40 of Our Best Fourth of July Recipes, from Marvelous Mains to Seasonal Sides

italian pulled pork
Linda Pugliese

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a delicious cookout for family and friends featuring our best main course and side dish recipes. It's not a summer get-together without grilled meat, seasonal vegetables, and all-American hot dogs and burgers, which is why we've included recipes for all of these and more.

Ahead, you'll find two different takes on one essential main: pulled pork. Our Italian Pulled Pork, pictured here, strays from the usual barbecue sauce by using herbs and spices, such as fennel seeds, parsley, sage, rosemary, and garlic. Looking for something a little more classic? Make our Pulled-Pork Sandwiches with Pickled Vegetables. Boneless pork shoulder is prepared in a slow-cooker with ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, sage, and oregano. Once it becomes tender and shreddable, encourage your family to pile it high between sliced potato rolls and finish their sandwiches with their favorite toppings. If you ask us, though, our Tangy Cabbage Slaw is the perfect finishing touch.

Of course, no Independence Day festivity is complete without hot dogs—and we have several flavorful recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters in your group. Try the Grilled Hot Dogs with Sweet-Hot Relish, which are topped with a homemade relish that's made from cornichons, sliced onions, and sliced chile peppers—it'll put the jarred stuff to shame every single time. Even more indulgent is the recipe for our California Bacon-Wrapped Dogs—double the pork means double the flavor. Topped with a fiery blend of peppers, onions, and tomatoes, this bright bite is sure to disappear in a flash.

Nothing goes better with burgers and hot dogs than potato salad, another summertime classic. Go for our foolproof Test Kitchen's Favorite Potato Salad, which is made with mayonnaise, whole-grain mustard, cornichons, and chopped scallions. Looking for a mayo-free option? Our Dill, Potato, and Egg Salad is a delicious alternative. With succulent meats and fresh vegetables galore, your Fourth of July menu will be one to beat.

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Grilled Hot Dogs with Sweet-Hot Relish

hot dogs
Johnny Miller

Nothing says American cooking like hot dogs. This juicy, crowd-pleasing bite is topped with a sharp combination of julienned cornichons, sliced sweet onions, sweet-hot red peppers, and a mayonnaise-mustard combination.

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Dill, Potato, and Egg Salad

Dill, Potato, and Egg Salad
Petrina Tinslay

No July Fourth soirée is complete without potato salad as a side dish. This version is mayo-free, so it can sit out at room temperature for longer—and the tangy, zesty flavors of cornichons, quick-pickled shallots, and lemon juice really make it pop.

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Corn-and-Avocado Salad with Goddess Dressing

Corn-and-Avocado Salad With Goddess Dressing
Petrina Tinslay

From the thin slices of bright pink radishes to crisp corn kernels, this crowd-friendly salad is the epitome of summer. The best thing about this dish? You can make it up to eight hours in advance, which helps to ease the amount of party prep work—allowing you to enjoy more of your Fourth of July festivities.

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Beef-and-Barley Burgers

beef and barley burgers
Justin Walker

Take a bite out of this feel-good, lightened up burger, which is perfect for your cookout's main dish. It has plenty of texture from cooked barley and grated carrots, plus all the juicy, meaty flavor that you know and love from ground beef.

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Watermelon, Orange, and Feta Salad

Watermelon, Orange, and Feta Salad

We love salty-sweet combinations, and this salad is a great play on those flavors. It also has a refreshing crunch.

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Smoky Grilled Chicken with Sweet Vinegar Sauce

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Sweet Vinegar Sauce
Armando Rafael

Your guests will line up one by one to grab this juicy grilled chicken main dish on July Fourth. The poultry is rubbed with a spice blend including paprika, dry mustard, light brown sugar, and cayenne pepper, and served alongside a honey, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce.

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Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Chickpeas

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Chickpeas
Ren Fuller

Give a nod to America's melting pot culture with this Caprese-inspired pasta salad. Gemelli pasta is tossed with chopped fennel, capers, chickpeas, two kinds of cheese, and parsley for an easy and delicious side dish.

