One of the best ways to spend time with friends and family is over a good meal. Independence Day is no different, with Americans gathering across the country to break bread together. For inspiration, here are some of the most delicious 4th of July recipes you can try.
The Best 4th of July Recipes to Try This Holiday
Some people celebrate the Fourth of July by decorating, going on a vacation, and watching a fireworks display. But, as the past year has shown, the most popular way Americans celebrate the holiday is to do anything food-related. From holding barbecues to going on picnics, it is clear that munching on delicious dishes is something that can’t be taken off the Fourth of July celebration roster. This comes as no surprise considering how big a role food plays in culture and bonding.
And while there is nothing wrong with ordering in or eating out, nothing says hearty like a home-cooked meal. Here are the best dishes to complete your July 4th menu.
1. Refreshing Summer Salad
Salads make for great appetizers, as they are easy to prepare and work well with just about any dish. On a hot summer day, a refreshing salad is one of the best 4th of July food ideas you can go with. The best part about this salad is that you maintain control over how much of each ingredient to add, depending on your taste.
- Black beans
- Baby spinach leaves
- Heritage tomatoes
- Cucumber, sliced
- Mangoes, chopped
- Red onions, sliced
- Radishes, sliced
- Avocadoes, sliced
- Herbs of choice
- Feta cheese
- Green chili pepper
- Garlic clove
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 limes
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- For the salad itself, mix in black beans, baby spinach leaves, heritage tomatoes, cucumber slices, and chopped mangoes.
- Add in some sliced red onions, radishes, and avocados, as well as a handful of herbs.
- Crumble in some feta cheese and gently toss the salad together.
- To make the dressing, simply blend together a large bunch of mint leaves, a small bunch of coriander, and a small bunch of basil leaves.
- Add in a deseeded green chili pepper and a garlic clove.
- Then, drizzle in the virgin olive oil, the juice of two limes, white wine vinegar, and honey.
- Blend them all once more until well combined.
2. Bacon-Wrapped, Cheese-Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers
If you’re looking to add some heat to your palate, these jalapeño poppers are the perfect blend of spice and decadence. Try them out as part of your 4th of July recipes!
- 20 Jalapeño peppers
- 5 oz cream cheese
- 2.5 oz mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 oz parmesan, grated
- The first thing you need to do is heat your oven to about 320°F.
- Make a lengthwise cut in each jalapeño before scooping out the seeds.
- In a separate bowl, mix all the cheeses. Season to taste.
- Then, stuff each chili pepper with the cheese mixture before wrapping each one with half a slice of bacon.
- Set the stuffed peppers on a cooking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the bacon crisps up.
3. Easy Macaroni Salad
Perhaps one of the easiest Fourth of July recipes, this macaroni salad only takes 30 minutes to make.
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente
- 1/3 cup celery, diced
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 tsp dry mustard
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp sour cream
- To start, combine cooked elbow macaroni, diced celery, minced onion, diced tomatoes, and chopped parsley into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, dry mustard, sour cream, sugar, salt, and cider vinegar.
- Then, pour the prepared dressing over the macaroni mixture and toss until combined.
4. Upgraded Grilled Corn
Grilled corn is undoubtedly one of the quintessential July 4th side dishes. But, if you’re sick and tired of plain buttered corn, try this recipe to put a spicy spin on an old classic.
- 4 corn cobs
- 1.5 oz mayonnaise
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Coriander, chopped
- First, boil the corn cobs in water for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the chili flakes.
- Remove the corn cobs from the water then pat dry using a paper towel.
- Then, brush the mayonnaise mixture on each corn cob before placing them on a heated grill.
- Turn the cobs regularly until grill marks appear.
- Serve with crumbled feta and coriander on the top or separately.
5. Vegetarian Buffalo Cauliflower
Buffalo wings are almost a staple at Fourth of July celebrations. But, for that vegetarian twist, try using cauliflower in place of your protein. This also makes it one of the healthier 4th of July recipes on this list.
- 18 oz cauliflower
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3.5 oz plain flour
- 6.5 oz buttermilk
- 3 oz hot sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- To start, preheat your oven to 420°F.
- Mix together the smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, flour, and some salt in a bowl.
- Make a well in the center before pouring in the buttermilk. Whisk together just until combined.
- Break cauliflower into florets.
- Then, dip the florets in the batter, making sure to mix them so that each floret is coated.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then lay out the florets on top.
- Place the sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Make sure to turn each floret halfway through to cook evenly.
- For the buffalo sauce, the hot sauce, maple syrup, and melted butter are in a small bowl.
- Brush the sauce over the cauliflower florets then bake for another 8 to 10 minutes.
- Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice.
