25 Favorite 4th of July Recipes (plus a few extra ideas too!)

By 11 m read

4th of July Recipes

Our Favorite 4th of July Recipes

For the holiday that just screams “It’s summertime!”, we present you with our 25 favorite 4th of July recipes!

 

We’ve got you covered for everything, including easy appetizers and side dishes, delicious main course recipes, and even drinks and dessert!

 

And once you’ve decided on which recipes you want to create for this year’s festivities, scroll further down the page for some cooking tips, entertaining ideas, and a party game your family will love!

 

Appetizers

How to make Hummus (and make it your own!)

Hummus (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Why anyone would spend $5 on hummus is beyond me. Why on Earth would you buy it, when you can make hummus at home in less than 5 minutes for about $2! So, let’s learn how to make hummus! What’s the plural of hummus anyway?  Is it hummuses…hummi?? In my personal opinion, hummus is the dip of the gods…it has everything! Creamy texture, spicy garlic, refreshing lemon juice, nutty tahini…Wait, tahini? What’s that? It’s one of the few ingredients in hummus that you won’t already have stocked in your Essential Pantry.

 

 

5-Minute Ricotta Garlic Herb Dip

Ricotta Dip - Carrots and celery, always a good choice (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)
This garlicky, herby ricotta dip is ready in 5 minutes, and that’s a good thing. As soon as you start chopping the fresh basil leaves and start smashing the garlic cloves, you want to start dipping. Chopping releases the essential oils of the herbs, while smashing garlic cloves does the same to the garlic.

 

 

Pepperoni Roll / Pepperoni Bread / Stromboli

Pepperoni Roll / Pepperoni Bread (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Pepperoni bread (aka pepperoni roll or stromboli) has always been a special treat for me. Growing up in an Italian family in southern New Jersey, we all gathered at my grandparents’ house for Sunday dinner. Here’s the thing about my family: We LOVE delicious food! And if you’re not quick to the table, you missed out. You’ve got to be fast! That was certainly the case with pepperoni bread. As a result, I savor it whenever I have the chance.

 

 

Watermelon Feta Mint Salad (soooo refreshing!)

Refreshing Watermelon Fruit Salad (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Ahhhh, summertime. The season of sweltering hot sun and looking for ways to cool off. I ask you – is there any better way to cool off in summer than with a slice of juicy watermelon? There’s just something about this fruit that makes it refreshing like no other…the soft red flesh of the fruit, juice dripping down your arm. It’s the best! Let’s kick it up a notch, add just a few more ingredients, and make a watermelon feta mint salad (along with a few other fruits) that’s worthy of a hot summer afternoon or a dinner party with friends. And best of all, this salad is so easy, it’ll be ready in just a few minutes!

 

 

Tomato Gazpacho to Cool Off During the Dog Days of Summer

Gazpacho - (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

During the hottest time of year, cooking doesn’t always feel like the right option. Gazpacho is an absolutely perfect appetizer (or light main course) on a hot summer day. Today, there are many “traditional” recipes out there. Andalusia alone has one for each of its regions. And the internet has one for each of its bloggers. My recipe is not traditional…it’s original and adjustable and works with ingredients we already have in our essential pantry. All we need are some fresh tomatoes and a cucumber from your garden or farmer’s market. It’s more of an idea of a recipe for you to make your own.

 

 

Main & Side Dishes

Charcoal Grilled Chicken Wings You’ll Go Wild For (and 5 sauces!)

Charcoal Grilled Chicken Wings (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Charcoal or wood grilled chicken wings are fantastic! They’re easy to make and have a unique flavor. The mixture of charcoal-cooked meat and your favorite hot sauce is a match made in summer. Go grab a pack of chicken wings, make a quick buffalo sauce with butter – your favorite hot sauce plus some seasoning – and you’re ready to cook some mouthwatering, finger-licking wings.

 

 

Mouthwatering Grilled Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca - Grilled Saltimbocca “alla Maplewoodroad” (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Grilled Saltimbocca “alla Maplewoodroad” (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Saltimbocca is Italian for “jumps in your mouth.” Not exactly, but close enough. It’s a mouthwatering dish consisting of three ingredients: Veal, sage, and prosciutto. I’ve been making this dish for years – sometimes with veal, sometimes with pork – by seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, adding a leaf (or two, depending on size) of sage, and topping it all with a slice of prosciutto. Then, roll it up, stick a toothpick through, and cook for a few minutes in butter and extra-virgin olive oil. It’s easy, delicious, and turns out perfect every time.

 

 

Garlic Herb Compound Butter

Compound Butter - Serve it in slices and put on everything (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Serve it in slices and put on everything (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Garlic herb compound butter is one of the easiest, tastiest, and most versatile condiments you can whip up in minutes. Use it on anything from steaks and fish to vegetables, like grilled corn and baked potatoes, and don’t forget to try it on some french baguette! Compound butter is softened butter, mixed with herbs and spices. A simple concept with endless possibilities. Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different combinations and here’s my favorite.

