40 Essential 4th of July Recipes

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

Independence Day is prime time for barbecues, cookouts, picnics—basically any event that gathers friends and family around lots and lots of food (most likely grilled!). 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, Smoked Ribs
Grilling then smoking these ribs gives them an intense crust and soulful flavor. Get the recipe for Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs »Michael Turek
Blueberry BBQ Chicken »
blueberry bbq chicken
Flame-kissed chicken is lacquered with a blueberry glaze, yielding sweet, smoky meat with an intoxicating aroma. Get the recipe for Blueberry BBQ Chicken »Tim Robison
Lamb Burger with Mint, Feta, and Balsamic Onions
Lamb Burger with Mint, Feta, and Balsamic Onions
It's all about balance in these spiced lamb burgers: fatty meat, sweet balsamic red onions, salty feta, and peppery greens. Get the recipe for Lamb Burger with Mint, Feta, and Balsamic Onions »Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh
Mustard-Glazed Ham Ribs
Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Ribs
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. Get the recipe for Mustard-Glazed Ham Ribs »Drew Anthony Smith
Giant Fennel-Chile-Rubbed Steak
Fennel Chile Rubbed Steak, Grilling
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 »Michael Turek
Grilled Bone-In Rib Eye
Grilled Bone-In Rib Eye
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 »Matt Taylor-Gross
The "Grill Everything but the Burger" Brisket Burger
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. Get the recipe for The "Grill Everything but the Burger" Brisket Burger »Michael Turek
Lamb Ribs with Spicy Harissa Barbecue Sauce
Lamb Ribs with Spicy Harissa Barbecue Sauce
It's all about balance in these spiced lamb burgers: fatty meat, sweet balsamic red onions, salty feta, and peppery greens. Get the recipe for Lamb Ribs with Spicy Harissa Barbecue Sauce »Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh
Alabama-Style Chicken Sandwiches with White 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. Get the recipe for Alabama-Style Chicken Sandwiches with White Sauce »Todd Coleman
Lexington Pulled Pork
Lexington Pulled Pork
In Lexington, North Carolina, pork shoulder is chopped and served with a tart tomato-based sauce. Get the recipe for Lexington Pulled Pork »Todd Coleman
Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese
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 »Matt Taylor-Gross
Spice-Rubbed Chicken With Duck Sauce
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 »Laura Sant
Potato Salad Hot Dog
Potato Salad Hot Dog
You've probably gone to a barbecue where you've eaten both potato salad and hot dogs—just not together. That changes now. Get the recipe for Potato Salad Hot Dog »Farideh Sadeghin
Maryland Crab 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 »Farideh Sadeghin
Coal-Grilled Lobsters with Charred Corn, Tomatillos, and Blue Potatoes
Coal-Grilled Lobsters with Charred Corn, Tomatillos, and Blue Potatoes
Hot coals char the lobster shells and impart a subtle smokiness to the sweet meat. You can upgrade the classic sides, too, by blackening the corn a bit and adding tangy grilled tomatillos and briny raw oysters. Squeeze seared lemons or limes over everything. This feast can be prepared quickly and is meant to be casual—eaten with fingers and the occasional fork (bib optional). Get the recipe for Coal-Grilled Lobsters with Charred Corn, Tomatillos, and Blue Potatoes »Marcus Nilsson
Grilled Oysters
Grilled Oysters
Contrary to conventional technique, chef José Andrés gets smoke from his coals for these grilled oysters by flicking melted butter around them as they cook. Get the recipe for Grilled Oysters »Matt Taylor-Gross
Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip
Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip
Nothing tops bubbling, hot-from-the-oven cheese dip—unless that dip is also loaded with fresh, sweet, lightly charred summer corn and fresh herbs. Get the recipe for Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip »Matt Taylor-Gross
Sautéed Onion and Yogurt 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 »Matt Taylor-Gross
Watermelon Salad with Habanero-Pickled Onions and Lime Salt
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 »D.J. Costantino
Grilled Cantaloupe with Peach Agrodolce
Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Cantaloupe
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 »Drew Anthony Smith
Watermelon Salad With Cilantro, Radish Sprouts, and Cotija
Watermelon Salad
In this refreshing salad, watermelon at the peak of its sweetness is tossed in a zesty vinaigrette with spicy radish sprouts. Get the recipe for Watermelon Salad With Cilantro, Radish Sprouts, and Cotija »Laura Sant
Potato Salad with Red Onion
Potato Salad
This cool, creamy potato salad is spiked with pickle relish and red onion. Get the recipe for Potato Salad with Red Onion »Matt Taylor-Gross
Ignacio Mattos' Potato Salad
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 »Marcus Nilsson
Pesto 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 »Farideh Sadeghin
Fingerling Potato Salad with Chive Mayonnaise
Fingerling Potato Salad with Chive Mayonnaise
"This recipe came about when I had a fat bunch of chives threatening to wilt in my fridge. Our test kitchen director, Farideh Sadeghin, suggested I make chive oil, and then chive mayonnaise; I had some teeny-tiny fingerlings from the farmers market sitting on my counter, and a salad was born. —Marian Bull Get the recipe for Fingerling Potato Salad with Chive Mayonnaise »Matt Taylor-Gross
Jude's Perfect Potato Salad
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 »James Oseland
Charred Cabbage Slaw
Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Cabbage Slaw
In this offbeat slaw, raw red cabbage adds a textural contrast to the grilled green cabbage, and a zippy, spicy-sweet-salty dressing goes well with the charred bits. Get the recipe for Charred Cabbage Slaw »Drew Anthony Smith
Tennessee-Style Mustard Coleslaw
Tennessee-Style Mustard Coleslaw
Classic mayonnaise-based coleslaw is bolstered here by the addition of mustard. Get the recipe at Tennessee-Style Mustard Coleslaw »Todd Coleman
Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad
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 »Farideh Sadeghin
Summer Succotash Salad
Summer Succotash Salad
Grilled sweet corn, plus fresh edamame in place of the traditional limas, elevates this light summer salad. Get the recipe for Summer Succotash Salad »James Oseland
Marinated Tomatoes with Mint
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. Get the recipe for Marinated Tomatoes with Mint »Elizabeth Cecil
Escalivada Catalana
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 »Farideh Sadeghin
Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
Chef José Andrés likes to cook these calçots, here served with asparagus, in the traditional manner: in a newspaper. The newspaper traps in steam from the cooling calçots, making them more tender and soaking up any excess oil. These tender Spanish green onions, always served with Romesco sauce, are a classic springtime treat. Get the recipe for Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce »Farideh Sadeghin
Blueberry Crisp
Blueberry Crisp
This easy-to-make crisp is the best thing we make with blueberries. Get the recipe for Blueberry Crisp »Nicole Franzen
Peach Cobbler
Peach Cobbler
Barry Sorkin from Smoque has a bold claim about their peach cobbler. "It's kind of like a fruit cup. You could almost argue it's breakfast food if you want." A roasted almond streusel on top adds a complex nutty complement, and hey, you might as well eat it for breakfast. Get the recipe for Peach Cobbler »Matt Taylor-Gross
Sour Cherry Pie
Sour Cherry Pie
Vanilla, lemon zest, and cinnamon add oomph to the filling of this summer fruit pie. Get the recipe for Sour Cherry Pie »Brian Klutch
Grilled Strawberries
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 »Matt Taylor-Gross
Nectarine and Huckleberry Pie »
Nectarine and Huckleberry Pie
Sweet nectarines and tiny wild huckleberries, native to the northwestern U.S. and western Canada, are the perfect pair in this summer fruit pie. Get the recipe for Nectarine and Huckleberry Pie »Kyle Johnson
Sour Cherry Crumble
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 »Brian Klutch
Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie
Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie
A crust of finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs adds delicious crunch to vanilla ice cream, softened apples, and a caramel drizzle. Get the recipe for Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie »Maxime Iattoni