50 Delicious 4th of July Recipes for a Summer Cookout

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)

Yikes! Can you believe it’s already summer? Which reminds us, we have a barbecue to prepare for. The Fourth of July practically demands delicious grilled foods, red, white, and blue desserts and a cold cocktail in hand. But don't stress because we have all the recipes you need to throw a mouthwatering Independence Day party—even if it's just you and the kids this year. From classic all-American dishes like coleslaw and burgers to more inventive ideas like cauliflower "potato" salad and watermelon skewers, we've rounded up the very best entrees, bbq side dishes and summer desserts to eat up before the fireworks begin. Here, the 50 best 4th of July recipes—because, after all, isn’t every holiday just an excuse to eat excessively?

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1. Caprese Salad with Grilled Zucchini

A dish that's bursting with summer flavors (it doesn’t look too shabby, either). Load up on zucchini at the farmers market to spice up this tomato classic.

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2. BLT Pasta Salad

This barbecue side combines all the crunchy, savory, creamy ingredients of the classic sandwich—minus the bread.

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RELATED: 13 Picnic-Perfect Pasta Salad Recipes

3. Avocado Potato Salad

Sayonara, mayo. We're using Greek yogurt to make this side dish super creamy. Pass the ribs, please.

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4. Grilled Watermelon-Feta Skewers

Sweet watermelon and tangy feta cheese is the new tomato and mozzarella. Rather than just chopping up the ingredients and tossing them with dressing, these skewers come together on the grill and make the perfect grab-and-go summer appetizer.

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5. Mini Strawberry Ice-Cream Pies

Crumbly graham cracker-crust, warm roasted strawberries, a cold scoop of vanilla. Sold yet? Good. Sprinkle on some blueberries for a patriotic finishing touch.

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6. Salami, Artichoke and Ricotta Pasta Salad

A few classic Italian flavors come together for one simple yet satisfying pasta salad.

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7. Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

The Greek turkey burger with tzatziki sauce is quickly rising up the ranks as our favorite of all time. It’s lighter and more flavorful than a traditional burger, so it’s basically the perfect warm-weather dinner. Eat it with salad, chips, fries…or all three.

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8. Sparkling Red, White and Blue Sangria

Brandy and sparkling white wine make this Fourth of July cocktail an easy sipper. Tip: Use a cookie cutter to punch apple slices into stars.

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9. Mexican Street Corn Dip

Whip up a batch, grab a bag of tortilla chips and invite some friends over.

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RELATED: The 30 Best 4th of July Appetizers

10. Crispy Grilled Chicken

Once you taste these crispy chicken breasts, you won't believe they were cooked entirely on the grill.

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11. Berry, Feta and Spinach Salad

The most festive summer salad we ever did see.

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RELATED: 20 Summer Salads You Can Whip Up in 20 Minutes or Less

12. Berry-Coconut Rocket Pops

This chic rocket pop, made with berries and creamy coconut milk, is a treat both kids and grown-ups will love.

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13. CUCUMBER, BASIL AND WATERMELON SALAD

You’re going to fall hard for the zingy soy-ginger dressing spiked with garlic, lime and serrano pepper.

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14. Light and Tangy Coleslaw

This summer side comes together in a flash and can be made up to four hours in advance.

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15. BAKED MAC-AND-CHEESE BITES

In less than an hour, you can have 48 of these delightful little bites on the table, baked with two kinds of gooey cheddar cheese.

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16. BABY BACK RIBS WITH BALSAMIC PEACH BBQ SAUCE

The ultimate barbecue entree. Slice these babies up and serve them alongside the remaining sauce. (You’re going to need extra napkins for this one.)

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17. Cauliflower ‘Potato’ Salad

Forget the mayo and all that starch and choose this lighter version of the classic potato salad made with greek yogurt and our favorite veggie instead.

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18. Greek watermelon feta salad with basil vinaigrette

Sweet, savory and refreshing. Consider this your official salad of the summer.

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19. Avocado Deviled Eggs

And you thought Easter was the only occasion to use eggs. Let the kids help out with this one.

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RELATED: 13 Next-Level Deviled Egg Recipes to Try

20. Chilled Cucumber Salad

A healthy and refreshing dish to add to your Fourth of July spread. All you have to do is slice some cukes, season them, and then let it all marinate in the fridge for a little. Easy peasy.

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21. One-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

In the summer, we try to chill as much as possible. Luckily, this sweet fits right into our schedule since it’s made of nothing but twice-frozen watermelon.

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22. Grilled Corn with Spicy Aioli

Instead of boiling the corn and then dousing them with butter and salt, give these guys a flavor upgrade by drizzling them with a smoky Sriracha sauce.