 

 

How to Grill Any Vegetable

Grilling Vegetables - Eat more vegetables! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Eat more vegetables! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Grilling vegetables is not about having special equipment. Although companies sure want you to believe otherwise, saying you’ll need a grill pan or a vegetable grill basket, etc. Rubbish. When fire was first accidentally used to cook food (read the story here), there was not much equipment available and I heard the food was delicious. 😄

 

 

Loaded Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

This macaroni salad recipe is loaded with goodness. And when I say goodness, I mean great! It’s the best macaroni salad recipe you’ll find. The perfectly creamy dressing over lots and lots of flavors and textures will make everyone’s taste buds happy. It is truly a LOADED macaroni salad! Macaroni salad is one of those dishes that’s a staple at every barbecue. And why not? It’s so satisfying, with all the little bits of deliciousness mixed throughout, and it goes perfectly with everything! It’s always been one of my favorites and now I hope it will be yours too.

 

 

A Chimichurri Recipe You’ll Want to Put on Everything

Chimichurri - Chopped, not blended (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Chopped, not blended (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

It’s the hottest time of year and I’m craving Latin country cuisine. This happens every year and I start making my favorite four: Mexican guacamolePeruvian ceviche, Spanish gazpacho, and Argentinian chimichurri. So chimichurri it is today. The clash of a woodfire-grilled piece of meat and an uncooked, oil-based herb sauce. Who wins? It’s a perfect tie, with both sides shining bright.

 

 

Cherry Tomato Salad with a Warm Garlic-Shallot Dressing

Tomato Salad (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

When there are some cherry tomatoes on the counter (and I know I have the rest of the ingredients in the pantry), it’s time to make a super easy, super tasty tomato salad with an uber-aromatic warm garlic and shallot dressing in no time. This dish is not only delicious, but it’s also a dish that will make you a better chef.

 

 

Best Homemade Cole Slaw Recipe

Best Homemade Cole Slaw (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

This is my best homemade cole slaw recipe. It has everything you’re looking for: The beautifully crunchy texture of the cabbage, combined with a lightly creamy, sweet and sour tangy dressing. And this recipe is so easy, you’ll be done in less than 10 minutes! I don’t know about you, but I always get excited when I see cole slaw on the table. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any summertime cookout, whether it’s alongside burgers, a sausage sandwich, or some charcoal grilled chicken wings. It’s just so light and refreshing.

 

 

Summer Salad with Fresh Garden Herbs

Summer Salad - (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

This Summer Salad with Fresh Garden Herbs makes a delicious light lunch or side dish to any outdoor barbecue. With the sun shining down and humidity increasing, threatening thunderstorms later in the day, the hot sticky weather calls for light fare today. No heavy dishes or sauces…just refreshing, light flavors.  So, I turn to my garden to see what veggies are ripe for the picking. I immediately decide to pluck a few red and yellow tomatoes, along with some cucumbers and herbs.

 

 

Desserts

Fresh Fruit Tart

Fruit Tart Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

This fresh fruit tart recipe is a showstopper on any dessert table. The first oohs and ahhs will come when your friends see the beautiful rainbow of colors in the fresh fruit displayed on this tart. Soon after, there will be even more sounds of enjoyment at the sweet yet light flavor that’s oh-so-satisfying. The complex layering of flavors in a fruit tart provides everything you’re looking for in a dessert…a crumbly crust, smooth pastry cream, lightly sweet fruits, and a glaze on top to make everything sparkle in the sun.

 

 

Homemade Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream - Banana Ice Cream with a touch of honey (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Banana Ice Cream with a touch of honey (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Banana ice cream is delicious, super easy to make, budget friendly, healthy, dairy free, you get the point. It’s good in so many ways! There’s an easy, mouth-watering delicious way to use up your overripe bananas. That’s when they’re perfect to make banana ice cream! That’s when they’ve reached peak sweetness.

 

 

Iced Coffee Popsicles

Iced Coffee Popsicles (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of hot coffee in the summertime…I’m just not in the mood for a hot drink when it’s already hot outside. I prefer something to cool off. Which is why these Iced Coffee Popsicles are exactly what I need…and you do too!

 

 

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars - Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars...yes please! (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars…yes please! (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

These Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars with a graham cracker crust are so delicious, everyone will be asking for the recipe! The creamy sweet deliciousness of cheesecake pairs perfectly with the sweet/tart of lemon and raspberries, for a match made in heaven. Case in point: Erich doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but he’s enjoyed these cheesecake bars every night, for three nights in a row (okay, I have too)! You’re gonna want to make extra…

 

 

Peach Shortcake – Sweet, Creamy, Nutty, and Crazy Delicious

Peach Shortcake (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

There’s nothing better than biting into a ripe juicy peach, the juices running down your arm. They’re sweet yet refreshing at the same time. As delicious as they are, though, I love desserts. I love thinking up new desserts, I love creating desserts, and of course, I love eating desserts. Which is why I came up with this Peach Shortcake recipe that I know you’re going to love!

