Fourth of July arrives to introduce summer, family fun and time with friends. Most families plan some type of celebration or cook out to mark Independence Day. We’ve scoured this site and the World Wide Web for a collection of the best 4th of July recipes out there. Use one or use all of them for a true Fourth of July feast.
Fire up the grill and make these amazing sides all perfect any Fourth of July celebration. You can take just one dish to a pitch in or create an entire picnic for everyone you know. No matter how big your celebration, remember the key to a good time is making everyone feel welcome. By the way, I know many readers hate reading all kinds of backstory, but Google kind of requires it anymore before you get to the point, so if you want to skip past all my info on Fourth of July and how we do it, you can go right to the section titled “Fourth of July Recipes Roundup List.” If you want to know a bit more of my story, keep reading…
Our Fourth of July Recipes
Our family hasn’t always had a big celebration on the 4th of July, so my Fourth of July recipes are a little lacking. When the kids were little, we used to go to my parents’ house on Heritage Lake. My sister would come with her boys and my dad would take all the kids and grandkids out on the lake where we’d see fireworks set off. It really was a good time and we always had some standard foods that you’ll likely recognize as Fourth of July favorites with your own family:
American Fourth of July Favorite Foods
- Grilled hamburgers & hot dogs
- Mustard potato salad
- Jello salad
- Potato chips
- Baked beans
- Ice cream & cake
What celebration is complete without ice cream and cake, after all? We really enjoyed our Fourth of July parties on the lake, But it wasn’t the food as much as the company we enjoyed and the experiences we shared together. At the end of the day, that is what I remember most about all my 4ths as my children grew up. Time spent together and the wonder of small children seeing big fireworks for the first time and special moments that all add up to memories.
What Are Your Family Fourth Favorites?
You can probably figure out some family favorites your own family has every holiday and looks forward to. Just because it isn’t a traditional dish served on Uncle Sam’s birthday doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for your family celebration. For example, somewhere along the way, we started making red, white and blue fruit salad (blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream. It is light, somewhat healthy and something we all look forward to. Forget the red, white and blue fruit salad and someone always asks where it is.
We also always have cake, although the kind of cake varies. One year, I made a homemade ice cream cake. It was super easy (recipe below).
Homemade Ice Cream Cake with Icing Recipe
- 1 box ice cream sandwiches (I used all vanilla, but you can use chocolate wafers and vanilla if you prefer that)
- Bottle caramel sauce
- 1 bottle hot fudge sauce (do not heat!)
- Large container of vanilla buttercream icing
- blue food coloring
How to make homemade ice cream cake from ice cream sandwiches.
- Layer half the sandwiches on a flat metal sheet.
- Drizzle on hot fudge and caramel
- Add the second half of the sandwiches on top and drizzle again.
- Place in fridge and allow the caramel and fudge to set up and firm slightly.
- Add food coloring to the container of vanilla icing.
- Add a thick blog of icing in all four corners and the center, bringing it down the sides and covering the entire concoction is Fourth of July blue icing.
- Top with strawberry slices. You can also do red stripes to make it look like a flag and not color the icing and add blueberries for the stars in the top left corner.
- Place cake in freezer until ready to serve.
I’ve done the cake without the berries as well and added caramel and fudge on top of the icing. It’s really simple to make and most people don’t realize how easy it was to put together. It makes an impressive dessert, but is hard to transport so make sure you serve it when the celebration is at your own home.
Fourth of July Recipe Roundup List
Looking for something out of the ordinary this Fourth of July? Try some of these best Fourth of July recipe choices:
- Easy Chocolate Chip Turtle Cookie Bars: Soft and Chewy Cookie Recipe
- Delicious Easy Kabobs for Labor Day Cookouts
- Mouth Watering Grilled Peppers
- American Potato Salad
- Bourbon BBQ Glazed Pork Chops
- Trisha Yearwood Easy Peach Cobbler
- Red, White and Blue S’mores Berries
- 4th of July Fruit & Jello Cups
- Patriotic Cheesecake Cookies
- Flag Cake
- Best Corn Salsa Recipe
- Lettuce Cups with Stir Fried Chicken
Additional Ideas for Fourth of July Potlucks
In addition to some of the tasty ideas above, the best Fourth of July recipes are those you hand down from generation to generation or dishes which you discover at another event, such as a church potluck and share with your family. You never know what might become a family favorite, so don’t be afraid to try something different.
Throw some corn on the cob on the grill, make foil packet BBQ chicken, or serve walking tacos as an option to the more traditional fare of hamburgers and hot dogs.