40 Essential 4th of July Recipes

From burgers and hot dogs to summer salads and fruit desserts, we have your cookout covered

Whether you want to stick with the classic burgers and hot dogs, go upscale with steaks and seafood (who doesn’t love a good surf and turf?), or serve platters of grilled chicken and vegetables this Fourth of July, we’ve got tried-and-true recipes at your service. And don’t forget about the side dishes—no Independence Day spread is complete without potato and pasta salads, coleslaw, and plenty of watermelon. Dessert shouldn’t be an afterthought, either: make a pie with peak-season cherries or a crisp with blueberries and gild the lily with some homemade vanilla ice cream—it is a holiday, after all.

Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Grilling then smoking these ribs gives them an intense crust and soulful flavor. Get the recipe for Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs »

Blueberry BBQ Chicken

Similar to a shrub—a fruit syrup punctuated by vinegar—my Blue Q sauce makes a bracing drink when mixed with club soda or booze. It’s also the first step in a fruity vinaigrette. And as much as it loves smoke, this sauce sees my oven more than my grill. Keep in mind this is not a marinade. Brush it on toward the end of cooking and let the chicken soak up more of the sauce before serving. The final soak is key. Get the recipe for Blueberry Barbecue Chicken »
At the Marketplace at Emerald Valley in Washington, Pennsylvania, lemon zest and fresh mint go into every lamb burger patty. A tangle of sweet balsamic onions, a hint of chile, and briny feta balance the charred meat and brioche bun. Ground lamb falls on the fattier side; if using a grill, watch out for flare-ups. Lamb Burger with Mint, Feta, and Balsamic Onions
A three-day brining, smoking, and charring process adds incredible flavor to these ribs from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. The result tastes like grilled bacon.

Giant Fennel-Chile-Rubbed Steak

This T-bone steak is grilled with a simple rub of ground fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and red chile flakes. Get the recipe for Giant Fennel-Chile-Rubbed Steak »
Chef José Andrés likes to season his steak after it cooks, claiming that this helps to accentuate the flavor of meat, and particularly this slow-grilled, smoky rib eye. Get the recipe for Grilled Bone-In Rib Eye »

The “Grill Everything but the Burger” Brisket Burger

The all-brisket patty for this burger—from San Francisco’s Wes Rowe, a pop-up burger slinger—is grilled, but in a cast-iron pan over the flame.

Lamb Ribs with Spicy Harissa Barbecue Sauce

Fatty lamb ribs are rubbed with spices and glazed with harissa-laced barbecue sauce, yielding an irresistible sticky-sweet crust. Get the recipe for Lamb Ribs with Spicy Harissa Barbecue Sauce »

Alabama-Style Chicken Sandwiches with White Sauce

This recipe for hickory-smoked chicken sandwiches served with tangy, mayonnaise-based white sauce originated in 1925, when railway worker Big Bob Gibson dug a pit in his backyard in Decatur, Alabama, nailed a plank-oak serving table to a sycamore tree, and started smoking barbecue for friends, co-workers, and passersby.

Lexington Pulled Pork

In Lexington, North Carolina, pork shoulder is chopped and served with a tart tomato-based sauce.

Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese

Brisket is braised in stout, bourbon, and soy sauce in these spicy pimento cheese-topped sliders from Edward Lee, executive chef at 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY. Get the recipe for Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese »

Spice-Rubbed Chicken With Duck Sauce

The fiery chile-based rub on this chicken is balanced by a basting of sweet-sour duck sauce. Get the recipe for Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Duck Sauce »

Potato Salad Hot Dog

Potato Salad Hot Dog

Maryland Crab Hot Dog

Buttery corn, fresh crab, and Old Bay-spiced potato chips are piled on top this Maryland-inspired hot dog. Get the recipe for Maryland Crab Hot Dog »

Coal-Grilled Lobsters with Charred Corn, Tomatillos, and Blue Potatoes

Coal-Grilled Lobsters with Charred Corn, Tomatillos, and Blue Potatoes

Grilled Oysters

How will you use your 24/7 oysters?

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

Sautéed Onion and Yogurt Dip

This recipe is a far cry from the gloopy, mayonnaise-like onion dip you’ll find in a jar at your local grocery store. It’s light, tangy, and inspired by Persian mast-o-musir, a mix of diced shallots and yogurt or labneh. Here, the alliums are lightly cooked to soften their bite; it’s the perfect thing to make for a beach picnic or summer cookout. Get the recipe for Sautéed Onion and Yogurt Dip »

Watermelon Salad with Habanero-Pickled Onions and Lime Salt

Homemade lime salt brings out the sweetness of fresh watermelon in this lively salad and plays well with the crisp radishes and tangy onions. Get the recipe for Watermelon Salad with Habanero-Pickled Onions and Lime Salt »

Grilled Cantaloupe with Peach Agrodolce

In this elegant dessert, cantaloupe is grilled until it caramelizes and is then dressed with agrodolce, a sour-sweet Italian sauce made by reducing vinegar and sugar. Get the recipe for Grilled Cantaloupe with Peach Agrodolce »

Potato Salad with Red Onion

This cool, creamy potato salad is spiked with pickle relish and red onion. Get the recipe for Potato Salad with Red Onion »

Ignacio Mattos’ Potato Salad

Boiling potatoes whole and unpeeled means they don’t absorb too much water as they cook. Mixing them with an egg yolk and olive oil yields a rich dressing without the heavy creaminess of mayonnaise. Get the recipe for Ignacio Mattos’ Potato Salad »

Pesto Potato Salad

Serve this simple and bright potato salad warm or cold alongside grilled or roasted meats and seafood. Get the recipe for Pesto Potato Salad »

Fingerling Potato Salad with Chive Mayonnaise

Fingerling Potato Salad with Chive Mayonnaise

Jude’s Perfect Potato Salad

A healthy dose of celery seeds and sharp Dijon mustard add a kick to this mashed potato and egg salad. Get the recipe for Jude’s Perfect Potato Salad »

Charred Cabbage Slaw

Charred Cabbage Slaw

Tennessee-Style Mustard Coleslaw

The classic mayonnaise-based coleslaw cabbage recipe is bolstered here by the addition of mustard. Get the recipe for Tennessee-Style Mustard Coleslaw »

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are essential summer food: they travel well; they’re easy to adapt to whatever produce you have on-hand; and they’re simple to make in large portions, making them perfect dishes to carry to parties, picnics, and barbecues. Get the recipe for Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad »

Summer Succotash Salad

Summer Succotash Salad

Marinated Tomatoes with Mint

For a slightly—just slightly—more elaborate dish that showcases the sweet juices of summer tomatoes, chef Chris Fischer dresses them with olive oil and vinegar, creating a vinaigrette seemingly out of nothing.

Escalivada Catalana

Akin to Puerto Rican escabeche, roasted, tender vegetables are marinated in a simple sherry vinegar dressing for an easy side dish to grilled fish, roast pork, or tender rib eye steak. Get the recipe for Escalivada Catalana »

Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry Crisp
Peach Cobbler
Buttery pastry perfectly offsets sour cherries’ puckery, sweet-tart punch in this summer party-ready pie. Get the recipe for Sour Cherry Pie

Grilled Strawberries

Roasting strawberries over mellow, barely glowing embers turns them from bright red bulbs to plump crimson pillows of deeply sweet juice. Get the recipe for Grilled Strawberries »
A brush of egg wash and sprinkling of raw sugar give this summer fruit pie the most beautiful burnished crust.

Sour Cherry Crumble

Serve this summer fruit crumble with a cup of coffee for breakfast or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Get the recipe for Sour Cherry Crumble »

Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie

Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie