Skip to content

The Best Foods for an All-American Fourth of July Cookout

Red, white, and blue everything, plus enhanced versions of cookout classics. What more could you want?

Is there anything more quintessentially American than the Fourth of July? Friends and family gather to eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and apple pie, all while enjoying the beautiful summer sun. (Bonus points if you wear red, white, and blue to eat that Fourth of July food, too.)

To keep things extra festive, go the extra mile this year. We're talking red, white, and blue foods, plus cookout classics with a fun twist. The Fourth of July only comes around once a year, so you might as well live it up and make the most of the patriotic eats.

Here, discover 15 fabulous Fourth of July recipe ideas for a fun 4th!


Patriotic Push Pop Cake

pound cake push pop with frosting red white and blue sprinkles fourth of july
Love from the Oven

Remember the fruit-flavored lollipops that came on a stick? This is a more grown-up—but just as fun—version of the treat. Colored frosting and sprinkles make this pound cake treat a fun Fourth of July food for kids of all ages. Just don't be surprised if guests come back for seconds—you might want to double the recipe!

Get the recipe from Love from the Oven.


Stained Glass Jell-O

red white and blue jello stars on blue plate
Gimme Some Oven

Sure, you could make some regular, solid-color Jell-O shapes, but combining red, white, and blue gelatin is way more fun. The white color comes from sweetened condensed milk, while the red and blue are from strawberry and blueberry Jell-O. The recipe is super easy, too, and you can use whatever cookie cutters you have on hand to make the bites into fun shapes. We like the idea of using stars for the Fourth of July. These are almost too pretty to eat—almost.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.


Red, White, and Blue Watermelon Blueberry Fruit Salad

blueberry and watermelon salad in white bowl on white tablecloth

Add a healthier option to the food spread with this patriotic fruit salad. Blogger Heidi Larsen suggests using blueberries, watermelon, and jicama to attain those Americana colors. Any combination of red, white, and blue fruits would work, though (think: cherries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.). For bonus points, make your own simple dressing for the fruit salad, as Larsen does in this recipe, to give it an added edge to a traditional fruit salad.

Get the recipe from FoodieCrush.


Fourth of July Tie Dyed Fudge

red white and blue fudge squares on white and red gingham napkin
Taste and Tell

Why stop at red, white, and blue decor when you can eat colorful food, too? This tie-dyed fudge is super cute and hard to mess up, so it's great for beginner bakers and anyone who wants to make a festive dish in a hurry. You don't have to layer each color perfectly—the swirl is part of the fun! This recipe does call for marshmallow creme, so it's not a traditional fudge flavor, either, but anyone with a sweet tooth probably won't mind.

Get the recipe from Taste and Tell.


Red, White, and Blue Pinwheel Cookies

red white and blue pinwheel cookies with star sprinkles on black cutting board
Inquiring Chef

These star-spangled cookies are too cute, and they're super easy to make ahead of time. It does require a bit of patience—you'll have to roll out each colored dough separately—but it's worth it for the final presentation. Everyone will want to try (and take photos of) these cute cookies.

Get the recipe from Inquiring Chef.


Fourth of July Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

white and milk chocolate covered strawberries with red white and blue sprinkles on white serving platter
The Yummy Life

Chocolate-covered strawberries can be pretty overpriced at the supermarket or at chocolate retailers, but if you take the time to melt the chocolate yourself, you can make your own version of the treat. The best part is that you can decorate them any way you like. The red, white, and blue sprinkles in this recipe are perfect for the Fourth of July, and you can also use colored sugars for an icy effect, too.

More on Cookies

  • peanut butter oreo smores

    11 Tasty Treats You Can Make with Oreos

    Who knew "milk's favorite cookie" was so versatile?
  • girl scout cookies

    This Is the Best Girl Scout Cookie

    Yep, we taste-tested them all to determine a winner.
  • Perfect chocolate chip cookie

    How to Make Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

    This is the one ingredient your recipe is missing.
  • pile of chocolate chip cookies

    25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes to Drool Over

    From the classics to the deliciously creative.
  • Partake foods vegan cookies

    The Best Vegan Cookie Brands To Buy

    Have your (vegan) cookie and eat it too.

Get the recipe from The Yummy Life.


