50+ Healthy Recipes for Your 4th of July Celebration
Crowdpleasing 4th of July Recipes
This year, give the fireworks a run for their money with a delicious and unforgettable 4th of July menu that's sure to set patriotic hearts aflutter. From corn on the cob to bbq chicken to peach cobbler, these healthy and delicious 4th of July recipes are sure to have you feeling proud to be an American.
No matter how you celebrate the holiday—whether you throw a family reunion, backyard barbecue, or lakeside party—these easy 4th of July recipes are sure to please.
Rummy Red, White, and Blue Grown-Up Slushie
Save the bomb pops for the kids and make this boozy, patriotic slushie recipe for the adults. This frozen, yet pleasantly sweet, cocktail doesn’t use any added sugar. The blue is natural thanks to blue spirulina. Not only does it make the most beautiful blue color, but it also delivers vitamins and minerals and doesn’t take away from the pineapple flavor of the layer. Pro tip: Make the layers in advance and then assemble the drinks right before serving for the most colorful delivery.
Creamy, Herby Pickled Onion Potato Salad
This make-ahead potato salad is perfect for potluck gatherings, picnics, or backyard barbecues—you can whip it up two or three days ahead, and it only gets better as it sits. Two elements make it stand deliciously above the usual potato salad: crème fraîche in the dressing, which makes it incredibly rich and creamy, and crunchy pickled onions in place of the usual pickles. Pickling with white vinegar gives the magenta onion slices a touch of sweetness without adding sugar.
Grilled Plums With Ricotta and Honey
These plums have all the flavor—sweet, tart, creamy, and salty. And this recipe is a simple and easy way to use delicious, peak-season fruit. Be sure to only grill the plums on the skin side a minute to warm them; otherwise they will get mushy.
Grilled Fingerling Potatoes With Chimichurri
Rich, smoky potatoes pair deliciously with a bright, herbaceous chimichurri, making these sweet fingerlings a must-try side dish this summer. To streamline dinner, boil the potatoes ahead of time (just be sure to not cook them too long, just until tender) and then finish them on the grill alongside your protein of choice.
Treat Yourself: Star-Spangled Fruity Gelatin Cups
How adorable are these star-spangled jigglers? Not-too-sweet gelatin meets ripe summer fruit and mingles overnight for a sweet treat any party guest would love. You can pour and serve in muffin tins or 4-ounce cups (just make sure to use reinforced paper ones so they don’t melt). If you’re feeling particularly festive, you can replace 1/2 cup of the boiling water with vodka to make gelatin shots.
Smoky Beer-Poached Grilled Corn
We took a technique that’s typically used for bratwurst and applied it to corn—with amazing results. You can save the beer after poaching the corn and use it for poaching brats or for steaming peel-and-eat shrimp.
Tangy Beer-Can Chicken
The can method keeps the bird moist while it grills because liquid in the can forms steam inside the cavity. Any canned beverage will work, since it won't really impart any noticeable flavor to the chicken. We like the bright, tangy flavor of good old-fashioned yellow mustard here.
Grilled Peaches With Vanilla Mascarpone
Fresh, in-season peaches make this simple dish really sing. The recipe is sweet, but not overly so. If you want to cut back on sugar even further, you could easily omit brushing maple syrup onto the fruit, and it'll still taste quite good. This makes an lovely way to finish a summer meal, or turn these grilled peaches into a hearty breakfast by adding your favorite crunchy granola.
Slow Cooker Bourbon-Peach Baked Beans
Skip the canned baked beans in favor of our fuss-free version, which saves up to 300mg sodium per serving. Adobo sauce and bacon build a smoky backbone, while peak-season peaches offer sweet contrast. Bonus: The beans will stay warm in a covered slow cooker for up to 2 hours after being unplugged.
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Coleslaw
Our quick homemade BBQ sauce is lower in sodium than bottled versions. The vinegar in the slaw balances out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce nicely, while the vegetables in the slaw provide an added crunch to the sandwich.