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Perfect Lobster Roll


Whether you're hosting or attending an Independence Day party on the beach, enjoy this perfect lobster roll as the event's main course. It has just a touch of mayo, but plenty of lemon and butter to highlight the sweet, succulent meat.

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Bloody-Mary Tomato Salad

bloody mary tomato salad
Dana Gallagher

Heirloom tomatoes are juicy, bright, and picture-perfect, so let them shine like the summer sun in this simple salad inspired by the favorite cocktail.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Potato Salad

Test Kitchen's Favorite Potato Salad
Ren Fuller

Looking for a classic potato salad recipe to serve as a side dish for your barbecue? Look no further than this all-star dish. Diced russet potatoes are dressed with mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, vinegar, chopped celery, sliced cornichons, and scallions.

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Grilled Balsamic Flank Steak With Peppers and Onions

Grilled Balsamic Flank Steak With Peppers and Onions
Petrina Tinslay

If you're hosting a smaller group for the Fourth of July, make this delicious recipe for grilled flank steak, which is a more affordable cut of meat that becomes super tender as it cooks. It's infused with irresistible flavors like rosemary, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.

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Grilled-Vegetable Agrodolce

grilled vegetable agrodolce
Ryan Liebe

Think of this as a seasonal antipasto for your Fourth of July celebration. Guests can pick and choose what they want to have as a side dish, such as cured meat, creamy burrata cheese, grilled eggplant, squash, and zucchini.

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Grilled Corn with Chile-Lime Salt

corn cob grilled
Lauren Ross

Let freedom ring with this grilled corn side dish adorned with melted butter, grated Parmesan, chipotle-chile powder, and lime juice.

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XXXCalifornia Bacon-Wrapped Dogs

california bacon wrapped dogs
Armando Rafael

It's a party in the USA with this main course—an L.A.-inspired hot dog complete with cherry tomatoes, red onion, bacon, and poblano peppers. The flavors will explode just like the anticipated fireworks display.

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Grilled Zucchini with Miso

grilled zucchini with miso
Dana Gallagher

Zucchini is at its best and brightest around July Fourth, so why not serve it as a delicious side dish for your cookout? It gets plenty of flavor from a miso and soy sauce glaze, plus toasted sesame seeds for serving.

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Green-Chile Chicken Burgers

Bryan Gardner

This leaner main course for Independence Day is just as flavorful as all-beef burgers. Chicken gets a boost of extra flavor, from ground cumin, diced green chiles, and cilantro leaves.

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Summer Squash Slaw

summer squash slaw
Martyna Szczesna

Swirls and twirls of yellow and green zucchini, carrots, and bell peppers simply say summer in this side dish made for the Fourth of July.

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Grilled Heritage Pork with Plums, Farro Verde, and Summer Herbs

Grilled Heritage Pork with Plums, Farro Verde, and Summer Herbs
Jake Stangel

Watch your guests' eyes light up, not from the firework display, but from this stunning main course. The combination of sweet plums with grilled pork is absolutely delicious and paired with a flavorful salsa verde.

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Grilled Garlic Bread with Herb Butter

garlic bread
Lauren Ross

Everyone will love grabbing a slice of this scrumptious garlic bread. It's particularly apt for July Fourth because it's cooked on the grill, which infuses it with charred flavor in addition to the delicious garlic butter smeared on top.

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Grilled Lamb Burgers with Yogurt-Feta Sauce

grilled lamb burger yogurt feta sauce
Christopher Testani

Tender lamb meat is an upgrade from traditional beef in these all-American burgers for July Fourth. After grilling, they're topping with the tangy, Greek-inspired sauce, parsley, and diced tomatoes.

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Greek-Taverna Salad

Greek-Taverna Salad
Petrina Tinslay

Instead of making one big salad, arrange a bevy of beautiful chopped vegetables on a cutting board along with cheese (we chose a block of crumbled feta for this Greek-inspired board), plus a simple vinaigrette.

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Black Bean, Cucumber, and Feta Salad

black bean cucumber and feta salad
Marcus Nilsson

Whip up a big batch of black beans in your pressure cooker or multi-cooker, then top with a fresh and fragrant combination of diced cucumbers, scallions, feta, dill or cilantro, and lime juice.

