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7 Five-Course 4th of July Menus to Please Every Palate at Your Cookout

Satisfy everyone from meat lovers to veggie enthusiasts.

4th of july menu cast iron beans
Brian Woodcock

If there’s one thing the 4th of July is known for—aside from our country’s independence, some massive fireworks displays, and being the time everyone brushes up on American flag etiquette—it’s mouthwatering seasonal food. If you’re in charge of coming up with 4th of July party ideas this year, the stakes are high to feed and please. Never fear—we compiled seven unique five-course 4th of July menus, including 4th of July appetizers, grilling recipes, barbecue side dishes, and 4th of July desserts—all fit for any kind of hungry crowd and festive party theme.

Stick to the grilled classics through a meat-infused lineup, but go beyond burgers and brats with firecracker-shaped hot dogs to start, followed by cupcakes topped with brown-sugar-coated bacon. Or if you want to go meatless, butternut squash apple burgers and good old French fries will cater to vegetarian guests. You can also opt to keep things on the sweet side with an all-fruit-everything buffet. And since no one wants to spend all 4th of July stationed at the grill or in the kitchen, our roundup of easy menu options has you fully covered. If you're hitting the road for July 4, we’ve even got a menu for that—enjoy grilled grub on the go with our camping-specific picks. (You can always "camp" in the backyard around a fire pit if you're not traveling.) Any one of these five-course recipes will ensure your best Independence Day food spread to date, no matter where you are—and don’t hesitate to mix and match from these 4th of July menu ideas!

4th of july appetizer chicken black bean nachos
BRIAN WOODCOCK
1 of 35
Camping Cookout | Appetizer: Chicken and Black Bean Nachos

The outdoor equivalent of a one-pan dish, foil packets make for the easiest campfire cooking—and arguably the most delicious, as evidenced by these hearty nachos. Whip up a few batches at the campsite grill and expect instantly empty packs.

Get the recipe.

SHOP ALUMINUM FOIL

4th of july menu grilled sauages
BRIAN WOODCOCK
2 of 35
Camping Cookout | Main: Grilled Sausages

Gather 'round the bonfire, grilled meats in hand. Opt for sweet or spicy Italian sausages, then finish off with your go-to toppings.

Get the recipe.

SHOP SERVING TRAYS

4th of july menu tossed salad
BRIAN WOODCOCK
3 of 35
Camping Cookout | Side: Tossed Salad With Green Goddess Dressing

Gotta eat your greens! No grill is needed to mix this simple summer salad loaded with veggies and fresh herbs.

Get the recipe.

SHOP SALAD TONGS

4th of july menu cast iron beans
BRIAN WOODCOCK
4 of 35
Camping Cookout | Side: Cast-Iron Beans

We're spilling the beans—this recipe takes just 30 minutes, meaning you'll have more time to spare with your well-fed crew. Just don't forget to pack the skillet.

Get the recipe.

SHOP CAST-IRON SKILLET

4th of july menu smores
BRIAN WOODCOCK
5 of 35
Camping Cookout | Dessert: S'mores Three Ways

You had to see this one coming—it's a camping must, especially after a long day of hiking. Revamp the classic graham cracker recipe with tasty additions like chocolate cookies, peanut butter, and strawberries.

Get the recipe.

SHOP S'MORES STICKS

4th of july menu watermelon fruit appetizer
Cravings of a Lunatic
6 of 35
Fruit Lovers | Appetizer: Watermelon Cups With Cranberry Mascarpone

Kick off your celebration on a sweet note with juicy watermelon bites, made even more mouthwatering by the cranberry mascarpone filling.

Get the recipe at Cravings of a Lunatic.

SHOP SERVING PLATTERS

4th of july menu salmon raspberry glaze en
The Real Food Dietitians
7 of 35
Fruit Lovers | Main: Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Healthy, filling, and oh-so-easy to cook, this raspberry-infused spin on standard salmon will have party guests begging for your recipe.

Get the recipe at The Real Food Dietitians.

SHOP SMALL SAUCE PANS

4th of july menu fruit side salad
Peas and Crayons
8 of 35
Fruit Lovers | Side: Cranberry and Blueberry Salad

Send everyone's sweet cravings into overdrive with this summer side salad, which features a blueberry balsamic dressing as an added fruity enhancement.

Get the recipe at Peas and Crayons.

SHOP SALAD SPINNERS

4th of july menu watermelon skewer side dish
Recipes From a Pantry
9 of 35
Fruit Lovers | Side: Watermelon Skewers With Prosciutto

Who needs a 4th of July charcuterie board when you can stick your meats, cheeses, and watermelon on skewers?

Get the recipe at Recipes From a Pantry.

SHOP SKEWERS

4th of july menu peach popsicle dessert
Oh So Delicioso
10 of 35
Fruit Lovers | Dessert: Peach Popsicles

There's no better way to top off the cookout buffet than with a refreshing homemade popsicle.

Get the recipe at Oh So Delicioso.

SHOP POPSICLE MOLDS

easy 4th of july menu chicken sliders appetizer
Life Made Sweeter
11 of 35
Easy | Appetizer: Chicken Bruschetta Sliders

Build excitement for the main course with these bite-size delights, which you can make in the blink of an eye using rotisserie chicken.

Get the recipe at Life Made Sweeter.

SHOP BAKING DISHES

easy 4th of july recipe prosciutto pesto hot dogs
Country Cleaver
12 of 35
Easy | Main: Prosciutto Pesto Hot Dog

While the dogs do their time on the grill, you can quickly whip up the fried prosciutto and pesto toppings. Add mozzarella slices and artichoke hearts for the finishing touches, and prepare to hear lots of "this is the best thing I've ever tasted."

