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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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:
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).
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 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?!
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 and baked beans to new favorites like corn dog muffins and spicy mac & cheese, there are some real stars in this list of 33+ recipes.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!