4th of July Recipes for a Cookout
Food,  Recipes

Best 4th of July Recipes and Grilling Ideas for an Amazing Cookout

We have a great lineup of 4th of July grill recipes to help you host your next cookout this summer with less stress.

I am sure many of you have childhood memories of great July 4th celebrations that make you smile and feel nostalgic. But do you remember how this party started?

The 4th of July holiday began to take shape on July 2nd, 1776 when the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. Two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence.

From 1776 to the present day, the United States celebrates July 4th as the birth of American independence. Festivities range from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. Read more about the history and Why We Celebrate July 4th with Fireworks here.

Hosting big 4th of July celebrations can be overwhelming, but with this round-up of the best Fourth of July recipes you’ll be ready to grill out in no time.

And a hot July party is the perfect time to grill out!

Here are lots of resources to help you throw a great shindig! We have many easy recipes below. There are also a few that take a little extra time but are totally worth the effort.

Perfect 4th of July Menu

If you are in search of a complete July 4th menu to wow a special guest I have one ready for you.

Everything you need is in this post to plan an amazing cookout.

Even the wine pairings! Why walk around a wine store in a daze of confusion about what to buy? Save time with the recommendations. They are delicious!

This Fourth of July menu has enough servings for 6-8 guests to be satisfied and need an afternoon nap.

This Patriotic Pork menu is packed with flavorful recipes that come mostly from your grill or don’t require cooking. So, you will save on your air conditioning bill as well.

You’ll start with a creamy no-cook appetizer. It is so delicious, easy, and uses fresh tomatoes.

Then you’ll move on to grilling ribs made with a dry rub recipe and sweet grilled corn.

I love barbecue sauce and make a homemade one with key ingredients of brown sugar, red onion, tomato paste, and apple cider vinegar. But you can use any store-bought one that tickles your fancy if you like sauce with your ribs. A Kansas City barbecue sauce is a crowd-pleaser.

Also, there is a recipe for a very different kind of slaw. Easy to make, cool, and delicious.

Finally, finish with a delicious fresh fruit dessert! This one you can make ahead to save yourself time on the day of your event. Or you can make it easier with grilled fruit and ice cream.

So go ahead and g,rab this Patriotic Pork menu for the perfect way to celebrate on the 4th of July.

Celebrate the 4thof July with these recipes

Best Grill Tools

Whether you are a serial griller or fall into the category of occasional grillers, we’ve highlighted some great grill accessories that can help you up your barbecue game in countless ways.

So, check out this post on Best Grill Tools You Must Have for Your Next BBQ. You will use these great items all grilling season long.

Easy 4th of July Grill Recipes and Ideas

Of course, you can cook regular hamburgers and hot dogs, make a classic potato salad, open a bag of pita chips, and serve store-bought popsicles for dessert! But with a little extra time, you can have an amazingly flavorful and memorable cookout.

Additionally, there are many recipes and ideas here using fresh ingredients. The main ingredients are easily sourced at your local grocery store or farmers market. So you won’t have to special order them.

Easy Appetizers

Appetizers are so much fun! There are so many incredible things you can make to start off your cookout that I have a hard time limiting the recipes.

The old standby of hard-boiled eggs can be elevated to fabulous deviled eggs with a few creative ingredients like cream cheese, blue cheese crumbles, pickled jalapeno, or bacon bits.

One of my favorite appetizers is grilled shrimp. Buy raw extra-large raw shrimp with the tail on. Melt a little butter with some finely chopped fresh herbs and brush on the shrimp. You can use a grill pan or vegetable basket on your grill. Cook them about 3-4 minutes depending on the size and turn over halfway through the time. Squeeze with some lemon juice or lime juice. In place of cocktail sauce, I serve them with a zippy, hearty paste of Mexican spices mixed with tomato paste and thinned with V8 juice.

Here are great ideas and recipes using fresh veggies, pantry staples, and simple ingredients.


These Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers are a savory and melty game-day appetizer. Mini sweet peppers are filled with cream cheese and seasonings for a delicious finger food dish.

hashbrown strudel

Create a delicious and impressive appetizer with this easy hashbrown strudel recipe using filo pastry.

Dips and Salsas for Summer Picnics

Mexican layered Tostito Dip Recipe

This easy Mexican layered dip is a perfect appetizer for warm-weather entertaining. Whether you have a special occasion involving a few friends or are entertaining a crowd, this simple recipe is sure to become a crowd favorite

Red Pepper Hummus

You might find a new addiction: roasted red pepper hummus.

