Preparing Crowd-Pleasing July 4th Recipes
Planning recipes for July 4th gatherings can be challenging. Whether you are cooking for just family or for a larger group of friends there are many elements that all need to come together for a successful event. Should you order from your favorite BBQ shop? Maybe there’s a special-order item that rounds out the meal? Is there a guest who’s dietary restrictions need to be addressed? Consequently, you might ask yourself:
- What recipes should I prepare?
- What will the menu look like?
- Can I do it all myself?
What 4th of July Recipes Should You Make?
Typically a July 4th B-B-Q includes a broad selection of appetizers, salads, sides, the main course, and dessert. We’re talking American classics like:
- BBQ Ribs
- Corn on the Cob
- Potato Salad
- Savory Biscuits
- Watermelon Salad
- Cherry Pie
In addition to these great 4th of July dishes, you might consider how it’s all going to come together in the planning department.
Maybe a Personal Chef Can Prepare Your July 4th Recipes?
Did you know that Personal Chefs help clients entertain on July 4th events as part of their custom service? When you hire a Bay Area Personal Chef to cater all or part of your Independence Day Party or family meal, you will save yourself the hard work of creating and executing a memorable menu for just a few or for many guests. Your personal chef will take into consideration:
- Festive 4th of July menu plans
- Allergy-friendly recipes
- Food preferences
Whether it’s grilling, sautéing, baking, or frosting a cake, there are certain techniques and tips that make the job easier as well as even more delicious. Consider hiring a Personal Chef to bring each of the elements together for an enjoyable, delicious feast with all the trimmings in the comfort of your own home. Our Collective of Personal Chefs has the experience required to budget, shop, prepare, and serve the entire meal, leaving you to engage with your guests and relax at your own party.
Featured here is a list of our top 10 best July 4th recipes prepared by our Chapter of local Bay Area Personal Chefs. Many of these colorful plates are client favorites. Perhaps you’ll want to try one or more of these recipes shared by these creative Personal Chefs!
- Caprese Skewers and Spicy Ribs
- Planter Salads w/Grains, Beans and Veggies
- Mixed Baby Potato Salad with Asparagus
- Watermelon Salad with Feta and Arugula
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Citrus Salad
- Carrot Orange Cake with Chocolate Glaze
- Mini Blueberry Muffins
- Mixed Berry Pie
- Patriotic Berry Tartlets
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Blackberries with chili powder give this BBQ sauce a unique tangy-berry and spice combination.
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Chef Joni came up with this unique “garden-style” salad, what a presentation!
Grains, Beans & Veggie Planter Box Salads
- 4 (4-inch) plastic planter pots
- parchment paper (to line the inside of each planter cell to cover up the holes on the bottom)
- 4 butter lettuce leaves or more to double layer
- 11/2 c. cooked grains and or green lentils any combination will do
- 11/2 c. chopped veggies of your choice scallions, bell peppers, celery, carrots, etc.
Salad dressing (vegan)
- 1/2 c hummus I like the garlicy version
- 1/8 c water to desired thickness
- 1-2 tsp dijon mustard spicy mustard is good too
- 1 tbls lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp maple syrup, if needed optional
- 12 mini pearl tomatoes 3 for each pot
- 4 marinated mini mozzarella balls 1 for each pot
- 4 parsley or cilantro sprigs 1 for each pot
- Chopped black olives for more "dirt"
- Chopped black beans for more "dirt"
- Chopped nuts to mimic gravel-like soil
- Line each planter with parchment paper. Cut the paper large enough to come up the sides, but keep below the height of the planter.
- Put the lettuce leaves inside the planter, molding them to the size and shape of the planter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the grains (and lentils if using), the chopped veggies and the salad dressing.
- Scoop this mixture into each planter, about 3/4 cup each.
- Strategically place the tomatoes, cheese and parsley.
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(4 of 10)
Chef Johanna‘s salad has a satisfying combination of fresh ingredients that exemplify the colors of our flag for 4th of July.
