Photo: Erin Kunkel; Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Don't panic. Indecision and procrastination when it comes to picking out what you're going to serve at a barbecue or cookout is REAL, so we've gathered some crowd-pleasing dishes to make the whole process way easier. Now sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

June 30, 2017

Let me guess—you either lost track of time or you’re just one for the procrastinating lifestyle. Either way, 4th of July crept up on you, and now you’re scrambling for that last minute dish that you can actually have ready on the table in time. Skip the fussy pie dough, elaborate flag cakes, slow-smoked ribs, or prep-heavy salads. This holiday marks the kick-off to summer, so there’s no reason why you should spend it doing anything besides leisurely drinking a cocktail poolside and indulging in all the summertime snacks while surrounded by family and friends. From drinks to desserts to apps and main dishes, we’ve picked our favorite, no-fail dishes. Skip the drama this year and opt for these straightforward, crowd-pleasing recipes that are perfect for a festive, all-American bash.

Caprese Salsa

Caprese Salsa image

 Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Julia Levy

Sure, you can’t go wrong with guacamole and tomato salsa, but this caprese salsa adds a touch of sophistication without any added hassle. Plus, it just about screams summer.

Toasted Farro Salad with Watermelon and Peaches

 Sara Tane

Why are side dishes so overwhelming? Take the frustration and indecision out of your side dish game this year and go with people-pleasing farro salad. Packed with fresh summer produce, soft goat cheese, and fresh herbs, this stunner deserves a spot at your 4th of July cookout.

Cauli-Tater Salad

Cauli-Tater Salad image

 Time Inc. Video Studio

Everything you love about potato salad...but with cauliflower. I know, how genius? Topped with bacon and hard-boiled eggs, this barbecue side has got it going on.

Tomato Salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

 Photo: Erin Kunkel; Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Why make a salad more complicated than it needs to be? Let summer tomatoes do the all the talking here, so you don’t have to do any of the back-breaking (mild exaggeration) work. Strewn across your nicest serving platter, this colorful salad is just as eye-catching as it is tasty.

La Croix Margaritas

 Sara Tane

Seriously, these are about to be a hit. Put those La Croixs that you know have stuffed in every crevice of your refrigerator to good use, and don’t forget to salt the rims of your glasses. You can thank us later for this crisp, citrusy refresher.

Easy Berry Tarts

Easy Berry Tart

If you’re short on time, don’t even bother with pie dough, or really any intricate pastry for that matter. This stunning, red, white and blue treat is ready in 20 minutes. Now that’s how you make a summer dessert.

Watch Now: How to Make an Easy Berry Tart

Rosé and Raspberry Sorbet Floats

 Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners

Two. Ingredients. I repeat. Two! Ingredients! And no worries—the rosé doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A fresh scoop of raspberry sorbet can make even the cheapest of sparkling rosés taste like the most delightful summer day. Without a doubt, these are the easiest way to impress your (maybe high-brow) guests.

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