Skip to Content

20 Best July 4th Menu Ideas for Every Type of BBQ

From traditional summer dishes to new recipes bound to become favorites.

By Kate Franke and Elizabeth Berry
4th of july menu grilled chicken with white barbecue sauce
Alison Miksch

It’s nearly time to celebrate America’s birthday, the 4th of July! So dust off the outdoor furniture, clean the grill, and get prepping for America’s favorite barbecue and booze-fueled holiday. If you’re hosting this year’s Independence Day festivities, we’ve put together 20 of the best July 4th menu ideas for your bash — no matter the size, location, or style of your get-together.

There are several routes you can take when planning your menu for a 4th of July party. The obvious choice is traditional American fare such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and mac and cheese. But if you’re looking to mix things up this year, browse through our list of menus that cater to various party themes, dietary preferences, and types of gathering. We’ve included Fourth of July menus for everything from potlucks to picnics to fish fries.

To cater to your vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friends, we’ve included menus with 4th of July recipes they can fully enjoy — and they don’t just consist of salad! There are recipes for portobello burgers, strawberry pizza, and pineapple and black bean fajitas, just to name a few. Hungry yet?

Browse our easy 4th of July menus and choose your favorite list of recipes for a hassle-free holiday, from the appetizers and drinks to dessert under the fireworks. Because the last thing you want to do is spend all day in the kitchen when your guests are outside lounging by the pool.


Traditional July 4th Menu

hot dogs with pickle and parsley relish
Jonny Valiant

It doesn't get more classic than these popular American favorites — hot dogs, hamburgers, mac and cheese, and s'mores. There's no better way to celebrate this festive holiday than with widely beloved American staples. To get the full 4th of July experience, throw on a button-up shirt, khaki shorts, and baseball cap for an American Dad look.


Favorite Layered Party Dip

Main Course

Classic All-American Bacon Cheeseburgers

Hot Dogs with Pickle and Parsley Relish


Skillet Mac and Cheese

Corn on the Cob with Chili Salt

Oven-Baked Beans


Speculaas S'mores With Strawberries and White Chocolate


Honeydew and Watermelon Iced Tea

Shop Cast Iron Skillet


Easy 4th of July Menu

no churn banana split ice cream
Mike Garten

If it's your first time hosting a 4th of July meal or if cooking simply isn't your thing, aim for a menu that tastes great and is easy to make. That way, you'll wow your guests without spending the day stressed in the kitchen. Instead, throw it together with ease and grab a glass of sparkling thyme lemonade to celebrate.


Crispy Ranch Pickles

Main Course

Sausage Kebabs


Easy Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Watercress Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette


No-Bake Chocolate Brownies

No-Churn Banana Split Ice Cream


Sparkling Thyme Lemonade

Shop Ranch Seasoning


July 4th Cookout Menu

smoky grilled chicken wings
Chris Court

If there was ever a holiday to break out the grill, it would be the 4th of July. There's something about the warm weather, cool drinks, and water activities, that begs to be bookended with a meal off the grill. It's the American way — we don't make the rules.


Smoky Grilled Chicken Wings

Main Course

Grilled Reuben Dogs

Spiced Mini Burgers with Spinach and Couscous


Mustardy Potato Salad With Watercress

Spicy Slaw


Grilled Banana Split


Fresh Berry Lemonade

Shop Worcestershire Sauce

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Boozy 4th of July Menu

pretzel chocolate pecan pie bars
Mike Garten

Another staple of the 4th of July is booze. It's a celebration of America's independence after all! Why not solidify booze as the star of the show by adding it to every dish? This menu is sure to entice your alcohol-loving friends to stop by…just make sure they Uber back home.


Cajun Sausage Puffs with Bourbon Mustard

Main Course

Bourbon, Molasses, and Spice Glazed Ham

Grilled Cheese with Bourbon Melted Onions


Turkey and Green-Apple Salad With Mint Dressing


Cherries Jubilee Fool Trifles

Pretzel-Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars


Ginger-Cucumber Gin Lemonade

Shop Bourbon


Fruit-Focused July 4th Menu

hawaiian pork pull apart rolls
Mike Garten

Summer is the season of fruit, with watermelon, peaches, grapes, and more all reaching their peak ripeness! The sweet, refreshing taste of fruit hits the spot on a hot summer day. Center your 4th of July gathering around it for a boost of vitamin C and glee!