 

 

Watermelon Mint Popsicles

Watermelon Mint Popsicles
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Whew, it is hot out there today! We’re in the middle of summer and the sun is blazing bright, shining its hot rays down on us, warming our skin, making us sweat, leaving us searching for the nearest and quickest way to cool off. While jumping in a pool or lake would be nice, that’s not always possible. So we need other, better ways to find refreshment. Well, don’t you worry…I’m going to show you how to make these easy 2-ingredient popsicles that are refreshing, sweet, healthy, and absolutely delicious!

 

 

Drinks

Thirst-Quenching Strawberry Cocktail & Mocktail

Strawberry Summer Cocktail (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Can I get a Hallelujah, can I get an Amen! It’s strawberry season again! And what better way to enjoy this amazingly juicy, sweet fruit than in a strawberry cocktail (and mocktail) that’s super refreshing and thirst-quenching on a hot sunny day. To me, strawberries are summertime personified…..fruitified? Berrified?

 

 

Limoncello, Arancello Rosso, and Pompelmocello

Limoncello - So delicious! Can't decide which is my favorite! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
So delicious! Can’t decide which is my favorite! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Ten years ago, Erich & I went on vacation to the Tuscany region of Italy. At dinner one evening, after filling ourselves with bread and pasta and wine, the waiter brought us a complementary digestif, an after-dinner drink…and thus began my love affair with Limoncello.While we’re making Limoncello anyway…why not also try making a different “cello?” Using ruby-red grapefruit and blood oranges too?  So we did! And now we’re going to share our recipes with you!

 

 

Aperol Spritz – It’s Spritz O’Clock!

Aperol Spritz (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Aperol Spritz (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Looking for a refreshing taste of Italy, but right at home? Then you’ve come to the right place! On a recent trip to southern Italy, I discovered this amazing cocktail that refreshes like no other on a hot summer day. During our vacation, after walking around the cobblestone streets in the glorious sunshine, we would wander into an outdoor bar for an apéritif. Each and every afternoon (don’t judge, I was on vacation), I would order an Aperol Spritz.

 

 

Switchel – Homemade Gatorade and Kombucha All-in-One

Switchel-FeatImg-(Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Switchel is a super healthy, homemade, refreshing drink that can be tweaked to your own flavor preference and leave expensive Kombucha and Gatorade in the dust. It’s a probiotic, filled with electrolytes, supposedly builds good gut bacteria, helps with immunity, and really gives you an energy boost that you would expect from a double espresso, but without the crash.

 

 

Cooking Tips & Tricks

How to Grill Steaks (and nearly everything else perfectly, every time)

How to grill steaks - Mostly oak (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

What is grilling? Should I use gas or wood/charcoal? What kind of wood/charcoal is best? What kind of equipment do I need? Direct vs indirect heat. And so much more…

 

 

What is the right cutting board for me?

Cutting Board - Wood cutting board with the moat (juice drip groove) - (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Wood cutting board with the moat (juice drip groove) – (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

We’ve been cooking for a lot for friends and family over the last few weeks. Besides my chef’s knife that I’ve now officially used for 30 years (really, no joke), cutting boards have played a major role in the successful outcome of all these meals. Naturally, I’ve been asked several times what my favorite cutting board is and why. Well, I don’t have a favorite cutting board, but I do have some reasons why I’m using a particular one for a particular task.

 

 

BONUS!

Quick & Easy Tip to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Entertaining for Free!

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Entertaining (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

It’s a beautiful summer night. Why not invite a few friends over for an impromptu dinner party in the backyard? Whether it’s a potluck or you prepare all the food yourself, it’s sure to be a great time with funny stories, lots of laughs, and delicious food. But let’s take it up another notch with this quick & easy tip to spruce up your outdoor entertaining! And best of all, it’s free!

 

 

Weekend Forecast: Garden Party with a Chance of Cornhole

Cornhole - More practice needed…. (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
More practice needed…. (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

We obviously love having fun around here, cooking and drinking together, and discussing everything that doesn’t matter and wouldn’t make sense to an eavesdropper. But there’s one serious part to this: Cornhole. The game. It starts out fun and can end up vicious. Be prepared.

 

Ok, everybody, we hope this gets your mouth watering and gives you some great ideas for your 4th of July feast! 

Did you make these 4th of July recipes? Let us know in the comments below!

Do your friends enjoy delicious recipes too? Share this article with them and let us know what you all think by commenting below!

Tag your photos with #maplewoodroad on social media and share them on our Facebook page! Have any questions about this recipe? Ask on our Maplewood Road Community Facebook page and I’ll be happy to help. 😊

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