25 Traditional 4th of July Recipes That’ll Make You Feel So Patriotic

Healthy cowboy burger

The Fourth of July menu is predominantly made up of things you can cook to perfection on your grill—and we wouldn’t dare mess with a good thing. Here are some of our absolute favorite recipes for grilling burgers, hot dogs, and steak, while we’ve also added some summer-bounty sides, delectable desserts, and refreshing cocktails to complete your Independence Day celebration. Make sure you’re staying away from mistakes that can ruin your BBQ and keep those drinks coming. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food news and recipes delivered straight to your inbox.


Watermelon Margarita

watermelon manarita pitcher
Courtesy of Teremana

Kick off your July 4th festivities with a refreshing watermelon marg that’ll keep you cool and hydrated as you’re manning the grill or prepping that marinade.

Get our recipe for Watermelon Margarita.


Cowboy Burgers

Healthy cowboy burger
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

What burger could be more appropriate for a July 4th cookout than one that pays tribute to the Wild West? This spicy, melty, crispy rendition of a cheeseburger has some surprising ingredients, and can be made with bison or beef.

Get our recipe for Cowboy Burgers.


Potato Salad

Potato salad

You can’t celebrate without the most popular side dish of July 4th tablescapes. Our potato salad is also the lightest version you’ll find. However, it doesn’t skimp on flavor at all and has all the makings of a classic—pickles, onions, mustard, mayo, and some hard-boiled eggs, too.

Get our recipe for Potato Salad.


Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Low-calorie chicago dog
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Pay homage to the home of the best American hot dog with this lightened up take on a classic Chicago-style dog. Note: the order in which you add the toppings is of paramount importance.

Get our recipe for Chicago-Style Hot Dogs



Low-calorie sliders 2 ways
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A mini version of anything is so much more fun—especially when it comes in two flavors! Make these sliders that’ll cook faster on the grill in two mouth-watering flavor combos: mushrooms + blue cheese and chipotle + bacon.

Get our recipe for Two-Way Sliders


Jalapeño Cheeseburgers

Jalapeno cheeseburger
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We absolutely had to include this cheeseburger recipe because it features pickly spicy jalapeño, caramelized onions, and melty gooey Pepper Jack. Make this and you’ll top any takeout burger your guests have ever had.

Get our recipe for Jalapeño Cheeseburgers


Mushroom Burgers

Vegetarian mushroom melts
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This light veggie burger is perfect for those who don’t eat meat but still want to participate in Independence Day festivities by enjoying a true American dish.

Get our recipe for Mushroom Burgers



Vegetarian cole slaw
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Whatever burger, hot dog, or sandwich you’re making on the 4th will be that much better with a side of zesty, crunchy coleslaw. Our version of this ubiquitous BBQ side features both green and red cabbage, some jalapeño for spice, and a refreshing combo of yogurt and Dijon for the creaminess.

Get our recipe for Coleslaw


Cheese Fries

Cheese fries
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Fries are super simple to make from scratch if you’re using the oven. If your cookout revolves around a backyard with a kitchen nearby, make this as a side to your burgers and watch as everyone announces this is their new favorite 4th of July dish. (Pssst, they’re healthy, too.)

Get our recipe for Cheese Fries


Best-Ever Apple Pie

Low-calorie apple pie with crunch topping
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

There’s a reason why the saying “as American as apple pie” rings eternally true. This classic patriotic dessert is the perfect sweet complement to your festivities, and we’ve got a light version that can be loaded with an extra scoop of ice cream guilt-free.

Get our recipe for Apple Pie


Boneless BBQ Ribs

boneless barbecue ribs and broccoli on plates on wooden background
Jason Donnelly

Want the impressive centerpiece of a classic BBQ dish without actually fussing with a grill on a hot day? Roast these sliced, well-seasoned pork chops in the oven for some truly finger-licking results.

Get our recipe for Boneless BBQ Ribs


Tandoori Chicken Skewers

tandoori chicken skewers with lemon slices on pita

Put a little spice in your chicken and marinate it in spices and yogurt for an impossibly tender, tandoori-like skewer. Don’t forget the cucumber raita which is the perfect chilled complement to this chicken with character.

Get our recipe for Tandoori Chicken Skewers


Grilled Mexican-Style Corn

Vegetarian grilled mexican-style corn
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Grilling corn on the cob is the first culinary sign of summer. This recipe is a nod to elote, a beloved Mexican street food, but with a lighter twist.

Get our recipe for Grilled Mexican-Style Corn.


Avocado Crab Salad

Healthy avocado-crab salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It’s hot and you may as well eat something from the ocean, even if you’re far away from it. This uber light yet super flavorful “salad” can be served as an appetizer alongside margaritas or beer while the crowd gathers and waits for the burgers to hit their plates.

