A round-up of our favorite potluck recipes for July 4th, with appetizers, entrees and sides, just in time for your Fourth of July celebrations.
July 4th is finally here! Last year, we were deprived because of the lockdowns.
Not this year. Potlucks are back with a vengeance!
The Fourth of July is always one of my favorite parts of the summer—not just because of the food, but also the warm weather, summery cocktails, and, of course, the camaraderie.
Fourth of July food
When I think of potluck recipes for July 4th, the first thing that pops into my head are those "salads" that have no business being called salad, since they contain no lettuce—or anything even remotely healthy.
Instead, they are curious amalgamations of syrup-soaked canned fruit, marshmallows, coconut, and more—perhaps even Jell-O. Fear not! I will NOT be providing a recipe for "dessert salad".
Instead, these are savory potluck recipes for July 4th get-togethers that I hope you'll enjoy.
Remember to carefully keep the cold things cold and the hot things hot: we want to avoid outbreaks of food poisoning!
As we all get together to celebrate the birth of our nation and to enjoy food and friends, let's remember to stay hydrated and to be safe. Happy Fourth!
Without further ado, here are my favorite potluck recipes for July 4th!
Rarely do Phil and I attend or host a potluck or football party without a pie tin of Phil’s Taco Dip and a bag of tortilla chips. It’s VERY easy to make and travels well, so win-win. You can jazz it up with a layer of taco meat and one of refried beans, add black olives, go low-cal by choosing low-fat varieties of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and sour cream—whatever floats your boat.
Vibrant, Fiery Mango-Habanero Salsa is perfect served with tortilla chips. Using flash-frozen mango chunks simplifies the prep, and like any salsa, it travels well. Plus, it's more beautiful and exotic than your standard potluck dip. For more salsa ideas, try Restaurant-Style Tomato Salsa, Fresh Salsa Verde, or Pico de Gallo!
Easy Cutting-Board Guacamole is lightning-fast and absolutely delicious. Mashing the avocado on the cutting board and folding in the ingredients gives you more control over the mashing and mixing process without making a mess. Scale this recipe up as needed to feed just a few or a crowd.
If you have a way to plug in a crockpot, you'll definitely want to bring a load of Michelle’s Sweet & Zingy Asian Meatballs. They're made from scratch and far better than the pre-made globs-in-a bag. They’re also healthier because they’re baked and finished in the sweet, zingy sauce. We bring a crockpot full of these to almost every party by demand.
Salads and sides
You can't have a potluck without pasta salad, amiright? Creamy pasta salad is the perfect bring-along side dish for potlucks and tailgate parties. With an herby, tangy dressing for the win! This salad is best made a day in advance so that the flavors have a chance to deepen and meld.
Easy Greek Pasta Salad is the perfect make-ahead-and-go side dish for cookouts and potlucks. It's lighter than the traditional mayo-based pasta salad (like the one above). I love to make it at least a day in advance because the flavors get that much better!
Classic potato salad is my not-quite traditional spin on the potato salad we all grew up with, containing hard-boiled eggs, celery, onion, mayo, and more. Plus, hacks to ensure that this classic potato salad never turns out bland! Or, try my Loaded Baked Potato Salad!
Summer Panzanella Salad is an out-of-the-box side-dish. It features gorgeous summer tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, onions, and toasted bread that soaks up a delicious dressing. Add the dressing 30 minutes to 2 hours before your party!
Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwiches with Pepper-Onion Foil Packs are the perfect meal-prep, pack-up-and-go entree for destination cookouts. We make it at home, at the park for picnics, at tailgate parties, and more. They're always a hit! Prep the foil packs in advance, and you'll pull this off without any stress at all!
Carne Asada with Fajita Vegetables is a lightning-fast, Mexican-inspired marinated skirt steak and fajita vegetables. Meal prep by making the marinade and slicing the veggies the night before.
Grilled Beef Kebabs with Vegetables are flavored with a delicious, tangy marinade. They make a perfect main AND side for cookouts!
Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Chimichurri Sauce is a perfect dish for cookouts, featuring juicy, flavorful meat accented by a tangy herb sauce. The steak can be grilled on a gas or charcoal grill, or seared and finished in a hot oven in a cast-iron skillet.
Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms are a summer fixture at our house. You can make the mushrooms and onions in a cast-iron skillet right on top of the grill!
I hope I've given you some inspiration for holding an enjoyable, delicious—healthy—Fourth of July cookout.
Stay safe. Stay well.