The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays! Growing up, I loved the family BBQs followed by trips downtown to see fireworks. When I met Mike, I was introduced to a whole new set of traditions that I fell in LOVE with. Morning neighborhood wakeup calls for the kids from George himself (aka a rotating list of neighborhood dads dressed like President Washington) followed by kid parades. After the parades, it’s all about the delicious food and hanging with friends and family before walking over for fireworks at the local country club. And while our fourths are a little quieter now, we still create a mean spread! Today, I’m sharing our 4th of July menu which I believe is the PERFECT spread for any backyard BBQ! These are the items we have every year and can’t imagine celebrating without!
4th of July menu
What’s a 4th of July menu without BURGERS! Burgers are a MUST in my opinion. Big, juicy, messy, burgers. Everyone has their favorite recipe or go-to fixings and it’s fun to test out different variations and versions each year.
I’m a sauce girl and this Smash Burger recipe I found on Pinterest sounds delicious! If a juicy burger is what you’re after, (raises hand) Kylee Cooks gives her best tips and a recipe for creating just the thing. And, for more tips on grilling, adding flavor, and serving up your burgers check out Better Homes & Gardens post.
In addition to burgers, I think it’s also a good idea to have another option available. Especially if you’re having a larger crowd. Is that even possible this year with Covid-19? Probably not… But let’s pretend we can get together with ALL our family and friends, and since this is the “perfect 4th of July menu”, we need chicken!
Chicken on the grill is probably my FAVORITE way to eat chicken. I love those char marks and all the flavor and juiciness cooking over flame adds. I typically go for something a little more simple like salt and pepper for my seasoning but feel free to use your favorite chicken seasoning! Do you prefer BBQ? Or maybe you like to spray your chicken with ginger ale as it cooks?!
Yep! I think I inherited some of my most beloved food recipes when I joined Mike’s fam! Mike’s dad cooks a mean grilled chicken that he spritzes with ginger ale to give it a sweet, crispy exterior! This version of ginger ale can chicken sounds delicious!
This next one may be a bit controversial but I also think the 4th of July holiday calls for hot dogs! It’s not something I eat that often but every 4th it’s a craving I have.
It’s all about the sides!
No 4th of July holiday menu is complete without a pasta salad, or two! There are a few that make an appearance every year at our BBQs.
First up is a Classic Italian Pasta Salad! This recipe is closest to the one my mom makes every year and is my hands down FAVE! I love the saltiness of the black olives mixed with the crispness of the fresh peppers and the little bites of salami and cheese!
This Ditalini Creamy Pasta Salad also sounds good! Similar to the one above but perfect for those that prefer a mayonnaise-based salad. It also has a slightly different mix of veggies.
Are you team vinegar or team mayonnaise-based pasta salad? I like them both and if you’re having family and friends over I say make them both so everyone is happy!
I remember my first 4th of July with Mike’s family and falling MADLY IN LOVE with this next summer salad. Grilled Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad is one of summers must-haves! It’s so light and fresh tasting with the fresh lime and cilantro mixed in. I ALWAYS go back for seconds!
What’s a summer backyard BBQ without a potato dish? I’m not super picky about the form my potatoes take for the 4th and usually like to change it up each year.
A family fave that ALWAYS goes over well is Party Potatoes! These are one of Mike’s faves! Some of you may know these better as funeral potatoes but it’s a summer holiday so party potatoes it is! These are super easy to make and perfect for serving if you have a big crowd coming.
You can’t go wrong with grilled potatoes. Add ranch and you’ve got the perfect side! These red, white, and blue grilled potatoes sound AH-MAZING and may just be my contribution to this year’s 4th of July feast!
Also, a must on the 4th is grilled corn! You can’t go wrong with charred corn slathered in butter with some salt and pepper! If you want to get fancy, how about making Mexican Street Corn?
CAn’t forget about dessert!
I have a major sweet tooth and no 4th of July menu is complete without a few desserts! Like the potatoes, desserts at the Lowe BBQs usually change a bit from year to year. There are usually a few new ones mixed in with a couple of summer staples!
One staple is FRUIT! You just can’t have a summer BBQ without a fruit salad. For the 4th of July, I like to stick with the color scheme and do a mix of fruits that are red, white, and blue. Things like watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, and apples. This pin I found on Pinterest has 5 different variations of fruit salads ranging from simple to showstopper depending on how fancy you want to get. Shelley even gives suggestions for fruits by color to help you choose your mix!
Cookies are super easy and great to have around. You can grab a few and take them to go on your walk to see the fireworks! I don’t typically love themed food but for the 4th, I make an exception! I love soft, chewy pudding cookies and these made with 4th of July M&Ms and sprinkles are perfect for the holiday! These Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars would also be a great way to feed a crowd.
If there’s ever a time to have a Strawberry Pretzel Bar, it would be for the 4th! I’m a lucky girl if my mother-in-law brings this yummy sweet and salty dessert to the party!
If we don’t make the strawberry pretzel bars we usually make a simple Strawberries and Shortcake instead. Equally delicious and a tie when it comes to my favorites. I love this recipe because the biscuit recipe sounds similar to a favorite scone recipe of mine and I LOVE a good scone!
It’s always fun to switch up desserts and make something a little more creative and festive! This American Flag Fruit Pizza uses a short cut ingredient cutting your time in the kitchen in half! I’m a sucker for brownies and these Fruit and Brownie Skewers are a fun take on the patriotic theme!
When it comes to drinks, you gotta go red, white, and blue! This Red, White, and Blue Captain America Kids Drink sounds SO GOOD. You can also spike it so adults won’t feel left out!
Where are my sangria fans at? I love this Red, White, and Blue Sangria Punch with pineapple stars! So festive, light, and refreshing! Perfect for the holiday!
These are my go-to recipes for a perfect 4th of July menu. I hope some or all make it to your holiday BBQ!
What are some of your must-have recipes on the 4th of July?