Get our recipe for Avocado Crab Salad


Caprese Salad

Vegetarian caprese tomato towers
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Making a summer salad that doesn’t prominently feature tomatoes is like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. And what simpler way to really highlight all their juicy ripeness than cutting them into thick slices and serving with a mild cheese like mozzarella.

Get our recipe for Caprese Salad


Grilled Steak with Red Wine Butter

grilled steak topped with red wine butter next to steak fries
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This steak is grilled to perfection and features a slab of butter spiked with red wine. Delight your family with an eating experience reminiscent of old-school American steak houses.

Get our recipe for Grilled Steak with Red Wine Butter


Arugula and Grapefruit Salad with Ranch

keto arugula grapefruit salad
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

This salad checks several boxes. First off, it’s fresh and crispy, which makes it a perfect side; second of all, it’s got juicy chunks of grapefruit which is a nod to summer; and finally, it’s got the two components that every American looks for in a salad—bacon and ranch.

Get our recipe for Arugula and Grapefruit Salad with Ranch


Coca Cola Cake

biting into a slice of coca cola cake on a grey plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

If you’re going to bake for the 4th of July, might as well make a cake that uses the caramel-y moisture of America’s favorite beverage—Coca Cola. That’s right, this chocolate dessert uses your favorite soda in both the sponge and the frosting.

Get our recipe for Coca Cola Cake


Hoisin Beef Kebabs

Hoisin beef kebab
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

These may be the best kebabs you’ll ever make at home. Reminiscent of Japanese yakitori-style meats, the chunks of beef sirloin get marinated in a mix of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, and sesame oil for the most tender cubes of beef you’ve ever had.

Get our recipe for Hoisin Beef Kebabs


Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri

steak chimichurri recipe
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Flank steak combined with a fresh, herby chimichurri sauce is one of the easiest yet most impressive dishes you can cook to perfection on your grill. Combine it with a side of grilled scallions or some pinot beans for a well-rounded South American feast.

Get our recipe for Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri


Ginger Carrot Pineapple Cake

ginger carrot pineapple cake sliced with carrot and pineapple toppings on a white table
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Another awesome dessert option for any summer gathering is a carrot cake featuring pineapple. It’s impressive-looking but easier to make than most cakes out there.

Get our recipe for Ginger Carrot Pineapple Cake


Butternut Squash Pasta Salad

Butternut squash pasta salad
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Is it a pasta? Is it a salad? Who cares! This craveable dish straddles both worlds and makes for a perfect addition to bring to a backyard BBQ because it travels well and can survive sitting out for a while.

Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Pasta Salad


Homemade Salsa

dipping into salsa with a tortilla chip
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Easy peasy restaurant-level salsa is only five simple ingredients away. Truly the simplest, most popular appetizer you can serve for a crowd.

Get our recipe for Homemade Salsa


Classic Low-Calorie Margarita

If you prefer to stick to a simple, classic margarita, here’s a low-cal version you can drink all day long.

Get our recipe for Classic Low Calorie Margaritas


Grilled Strawberry Shortcake

Vegetarian strawberry shortcake with balsamic
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We don’t need to talk this dessert up, we’ll just describe it for you: soft, fluffy angel cake gets toasted on the grill, then topped with balsamic-marinated strawberries. You’ve never had dessert like this before.

Get our recipe for Grilled Strawberry Shortcake



Taking the Fear out of Evangelism

Building Church Leaders Newsletter

Recently, I was talking to my Muslim neighbor when the conversation turned to religion. At one point he looked at me and asked, “We believe Jesus will return to earth to judge the world. Do you believe that?”

“Yes, we do!” I responded, happy to find some common ground. What followed was a friendly, and I hope, fruitful conversation about Christian faith. I don’t consider myself to be good at evangelism. I find it awkward to broach the topic of faith and fear that I’ll say something wrong. But I’m learning that just making friends with people and naturally discussing your relationship with Christ is enough. God doesn’t expect us all to be silver-tongued apologists. But he does call us to share our faith with others.

That’s what I love about this week’s resource. Doable Evangelism shows how evangelism is for everyone and doesn’t have to be difficult. You’ll learn how to “evangelize with your ears” and put others at ease. We’re also featuring Building an Evangelistic Church. This resource will you inspire your congregation to tackle this vital aspect of Christian life while giving you practical ways to make it happen.

Drew Dyck Drew Dyck

Contributing Editor


LEVITICUS – The Most Important Book

The Most Neglected Book:

It may come as a surprise to discover that there are a number of Biblical experts who regard the Book of Leviticus as the most important book of the Bible! (Dr. Samuel H. Kellogg, Dr. Albert C. Dudley, J. Vernon McGee, et al.)

The Most Important Thing?

What is The Most Important Thing in the world? Holiness! True happiness begins with holiness.1

“If I had my choice of all the blessings I can conceive of I would choose perfect conformity to the Lord Jesus, or, in one word, holiness.” -Charles Spurgeon

Holiness isn’t a luxury: it’s a necessity. It’s not limited to “the Jews in ancient Israel”: Leviticus instructs New Testament Christians how to appreciate holiness and appropriate it into their everyday lives. We seem to want Jesus to solve our problems and carry our burdens, but we don’t want Him to control our lives and change our character.