Arugula, Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta salad
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 2.5 lemons
- 1/3 cup minced shallots 1 large
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2/3 cup good olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups baby arugula washed and spun dry
- 1/4 seedless watermelon rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 12 ounces good feta cheese 1/2-inch diced
- 1 cup 4 ounces whole fresh mint leaves, julienned
- ½ cup fresh blueberries optional for a true 4th of July salad
- Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.
- Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.
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Chef Dawn combines grilled corn with similar textures and sizes to create an enticing-looking chopped salad that is easy to serve and eat.
Grilled Corn Salad
- 2 ears corn, fresh or 1 1/4 cup corn; cooked or frozen, thawed
- 1/2 c black beans rinsed and drained
- 1/4 c red onion very thinly sliced
- 1/4 c red bell pepper small chopped
- 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped (+ more for garnish)
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 avocado, sliced for garnish
- Husk the corn ears and rinse to remove silk.
- Heat grill on med-high heat*.
- Grill corn, turning until evenly nicely browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Cut corn from cob into a bowl; combine with remaining ingredients.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and arranged avocado slices.
- * I use a cast iron grill pan and it works really well for indoors. Grilling adds alot of flavor and texture to fresh Summer corn.
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Chef Mashav likes to combine the bright flavors of summer in this flavorful, chunky tossed salad.
Citrus, Golden Beets and Arugula Salad with Torn Croutons and Herb Vinaigrette
- 4 Tangelos Oranges, Mandarin or any combination of these
- ½ bunch Arugula or 3 oz (about 1/2 of a 7oz bag)
- 1 c Radicchio or other bitter leaves
- 5 oz baby spinach
- ½ lbs golden beets, raw, tops removed
- 1 tbls olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 2 tbls red wine vinegar
- 1 tbls honey
- 1 Tangelo, juiced or other citrus
- Chopped roasted nuts (walnuts, pistachio, almonds) OPTIONAL
- Crumbled feta cheese OPTIONAL
- 4 slices day-old country or sourdough bread
- ¼ c olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Tear the bread to desired-size pieces. Toss the croutons in a bowl with the olive oil to coat them evenly, then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Avoid crowding.
- Toast croutons for about 15-20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes, turning and rotating as needed.
- Remove croutons that are golden and until all croutons are finished toasting. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.
- When done, let the croutons cool in a single layer on the baking sheet. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Use the same baking sheet lined with parchment paper from the croutons.
- Wash beets, leave the skin on. Make sure to dry well to avoid excess moisture. Trim the top, slice in half lengthwise.
- Put in a bowl and toss with olive oil, Kosher salt and seasoning of your preference (herbs, spices, or simply just salt and pepper).
- Place the beets face down on the baking sheet, do not overcrowd.
- Roast on the middle rack in the oven for 20 minutes. Rotate the sheet and check every 5 minutes until the beets are done. They are ready when edges are crisp and golden, and the center is tender and moist.
Assemble the salad
- Whisk all the ingredients for the vinaigrette dressing in a mixing bowl and taste for seasoning.
- Peel tangelos (or oranges) and cut them lengthwise. Cut radicchio (if using) to bite-size pieces. Cut the roasted beets into bite-size pieces.
Just before serving, dress the salad
- Put the vegetables and half of the croutons in a big mixing bowl, drizzle with a third of the vinaigrette and toss gently with your hands. Taste and correct if more dressing, croutons or salt is needed.
- Arrange the vegetables on a serving dish and if desired can be topped with chopped roasted nuts (walnuts, pistachio, almonds) or crumbled feta cheese.
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Chef Anna tops this delicious cake with a beautiful mirrored chocolate glaze.
Red Basket Carrot Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze
- 9 X 13 bake pan
- 2 1/2 c grated carrots
- 1/2 c avocado oil
- 1/4 c milk or orange juice
- 4 large eggs
- 1 c dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp Fiore di Sicilia essence King Arthur, or 1 tsp orange oil
- 2 c flour or 2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 4 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 1/2 sheet cake pan with a light coat of avocado oil.
Make the cake
- Mix all 6 ingredients in a blender or mixer up to when you get a smooth glossy batter.
