100 Super Easy Fourth of July Recipes
Get Independence Day-ready with our absolute favorite Fourth of July recipes. Celebrate the big day with cookout classics, like beefy burgers and smoky baby back ribs, and some new soon-to-be favorites, like mac and cheese-stuffed pizza. And we didn't forget about cocktails—from bellinis to beergaritas, we've got the drinks to keep your party going.
Slow-Cooker Ginger, Sweet Tea, and Whiskey Short Ribs
Short ribs are often considered a cold weather dish, but we gave them a makeover for summer with a bright, tangy sauce (inspired by spiked sweet tea) and a fresh, herbal topping of parsley, scallions, and lemon zest. Serve these easy-to-prepare slow cooker ribs atop grits, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles or alongside potato salad with a tangy, vinegar-based (not mayonnaise-based) dressing.
The Best Grilled Ribs
When you're in the mood to grill ribs, you're most likely looking for a magically meaty experience—and trust us, there's a reason we call these the best. The texture of these smokey beauties is everything you want. Grilling your ribs over an indirect heat gives them a crispy exterior bark, while the meat stays tender, but not completely falling-off-the-bone tender—you’re left with the perfect amount of chew. Baby back ribs are readily available at most any supermarket; when shopping, look for the smaller racks as these tend to have more tender meat.
Smoky Chicken With Potato Salad and Slaw
Enjoy the flavors of a late-summer backyard barbecue on your lunch break. Smoked paprika delivers grill-like flavor to spiced chicken, and creamy potato salad and tangy slaw complete the meal. We toss the undressed coleslaw mix with sugar and salt, let it stand, and rinse it; this process helps to remove some of the water from the cabbage so that the coleslaw will hold up longer without watering out.
Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
When you’re going for a mouthwatering BBQ experience done indoors, these Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs are the way to go. Using the Instant Pot creates incredibly succulent ribs with virtually no fuss; you even make your sauce right in the pot. Finishing these honey-soy ribs under the broiler creates a nice, crispy exterior crust, but you can bypass this step if you want to avoid heating the oven at all. And if you’re short on time and looking to make this recipe an even speedier dinner solution, you can skip the dry rub; however, the flavor enhancement this mixture of dry spices and aromatics provides is well worth the extra effort when possible.
Smashed Chili Cheeseburgers
Our healthier take on a beach-side burger, these patties have a delectable seared crust but are juicy inside, especially if you use a screaming-hot cast-iron skillet.
Creamy Potato Salad
Here's a salad you can feel good about eating at your next cookout or picnic.
Deep South Barbecue Ribs
Easy Catfish Tacos with Slaw
These oven “fried” catfish filets are just as crispy as pan-fried filets but a lot less messy to make. The tender, tasty fish is soaked in buttermilk and covered in panko breadcrumbs flavored with Cajun seasoning. If catfish is not available, use any firm white fish such as cod, tilapia, or grouper.
Sweet Heat Hot Dogs
Take hot dog toppings beyond traditional sauerkraut and mustard by dressing with sweet-hot pickles, shredded red cabbage and a creamy topping made of mayo, whole grain mustard, and hot chili sauce.
Beer-Battered Corn Dogs
These crispy corn dogs will rival just about any festival or fair's version. The key here is to work with one hot dog at a time for the perfect golden batter crust.
Slow Roasted Pulled Pork
When I make this recipe at home, I slow cook the pork in the oven. It's such a treat to have leftovers of this for enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, or sandwiches. To make a delicious quesadilla, combine about 1/3 cup of this pork with a little coleslaw and grated sharp Cheddar cheese.
Cheddar-and-Onion Smashed Burgers
Inspired by the sliders at White Manna in Hackensack, New Jersey, Adam Fleischman creates beef patties by flattening balls of ground meat on the griddle.Tip: Burger purists handle ground meat as little as possible; over-working the beef can create a tight, meatloaf texture.
Chicken Fingers and Green Beans with Tahini Sauce
Chicken fingers aren't just for kids. Savory-sweet and addictive, the tahini-tomato dipping sauce offers a palate intrigue adults will love but enough flavor familiarity to keep it kid-approved.
Instant Pot Chicken Wings
Make homemade wings in minutes with some help from your Instant Pot. Everyone's favorite pressure cooker get your chicken wings cooked through quickly, while the broiler crisps them up. Serve with crunchy veggie sticks and the sauce of your choosing.
