There’s no better day for a barbecue than the Fourth of July. There’s just something about the holiday that makes it seem like you have to eat your meals outside, under the sun, with the smell of the grill wafting through the air. While this year’s celebrations may look a little bit different than usual, that doesn’t mean you can’t make some seasonal foods for yourself and your family. There are some great Fourth of July appetizers out there that will make you feel extra patriotic and totally satisfied.
The best Fourth of July appetizers aren’t the ones that are red, white, and blue (although those do make for the perfect Instagram photo), but the ones that take advantage of seasonal summer produce. July is the best time for deliciously tart fresh berries, juicy tomatoes, crisp watermelon, and sweet corn on the cob. Take some of the best fruits and veggies that summer has to offer, add some cheese (because why not?), and you’ve got yourself a dish everyone will be talking about.
The below appetizer ideas are pretty easy to put together, and they’re also ideal for warmer weather. When it’s hot and sunny outside, the last thing you want to do is eat a piping hot dip! These are refreshing, delicious, and perfect for a summer meal.
1. Corn Salsa With Bacon
This corn salsa with bacon recipe from A Spicy Perspective tastes extra good and crunchy when you use a fresh ear of corn (just use a knife to cut the kernels off). The bacon adds a nice savory taste, and the cilantro and lime juice keep this bright and refreshing.
2. Mango Chickpea Salad
This mango chickpea salad from Averie Cooks is a wonderful vegan appetizer option, and those can be really hard to come by! The sweet mango and crunchy corn (use fresh for the best flavor) go really well together, and the chickpeas make this filling.
3. Grilled Toast With Strawberry Balsamic Mint Salsa
Switch up your salsa by using sweet strawberries instead of tomatoes. This recipe for grilled toast with strawberry balsamic mint salsa from Averie Cooks is a sweet appetizer option that will almost seem like dessert. Mint keeps this incredibly refreshing, and it’s super easy to put together.
4. Jalapeño Margarita Watermelon Slices
These jalapeño margarita watermelon slices from Climbing Grier Mountain are the perfect mix of savory and sweet. They also double as a kind-of cocktail — the watermelon slices soak in tequila before being served, the jalapeños offer a spicy kick, while the lime salt they’re dipped in complete the dish.
5. Tomato Tart
This tomato tart recipe from Cooking For Keeps is one of the absolute best ways to utilize the fresh tomatoes that are beginning to pop up in the beginning of July. Thick juicy slices of tomato sit on top of a savory goat cheese and basil mix, and the pie crust brings it all together.
6. Caprese Salad Platter
Why make a regular old cheeseboard when you could make the best summer version of that? The Caprese salad platter from Foodie Crush is gorgeous and delicious, and it features some of summer’s best produce: berries, peaches, tomatoes, and arugula. Add in fresh mozzarella, some strategically placed burrata, and some cured meats, and you’ve got the perfect appetizer.
7. Italian Potato Salad
Listen, there’s nothing wrong with regular old potato salad. But this Italian potato salad from Gimme Some Oven just might be a step up. Mixing artichokes, tomatoes, potatoes, mozzarella, arugula, fresh basil, and salami (you can leave this out if you want to make it vegetarian), it’s full of flavor and a wonderful starter.
8. Watermelon Gazpacho
Gazpacho is a chilled soup that is typically very light and refreshing, so it makes an ideal appetizer, especially when you’re outside. This watermelon gazpacho from Gimme Some Oven is packed with unexpected flavors: mint, cumin, red onion, and juicy tomatoes.
9. Marinated Goat Cheese Strawberry Crostini
Creamy goat cheese and fresh strawberries are a match made in heaven in this goat cheese crostini recipe from Half-Baked Harvest. The goat cheese is first marinated in fresh herbs and olive oil to give it extra flavor. Choose a good, crusty bread for the toasts, then be sure to drizzle honey over the finished product.
10. Peach Thyme Tarts
These gorgeous peach thyme tarts from Half-Baked Harvest sort of look like the fancy, grown-up version of Toaster Strudels, you know? With perfectly ripe peaches and fig preserves, these are sweet, but they have a lot of flavor packed in.
11. Melon Caprese Salad
This melon caprese salad from Half-Baked Harvest is a nice alternative to your traditional tomato and mozzarella caprese salad. Melon and prosciutto are a classic combination, and mixed with creamy burrata and an herb vinaigrette dressing, they become even better.
12. Festive Fruit Salad with Lemon & Ginger
Fruit salad definitely doesn’t have to be for dessert only. It’s a refreshing and sweet appetizer option that is especially great for a lighter meal. This festive fruit salad from Love and Lemons is made with a tangy lemon ginger dressing for lots of flavor.
13. Blueberry, Corn, Basil Quinoa Salad
Want to keep your appetizer on the healthier side? This blueberry corn basil quinoa salad from Making Thyme For Health is packed with superfoods and still delicious. The fresh blueberries go surprisingly well with the corn, and everything comes together for the ideal summer dish.
14. Watermelon Basil Halloumi Bites
These watermelon basil halloumi bites from Making Thyme for Health are such a great appetizer to pass around if you’re having a few people over. Halloumi is a cheese that you can grill and it’s a lovely vegetarian option for a dish. These require very little effort, but look beautiful.
15. Spicy Garlic Shrimp Skewers
Fresh seafood is always a good idea for an outdoor summer party, and shrimp tastes best when it’s grilled on the barbecue. These spicy garlic shrimp skewers from Simply Delicious Food are packed with flavor and are so easy to make.
16. Berry Caprese Salad
Make fresh berries the star of the show with this berry caprese salad from Two Peas and Their Pod. As a bonus, it’s perfectly patriotic thanks to the red, white, and blue. A mix of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries is so good, and fresh mint and mozzarella make it more savory.
17. Cucumber Avocado Salad
July is a great time for crisp cucumbers and wonderfully ripe avocados. This cucumber avocado salad from Two Peas and Their Pod features salty peanuts and a Thai red chili pepper for a touch of Asian-inspired flavor.
18. Greek Grilled Chicken Kabobs
You really can’t go wrong with grilled chicken kabobs, like this recipe from Well Plated. The chicken is marinated in herbs for a fresh taste, and the addition of crunchy veggies means that this one will be gone in no time.