My earlier memories of 4th of July are filled with the goofy parade down main street (which my parents coerced me into going to), grilling at mom and dad’s, and spending lazy summer time with family and friends. The closer it got to dark, the more I excited I got to hunt down the best fireworks displays. I’m still crazy about watching fireworks. It’s not the 4th without them!
If you are still trying to figure out the fireworks of your menu and what will make it sparkle for your family and friends, look no further. Here’s a collection of my favorite easy, healthy recipes and plan-ahead notes that will help you celebrate.
To plan your menu, consider how many you’ll be feeding and choose accordingly. If it’s a big crowd, you may want to offer multiple appetizers, main dishes (proteins) and side dishes. If it’s a smaller group, maybe one of each will suffice.
For dessert, the watermelon and ice cream are good for all sizes of groups. Just add your beverages of choice. More notes on planning below.
4th of July Party Menu Options
- Steamed Artichokes with Lemon-Garlic Dipping Sauce
- Creamy Hummus Dip with Vegetables
- Spice Turkey Burgers with Ancho Chili Sauce
- Grilled Lemon-Mint Chicken Breasts
- Green Bean Salad with Sweet Tomatoes and Corn
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Herbed Dutch Baby Potatoes
- Summer White Bean Salad
- Double Strawberry Ice Cream
- Sweet Watermelon Wedges
Planning Notes: What to Do Ahead
- Steam artichokes a day ahead (if serving cold or planning to finish by grilling) and make the dipping sauce.
- Make the hummus a day or two ahead and cut up your vegetables. Place in zip bags.
- Make the sauce for the turkey burgers (if doing burgers).
- Make the burger patties, place on a plastic covered rimmed baking sheet, cover with more plastic wrap and refrigerate (the morning of the 4th).
- Cook the green beans and make the dressing. Finish before serving by adding corn, tomatoes and dressing.
- Hard boil your eggs, peel, halve. Refrigerate the halves unfilled. Make the filing and refrigerate. Fill before serving.
- Make the potatoes completely and refrigerate a day ahead. Same for the white bean salad. These could easily be done two days ahead.
- Make the ice cream base a day ahead and refrigerate. Freeze in your ice cream maker on the morning of the 4th and freeze.
- Slice the watermelon and store a day ahead.
I hope this helps you plan for a wonderful 4th of July celebration with your family and friends. Since much of this menu can be made ahead, it will help to minimize your kitchen time on the 4th. It’s all packable and transportable if you are headed to the beach, park, lake or just a friends house.
Happy 4th of July everyone! Celebrate our nations birthday, enjoy your family and friends, and eat well!
Food safety tips for the 4th of July, from the USDA
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