Dry-Rubbed Smoked Chicken Wings
This recipe is from pitmaster, Wade Reich, of Butts To Go in Pell City, Alabama. His story and recipe is one of many beloved pitmasters in our new book, South’s Best Butts. Wade opened Butts To Go in a Texaco after a friend invited him to go in on a local service station. So what about the barbecue? Well, with all his Southern-gentleman charm, Wade says, “The gas business got so bad that it made the food business look good.” His place serves as a quick in-and-out eatery for families and hungry road warriors to literally get their butts to go. Butts ain’t the only item highly demanded by customers of Butts to Go. The wings are equally delicious. They come on and off the smoker throughout the day just to keep up with demand. The low-and slow method ensures that the meat remains super moist and fall-off-the-bone tender, with a deliciously melded skin that is heavily seasoned with an in-house rub. Paprika, along with a good bit of salt, plays the dominant role in this fragrant, orange-hued rub, which works great with poultry. Don’t be too shy about trying it out on other food as well. This rub works great as a finishing seasoning for soft-scrambled eggs.
Mac and Cheese Crusted Pizza
When two of the world's greatest foods combine...
Cherry Flag Pie
Your guests will be wowed not only by the delightful presentation, but also by the taste of this quintessential summer pie. For a great looking piecrust, brush the piecrust with a mixture of egg yolk and water to create a deep golden brown crust. You can use thawed, frozen cherries if fresh are not available.
Oven-Fried Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans
This hearty sheet pan supper is a cinch to make, even on the busiest weeknight. The secret to crisp, breaded pork chops? Dredge only one side of each pork chop in the panko mixture to keep the underside of the meat from becoming soggy.
Perfect Grilled Burgers
Delightfully charred, juicy, and full of nuance, these burgers are the only ones you will ever want to make. That’s why we named them Perfect.
American Flag Crepe Cake
Sure, we love the classic Fourth of July sheet cake decorated with fresh fruit. But this year, we’ve upped the ante, creating a delicious, towering crepe cake that will wow everyone at the party. Though it appears to consist of blue crepes stacked on top of red, as soon as you slice into it you’ll reveal the fun surprise. By creating a blue ring around red batter on the top half of the crepes, every slice resembles an American flag. The big reveal is bound to go down as the best party trick ever. And if you’ve never made a crepe cake, it’s easier than it sounds, because it truly doesn’t matter if your crepes are misshapen (any imperfections are hidden under swirls of cream cheese frosting). To speed up the process, get two crepe pans going at once.
American Flag Crepe Cake
This recipe originally appeared on Realsimple.com.
Grilled New York Strip Steaks
For the absolute best of a classic, everything-you-expect grilled steak experience, you simply can’t beat the New York strip steak. Remember that no matter how you’re cooking a steak, success starts at the supermarket. When shopping, look for steaks that have a nice, even marbling of fat throughout, avoiding those that have a thick ribbon of fat going down the center. Even if it feels like an extraneous step, don’t skip out on making the garlic butter and tying up a bundle of herbs to serve as your basting brush. Trust us, the results are more than worth the minimal time doing both will require. Both will boost the flavor of your steak like you wouldn't believe.
Grilled Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs with Peaches
Bursting with fresh flavor from minced fresh ginger and lime juice, these boneless chicken thighs are anything but a boring chicken dinner. Served alongside juicy, grilled peaches on a bed of greens with pecans and goat cheese, this hearty poultry dish makes for an easy, go-to summer supper.
Grilled Bone-In Chicken Thighs
How can such a simple recipe for grilled chicken thighs taste so flavorful and satisfying? Once you sink your teeth into the super-crispy skin and find rich, tasty dark meat waiting underneath, you’ll understand. This low and slow cooking method yields tender, succulent meat with carefully developed flavors. Make grilled chicken thighs the simple way, because juicy, decadent chicken doesn’t have to be so complicated.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
For this slider, we tuck the usual Buffalo wing accompaniments--carrots and celery--inside the patty. This gives you all the flavors of a wing plate while also helping to keep the lean breast meat moist. When shredding the celery (so that it incorporates nicely), you'll have to stop occasionally to pull and discard the strings. Be sure to search for celery bunches with nice, fresh leaves still attached.
