This year will be the first summer in a while where life will seem somewhat normal. With that, so many of us will be celebrating all of the special holidays that only come in the summertime. One of the biggest celebrations is the 4th of July. Families will be barbecuing, watching fireworks, and spending time together. With all of this in mind, let me help you figure out some of the side dishes for your 4th of July!
Yummy Side Dishes For Your Independence Day
Easy and great tasting side dishes for the 4th of July.
Grilled Chicken Caprese Skewers
There is nothing better than firing up the grill on the 4th of July. A little bit before guests arrives, take a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts and grill them. From there, cut the breasts into square cubes. On the side take some fresh mozzarella and do the same. You can roll pieces into small balls or cube them.
Fresh cherry tomatoes will be the third ingredient on your skewers. It’s probably best to use disposable skewers such as plastic or wooden so that there is less clean-up for you.
Alternate the chicken cubes, the balled mozzarella, and the cherry tomatoes on the skewer. Roughly three rounds of each should suffice for a side dish. You can put them skewers back on the grill for a minute or two if you want that kind of taste, but it’s not necessary.
Next, you will want to provide a choice of dippable dressing for the skewers. Traditionally, Caprese is topped with balsamic, but it can also be topped with pesto. Good and Gather from Target has a yummy basil pesto sauce that can be dispensed onto a plate or into small Dixie cups. With the balsamic, opt for a thicker dressing as opposed to one made with more vinegar.
You can make this exact same recipe, but with grilled shrimp instead! Or do a combination of both to please everyone in attendance.
Watermelon Fruit Salad
Watermelon is arguably one of the top fruits of the summer. It is often readily available and tastes wonderful on a hot summer day.
Head on down to your favorite supermarket or farmer’s market and pick up a fairly large watermelon. Be sure it is of the seedless variety. Once back home, prepare to cut the melon in half. However, instead of a traditional straight cut, use a zigzag or tooth-like pattern to split it in half.
Once halved, scoop out the contents of each side with a melon scooper. Place the contents on the side in a separate bowl. Once both sides are clear, cut up some other traditional summer fruits. Some great and color options include cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, grapes, blueberries, and raspberries. Avoid fruits that won’t keep as long, such as bananas or apples.
Offer guests small bowls to scoops the fruit salad into and squirt able whip cream to top it with. If you are feeling really festive, run this similar to an ice cream sundae bar – with nuts, cherries and chocolate sauce.
Dill Pickle Macaroni Salad
Try a new twist on a traditional macaroni salad by adding a unique taste to it! Dick pickle macaroni salad is not only delicious but super easy to make.
Start out by boiling your favorite spiral or macaroni pasta. Other ingredients you’ll need are diced dill pickles (2-3 cups cut up), pickle juice (1/2-1 cup), 1 cup of mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons of fresh dill, and 1 cup of sour cream.
Once the pasta is ready to go, simply mix all of the ingredients together as you would any other pasta salad. Some additional add ons can be included such as cubed Colby jack cheese, sliced pepperoni or salami, and green olives.
Roasted Veggie Platter
While a nice veggie platter is always a welcome addition to any backyard feast, mix it up by roasting all of the veggies on the grill beforehand. Roasted veggies are not only yummy but soak in many of the tastes that only a grill can provide.
Some great options include carrots, onions, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and beets. Simple cut all of the vegetables into bite-size pieces, place them together on a piece of tinfoil, and grill them. Keep in mind they will not need to cook as long as a piece of meat!
You can season the veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, or rosemary. If you don’t have a grill, the same can be done in a traditional oven as well. Be sure to provide several topping options for the roasted veggies, including balsamic, ranch, and Italian dressing.
It’s never a bad idea to add something sweet to a good BBQ. The traditional flag cake is always a good option but is often overdone. However, you can take this and mix it up a bit!
Instead of making one large sheet cake, make small pieces of strawberry shortcake instead. Fresh strawberries are best for this!
Bite-size vanilla cream cupcakes are another yummy option. These are traditional vanilla cupcakes, with the top cut off, vanilla pudding put in the middle, the top put back on, and frosted with vanilla bean frosting.
On the blue end of things, of course, using blueberries is always an option. Blueberry cobbler is a fun twist to its apple and peach counterparts. However, this recipe from the Cake Whiz blog for a blue pudding truffle is not only easy to make but fun!
If chocolate is your dessert of choice, you can always make chewy brownies and top them with red, white, and blue M&M’s or similar colored frosting.
Some Other Fun Ideas
While it’s always fun to get creative with side dishes for the 4th of July, the truth is old standbys are awesome, too!
Some other neat ideas might include:
- Soft pretzels and beer cheese
- Homemade beef nachos with all the trimmings
- Crock-Pot Swedish meatballs
- Buffalo chicken dip and tortilla chips
- Tiny hot dogs rolled in Pillsbury rolls
- Mustard potato salad