Fourth of July Classics
Pay tribute to the red, white, and blue with All-American dishes you can mix and match for your Independence Day cookout.
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.
Oven Baby Back Ribs
These baby back ribs offer classic BBQ flavor, but are made simple in the oven. Rich and perfectly tangy-sweet, the homemade barbecue sauce used for this recipe is nothing short of divine, but feel free to use your favorite bottle in a pinch. Wrapping the ribs in foil helps to keep them moist throughout the low and slow cook time, while broiling at the end gives them a deliciously crispy crust. To reheat a slab of these oven-baked ribs, re-wrap in foil and return to the oven heated to 300°F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
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.
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.
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.
Herb-Grilled Summer Squash
Grilled vegetables are as essential a part of the outdoor, open-flame cooking experience as any cut of meat. And few vegetables say summer quite like zucchini and yellow summer squash. Dressed in olive oil and an abundance of fresh herbs, this versatile grilled vegetable recipe is perfect for just about any occasion.
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.
Grilled Chicken Wings with Tamarind Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Tangy, fruity tamarind, popular in Latino and Asian cuisines, is the secret ingredient in our favorite new barbecue sauce for chicken wings.
Greek Chopped Salad with Grilled Pita
We take the extra step of grilling the bell peppers along with the pita wedges to add a bit of char and smoky depth to the salad. You could also broil the peppers in the oven until blackened and peel them, and then toast the pita until browned.
Yukon Gold Potato Salad
A middle ground between waxy red potatoes and starchy russets, buttery Yukon Golds are great in potato salad.
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.
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 Corn Pasta Salad
This vibrant, flavor-packed summer side dish combines a bounty of favorite seasonal flavors into a single, epic pasta salad. The recipe comes from our friends The Food Gays, and they developed this colorful grilled corn dish as a fresher, brighter alternative to the typical mayo-based pasta salads that often show up a summer parties. Packed with fresh produce and dressed in a light and zippy lemon-mustard vinaigrette, this grilled corn pasta salad is anything but boring. Give it a try at your next summer cookout and enjoy as the compliments pour in.
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.
Deli-Style Tortellini Pasta Salad
Reminiscent of deli-style salads we’ve all ordered at one time or another, this easy and delicious recipe works overtime providing you with an effortless dinner and even-tastier leftovers the next day. Like most pasta salads, this one tastes best once chilled for 24 hours, and because of its large yield, can be enjoyed for lunch throughout the week. Enjoy it cold, or at room temperature.
Ginger Rosemary Smoked Pork Ribs
These maple-glazed ribs with a subtle touch of ginger are a mainstay at Odys + Penelope restaurant in Los Angeles. At home, chef-owner Quinn Hatfield smokes them using either a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker or a Pit Barrel Cooker. For versions of the recipe to cook on regular grills instead of smokers, go to Ginger Rosemary Smoked Pork Ribs on a Gas Grill, and Ginger Rosemary Smoked Pork Ribs on a Charcoal Grill.
Mixed Berry Cream Pie with Double Chocolate Crust
Brushing red currant jelly onto the berries makes them shine, like those fruit tarts you see in bakeries. If you can't find red currant jelly, use strawberry jelly (don't subsitute jam or preserves).
Strawberry and Watermelon Punch with Lime and Tarragon
You can buy strawberry puree or make it yourself: Blend 16 ounces thawed frozen strawberries in a food processor. Strain through a fine sieve; discard seeds. Serve this refreshing punch with or without alcohol.
Grilled Buttermilk Chicken
This creamy buttermilk mixture makes a great marinade for grilled chicken.
Grilled and Dilled Corn on the Cob
This creamy, savory topping perfectly compliments sweet corn on the cob.
Tomato Salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sliced heirloom tomatoes are wow-worthy on their own--a simple vinaigrette and dollops of basil-flecked ricotta take them over the top. Serve with toasted baguette slices to sop up any tomato juices.
If you serve our étouffée and have leftovers, slather it on top of grilled 'dogs.
Ultimate BBQ Chicken
This chicken is wonderfully moist, with a smoky sauce that will have you firing up the grill year-round.