Mexican Street Corn Dip

Bring authentic Mexican flavor to your table with this delicious Mexican Street Corn Dip! Mexican Street Corn Dip, often called elote dip, pulls together some incredible flavors from the sweetness of corn, the creaminess of cotija, and the electrifying lime zest.


This easy mango pineapple salsa is refreshing and pairs well with tortilla chips for a sweet and salty bite.


Whip up this amazing Lazy Day Salsa in just minutes! Fresh, zesty flavors make it perfect for any gathering.

olive-hummus for 4th of July grill recipes

This Olive Hummus pleases all hummus and olive lovers. It’s got an excellent mix of the tasty flavors of olives and creamy hummus, with the perfect “kick” of spice.

French Onion Dip

This Healthy French Onion Dip is made with caramelized onions and creamy Greek yogurt and is a healthier alternative to a traditional homemade French onion dip.

pizza hummus

If you love pizza and hummus, then you’ll certainly enjoy this Pizza Hummus. It’s the perfect melding of two super popular comfort foods.


This Guacamole is super easy and tastes amazing. Filled with garlic and an excellent blend of spices, it is hands down beats any store-bought guac.

July 4th Appetizer Recipes with Seafood

Salmon Salad Appetizer

This quick and easy Salmon Salad Recipe uses canned salmon mixed with a creamy mayonnaise dressing. Similar to tuna salad, it’s perfect for enjoying with crackers or in sandwiches for an easy lunch or afternoon snack.


Margarita Shrimp recipe. Two favorites, shrimp and margaritas, come together in this easy 20-minute appetizer recipe!


Enjoy a zesty delight with this lemon garlic shrimp! Succulent shrimp perfectly seasoned with garlic and a hint of lemon for a refreshing, mouthwatering dish!

Thai-Grilled-Shrimp-Skewers for 4th of July grill recipes

This Spicy Thai Grilled Shrimp is succulent, tender, and mouthwatering. The sauce is amazing. Be sure the shrimp is cold when you put it on the grill, to avoid overcooking.

No-Cook Appetizers

Tortellini Caprese Skewers

These Tortellini Caprese skewers are a simple, no-bake appetizer is perfect for any gathering. With the classic combination of flavors and a balsamic drizzle, they’re sure to be a hit!


Chicken enchilada tortilla roll-ups are perfect party appetizers for game day or any gathering. These are super easy and quick to make. They’re always a crowd pleaser, kids and adults love it!

guacamole bites

Bursting with fresh flavors, these Guacamole Bites feature ripe tomatoes filled with creamy guacamole that are as healthy as they are tasty!

Marinated Olives

If you love olives, then you will love these Marinated Olives. They are delicious, flavourful, and incredibly versatile.

hiyayakko - cold tofu

Hiyayakko (冷奴) is Japanese silken tofu served cold, seasoned with a smattering of savory toppings. With endless flavor combos, it’s the best lazy summer appetizer.

Vegetable Rolls

These Vegetable Summer Rolls are great for when you’re craving something fresh and delicious! Relatively easy to make, and super versatile.

Main 4th of July Grill Recipes

The best part about grilling your main dishes or any recipe ingredients is that the grill imparts a delicious smoky flavor to your foods that just cannot be replicated.

Sure you can use your slow cooker for some dishes, but stick to the charcoal or gas grill for your hamburgers (topped with melted cheddar cheese, of course), BBQ chicken, or grilled ribs. Those eye-catching grill marks make a statement!

You may want to include some vegetarian options like a portobello mushroom or plant-based burger if you have guests with that diet restriction. They taste better off the grill as well.

If you are grilling for a crowd, keep some aluminum foil by the grill to cover items as you take them off the grate. This helps keep them warm and covered from flies.

There are many great recipes below, however, you can make just a few small changes to an everyday hamburger or chicken breast to elevate it to “wow”.

Double Mushroom Swiss Burger

Make a couple of thin hamburger patties and grill with thinly sliced mushrooms in a vegetable basket. Top one patty with Swiss cheese. Put the other patty in the basket and top it with the mushrooms. Then add a piece of Swiss cheese on top of the mushrooms. Close the grill and let the cheese melt. Then, assemble to make a double mushroom Swiss burger.

