Independence Day provides the perfect opportunity to fire up the grill, cook all your favorites, and set out a spread that will seriously impress guests.
These summery dishes, from crowd-pleasing appetizers to smoky BBQ ribs to fresh, fruity desserts, will take make your patriotic party one to remember. In addition to being super tasty, they're healthy too, so you'll look and feel amazing in that red, white, and blue bikini.
1. Blueberry, Strawberry, and Jicama Salsa
This gorgeous twist on the classic nacho topper showcases sweet berries, crunchy jicama, and a little bit of heat from jalapeño peppers. Serve with plain or sweetened tortilla or pita chips.
2. Grilled Guacamole with Roasted Corn and Basil
With smoky roasted corn and a hit of fresh basil, this delectable take on everyone’s favorite Mexican dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer to serve at any backyard bash.
3. American Flag Vegetable Tray
Honor Old Glory with this platter of crisp crudités and a light dill dipping sauce, all arranged in an super adorable stars-and-stripes design.
4. Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Cannelini Dip
This smoky bright orange dip, served with baked pita chips, is guaranteed to be a hit. Pump up the nutrition by pairing it with sturdy veggies such as jicama sticks, sliced red peppers, celery, or grape tomatoes.
5. Caprese Skewers
Simple to make and fun to eat, these little bites are bursting with fresh flavor to kick off your party in style.
Salads and Sides
6. Broccoli Slaw
Cole slaw doesn’t have to be soaked in heavy mayo. This crunchy side dish from SmittenKitchen.com has chunks of raw broccoli, sweet dried cranberries, and toasted almonds, all dressed up in a creamy yet light homemade buttermilk dressing.
7. Potato Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing
This recipe delivers plenty of creaminess thanks to nonfat Greek yogurt, peppery and cheesy notes from pesto, and a burst of brightness from lemon zest and juice.
8. Gluten-Free Kale Basil Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad
If you’re avoiding wheat, you can still enjoy this traditional picnic side. Made with quinoa pasta and a savory kale pesto, this pasta salad tastes great served hot, chilled, or at room temp.
9. Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime Butter
No cookout is complete without corn on the cob. Tyler Florence’s Latin-inspired version is topped with fragrant ancho chili rub, zesty lime butter, and a sprinkle of grated queso fresco.
10. Red, White, and Blue Quinoa Salad
Put other fruit salads to shame with this patriotic mix of strawberries, blueberries, and cherries, tossed with nutty quinoa and crunchy almonds for a good dose of protein and fiber.
11. Watermelon, Arugula, and Feta Salad
It's not a summer party without sweet, juicy watermelon. Combine it with spicy arugula and salty feta for a pretty, light side to compliment almost any entree.
12. Grilled Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Steaks
Smoky and spicy, these veggie “steaks” taste remarkably like the real thing. A splash of lime and a flurry of cilantro provide a flavorful finish that will you leave satisfied—really.
13. BBQ Slow-Cooker Baby Back Ribs
These paleo-friendly ribs are smothered with a rich, tangy sauce that you can customize for your preferred taste. Plus, you only need a few minutes to prep—your Crock-Pot does the rest of the work for you!
14. Sriracha-Glazed Chicken Skewers with Peaches and Basil
Light, fresh, and made on the grill, this dish is everything you want in a summertime meal. The fruit caramelizes for a sweet, smoky favor that beautifully pairs with the bright basil and citrus-Sriracha marinated meat.
15. Honey Mustard-Glazed Salmon Steaks
Easy enough for a novice griller, this recipe uses a sweet-and-savory glaze to elevate grilled salmon into a mouthwatering entree suitable for a celebration.
16. Apple Turkey Burgers
Sometimes nothing but a hearty, juicy burger will do. Take the flavors of Thanksgiving—turkey, sage, allspice—and top it off with applesauce and sauerkraut for a gourmet handheld that's incredibly easy to make.
17. Grilled Corn, Onion, and Whipped Cilantro Goat Cheese Quesadilla
Think outside the cheddar-and-chicken box. This vegetarian entrée features an herbed goat and cream cheese mixture with one of summer’s show-stopping ingredients: fresh sweet corn. And yes, it's made on the grill.
18. Coconut Mojito Popsicles
Combine happy hour and dessert in one fabulous twist on the classic minty cocktail. This lightly sweetened, adults-only treat is a delicious way to end your Fourth of July feast.
19. Mango Chocolate Sparklers
Dip the tropical fruit in melted chocolate, chill, and top with red, white, and blue sprinkles to make a healthy dessert that’s a definite crowd pleaser, for both kids and adults.
20. Mixed Berry Cream Pie
This lower-fat version of cheesecake is made with rich, 2-percent Greek yogurt (which gives it extra staying power), while strawberries and blueberries create a patriotic presentation.
21. Gluten-Free Fruit and Yogurt Granola Cups
These adorable, all-American sweets are a tasty treat to eat after a barbecue, but they’re healthy enough to pass out at the breakfast table too.
22. Blueberry Sangria
Add lemon, orange slices, and fresh blueberries to white wine and bubbly soda for a summertime drink that’s as revitalizing as it is relaxing.
23. Tito’s Water-Meli Cocktail
Only four simple ingredients—vodka, fresh-squeezed watermelon and lime juices, and ginger beer—combine to make a sweet-and-sour drink that simply screams summer.
24. Stars and Stripes Spiced Ice
In this slushy-style cocktail, sweet vanilla and basil contrast with spicy bourbon for a nice change from fruity drinks.