Best 4th of July Recipes: Desserts, Dishes, and Drinks

Not sure what to put on the menu this year for 4th of July? We’ve got you covered! Find the best 4th of July recipes below, including main dishes, fun drinks, and easy desserts.

Whether you’re having people over for an Independence Day party or you’re just keeping things simple with the family, you may be wondering what type of food to serve up. And honestly, if you’re anything like me, you want it to be easy. 4th of July is a day to celebrate, relax, and socialize; not worry about complicated recipes!

To make sure YOU (the cook) gets to have a good time while still impressing everyone with delicious food, I gathered my favorite, easy classics below. Enjoy!

Planning a 4th of July picnic? Check out our favorite picnic recipes for more food ideas!

4th of July Dishes

Starting out with mains and sides, feel free to combine any of the ideas below however you like to create your ideal menu!

1. Best Juicy Burger Recipe Ever

Hamburger with a toasted bun, lettuce, cheese, and a tomato

If you’ve never made homemade burger patties before, don’t worry. These are super easy! You can make them with ground beef or ground turkey as well – both options result in a delicious, juicy burger.

Want to try something a bit different? Try these Cheesy Spinach Burgers! You could even serve up both types of patty for a bit of variety.

2. Simple Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Plate of stacked chicken tenders next to dipping sauce

Chicken tenders are another classic dish and they’re perfect for serving alongside the burgers above. You could even prepare both of them at the same time if you wanted. Once these tenders are battered and seasoned, the cooking process is pretty hands-off and quick.

If you don’t have an air fryer but you’re interested in getting one, check out our air fryer buying guide! It will quickly become one of your favorite kitchen gadgets.

3. BBQ Chicken Kebabs

BBQ chicken kebabs on the grill

If you don’t have an air fryer but you still want to serve up chicken as one of your 4th of July recipes, these BBQ chicken kebabs are your best bet. You can grill them alongside burgers or on their own, and since they’re kebabs, they’re super easy to serve and eat.

More Grilled Chicken Ideas:

4. Grilled Ranch Pork Chops

Fork going into pork chop slice

For the pork lovers out there this is the ultimate grilled pork chop recipe for Independence Day. The chops are seasoned with a homemade ranch seasoning mix that will knock your socks off!

Another awesome recipe choice if you want to serve pork are these killer baby back ribs. Perfect for a larger gathering!

5. Cowboy Butter Steak

Thin slices of steak covered in cowboy butter

We didn’t forget about you, steak lovers! We’ve got the perfect 4th of July steak recipe: grilled cowboy butter steak. This recipe is one of my favorites as it can turn almost any cut of cheap steak into a delicious, restaurant-quality meal.

For another steak recipe, try these grilled steak tipsThey’re super tender and juicy, marinated in a garlic herb marinade.

6. Grilled Rosemary Garlic Potatoes

Bowl of grilled potatoes

You really can’t go wrong with these grilled potatoes! They’re easy, go with almost anything, and they’re universally loved. Plus, you can cook them right alongside another grilled dish!

More Potato Recipes:

7. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Bowl of pasta salad topped with dressing and lemon slices on the side

Even if you don’t like most pasta salad recipes (like me), you might still like this recipe. It’s quite delicious! It has grape tomatoes, lettuce, bacon, AND chicken, with cheese, fresh parsley, and homemade caesar dressing to top things off.

More Pasta Salad Ideas:

8. Red, White and Blue Salad

It doesn’t get much more festive than this! If you’re determined on having some sort of Fourth of July themed dish at your party/picnic but you want to keep things easy, this salad is the way to go. More red white and blue ideas below!

More Salad Ideas:

9. Lemon Herb Potato Salad

Bowl of red potato salad with green herbs on top

This recipe is my all-time favorite potato salad so I just had to include it on this list. It’s a perfect side dish for 4th of July too – easy and refreshing!

10. Grilled Corn

Stack of grilled corn on the cobs

Corn is another one of those side dish ideas that you really can’t go wrong with. And if you’ve never had grilled corn, nows the chance! Coated in a delicious ginger-lime glaze, you don’t even need to butter these bad boys up!

More Grilled Veggie Ideas:


Every good 4th of July menu has some fun drinks on it! Here are a few festive ideas I think you’ll really like:

11. Patriotic Punch Recipe

This is such a cool idea for a 4th of July drink. We layered Hawaiian punch, blue Gatorade, and a clear lemon drink to make it, but you can use any red, blue, and clear drinks that you want. Just make sure to read the full recipe as each drink has to have different sugar content for the layering to work!

The finished result is a neat red white and blue drink that everyone will love to see. Serve the cups up with patriotic straws for an added touch!

12. Italian Soda Bar

Here’s a similar idea but instead of layering liquids you just make three different colored homemade Italian club soda drinks to fit the red white and blue theme. Super simple and tasty!

13. Captain America Kids Drink

This is a really cool 4th of July kids drink that once again follows the red white and blue theme, but it’s done a bit differently for a different effect. I love the look of this one!


Last but most certainly not least, can’t forget dessert! We’ve got a range of ideas here, some being really easy and some requiring a bit more love, but all of them are extremely tasty:

14. Jello Flag Cake

For a light dessert, this jello pound cake is perfect and it fits the Fourth of July theme perfectly. It’s surprisingly easy to make too as it’s a no-bake cake!

15. American Flag Sheet Cake

Taking it up a notch from the flag cake above, this recipe follows the same idea except it’s a sheet cake with delicious cream cheese frosting. This is one of my favorite 4th of July recipes and favorite cake recipes in general. I have it every year!

16. Mini Cheesecake Tarts

Cheesecake filling, strawberries and top, and shortbread dough, YUM! These little bite-sized desserts pack a punch and they’re quite easy to make too.

17. White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Ok, so I’d usually reserve these cookies for Christmas but here’s an idea for Fourth of July: make them just how they are, and then use blue sprinkles on top to create perfect red white and blue cookies. Delicious and festive!

18. Patriotic Berry Cookies

Red white and blue cookies

These cute cookies are so fun! Your kids will LOVE them and they are so tasty (and simple)! These will be huge eye-catchers at any Independence Day celebration.

19. S’mores Cookie Cups

Last one! These little desserts fit the summer/camping season perfectly. Everyone who tries them will feel like they just roasted a beautiful s’more over the campfire!

You can also try these indoor air fryer s’mores. They’re even easier and taste just like a classic s’more.

20. Homemade Ice Cream

Bowl of homemade pineapple ice cream

If you just want to keep it simple and cool, make a batch of homemade ice cream! I recommend either this homemade no-churn oreo ice cream, our popular chocolate KitchenAid ice cream, or this refreshing no-churn pineapple ice cream.

If none of those good to you, check out these other homemade ice cream recipes!

Happy 4th of July!

After you cook up some of these easy 4th of July recipes for your family, be sure to come back and let us know how they turned out! And if you want to go all out and put up some decorations, check out these 4th of July entertaining essentials.

Before you go: Make cooking on 4th of July (or any time) even easier with Prepear! It’s my favorite meal planning app EVER. I use it to store all my favorite recipes in one place, create meal plans, and it even makes a grocery list for me as I plan my meals. Read my full Prepear review to learn more.

4th of July recipes

Meal Type: Recipe Roundup, 4th of July
Categories: BBQ

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