Fourth of July

Our Essential 4th of July Recipes

Menu planning? We've got ideas—from spiralized hot dogs to potato salad to buttercream-frosted flag cake.

June 23, 2023
Photo by Ty Mecham

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and if you're currently planning a menu for the festivities, we've got you covered. Here are our 65 essential party-ready recipes for the holiday (and the rest of summer, too)—from blue cheese burgers, superlative potato salad, cream-topped fruit pie, and so many more.

Our Best 4th of July Recipes

1. Nori Deviled Eggs

Egg yolks are mixed with mayo, soy sauce, and sesame oil, then topped with a crispy chip of nori.

2. Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Buffalo Wings

Fryer-free (i.e. fuss-free) Buffalo wings, courtesy of your broiler.

3. Crispy Garlic Dip

Like onion dip, but with garlic. Lots of garlic. Potato chips not optional.

4. Sausage Balls

While Ben Mims contributed these sausages balls for our winter Cookie Chronicles series, we can confirm they’re 10/10 all year round.

5. Roberto Santibañez’s Classic Guacamole

A never-mushy guacamole full of hefty avocado hunks, dressed-up in a chile-onion paste.

6. Crab Cakes

Lots of crab cake recipes are more about the bready fillers than the crab. This one is crab-forward.

7. Roasted Red Pepper & Cauliflower Dip

A dip for vegetables made from vegetables? Why not? Serve with the happiest produce you can get your hands on.

8. Potato Chip Tortilla Española

Cut into teeny-tiny squares and serve alongside garlic-spiked mayo.

9. Furikake Chex Mix

This umami-packed Japanese seasoning takes Chex Mix from good to more-please.

10. Blue Cheese Burgers

“OMG this was THE burger I have been looking for to be my house favorite,” one community member writes.

11. Spiralized Firecracker Hot Dogs

Spiralized hot dogs equals crispier hot dogs equals better hot dogs.

12. Avocado Crab Rolls

Plump crab meat gets tossed with avocado mayo and tucked into a buttery bun.

13. Shane’s Fried Chicken

“After frying for years, I finally figured out the best trick for a crisp crust: baking powder makes it puff up and crackle,” says food writer Shane Mitchell.

14. Corn Dogs

For bonus points: Dunk these crispy corn dogs in special sauce.

15. Jasper White’s World-Famous Lobster Rolls

The trick to never-chewy, always-tender lobster meat? Steaming instead of boiling.

16. Halfsies Chicken

A contest-winning grilled chicken—all thanks to its spicy-sweet brine—to repeat all summer long.

17. Bacon-Stuffed Burgers With Pimento Cheese & Avocado

You had me at bacon-stuffed (...and pimento cheese...and avocado).

18. Italian Sausage Sandwiches With Spicy Grilled Peppers & Fennel-Onion Mustard

Don’t eat meat? This homemade fennel-onion mustard would be A+ on veggie burgers, too.

19. Gochujang Baby Back Ribs

“The ingredients here are traditional in many Korean meat dishes,” writes recipe developer Irene Yoo, “but the proportions are amped to mimic more classic, American BBQ flavors.

20. Chorizo-Style Seitan Tacos

A generously spiced marinade (think ahead) gives this seitan a chorizo personality.

21. Nutty Veggie Burgers

DIY nut or seed butter not only helps bind these veggie burgers, but makes them way more flavorful.

22. Roasted Eggplant Rolls

Like a lobster roll but with...eggplant? Yep, it works.

23. Tempeh Kebabs With Homemade BBQ Sauce

These BBQ sauce-slicked kebabs are practically a meal on their own, with hearty tempeh and lots of colorful vegetables.

24. BBQ Baked Gigante Beans

To streamline things, you can swap in store-bought cornbread and coleslaw to go with these supersized beans.

25. Fried Avocado Tacos

Avocado wedges, dredged in crushed corn flakes and sesame seeds, and sizzled until crispy.

26. Marinated Tofu Steak Sandwiches

Frozen then thawed tofu takes on an entirely new, almost meaty texture—perfect for sandwiches.

27. Elote Rigatoni

Mexican street corn inspired this pasta that could be served warm as a main or cold as a side.

28. Cornbread

A buttery, fluffy, just-sweet-enough Northeastern-style cornbread to keep in your backpocket.

29. Cucumber Salad With Magic Spice Blend

What makes this spice blend magic, you ask? Dark brown sugar plus five spices. Can you guess ’em?

30. Crispy Farro & Tomato Salad

Cook up a batch of farro in advance, then put it toward this extra-cheery tomato salad.

31. Dilled, Crunchy Sweet Corn Salad With Buttermilk Dressing

Corn, cucumber, and bell pepper are treated to a tangy buttermilk dressing and crumble of salty feta.

32. Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

"I’m gonna come out and say it because you’re gonna think it: These taste like Popeye’s biscuits. (At least back-in-the-day-Popeye’s.) Why, thank you. They do. These are what biscuits should be,” cookbook author, Carla Hall, writes.

33. Potato Salad

A mayo-based, American-style potato salad that’s anything but gloopy, thanks to whole-grain mustard and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

34. Tomato Salad With Grilled Corn, Feta & Hazelnuts

Grilled corn hops off the cob and into this juicy tomato salad with crunchy hazelnuts.

35. Pasta Salad

The secret to this extra-bright pasta salad? A zingy dressing with vinegar, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes.

36. Canal House’s Marinated Zucchini

“Because the zucchini is already cooked through and relaxed, the marinade seeps in more quickly and thoroughly than had the order of operations been reversed,” writes our resident Genius, Kristen Miglore.

