Before you fire up the grill or slice your red, white, and blue sheet cake, you'll want to fill your picnic table with delicious appetizers to get your Fourth of July party rollin'. The perfect finger foods are easy to prepare, and incorporate festive food for a patriotic experience. Of course, you probably don't want your guests filling up on dip and sliders before the main dishes come out, but it's still a nice idea to have a few apps available for everyone to snack on — perhaps with a refreshing drink in hand. The best 4th of July appetizers hit all the marks: maximum flavor, minimal prep time, and always on-theme.
When planning your 4th of July menu, think about incorporating your favorite summer foods in creative ways. Whether that means a fruity pizza, a festival-themed snack, or an all-red summer salad, 4th of July appetizers are meant to strike that perfect balance of light but filling — so your guests can save room for the firework-decorated cookies, but won't be hungry as they wait for the burgers to be ready. The majority of these recipes are super quick to prepare, so you can come back to them time and time again throughout the summer, even after you've taken down your red, white, and blue decorations.
Having chips and salsa at a summer party is often a given, but homemade salsa really brings things to another level. This recipe only involves three ingredients, so what are you waiting for?
Get the Tomatillo Salsa recipe.
Caramelized Lemon Dip
A veggie tray is always a good idea to have at a party. It's great for people with various dietary restrictions, and it's colorful and fun, too. This dip is the perfect pairing for any variety of veggies, pita, or chips.
Get the Caramelized Lemon Dip recipe.
Cheesy Jalapeño Pretzel Bites
Add a spicy kick to your 4th of July menu with these pretzel bites stuffed with cream cheese, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and green jalapeños.
Get the Cheesy Jalapeño Pretzel Bites recipe.
Hot Double-Onion Cheese Dip
Although it takes almost an hour for this dip to be ready, the taste will be worth it and your guests will be asking for the recipe on their way out.
Get the Hot Double-Onion Cheese Dip recipe.
Deviled Egg Sailboats
Hoist the sails with tortilla chips, celery leaves, sliced pepper, or onion. To keep the cucumber from falling over, stake it with a celery stick.
Get the Deviled Egg Sailboats recipe.
Mediterranean Zucchini Boats with Kefir-Mint Topping
Keep the summer theme alive with these veggie boats — regardless of if you'll be eating them boatside or not.
Olivia Muenter is a freelance writer and former fashion and beauty editor who writes about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, relationships, travel, home decor, and more for Woman's Day and beyond. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Refinery 29, Glamour, Byrdie, Apartment Therapy, Philadelphia Magazine, and more. When she's not reading (or talking about reading on Bad on Paper, the bookish podcast she co-hosts), you can find Olivia working on her first novel, curating the perfect playlist, or shopping online.
Elizabeth Berry (she/her) is the Updates Editor at the Good Housekeeping Institute where she optimizes lifestyle content across verticals. Prior to this role, she was an Editorial Assistant for Woman’s Day where she covered everything from gift guides to recipes. She also has experience fact checking commerce articles and holds a B.A. in English and Italian Studies from Connecticut College.
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