Greek Pasta Salad
Fresh, seasonal vegetables go into this picnic-ready pasta salad that only takes a half-hour to put together. Pack the crumbled feta cheese in a separate container so July 4th picnickers can add as much they like!
Food on a stick is the quintessential picnic fare, since it requires no utensils or plates. Soft and chewy bars dipped in melted chocolate and nuts are a perfect 4th of July dessert (especially if you have a large crowd). Wrap each individual stick in waxed paper, then put them in a resealable bag for cooler transport.
Roasted Garlic and Bean Dip
Easy to make and easy to transport, this roasted garlic and bean dip will be the first to disappear at your July 4th picnic. Serve it with fresh veggie dippers, such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet pepper strips, and more.
French Chopped Salad
This easy summer salad takes less than 25 minutes from start to finish, so you can easily make it for a last-minute July 4th picnic. Fresh veggies add a satisfying crunch that pairs nicely with hard-cooked eggs and fingerling potatoes.
Quick Pickle Ribbons
Thinly sliced veggies, such as carrots, onions, and cucumbers, offer a healthier homemade take on store-bought pickles. Plus, this grab-and-go jar is perfect for passing around at a July 4th picnic.
Smoky Pineapple Guacamole
Take this chip-dipping favorite to a new level with fruity and smoky flavors, thanks to chopped pineapple and chipotle peppers. Bonus: The avocado and pineapple are grilled before making the guacamole, allowing their flavors to shine even more.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto
A medley of summer veggies goes into this easily-shareable favorite. The recipe makes enough for 16, but if you have fewer people at your July 4th picnic, it can serve as a main dish.
Watch: How to Make Pasta Salad
Learn our easy secret for boosting the flavor in a simple pasta salad.
Creamy BLT Coleslaw
You can never have too much bacon -- load up this creamy coleslaw with four crisped and crumbled slices, along with carrots, cherry tomatoes, and green onions.
Editor's Tip: Once you remove the coleslaw from the cooler, serve within two hours and discard any leftovers. At the picnic site, keep the dish out of the sun so it doesn't spoil.
Red, White, and Blue Doughnut Shortcakes
Grilled doughnuts topped with seasonal berries and whipped topping make for a deliciously easy 4th of July treat. If there's a grill at your picnic site, use it to heat up your doughnuts -- if not, the dessert will still be tasty without the grill marks!
Corn and Roasted Pepper Relish
Three varieties of peppers (sweet, poblano, and jalapeno) go into this deliciously crunchy relish that's perfect for a July 4th picnic. It transports well and goes great with tortilla chips, but it can also be spread on sandwiches or topped on hot dogs.
Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruit
Sample the tropics with this island-inspired chilled dessert. For easy transport, pack the panna cotta in glasses with plastic wrap secured on top with rubber bands. Situate in a bed of ice in a cooler, and toss the plastic wrap before serving.
Veggie-friendly variations on slider sandwiches are the perfect choice for a 4th of July appetizer. Make the bean spread a few days ahead and prep the veggies the night before, so everyone will get to stack their own sandwiches on site.
This festively colored fruit salad is a great bring-with-you 4th of July dessert. Mix chopped fruit, such as peeled peaches, nectarines, pears, and grapes, with watermelon juice and gelatin for the refreshingly sweet treat.
Apple Crunch Mix
Five minutes is all it takes to throw this healthy snack mix together. The tasty combination features cinnamon-flavored oat square cereal, baked apple pieces, pistachio nuts, and golden raisins.
This ready-in-30-minutes salad is a good picnic recipe because the ingredients are mixed in a large, portable mason jar. Keep the dressing in a separate jar and add when you're ready to eat the salad.
Red Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing
Try our cup-size variation on this July 4th picnic classic. Coarsely chop the potatoes and vegetables, and then toss with salad greens, tomatoes, and mustard dressing. Serve the salad in individual cups with the dressing on the side so it doesn't get soggy during transport.
Classic summer lemonade gets a new twist with watermelon and strawberries. Plan accordingly, because you'll want at least 8 hours of chill time to allow the additions to flavor the lemonade.
Prize Caramel Apple Bars
Brown sugar, peanut butter, and salted peanuts add to the flavor of these crunchy and chewy dessert bars, perfect for a 4th of July picnic.
Chunky Tomato Salsa
Skip the store-bought salsa for this flavorful homemade version with fresh ingredients. Pack it in a mason jar as an easy snack, and don't forget the chips!
Classic Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Finish a 4th of July picnic with a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Our recipe has a twist on the classic with secret ingredients: brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and pecans.
Easy Picnic-Packing Tips
Get the most out of your cooler space with these picnic-packing tips.
- Let cooked items cool completely before packing them away, especially if you're reheating them and assembling multi-ingredient recipes at the picnic.
- Pack each item separately in stackable containers to maximize space.
- For items that don't take up a lot of room, use resealable plastic bags.
- Keep raw meats away from other foods in the cooler to reduce risk of contamination.
- Pack in layers: Put the heaviest items on the bottom and the lightest and smallest items on the top. Leave a space for drinks, and after each layer add some ice to the cooler.
- If you have more than one cooler, use a separate cooler for drinks.
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