Deep-Dish Strawberry Ice Dream Pie
The filling for our killer pie is somewhere between ice cream and mousse—a creamy concoction that's ridiculously easy to make.
BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta Slaw
This summery crunch-tastic slaw is guaranteed to find its way into your recipe rotation for the rest of the season. Using ripe, juicy peaches, it's the perfect sweet-salty side dish for any number of grilled or smoked proteins.
Pound Cake With Strawberry Glaze
Look for whole-wheat pastry flour in the baking aisle at major supermarkets. Garnish with additional strawberries and fresh mint leaves.
Creamy Potato Salad
Here's an extra-creamy potato salad you can feel good about eating at your next cookout or picnic. We slash the fat (but not the flavor) by making a creamy base with Greek yogurt and olive oil mayo. Fresh herbs and multicolored mini bell peppers lend color, while fresh lemon juice gives just the right amount of brightness.
Watermelon Salad With Feta and Cucumber Pickles
Sumac—available at spice stores—adds a subtle piney, tangy note, but don't worry if you can't find it—this watermelon and cucumber salad will still have loads of flavor complexity without it. You could also sub 1 teaspoon of prepared horseradish for the wasabi powder.
Peach-Vanilla Slab Pie
The next time you need a dessert for a crowd—backyard barbecue, picnic, block party—think slab pie. You'll need to roll the dough out so that it's very thin; to make this easier, you can roll it out on parchment paper and place the whole thing, including the paper, in the pan.
Ultimate BBQ Chicken
This chicken is wonderfully moist, with a smoky sauce that will have you firing up the grill year-round. In our ultimate BBQ makeover, we remove the skin just before the chicken finishes grilling (saving 128 calories and 2.7g sat fat per breast), then baste with a spicy-sweet sauce. The best part? You'll save 183 calories, 3g sat fat, 26g sugar, and 854mg sodium over the traditional recipe, without losing any of the flavor.
Grilled Chicken Drumsticks With Bourbon-Cherry BBQ Sauce
This fruity, boozy take on barbecue has all the characteristics of your favorite sauce—deep caramel notes, a savory backbone, and a pleasant vinegar tang. You can sub sweet cherries for sour, adjusting the amount of honey and vinegar to taste. For a shortcut, start with 1 cup purchased unsweetened cherry juice.
Triple Melon Cream Pops
Turn the bumper crop of peak-season melon into crowd-pleasing cream pops. Floral honeydew, musky cantaloupe, and candy-sweet watermelon provide dazzling pastel colors, while a bit of yogurt lends creamy appeal.
Hot-Sweet Grilled Watermelon
Texas chef Tim Love likes to use guajillo chile powder here, which provides moderate heat. Cayenne or chipotle powder would also work.
Grilled Chicken Thighs With Pineapple, Corn, and Bell Pepper Relish
We love the high-impact flavors in this recipe. The vibrant, colorful relish will not only look divine when plated atop grilled chicken thighs, but will taste just as amazing.
Cherry–Goat Cheese Ice Cream
This creamy, goat cheese-base ice cream showcases seasonal Bing cherries, which have an intensely sweet and tangy flavor. Go the extra mile and make homemade waffle cone cups for serving (and a fun presentation!). Keep leftover ice cream in your freezer for when your sweet tooth strikes.
Cherry-Basil Lemonade Spritzers
Instead of the fluorescent cocktail-cherry garnish, fresh cherries take center stage in this refreshing lemon-and-vodka sipper. Macerating the cherries in sugar helps to soften their thick skins and release their juices, which become gorgeously syrupy in the pan.
Sun Gold Tomato Caprese Salad
We use young heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes to balance the intense sweetness of Sun Golds with a little acid and umami depth, but other red cherry tomatoes will work well also.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce
Smoked paprika comes from a centuries-old tradition in which chile peppers are slowly dried over low-burning fires of Spanish oak and then ground into powder. In the slow cooker, this earthy, aromatic spice adds outdoor smoked barbecue flavor.
