If you're gearing up to host a backyard bash for Independence Day, you've come to the right place! Serve your guests a festive menu that sizzles. These easy 4th of July recipes are perfect!

4th of July pretzel rods, from Shelf Cooking

We haven't met a holiday we don't love! The parties and traditions give us all the feels. And the food? Well that's the best part!

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So today, we're sharing more than a dozen of our favorite 4th of July recipes. We'll help you plan the perfect backyard barbecue with main dish ideas, side dish recipes, festive desserts, and more. Let's red, white, and blue this!


grilled pizza for July 4th, from Shelf Cooking

You can't host a successful barbecue without main dishes to feed a crowd, and while there's nothing wrong with a classic hot dog and hamburger combo, we've got more ideas to share! We're about to get all up in your grill with these main dish recipes:

  • BBQ Chicken Leg Quarters – We don't think chicken leg quarters get the respect they deserve. The meat is tasty and flavorful, nice and juicy, and super easy to prepare on the grill. Did we mention it's CHEAP? Like, really cheap. It's one of the best main courses to serve if you're inviting lots of guests to your July 4th party. Just brush those legs with your favorite sauce and grill for around 30 minutes over medium-high heat.
  • Shrimp Caprese Kabobs – Grill or broil some lightly seasoned shrimp for a few minutes, then skewer with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella for a yummy, healthy, colorful main dish.
  • Grilled Pizza – Everyone expects hot dogs and hamburgers, but you'll be the talk of the town if you grill some tasty pizzas! Just place your crust on the grill over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Remove it, and add your favorite sauces and toppings, then place everything on a pizza stone or directly on the grill grate and cook for 2-3 minutes at a time, rotating 90-degrees until done.
  • Smoked Chicken – Let the smoker do all the work for you! Make Bubba's easy Traeger whole chicken recipe and cook two birds at once to feed the crowd.
  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches – If the weather doesn't cooperate, you can bring the party inside with these ridiculously easy but oh-so-delicious pulled pork sandwiches.

You can't go wrong with any of these main dishes, so why not mix things up this year?


4th of July fruit and cheese tray, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for the perfect side dishes to serve at your 4th of July meal? We've got a few easy options in mind, including some super patriotic recipes:

  • Red, White, and Blue Fruit Tray – Round up a casserole dish, then start slicing all your watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and bananas and get to work! Layer in a red, white, and blue flag pattern for an especially EASY and patriotic side dish. Out of bananas? Sub in some cubed white cheese.
  • Potato Salad – If you don't have a favorite potato salad recipe, it's because you haven't tried ours yet. It's super easy to make, too!
  • Corn on the Cob – Here's a fun little trick: coat your corn on the cob in a thin layer of mayo, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic salt, then wrap in foil and toss it on the grill. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, and enjoy!
  • Macaroni and Cheese – What's more American, right? Give our macaroni and cheese recipe a try if you're looking for something easy and yummy!
  • Red, White, and “Blue” Pasta Salad – Boil some pasta, then drain and rinse with cold water, toss with sliced cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, and a little oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Measure those seasonings with your heart!

If you're hosting all the neighbors, why not make them all?! These side dishes are certified crowd-pleasers.


fruit parfait for July 4th dessert, from Shelf Cooking

Everyone knows the grand finale is the best part of a good fireworks show and these desserts are no different:

  • Patriotic Parfait – Slice up some fresh strawberries, grab the blueberries, and then layer them in a glass with cake crumbles and whipped cream or yogurt. So easy and SO good!
  • Jello Poke Cake – How CUTE is this July 4th poke cake recipe from Betty Crocker?! And it tastes just as good as it looks!
  • Red, White, and Blue Chocolate Covered Strawberries – Dip your strawberries in white chocolate, and then have some fun with red and blue sprinkles! Get our chocolate-covered strawberries tutorial on the Fun Cheap or Free blog. Spoiler alert: it's not hard to make them yourself!
  • Yogurt-Dipped Fancy Pretzel Rods – Dip your pretzels rods in white chocolate, then decorate with red and blue accents. You could even use some fondant to make stars!
  • Patriotic Fruit Pops – Don't coconut, blueberry, and strawberry popsicles sound good?!

Well, we're officially hungry now. BRB–gotta go see if we have any strawberries in the fridge!


Now you've got tons of ideas that all your friends, family, and neighbors will love. Make this July 4th one to remember!

Do you have a favorite 4th of July treat or tradition? Tell us about it! Leave a comment below or stop by our Shelf Cooking Facebook group and say hi!

Image with text that reads "4th of July food ideas" from Shelf Cooking

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Happy 4th!