Festive, Easy Fourth of July Recipes
There are few holidays that are as traditional as the Fourth of July. It’s a holiday that is typically celebrated with a cookout with friends and family, possibly a parade, and hopefully fireworks! If you’re having people over this year for a barbecue, cookout or picnic, there are plenty of easy Fourth of July recipes that you can whip up without having to stress or spend more time indoors than you want. Check out some of our favorites below!
We love pesto pasta for cookouts and barbecues because it’s a dish that’s great served warm or cold, and perfect for summertime. It can be used as a main course or as a side to other items. You can also make it the night before, which is always a great tactic when hosting a cookout.
If you are short on time, you can use pesto from a jar (lots of grocery stores or farmers markets have pesto already made), or you can make your own. Pesto seems difficult, but it’s actually quite easy! This recipe from The Food Network is a simple, easy one, and you can tweak it as necessary.
Once you’ve made or purchased your pesto, cook the pasta of your choice (we prefer bowtie pasta) according to the directions on the package. Once it’s drained, use a tablespoon of pesto at a time and mix it together with the pasta. Start small and taste along the way to make sure you have enough pesto, but not too much!
You can also add a protein like cooked chicken or sausage or number of delicious, fresh veggies to your pasta, like sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, asparagus—the sky is the limit! Just mix whatever you choose together with the pasta and pesto mixture.
Pulled Pork and BBQ Sauce
Pulled pork is another favorite to add to the rotation of barbecue items, because it’s a welcome departure from the typical barbecue fare like hamburgers and hot dogs. And we love it because we can make it in our crock pot, too! This recipe from 100 Days of Real Food is perfect for a cookout —you can start your pork in the morning and let it cook all day long while you do other things, like enjoy pool time!
What makes pulled pork even better? Homemade barbecue sauce! This is another recipe that seems difficult, but is actually a breeze. Here’s an easy recipe:
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup cider vinegar
- 3 cups ketchup
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Next, add salt, mustard, black pepper and garlic powder. Stir to combine, then mix in brown sugar. Once combined, add the cider vinegar, ketchup, molasses and Worcestershire. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
No celebration is complete without dessert, and we’ve got a fun one: a trifle with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream, to keep with the Fourth of July theme! Get a trifle dish and start by layering the items in whatever order you prefer. We like starting from the bottom and going with:
- Angel food cake, pound or butter cake
- Whipped cream or vanilla custard
- Sliced strawberries
The end result will not only taste delicious but look festive!