Korean-style Chicken Recipe

Grill bone-in chicken pieces as you would for a barbecue chicken recipe. Instead of sopping with regular BBQ sauce, add some Gochujang or spicy chili paste to tomato sauce and use this just before the chicken comes off the grill. The Gochujang adds a complex spicy, savory, and slightly sweet flavor to the sauce. This sauce is excellent on a chicken breast as well.

Here are grill recipes focused mainly on poultry as beef prices are so high. You can grill tasty chicken burgers just as easily as hamburgers. And a turkey burger from the grill topped with guacamole and melted Monterrey Jack cheese is fabulous!

Favorite Chicken Recipes from Lone Star Gatherings

Gooey Grilled Chicken Sandwich Muffuletta-Style

This is the best easy grilled chicken sandwich muffuletta-style recipe you will enjoy on your patio this summer! An entire cookout menu is included with this recipe.

easy recipe for chicken sliders without coleslaw

It may seem untraditional to cook the main course of a “cookout” in your slow cooker, but these barbeque chicken sliders are so easy the recipe is hard to pass up! The best part? Cleanup is a snap!

Whole Chicken Recipes

Amish BBQ chicken

Amish Barbecued chicken is a perfect meat entrée to grill for a summer cookout, holiday barbecue, or any occasion.


This Mexican Pollo Asado recipe is made with chicken marinated in sour orange, chipotle, achiote, and spices, and then grilled until tender and juicy.

Easy 4th of July Recipes for the Chicken Breast

4th of july grill recipes includes this grilled-caesar-chicken

This grilled Caesar marinated chicken recipe is a delicious way to jazz up boring chicken breasts. A tangy, homemade Caesar dressing makes the perfect marinade for meaty chicken.

cilantro lime grilled chicken

Make a healthy Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken which is simple to prepare and packed with flavor! Low carb, keto-friendly, and perfect for summer!!


Balsamic Grilled Chicken is perfect for grilling year-round. It has a simple marinade made with a few ingredients- easy and delicious!


This Greek Marinated Chicken with Tzatziki Sauce uses a simple Mediterranean marinade that creates a flavorful chicken which is grilled and topped with a tangy Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce. 


Make this delicious and easy Pineapple Grilled Chicken Recipe! A simple Hawaiian Grilled Chicken recipe that’s healthy and tasty!

Carolina Grilled Chicken

Savor the sweet and tangy flavors of this Carolina BBQ grilled chicken for your next summer cookout. 

Chicken Legs and Wings Recipes for the Grill

Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks are the main entree you need in your life. Not only does this recipe pack a flavorful punch, but it’s very simple and easy to make for a few or a crowd.

Sweet-Tea grilled chicken legs

Perfectly juicy chicken marinated in a flavorful sweet tea marinade. One bite and you’ll realize why this is our family’s favorite summer meal.

general-tso-grilled-chicken legs

These grilled chicken legs are a delightfully flavorful way to change up your usual grilled chicken. This juicy sauce is amazingly flavorful and super easy. 


Try these grilled chicken leg quarters are so delicious, that you will want to make them year-round! Seasoned with a simple dry rub and basted with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce that has just a touch of a smoky flavor.

4th of july grill recipes for crispy grilled chicken wings

These easy-grilled chicken wings require only 4 ingredients and are ready in just over 30 minutes. They turn out perfectly golden brown with crispy skin and juicy, tender meat every time.

margarita chicken wings

Tequila, limes, honey, and a pinch of salt work wonders on these Margarita chicken wings.

Chicken Skewers and Kebabs


Try a mouth-watering Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Skewers with Flatbread! Perfectly marinated chicken grilled to perfection and served with warm, soft flatbread. 


This recipe for easy chicken kebabs is flavorful and juicy, with a balance of savory and slightly spicy notes. This is a great recipe to prepare ahead of grilling as it’s quick and easy.


Easy Chicken Kabobs combine chicken breast, with bell pepper, zucchini, and red onion. The Chicken Kabob Marinade is made with fresh lemon zest and juice, extra virgin olive oil, Greek yogurt, and seasoning.


These grilled bang bang chicken skewers are a grilling staple. Boneless chicken breast is quickly skewered and grilled and finished with a creamy, tangy, slightly spicy sauce that you’ll want to drizzle on everything.

