Summer is the best season to share delicious, fresh meals with each other, and what better holiday for a potluck than the Fourth of July? Here are my top 25 recipes that I have either made or are looking forward to making this summer! Many of these are quick to put together (perfect for saving time when all we want to do is be outside!), while others marry together beautifully fresh and simple flavors. Enjoy!
1. Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers
When it comes to appetizers, it doesn’t get easier than these watermelon and feta skewers that Bri over at Bites of Bri has concocted. Juicy watermelon paired with the salty deliciousness of feta cheese and just a hint of refreshing mint? Yes please! Oh, wait, and we are going to top it off with a thick balsamic glaze? I’m sold. Bri includes a quick method for reducing your own balsamic syrup, but if you have a favorite balsamic glaze of your own, this works too (and is even quicker!).
2. Hush Puppies
The Fourth of July calls for at least one deep fried dish, am I right? These Southern hush puppies are based on a classic recipe of flour, buttermilk, and eggs, but are heated up just a bit by the addition of paprika. Yum!
3. Butter Dipped Radishes
In the words of Julia Child, “With enough butter, anything is good.” Which is totally true, I mean, think of any delicious recipe you’ve made. There was almost always some type of fat in it! These butter dipped radishes by Erica of HonestlyYUM not only have butter as one of the main ingredients, but are super simple to make. I love that they so boldly feature the freshness of the raw radish!
4. Herbed Goat Cheese Balls
Those who know me best, know that right behind my love of meats comes my love of cheese. Okay realistically, I love almost all food because I’m just like that. But I honestly have my doubts about people who doesn’t like a good cheese, and goat cheese is one of my favorites! These creamy goat cheese balls marinated in olive oil and fresh herbs are pretty much the perfect accompaniment to some toasty bread. The best part? They are made three days in advance of serving, so you can marinate them, throw them in the fridge, and then just take them out and serve with baguette on the Fourth, leaving plenty of time for other food prep and/or activities on the holiday!
5. Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Toast with Balsamic Drizzle
There is literally no better time than the summer to slice up a deliciously juicy, flavorful heirloom tomato. So what are you waiting for? In these toasts, the traditional tomato + basil + balsamic combination gets an upgrade with some lovely avocado slices. Mmmhmm!
6. Honey Rhubarb Pisco Sour
These refreshing cocktails are simply delightful, and feature one of my favorite new liquors that I have started drinking recently: pisco. The honey rhubarb simple syrup was an exciting new take on simple syrup for me also, and I am eager to borrow this concept for other types of dishes (cough cough dessert cough cough). Check out these cocktails at Reclaiming Provincial!
7. Sangria Verde
This green sangria made with refreshing melon, cucumbers and grapes is great for the summer because you can make a large pitcher of it, instead of having to make individual drinks. What a unique take on sangria!
8. Blackberry Ginger Smash
Tart blackberries. Cool mint. Crisp gin. What could be added to this combination to put it over the edge of deliciousness? Why, some fragrant ginger syrup, of course!
9. Fruity Coconut Water Slushes
These slushies are perfect for Fourth of July: I mean, just look at the coloring of them!
10. Peach Wine Slushies
Another favorite cocktail of ours for the warmer weather is these peach wine slushies. They are perfect because they are simple to make with ingredients you can easily have on hand: no fresh peaches are (absolutely) necessary to make these cocktails taste crazy fresh and yummy (but they do add a beautiful garnish, if you happen to have a couple on hand!).
11. Hot Dogs with Chipotle Cheese Sauce and Bacon Corn Relish
Hot dogs are pretty much a staple at any type of Fourth of July festivities, and this recipe does not disappoint! It features beef hot dogs loaded up with a spicy homemade cheddar cheese sauce spiked with chipotle peppers (yum!) and a refreshing corn, red onion, cilantro and bacon relish. Because we all need a little more bacon in our lives!
12. Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Ribs
The sweetness and tartness of raspberries mashed with the the heat of chipotle and jalapeño peppers sounds like a culinary match made in heaven. What’s more, FoodieCrush does an excellent job explaining how to make the perfect ribs in this post. Read on!
13. Honey Beer Glazed BBQ Chicken Skewers
Grilling is another necessity around this time of the year, and that means that pretty much anything shoved onto a wooden stick and grilled over an open flame is acceptable (and encouraged!). Try these barbecue chicken skewers, which feature a sweet and tangy honey beer glaze with soy sauce, Dijon mustard, and shallots.
14. Double RL Ranch Burger
As previously stated, grilling is necessary in the summer. Since burgers are also necessary, why not try the burger to end all other burgers: the signature Ralph Lauren burger served at Ralph Lauren’s restaurant?
15. Sweet Tea Brined Hot Chicken Wings
We all know how much I love a good baked chicken wing: simple, crispy, and the flavoring possibilities are endless. These chicken wings are brined with sweet tea before being doused in a deliciously spicy rub that includes ancho chili powder. Yum!
16. Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli
I’ll take a good crispy brussel sprout over a potato chip any day. These crispy brussel sprouts from Costa Kitchen are super simple to make and become perfectly crispy! They are made even better by their accompaniment: a beautifully creamy garlic aioli.
17. Orzo Picnic Salad
I love this orzo salad because it can be made with so many fresh ingredients that you can pick right then and there from your garden: cherry tomatoes, mint, basil, yum!
18. Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Fruit salad is another one of those Fourth of July staples, but it can be kind of boring and predictable. Spruce up your fruit salad this year with this honey lime dressing, which adds a little bit of sweetness and creaminess to your salad.
19. Mexican Corn on the Cob
Corn is a must at a Fourth of July party! And why not make it super spicy and cheesy by making these Mexican styled corn on the cobs?
20. Caesar Pasta Salad
This caesar pasta salad combines two of my favorite things: caesar salad and pasta! It is also super quick to throw together, which is perfect for the summer when all I want to do is be outside with the family!
21. Campfire Grilled S’more Calzones
If you love to roast s’mores over a roaring bonfire after the Fourth of July fireworks like I do, then you will love this dessert. Upgrade your traditional s’mores by turning them into these rustic calzones! (And I would absolutely recommend following Tieghan’s suggestion of eating these with a side of ice cream!)
22. Sorbet Floats
Cool raspberry and coconut sorbets topped with berrylicious juices and soda water: these sorbet floats are perfect for finishing off a hot summer day filled with boating, eating, and fireworks!
23. Strawberry Mango Mint Julep Fruit Salad with Whipped Marshmallow
24. My Kids Favorite Brownies
Everyone loves a good chocolate brownie, and this family recipe from Cookies & Cups does not disappoint. This is my favorite kind of brownie: moist brownie cake topped with a chocolate frosting! Perfect!
25. Peach Sweet Tea Popsicles
And finally, at the end of the night these are the perfect quick sweet treat to finish off a beautiful evening of food, family, and fireworks: peach sweet tea popsicles that are easily made the day before.
(Do you like blueberry more? Check out my recipe for blueberry mint sweet tea popsicles!)
Now it’s your turn: what is your favorite recipe to make for the Fourth of July? Let me know in the comments below so I can try it!