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 2 -1 Peter 1:15, 16

What is “holiness”? It is the primary emphasis in the Bible. This word occurs 87 times in Leviticus alone. The Hebrew word for “holy” used in Leviticus, qodesh, means “that which is set apart and marked off; that which is different; separateness; apartness; sacredness.” The English word “holy” comes from the Old English word halig, which means “to be whole, to be healthy.” The related word “sanctify” comes from the Latin sanctis, which means “consecrated, sacred, blameless.”

Anything that God said was holy had to be treated differently from the common things of life. The Sabbath was holy because God set it apart for His people.3 The priests were holy because they were set apart to minister to the Lord.4 Their garments were holy and could not be duplicated for common use. 5 The tithe is holy.6

Holiness Revealed

How did a Holy God reveal Himself and His holiness? The pagan religions were notoriously immoral and involved occultic idols, temple prostitution, and the like. God commanded His people to stay away from their altars and shrines and to refuse to learn their ways. You never call any of the heathen deities “holy.” But the “Holy One of Israel” is one of the most oft-repeated names of YHWH in Scripture (30X in Isaiah alone). In both declaration and demonstration, YHWH made it clear to the people of Israel that He is a holy God, righteous in all His works and just in all His judgments. He also gave them a Holy Law that contained both promises and penalties, of which the Ten Commandments are the essence. 7 It taught them right from wrong, defined things both clean and unclean, and declared the penalties of disobedience. There was no “value relativism” here! The requirements of holiness are uncompromising. Near misses don’t count. “The wages of sin is death,”8 and “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”9

God’s Predicament

God hates sin, but He loves sinners. And because He loves sinners and wants to forgive them, He provided a substitute to die in the sinner’s place. The whole sacrificial system declared to Israel that a substitutionary death would be required to die in the sinner’s place. All this was a prefiguring of a promised Savior who would lay down His life for the sins of the world. What is the “Gospel”? It is God’s proclamation of a plan of mercy to sinners. The very definition of the “Gospel” is built on these very specifications:

That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: -1 Corinthians 15:3, 4

The death of Jesus Christ was not a tragedy; it was an achievement. He didn’t just die: He fulfilled the myriads of precise specifications detailed in the Scriptures that pointed toward this most significant event in the universe.

Relevance of This Book to Us Today

Leviticus is the definitive revelation of the character of God. And God has not changed. It is the revelation of the fundamental conditions of true religion. These spiritual truths still abide: there is for sinful man no citizenship in the kingdom of God apart from a High Priest and Mediator with a propitiatory sacrifice for sin. Beyond the self-offering of the worshiper of God stands the constant testimony that it is only through the shedding of blood – not his own – that man can have remission of sin. We can’t appreciate Christ as the solution until we understand the requirements which had to be met.

The Epistle to the Hebrews lays down the principles upon which we are to interpret Leviticus. The typical character of the ordinances is affirmed that the Tabernacle was an “example and shadow of the heavenly things”; 10 the sacrifices prefigured “better sacrifices than these,” even the one offering of Him who “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”;11 and, that the holy times and sabbatic seasons of the law were “a shadow of things to come.”12

Still More to Come

We have seen the “type” of the day of atonement fulfilled in the entering into heaven of our great High Priest, but in the type He came out again to bless the people. Has that been fulfilled? Has He yet proclaimed absolution of sin to guilty Israel? How about the Feast of Trumpets and that of the ingathering at full harvest? How about that consummate type of all, the year of Jubilee? Leviticus looks forward to a glorious future yet to come, with the requirements of holiness fully met in Him.

The Book of Leviticus cannot be “read”; it has to be studied. But fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be an exciting and highly privileged excursion!

* * *


All We Ask – Gateway College of Evangelism

Title – All We Ask Album – All We Ask Soloist – UNITED For more information or to order go to: gatewaycollege.net


Hear our earnest prayer O Lord,
Hear our humble cry
Precious loving caring lord
On whom we rely
Everloving, ever-living God
Of whom no one can compare
All we ask is that you hear our prayer

Give us strength most Holy Lord
Strength to meet this day
Lead us by your Holy Word
Guide us in your way
For life is filled with winding turns
We have often lost our way
All we ask is that you lead today

Give us love that’s true O Lord
Trusting as a child
Love for all we see O Lord
Pure and undefiled
But to heal the heart and not turn away
Anyone who is in need
All we ask is teach us love indeed

Take me home with you my lord
When my life is through
Take me home with peace my lord
Let me rest with you
When I’ve fought the fight
And I’ve kept the faith
And my race on earth is won
All I ask is that you say well done

Lord, please let me hear you say well done