46 Festive and Fun 4th of July BBQ Recipes

Bid America a Happy Birthday with these all-American mains, sides, desserts and drinks. Plus a few red, white and blue favorites!

June 16, 2022

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe—2016

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe—2016

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Photo By: Mike Garten

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe—2016

Photo By: Bobbi Lin

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe—2016

Photo By: Mike Garten


Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe—2016

Photo By: Ryan Dausch

Photo By: Ryan Dausch

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe—2016



Photo By: Mike Garten

Photo By: Bobbi Lin



Photo By: Ryan Liebe

Photo By: Bobbi Lin


Photo By: Bobbi Lin

Photo By: Ryan Dausch

Photo By: Bobbi Lin

Photo By: Mike Garten

Photo By: Ryan Dausch

Photo By: Bobbi Lin


Happy Birthday, America!

There’s no better way to wish America a very Happy Birthday than by inviting all your favorite people over for a festive and fun party. Though you can throw whatever type of celebration you like, from potlucks to dinner parties, we think the best way to commemorate Independence Day is with a backyard BBQ. Since no birthday party is complete without a spread of delicious eats, firing up your grill is essential. Hamburgers and hotdogs are must-haves and delectable cocktails, mocktails and punches will also help your guests stay adequately refreshed until the fireworks start popping! If you're looking for some more delectable recipes to add to your July 4th spread, give theses star-spangled mains, side dishes, drinks and desserts from Food Network Magazine a try. Each one is packed full of flavor and will perfectly compliment just about any other dish you serve it with. And since no birthday is complete without a cake, we included quite a few of those too! Happy Birthday, America indeed!

Patriotic Potato Salad

It doesn’t get easier than this: Use red, white and blue spuds in your potato salad for a simple, 4th of July-worthy side.

Get the Recipe: Patriotic Potato Salad

Bite-Size Burgers

Don’t let these mini burgers fool you. They may be small but, topped with cheddar, pickles, ketchup and mustard, they’re every bit as flavorful as their full-size counterparts.

Get the Recipe: Bite-Size Burgers

Grilled Peaches with Moonshine Syrup

Meat isn't the only thing you can throw on your barbecue. In fact, peaches are one of our favorite things to grill every summer. In this delicious recipe, Chopped judge Tiffany Derry brushes sliced peaches with sorghum and a sprinkle of salt to get them deliciously charred and caramelized. A smoky moonshine-infused syrup finishes them off leaving you with a dessert unlike any other.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Moonshine Syrup and Sorghum Yogurt

Frozen Pink Lemonade

You only need 4 simple ingredients to make this refreshing summertime treat: water, sugar, lemon juice and grenadine. Just be sure to plan ahead; you’ll need plenty of time for the lemonade to freeze.

Get the Recipe: Frozen Pink Lemonade

Crispy Fried Chicken and Onions

Fried chicken isn't just a sandwich trend. Coat thighs, drumsticks and onion rings in breadcrumbs and turn on the deep-fryer. Everyone will love the alternative to burgers and hot dogs.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Fried Chicken and Onions

Genovese Pasta Salad

This pasta-and-roasted-potato salad is hearty yet light, thanks to a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon, basil, pine nuts and shaved Parmesan.

Get the Recipe: Genovese Pasta Salad

Spiked Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is a Southern staple that the whole nation can get on board with. Serve this refreshing drink in Mason jars for even more picnic flair.

Get the Recipe: Spiked Sweet Tea

Macaroni Salad with Barbecue Chicken

Rotisserie chicken and store-bought barbecue sauce help this crowd-pleasing salad come together in just 20 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Macaroni Salad with Barbecue Chicken

Creamy Cashew Jalapeño Dip

This creamy nut-based veggie dip from Claudia Sandoval makes a tasty party appetizer. Not only does it take only 15 minutes to put together, but all you need to do to make it is throw all your ingredients in the blender. To really play up the Fourth of July vibes, go ahead and serve your dip with crackers, baby radishes and blue corn chips.

Get the Recipe: Creamy Cashew Jalapeño Dip

Mini Cherry Pies

When we host a cookout, we like to serve lots of individual-size treats. That way, everyone can help themselves and the afternoon feels more laid-back. And besides, who wouldn’t want a whole cherry pie to themselves?

Get the Recipe: Mini Cherry Pies

Quick Pickles

Amp up classic pickles by including wax beans and a chile pepper in the mix. Jar these pickles in the morning and they'll be ready to serve by party time. 

Get the Recipe: Quick Pickles

Tomato Salad with Pancetta Crisps

This salad is perfect for making ahead. Valerie says, "The longer this salad sits, the better it tastes". Just be sure to add the pancetta at the last minute, so it stays crisp.

