July 4th weekend is upon us and, along with it, comes celebrations and cookouts with friends and family. This is probably one of my favorite holidays and as much fun as it is, planning an outdoor party and grill-friendly recipes that everyone can enjoy can be a daunting process. To try to help alleviate this tedious task, I’ve come up with a foolproof list of July 4th Party Recipe Favorites. This list includes some of my favorite grilled cookout dishes and desserts. More importantly, it also includes beef, chicken, and fish options so nobody is left out – which is guaranteed to excite even the pickiest of eaters!
I am starting off with dessert since that is the most fun – especially when they are chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. Not only are these sandwiches delicious, they are also incredibly easy to prepare ahead of time – in fact it is recommended! Use my Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe to create the cookie crusts, then when the cookies cool, scoop your favorite ice cream – mine is any flavor of Talenti Gelato – and place it between two cookies. Roll the sides of the ice cream sandwiches in mini chocolate chips, crumbled oreos, mini M&M’s, or whatever other sweet treat your heart desires. These Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches are the perfect dessert for a hot summer pool party and your guests will absolutely love them!
Now it would be a shonda not to include a juicy burger for a July 4th party because, let’s face it, that’s what most people are looking for. However, nobody said that you couldn’t spruce it up a little for the event! Make a boring burger more special by adding beautiful bright Basil Pesto to the mix (literally). Make the Basil Pesto a day or two in advance and store in the refrigerator – or if you’re like me, just defrost one of the hundreds of jars of homemade pesto that you hoarded from your garden over the summer! 🙂
Add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pesto to two pounds of 90/10 grassfed beef and mix until everything is evenly combined. Form the meat into patties – I like 4 – 8 oz patties per 2 pounds beef – and season the tops and bottoms of the patties with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. Grill until medium rare, topping each patty with gruyere cheese during the last minute. Finish these pesto burgers with a beefsteak tomato slice and a dollop of Basil Pesto. All your meat-eaters will rejoice when they see these elegant yet satisfying delights!
For those folks that are more interested in having chicken on the grill, these Mediterranean inspired Souvlaki Chicken Kabobs are the perfect choice. And did I mention that they are incredibly healthy and easy to prepare? These chicken breasts kabobs have the traditional souvlaki flavorings of lemon and oregano, paired with new unique touches like earthy sage, briny capers, herb de provence and zesty red wine vinegar. Add in the fact that they are in easy transportable kabob form and you’ve got yourself a July 4th party winner!
Want more chicken options? Why not completely reinvent the traditional burger, creating a healthy low-carb Peppers and Chipotle Chicken Burger on a Portobello Bun. Like the kabobs, heart-healthy ground chicken breast is transformed into a juicy and flavorful alternative to hot dogs and beef burgers. These Chicken Burgers are infused with spicy sautéed peppers, onions and garlic and sandwiched between two grilled-to tender-perfection portobello mushrooms. To make these burgers even more mouthwatering, each patty is topped with creamy smoked gouda cheese and fire-roasted poblano and bell peppers. These Peppers and Chipotle Chicken Burgers on a Portobello Bun are so good, they may even convert some of the beef lovers!
Now every so often there’s one or two people who stray away from the pack and prefer some sort of fish for their cookout meal. It doesn’t happen often, but in the rare event that it does, these Open-Faced Pacific Cod Tacos with Salsa Fresca are the perfect cookout choice. They are so easy to make and the Pacific Cod can be thrown on the grill alongside the burgers and kabobs. In addition, the bright zesty Salsa Fresca that tops the Cod can be made in advance and can double as an ingredient in a fresh summer quinoa salad! These elegant Open-Faced Pacific Cod Tacos with Salsa Fresca can easily and effortlessly be incorporated into your cookout, pleasing meat and non-meat eaters alike!
There you have it, my July 4th Party Recipe Favorites! I hope that you will love these simple and delicious recipes as much I do. Enjoy and Happy 4th of July!!!