All-American Grilled Burger
Whole Roasted Red Snapper with Potatoes and Onions
While cooking a whole fish definitely seems intimidating, this is the recipe to show you just how easy it really is. But don’t worry, no one has to know—because it’s gonna look ridiculously impressive when served, no matter what. You simply need to ask your fish monger to scale and clean/gut the fish, as well as remove the gills and fins; then, you just pop it into the oven like anything else. Roasting a whole fish on a sheet pan like we do here is exponentially easier than tackling it on the grill, as you have less to worry about with temperature control and there’s no flipping required. Be sure not to skip cutting slits in the snapper—this is a really important step for a few reasons. For one, it lets you rub the flavorful herb mixture into the flesh of the fish for a tastier final product, the slits allow heat circulation around the flesh of the fish for quicker, more even cooking, and finally, these openings are the perfect spot to check for doneness with a fork (meat should release easily from the bone). If you use larger potatoes, just cut them into 1-inch pieces to ensure they cook all the way through. This simple one-dish meal is certainly elegant enough for a special occasion, but easy enough to pull together on a Tuesday. If you have any leftover fish, flake the meat for fish tacos or a fish chowder.
Easy Margaritas for a Crowd
Look no further than these large-batch margaritas when you're hosting your next big fiesta and can't spend hours juicing limes. This margarita recipe is a revelation--the secret ingredient is a can of frozen limeade concentrate which, once emptied, doubles as a measuring cup for the remaining ingredients. These margaritas are strong, slightly (but not overly) sweet, and have the perfect note of orange flavor. Oh, and did we mention there's beer involved? We prefer to serve in a large glass drink dispenser with plenty of limes on the side.
Simple Grilled Halibut
Though simple, this recipe provides you with the tools to grill most any flakey fish. We happen to particularly love halibut because it’s an inherently flavorful fish that requires no more than salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon to taste absolutely divine
Grilled Salmon with Orange-Soy Glaze
While the grill is obviously the cooking method for casual, outdoor-centered meals and gatherings, don’t forget that you can still bring a touch of sit-down-dinner-type sophistication to the patio table too. This buttery, smoky, and gloriously glaze-y salmon does just that. We call for individual fillets in this recipe, but you could also opt for going with a whole side of salmon (of roughly equivalent weight) for a truly impressive presentation.
Korean Barbecue Spatchcock Chicken with Shishitos and Scallions
This impressive and vibrant meal comes together surprisngly quick thanks to the power of the grill and the power of spatchcocking. If you've never tried it before, spatchcocking is a technique that refers to removing the bird's back bone so that you can butterfly the whole chicken open. This technique is a guaranteed route to succulent meat, ultra-crispy skin, and a much quicker cooking time.
Like a cross between a vinegar-based coleslaw and chowchow, Permanent Slaw is tender and tangy. This easy salad is designed to be prepared in advance. Made with finely shredded angel hair cabbage, carrot, bell pepper, sweet onions, and a sweet and sour apple cider vinegar dressing, the longer this side dish sits, the more flavorful it becomes (hence the name). Serve the dish on its own at a cookout (it’s delicious with grilled chicken or pork) or use it to top pulled pork or chicken sandwiches.
Red, White, and Blue Berry Cake
Quick Pickled Slaw
This light, healthy slaw recipe is mildly acidic and full of flavor. The veggies will soften slightly but retain their crunch that will add texture to any meal. This bright slaw is the ideal summer side to pair with kebabs, pulled pork, fried catfish, or any classic warm-weather main dishes. If you’ve never pickled anything, this easy quick pickle is a great place to start. Our Test Kitchen professionals recommend serving this salad the day you prepare it for ultimate freshness. This healthy side is a no-guilt dish you can make all summer long, and every cookout guest will rave over it.
Bourbon-Glazed Salmon with Firecracker Slaw
This recipe hits all the notes of a classic barbecue dish, but with omega-3-rich fish. Use an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.
Grilled Wedge-Salad Slaw
We took the irresistible toppings from a wedge salad—namely bacon and blue cheese dressing—and added them to coleslaw. The cabbage goes onto the grill in wedges to pick up smoky char, then is chopped for the slaw.
Spiced Chicken Tacos with Lime-Cabbage Slaw
Cabbage and red onion offer plenty of prebiotic fodder for the probiotics in Greek yogurt to flourish. (This is the difference between pre- and probiotic foods.) Use the spice rub on tofu or tempeh for a plant-based option that also boosts fiber.