Lobster Roll Deviled Eggs
Eggs steam perfectly in the Instant Pot, making this once labor-intensive appetizer a breeze. Classy enough for a dinner party while casual enough for game day, these Lobster Roll Deviled Eggs combine two fun foods into one delicious dish. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly dish, substitute pre-cooked shrimp for the lobster tail. Feel free to omit the breadcrumbs to up the keto-friendly factor.
Spicy Tomato-Cucumber Salad
This tomato cucumber salad is summer in a bowl. Sunshine-yellow and ruby-red wedges of juicy tomato anchor this cucumber salad recipe with a hefty dose of lycopene, a heart-helping, cancer-fighting antioxidant. Remember—summer tomatoes are extra juicy, so plan to serve this salad soon after making it for the most concentrated flavor.
Rustic Huckleberry-Blackberry Tart
If you can't find huckleberries, use blueberries.
Blueberry-Lavender Yogurt Pops
These just might be the most sophisticated ice pops we've ever had. Reach for regular whole-milk yogurt here instead of Greek yogurt; the texture is looser, and the flavor is richer and less tart.
Summer Melon Rose Sangria
Whether it’s sipped poolside on a hot summer day or savored at a festive holiday soirée, sangria highlights seasonal fruit—from sweet, juicy peaches in summer to delightfully bitter blood oranges in winter. While the ingredients can vary, this Spanish drink typically contains a dry red, white, or sparkling wine, a sweetener, fresh fruit, and a small amount of brandy.
Spicy Serrano and Blackberry-Orange Margarita
This fruity sipper has sweet-tart flavor with a subtle burn from the serrano-infused tequila. Tender-tongued? This drink is equally delicious without the chile. Blackberries are fiber-packed and contain antioxidants called polyphenols that might ward off cognitive decline and keep your heart healthy.
Grilled Pineapple Lemonade
This twist on classic lemonade is the divine union of fruity and smoky flavors. Naturally sweet pineapple goes into the drink, allowing us to use less added sugar. We use an indoor grill pan, but if your outdoor grill is already fired up, use it to lend extra smoky depth. Add a boozy spin with a dash of rum or tequila.
This simple no-bake dessert can be assembled in a snap, and it’s sure to turn heads at your any cookout. The jazzed up cream cheese filling, which gets a tangy boost from lemon zest and fresh raspberries, gives an extra dose of elegance to these show-stopping cookies.
Using fresh broccoli instead of bagged broccoli slaw makes for a sweeter, more flavorful end product. Look for refrigerated sauerkraut either in the deli or by the tofu in your local grocery store (canned lacks probiotics).
Chicago Char Dog with Fresh Cucumber Relish
Nothing is more American than a hotdog. Classic Chicago dogs are served in poppy seed buns, but if you can't find them, lightly brush buns with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Toast in the oven at 350° for 2 to 3 minutes.
Lattice-Topped Blackberry Cobbler
Using whole almonds in the topping gives it a little color from the skins, but substituting sliced or slivered almonds will work in this recipe, as well.
Fingerling Potato Salad With Mustard Vinaigrette
Little fingerling potatoes are fantastic in potato salads, in part because their skin-to-flesh ratio is much smaller than big potatoes, so there’s more interesting textural difference in every bite. Like with any potato salad, one key to success is dressing the potatoes while they’re still hot so they fully absorb flavorings.
This colorful dip can double as a side salad or topper for seared fish. It tastes even better the next day.
Instead of cabbage, this quick slaw gets its crunch from fresh carrots, beets, and Broccolini. Serve with simply baked fish or as an alternative to coleslaw with hamburgers or barb
Indian Dal-Style Baked Beans
The standard backyard-barbecue side takes a global turn with warm spices, but the beans are still perfectly at home alongside burgers and hot dogs.
