4th of July menu?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
4th of July menu?
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 10:46am

I'm hosting a small 4th of July party and am curious as to what people serve for their 4th parties. I would love some ideas or suggestions for the menu.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 12:24pm

How many people?  Budget?  Food allergies/preferences?

These days it seems like you cannot simply invite people for a party and watch them happily munch away - almost everyone walks around with real or imaginery dietary restrictions ...  Frown

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 6:21pm

We've done the traditional cookout with hot dogs or hamburgers. Sides might include cole slaw, or macaroni or potato salad. Baked beans are good too.

Dessert can be a fun way to do something red, white, and blue. It could be an "American Flag" sheet cake with white icing, and use strawberries and blueberries for the stars and stripes. Or a layered dessert in a glass bowl like a Trifle of sponge cake with whipped cream and red and blue berries. Vanilla ice cream with red and blue berries served on top.

As for guests' dietary preferences, I don't worry too much. I figure that people with actual strict restrictions like allergies/celiac will either ask about the menu or just bring something that they know they can eat. At a cookout I would have chicken or turkey dogs/burgers for those who don't eat beef. I always have veggie burgers in the freezer so could accomodate a vegan if necessary. My dh doesn't eat red meat, if that's the only entree at a party he just eats what he can and doesn't say anything.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 9:03pm

It also depends on your level of cooking expertise, and how much time you want to spend cooking vs hanging with your guests.

For 6-8 guests, we typically do pork baby backs, 4-6 full slabs.  We use a Memphis dry rub, and our grill is large enough to do them bone down, "low & slow".  We do corn in the husk, and baking potatoes, on the grill also.   We put out bowls of butter, sour cream, bacon bits, shredded cheddar, chives, etc, and let people build their own.  If you're not into "death by potato"  instead of using giant Idahos, use fist-size or smaller Yukon Golds, and scatter them around the grill when the ribs are about half done, 2-3 per person.  I also make coleslaw. For drinks, we make large pitchers of Margaritas, and sangria.  We know our audiance.

Dessert is mixed berries (blue, black, red & straw)  sprinkled with brown sugar & shredded coconut.  Liqueur is optional. 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 9:07pm
I should add, the easiest way is to cut everything up, put it out on serving plates, and let people eat cafeteria style. Make all your dishes and utensils disposable. Put a large sheet of tin foil under all the entrees, and when you are done serving, just wrap the foil up. and put it in the fridge. Simple.
Avatar for ubergeek
Community Leader
Registered: 09-23-2010
Tue, 07-01-2014 - 10:55am

Ooh I love planning parties and the 4th of July is one of my favorites! This year we're not hosting, we're going to a party, so I'll just bring something with that I'll pick up. BUT I am having one family over on the 4th so I'm going to try something fun. :) 

We'll have:
hamburgers/hotdogs/chicken wings/ribs/chicken breasts
potato/macaroni salad
corn on the cob (I only do it for smaller parties since I don't have a way to cook it for a mass crowd)

These are some things I want to try this year:
Greek Salad Skewers

Brownie & Fruit Kabobs


Red, White, and Blue Sangria


For the kids:

Red, White, and Blue Layered Drink (I've made this before, it's REALLY cool I did not use cranapple though, I used gatorade fruit punch)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2013
Tue, 07-01-2014 - 11:10am

Erin you must cook all day! My plan is very simple; I am ordering a chicken tray from the Walmart deli. :-)

Avatar for ubergeek
Community Leader
Registered: 09-23-2010
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 10:08am

Ha! No my husband does. ;) Usually when it's a larger crowd people trade off at the grill. The other stuff we make the morning off (salads, etc.). 

Something else I thought of - taco pie! We always make that and it's a huge it. 
Makes TWO so half if you only want one — but two goes fast around here so I'd say one tray would feed 10 people. 
2lbs ground whatever you want (we've used beef and half turkey-half beef)
2 packets (or the equivalent) of taco seasoning
2 cans of kidney beans (the big can, but not the huge huge 'family' size ones)
Big bag of shredded cheese (I buy the mexican mixture to get the extra seasoning)
2 cans of pizza dough
2 large jars of salsa (or one of those huge plastic ones)
A large bag of tostitos chips

Unroll pizza dough and place in a greased (I use PAM Olive Oil spray) tray. One dough makes one tray. (I use those aluminum chafing trays, half size - perfect size and no clean-up.) Bake according to directions on dough for the topped pizza. It should cook for a few moments just to brown and crisp a bit. I think about 10?

Brown meat, drain.  Add taco seasoning and water per instructions on seasoning. Remove from heat.  Add drained kidney beans and salsa, mix well. Half goes on each tray of cooked dough (unless you halved the recipe). 

Now here's where it gets a teeny bit tricky. If you're going to serve it within a few minutes, sprinkle with cheese and put in oven until cheese melts (you're putting a really big decent amount on - don't skimp, it's a lot of meat). When done, crumble some chips and sprinkle on top and serve. If you're not serving right away and are making ahead, don't put the cheese on and don't put it back in the oven. I've put it in the fridge until I was ready to serve. It would need approximately 30 minutes+ to reheat it through though of course depending on how far ahead you made it, but you'd cook it through then add some cheese to melt at the end and then sprinkle with chips and serve. DO NOT add crumbled chips until you are going to serve it. Believe me, they get mushy, lol.

Along with this, I like to put out a thing of sour cream and chopped tomatoes. :) 


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 7:56pm

This year I am doing something a little different and making BBQ chicken wings. I cook mine for a few hours in the slow cooker and then put them in the over with fresh sauce over the top to make the outside crisp..they are soooo good :)


Looking to work from home ? Ask me how :


Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2002
Sun, 07-06-2014 - 2:07pm
I usually do all kinds of things hot dogs hamburger sausage and chicken I also roast veggies and have cold salad, chips and pickles I let everyone else brings what they like so its easy to eat from everyone.. We sometimes buy bushel of clams to steam them.. we all put in for the beer and wine plus clams.. Its always so much fun to have the family and friends around..
Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2002
Sun, 07-06-2014 - 2:10pm
I love having parties... we will have burgers hot dogs chicken sausage and corn and clams mac pot salad toss salad marshmallow salad choc cake cup cakes pickles and cucumber salad chips and munchy snacks.. wine beer and bushel of clams.. I wrote one similar to this but I guess it didn't go... so I have to post another ..