Get the Recipe: Tomato Salad with Pancetta Crisps

Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas

No-bake treats are a must during the warm, summer months — and these chocolate-covered bananas are one of our go-tos when it’s too hot to bake. Just heat some candy melts (the microwave comes in handy here), dip and freeze.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas

Watermelon Limeade

This sweet, simple drink is so refreshing on a hot day. The best part? The frozen watermelon chunks that stand-in for ice cubes!

Get the Recipe: Watermelon Limeade

Parmesan-Basil Corn Cakes

Nothing says summer like fresh corn, so we’ve made it our inspiration for these easy fritters. Savory Parmesan cheese and fragrant basil balance out the corn’s natural sweetness — and pan-frying lends a crispy, golden crunch.

Get the Recipe: Parmesan-Basil Corn Cakes

Grilled Peach Margaritas

Throwing peaches on the grill for a few minutes heightens their sweetness and imparts nice, smoky notes, making this a stand-out version of the classic cocktail.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Peach Margaritas

Jerk Chicken

If chicken always has a spot on your typical July 4th menu, consider this jerk version from Kwame Onwauchi. Brining your chicken legs and thighs two days before grilling allows them to develop a spicy and savory flavor that's bursting with notes of bonnet chile pepper, allspice and garlic. It's a bit of a project, but all your barbecue guests will be raving about it for cookouts to come!

Get the Recipe: Jerk Chicken

Grilled Eggplant with Marinated Feta

They key to this simple veggie dish is to salt the eggplant slices and let them sit on a paper towel before grilling. This helps draw out some of their moisture, so that they don't get soggy during cooking.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Eggplant with Marinated Feta

Herb Butter–Stuffed Burgers

A pat of homemade herb butter in the center of each patty guarantees the juiciest and most flavorful burger you’ve ever cooked on your grill!

Get the Recipe: Herb Butter–Stuffed Burgers

Broccoli-Ramen Slaw

An easy way to upgrade classic coleslaw? Try using bagged broccoli slaw mix instead of shredded cabbage. Broccoli also lends itself well to flavors inspired by Asian cuisine, so we’ve dressed this slaw with a simple sesame-soy vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: Broccoli-Ramen Slaw

Grilled Sangria

This sangria couldn’t be easier. Simply char stone fruit on the grill before adding it to a mix of rose wine and coconut rum. Just be sure to start a day in advance; this sangria needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight so that the flavors can blend.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Sangria

Grilled Potatoes and Olives

This perfect-for-grilling side could not be easier. Simply bundle your ingredients up in heavy-duty foil and cook on the grill, flipping occasionally so that everything roasts evenly.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Potatoes and Olives

Fireworks Bundt Cake

This dazzling cake is sure to be the center of attention at your 4th of July bash. We take a simple-yet-delicious Bundt cake and dress it up with a sweet glaze and patriotic sprinkles. The finishing touch? A bundle of red, white and blue rock candy sticks in the center — to look like fireworks!

Get the Recipe: Fireworks Bundt Cake

Spicy Pineapple Margaritas

Looking for a way to jazz up regular, old 'ritas? Turn up the heat! One of Katie’s signature cocktails, this version has pineapple for sweetness, cilantro for a bit of freshness and red chile pepper for just the right amount of spice.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Pineapple Margaritas

Tuscan Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Pasta salad is a must at any backyard barbecue — and even more so when it’s jam-packed with colorful veggies, fresh from the grill.

Get the Recipe: Tuscan Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Banana-Caramel S’mores

What’s everyone’s favorite summertime treat? S’mores! We make them even better by using caramel-filled chocolate — and adding a few slices of banana for good measure.

Get the Recipe: Banana-Caramel S’mores

Chopped Salad with Cornbread Croutons

This bright and flavorful salad from chef Justin Sutherland is packed full of some of our all-time favorite summer ingredients, including fire-roasted corn and juicy cherry tomatoes. Justin's suggestion of using cubes of store-bought cornbread as the croutons here is also just as American as it gets!

Get the Recipe: Chopped Salad with Cornbread Croutons

Cheesy Hot Dogs with Pickle-Pepper Relish

Homemade pickle-pepper relish really takes these hot dogs to the next level. It’s a cinch to make but does require a little bit of planning since it needs to sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Get the Recipe: Cheesy Hot Dogs with Pickle-Pepper Relish

Marinated Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes are firm and cooking them for a few minutes will help soften them up. Dressed in a simple vinaigrette with fresh herbs and Fresno chile, green tomatoes make the perfect side for burgers, steaks, or grilled chicken.

