The Ultimate Fourth of July Menu

Use this lineup of crowd-pleasing favorites to plan your Independence Day bash.


Gazpacho Salsa

Photo by Yunhee Kim

A refreshing and low-fat alternative to the usual creamy dips that are always at summer barbecues, this brightly colored salsa is great with crostini or endives (or by the spoonful).

Get the recipe here.


Shrimp Skewers With Dill and Feta Sauce

Photo by James Wojcik

While you’ve got the grill going for burgers and hot dogs, make some room for these tasty shrimp skewers. The best thing is it doesn’t call for many ingredientsjust feta and dill (plus a dash of salt, pepper, and a coating of olive oil).

Get the recipe here.


Mini Ranch Burgers

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Serve up a crowd-pleasing favorite as an appetizer to get the party started. Kids and adults alike will love these sliders dressed up with ranch dressing (and who doesn’t love ranch?) The small bites aren’t that messy to eat while mingling and won’t leave guests feeling too full to enjoy the main course.

Get the recipe here.



Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

Photo by Con Poulos

As fun as it is to experiment with new dishes, sometimes it’s best to stick with a foolproof classic recipe—like this easy chicken recipe—for the centerpiece. For maximum flavor and to keep the meat from drying out, marinate the chicken pieces in buttermilk mixture overnight.

Get the recipe here.


Grilled Pizzas With Ricotta, Summer Squash, and Scallions

Photo by Jonny Valiant

Pizza tastes even better when grilled. This vegetarian-friendly dish takes advantage of fresh summer produceyou can even include tomatoes, too. And because it’s easy to assemble and doesn’t take long to cook, you won’t have too much trouble making a couple of batches to feed the crowd.

Get the recipe here.


Grilled Salmon With Cucumber and Celery Salad

Photo by Quentin Bacon

Don’t feel confined to burgers and hot dogs at your barbecue. If your guests prefer a lighter main course, dish up this deliciously flaky salmon. The cucumber side salad is the perfect cool accompaniment to the freshly grilled fish.

Get the recipe here.


Marinated Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Two in-season favorites are combined to make one genius salad. The watermelon adds a sweetness, while the onion and basil gives the dish an herbal tang. This refreshing side dish works with a variety of mains, like grilled sausages, chicken, and even burgers.

Get the recipe here.


Parsleyed Corn on the Cob

Photo by Amy Neunsinger

No barbecue or 4th of July dinner is complete without corn on the cob. This recipe calls for boiling the corn, but if the grill is fired up, you can also try throwing it on there instead. The chopped parsley gives the simple side even more flavor.

Get the recipe here.


Creamy Potato Salad With Bacon

Photo by Con Poulos

Bacon adds a delicious crunch to this classic potato salad recipe. The mayonnaise, sour cream, and vinegar dressing lends the salad some tartness and keeps it from becoming too creamy and heavy.

Get the recipe here.


Berry Shortcakes

Photo by John Kernick

Set up a dessert station where guests can have fun assembling their own shortcakes. All you’ll need to do is put the berries and cream in serving dishes and make the biscuits ahead of time. It’s also an effortless way to get people socializing, too.

Get the recipe here.


Blueberry Tart

Photo by Con Poulos

It doesn’t get easier than this. By using frozen puff pastry, you can bake and assemble this delicious tart in under an hour. Guests will like that this tart isn’t too decadent with the cream cheese-and-lemon filling and fresh blueberries on top.

Get the recipe here


Ice Cream Cake

Photo by Sarah Karnasiewicz

Yes, it’s possible to make your own ice cream cake without too much fuss. All you need is whipped cream, 10 ice cream sandwiches, and 2 pints of ice cream. You can even personalize the dessert with your favorite flavors.

Get the recipe here.