From apps and salads to cocktails and desserts, this is all you need to pull off a healthy and delicious Fourth of July.

By Locke Hughes

Independence Day provides the perfect opportunity to fire up the grill, cook all your favorite easy Fourth of July recipes and set out a spread that will seriously impress guests.

These easy Fourth of July recipes-from crowd-pleasing appetizers and 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 feel amazing in that red, white, and blue bikini (or red, white, and blue activewear!).

Easy Fourth of July Appetizers

With smoky roasted corn and a hint of fresh basil, this delectable take on everyone's favorite Mexican dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer to serve at any backyard bash.

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.

Simple to make and fun to eat, these little bites are bursting with fresh flavor to kick off your party in style.

Photo: voloshin311/Shutterstock

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.

Honor Old Glory with this platter of crisp crudités and a light dill dipping sauce, all arranged in a super adorable stars-and-stripes design.

Easy Fourth of July Salads and Sides

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.

Photo: Alexandralaw1977/Shutterstock

Coleslaw doesn't need to be soaked in heavy mayo. This crunchy side dish from SmittenKitchen has chunks of raw broccoli, sweet dried cranberries, and toasted almonds, all dressed up in a creamy yet light homemade buttermilk 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.

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. (Related: Refreshing Watermelon Drink Recipes Perfect for Summer)

Photo: Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock

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.

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. (Get more red, white, and blue recipes for a patriotic party.)

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.

Photo: The Kitchn

Easy Fourth of July Main Dishes

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!

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.

Photo: shtukicrew/Shutterstock

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.

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.

Think outside the cheddar-and-chicken box. This vegetarian entrée features an herbed goat and cream cheese mixture with one of the summer's show-stopping ingredients: fresh sweet corn. And yes, it's made on the grill.

(Want more easy Fourth of July recipes and main dish ideas? Here are a ton of veggie burger recipes, healthy grilled pizza ideas, and fresh taco recipes.)

Easy Fourth of July Desserts

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. (Related: Fun Alcoholic Popsicles That Are Perfect for Summer)

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.

Photo: National Mango Board

This classic pound cake is made with rich, whole milk Chobani Greek yogurt (which gives it a hefty dose of protein). A whipped cream topping, strawberries, and blueberries create a patriotic presentation.

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.

(For more Fourth of July dessert recipes, check out these mini American flag lemon bars, more healthy strawberry desserts, or homemade ice cream sandwich recipes.)

Easy Fourth of July Drinks

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.

Only three simple ingredients-vodka, fresh-squeezed watermelon juice, and lemonade-combine to make a sweet-and-sour drink that simply screams summer.

In this slushy-style cocktail, sweet vanilla and basil contrast with spicy bourbon for a nice change from fruity drinks.

(Speaking of cocktails, this Red, White, and Boozy Fruit Salad recipe will also be a hit with the adults.)


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