July 4th Picnic Recipes
Turkey-Cucumber Sandwiches with Cilantro Spread
Skip the deli shop sandwiches and add these turkey wraps to your 4th of July menu. The cilantro-yogurt schmear outshines plain mustard, while fluffy naan is far superior to a ho-hum hoagie roll. Prep at home and take the ingredients to go in an insulated tote to keep the meat temp within a food-safe range. Once you're at the picnic, assemble the sandwiches.
Swirled Fourth of July Bundt Cake
Inspired by the colorful show in the sky, this 4th of July cake is worthy of the space at the center of your holiday table. The cream cheese frosting and star sprinkles will spark everyone’s interest, then they’ll be blown away by the swirled cake batter hiding below!
Patriotic Candy Bark
“Fun and easy! A great hit at home,” says one BHG.com reader. Don’t just take her word for it, though. Taste and see, then dress up your all-American picnic with the cheery red, white, and blue dessert. This colorful candy bark comes together with only six ingredients and is the perfect end to a festive Fourth of July picnic.
Put fresh seasonal produce to delicious use in this stunning salad. Sophisticated palates at your 4th of July picnic will thank you for this summertime staple featuring peppery arugula, cool cucumber, honeydew melon, cilantro, and feta cheese. With just 85 calories per serving, this 4th of July side dish saves plenty of room for everyone to snack their way through the entire buffet.
Strawberry Hand Pies
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 summer dessert (especially if you have a large crowd).
Test Kitchen Tip: Wrap each individual blondie in waxed paper, then put them in a resealable bag for simple and cool transport.
Roasted Garlic and Bean Dip
Easy to make and even easier to tote, this roasted garlic and bean dip will most likely be the first item to disappear at your July 4th picnic. Think of it as a fresh twist on hummus! Serve this party appetizer with fresh veggie dippers such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet pepper strips, and more.
French Chopped Salad
Found: The ultimate quick and easy side dish if you can’t decide between potato salad, egg salad, or a fresh green salad. This easy summer recipe takes less than 25 minutes from start to finish, so you can easily make it for a last-minute July picnic. Fresh veggies add a satisfying crunch that pairs nicely with hard-cooked eggs and fingerling potatoes.
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. Serve with tortilla chips (homemade, if you please!) and strips of bell pepper so everyone can scoop up a serving—even if they’re counting carbs.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto
Step up your pasta salad game with an herbaceous pesto in place of the mayo dressing. To summer it up even more, a medley of seasonal veggies goes into this easily-shareable favorite. The 4th of July picnic recipe makes enough for 16, but if you have fewer people at your event, it can easily transition into the main dish if you fold in a can of beans or grilled chicken for protein.
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.
Test Kitchen 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
Here’s a semi-homemade solution if you’re short on time. Grilled donuts stand-in for shortcakes, and seasonal berries and whipped topping make for a deliciously festive and easy red, white, and blue dessert. If there's a grill at your picnic site, use it to heat up your donuts—if not, the dessert will still be tasty without the grill marks.
Who needs bread when the sandwich stuffings are this scrumptious as a layered salad? The only cooking required to bring this 4th of July appetizer to the table: crisping up the bacon.
Test Kitchen Tip: Top with sliced avocado for a creamy complement to the crunchy bacon and croutons, but first brush the slices with lemon juice to keep from browning.
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 grilled hot dogs.
Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruit
Hosting some vegetarian or vegan diners? This meatless variation 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. Then let everyone stack their own sandwiches on-site.
Chilled Corn Soup with Crispy Corn and Panko Topper
Get a jump on celebrating the upcoming late-summer harvest by serving a chilled soup with corn at its core. Prep the soup ahead and pack it in an insulated tumbler for easy picnicking. A healthy scoop of Greek yogurt ensures this recipe has enough staying power to keep holiday guests happy through the fireworks—or at least until dessert arrives!
Keep your 4th of July picnic ideas simple by sticking to crowd favorites, like juicy watermelon. This festive fruit salad makes for a fast and fresh 4th of July dessert. Mix chopped fruit, such as peeled peaches, nectarines, pears, and grapes, with watermelon juice and gelatin for a refreshingly sweet treat.
If you like Caprese salad or bruschetta, then you’ll love this super-seasonal (and super-tasty) salad. The ready-in-30-minutes 4th of July side dish a good picnic food idea because the ingredients are mixed in a large, portable Mason jar.
Test Kitchen Tip: Keep the dressing in a separate jar, and add it when you're ready to eat the salad.
Red Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing
Instead of stressing about how many serving bowls and utensils you need for your entire 4th of July menu, try our individually-portioned 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 single-serving cups (with the dressing on the side so it doesn't get soggy during transport).
Chunky Tomato Salsa
Snack on a taste of summer’s best in this homemade dip recipe. Unlike store-bought jars of salsa, our flavorful DIY version can be customized with green tomatoes, pineapple, or hot chipotles (we have directions for all three, plus a classic red tomato salsa). Pack it in a Mason jar as an easy 4th of July snack, and don't forget the chips!