45 Spectacular Side Dishes for the Fourth of July
Fourth of July is a holiday that brings friends and family together to enjoy the summer weather and a spread of good food—and everyone has a favorite make-and-take dish to bring along to the party. For guys and gals who like to grill, we have some finger-licking rib recipes that will have your guests coming back for seconds. For Southern bakers, a cookout is the perfect time to use seasonal fruits to turn out deliciously melty cobblers or easy-to-transport sheet cakes. For most, however, it’s the delicious bounty of Fourth of July side dishes—not only what's on the grill—that makes a paper plate feel like fine china. A Independence Day barbecue or cookout is simply not complete without classics such as potato salad, baked beans, tomato salad, and creamed corn. Check out this lineup of fresh, seasonal, Fourth of July side dishes—they'll have you feeling patriotic in no time.
Classic Grilled Corn on the Cob
Recipe: Classic Grilled Corn on the Cob
This recipe is simple and delicious enough on its own—but the real stars of the show are the four topping options. From a bacony ranch drizzle to a basil butter with parmesan, these toppings are so good you'll officially make corn on the cob your forever-favorite cookout side.
Spicy Pepper Jelly Coleslaw
Recipe: Spicy Pepper Jelly Coleslaw
It's no secret that Southerners love their pepper jelly. We took it one step further by dedicating a hot-and-sweet coleslaw recipe to the standout condiment.
Classic Baked Beans
Recipe: Baked Beans
A dish of baked beans is a welcome addition to any backyard barbecue, and this recipe is classic and simple to make and take.
Recipe: Classic Succotash
Packed with some of summer’s best produce, including onion, corn, and lima beans, this traditional Southern side makes the perfect potluck dish.
Mixed Herb-and-Heirloom Tomato Salad
Independence Day is the perfect time to make this simple yet memorable tomato salad—right in the height of summer, when tomatoes and fresh herbs abound.
Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal
Recipe: Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal
When it's too hot to break out the deep-fryer, a quick and lighter pan-fry will do the trick. It lets fresh okra really shine.
Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese...but make it summery. Use your in-season tomatoes to top off this classic comfort side dish.
Smoky Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs
Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad
Recipe: Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad
While you'll see plenty of salads that pair tomatoes and watermelon together, we think peaches deserve a little more attention beyond cobbler. This salad tastes like summer.
Recipe: Creamed Corn
This dish is a staple at cookouts and barbecues around the South. For an added wow factor, top the creamed corn with a sprinkling of chopped fried bacon.
Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
These bacon-wrapped bundles make serving a crowd easy, which is the name of the game on the Fourth of July.
Recipe: Macaroni Pie
My, oh my—a macaroni pie?! Mac and cheese that’s firm enough to be sliceable, but with an utterly irresistible creaminess that can only be the result of pure magic—we’re not sure how, but we made it happen.
Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
Recipe: Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
Part appetizer, part side dish, 100% party-approved.
Spicy Grilled Corn Salad
Recipe: Spicy Grilled Corn Salad
Inspired by Mexican-style street corn, this side dish hits all of the tangy, smoky, and ever-so-slightly creamy notes.
Recipe: Potatoes Patio
It's the creamy, cheesy potato bake that belongs at every barbecue.
Marinated Watermelon and Tomato Salad
This isn't your basic watermelon salad. Tomatoes and melon soak up a tangy lime-ginger-mint vinaigrette and are topped with creamy goat cheese.
Field Peas, Corn, and Okra in Country-Ham Cream
While a fresh trio of veggies is the star of the dish, the country-ham cream will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Recipe: Crispy Potatoes
Two different kinds of potatoes and the perfect combo of seasonings will see you through this recipe.
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
Recipe: Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
It doesn't get more crowd-pleasing than a Caprese. Give this salad a fun new look by using a mix of multicolored cherry tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella balls tossed in a simple vinaigrette.
Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
Recipe: Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
This recipe reminds you of the potato salad your grandmother served at family reunions. With an ingredient list that includes hard-boiled eggs, sweet salad pickles, mayonnaise and jalapenos peppers, we guarantee your guests will be back for seconds.
Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole
Yellow squash and zucchini are quite prolific in the South. This recipe, a popular choice for cookouts and outdoor parties, makes delicious use of summer’s bounty.
