21 Fourth of July Cookout Menu Recipe Ideas

21 recipe ideas to inspire your Fourth of July cookout menu, from appetizers and sides to main dishes, desserts, and cocktails.


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Independence Day is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your 4th of July cookout menu! Whether you’re throwing a big bash or hosting a small get-together with friends and family, good food is a must. But putting together a cookout menu for a crowd can be a daunting task.

So if you’re wondering what to make for your Fourth of July party, keep reading! We’ve got you covered with these 21 Fourth of July cookout menu recipe ideas – including appetizers, main dishes, sides, desserts, and drinks that’ll please a crowd.

Fourth of July Cookout Appetizers

A casserole dish of cheesy spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips

1. Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

When it comes to party appetizers, dips are king. They’re easy to scale for serving a crowd, and who doesn’t love snacking on a gooey, salty dip with their favorite chips? Serve this cheesy spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips, crostini, or tortilla chips to kick off your cookout on the right note.

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
4 servings
25 minutes
244 kcal
Get the recipe
Fresh guacamole in a mortar and pestle garnished with a lime

2. Homemade Guacamole

Nothing says summer like a fresh batch of homemade guacamole! This creamy and refreshing dip goes great with tortilla chips or a veggie platter, and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare.

Homemade Guacamole
4 servings
10 minutes
168 kcal
Get the recipe
A bowl of homemade pico de gallo with fresh tomato, onion, and jalapeno

3. Pico De Gallo

Not a fan of avocado? Try making this pico de gallo instead! All you need is tomato, jalapeno, onion, garlic, lime juice, and salt. It’s super light and fresh, and won’t fill your guests too much before the main course is served.

Pico de Gallo
4 servings
10 minutes
13 kcal
Get the recipe
A dish of buffalo chicken dip

4. Buffalo Chicken Dip

It’s not a party without buffalo chicken dip! This cheesy, spicy dip is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Serve it with Fritos scoops, tortilla chips, or even Hawaiian rolls and watch as it disappears in seconds. Seriously, it’s that good.

Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
8 servings
45 minutes
217 kcal
Get the recipe
Black bean corn salsa with lime juice and sea salt

5. Black Bean Corn Salsa

For a more unique take on chips and salsa, serve this fresh black bean and corn salsa at your Fourth of July cookout. It’s made with just 4 simple ingredients – black beans, corn, lime juice, and salt – but has so much flavor! This party appetizer truly tastes like summer.

Black Bean Corn Salsa
2 cups
5 minutes
276 kcal
Get the recipe

Fourth of July Cookout Burgers & Sliders

A juicy burger topped with mozzarella cheese, a fresh tomato slice, and mashed avocado

6. Mozzarella Avocado & Tomato Burger

Burgers are a classic cookout food. But why settle for plain cheeseburgers when you can easily dress them up with ingredients that scream summer, like fresh mozzarella, avocado, and tomato? Prep a whole bunch of sliced mozz and tomato ahead of time, mash up a big bowl of avocado, and assemble these tasty burgers on potato rolls for your hungry guests.

Mozzarella Avocado Tomato (MAT) Burger
2 burgers
15 minutes
563 kcal
Get the recipe

7. Big Pig Burger

If you’re okay with a little more prep work and you’re hosting a crowd of meat lovers, this pork and beef burger is 100% worth the effort. Topped with cheddar cheese, pulled pork, bacon, and barbecue sauce, it doesn’t get much more decadent than this. And in our opinion, holiday cookouts are the best time for indulging in over-the-top dishes like this one!

The Big Pig Burger
3 burgers
45 minutes
928 kcal
Get the recipe
BBQ bacon cheeseburger sliders on a serving platter

8. BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

Sliders are a great 4th of July cookout food for two reasons: they’re easy to make in big batches, and your guests will love grazing on small bites and appetizers as they play yard games, drink beer, and enjoy the sunshine! These classic bacon cheeseburger sliders with barbecue sauce are a safe bet for pleasing a crowd at any party.

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders
8 sliders
20 minutes
350 kcal
Get the recipe
A serving tray of vegetarian black bean southwest sliders

9. Vegetarian Black Bean Southwest Sliders

If you’re looking for a vegetarian recipe you can serve at your Fourth of July cookout this summer, try these easy black bean southwest sliders. Made with frozen black bean burger patties, this recipe requires very little effort and yields a ton of flavor. Tip: You can even make the slider “filling” ahead of time and reheat it before assembling and serving.