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pickled Vegetables


It's not a backyard barbecue without this main dish. Get your party started with these smoky sliders topped with tangy red cabbage.

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Herbed Celery-Potato Salad

herbed celery-potato salad
Linda Pugliese

This low-maintenance potato salad is just the side to serve at your Fourth of July party. Peewee potatoes are dressed up with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lots of fresh herbs (we particularly love the combination of parsley and basil), and scallions.

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Grilled Peas with Toasted Coconut

grilled peas with toasted coconut
Armando Rafael

This snackable Fourth of July side will be gone in a flash, so you'd be wise to double the recipe. English peas are threaded onto skewers, grilled until blistered, then topped with a fabulous combination of unsweetened shredded coconut, cayenne pepper, and flaky sea salt.

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Tuscan Ribs

tuscan ribs with balsamic potato salad
Ryan Liebe

These crowd-friendly ribs are flavored with an earthy blend of sage, thyme, rosemary, fennel, and paprika. You can marinate them overnight and roast them a couple of hours before guests arrive.

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Grilled Corn with Bacon

Grilled Corn with Bacon
Marcus Nilsson

Top grilled corn on the cob with a savory selection of grated Parmesan cheese, fresh oregano, bacon, and mayonnaise, which binds it all together.

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Barbecue Chicken

test kitchens favorite grilled chicken
Armando Rafael

Rub chicken pieces with a finger-licking combination of ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. It's a main dish that's sure to hit a home run.

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Shredded Cabbage Slaw with Ginger Vinaigrette

shredded cabbage with ginger vinaigrette topped with sesame seeds
Marcus Nilsson

Skip the deli counter version and make your own fresh take on coleslaw with lime juice, fresh ginger, rice wine vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. The bright colors and crunchy texture is exactly what your Fourth of July menu needs.

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Grilled Dry-Rubbed Rib-Eye Steaks

rancho san julian ribeyes
Lauren Ross

This crowd-friendly steak main course gets some serious heat from smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, and crushed coriander seeds.

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Potato Salad with Quick-Pickled Onions and Celery

Potato Salad with Quick-Pickled Onions and Celery
Bryan Gardner

Keep your Fourth of July side dish simple with this light and bright potato salad. It's made with fresh dill and light agave syrup, which makes it a welcome change from the usual mayo versions.

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Grilled Scallops with Blistered-Yellow-Pepper Relish


Scallops cook in a flash when skewered and grilled, which makes this recipe so easy. It's just a touch elegant, so it's a particularly great dish to make for a smaller group.

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Potato Chips

Jen Causey

Wowing the crowd with your homemade salted potato chips this Fourth of July. Use a mandoline to achieve a super thin spud that crisps up perfectly in hot oil.

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Pimiento-Cheese Burgers


A big schmear of easy homemade pimento cheese on the beef patties is a decadent and delicious finish for these burgers.

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Baked Beans with Bacon

baked beans bacon
Bryan Gardner

Smoky, sweet, salty, and all-around satisfying, baked beans are the perfect accessory to burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, and more. This version gets extra flavor from strips of bacon, which are baked on top of the bean mixture.

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Sloppy-Joe Sliders


Give guests a taste of this nostalgic bite on the Fourth of July. This recipe only requires 15 minutes of prep work, but it tastes as if you've been building the flavor since 1776.

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Quick-Pickled Corn

Johnny Miller

Take a break from grilled or boiled corn on the cob, and save space on the grill and stovetop, by serving this easy make-ahead corn.

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Cucumber-Herb Salad

cucumber-herb salad served in floral-patterned dish
Noe Dewitt

Here's a simple, make-ahead side that's just right for a big cookout on July Fourth. Kirby cucumbers are turned into a crunchy salad chock full of mixed tender herbs like parsley, mint, and chives.

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Barbecued Pork Ribs


These pork ribs are rubbed with a blend of earthy spices and brushed with a slowly simmered sauce that has a slight kick. They come off the grill tender yet pleasingly chewy, with just the right hit of smoky goodness to add to your Independence Day meal.

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