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23. Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

We hope you didn’t put away your slow cooker for summer. Let your Crock-Pot do the work and then pile these guys high with tangy coleslaw.

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24. LAYER HUMMUS DIP

Start your celebration with this crowd-pleasing appetizer loaded up with pine nuts, pesto, sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro and feta cheese.

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25. GREEK LEMON ORZO SALAD

So fresh. So Greek. Serve alone or alongside your favorite protein dish.

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26. Spicy Glazed Meatballs

We prepare the balls with fresh ingredients, sauté them in a pan and coat the batch in our very own tangy glaze.

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27. PINKDRINK POPSICLES

It wouldn't be a backyard summer barbecue without ice pops. These ones are upgraded with drizzled white chocolate, coconut flakes or more strawberries.

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28. Cauliflower ‘Tater’ Tots

When you need a break from all those potatoes, opt for these cuties that are crispy, satisfying and perfect for dipping.

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29. Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches

Not your average deli sandwiches. (Bonus points if you serve them with peperoncini.)

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30. Blueberry Crumble Pie

An all-American dessert recipe only instead of a traditional crust, we use a streusel-like topping to change things up.

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RELATED: 17 Last-Minute Fourth of July Dessert Recipes

31. Spinach Dip Stuffed French Bread

Party dip, you’ve been replaced.

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32. Shrimp Boil Skewers with Corn, Sausage and Potatoes

We love low-maintenance meals. Just pop these skewers on the grill, lay some newspaper on the picnic table and enjoy.

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33. Cuban Sliders

The classic ham-and-cheese sandwich gets a serious upgrade. Get your guests to help you assemble these delicious bites and then warm them in the oven before serving.

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34. Roasted Buffalo Chicken Wings

We have a secret: These wings are baked from start to finish. Not to mention, they’re seasoned to perfection.

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35. Rainbow Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

Why limit yourself to red, white and blue this holiday? These colors are sure to please any crowd.

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36. Grilled Flank Steak with Lemon-Herb Sauce

For big, bold flavor, we marinate our steak before it goes onto the grill, then serve it with a fresh herb sauce for an extra boost. And just think of that marinating time as a built-in cocktail hour with guests.

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37. Baked Chicken Quesadillas

When we think of comfort food, our mind goes straight to these guys.

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38. The Ultimate Party Sub

A dressed-up, extra-large sandwich is the easiest way to feed a hungry crowd. So for your Fourth of July gathering, make one (or several) yourself instead of ordering out. In this recipe, we use some of our favorite toppings, but you can remix it to suit your tastes. Serve the sub with a few sides (potato salad, veggie chips and pickles should do the trick) and you’ll be sure to get the party started.

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39. Salmon Burgers

Want to add a bit of sophistication to your summer cookout? You need to try these.

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RELATED: 5 Meatless Burger Recipes Everyone Will Love (Seriously)

40. Charred Corn and Rosemary Grilled Pizza

A taste of summer in every bite. Feel free to get creative with the toppings.

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RELATED: How to Make Pizza on the Grill in 5 Minutes or Less

41. Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Why choose between two favorite desserts? This easy recipe gives you the best of both worlds. You’re welcome.

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42. 15-Minute Buffalo Chicken Sliders

A bite-sized American classic. (No one needs to know it’s rotisserie chicken and store-bought buffalo sauce.)

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43. Angel Food Cake with Mixed Berries

Not every cake needs multiple layers and heaps of buttercream frosting. Slices are best served with plenty of fresh berries and whipped cream. Consider it your go-to summer dessert.

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44. Cheater’s Prosciutto Hawaiian Pizza

Present this bright, grilled flatbread as an alternative to burgers and hot dogs.

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45. Slow-Cooker Baked Beans

One summer essential, coming right up. A pound of navy beans turns soft, savory and sweet after six hours in the Crock-Pot. Don’t be shy with the brown sugar.

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46. 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.

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47. THAI TURKEY BURGERS

Switch up the classic burger with cheese for this Thai-inspired patty topped with crunchy Asian slaw.

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48. Mint Chocolate Chip Yogurt Ice Pops

Mint chocolate chip ice cream lovers, rejoice. This lighter DIY version is the perfect sweet treat on a hot summer’s day.

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49. Champagne Doughnuts

The mother of all holiday desserts, these babies are baked in the oven—not fried. Happy Fourth of July, guys.

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RELATED: 16 Easy Desserts for a Crowd

50. Mini Mason Jar Apple Pies

Finish dinner with a classic all-American dessert. The individual portions are just the right amount, and the whole mason jar packaging is a lot cuter than a standard pie dish.

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