Get the Recipe: Marinated Green Tomatoes

Warm Farro Salad with Charred Corn

This colorful side salad features three of our favorite summer ingredients: corn, tomatoes and basil. To char the corn, simply brush it with vegetable oil (so that it won’t stick to the grates), season with salt and pepper and grill for about 10 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Warm Farro Salad with Charred Corn

Jalapeno Ice Pops

The fun thing about these ice pops? You’ll feel the heat — but cool off at the same time!

Get the Recipe: Jalapeno Ice Pops

Cauliflower Caesar Salad

Instead of leafy greens, this Caesar salad is made with oven-roasted cauliflower. It’s even tossed with crunchy croutons! Just be sure to let the cauliflower cool before you toss everything together, otherwise the steam from the veggies will make the croutons soggy.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Caesar Salad

Stars-and-Stripes Cake

Easiest-ever cake decorating technique? Set a cookie cutter on top of your frosted cake and pour colorful sanding sugar into it. When you remove the cookie cutter you’ll be left with a perfect design.

Get the Recipe: Stars-and-Stripes Cake

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella

The beauty of Panzanella is that the bread soaks up all the dressing (and juice from the tomatoes), giving the salad incredible flavor. That’s why we decided to toast the bread on the grill first. It dries it out a bit allowing it to absorb even more liquid — and the char marks adds a nice, smoky flavor to the dish.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Vegetable Panzanella

Mezcal Strawberry Smash

Chef Boot Camp host Cliff Crooks says this drink has "all the summertime vibes" and we couldn't agree more. Mezcal gives the beverage a unique smokiness that acts as a nice counterbalance against the sweetness of the strawberries. It's the perfect thing for your adult guests to sip on as they watch your neighborhood's evening fireworks display.

Get the Recipe: Mezcal Strawberry Smash

Spicy Shrimp-Tomato Ceviche

Ceviche is cool and refreshing, but the best ones also have just the right amount of heat — like this one that features fresh ginger, garlic and a little yellow pepper paste.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Shrimp-Tomato Ceviche

Grilled Lamb Kebabs

It doesn’t take much to turn chunks of lamb into a wow-worthy kebab. Just marinate the meat for an hour in a mix of pureed onion, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Then, char to perfection.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Tomato and Fennel Salad

Tomatoes are in abundance during the summer months so it’s no surprise they make their way onto the picnic table at just about every cookout, all season long. If you’re looking for some fresh, try mixing them with bright, aromatic fennel. The key to balancing the flavors is to slice the fennel thin; use a mandoline if you have one.

Get the Recipe: Tomato and Fennel Salad

Stars & Stripes Ice Cream Cones

Dress up your ice cream with these festive sugar cones. All you need is a handful of colorful candy melts and sprinkles!

Get the Recipe: Stars & Stripes Ice Cream Cones

Grilled Potato Salad with Mustard Seeds

Potato salad is a fan-favorite BBQ side dish, but sometimes it can be a little too heavy. This lightened up version from Stephanie Izard is a delicious alternative. Unlike classic versions, there's no mayonnaise here. Instead, Stephanie coats her sliced potato rounds in a zesty mixture of rice and sherry vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup and mustard seeds.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Potato Salad with Mustard Seeds

Bacon Cheeseburgers with Spicy Mayonnaise

Burgers are a staple at any backyard barbecue. Take yours to the next level with a simple, spicy sauce. We mix mayonnaise, Sriracha and ketchup for the perfect balance of flavors.

Get the Recipe: Bacon Cheeseburgers with Spicy Mayonnaise

Jerk Cantaloupe-Cucumber Salad

Sweet cantaloupe and cherries, spicy ginger and Scotch bonnet pepper, refreshing cucumber: there’s no shortage of flavor with this one-of-a-kind fruit salad. Our favorite way to enjoy this sweet-and-spicy side dish? Alongside grilled chicken or shrimp.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Cantaloupe-Cucumber Salad

Red, White and Blue Ice Cream Sandwiches

Turn old-fashioned ice cream sandwiches into patriotic treats in just 10 minutes!

Get the Recipe: Red, White and Blue Ice Cream Sandwiches

Grilled Caprese with Prosciutto

Caprese salad is a quintessential part of summer. We take it to the next delicious level by wrapping the mozzarella in prosciutto and then grilling the pieces until the cheese is slightly melty.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Caprese with Prosciutto

Swirled Edible Bowls

Colorful candy melts are the secret to these edible bowls. Fill with vanilla ice cream or fresh berries and whipped cream to complete the red, white and blue theme.

Get the Recipe: Swirled Edible Bowls

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