Patriotic Flag Bark

milk and white chocolate bark with red white and blue m&ms and sprinkles
Chelsea's Messy Apron

This holiday-themed bark is sure to be a Fourth of July hit, and it couldn't be easier to make. With just four simple ingredients, anyone has time to make this bark. Plus, you can customize the recipe to use your favorite type of candy chips—dark chocolate, butterscotch, or white chocolate.

Get the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron.


Patriotic Fruit Salad and Honey Lime Poppyseed Dressing

fruit salad with strawberries, blueberries, star shaped apple slices and quinoa in a white bowl on gray background
Creme de la Crumb

Another healthier side dish option, this fruit salad is a colorful way to add some non-basic fruit to the picnic table. Raspberries and blueberries provide the red and blue, and star-shaped apple slices round out the patriotic look. It's the little things like the fun-shaped apple slices that make this recipe special for the Fourth of July.

Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.


Maple Dijon Apple Coleslaw

maple dijon apple coleslaw in white bowl with spoon on red white and blue tablecloth
Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Whether you're topping a plate of pulled pork, a hot dog, or a burger, coleslaw is an essential side dish or topping at any cookout. This maple dijon apple version adds some unexpected flavors into the mix for a truly unforgettable topping with a spicy hit. Plus, if you use a pre-shredded cabbage mix, the prep time is super quick.

Get the recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.


Patriotic Party Mix

chex mix with red white and blue m&ms and sprinkles in red star bowl with sprinkles on white background
The Baker Mama

If you loved Chex Mix as a kid, you'll love this colorful Fourth of July food. With just 10 minutes of prep time required, you can get back to the fun of the holiday without too much sweat. Kids and adults alike will gobble up this tasty treat!

Get the recipe from The Baker Mama.


Easy Creamy Potato Salad

potato salad in white bowl on marble background
Inspired Taste

Potato salad is an American classic, and it's sure to be a crowd-pleasing dish at any cookout this summer. This is a pretty traditional recipe, with sour cream and mayonnaise, along with dill and fresh herbs. Why mess with a good thing? This recipe is so delicious, it will have you rethinking buying a tub of potato salad at the grocery store this year. You can't go wrong with this tasty, starchy side in your Fourth of July food spread.

Get the recipe from Inspired Taste.


Best Homemade Apple Pie

apple pie crust with sugar crystals in white pie dish
Lil Luna

It's not a Fourth of July gathering without apple pie, and this recipe is so delectable. With a homemade, flaky crust and cinnamon apples, this pie will please everyone at your Fourth of July party. Just make sure to nab a slice for yourself before it's gone.

Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.


Grilled Cheese Hot Dogs

hot dog on grilled cheese sandwich on metal background
The Baker Mama

Sure, you could serve a traditional hot dog on a bun with mustard and ketchup, but where's the fun in that? This recipe kicks things up a notch, combining two delicious sandwiches into one monster of a meal. Melty cheese plus a fresh-off-the-grill hot dog—it's two classics come together into one marvelous meal.

Get the recipe from The Baker Mama.


Patriotic Pudding Cups

red white and blue pudding cups with oreo topping
Lil' Luna

An individually portioned dessert that's also super cute? Sign us up! These pudding cups are super easy to make, and they'll please even the pickiest eaters. Plus, they're totally customizable if you want a different topping than Oreo cookie pieces.

Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.


Red, White, and Blue Crinkle Cookies

red white and blue crinkle cookies on white plate
Creme de la Crumb

Any type of crinkle cookies are delicious, but these take patriotic to a new level. Food coloring gives the cookie batter a festive look, and using boxed cake mix means you won't have to spend too long mixing everything together, either. (Cookies from scratch are fun, but there are better things to do on your day off!)

Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.

Whether you're hosting a cookout or attending a potluck, these recipes are sure to delight. And with the low lift required for many of these tasty Fourth of July food options, you can get outside and enjoy the holiday without worrying about cooking. Now that's a win-win!

She Lost 100 Pounds—And Shows You How!

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein lost her weight and kept it off—and in You Can Drop It!, she'll show you how to lose it, too. More than 240,000 clients have chosen her program—and now it’s yours to keep.

Meghan De Maria
Meghan De Maria is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food, product, and restaurant coverage. Read more