Shish-Tawook Lebanese Chicken kebabs

Lebanese Grilled Chicken Kebabs are a quick and easy Middle Eastern dish to make on your grill. Tender cubed chicken is marinated in a flavorful yogurt-based marinade, before being skewered and grilled to juicy perfection.

Chicken Yakitori

Yakitori is a Japanese grilled chicken dish served on skewers and glazed with a delicious sweet and savory homemade yakitori sauce. Often enjoyed with drinks at bars in Japan, chicken yakitori makes for a quick and easy appetizer, snack, or dinner.

chicken tikka kebab

Chicken Tikka Kebab is marinated with authentic Indian spices and then grilled to perfection with colorful veggies.

Chicken Burgers and Sandwiches


Ground chicken burgers offer a leaner, healthier alternative to traditional beef patties. Juicy, flavorful, and packed with protein, these burgers can be dressed up with a variety of toppings and sauces for a delicious twist on the classic burger.


This Ultimate Chicken Sandwich recipe achieves a perfect harmony, blending indulgent elements such as succulent chicken, crispy bacon, garlic aioli, and hot honey with lighter components like fresh veggies, ensuring a truly satisfying experience with each bite!


A butterflied chicken breast with crispy skin which marinates in a homemade peri peri sauce, is put on a delicious burger bun, and filled with fresh ingredients. The perfect copycat Nando’s recipe that will delight the whole family.


Quick and easy Grilled Chicken Burgers with Black Olive Tapenade that are gluten-free, paleo, and allergy-free! 

July 4th Recipes for Side Dishes

Warm weather side dishes are a delightful addition to any barbecue. You can make your mom’s famous pasta salad, but additional side dishes with simple ingredients can add a welcomed savory flavor to your gathering.

The easiest way to add flavor to your grilling menu is to use any recipe below.

However, you can throw together something delicious using seasonal vegetables and simple ingredients. Use up those ripe tomatoes from your garden and gather easy vegetables to chop up like cucumbers, carrots, and green onions. Toss them with some sweet corn, a sprinkle of herbs and good olive oil. Then top with feta cheese and you have a delicious corn salad.

Additionally, make a quick Caprese Salad with cut-up juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella chunks, and toss with plenty of basil. Then add a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic for a colorful addition.

Grilled Side Dishes to Share

How to cook large zucchini on the grill

If you are looking for a grilled zucchini recipe, low carb and keto-friendly, you need to make this easy side dish of Grilled Zucchini with Cilantro Vinaigrette.

overhead view of grilled coleslaw with dressing in bowl

Grilled Coleslaw is a fun and easy way to add some excitement to the menu. The tangy vinaigrette pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the cabbage and carrots, and the grill gives it a delicious smoky taste.

Labor Day Grill Menu Grilled Cauliflower Salad

Let me tell you why this Grilled Cauliflower Salad should be your number one vegetable side dish for all your cookouts!

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe on a platter

This is an easy Pasta Salad recipe and is the perfect side dish for your next get-together – it’s cool, refreshing, and loaded with flavor.

If you haven’t tried grilling broccoli you are in for a real treat. It comes off the grill crisp-tender and is slightly charred with just a hint of smoke. It’s Magic Grilled Broccoli because it will disappear!

cucumber corn salad

This summer corn and cucumber salad with basil is the summer salad of your dreams. This salad is simple to make but bursting with flavor.

Best 4th of July Recipes for Dessert

You can bet that any July BBQ will be on a hot day. So for desserts think cool recipes.

You can have fun with a theme of patriotic red, white chocolate, and blue desserts. Flag cakes decorated with fresh fruit are always a winner.

Homemade apple pie with scoops of vanilla ice cream is a traditional and simple recipe that pleases most guests.

Grilled fresh fruit is also a winner and easy dessert to whip up.

Patriotic Themed Desserts

Patriotic-Popcorn for an easy 4th of July recipe

With only a few simple ingredients, this Patriotic Popcorn is a festive treat that’s so simple, that the kids can help with ease.


Patriotic Red, White, and Blue Puppy Chow made with gluten-free rice Chex and colored candy melts. A muddy buddies recipe for USA Memorial Day, Labor, Day, and 4th of July featuring American flag colors.

Frozen Treats

red white blue popsicles

Celebrate the summer holidays with these festive red, white, and blue popsicles made with real food ingredients you can feel good about!


