33+ Amazing 4th of July Side Dishes

If you’re planning a patriotic bash, you’ll need some delicious 4th of July side dishes to make it the ultimate cookout. From classics like potato salad, macaroni salad and baked beans to new favorites like corn dog muffins and spicy mac and cheese, there are some real stars in this list of 33+ recipes. 

Collage of four images showing side dishes with the text the best 4th of july side dishes

The summer’s biggest party is around the corner: Independence Day. And that means only one thing: great food like hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, barbecued meats and more.

With a menu like that, you’ll need the best July 4 side dishes to support them. But these stars (and stripes) might just steal the show of this July party.

We’ve gathered our tips for pulling together the BEST Fourth of July menu for a crowd and all the different variations of things that we can serve. These are the PERFECT summer side dish recipes, so feel free to use them for any summertime gathering. For example, they go great at a backyard barbecue!

The list below include Fourth of July side dishes that are more traditional, as well as twists on the classics. It goes without saying that they’re all perfect for July 4th. 

We’re highlighting dishes that feature summer ingredients and vegetables, like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, sweet corn and more. We’ve also got some of the best side dishes highlighting fresh fruit, like fresh strawberries, peaches, watermelon slices and more. 

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    We’ve broken down these easy 4th of July recipes by category to help you decide what might be the best things to serve to your people.

    These delicious side dishes allllll pair beautifully with classic main dishes, be they barbecue, burgers or something else, so feel free to mix and match based on your personal preferences.

    Don’t miss these amazing July 4th red white and blue appetizers to start the party and these BBQ sides to pair with pulled pork sandwiches.

    Close up of creamy potato salad in a bowl with a spoon

    How many side dishes to serve?

    Three to four side dishes is a good place to start, especially if you have a small crowd of 4-8 people. A variety of side dishes allows everyone to get a taste of everything and lets the picky ones have a selection to choose from. 

    Add an extra side dish for every additional four people, up to five dishes. From there, you’ll just want to scale up your production of each offering to serve a bunch of people for a festive Fourth of July BBQ.

    So how do you choose what to make for your group? I like to have a little bit of everything for different tastes and dietary requirements! 

    For me, that usually means one item will be without cheese, one will be vegetarian (or vegan) and one will be without gluten.

    See the section below for ideas for side dishes for special diets. 

    Summer sides can also usually be on the hearty side (I’m looking at you broccoli salad and caprese salad) so it’s a good idea to make one of the side dishes a salad or veggie dish. 

    Follow up a great meal with these delicious July 4th desserts or 4th of July Cocktail Recipes to enjoy while you watch the fireworks. 

    Two bowls of baked beans on a white tabletop with a blue striped towel

    Tools to make side dishes 

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    You might need a few things to make your side dishes. It’s a good idea to stock up on these items: 

    Easy Entertaining Tips

    When you’re hosting people for a July 4th gathering or attending a shindig and bringing some food along, here are a few tips and tricks:

    • Label the foods with little signs like these so that guests know what’s in each dish.
    • Keep warm dishes warm in a mini slow cooker.
    • Get out extra tongs and serving spoons in case one falls into a dish, like the gooey mac and cheese or the classic macaroni salad.
    • Use compostable plates, napkins and cutlery for easy and earth-friendly clean-up. 
    • If you’re asked to bring something to a potluck, choose a dish that doesn’t have to be served warm. (Summer salads with a creamy dressing are a perfect side dish served cold.) Bring your own cooler because the host might not have fridge space (or ask ahead of time). 
    A wooden spoon holds a scoop of macaroni and cheese with green chiles

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a traditional 4th of July menu?

    On the July 4th holiday, it is common to enjoy a main course of grilled burgers, hot dogs or barbecued meats. Traditional side dishes are fresh corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, crunchy salads (like coleslaw, broccoli salad, pasta salad, summer corn salad, etc.), smoky beans and macaroni & cheese. 

    What to serve as sides at a cookout?

    There are so many delicious BBQ side dishes you can serve. Serve a variety of options for your party, such as macaroni & cheese, baked beans, baked potatoes, grilled vegetables, fruit salad and cornbread. 

    What to serve with hot dogs on the 4th of July?

    If you are serving hot dogs on July 4, you have a lot of options for side dishes. Consider a cold side such as pasta salad or potato salad, then a hot side or two, such as baked beans or mac and cheese. For a healthy side, serve corn-on-the-cob or grilled veggies. And don’t forget the condiments — relish, onions, mustard, ketchup and chili could all be on the menu too!

    Ready to see some of the BEST side dishes for 4th of July?!

