(Family Features) A dazzling fireworks display may be the grand finale for your celebration, but you can make your mouthwatering menu a close second with these ideas to light up your Fourth of July. From bold burgers to crisp salads and sweet sides, give your guests plenty of reason to feel festive all day long. And don’t forget to add a little indulgence for all ages with a DIY dessert bar.
Find more recipes perfect for the Fourth of July at culinary.net.
Serve Up a Sundae Bar
The only thing better than a dish of cold ice cream on a hot summer day is the chance to make it all your own. Let guests create their own dishes of deliciousness with a DIY sundae bar. Start with a healthy supply of cups, spoons and towels to mop up inevitable drips then fill the bar with irresistible options like these:
- A sampling of ice creams, like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry
- Fresh sliced fruit
- Crushed candies and cookies
- Sauces (chocolate, caramel and something fruity, too)
- Assorted nuts
- Crunchy favorites like crumbled cones or salty pretzels
- Coconut (raw and toasted)
- Whipped cream
A Bold Take on an American Classic
When it comes to feeding family and friends on the Fourth of July, nothing pleases guests more than fan-favorite American bites fresh off the grill. Cheeseburgers are a tried-and-true classic for summer grilling season. Give your burger recipe a bold, sweet kick this Fourth of July with honey barbecue sauce and the finishing touch of delicious, smooth-melting Borden Cheese. Find more summer recipes to transform mealtime into memorable family time at bordencheese.com.
Bold Honey Barbecue Burger
Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons steak seasoning
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 slices Borden Cheese American Singles
- 8 slices thick bacon, cooked until crispy
- 8 frozen onion rings
- 4 slices tomato
- fresh lettuce
- Combine ground beef, green onions, garlic powder and cayenne pepper; form into four patties. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with steak seasoning. Cover and chill. (Patties can be made several hours in advance.)
- Brush buns with melted butter; set aside. In small bowl, mix barbecue sauce with honey; set aside.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill burgers to internal temperature of 160° F, about 4-6 minutes per side. Two minutes before burgers are finished, grill buns, butter-side down, until golden brown. Place cheese slices on burgers to melt.
- Serve each burger on buttered bun topped with two slices bacon, two onion rings, honey barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomato.
A Tropical Summer Twist
If you find yourself hosting a last-minute barbecue without time to plan an extensive menu, don’t panic. Simply add a twist to traditional summer staples, like mixing one bag of cabbage with one jar of coleslaw dressing for a classic coleslaw side dish or incorporating coleslaw into your main course. This spin on a classic barbecue meal, Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Tropical Coleslaw, can take your entertaining to the next level. For more recipes, visit litehousefoods.com.
Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Tropical Coleslaw
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for brushing grill
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 teaspoons Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 large red onion, diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 large green peppers, diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 cups fresh cubed pineapple
- 1 package (14 ounces) coleslaw mix
- 1 cup diced red pepper
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup Litehouse Coleslaw dressing
- In mixing bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Stir in pepper and season with salt, if desired.
- Place chicken in gallon-sized re-sealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade in refrigerator then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Soak 10 wooden skewer sticks in water 1 hour.
- While chicken marinates, prepare coleslaw. In medium bowl, toss together coleslaw mix, red pepper, pineapple, almonds and coleslaw dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Heat grill to 400° F.
- Drizzle remaining olive oil over red onion, bell pepper and pineapple; toss. Season red onion and bell pepper with salt and pepper then thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all chicken is used.
- Brush grill grates with olive oil then place skewers on grill. Grill 5 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining marinade on opposite side; grill about 4 minutes, or until chicken registers 165° F in center on instant read thermometer.
- Serve skewers warm with coleslaw.
A Honey of a Side
No summer picnic or grilling spread is complete without an array of mouthwatering sides. When planning your menu, go for variety with dishes ranging from rich and savory to light and refreshing. If you want to mix things up a bit, look for ways to dress up timeless favorites, like this take on baked beans that gets its sweetness from honey instead of sugar. Find more ways to sweeten up your celebration at honey.com.
Honey Baked Beans
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 1/2 cups cooked navy beans (or 3 cans, 15 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Saute bacon and onion until onion is tender; combine with remaining ingredients in shallow 2-quart, oven-safe baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 45 minutes longer.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (berry sundaes)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (baked beans)