A healthy and easy-to-make treat, this frozen yogurt bark with fresh berries is a perfect snack for summertime!

This Patriotic Icebox Cake uses red and blue ice cream for a stunning presentation. Now you can wow your guests at your 4th of July picnic without stressing over piping a cake!

Patriotic Cupcakes, Cookies and Bars

Memorial Day or 4th of July Cookies

These Memorial Day cookies are like mini fruit pizzas with cream cheese frosting, strawberry star cut-outs, and blueberries.


Celebrate the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or any occasion with these easy Red, White, and Blue Rice Krispies! This recipe adds a festive twist to the classic treat.

Follow this easy 4th July recipe for American Flag Cakes

These semi-homemade American Flag Snack Cakes are a fun dessert for your next patriotic party! 


Make these fun Red, White & Blue Patriotic Cookies for an easy dessert for your next holiday gathering! Bright blue cookies with red and white designs are a tasty treat everyone will enjoy!


Red White and Blue Patriotic Cupcakes are the perfect Fourth of July Cupcakes to show off your American pride.

patriotic-cookies another version

Easy Patriotic Cookies are perfect for any holiday! Delicious red white and blue Cookies that are so easy to make!


Super creamy cheesecake-filled red, white, and blue bars have a thick graham cracker crust and are topped off with blueberries and raspberries to create a US flag design — perfect for the 4th of July.

Red-White-Blue-Cheesecake Swirl Bars

Red and blue swirls top these Creamy cheesecake bars making them a perfect patriotic dessert to celebrate July 4th.

red-white-and-blue-star brownies

Make these brownies for the patriotic holidays. It’s an easy recipe and the brownies come out delicious.

4th of July Whoopie Pies

Jazzed up Whoopie Pies are great for the Fourth of July. Use gel dyes to get the brightest color.

Berry Centered Desserts

red white blue cheesecake salad

This Red White and Blue Cheesecake Salad recipe is a no-bake dessert perfect for any summer celebration such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, picnics, potlucks, and more!


You’re going to want to try this Summer Berry Trifle! Just don’t plan on any leftovers – it’s going to get cleaned up pretty quickly!

4th of July Recipes including this blueberry strawberry parfait

Blueberry Strawberry Parfait combines berries, whipped cream cheese, crumbled graham crackers & whipped cream for a tasty, healthier dessert!


Everyone loves strawberries! Make this simple patriotic dessert with them for your holiday gatherings!


Thread fluffy cubes of angel food cake onto festive fruit skewers, and you’ve got a simple but fun dessert in moments!

Cakes and Baked Treats


This easy pull-apart Red, White, and Blue Dessert is the perfect summer dessert for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day! It is super easy to make and is delicious!


Featuring colorful, red, white and blue swirls, this Patriotic Bundt cake is made for all of your summer holiday entertaining. 


Make this easy strawberry blueberry cobbler with fresh or frozen berries and a biscuit topping. Serve it with vanilla ice cream! 


This 4th of July fruit pizza has an easy sugar cookie crust, creamy cheesecake topping, and a burst of fresh berries. This patriotic dessert is perfect for any July 4th or summer gathering. 


With their deliciously rich vanilla flavor, patriotic red, white, and blue decorations, and colorful cake inside, these 4th of July cake balls will be a hit with your family, friends, and party guests.

Food Safety

According to the USDA, bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. This is known as the “Danger Zone” for food safety.

Perishable food should be consumed or refrigerated within two hours if you are indoors or in a cooler environment. However, if the temps in your location are at or above 90 degrees F, only let the food sit out for about one hour. Then you need to refrigerate, consume, or toss it.

If you use condiments like mayonnaise or sour cream, the right place to keep them is in the refrigerator until just before you serve the food. Don’t put full containers out when you serve the food or set up the buffet. A better way to preserve their quality and adhere to food safety is to place these ingredients in smaller bowls for serving. This way you are not compromising the entire package.

Most people keep soy sauce in the refrigerator for preservation of taste, but it can sit on your counter for a very long time. So, you can put this one out early if you are using it during your cookout.

Get Ready to Cookout with These 4th of July Grill Recipes

Whether you are planning an Independence Day celebration or just looking for ideas for summer picnics, we have some of the best recipes for the summer season. Pick a few or use the complete Patriotic Pork menu to celebrate your summer cookout season in a big way.

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