Recipe: Zucchini-Potato Casserole
The French word for this beautiful dish of layered vegetables is tian. Packed with ingredients such as garden fresh onions, tomatoes and zucchini, we call it sheer summer goodness.
Charred Potato-Okra Salad
Recipe: Charred Potato-Okra Salad
Got fresh okra? Here's how to use it. We updated a cookout classic—potato salad—with crisp, smoky grilled okra.
Recipe: Permanent Slaw
Like a cross between a vinegar-based coleslaw and chowchow, this recipe is just the tangy touch to add to any cookout main.
Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks
Recipe: Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks
Serve these crispy zucchini fries as a fun and fresher alternative to French fries.
Skillet Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Don't be fooled: There are still pasta noodles in there. It shouldn't come as a surprise that we wouldn't dare replace our pasta with caulifower. Instead, we decided to combine the two.
Recipe: Strawberry-Tomato Salad
Look for mini multicolored tomatoes at the supermarket. Toss them with fresh herbs and strawberries for a surprising side to serve with grilled meat or fish.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe: Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
We'll be serving up these simple sweet potato fries all year long.
Three-Bean Pasta Salad
Recipe: Three-Bean Pasta Salad
We combined two potluck classics—pasta salad and three-bean salad—to make one tasty new side dish.
Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob
Recipe: Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob
When you don't have the time or energy to grill it, bake it! This recipe is a keeper.
Rum Baked Beans
Recipe: Rum Baked Beans
Baked beans belong at a Fourth of July cookout like hotdogs belong at the ballpark. These rum-inspired baked beans are loaded with bacon and four types of beans—some might mistake it for the main course.
Mac and Cheese with Ham
Recipe: Mac and Cheese with Ham
Believe it or not, this reader favorite is made on the lighter side. Subtle than most on the butter and cheese, this outdoor party classic will still melt in your mouth.
Field Pea-Tomato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
This gorgeous summer salad showcases peak-season tomatoes, fresh herbs, and lady peas.
Street Corn Salad
Recipe: Street Corn Salad
This quick and easy Street Corn Salad comes together in a short 20 minutes. Combine the ingredients with a dash of olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and you have a delicious summer side or dip. Now that's summer siding made simple!
Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
Recipe: Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
As far as we're concerned, this old-school cold salad pairs well at any cookout.
Big Daddy’s Grilled Blue Cheese and Bacon Potato Salad
Every good cook south of the Mason Dixon line has a special recipe for potato salad. Give this one, with grilled potatoes and crumbled blue cheese, a try, and you might just add it to your list of favorites.
Field Pea, Corn, and Bacon Salad
Recipe: Field Pea, Corn, and Bacon Salad
Akin to a classic succotash, this recipe can be thrown together in just minutes.
Garden Potato Salad
Recipe: Garden Potato Salad
New potatoes are simply baby spring potatoes with delicate thin skins. The red-skinned potatoes, along with the vibrant green peas and herbs, creates a colorful summer side dish.
Recipe: Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad
If you like salt on your watermelon, you will love this salad. Who knew tomatoes and watermelons play so well together? When Chef Bill Smith at Crook’s Corner Café and Bar in Chapel Hill, NC put this salad on his menu, it was an instant hit.
Three-Cheese Pasta Bake
Recipe: Three-Cheese Pasta Bake
This delicious variation on traditional macaroni and cheese is easy to prepare and perfect for both weeknight family dinners and weekend entertaining.
Grandma Gwen's Beans
Recipe: Grandma Gwen's Beans
This top-rated reader favorite won our 2012 ‘Cue Awards for Best Baked Beans. One bite and you will understand why.
Tee's Corn Pudding
Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding
One of our most requested recipes for a summer outdoor event, this classic recipe has a rich, soufflé-like texture without the hassle.
Two-Cheese Squash Casserole
Recipe: Two-Cheese Squash Casserole
This cheesy summertime favorite calls for yellow squash, but feel free to sub in some zucchini for an added splash of color.
Sesame, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad
As much as we love using up our summer tomatoes in a fat-stacked BLT, we'll leave out a pound of the juicy red delights for this refreshing salad.