Festive, Healthful Dishes for Celebrating the 4th of July

Maybe you just need a few recipes to add to your classic stand-bys for your holiday barbecue, or maybe you want to totally revamp your 4th of July spread.  Either way, choose the dishes that look best to you here and add them for your celebration!

Crowd pleasing appetizer boards


Appetizer boards are getting more popular and trendy and all for good reason. The beauty of offering an appetizer board is it can please food connoisseurs and picky eaters at the same time. Everyone can pick and choose what they want to take from the board.

A 4th of July appetizer board can simply be a few cheeses, a variety of vegetables, bread option, a few optional meats and some fruit all in piles on a board (or tray if you don’t have a big wooden board). If you want something a bit more elevated, you could put out a marinated tomato and grilled veggie cheese board or a Nordic appetizer board.

Fresh, grilled veggies


Move over potato salad and plain veggie trays: adding in some simple, grilled vegetables can be a delicious, refreshing side for any summer gathering. Most grilled vegetables can be served hot- fresh off the grill- or made ahead of time and served room temperature or cold.

This grilled vegetable platter recipe uses a simple marinade of olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar and dried herbs. Simply add any vegetables you have (that can be grilled) and let them marinate for 1-2 hours before grilling.

Don’t want to bother peeling vegetables before your meal? This grilled carrots with avocado and mint from Bon Appétit uses unpeeled carrots that are put straight on the grill. 

Grilling zucchini can also be an easy, healthy option for your 4th of July. In many parts of the country, zucchini is in season so it’s a local, inexpensive option.

  • Simply cut length wise and quarter zucchini.

  • Brush with olive oil and desired herbs/spices.

  • Grill until browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side depending on grill temperature.

Fun, beautiful fruit dishes


Having fresh fruits as part of your 4th of July celebrations is a must. Fruits are at their peak harvest, they are readily available and scream summer. Fruit dishes also provide an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber and vitamins to help balance out any meal.

Some fun, unique ways to add healthy fruit dishes for 4th of July include:

Festive, vegetarian 4th of July main dishes


If you think 4th of July only means meat on the grill for main dishes, picture these satisfying dishes at your holiday celebration. These can be in place of meat options or an easy addition for those who would prefer a vegetarian main dish option.

These roasted caprese burrata sliders not only go right along the color theme of celebrating the 4th of July, but they are also easy and delicious. You can roast the tomatoes in the oven a day or two ahead of time.

This summer squash tacos with avocado chimichurri sauce recipemay require extra time chopping vegetables, but all the chopping will pay off with these delicious, festive tacos. The beans and array of vegetables will leave you satisfied after eating these.

Summer pasta salad with grilled vegetables can be a 4th of July crowd-pleasing main or side dish. You can vary any pasta salad recipe with the type of pasta (if you need gluten-free or another shape), vegetables, herbs, spices or other flavors on hand. An easy pasta salad dressing can be made from extra virgin olive oil and a few dashes of balsamic or red wine vinegar (to taste).


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