Festive (and Delicious!) Fourth of July Recipes

With July 4th just days away, I’m sure many of you have already made your plans for the summer holiday. And whether they include a casual cookout, a poolside party or an upscale soiree, one thing is guaranteed: Food will definitely be part of the festivities. So in case you haven’t already planned your entire menu (or were asked to bring over a dish last minute), I’ve rounded up 12 side dishes, appetizers, main courses and desserts that would be perfect for any Fourth of July get together:

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Clockwise from top left: Grilled Corn with Bacon Butter and Cotija Cheese from How Sweet It Is; Quinoa and Berry Salad from Yummy Mummy Kitchen; Grilled Blackberry, Strawberry, Basil and Brie Pizza Crisps from Half Baked Harvest; and Watermelon, Avocado and Mint Salad from Foolproof Living.

You may remember that I tried this corn out myself last year for my birthday (refresher: It was AWESOME), but it bears repeating that it’s a recipe definitely worth making. If you’re looking for something a wee bit healthier to start the meal, try one of those pretty salads (the watermelon, avocado and mint looks especially delicious), or make an indulgent (though still pretty healthy) treat with those berry and Brie pizza crisps.

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Clockwise from top left: Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Peanuts from Martha Stewart; Roasted Tomato and Pesto Burgers from Confections of a Foodie Bride; BBQ Buffalo Chicken Wings from Susannah’s Kitchen; and Hawaiian Hot Dogs with Mango Salsa from Damn Delicious.

No July 4th party is complete without a little grilling action, but that doesn’t have to be limited to burgers (though who could resist those roasted tomato and pesto creations?). Shake things up with tangy grilled shrimp or out-of-the-box hot dogs, or keep things simple and smoky with some grilled buffalo wings.

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Clockwise from top left: Sprinkle + Ombre Cake from Brit + Co.; American Flag Doughnuts from The First Year; Strawberry, Lime and Basil Shortcakes from The Artful Desperado; and Blue Velvet Cupcakes from Sprinkle Bakes.

Dessert is always my favorite part of the meal, no matter the holiday, and with desserts this cute, it will be everyone else’s favorite part, too. Take some time to whip up a beautiful sprinkled + ombre cake or go super patriotic with those adorable American flag doughnuts. If simple is what you’re seeking, you can’t go wrong with blue velvet cupcakes, though a fun twist on a classic recipe—like that Strawberry, Lime and Basil Shortcake—would be sure to impress, too.

What dishes will you be making for your Fourth of July celebration?

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