New Potatoes with Shaved Celery, Buttermilk, and Dill
Crisp potatoes and a mild creamy dressing help keep this chunky potato salad from being anything but boring. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.
The Southern Dog
Pimento cheese on a hot dog is nothing short of genius. Allowing pickled jalapeños to sit in sugar overnight tames the peppers' heat, while intensifying their sweetness. This spiciness is the perfect contrast to the rich pimento cheese.
Rum Baked Beans
The secret to this tender baked bean medley? Rum. Make it ahead of time by preparing steps 1 and 2. Cover with foil and refrigerate up to 2 days until ready to bake.
The Texas Dog
If you like texture, you'll love this crumbled corn chip topping. If you can't find queso fresco, substitute feta cheese.
Chicago Char Dog with Fresh Cucumber Relish
Classic Chicago dogs are served in poppy seed buns. If you can't find them, lightly brush buns with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds; toast in the oven at 350° for 2 to 3 minutes.
This corn bread skillet incorporates fresh corn kernels, as well as corn meal for an easy, go-to side dish. Because corn loves cornbread and so do we.
Crispy Potato Chips
Slice the potatoes as thin as possible to get that great crispy crunch.
Pour a tall glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade infused with sweet raspberries. Garnish the rim with red, white, and blue sugar for a patriotic finish. To make colored sugar, mix one drop of food coloring with 1/2 cup of sugar in a zip-top bag and shake.
Recipe: Raspberry Lemonade
A Low Country summer entertaining classic, Frogmore stew combines sausage, shrimp, red potatoes, corn, and seasonings, yielding a feast that's perfect for a crowd.
Recipe: Frogmore Stew
Red, White, and Blue Pops
Keep the layers distinct by fully freezing each one before adding the next.
Root Beer Baked Beans
Sweet, smoky, and savory, this delicious baked bean dish is sure to be a hit for Independence Day. Root beer adds a fun twist, making this dish one of a kind.
Recipe: Root Beer Baked Beans
America the Beautiful Burgers
These great and classic burgers are perfect for your next cookout.
Big Top Watermelon Salad
Nothing says summer like juicy watermelon. For a unique take on this Fourth of July staple, cube watermelon and toss with feta, onions, pine nuts, and fresh herbs.
Recipe: Big Top Watermelon Salad
Grilled Salt-and-Pepper Chicken Wings
Broiler option: Broil on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan 8 inches from heat 20 minutes or until done, turning halfway through.
Grilled Chicken With White Barbecue Sauce
Put a spin on barbecue chicken with spicy white sauce, a combination of mayonnaise and vinegar. The sauce is finger-licking good and ready in only 10 minutes.
Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs
Get out the paper towels for this backyard favorite. Combining Asian flavors–sweet chili and ginger with spicy red pepper flakes–creates the Sweet-Hot 'Cue Sauce. Take a bite of these ribs, and you'll whisper "wow" in total respect for the amazing taste.
Recipe: Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs
Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes
This is a real dandy. It would be a great addition to your July 4th celebration spread. The amusing effect of the swirled frosting can be duplicated using any colors for any occasion. It makes a fun Christmas cupcake using red and green or a pretty spring cupcake using pink and green.
Sweet Tea Lemonade
This summer refresher combines the best of both worlds: sweet iced tea and tart lemonade.
Peach-Cinnamon Ice Cream
The iconic summer treat, a big scoop of cool ice cream filled with peaches and spiced with cinnamon. Garnish with fresh peaches and enjoy the perfect ending to any Fourth of July festivity.
Recipe: Peach-Cinnamon Ice Cream
These fun Jell-O shapes are a hit with the kids, and great for celebrating the Fourth of July.
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.
Warmed Berries with Honey and Fresh Cheese
You may adapt this dessert to your taste by adjusting the blend of berries, the amount of honey, or even the amount of cheese. The idea is luxury in the amount of berries. Fromage blanc is wonderfully subtle; you can sub Greek yogurt, which is tangier.
Watermelon-Strawberry-Granola Breakfast Bowls
Why toss the rind? Jumpstart sunny summer days by filling them with peak-season watermelon, strawberries, and chopped mint.