Simple, Perfect Fresh-Ground Brisket Burgers
We loved the flavorful patty we got from grinding inexpensive beef brisket. Ask for the flat cut of brisket for the leanest choice. Traditional condiments like ketchup and mustard are an option, but we found this burger so good on its own that all we added was cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
Blueberry-Peach Cobbler with Pecans
It's best to make this cobbler during the summer months when fresh blueberries and peaches are at their peak, but you can enjoy it year-round if you use frozen fruit.
Blackberry-Peach Slow Cooker Crumble
Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt, this simple summer dessert is a great way to satisfy the sweet tooth while reaping the nutritional benefits of summer fruit. Keep the peach slices no less than 1/2 inch thick; any smaller, and they may lose their shape when cooked.
Grilled Beef-Mushroom Burgers
Blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground beef adds great flavor, moisture, and even fiber to these no-bun burgers. Garlicky cucumber-yogurt sauce is tasty Middle Eastern–inspired alternative to standard ketchup and mustard.
Served with a juicy slice of fresh tomato and crisp butter lettuce, these burgers are naturally gluten-free. Double the greens and tomato and call it a burger salad. If you're in the mood for bun, try these tucked into warm whole-wheat pitas instead.
Cheesy Smoky Pinto Beans
Mashing half the beans retains just a bit of texture while keeping them creamy and cheesy.
Tender biscuits get a little lift from sweet, floral lemon rind. For slightly taller shortcakes with soft sides, pack biscuits into a round cake pan; for separate shortcakes with crisp edges, arrange onto a baking sheet with space between.
Crunchy-Chewy Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These craveworthy chocolate chip cookies—made with whole-wheat flour—are wonderfully crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle; the soft center comes from using all brown sugar (no granulated) and a drizzle of honey.
Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic
A reinterpretation of the familiar gin and tonic, this cocktail includes fresh watermelon and cucumber juices for a refreshing taste. Hendrick's, a small-batch Scottish gin that's infused with the flavor of cucumber and rose petals, is ideal for this recipe. For even better results, try premium tonic water, such as Fever-Tree or Q Tonic. Serve any remaining juice mixture (which you can make a day ahead) over ice for guests who prefer a nonalcoholic drink.
Double-Crusted Apple Pie
The developer of this recipe, Chuck Williams, especially enjoyed making pies with his grandmother. She would give him pastry scraps that he rolled out and heaped with apples or peaches. Piled high with tart-sweet apples and covered with a flaky crust, this pie is the type of dessert that evokes memories of family.
Fresh Cherry Cheesecake Bars
With their combo of shortbread-like crust, creamy cheesecake, and fresh summer cherry goodness, these bars will make you the hit of the picnic.
Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
This recipe yields slow-cooked barbecue flavor in less than an hour. The sandwiches need to be broiled at the last minute, but the rest of the menu can be made ahead of time.
Fresh Cherry Pie
This not-too-sweet cherry pie is delicious on its own, and even better served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Turkey Burgers With Roasted Eggplant
Leftover eggplant puree from this recipe is perfect as a dip for toasted pita wedges. Marmite is a concentrated yeast paste that helps give this burger meaty flavor—find it in supermarket baking aisles and health food stores. Use sesame-poppy seed buns.
Gingered Blueberry Shortcake
Sweet, juicy, peak-season berries make this dish shine. For convenience, make the berry mixture, whipped cream, and shortcakes in advance, then assemble just before serving. Prepare the berry mixture and whipped cream earlier in the day, and refrigerate; bring berry mixture to room temperature or warm slightly in a pan before serving. Make the shortcakes as time permits, freeze them, then defrost at room temperature when ready to serve.
Fire-Seared Antipasto Platter
More of a game plan than a set recipe, this dish lends itself to an assortment of ingredients you may have on hand. For example, if you can't find capocollo—cured sausage similar to salami—substitute salami or pepperoni. Serve the platter while vegetables are warm or at room temperature.
Tart and tangy, sweet and spiced, this intensely flavored homemade apple pie is thickly layered into a sharp cheddar cheese-enhanced crust. It's a gluten-free remake of an American classic.