Caramelized Lemon Dip

Main Course

Hawaiian Pork Pull-Apart Rolls


Marinated Tomato Pasta Salad

Hawaiian Fresh Fruit Salad


Strawberry-Yogurt Swirl Pops

Fresh Fruit Cheesecake Pie


Summer Melon Slushies

Ginger-Peach Soda

Shop King’s Hawaiian Rolls


Gluten-Free July 4th Menu

sheet pan chickpea chicken
Danielle Occhigrosso Daly

Make sure your gluten-free friends and family can partake in the 4th of July fun by making an all gluten-free menu. Each dish is so tasty, your gluten tolerant friends won't even notice they've gone sans grain for the day.


Radishes with Herbed Cheese

Bell Pepper Nachos

Main Course

Stuffed Portobello Burgers

Sheet Pan Chickpea Chicken


Spring Chopped Salad With Cider Vinaigrette


Gluten-Free Dutch Apple Pie

PB&J Bars


Rhubarb Lemonade

Shop Sheet Pans

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Slow Cooker 4th of July Menu

july 4th recipes slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches
Kana Okada

If your holiday is stacked with plans, but you still need to feed the family, slow-cook your 4th of July meal. The work is in the prep, which can be done the day before. Then, on the day of, simply let the food simmer while you enjoy your day. It will be waiting — hot and full of flavor — for when you get back.


Slow Cooker Balsamic-Ginger Chicken Lettuce Cups

Corn and Potato Chowder

Main Course

Slow Cooker Pulled-Pork Sandwiches


Slow Cooker Overnight Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Applesauce


Slow Cooker Coconut Rice Pudding

Slow Cooker Applesauce Spice Cake


S’mores Martini

Shop Slow-Cooker


Vintage 4th of July Menu

crunchy coleslaw
Con Poulos

What better way to celebrate this centuries old holiday than with dishes from the past? You can celebrate the 4th of July the same way generations before you did — with a thick slice of apple pie and and an old-fashioned lemonade. It's a great way to honor America's history and try retro recipes that may be new to you.


Zesty Crab Cakes

Main Course

Hamburger Casserole


Crunchy Coleslaw

Corn-Stuffed Zucchini


Good Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


Classic Lemonade

Shop Mini Bundt Pan


Southern 4th of July Menu

po boy style shrimp burgers with cajun spiced tots 30 minute meal
Ryan Dausch

Put a southern twist on your July 4th menu this year by incorporating popular dishes and flavors such as a Po-Boy style burger, cajun seasoning, and fried chicken. It's a feast of American comfort foods on America's birthday.


Cajun Surf 'n' Turf Stew

Main Course

Po Boy Style Shrimp Burgers

Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe


Cajun Spiced Tots

Southern "Fried" Chicken Salad


Blueberry Cobbler


Lemon-Lime Iced Tea

Shop No-Salt-Added Cajun Seasoning

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Fiesta 4th of July Menu

4th of july food strawberry tamales
Cedric Angeles

Outside of typical American fare, Mexican food has cemented itself as a staple in American culture and cuisine. There is little Americans love more than snacking on chips and salsa while sipping a margarita. So whether you're aiming for classic Mexican dishes, Tex-Mex, or some other variation of Mexican-style food, it's sure to be a hit this 4th of July.


Tomatillo Salsa

Quick Queso

Main Course

Smoky Beef Tacos

Strawberry Tamales


Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

Slow-Cooker Smoky Black Bean Soup


Strawberry-Horchata Shaved Ice


3-in-1 Agua Fresca

Shop Corn Husks


July 4th Picnic Menu

cheesy chicken sandwiches
Christopher Testani

For a fun, summer outing, pack your 4th of July meal to-go and enjoy it as a picnic at the park or on the beach. Pre-make these delicious dishes and transport them via cooler for when you're ready to eat. This fun excursion and meal is sure to be something the kids will remember for years to come.


