Five Fab Fourth of July Menus (plus entertaining tips)

Cooking for a Fourth of July doesn’t just involve deciding on burgers or dogs, but sorting out the full line up. Creating a menu involves knowing your guests, settling on dishes that will marry well on a buffet table, and getting real about your time and bandwidth. Below I’ve curated five fab Fourth of July menus that range from family-friendly to a little bit fancy. Feel free to mix and match depending on what grabs your eye. In advance of the holiday, here are a few tips to make it all go smoothly:

1.Lean on your staff

For me, that’s my family, who are very capable of helping me shop, chop, and clean up. Use that little red hen school of party planning.

2. Outsource, especially if you have little ones underfoot.

If you are having guests, ask them to bring a dish. You can share a link to a recipe for them to follow. That way, you’ll know what’s coming and will have a menu that works.

3. Get a jump on things

The supermarket and farmers’ markets will get busy as we roll into the weekend, so shop ahead and do whatever prep you can in advance. You’ll enjoy your Fourth that much more.

4. Don’t plan for perfect

Holidays should be about being with your beloveds more than getting everything right. Don’t sweat it if you over-salt the salad dressing or leave the tart in the oven too long.

Five Fab Fourth of July Menus

pizza on a cutting board

Family Favorites

Crunchy Veggies with Healthier Green Goddess Dressing

Pizza on the Grill

Watermelon Wedge Salad

Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Grilled Pork Chops on a White Plate with Peach Salsa and Fork

Crowd Pleaser

Honey Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

Pork Chops with Peach Salsa or Instant Pot Glazed Raspberry Ribs

Corn and Avocado Salad with Quick Pickled Onions and/or Warm BLT Potato Salad

Summer Fruit Crisp with Date Walnut Topping

Tomato Zucchini Tart with a spatula and wedge of tart

Meatless Menu

Fancy Smashed Pea Toast with Feta

Grilled Vegetables with Herb Creme Fraiche

Tomato Zucchini Tart with Olive Oil Crust

Berries in a Cloud

colorful cheese board with vegetables

Pretty Pretty

Colorful Cheese Board

Cilantro Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken

Fattoush Salad and/or Quinoa Tabbouli

Wild Blueberry Tart with GF Crust

new england style shrimp rolls

Make Ahead Party or Picnic

So Simple Deviled Eggs

New England-Style Shrimp Rolls

Peach, Tomato, and Corn Salad

Whole-Grain Crumble Jam Bars or Upside Down Plum Cake

As for what to serve with your feast, check out this post for summery mocktails and this one for refreshing spritzers

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