6. Cheese-Stuffed Juicy Burgers
A classic Fourth of July food, burgers are arguably the epitome of American dishes. And while you can’t beat a good burger, you can try to update it.
- 1 onion, diced
- 2.5 oz chopped smoked pancetta, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 sprigs thyme leaves
- 18 oz lean beef mince
- 1.5 oz fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 oz cheddar, grated
- 2 oz mozzarella, grated
- 4 oz mayonnaise
- 2 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1.5 oz pickled baby cucumber
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 1 small bunch basil
- 4 pcs lettuce, washed
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- First, drizzle a pan with olive oil and heat it over medium heat.
- Cook a whole diced onion in the oil with some salt until the onion softens.
- Add in the smoked pancetta, crushed garlic clove, and thyme leaves, then cook for another 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow it to cool on the side.
- After it cools, combine the onion mixture with the lean beef mince.
- Then, add in the fresh breadcrumbs and egg yolk.
- Season with salt and pepper, then mix until well-incorporated.
- Divide the beef mixture into four.
- In a separate bowl, combine grated cheddar and mozzarella.
- Divide the cheese mixture into four as well.
- Form the beef into patties, about 10cm in diameter.
- Place a portion of the cheese in the middle of the beef patty then shape to cover the cheese with the beef.
- Repeat for all patties before covering and allowing them to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- In a food processor, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, pickled baby cucumber, parsley, and basil to make the sauce. Allow the sauce to chill until you’re ready to use it.
- On the grill, cook each burger patty for about 5 minutes on each side.
- Then, wrap each patty using foil and leave them on the grill for 5 more minutes so the cheese can melt.
- Toast the buns on the grill and evenly spread some sauce on each side.
- Assemble the burger with lettuce and tomatoes before serving.
7. Pulled Pork Tacos
If burgers and hotdogs aren’t your style, why not go for some tacos this Fourth of July?
- 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp chipotle paste
- 1 orange
- 2 limes
- 1 can pineapple juice
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Taco shells or wraps
- Shredded cabbage
- Avocados, sliced
- Sour cream
- To start, take the boneless pork shoulder and cut it into six chunks. Make sure to have your butcher remove the rind beforehand.
- Place the chunks in a large dish and combine with the crushed garlic cloves, tomato puree, chipotle paste, the juice of the orange and limes, pineapple juice, dried oregano, smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, and a few grates of nutmeg. Allow it to marinate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 240°F.
- Cook the marinated pork in the oven, making sure to cover it with a lid or foil.
- After about 4 hours, test the tenderness of the meat by pulling it apart using two forks.
- If it doesn’t pull apart easily, let it cook for another 1 to 2 hours.
- Once done, pull the meat apart.
- To assemble your taco, warm your shells or grill your wraps.
- Then, place some of the pulled pork along with the salsa of your choice.
- Add in some shredded cabbage, sliced avocados, and sour cream on top before serving.
8. Red, White, and Blue Ice Pops
No 4th of July menu is complete without dessert, and these ice pops are an easy one to make.
- Vanilla ice cream
- Raspberry sorbet
- Red, white, and blue sprinkles
- 1 cup blueberries
- Popsicle sticks
- Line a loaf pan with enough parchment paper so that some of it hangs over. This will make it easier to pull out the ice pops later on.
- At the bottom of the pan, scatter some blueberries as well as red, white, and blue sprinkles.
- Whisk vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet separately. You can get creative here and use any flavors you want (as long as they fit the red, white, and blue theme). You can also use an electric mixer to speed this process up.
- Start with the vanilla ice cream, making sure to evenly spread it on top of the blueberries and sprinkles.
- Then, spread the raspberry sorbet on top of that.
- Push popsicle sticks into the ice cream, spacing them apart just enough to make ice pops.
- Place the pan in the freezer until it firms up.
- To serve, remove the ice cream from the pan by pulling on the overhanging parchment paper.
- Cut the frozen ice cream into ice pops and peel the parchment paper off.
9. Mini Trifles in Jars
No one has time to make a huge trifle anymore. For one of the cuter and simpler 4th of July recipes, you will only need a few things.
- Small mason jars
- Sponge fingers, cut up (or store-bought sponge cake, cut into cubes)
- Assorted berries, chopped
- Freshly whipped cream or custard
- Wash the small mason jars and wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
- In each jar, assemble the mini trifle by placing the sponge fingers or cake at the bottom.
- Layer the berries and then the whipped cream or custard on top.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the jar is filled.
A Memorable Fourth of July
Holidays are a great time to try something new and get out of your comfort zone, whether that means making unfamiliar dishes or stepping into the chef’s role for the first time. Either way, test out the above 4th of July recipes with family and friends for an unforgettable experience.
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