Invite friends and family to celebrate Independence Day in your backyard with refreshing drinks, entrées hot off the grill, tasty sides, and festive red, white, and blue desserts.
The Fourth of July means family, fun, celebrating, and food. These are some of our favorite recipes to make your 4th of July party fantastic. To wet your whistle, enjoy the Lemonade Iced Tea, or our Blackberry Cocktail. For party-friendly nibbles, fill your plate with the Barbecue Deviled Eggs, a spicy twist on these Southern classics. For a fresh take on the humble frankfurter, try the Asian Slaw Dog—it’ll guarantee you get your Fourth of July greens. If you're looking for BBQ ideas for your Fourth of July party, you’ll love the recipes for Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs, and Sweet-and-Savory Burgers. So get ready to celebrate our independence, enjoy the Fourth of July, and try all of these recipes to make your summer party unforgettable.
Lemonade Iced Tea
Recipe: Lemonade Iced Tea
Lemonade and fresh mint leaves provide a refreshing twist to this classic summer drink. One reader suggests adding a tablespoon of orange-flavored vodka to a glass of the drink to add a grown-up kick. We think bourbon or dark spiced rum also make good additions, but you also might want to try the recipe as is before stirring in something boozy—it could perfectly suit your tastebuds as is. Lemonade Iced Tea is a super fresh sipper that you’ll want to keep in constant rotation this summer. Keep a pitcher of it in your refrigerator to have on-hand for friends and family, or even an afternoon pick-me-up.
Recipe: Blackberry Cocktail
Summer’s fresh mint, blackberries, and cucumber come together in this drink. Pour the cocktail into glasses garnished with cucumber, blackberries, lime wedges, and mint sprigs. We tested with Hendrick’s Gin, but you can use your favorite or whatever you have on hand. It will take about 20 minutes to prep this cocktail that makes 5 cups. Which means you won’t be tied to the bar all night. If you don’t have turbinado sugar (or can’t find it), don’t sweat it. Superfine or powdered sugar will do the trick. This ultra-summery drink is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Brown Sugar Fruit Dip
Recipe: Brown Sugar Fruit Dip
This simple, creamy dip is the perfect way to dress up fresh summer fruit. We like it for dipping grapes, berries, and pineapple, but it tastes just as good with any fruit. Serve for breakfast, a snack, appetizer, dessert, or all of the above. For a patriotic spread, serve with coordinating red and blue fruits like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and even a little watermelon if you’re feeling adventurous. Dust the top of the dip with a little brown sugar for an easy garnish. We tested the recipe with Kahlúa, but you can use any coffee liqueur you like.
Barbecue Deviled Eggs
Recipe: Barbecue Deviled Eggs
Two Southern favorites come together to make one out-of-this-world finger food. Mix smoked pork from your barbecue into classic deviled eggs, or substitute liquid smoke, or crumbled bacon for a similar barbecue flavor. The filling is made with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and hot sauce—any additional mix-ins are up to you. We like to garnish our deviled eggs with paprika, but you can skip if it’s not your thing. Consider these deviled eggs completely customizable. Be sure to keep these eggs refrigerated until serving—eggs and mayo are no match for 4th of July heat!
Asian Slaw Dogs
Recipe: Asian Slaw Dogs
It wouldn’t be 4th of July without a hot dog or two, but who says they have to be boring? Dress up ordinary hot dogs with a crisp and tangy broccoli slaw flavored by lime, ginger, and cilantro. Set up a hot dog station so guests can make their own dogs with their favorite toppings. Set out bowls of slaw, ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo, extra cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and diced onions. Crumbled ramen noodles and lime wedges are unexpected additions that will soon be new favorites. Throw hot dog buns on the grill for 20 to 30 seconds to give them just a hint of crisp.
Strip Steak with Rosemary Butter
Recipe: Strip Steak with Rosemary Butter
Strip Steak with Rosemary Butter is a great option for smaller 4th of July celebrations. After all, you don’t want to be tied to the grill all night. Seasoned strip steaks hot off the grill pair perfectly with rosemary and lemon-infused butter. Our recipe makes four servings, but adjust to suit your guest list. Top each steak with Rosemary Butter and serve with a fresh cucumber salad and oven-roasted potatoes. Lemon rind gives the Rosemary Butter a fresh flavor that pairs wonderfully with the steaks. This recipe might look time consuming on first glance but, with just 15 minutes of prep time and 8 minutes at the grill, it will come together quicker than you think.
Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs
Recipe: Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs
Your family will devour the tender meat off these ribs in no time. Sweet-Hot 'Cue Sauce makes their smoky flavor all the more mouthwatering. After removing the membrane (if you’re unsure how to do this, you can ask your butcher to remove it for you) rub the ribs with lime and then massage in the ginger mixture. They’ll need to sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. The trick to these tender ribs is grilling them over indirect heat. If you place them directly over the flame you won’t get that melt-in-your-mouth texture you’re looking for.