Get the recipe at Country Cleaver.

SHOP OVEN-PROOF FRYING PANS

easy 4th of july menu mexican street corn casserole
Easy Family Recipes
13 of 35
Easy | Side: Mexican Street Corn Casserole

Pressed for time? This crowd-pleasing, corn-infused dish comes together with only five minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cook time.

Get the recipe at Easy Family Recipes.

SHOP CASSEROLE DISHES

easy 4th of july menu pasta salad side dish
Julie Blanner
14 of 35
Easy | Side: Bow Tie Pasta Salad

It's not a 4th of July cookout until the pasta salad gets passed around, and this rendition makes for a lighter alternative to most mayo-infused recipes. You can also sub in your favorite noodles.

Get the recipe at Julie Blanner.

SHOP COLANDERS

easy 4th of july menu no bake cookie dough cake
The Recipe Rebel
15 of 35
Easy | Dessert: No-Bake Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake

For added convenience, go the no-bake route with your dessert contribution. This frozen cookie dough creation easily rivals store-bought versions.

Get the recipe at The Recipe Rebel.

SHOP CAKE STANDS

Courtesy of The Recipe Critic
16 of 35
Cheese Lovers | Appetizer: Ranch Bacon Mac and Cheese Cups

Both kids and adults will devour this cheesy bite-size appetizer.

Get the recipe at The Recipe Critic.

SHOP MUFFIN TINS

Courtesy of The Chunky Chef
17 of 35
Cheese Lovers | Main: One-Pan Cheesy Jalapeño Chicken

An easy, 20-minute entrée is ideal when you're serving four other courses.

Get the recipe at The Chunky Chef.

SHOP CAST IRON SKILLETS

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Broccoli, Vegetable, Leaf vegetable, Colcannon, Stamppot, Cruciferous vegetables,
Courtesy of Emily Bites
18 of 35
Cheese Lovers | Side: Cheesy Broccoli Bake

You won't have trouble getting the kids to eat their vegetables with this classic side.

Get the recipe at Emily Bites.

SHOP SAUCE PANS

Courtesy of Damn Delicious
19 of 35
Cheese Lovers | Side: Grilled Cheese Roll Ups

Serve this rolled up grilled cheese sandwiches with a shot of tomato soup.

Get the recipe at Damn Delicious.

SHOP ROLLING PINS

Courtesy of A Family Feast
20 of 35
Cheese Lovers | Dessert: Vanilla Cream Cheese Custard

Pipe this custard dessert into chilled glasses for a stunning presentation.

Get the recipe at A Family Feast.

SHOP DECORATING BAGS

Homemade in the Heartland
21 of 35
Meat Lovers | Appetizer: Firecracker Dogs

Wrap hot dogs in flaky dough and top with cheese stars for a fun and festive appetizer.

Get the recipe at Homemade in the Heartland.

SHOP BAMBOO SKEWERS

Whiskey Glazed Blue Cheese Burgers
The Chunky Chef
22 of 35
Meat Lovers | Main: Whiskey Glazed Blue Cheese Burgers

This mouthwatering, meaty main is topped with caramelized onions and lots of melted cheese. Yum!

Get the recipe at The Chunky Chef.

SHOP MIXING BOWLS

Crispy Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes
The Comfort of Cooking
23 of 35
Meat Lovers | Side: Crispy Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes

The perfect pairing to an all-American burger. (Vegetarians will also love this side.)

Get the recipe at The Comfort of Cooking.

SHOP HALF SHEET PANS

roasted snap peas and mushrooms
Becky Stayner
24 of 35
Meat Lovers | Side: Roasted Snap Peas and Mushrooms

A crispy bacon topping takes this vegetable side to the next level.

Get the recipe.

SHOP PORCELAIN SERVING PLATTERS

Bakingdom
25 of 35
Meat Lovers | Dessert: Bacon-Hazelnut Buttermilk Cupcakes

Topped with Amaretto maple buttercream, brown sugar-coated bacon, and a drizzle of bourbon caramel, these cupcakes are a sweet and salty way to end the night.

Get the recipe at Bakingdom.

SHOP ELECTRIC HAND MIXERS

She Wears Many Hats
26 of 35
Hawaiian | Appetizer: Grilled Pineapple Ham Kabobs

These grilled starters are ready in just over five minutes. Be sure you make enough because these are sure to fly off the plate.

Get the recipe at She Wears Many Hats.

Half Baked Harvest
27 of 35
Hawaiian | Main: Hawaiian Barbecue Salmon Burgers with Coconut Caramelized Pineapple

Barbecue sauce, juicy salmon, avocado, cheese, and caramelized pineapple combine to make this main course simply delicious.

Get the recipe at Half Baked Harvest.

Mary Britton Senseney
28 of 35
Hawaiian | Side: Spicy Grilled Shrimp With Garlic and Lemon

Party guests will love peeling and eating these kicked-up shrimp bites.

Get the recipe.

Damn Delicious
29 of 35
Hawaiian | Side: Pineapple Fried Rice

This mix of pineapple, smoked ham, brown rice, and veggies will taste better bite after bite.

Get the recipe at Damn Delicious.

Glorious Treats
30 of 35
Hawaiian | Dessert: Piña Colada Cake

Give your guests a piece of this tropical dessert topped with a tasty coconut cream cheese frosting.

Get the recipe at Glorious Treats.

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