37. Coleslaw

Salting the cabbage in advance—then squeezing out the excess moisture—yields a slaw that resists sogginess at all costs.

38. Garlickiest Garlic Bread

No, the two heads (plus four cloves!) of garlic is not a typo.

39. Warm Eggplant & Mint Salad

To show off summery eggplant, you need little more than olive oil, lemon juice, and a tuft of fresh mint.

40. Zucchini Caesar Salad

A not-romaine Caesar salad to shake things up.

41. Fresh Blueberry Pie

A new way to blueberry pie with less oven time and more whipped cream.

42. American Flag Cake

I mean, c’mon. Just look at it!

43. Strawberries n’ Cream Pie

A flaky pie shell, swirled with vanilla-speckled pastry cream, crowned with juice-heavy berries.

44. Blueberry & Rye Slab Pie

If you’re sans-pie pan (or the thought of crimping sends you into a sweat), meet the ever-trusty slab pie.

45. Sicilian-Style Ice Cream

Often, ice cream gets its silky-custardy texture from egg yolks. But in this case, cornstarch comes to the rescue.

46. No-Bake Cheesecake With a Pretzel Crust

Because your kitchen is already hot enough as it is, this cheesecake only needs a fridge and freezer, no oven.

47. Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Shortbread makes for an A++ ice cream sandwich—for raspberry or whatever flavor strikes your fancy.

48. Peach, Cherry & Mint Pie

To upgrade any fruit pie: Just blitz the sugar with fresh mint.

49. Red, White & Blue Crisp

Candied ginger gives this Fourth of July–ready crisp a slightly spicy flavor and delightfully chewy texture.

50. Banana Cream Pie

Nilla wafer crust, brown sugar pastry cream, all the bananas, and a sour cream–whipped cream on top.

51. Strawberry Chocolate Shortcakes

For when you want a strawberry shortcake but also a brownie.

52. Split BBQ Hot Dogs With Crunchy-Tangy Slaw

Is this the ultimate Fourth of July recipe? Between the grilled hot dogs, homemade Kansas City-style barbecue sauce, and crunchy coleslaw, it might just be.

53. Loaded Bacon-Wrapped Spicy Hot Dogs

Rick Martínez was inspired by the loaded dogs that are popular in northern Mexico: “I took freshly baked soft bolillo rolls, split them, topped them with cheese, and broiled them until the cheese melted and started to brown. I then filled the rolls with crispy, griddled bacon-wrapped dogs smothered in chori beans, sautéed onions and jalapeños, and a pickled-jalapeño mayo."

54. Grilled Romaine With Hot Dog Crispies & Pickle-Mustard Vinaigrette

There are a few food requirements for Independence Day celebrations—there have to be hot dogs (preferably eaten at rapid speed, Coney Island-style), a colorful, crowd-pleasing salad, and grilled everything. This hot dog salad (you read that right) checks every box.

55. 3-Ingredient Veggie Burgers

Bland, boring veggie burgers are a thing of the past. These easy-peasy burgers are made with dried chickpeas, canned marinated artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes.

56. Baby Back Ribs With Dry Rub

Good barbecue requires patience, and these five-ingredient baby back ribs are no exception. They cook low and slow for two hours, but the end result is succulent ribs that balance sweet and smoky flavors.

57. Renee Erickson’s Peach Cobbler with Hot Sugar Crust

It’s peak peach season, so cobbler away! This recipe calls for 10 (count ’em, 10!) peaches that are encased in a buttery batter that bubbles as it bakes.

58. Cream Cake

For a 4th of July dessert, we want something that’s festive (ergo: assorted berries and cream!) and light, which means avoiding denser cakes in favor of this beautiful, airy recipe.

59. Spicy Watermelon With Tomatoes, Prosciutto & Salted-Lime Yogurt

Juicy watermelon doesn’t just need to appear in a fruit salad; this spicy summer side dish keeps the fruit at the forefront, along with cherry tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers.

60. Watermelon, Tomato, & Four-Herb Salad

This herby salad calls for equal parts of torn fresh basil, mint, and tarragon. We especially love the contrast of the peppery arugula as a bed for juicy watermelon, plump cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, and salty pecorino.

61. Grilled Chicken Thighs With Lemongrass Glaze

Chicken thighs are a dream to work with because they’re fatty and forgiving, which means it’s nearly impossible to overcook them. Here, they’re marinated in a combination of fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, red chili peppers, ginger, and lemongrass.

62. Tomato Cucumber Salad With Fried Capers

Come summer, we’ve got to take advantage of tomatoes every way we can. Big wedges of heirloom tomatoes are tossed with cucumbers, dill, and fried shallots for a salad that completes any (and every) 4th of July feast.

63. Tomato, Nectarine & Mozzarella Salad

We love this low-key twist on a Caprese salad. There are the usual suspects (mozzarella, tomatoes, good olive oil, basil, and balsamic vinegar), plus one very apt summer addition: nectarines!

64. Fresh Corn Salad With Brown Butter, Chives & Chiles

If you can get your hands on good corn on the cob, use it to make this quick and easy side salad that’s brimming with nutty brown butter and fried chiles.

65. Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

“The basil adds a delightful brightness to the sweet corn, and it plays perfectly with the traditional butter and salt additions,” writes recipe developer Lisina.

Are you grilling or chilling this 4th of July? Let us know your plans (especially your menu plans!) in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • reggie85
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


reggie85 June 18, 2020
That's nice. Y'all got recipes for Juneteenth?
Emma L. June 18, 2020
Hi, yes! This virtual potluck with 68 recipes: