4th of July Cookout Recipes

Now, more than ever, we’re all looking for some tasty 4th of July cookout recipes to enjoy at home this Independence Day!

While we light up some sparklers and hang out with those we’re closest to, eating great food is a very important part of this day!

While traditional 4th of July foods are always crowd favorites, I’ve also included other recipes that you may not have thought of.

4th of July Cookout

Here, you’ll find an incredible roundup of my favorite recipes, ranging from finger foods, side dishes, drinks as well as some of the sweetest 4th of July desserts!

Most likely, you’ve got your main course and other classic recipes already planned out for your backyard barbecue.

For example your July 4th menu might include these cookout classics:

  • Hamburgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • Steaks
  • Fried Chicken
  • Caprese Salad (Tomato Salad)
  • Homemade Lemonade
  • White Wine
  • Fresh Fruit or Fruit Kabobs
  • Apple Pie

However, besides your main dish, you’re going to need easy recipes for 4th of July desserts, finger foods, drinks and side dishes.

Clearly, you want to keep everybody grubbin’ throughout the day!

So keep on scrolling for some of my favorite summertime recipes that are sure to be a hit at your July 4th cookout.

Free Printable 4th of July Party Planner

Before we go into this list of amazing recipes, ya gotta have some sort of party plan right?

So, I decided to offer you a free printable July 4th Party Planner Pack, which includes:

  • Party Shopping List
  • Planning Checklist
  • Menu Checklist
  • Party Guest List

Just sign up below with your first name and email address and the PDF will be delivered straight to your inbox!

July 4th Printable Party Planner Pack

4th of July Finger Foods

These recipes are finger lickin’ summer appetizers sure to please your crowd of hungry fireworks watchers.

1. Deviled Eggs

4th of July Desserts, Finger Foods, Drinks & Side Dishes

This Maryland Deviled Eggs with Crab & Old Bay Seasoning recipe has been a huge hit with my readers ever since I developed it a few years ago!

There’s nothing earth shattering about this recipe using hard-boiled eggs except for the fact that you add crab meat and Old Bay Seasoning to them.

Garnish with spring onions, more crab, & more Old Bay Seasoning and you won’t know what hit you, they’re so good!

Side note: It’s very important that you add a label in front of the tray of deviled eggs, specifying that they contain shellfish (for those with allergies), as the yolks can camouflage the crab meat.

2. Cowboy Caviar

4th of July Desserts, Finger Foods, Drinks & Side Dishes

This Cowboy Caviar Recipe is not only ‘pull up a chair and dig in’ good but it’s actually pretty darn healthy!

Make sure you have plenty of tortilla chips for dipping because this stuff goes fast!

Also, be sure to direct people to the recipe online because they will continually ask you for the recipe until they get their hands on it!!

Ask me how I know this!

3. Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups

Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups with Old Bay Seasoning

Mmm Hmm! More crab!

I’m from Maryland guys! I love me some crab!

These Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups are super easy to make and the perfect way to use up any leftover crab meat you might have after making your crab deviled eggs!

As a matter of fact, your family will think you are a gourmet cook and that you’ve slaved all day to make them!

With ingredients like crab meat, sour cream, cucumber, mustard, and Old Bay Seasoning, these are always a hit!

It’ll make it super easy to scoop out your slices of cucumber!

4. Hot Crab Dip

Maryland Hot Crab Dip

You just can’t have a summer gathering in Maryland without this amazing hot crab dip recipe!

With it’s cheesy, crabby, creamy goodness, you can use a variety of dippers, like:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Celery
  • Sliced Baguette

For more dippin’ ideas, check out my What to Serve with Crab Dip post.

5. Nuts and Bolts

Nuts and Bolts Recipe

So, this is a Nuts & Bolts recipe that has stood the test of time in my husband’s family.

They’ve made it throughout the years during the Christmas holidays.

But it’s so good, why not make it more often than once or twice a year?

4th of July is the perfect time to serve this I-can’t-stop-eating-it appetizer!

It’s the perfect combination of crunch and spice!

As you can see, we make a huge amount of this recipe because it’s just so darn good!

Side Dishes

Besides the classic potato salad that everybody enjoys on the 4th of July, here are some other delicious recipes you can add to your menu.

