real thing. It is a favorite family treat!
Shirley Temple – Shirley Temple drink is perfect for year round enjoyment! It’s sweetness and pretty red color make it a great party drink.
the complete list
Here are the picture cards for all of the amazing 4th of July Recipes listed above.
Your holiday celebration is sure to be a booming success with so many delicious and easy recipes to choose from! Let us know which recipes were a hit at your get together!