Recipe: Sweet-and-Savory Burgers
This year, we’re giving a classic 4th of July menu item a fun new spin. These patties are steeped in an Asian-inspired marinade of soy sauce, light corn syrup, lemon juice, ground ginger, and garlic powder. Top them with a combination of chili sauce and red hot pepper jelly. And don’t forget the grilled pineapple and sweet onions! Ever have burgers that are flat when you put them on the grill and somehow end up like baseballs by the time you’re ready to put them on the bun? We have a trick for that. Press your thumb in the middle of the patties before grilling. Trust us, it works!
Mixed Grill with Cilantro Pesto
Recipe: Mixed Grill with Cilantro Pesto
For a savory restaurant-quality meal, grill bone-in pork chops and beef tenderloin fillets and top with a fresh herb-filled pesto. Double the pesto to keep on-hand to dash up any recipe. We like serving both pork chops and beef tenderloins so guests can take their pick—or have one of each. You can also add chicken to the mix if you’re serving a crowd. You’ll have to keep a timer handy when you’re grilling because the meats will have different grill times. To keep things simple, have one person in charge of the pork and another in charge of the beef. They will both grill at the same heat level. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs, rosemary sprigs, and chives.
Root Beer Baked Beans
Recipe: Root Beer Baked Beans
Baked beans are essential to any backyard 4th of July cookout. Your family will come back for seconds after tasting the sweet, barbecue-flavored sauce on these dressed-up canned beans. Start with two cans of pork and beans and add root beer, barbecue sauce, dry mustard, and hot sauce. Soon you’ll have a go-to baked beans recipe that friends and family will ask for time and again. The beans will bake for 55 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. No matter what’s on your 4th of July menu, these Root Beer Baked Beans will no doubt make the perfect accompaniment.
Recipe: Succotash Salad
Put a summertime spin on this traditional Southern dish of beans and corn by mixing with lemon juice and chives and serving cold. It’s easy to prepare in advance and pull out of the fridge to serve with meat hot off the grill. We love this Succotash Salad as a lighter alternative to traditional 4th of July side dishes. It’s packed with fresh, crunchy flavor that your friends and family will love. The dressing is a simple combination of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. You might want to keep a Mason jar of it on hand to add to pasta salads, spinach salads, and more!
Grilled Okra and Tomatoes
Recipe: Grilled Okra and Tomatoes
While you have the grill fired up for your 4th of July party, throw on some veggies too. Okra and tomatoes are in their peak right now, so take full advantage with this recipe that calls for a full pound of fresh okra and a pint of cherry tomatoes. You’re going to love how easy this side dish is. Only five ingredients create one flavorful recipe that friends and family will love. Sprinkle the okra and tomatoes with fresh basil to enhance their flavor. Serve with burgers, grilled chicken, or whatever you’re serving hot off the grill.
Berries with Tequila Cream
Recipe: Berries with Tequila Cream
We love a theme and what better for the 4th of July than red, white, and blue? For a similar look, use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. A tequila-infused, custard-like cream is your dash of white. If you want to keep this dessert kid-friendly, swap the tequila or mezcal for orange juice. If you’re 4th of July party is an adult-only affair, serve in dessert goblets with a sprig of mint. If you’re also inviting kiddos (or have a large guest list) use disposable plastic wine cups. You can pre-assemble the cups and stick them on a tray in the refrigerator to pull out just before the fireworks begin.
Raspberry-Banana-Yogurt Freezer Pops
Keep these colorful pops in the freezer and pull them out for a pre-fireworks snack the kids will love. Filled with yogurt, fruit, and honey, they are both refreshing and healthy. We used fresh raspberries, but you can also swap in blueberries or halved strawberries for an equally patriotic treat. Allow 6 hours for these pops to fully freeze before serving. Whatever you do, don’t forget about the grown ups! Once they see these sweet, icy treats being passed around they won’t be able to pass them up. You can find popsicle sticks at any craft store.
Frosted Sugar-’n’-Spice Cookies
Recipe: Frosted Sugar-’n’-Spice Cookies
Think frosted sugar cookies are just for Santa? Think again! We’ve found another holiday to bake up delicious themed treats. Get your kids to help you decorate these warm spice-filled cookies with white icing and red, white, and blue sprinkles. Of course, once you fall in love with the flavor of these cookies, you’re going to want to dress them up for all of your favorite holidays. Use oval cookie cutters and pastel sprinkles for Easter. Cut them in the shape of hearts for Valentine’s with coordinating pink and red sprinkles. We bet you can even find a turkey-shaped cookie cutter for Thanksgiving!
Fresh Blackberry Pie
Recipe: Fresh Blackberry Pie
The Fourth coincides with the peak of blackberry season, so don’t miss out on mixing the sweet yet tart berries into this cool pie. To save prep time the day-of mix together the berries and sugar the night before. Chill in the refrigerator overnight. To save even more time, this recipe calls for refrigerated piecrusts. Once your piecrust has been baked, add the filling before placing the pie in the refrigerator to chill for two and a half hours. Don’t skimp on the fridge time or else you might end up with a watery pie. Serve with sweetened whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.