4th of July Recipes

Find healthy, delicious 4th of July recipes for parties and picnic including appetizers, salads and drink recipes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

EatingWell Flag Cake

Rating: 3.75 stars
1
Though this stunning red, white and blue American flag cake screams “Fourth of July Cake,” it's such a good dessert you'll want to make it for Memorial Day and other summer holidays too. We made this flag cake recipe healthy, with less saturated fat and calories than traditional versions, by replacing some butter in the yellow sheet cake with oil. Plus, for the cream cheese frosting, we replaced some of the cream cheese and butter with low-fat Greek yogurt.

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

What better way to take advantage of summer's bounty of berries than to enclose a mixture of berries in flaky pastry and bake up these delicious turnovers--the perfect handheld dessert for picnics and backyard parties. A dusting of sugar on top of the hand pies creates a crispy crust and eliminates the need for frying.

No-Cook Black Bean Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars
3
A classic black bean salad is a must for picnics and potlucks. This vegan version gets its creaminess from blended avocado. Any mix of salad greens will work well, but try arugula if you want to give this hearty salad a peppery kick.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Rating: 4.79 stars
11
Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don't have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.

Cucumber & Avocado Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
This healthy cucumber-avocado salad takes just five minutes to prep. Lime juice and fresh herbs boost the bright flavors in this crunchy and creamy salad that's a perfect side dish for grilled chicken, fish or steak. This recipe calls for an English cucumber, which doesn't have to be peeled, but regular cucumbers work well too--just peel them before slicing.

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.4 stars
5
This Japanese-inspired cool, crisp salad is as elegant and well balanced as it is simple.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This scrumptious and healthy salad combines elements of Caesar salad, pasta salad and chicken salad for an easy weeknight dinner that comes together in less than 30 minutes (and most of the prep can be done ahead). Use your blender to whip together the tangy buttermilk-based dressing, which would also be great on a salmon or chickpea salad.

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Rating: 4.8 stars
5
Here's a healthy salad recipe to make at the height of summer when watermelon and cucumbers are at their juiciest and most flavorful. Feta adds the perfect creamy, salty, tangy edge, and mint makes this salad taste even brighter. This is one easy side salad you'll want to serve at all your summer BBQs.

Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.42 stars
6
Fresh wedges of tomato, thinly sliced onion and sliced cucumber dressed simply with vinegar and oil makes the most simple salad possible--think of it as the Southern counterpart to the classic Italian tomato-and-mozzarella salad. It is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
This refreshing fruit salad is a classic combination that will be the favorite at any potluck or cookout. Serve with a creamy yogurt dressing to take this side (or dessert) to the next level.

Italian Vegetable Hoagies

Rating: 4.88 stars
15
This delightfully easy, and somewhat messy, sandwich packs a punch with sweet balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese and zesty pepperoncini. We love it for dinner as well as lunch. If you're packing the hoagies to take along, keep the ingredients separate and assemble right before eating to avoid soggy bread. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad.

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Rating: 4.63 stars
23
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
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Inspiration and Ideas

No-Bake Berry Flag Cake

This pretty and patriotic treat takes just 20 minutes to prepare. Something else to celebrate for the 4th of July!

Classic Deviled Eggs

Is it even really a party without deviled eggs?

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Rating: 4.67 stars
3

Sweet strawberries are nestled between layers of sponge cake and a cream filling in this easy cake. We add nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt to whipped cream to lighten up the filling and give it a little tang.