10 Popular Dishes to Inspire your 4th of July Cookout

The 4th of July is just around the corner. While I’m not a big fan of fireworks and sparklers, I welcome any excuse to feast on delicious food. To me, the 4th of July is the Thanksgiving of summer. We swap the oven for an outdoor grill and replace the turkey and ham for casual finger foods.  

There are countless options to make your party a success. Below is a list of 10 popular dishes to inspire your 4th of July cookout.


Nothing says cookout like a classic cheeseburger. It’s a crowd favorite that can be transformed to please even the pickiest eater. Have vegetarians in your family? Brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat offer meatless patties that taste like the real thing.

Hot dogs

Burgers and hotdogs go together like turkey and ham during Thanksgiving dinner. Make the best of a warm grill by cooking some hotdogs alongside the patties. Offering variations ensure everyone is satisfied during a summer cookout.


Barbecue ribs are a crowd favorite during a summer cookout. They pair well with almost any side dish. A rack of ribs can cost upwards of $50, so don’t be afraid to shop around to score a good deal.  

Pasta salad

One of the many reasons I love pasta salads is because of their versatility. Whether you’re a fan of the Italian antipasto pasta salad or prefer the unique pizza pasta salad, this dish is sure to have your guests coming back for seconds.

Potato salad

One of my favorite sides during any cookout is the traditional potato salad. There are countless ways to prepare the classic dish, so don’t be afraid to adjust the recipe to your liking.


Speaking of classics, coleslaw is another one of those traditional dishes you can’t go wrong with. The crunchy and flavorful side can be enjoyed on its own or alongside any of the other dishes listed above.

Grilled Corn

It’s not officially summer until you throw some corn on the grill to enjoy alongside your favorite people. Corn of the cob is a great option for the entire family to enjoy. Add some butter, lemon, or cheese for extra flavor.

Veggie skewers

If you need to add more veggies to the mix, why not do it with some fun and tasty veggie skewers? Mix and match your favorite vegetables, stack them on a skewer stick and throw them on the grill for an easy and healthy side option.

Chips and salsa

Whether you like to make your salsa from scratch or take the easy route with a store-bought option, chips and salsa is the perfect duo for any summer cookout. They make a great appetizer to keep your guests fed while you’re scrambling to fire up the grill.

Flag cake

No 4th of July cookout is complete without a red, white, and blue dessert to represent the American flag. Get creative by baking a unique cake or save your energy with some store-bought cookies.

What’s on your menu this 4th of July?