This fruity beer cocktail falls somewhere between a shandy, a margarita, and a radler. Serve with citrus slices and a half-salted rim, if you'd like, or omit the salt for a straight-up refreshing sipper.
Using fresh broccoli instead of bagged broccoli slaw makes for a sweeter, more flavorful end product. Look for refrigerated sauerkraut either in the deli or by the tofu in your local grocery store (canned lacks probiotics).
Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Bars
Want to be the star of the summer potluck? Make a batch of these crowd-pleasing cookie bars up to two days in advance.
Turkey Dinner Burgers
Rocking a succulent turkey patty (flavored with traditional turkey day aromatics), a cranberry mayo, pickled green beans, and French’s crispy onions between within potato bun, this burger boasts all the familiar flavors of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner—but packaged in a manageable, handheld entree.
Grilled Beef-Mushroom Burgers
Blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground beef adds great flavor, moisture, and even fiber to these no-bun burgers. Garlicky cucumber-yogurt sauce is tasty Middle Eastern–inspired alternative to standard ketchup and mustard. Served with a juicy slice of fresh tomato and crisp butter lettuce, these burgers are naturally gluten-free. Double the greens and tomato and call it a burger salad. If you're in the mood for bun, try these tucked into warm whole-wheat pitas instead.
Hawaiian Burger with Spam and Pineapple Slaw
Elevate Hawaii’s claims to fame—Spam and pineapple—on this island-inspired burger. Chop freshly grilled pineapple (which adds a caramelized element) for a crunchy cabbage, sesame oil, and jalapeño slaw, and coat Spam in honey and soy sauce before grilling to perfection. The bun of choice? Sweet Hawaiian, of course. Pair with: Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana. A hint of Maui Gold pineapple complements the tropical slaw, while Mana's wheat base softens Spam's saltiness.
Cajun Burger with Collard Greens and Fried Oysters
If you said you were going to take every Cajun dish and put it on a burger, you may get some crazy looks—until the naysayers took a bite of this full-flavored creation. There’s Andouille in the patty, fried oysters on top, and collard greens to finish it off—no bayou dish left unturned. Pair with: Parish Brewing Co. Pure Tropics IPA. Spicy, bitter hops help cut through the unctuousness of fried oysters and a halo of dark greens.
Summer Melon Rosé Sangria
For a playful presentation, use a melon baller to scoop the fruit into bobbing orbs.
New England Lobster Salad Burger
Classic burger joint, meet New England-style seafood shack. Pile creamy lobster salad on top of thick-cut bacon, a few slices of Vermont cheddar, and a juicy sirloin patty. The final touch? A kaiser roll for the ideal surf-and-turf experience. Pair with: Allagash Brewing Company White. Think of this light, orange peel–infused witbier as having the same effect of squeezing bright citrus over shellfish.
Homemade Chicken Fingers
Sorry, drive-through: This version of the kid favorite is better than yours. Get your kids involved in making this recipe, making sure to use the right measuring cup (the one intended for dry ingredients) and a blunt table or butter knife to level off the ingredients (even for smaller teaspoon and tablespoon-sized amounts).
Double the berries, double the deliciousness. These tender cupcakes can be made ahead and frozen; frost them before serving. Use smaller blueberries for better distribution in the batter. In a pinch? Use thawed, frozen blueberries. Cupcakes are a welcome treat at any occasion. This recipe makes 24, but go ahead and make two batches and freeze some for a future date. Both the cupcake recipe and the frosting recipe make delicious use of fresh, seasonal produce. The cupcakes, loaded with sweet blueberries, are good enough to eat unfrosted, and can stand in for a delicious breakfast or mid-morning treat. The frosting oozes with fresh strawberries. You may want to keep a bowl close by in the fridge; it makes a great dip for fruit and cookies.
Buttermilk-Dipped Crunchy Chicken Fingers
These delicious homemade chicken fingers are perfect for a kid-friendly and easy weeknight meal.
Pineapple Pizza Bites
This easy, 4-ingredient appetizer is a fun and inexpensive way to feed a crowd. They’ve got the greatest balance of sweet and salty thanks to the meat and cheese’s richness, the tomato’s acidity, and the pineapple’s juice.