    Salad Side Dishes

    A woman holds a bowl of traditional potato salad over a table of other BBQ dishes
    Classic Potato Salad
    Is it even a cookout without creamy potato salad? This classic recipe is the perfect side dish for any occasion, especially a summertime potluck.
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    A bowl of no mayo potato salad on a white towel with tongs
    No Mayo Potato Salad
    Don’t love mayo? This one’s for you. This No Mayo Potato Salad recipe is a lighter yet surprisingly creamy rendition of the classic. Red potatoes, celery, hard boiled eggs and green onions create the simple potato salad, which is served with a mustardy vinaigrette.
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    A bowl of roasted potato salad with pesto on a gray table with basil leaves, lemon and a bowl of pesto
    Roasted Potato Salad with Pesto
    Love potato salad? This Roasted Potato Salad with Pesto is a unique twist on the classic that adds leafy greens, crunchy veggies and herbs to the mix! Easy to customize, this recipe for potato salad is perfect for sharing.
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    A bowl of corn salsa with tomatoes and limes on a blue countertop
    Charred Corn Salsa
    Charred Corn Salsa sounds like an appetizer (and it sure is) but it’s also a delicious side dish for summertime. This homemade corn salsa recipe requires just 7 ingredients. You can even serve it on tacos!
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    Close up of Taco Pasta Salad in a bowl, from above
    Beef Taco Pasta Salad
    Serve up an easy pasta salad with a twist to guests this July 4. This beef taco salad is a mash-up of classic pasta salad and taco salad, packing in the flavor to make a dish that’s great for sharing.
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    Preparing cubes of bread to be baked on sheet
    Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad
    This refreshing Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad is a light, simple and quick to add to your menu. Any combination of tomatoes and mozzarella is always a winner.
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    Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad
    Full of salty black olives, sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella balls, and artichoke hearts, this Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad is a summer staple! It's a perfect side dish for any barbecue or summer gathering!
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    Classic Macaroni Salad
    With simple ingredients and a homemade creamy dressing, this Macaroni Salad with eggs is truly a tried and true recipe. Perfect for summer potlucks and great for making in advance.
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    Summer Vegetables

    Overhead of Oven Fried Okra on top of paper towels with a bowl of ketchup and two lemonades
    Oven Fried Okra
    Get that fried okra flavor without a deep fryer! This Oven Fried Okra recipe takes the classic Southern dish and makes it a little healthier by baking fresh okra in the oven instead of frying.
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    A black bowl of roasted tomatoes
    Oven Roasted Tomatoes
    Enjoy your garden’s bounty by roasting tomatoes in the oven. They are the perfect way to enjoy the sweetness of summer. They can be added to sandwiches or served alongside a meal to make it extra special.
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    Grilled Zucchini and Squash
    Cooked to perfection, a combination dish of grilled zucchini and squash makes for an easy, delicious and healthy side dish for cookouts, barbecues and more.
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    Garlic Dill Pickles
    Homemade Garlic Dill Pickles are the perfect fresh sidekick to July 4th burgers!
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    Healthy Broccoli Salad
    The best Healthy Broccoli Salad recipe is made with no mayo, this easy side dish is super healthy and quick to make. Perfect for a picnic!
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    Easy Grilled Veggie Skewers
    Veggie skewers made with zucchini, red onions, and bell peppers are a delicious and healthy way to enjoy a variety of colorful, nutrient-packed vegetables. These skewers are made by threading bite-sized pieces of veggies onto skewers, which can then be grilled.
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    Cold Sides

    A bowl of No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw sits on a white background.
    No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw
    This isn’t your normal coleslaw. This sweet and spicy No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw doesn’t have a heavy dressing. Instead, this coleslaw without mayo is coated in a sweet-spicy mustard dressing. It’s perfect as a barbecue side dish or on top of a barbecue sandwich.
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    Close up of cucumbers and salad dressing in a white bowl on top of a blue striped towel
    Cucumber Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
    Easy Cucumber Salad with a Feta Vinaigrette is the PERFECT summertime side. With minimal ingredients and an easy homemade vinaigrette, this salad is delicious and super easy to make!
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    ramen noodle clementine salad in a brown bowl
    Ramen Noodle and Clementine Salad
    This one is a delicious spin on pasta salad: Ramen Noodle and Clementine Salad is made by tossing crunchy romaine lettuce with fresh clementines, broccoli, scallions and crisped ramen noodles and topped with a homemade honey vinaigrette.
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    Bowl Of Mediterranean Cucumber salad with other side dishes
    Cucumber Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Lemon Vinaigrette
    This Cucumber Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Lemon Vinaigrette is a bright and fresh side for summer. Slice cucumbers, then toss with heirloom tomatoes in a fresh lemony vinaigrette that features fresh parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Sprinkle with feta cheese to finish, and serve chilled.
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    A serving of caprese salad with cucumbers on a white plate
    Cucumber Caprese Salad
    Cucumber Caprese Salad is a fun twist on the classic summertime appetizer and side. All you need are four ingredients and about 10 minutes!
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    Fruit Sides

