The 4th of July is a star-spangled day filled with fun, sun, fireworks… and food! And an Independence Day celebration wouldn’t be the same without a full spread of all the classics such as slow-cooked BBQ recipes, chilled summer salads, and summer desserts. Whether you’re a stickler for tradition or like trying something fresh and new, consider this list your go-to guide for planning the perfect 4th of July menu.
This roundup is chock full of make-ahead dishes—because who wants to be stuck inside cooking on the 4th of July? A little prep the day before will have you outdoors enjoying the fun and munching on all the deliciousness. Fresh, crunchy salads that get even better as they sit, red, white, and blue desserts better than the fireworks, and party dips that you can pull out at moments notice—it doesn’t get any tastier than these summer recipes. But, it wouldn’t be a summer holiday without firing up a grill, so we’ve included those recipes too. Saucy, slow-cooked ribs are a no-brainer, but there’s also skewered steak and shrimp, and burgers and franks with some flair if you want to switch things up. Don’t skip the classic potluck sides like Ree’s 4th of July menu, including baked beans and creamy potato salad! No matter which dishes you choose, this will be the best 4th of July yet.