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5 Festive 4th of July BBQ Ideas for a Patriotic Party

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When you think about it, the 4th of July is just one giant party. 

It’s the perfect time to raise your flag, decorate your backyard, and — of course — cook up some mean old grilled dishes. 

And not just any grilled dishes. We’re talking about dishes jam-packed with American spirit! So, get your grill out and take a look at five festive 4th of July recipes to star in your upcoming patriotic party!

1. Red, White, and Blue Fruit Skewers

Red, white, and blue are the national colors of the United States. That’s why, they should be present in at least one of our grilled dishes. 

But instead of dying our food with these colors, a more convenient alternative is to find ingredients that already feature these three pigments, which — in this case — are fruits. 

Fruits come in a rainbow of colors, so it won’t be difficult to find one that’s red, one that’s white, and one that’s blue. 

For this recipe, however, we’re focusing mainly on watermelon, bananas, and blueberries to create our red, white, and blue fruit skewers. 

To begin, cut one small seedless watermelon into cubes and two large peeled bananas into rounds. You can leave your blueberries as they are since they’re too small to slice. 

Once you have all the fruits on your counter or work table, thread each one — alternating between watermelon, banana, and blueberry — on a skewer, leaving one inch at the end.

Set your skewers aside for now while you preheat your grill to medium heat. 

Since your fruits can become a little sticky once cooked, I suggest greasing your grill with some vegetable oil or butter. This will help your fruits cook evenly without burning. 

When your grill reaches the right temperature (which is about 350-400°F), put your fruit skewers on top and cook for two minutes max per side. 

Remember, you don’t want to burn your fruits. You want them warm and slightly caramelized.

After removing your fruit skewers from the grill, you can transfer them to a plate, and dust them with powdered sugar for added sweetness.

If you don’t have powdered sugar on standby, a drizzle of honey or caramel will work just fine. 

2. Patriotic Potato Salad

We’re keeping the same red, blue, and white color scheme for our next dish. 

That’s why this recipe calls for two pounds of red potatoes, a pound of white potatoes, and another pound of blue potatoes.

Slice each potato into one-inch cubes and place them in your biggest pot full of water. 

Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat gradually until your potatoes start to simmer. Be sure to leave the veggies inside the pot for about 12 to 15 minutes to soften thoroughly.

Once you can pierce the potatoes with a fork, drain the pot and let your veggies cool to the side. 

In the meantime, make your potato salad dressing.

Whisk together half a cup of mayonnaise, a quarter cup of sour cream, two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

When your potatoes are cool to the touch, transfer them to a big bowl along with half a cup of diced red onion and celery, and about a quarter cup of parsley.

Now, pour your dressing over the potato mixture and give everything a gentle toss until all the ingredients are nicely coated.

Leave this potato salad in the fridge for an hour or two before serving to bring out the best flavor.

When it’s ready to eat, I sprinkle the top with a quarter cup of crumbled blue cheese and two tablespoons of chopped chives. 

But, if you’re not the biggest fan of blue cheese, you can use grated Parmesan cheese or vintage cheddar as a substitute. 

And if you want to pile on your toppings, you can use a combination of all these different cheeses.

3. Grilled Shrimp Tacos With Avocado Salsa

Yes, tacos are technically a Mexican-inspired dish. But they have also made their way into the hearts of many Americans. 

Tacos are now ingrained in the country’s food culture and we shouldn’t gloss over them when talking about 4th of July grilled recipes.

For this recipe, however, we’re not just making regular tacos. We’re putting our own spin on it.

First, prep your shrimp marinade by mixing together a quarter cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of lime juice, a teaspoon of ground cumin and chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.

Add a pound of your peeled and deveined shrimp in the same bowl and toss it in to coat every piece. Cover the bowl before putting it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. 

While your shrimp is absorbing all the flavors from the marinade, make your avocado salsa, which is my favorite part of the dish.

To make the salsa, grab a new bowl and combine two diced avocados, one diced tomato, a quarter cup of diced red onion, a quarter cup of chopped cilantro, and the juice of half a lime.

Don’t forget about your salt and pepper before mixing all the ingredients. 

By now, your shrimp should be done marinating, so take them out of the fridge and thread them onto your skewers before grilling for six minutes tops, flipping halfway through.

When grilling your shrimp skewers, you want to keep a close watch because as soon as they turn a shade of pink with a slight char, you need to pull them off the heat to avoid burning.