Marinated Tomato and Watermelon Wedges

Main Course

Cheesy Chicken Sandwiches

Ham Biscuits


Spicy Deviled Eggs

Overnight Pickled Green Beans


Strawberry and Snickers Sticks


Mason Jar Citrus Coolers

Shop Mason Jar Drinking Glasses


4th of July Brunch Menu

sunny side up pizza 30 minute meal
Chris Court

Start the 4th off right with a hearty brunch to fill your stomach before moving on to afternoon activities. There's a mix of savory and sweet options for those who can't decide. This early meal can be happily enjoyed outside under the shade of an umbrella before the scorching sun of the afternoon.


Quick 'n' Easy Southern Biscuits

Main Course

Morning Burritos With Salsa Verde

Sunny-Side-Up Pizza


Vegetable Frittata

Sweet-and-Spicy Glazed Bacon


Cinnamon Rolls


Spicy Pickle Bloody Mary

Shop Food Processor

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Festive Fourth of July Menu

festive fourth of july menu patriotic ice pops
Mike Garten

Besides a dinner prepped almost entirely on the grill, a red, white, and blue-themed menu is up there for the most patriotic dinner you can serve on Independence Day. Perhaps, choosing which cool 4th of July dessert and drink to make will be the best part of prepping this menu, but you'll be shocked at how creative you can get when it comes to apps and sides.


Watermelon Pizza

Main Course

Tomato-Basil Pasta Salad


Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

Tomatoes with Green Goddess Dressing


Patriotic Ice Pops

Classic Vanilla Cake


Boozy Snow Cones

Shop Blue Curacao


Vegetarian 4th of July Menu

4th of july menu summer squash, mint and pecorino pasta
Danielle Occhiogrosso Daly

Hamburgers, hot dogs, and other grilled meats, poultry, and fish may be the foods that come to mind when you imagine a July 4th menu. But there are plenty of delicious and festive veggie-focused dishes you can make instead, if you and the majority of your guests follow a vegetarian diet. All of these ideas incorporate seasonal produce and will make for a healthy summer dinner.


Deviled Egg Sailboats

Roasted Broccoli–Artichoke Dip

Main Course

Summer Squash, Mint, and Pecorino Pasta

Corn and Zucchini Fritters


Fresh Corn and Chickpea Salad

Peach Caprese Salad


Strawberry Pizza


Berry Sangria

Shop Caramel Sauce


July 4th BBQ Menu

classic bbq 4th of july menu barbecue ribs with mopping sauce
Alison Miksch

If you and the family are avid grillers during the summer months, then going the traditional cookout route for your holiday bash will please everyone's taste buds. Whether you bring out your family's secret BBQ sauce or want to try a new recipe to spice things up, this menu packs summertime flavors that all ages will enjoy.



Main Course

Grilled Chicken with White Barbecue Sauce

BBQ Ribs with Dipping Sauce

Chicago-Style Chicken Dogs


Creamy Blue Cheese Slaw

Corn on the Cob with Parsley Butter


Red-White-and-Blue Berry Pizza


Strawberry-Lemon Punch

Shop Corn on the Cob Skewers

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Kid-Friendly Cookout Menu

corn pups
Con Poulos

If you have a lot of kids attending your July 4th party, it may be a good idea to adjust your menu so that even the pickiest eaters will find something they want to eat. And while the kids may want to spend the majority of the time splashing in the pool or playing a few rounds of cornhole, you can also get them involved in the cooking process. Trust us, once they hear that corn dogs and nachos are on the menu, they'll want to run to the kitchen ASAP to taste test.


Corn Pups

Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

Main Course

Sloppy Joe Sliders

Crispy Baked Chicken


Macaroni Salad


Independence Day Sundaes


Red Strawberry Tea

Shop Sundae Serving Cups


Light and Healthy July 4th Menu

4th of july appetizers tomato and watermelon salad
Con Poulos

Sometimes, summer weather calls for a lighter meal full of juicy fruits and veggies that are at their ripest during June, July, and August. Health-conscious guests will appreciate this menu selection, and you may be surprised how much kids will too once they see peach popsicles up for grabs. Swapping red-meat classics for poultry will also allow for a heart-healthy grilling experience.