Vegetarian Black Bean Southwest Sliders
8 sliders
20 minutes
213 kcal
Get the recipe
Cheesy buffalo chicken sliders on Hawaiian rolls

10. Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Okay – these cheesy, spicy sliders are basically the same as putting buffalo chicken dip on Hawaiian rolls. So if you’re planning on making buffalo chicken dip for an appetizer, we don’t recommend serving these sliders as the main dish – unless you’re hosting a crowd of buffalo chicken fanatics! But if you’re looking for buffalo chicken to be the main attraction at your cookout, try this easy recipe to wow your guests.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders
9 sliders
40 minutes
202 kcal
Get the recipe
A plate of grilled chicken sliders on brioche buns with lettuce, tomato, and onion

11. Grilled Chicken Sliders

For a fresh and healthy cookout meal, try these classic grilled chicken sliders with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Prep all the toppings ahead of time and set them up on a buffet table so guests can assemble their own sliders as you churn out chicken on the grill. You can even modify the recipe and make full-size grilled chicken sandwiches instead of sliders!

Grilled Chicken Sliders
12 sliders
32 minutes
172 kcal
Get the recipe

Fourth of July Cookout Side Dishes

A strawberry spinach goat cheese salad with balsamic and olive oil on a plate

12. Strawberry Spinach Goat Cheese Salad

It’s always nice to have a side salad at a backyard cookout to lighten things up, but boring old salads with iceberg lettuce and grape tomatoes often get overlooked amongst all the other delicious food. So why not make a salad your guests will actually want? This fresh and summery salad is made with sliced strawberries, crumbled goat cheese, olive oil and balsamic for simple, irresistible flavor.

Strawberry Spinach Goat Cheese Salad
2 salads
10 minutes
55 kcal
Get the recipe
A dish of baked cheeseburger mac and cheese with a large spoon for serving

13. Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

Cheeseburgers are a classic cookout meal, and mac n cheese is a classic cookout side dish. So why not combine the two and make this creamy cheeseburger mac n cheese for your guests? It can be served as a main dish, but we think it makes a great side dish to go with some grilled chicken sliders.

Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese
6 servings
50 minutes
684 kcal
Get the recipe
A bowl of buffalo chicken mac n cheese with a side of bread

14. Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese

If you’re looking to spice things up, try making buffalo chicken mac n cheese to go with your cookout burgers. Alternatively, you can skip the chicken – simply make the noodles with Velveeta sauce and a little bit of Frank’s for a spicy meatless mac!

Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese
8 servings
1 hour 10 minutes
641 kcal
Get the recipe
A side dish of oven roasted parmesan green beans

15. Oven Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

For a vegetable side dish even the kids will eat, roast a big batch of garlic parmesan green beans in the oven. All you need is green beans, olive oil, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper to make this surprisingly delicious (and hands-off!) side dish.

Oven Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
3 servings
20 minutes
135 kcal
Get the recipe

Fourth of July Cookout Desserts

A s'mores dip platter with graham crackers and pretzels

16. S’mores Dip

No campfire? No problem. Quickly whip up a batch of this s’mores dip and serve it with graham crackers, pretzels, and even strawberries. It’s an irresistible treat that will bring back memories of summers spent roasting marshmallows as a kid.

S’mores Dip
4 servings
15 minutes
226 kcal
Get the recipe
Campfire frozen s'mores bites on a serving dish

17. Frozen S’mores Bites

In case it’s simply too hot for a campfire, try serving your guests frozen s’mores bites instead of traditional s’mores! Made with just 3 ingredients, you can easily prep a big batch before the party and pop them in the freezer, and they’ll be ready by the time your guests want dessert.

Frozen S’mores Bites
6 bites
20 minutes
72 kcal
Get the recipe
Chocolate fudge topped with sea salt caramel served on a cake stand

18. Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Fudge

This easy chocolate fudge topped with sea salt caramel is always a crowd-pleaser, no matter the occasion! If you’re hosting a lot of people for the 4th of July, this recipe is the perfect way to ensure you have plenty of dessert to go around. Plus, you can prepare it ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge until it’s time to indulge.

Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Fudge
2.5 pounds
3 hours 10 minutes
2021 kcal
Get the recipe

Fourth of July Cookout Drinks

Two strawberry jalapeno mojitos garnished with mint sprigs

19. Strawberry Jalapeno Mojitos

Kick off summer with a bang and serve this firecracker of a cocktail to your guests on Independence Day! It’s spicy and fruity and refreshing, all at the same time – perfect for sipping on under the sun while playing a game of cornhole.

Strawberry Jalapeno Mojitos
2 drinks
5 minutes
201 kcal
Get the recipe
A rosemary vodka lemonade cocktail

20. Rosemary Vodka Lemonade

For a more mellow cocktail that’s just as refreshing on a hot summer day, try this rosemary vodka lemonade recipe. It’s a sweet, herbaceous take on spiked lemonade that’s just as easy to make as it is to drink. Plus, you can scale this recipe to make a pitcher for your party guests!

Rosemary Vodka Lemonade
1 cocktail
2 minutes
290 kcal
Get the recipe
A blood orange vodka soda cocktail

21. Blood Orange Vodka Soda

Instead of a red, white, and blue cocktail, mix up a pitcher of blood orange vodka sodas to serve your guests on the 4th of July! This summer drink takes on a fun orangey-purple hue and tastes just as good as it looks.

Blood Orange Vodka Soda
1 drink
5 minutes
209 kcal
Get the recipe

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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