Of course, we love the burgers, hot dogs and fireworks. But if we’re being honest, come July Fourth, we’re most excited about piling our plates high with delicious side dishes (and then going back for seconds). From crunchy salads and smoky beans to gooey mac and cheese and grilled corn, here are 45 4th of July side dishes that deserve a spot on your table.
1. Green Beans with Garlicky Pistachio Vinaigrette
One bite of these crispity-crunchity green beans, and you’ll never serve them hot again.
2. Grilled Watermelon-Feta Skewers
All salads should be served on sticks, don’t you think?
3. Caesar Pasta Salad
4. Strawberry, Basil and Arugula Salad with Lots of Black Pepper
The dressing practically makes itself—no blender or whisk needed.
5. Zesty Chargrilled Broccolini
Toss the vegetables on the grill right next to those juicy ribeyes.
6. Broccoli Rabe and Burrata with Lemon
It’s the creamy puddles of cheese that really sell this dish.
7. Corn and Tomato Salad with Feta and Lime
Our mantra for this side: Make, eat, repeat.
8. BLT Pasta Salad
This is a summertime masterpiece.
9. Cast-Iron Cornbread
It’s a must for sopping up all those saucy barbecue drippings.
10. Chilled Cucumber Salad
The temps are soaring but this salad is calm, cool and collected.
11. Summer Millet Salad
Quinoa, we love you, but it’s time to try something new. Millet is even easier to cook and tastes just as delicious.
12. Smoky Barbecued Corn
You might never eat plain, boiled corn on the cob again.
13. Corn Fritter Caprese with Peaches and Tomatoes
How many summer produce stars can you fit into a single dish? A lot, it turns out.
14. Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins
A little bit sweet, a little bit salty, these guys have all the essential elements: cheese, spice and carbs. Yum.
15. Grilled Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Basil Vinaigrette
We can't get enough of this green vegetable, especially when it looks this appetizing.
16. Corn Salsa
A rainbow of bright flavors and textures that will pair well with any main you're serving up this holiday. Might we suggest piling it on some tacos or burgers?
17. Cauliflower “Tater” Tots
They're crispy. They're satisfying. They're perfect for dipping. What more could you ask for? (Trust us, you won’t even miss the real thing.)
18. Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes with Feta and Dill
They’re crispy like French fries on the outside but creamy on the inside. Plus, if there are any leftovers, they pair nicely with a fried egg the next morning.
19. Spicy Roasted Broccoli
Be sure to make extra lemon goat cheese drizzle. And then proceed to put in on everything (and use as a side for dipping).
20. Summer Tortellini Salad
You simply can’t go wrong with a salad full of tomatoes, red peppers, corn, cucumbers and a basil vinaigrette.
21. French Potato Salad
Let the root veggies shine in this potato salad by adding a simple garlic vinaigrette and a handful of herbs to the mix.
22. Whole Roasted Carrots
Forget everything you know about cooked carrots (like boiling them), because from now on, roasting them is all you’ll ever need.
23. Light and Tangy Coleslaw
This healthier slaw subs Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard and plenty of vinegar for the usual mayo.
24. Minty-Fresh Zucchini Salad with Marinated Feta
Save room for ice cream by adding a healthy serving of this light and refreshing side salad to your plate.
25. Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil
Forget all about the mayo-drenched elbow macaroni of cookouts past. Combine cherry tomatoes, thin-sliced summer squash and lots of ricotta and Pecorino Romano instead for an easy win. After all, everything looks better in a skillet.
26. Classic Three-Bean Salad
A 15-minute salad that gets better as it sits in the fridge? Sign us up.
27. Apple, Grape and Pecan Pasta Salad
July Fourth parties deserve top-notch sides. Ditch the mayo-drenched classic macaroni salad in favor of this fruit-laden upgrade.
28. Mediterranean-Style Grilled Zucchini Salad
We know it’s an extra step, but trust us—throwing your vegetables on the grill or an indoor griddle to get them nice and charred is totally worth it.
29. ‘Everything’ Roasted Asparagus
Grab that Trader Joe’s everything bagel seasoning—it brings all the flavor to this super-quick roasted asparagus side.
30. Garlic Fingerling Potatoes
A healthier alternative to French fries.
31. 20-Minute Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus
It’s practically no-cook, feeds a crowd and won’t wilt when you set it out in the summer heat. That's what we call a triple threat.
32. Rainbow Vegetable Skewers
Not only does cooking one ingredient per skewer mean that everything is grilled to perfection, but they’ll also look great on the ’Gram.
33. Pink and Purple Potato Salad
Of course this dish would be just as tasty with yellow spuds, but don’t those colors look gorgeous?
34. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing
Smoky, sweet and oh-so-pretty. Spread it out on a big platter and it’ll wow everyone at your party.
35. Grilled Corn with Spicy Aioli
Our days of boiling corn on the cob are over. Give this summer staple an easy and absolutely delicious upgrade.
36. Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs
Best of all, you can whip these cuties up in under an hour. Well, now it’s a fiesta.
37. Spicy BBQ Chickpea and Crispy Polenta Bowls with Asparagus and Ranch Hummus
Who says meat eaters get to have all the barbecue fun?
38. Watermelon Jicama Salad with Cotija, Cumin and Lime
Watermelon and feta? Yawn. To really impress guests, try this crunchy, flavor-packed salad instead.
39. Asparagus and Arugula Pasta Salad
This one’s super easy to prep in advance.
40. Crock-Pot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans
Set it and forget it. (But don’t forget the cornbread.)
41. Greek Wedge Salad
The tangy homemade vinaigrette dressing and fresh toppings make for a pretty darn satisfying alternative to the traditional salad.
42. Parmesan Zucchini and Corn
Aka the tastiest way to use up your farmers’ market haul. Oh, and did we mention that it only takes 10 minutes to whip up?
43. Cantaloupe and Mozzarella Caprese Salad
This sweet-and-savory dish may look fancy, but it’s actually super easy to make.
44. Jalapeño-Avocado Mac and Cheese
These are a few of our favorite things.
45. Cowboy Caviar Quinoa
Make it ahead of time and add the avocado right before serving so you can concentrate on the grill.