Planning a July 4th Menu

Plan an Independence Day party that is fun, exciting and has a fantastic July 4th menu! The best way to your guests’ hearts is through their stomachs, so plan delicious appetizers, main course dishes and desserts in honor of this festive occasion.

It's a good idea to map out possible July 4th menus in advance of the party, then select one that best meets the preferences of your guests. You may want to consider hiring a local caterer for large parties or if you need some extra helping hands in the kitchen!

Here are some 4th of July menu ideas to help you build your own. Of course, sprinkle in favorite family recipes, ask guests to bring their favorite holiday dishes, and don't be afraid to try new recipes!

  • Appetizers: Serve appetizers to hold guests over until it is time to serve the main meal. The main thing to remember when planning a July 4th party menu is to choose foods that won't go bad if they're out in the sun. This is especially true with appetizers since they might be outside for a long period of time. Delectable appetizers for a Fourth of July menu include pigs in a blanket, red, white and blue tortilla chips with salsa and mini pizzas. Other ideas include cheese and crackers and vegetables and dip. Offer guests a variety of different cheeses, such as muenster, swiss, sharp and cheddar. For vegetables, serve tomatoes, celery, broccoli, olives and carrots.
  • Main Course: For the main course of your 4th of July celebration, take advantage of the summer weather and fire up the grill. If you want something more upscale than the typical burgers and hot dogs, try marinated steak tips and chicken breasts. Marinate all of the meats in barbeque or teriyaki sauce. Leave a few plain pieces aside in case there are guests with allergies or special diet restrictions. Another fun and different take on holiday grilling is to make kabobs with pieces of steak, chicken and vegetables.
  • Side Dishes: There are many creative 4th of July menu ideas for side dishes. Serve tomato and mozzarella salad topped with balsamic dressing for a classy side dish. Add pieces of basil for extra flavor. Another idea is red bliss potato salad — a July 4th staple! Also consider pasta salad mixed with olives, carrots, broccoli and Italian dressing. Throw in a traditional garden salad and you'll be all set.
  • Dessert: Mouth-watering dessert options for July 4th are numerous! Strawberry shortcake made with angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream is always a crowd favorite. Mix in some blueberries to add a special 4th of July accent. For a sweeter treat, bake an American flag cake using strawberries for the lines of the flag and blueberries for the stars. Visit your local bakery to purchase additional desserts such as red, white and blue cupcakes and decorated cookies. Other sweet options are red, white & blue cake pops, cupcakes, and candies.

Planning a July 4th Menu

Planning a July 4th Menu

Once you've got your menu planned, don't forget about how you're going to show off your July 4th food. Cover a picnic table with a white table cloth and accent the table with alternative blue and red plates. Wrap silverware in white napkins and secure with blue and red ribbon, then put the napkins on top of each place setting for an elegant touch!

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