Try a new twist on a classic margarita with watermelon and mint flavors.
Grilled Pizza with Summer Veggies and Smoked Chicken
Make a grilled pizza just once, and you will fall in love with the ease and versatility of this easy dinner choice. Whether you have leftover baked chicken, a little bit of last night’s shredded bbq pork, or a surplus of garden vegetables, with a little imagination you can create a fabulous grilled pizza. Think outside the box to combine your favorite herbs, cheeses and fresh fruit into a one-of-a-kind grilled pizza.
Sheet Pan Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes, and Sausage
We topped this summer pizza with fresh corn, bell peppers, plum tomatoes, and hot Italian sausgae. The sausage and tomatoes cook together to create a rich sauce, which is used as a base for summer corn, peppers, and even more tomatoes. Use fresh pizza dough and par-cook the crust before adding the toppings for the crispiest results.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese
Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese
Herbed Breadcrumb-Topped Macaroni and Cheese
Chicken Cutlets with Spring Vegetable Salad and Herb Vinaigrette
Looking to showcase your farmers’ market haul in its finest glory? In that case—you, my friend, are looking for this awe-inspiring spring chicken dinner. Every component brings something special to the table in a salad like this: Your greens create a sweet, crunchy base with a peppery hit from arugula, radishes contribute a pleasant bitter-edged brightness, cucumbers offer a clean crunch, potatoes pack the buttery richness, and a tangy, herbaceous vinaigrette is everything you need to tie everything together. Served alongside a golden-crisp chicken cutlet this lively plate nails the perfect balance of fried and fresh. In other words, this recipe is sure route to dinnertime nirvana.
Halloumi-and-Summer Vegetable Kebabs
Firm Halloumi cheese holds up well on the grill and provides a nice contrast to the tender layers of squash on these vegetarian kebabs. Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to shave the squash into long, thin strips. Turn these kebabs into a quick panzanella. Removing the cooked ingredients from the skewers and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and toasted bread cubes.
Tilapia and Summer Squash Tacos
Summer squash adds a fresh seasonal element that makes for a sumptuous fish taco filling. Use Fresno chiles instead of chipotles for less heat.
Summer Vegetable Chowder
This vegetable chowder is bursting with vibrant farmers’ market fresh flavors. Although the soup its inspired by peak season summer produce, it’s could be made year-round with frozen vegetables. The luscious texture is achieved by incorporating a roux as the thickening base, as chowders made with cream alone can often feel overly heavy and bland in flavor. We’ve also included three easy ideas for topping this summer chowder; each is a delicious addition that has this simple-to-make recipe feeling company-worthy. And thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s speedy enough to whip up at a moment’s notice.
Puff Pastry Summer Fruit Slab Pie
This show-stopper is easy to assemble, but so impressive. The only component of this effortlessly elegant tart that needs to bake is the puff pastry base itself. Once it’s baked and cooled, you’ll top it with a creamy, fluffy spread of sweetened mascarpone cheese mixed with marzipan (i.e. almond paste), vanilla, freshly whipped cream. You’ll want to wait until right before serving time to assemble your dessert. All of those glorious summer fruit juices are going to start seeping into your puff pastry and will lead to sogginess if prepared too far in advance.
Summer Squash Casserole
Creamy Broccoli-Cheddar Casserole
This fresher take on the traditional casserole is loaded with vegetables and comes together with a homemade sauce instead of sodium-heavy canned soup.
Nothing says autumn like a hearty casserole—something you can make on a weekend afternoon, and have for leftovers over the next couple days. Here, rich Gruyere cheese marries with the bright acid of a dry white wine (try a Sauvignon Blanc) to bring a touch of elegance to this yummy comfort food.
Simple Enchilada Casserole
Spicy, creamy, and wholly comforting!
Spicy Grilled Corn Salad
Elote, Mexican-style street corn, inspired this tangy, smoky, slightly creamy side dish. Three jalapeños give this salad a real kick; make it milder by substituting mini sweet peppers. Serve this salad by itself at a cookout or alongside grilled flank steak and warm tortillas for an easy taco night.
Sheet Pan BBQ Fish Tacos With Mexi Corn
This easy and impressive sheet pan dinner is from Julie Grimes' $10 Dinners: Delicious Meals for a Family of 4 that Don't Break the Bank.