While your grill is still hot, place eight to 10 tortillas on top to warm them for about 30 seconds per side. 

Once your tortillas are toasted, you can assemble the tacos by adding your grilled shrimp. Finish it off with a spoonful of your homemade avocado salsa, and serve with lime wedges. 

As you can see, this finger food is really easy to make. It doesn’t take a Masterchef to whip up something as delicious as this. 

That said, if you’re just starting in the kitchen, this is a good recipe to try.

4. Macaroni Salad With Barbecue Chicken

Another easy dish you can make in a jiffy is this macaroni salad with barbecue chicken. 

This recipe still goes with our whole theme because we’re featuring a classic American food: barbecue chicken.

But before we get to the barbecue chicken, let’s first cook a box of elbow macaroni according to the package instructions.

You want to cook it just right — or as the Italians say, al dente. This means your pasta is firm, not hard or too mushy.

When your noodles are ready, dump them into a colander and give them a quick rinse under cold water to cool them down.

Now, let the macaroni rest for a few minutes while you focus on the barbecue chicken.

First things first, grab a pound of your boneless, skinless chicken breasts and season them with a teaspoon of salt and pepper. 

Then, put your seasoned chicken on the grill and let it cook for about 14 to 15 minutes, flipping it halfway through. You’re aiming for about seven minutes on each side, give or take.

Once your chicken is cooked through, slather your meat with your favorite BBQ sauce before grilling again for another two to three minutes.

When the timer’s up, take your chicken off the heat and chop it into bite-sized pieces, before setting aside.

With the macaroni and chicken prepped and ready, the only component left is the salad dressing.

For the salad dressing, you need to whisk together three-fourths cup of mayonnaise, a quarter cup of sour cream, and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard in a large bowl.

To the same bowl, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, half a teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Pour your cooked macaroni into the bowl with your dressing, then add your chopped BBQ chicken before mixing. 

While you can dig in at this point, you can go the extra mile and add other ingredients to make your salad more flavorful.

To do this, you can mix in half a cup of dried red bell pepper, half a cup of diced celery, a quarter cup of diced red onion, and a quarter cup of chopped parsley.

In my opinion, these other herbs and veggies add more depth to the dish, especially in terms of taste and texture. 

5. Grilled Pesto Turkey Burgers

Of course, our list of American grilled delicacies would not be complete if we didn’t touch on the most iconic dish of all: burgers.

By now, you know the drill: we’re not making a simple, classic burger. We’re making our own version of this beloved delicacy with this grilled pesto turkey burger recipe.

Growing up, my favorite pasta was always pesto pasta. And ever since I became adventurous with my food, I’ve been adding pesto to any dish I think will pair well with it.

Luckily, pesto works great for sandwiches and burgers, and now I’ve found a new way to enjoy this delicious sauce.

So, to make this grilled pesto turkey burger, grab a large bowl and combine a pound of ground turkey, and a quarter cup of store-bought pesto, breadcrumbs, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Although it should have enough flavor as it is, it doesn’t hurt to add a little bit of salt and black pepper to really bring the flavors together.

Mix your ingredients until they’re well combined. Then, divide them into four equal patties. 

If it would be easier for you, feel free to use a food scale to get a more precise measurement per patty. But I usually just eyeball it.

Once your patties are ready, preheat your grill and grease the grates with butter or vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

When your grill is hot enough, place your turkey patties on top and let them cook for a total of 14 minutes (seven minutes per side). 

During the final three minutes, place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each patty and close the grill lid to slightly melt the cheese. 

If you have enough space on your grill, you can also toast your buns beside your meat for about a minute per side. 

Doing this will help the bread absorb the juices of your meat and make your burger taste so much better.

With your meat and buns done, it’s time to assemble. 

Place a dollop of pesto on the bottom half of each toasted bun. Then, place a turkey patty on top. You can also add a few pieces of sundried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves to finish it off.

Now, you’ve got yourself a juicy turkey burger with pesto sauce, perfect with a side of fries!

Celebrate Independence Day With These Festive Recipes

If there’s any occasion to bring out the fun side of cooking (and eating), Independence Day has got to be at the top of the list.

During this holiday, you have your friends and family over, you’re celebrating the birthday of a country, and you’re eating incredible grilled dishes all the while waiting for the fireworks to begin.

What’s not to love about the 4th of July?

So, if you’re planning a big birthday bash for America on July 4, don’t forget to add these recipes to your menu. 

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