- Transfer the batter to a bowl and add the 3 dry ingredients, mix well.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 - 45 minutes, or until the cake has is firm and golden brown.
Make the glaze
- While the cake is cooling, mix all ingredients in a small pan on low heat until well mixed and glossy.
- Spread evenly over the cooled cake.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
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Chef Dawn prepares these tiny bites of goodness with the help of her granddaughters. They love to help in the kitchen and eat up the tasty goodies.
Blueberry Almond Muffins
- muffin pan, mini muffin pan, or silicon muffin cups
- 2 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 c sugar
- 4 tbls butter, unsalted melted and slightly cooled
- 1 1/4 c sour cream
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 c blueberries wild, frozen (do not defrost)
- 1/4 c sliced almonds
- 1 pint prepared frosting, either vanilla or cream cheese, or make your own
- 1/2 c fresh blueberries garnish
For the muffins
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees, and position rack in center of oven. Spray a standard or mini muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside until needed. Or if using, place the individual silicon mini cups on a baking sheet or sheet pan as you fill them.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl; whisk to aerate and mix thoroughly; set aside.
- Whisk the egg in a medium mixing bowl until frothy. Add the sugar, and whisk briskly until thick and smooth.
- Add the melted butter in 3 additions, whisking each until fully incorporated. Add the sour cream in 2 additions; whisk until smooth.Whisk in the almond extract.
- Add the frozen blueberries to the flour mixture, and toss gently to combine.
- Add in the sour cream mixture, and fold with a large rubber spatula just until the batter comes together. Do not over-mix; the batter will be thick, and there may be some spots of flour showing. Stop folding when purple streaks begin to appear in the batter.
- Use an ice cream scoop (or large spoon) to drop the batter into the prepared muffin pan.
- Bake until the muffins are puffed, golden brown and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. *See below for mini muffins.
- Remove muffins from the oven, and leave in the pan for 5 minutes; then invert onto a cooling rack or remove from the silicon cups. Stand the muffins upright, and leave to cool to room temp.
- Frost the completely cooled muffins and sprinkle with almonds and place 1 fresh blueberry on top as garnish.
translates to more blueberries per bite in each muffin. Frozen cultivated berries may be substituted if wild blueberries are not available. Regardless, do not thaw the berries before adding.
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Chef Dawn combines these luscious fruits in a flaky pastry for the ultimate mixed berry pie.
Cafe Hon's Mixed Berry Pie
For the Crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chilled shortening
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1/2 to 1/3 cup ice water
For the Filling
- 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
- 2 cups raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup blackberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
For the Crust
- Process the flour, salt, shortening and butter in a food processor until you get the visual consistency of fine meal.
- Place the fine meal into a bowl. With a fork make a hole in the meal. Pour the ice water in the hole and gently mix the water into the fine meal. Continue this process until the fine meal has the consistency of play dough.
- Flour your board and rolling pin, and then roll out the dough. Divide the dough in half and roll out dough for a 2 crust 9-inch pie.
For the Filling
- If using frozen fruit, measure first, then thaw and drain fruit.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon, stir with fork. Place 1 crust into the pie pan. Spread 1/3 of the sugar mixture on the bottom and add fruit. Top the mixed berries with the rest of the sugar mixture. Wet the edges of the bottom crust by dipping your finger in the ice water and rubbing it around the edge of the crust. Place the top crust on the pie and gently press the top crust to the bottom. Trim with a knife and roll under. Press together with the thumb and forefinger to make a scalloped edge. With the knife, place 8 1/2-inch slits on the top of the pie.
- Bake for 45 minutes. When checking the doneness of the filling, insert a knife into the center of the pie. If there is little or no resistance, the pie is done.
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Chef Garbo likes to prepare this easy tartlet recipe that has the perfect patriotic colors for an attractive presentation. Why not wow your guests with this simple July 4th dessert! Get the recipe here.
If you made it to this section of our post you are well on your way to creating some festive and tasty July 4th recipes that your guests will be talking about for years to come. And if you feel you will be needing a helping hand with the menu planning or recipe selections our Chefs are here to help. Call us now and let us get you on track for mouth-watering July 4th recipes made easy!