1. Crab Salad

Weight Watchers Crab Salad Recipe with Old Bay Seasoning: 4 SmartPoints

This crab salad is a super easy side dish to make and so refreshing.

It’s got grilled corn (cut right off the cob), red onion, lump crab meat, ripe tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, lime juice, and of course Old Bay Seasoning.

2. Chickpea Salad

Healthy Chickpea Salad That Will Make You Happy

One of my vegetarian options (and gluten free) is this healthy, refreshing Chickpea Salad Recipe.

With lots of chickpeas, feta cheese, spring onions, parsley and a light olive oil & lemon dressing, it’s the perfect side dish!

3. Orzo Salad

4th of July Desserts, Finger Foods, Drinks & Side Dishes

This Summer Fresh Orzo Salad isn’t one of your traditional pasta salad recipes and that’s what I love about it.

My stepmother has made this summer salad through the years and it’s always been a hit!

I never even knew what orzo was (it’s similar rice but in pasta form) until she made the recipe and I fell in love with it.

With fresh basil leaves, sliced cucumbers, and feta cheese, this pasta salad is the perfect dish for your summer gatherings!

4. Asian Ramen Noodle Chicken Salad

4th of July Desserts, Finger Foods, Drinks & Side Dishes

This Ramen Noodle Chicken Salad has the perfect combo of noodles, protein and a nutty crunch!

Using rotisserie chicken, packaged ramen noodles, and packaged shredded cabbage, this salad is ridiculously easy to make and oh so delicious!


We’ve got one drink for the kids and one drink for the adults.

Both of which you’ll love!

1. Chocolate Root Beer Float for the Kiddos

4th of July Desserts, Finger Foods, Drinks & Side Dishes

This Chocolate Root Beer Float recipe uses diet root beer and fat free vanilla frozen yogurt.

I promise you, your kids won’t notice the difference! It’s super tasty!

But if you’d rather use the full sugar root beer and ice cream varieties, I won’t be mad at ya!

2. Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita For the Adults

Watermelon Jalapeno Frozen Margarita

This Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita is one of the most perfect, refreshing cocktails for your July 4th cookout.

The main ingredients are fresh watermelon for the heat of a summer day & jalapeno for the ‘heat’ of a night filled with fireworks!

4th of July Desserts

Although I don’t have any blue desserts listed, there’s plenty of patriotic red and white involved!

Just throw some blueberries on top of some of these easy desserts and you’ll have yourself some patriotic desserts!

1. Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake

cherry pineapple dump cake

This Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake recipe has been made in our family since the 80’s.

Somehow my Mom got a hold of this recipe, which was then called Lazy Man’s Cake.

The allure of how easy it is to make, combined with how amazingly delicious it is, makes this recipe a winner for me!

2. Popcorn Snack Bars

Popcorn Snack Bars

This Popcorn Snack Bars recipe is like trail mix in bar form.

It combines all of my favorite snacky ingredients, like popcorn, nuts, peanut butter chips (you can also use white chocolate chips), coconut, oats, and honey, all together into a handy bar.

Just pick it up and eat it!

3. No Bake Chocolate Cookies

Cereal Chocolate Cookies - 4 Weight Watchers SmartPoints

This No Bake Chocolate Cookies recipe is another super popular recipe on our blog!

They’re made with Kashi cereal, marshmallows, cocoa, butter, and chocolate chips.

And the beauty is, you don’t even have to bake them!

They taste like chocolate covered pretzels. Yum!

4. Lemon Bars

Weight Watchers Lemon Squares

My Lemon Bars recipe are different from traditional lemon bars.

A surprising but delicious ingredient in the crunchy crust is pine nuts.

Needless to say, they’re just as lip-puckering delicious, but healthier than conventional lemon bars.

5. Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter & Pretzels

chocolate chip peanut butter pretzel cookies

And last but not least is our Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter & Pretzels.

These are not healthy, they’re not Weight Watchers, and they don’t have crab in them!

But they are out-of-this-world amazing!

If these cookies are wrong, well then I don’t want to be right!

Above all, have a happy and safe 4th of July!

4th of July Desserts, Finger Foods, Drinks & Side Dishes
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