July 4th is finally here! That high-water mark of the potluck season, with all its attendant strange-but-yummy party-food concoctions, 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. It’s also Friday, so this seems like the perfect occasion to share my favorite party and potluck recipes for July 4th with you.
Although we did have an early, short-lived hot streak, Wisconsin has barely gotten used to the idea of spring—let alone summer—with dreary weather and high temperatures that, for the most part, have been languishing in the mid-70’s (with lows in the high 50’s!). My poor tomato and pepper plants are valiantly hanging in there, but they would appreciate some hot weather. On the bright side, the cool conditions have been ideal running weather. July 4th, finally, promises to be warmer.
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!
|Loaded Baked-Potato Salad: an addictive, perfect side-dish for BBQs and potlucks. Lighter than traditional potato salads, but just as yummy.|
|“Traditional” Potato Salad: A delicious spin on the traditional mayo-based potato salad recipe with flavoring hacks to make sure that the potatoes are well seasoned and not bland.|
|Easy, Zippy Coleslaw: This coleslaw is incredibly easy to put together. Less mayo than traditional coleslaw, but tons of flavor. Sure to be a potluck favorite!|
|Curried Chicken Salad: This curried chicken salad is perfect for picnics & potlucks, with a perfect balance of chew, crunch, and just a hit of spice.|
|Cutting-Board Guacamole: lightning-fast and absolutely delicious! Scale up as needed to feed a few or a crowd: you’ll be eating it right off the board! When taking this dip to a potluck, I either 1) make the guac in advance, squeeze the lime over the top, and press plastic wrap down onto the surface of the dip or 2) chop all ingredients in advance (except the avocado), “bring a cutting board with”, and make the guac at the party—always a crowd pleaser!|
|Pico de Gallo: A zippy, spicy Pico de Gallo recipe that is perfect for football parties and potlucks. Serve alongside a bowl of sturdy tortilla chips.|
|Phil’s (Phamous) Taco Dip: This taco dip & tortilla chips are must-haves for potlucks & football parties. The dip travels well, so it’s the perfect bring-along snack.|
|Crockpot Bánh Mi Sandwiches: Bánh Mi Sandwiches are made in your crockpot and can be finished ahead of time for simple—yet exotic—party food. Set out the fixings buffet style!|
|Sweet & Zingy Asian Meatballs: Not your standard potluck meatballs! Sweet & Zingy Asian Meatballs are full of delicious, complex, Asian-inspired flavors. Make ahead & serve in the crockpot.|
|Crockpot Sticky Chicken Wings: These crockpot sticky chicken wings are juicy and delicious, finished with a sweet, spicy, tangy sauce. Perfect football party and potluck fare!|
|Turkey Chili: This healthy Turkey Chili is a family favorite. Make the chili a day ahead of your potluck, then reheat and serve in the slow-cooker with toppings set out buffet style!|
Dishes to pass:
|Mac ‘n’ Cheese: This Mac & Cheese gets a unique complexity from herbs steeped in the milk for the bechamel. A breadcrumb topping knocks it out of the park.|
|Baked Pasta Casserole: This baked pasta casserole is pure, ooey-gooey deliciousness, but healthier than most other bakes you’ll find. Perfect for family-style meals and potlucks.|
|Red Enchiladas or Chilaquiles: These easy red enchiladas come out of the oven bubbly and delicious. A great way to use up leftover meat. Turn them into chilaquiles for an even easier meal!|