Fourth of July is all about celebrating America and the great culinary traditions of this incredible country. But it's also about summer, that bright, hot and sunny season that always seems to just fly us by entirely too quickly. This Independence Day, we're making the most of the weather and taking our celebration outside - be it poolside or backyard, beach or park, rooftop or balcony, our 4th of July menu is simple, fresh and delicious. The plan: elevated versions of Americana food classics, like grilled cheese, burgers, corn on the cob, slaw, and more. Plus, a show-stopping perfectly-grilled pork tenderloin, and to finish off, a centerpiece worthy patriotic cake. America rocks!
Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin
Photo credit: Bev Cooks
This mouthwatering pork tenderloin recipe by Bev of Bev Cooks is the stuff of grilling dreams. It all starts with a spicy (but not mouth-melting) chipotle pepper, brown sugar and lime marinade, and a succulent pork tenderloin (we suggest the buttery Berkshire Pork Tenderloin by Steaks & Game). The trick is to marinade the pork in advance, so all the flavors will soak right into the meat. We love that this only looks like a time-consuming recipe - the pork actually grills in 45 minutes. Which leaves you plenty of time for cocktails and fireworks. Get the Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin Recipe >
Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie
Photo credit: Confections of a Foodie Bride
You've invited all your friends and family over and planned everything to the last red-white-and-blue napkin: now's the time to dazzle their tastebuds with a super-fancy burger that will leave your neighbors talking about your Fourth of July menu all sumer long. These elegant and delicious sliders (try out our Australian Wagyu sliders) by Confections of A Foodie Bride are just the thing. Topped with brie and craft brew-glazed caramelized onions, you'll want to make sure you have enough of these to go around - they're guaranteed to disappear as soon as you set them out. Get the Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie Recipe
Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese
Photo credit: Foodie Crush
We absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this grilled cheese recipe by Foodie Crush. It's sophisticated yet super simple, and there's something about a grilled cheese that just takes us back to our summers at camp. But there's nothing childish about this sandwich! It has meaty pieces of sweet snow crab and thick slices of avocado, all topped with melted Havarti cheese. It's also a perfect vegetarian option to your Fourth of July menu. We might suggest adding a flavored mayo, and you can switch up the Havarti for any of your favorites (like Swiss, Gouda, or even Comte) - but just make sure the cheese you pick melts well (see our great selection of melting cheeses). Get the Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese Recipe >
Fruit & Nuts Blue Cheese Slaw
Photo credit: Tidymom.net
This coleslaw recipe is a far cry from the traditional mayo-soaked slaw of picnics of yore. First of all, it's loaded not with mayo but with delicious fruits like strawberries, mandarin oranges and grapes, then sprinkled with meaty pecans and topped with crumbled blue cheese. It's also really simple to put together (you can even make it ahead the day before your party) AND it's vegetarian. A great way to class up classic picnic fare! Get the Fruit and Nut Slaw Recipe by Tidy Mom >
Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Photo credit: Dine and Dish
The riot of colors and flavors in this salad by Dine and Dish completely grabbed us. It combines fabulous (and healthy!) seasonal summer ingredients like juicy tomatoes, meaty avocados and sweet corn, but it goes a step further with the zesty addition of Sriracha grilled shrimp. The contrast of the crisp lettuce, the creamy avocado and the hot shrimp is festive, delicious and hearty. A drizzle of a great quality olive oil and some good balsamic vinegar, and you've got a side dish for your Fourth of July menu that can easily serve as a main course for your vegetarian and/or health conscious guests. Get the Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe >
Smoky Parmesan Corn On The Cob
Photo credit: The Endless Meal
Corn on the cob and summer go together, no question about it. Add Parmesan and a hint of smoked paprika to the equation, and you've got a dish worthy of your fireworks! This corn on the cob recipe by The Endless Meal will be your go-to summer staple, guaranteed. Just brush the butter and parmigiano mix on the corn and wrap in foil (you can do all this and refrigerate up to two days in advance) and then throw on the grill alongside your burgers. The perfect summer gourmet side dish for your Fourth of July menu! Get the Parmesan Corn on The Cob Recipe >
Red, White and Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas
Photo credit: Mommy's Kitchen
This patriotic dessert by Mommy's Kitchen will please kids and adults alike! We're big fans of adding fresh, seasonal produce to everything, and these "mini pizzas" (actually cookies) are the perfect vehicle to give kids a serving of fresh fruit (sneaky!). You can make your favorite cookie recipe, top it with a cream cheese filling and then add slices of fresh berries - just make sure you have blueberries for that red, white and blue theme. Or, instead of cookies and cream cheese, try some fresh blini and creme fraiche for a savory, grown-up alternative. Get the Red, White and Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas Recipe >
Photo credit: Eat Drink Love
What's a party without a signature cocktail? Our pick this year is this delish fruit-filled sangria byEat Drink Love. It's sweet, it's filled with berries, and just like a punch, you can just make a big ol' pitcher instead of laboring at the bar over individual drinks. To keep with the patriotic theme, use blueberries and strawberries, and cut out some pineapples (it's not white, but it's close enough!) with a star-shaped cutter. Get the Summer Sangria Recipe >
Ombre Independence Day Cake
Photo credit: Brit + Co.
Does this cake really need an introduction? Don't you just want to run to the recipe just by looking at it? We did! This is the piece (of cake) de resistance for our Fourth of July menu. The crafty gals at Brit + Co. (their site is a treasure trove of all sorts of ideas - from food, to crafts to fashion - go get lost in the awesomeness!) made the executive decision to use cake mix and ready-made frosting to offset the time it takes to assemble the cake, but more enterprising and expert bakers can definitely use their favorite cake recipe and make their own frosting instead. This is the moment to go BIG, and this cake definitely fits the bill - just make sure you have enough height on your fridge to store it. Get the Ombre Independence Day Recipe >
A big thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who let us share the amazing recipes that make up our Fourth of July menu. We encourage you to visit their blogs and sites for more incredible recipes, menu ideas and general awesomeness.
Happy Fourth of July!
Which one of these yummy recipes is your favorites? Do you have any great recipes for the Fourth? Share them in the comments below or on Facebook!