Salami-Wrapped Melon with Basil

Main Course

Greek Turkey Burgers

Grilled Chicken Caprese


Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Summer Bean, Corn, and Radish Salad


Peach Melba Ice Pops


Watermelon Limeade and Keg

Shop Ice Pop Molds


July 4th Seafood Cookout Menu

4th of july menu alabama white bbq shrimp
Christopher Testani

Seafood is often at its peak during the summer, and if you have a fair amount of pescatarians attending your July 4th party, or you're just looking for some healthier recipes, designing a fish-focused menu can be both seasonal and delicious.


Smoked Salmon Bites

White Wine Mussels

Main Course

Barbecue-Glazed Salmon

Crunchy Tortilla Fish Sticks with Purple Cabbage Slaw


Alabama White BBQ Shrimp

Crawfish Boudin Balls


No-Bake Summer Fruit Tart


Mermaid Lemonade

Shop Skewers

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

4th of July Potluck Menu

4th of july menu  cold spiced chicken recipe
Kate Mathis

If you have a lot of mouths to feed on July Fourth then an easy (and collaborative) solution is to host a potluck dinner. Each guest can bring an appetizer, main course, side dish, dessert, or drink from the following list so you don't have to carry all the weight in the kitchen. Everyone can pick a dish that speaks to them, which basically guarantees your guests will love at least one item at the table. Although, we're pretty sure they'll love all of these recipes.


Whipped Feta with Cucumber

Beet and Feta Cheese Dip

Main Course

Cold Spiced Chicken

BBQ Brisket Sandwiches with Quick Slaw


Basic Potato Salad


Beach Cake

S'mores Ice Cream Pie


Iced Sparkling Honey-Lime Red Tea

Shop Paprika


4th of July Vegan Menu

pineapple and black bean fajitas
Con Poulos

Preparing a vegan or plant-based cookout menu can be difficult, but if you think outside your typical grilling repertoire you will find that there are plenty of recipes every guest will love. For a filling menu, opt for plant-based proteins like lentils, chickpeas, and beans. There are also lots of summery bites on the lighter side for a refreshing nibble in between courses.


Lentil Hummus

Sweet Potato Skins and Pico de Gallo

Pickled Carrots

Main Course

Pineapple and Black Bean Fajitas


Quick Sautéed Beans and Tomatoes

Charred Cauliflower


Frozen Tropical Fruit Kebabs


Icy Watermelon Granita

Shop Lentils

Headshot of Kate Franke
Kate Franke
Editorial Assistant

Kate Franke (she/her) is the editorial assistant at Woman’s Day. She loves all things lifestyle, home, and market related. Kate has a BAJMC in Magazine Media and BA in Writing from Drake University. She is a proud ASME alum whose work has appeared in Food Network Magazine, The Pioneer Woman Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Modern Farmhouse Style, Beautiful Kitchens & Baths, and more. Next to writing, Kate’s two favorite things are chai lattes and pumpkin bread!

Headshot of Elizabeth Berry
Updates Editor

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.

Watch Next
preview for Womans Day Section Home

4th of July Ideas

4th of july food picnic table with bowls of dips chips and pretzels and pitcher of lemonade

60 Easy July 4th Recipes for a Tasty Celebration

4th of july activities  mother and daughter waving american flags outdoors

50 Fun 4th of July Activities for Kids and Adults

4th of july quotes three girls holding mini american flags and walking through their front yard

60 Short, Inspirational 4th of July Quotes

june holidays backyard picnic spread on a yellow blanket for picnic day

71 Easy Picnic Food Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
twitter icon
youtube icon
facebook icon
instagram icon
pinterest icon
Hearst Lifestyle and Design Group - A Part of Hearst Digital Media

A Part of Hearst Digital Media

We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back.

©2023 Hearst Magazine Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy NoticeCA Notice at CollectionYour CA Privacy Rights/Shine the LightDAA Industry Opt OutTerms of UseSite Map
Cookies Choices