    Close up of an arugula salad with peaches
    Grilled Peach Salad with Burrata
    The best part about this time of year? It’s peach season! This Grilled Peach Salad with Burrata is delicious and features some summertime favorite ingredients. Perfect for dinner or an appetizer, this arugula salad is ready in less than 30 minutes!
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    Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad
    This delightfully fresh and delicious Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad is a seasonal alternative to the side salad. Complete with spinach, apple, strawberries, walnuts and feta, it’s then topped with a tangy Strawberry Vinaigrette.
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    Overhead image of the final Strawberry Melon Salad in a white bowl with a blue napkin
    Strawberry Melon Salad
    Melon season is officially here! Gather friends or family and serve up this super simple Strawberry Melon Salad. The melon that stars in this salad is perfect for any summertime gathering.
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    A plate of berry fruit salad with watermelon in front of a jar of honey
    Summer Fruit Salad with Watermelon
    Celebrate summertime produce by making a Summer Fruit Salad with Watermelon! This easy side dish calls for fresh watermelon, berries and more. And it’s got a zesty fruit salad dressing to bring it all together. This watermelon fruit salad recipe is great to serve alongside breakfast and brunch or even at a potluck!
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    Watermelon Mint Salad
    This delicious watermelon fruit salad is brightened up with fresh lime juice, zest and mint. This combo makes it so refreshing on a hot summer day and is always a dish that disappears fast!
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    Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad
    Red white and blue fruit salad with honey citrus dressing is the perfect side dish for any summer gathering. With a sweet and refreshing blend of watermelon, blueberries, strawberries and bananas, this patriotic fruit salad looks and tastes great on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
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    Hot Sides

    Two bowls of baked beans on a white tabletop with a blue striped towel
    Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon
    Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon are a fun twist on the classic barbecue side dish that have a serious kick. Make these big batch baked beans in the oven for your summer cookouts.
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    Bowls of Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese are served
    Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
    Who says everything has to be grilled on July 4? This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is a family favorite that takes very little time! Dress it up with seasonal ingredients like broccoli or baked bacon and serve for the easiest, most comforting meal.
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    Vegetarian Baked Beans are served in a white bowl in front of an Instant Pot
    Instant Pot BBQ Baked Beans
    It’s always a good idea to have a vegetarian option on the table for a potluck or a backyard barbecue. These Instant Pot BBQ Baked Beans are the perfect side to serve! Spicier and less sweet than the canned version, these vegetarian baked beans burst with flavor.
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    A spoon sits in a bowl of Hatch Chile pepper Mac n cheese
    Hatch Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese
    Add flavor to the traditional summer side — mac & cheese — by adding roasted Hatch green chile peppers! This stovetop recipe is ready in 30 minutes and makes for a decadent side dish your crew will love.
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    Loaded Bacon Potato Skewers Recipe
    Loaded Bacon Potato Skewers are the ultimate grilled side dish this summer. Golden potatoes are grilled with bacon, then drizzled with a savory roasted garlic aioli, sour cream, and chives. It’s a perfect pairing for steak!
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    Corn Dog Mini Muffins are served on a plate with ketchup and mustard for dipping
    Mini Corn Dog Muffins
    These dippable, poppable, baked Corn Dog Mini Muffins are perfect for BBQs. They’re a fun party appetizer or side dish to go with burgers and hot dogs. No matter the occasion, Corn Dog Mini Muffins are the perfect finger food for fall months.
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    A stack of honey biscuits on a plate
    Honey Butter Biscuits
    Honey Butter Biscuits are the best salty-sweet biscuits from scratch you’ll ever make! This easy biscuit recipe calls for just six ingredients, and you probably already have them in your home already. They take less than 30 minutes, too!
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    Fresh Tomato Galette
    Serve this fresh tomato galette with a light salad or as a side to a summer meal. It’s absolutely beautiful with a rustic appearance and variety of colors.
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    Smoked Cornbread
    You can bake cornbread on the grill! Chock full of bacon, corn, chipotle peppers and cheddar, Smoked Cornbread has a super crunchy crust, lightly smoky flavor and is really very easy to make.
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    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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      1. Thanks so much, Trish! It took a looooooong time to pull this post together, but it’s so helpful and actually helped so much with our 4th! I hope you had a lovely holiday, too!

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