Is there any better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to invite your loved ones over for a cookout? We don’t think so! Summertime seems practically made for backyard barbecues, so fire up the grill and put on the tunes. This collection of tasty recipes will wow your guests and give you something great to snack on this Independence Day.
1. 50 Stars Barbecue Chicken
Chicken drumsticks are a barbecue favorite for a reason. They’re simple to prepare, easy to grill in large batches, and (most important of all) downright delicious! This recipe from In Honor Of Design yields 14 drumsticks in a batch, so you’ll be able to keep your guests’ bellies full no matter how many drop by.
- 1 bottle of barbecue sauce
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 packets of Italian seasoning
- Dash of basil
- 14 chicken drumsticks
- Preheat oven to 350. (you will use the grill a little later).
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in Italian seasoning, basil and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil.
- Dip drumsticks generously into sauce mixture (there should be a good amount left over for later) and place in a 9″×13″ pan.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and preheat grill on medium low halfway through baking process.
- Remove Drumsticks from oven and give them one last dunk in the barbecue sauce before placing them on a heated grill. Grill for an additional 15-20 minutes, until slightly charred.
- You can fully cook the chicken in the oven if you prefer not to grill, just increase baking time to 45 minutes or until chicken is done.
2. Best Chive Potato Salad
Looking to try a healthier potato salad variation? This twist on the beloved side dish from Country Living uses a bright chive sauce instead of mayo for plenty of flavor but fewer calories. Plus, it’s super easy to toss together! This recipe creates 6 servings, so adjust to make sure all your guests are fed.
- 2 lb. new potatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Simmer potatoes in salted water until just tender; run under cold water to cool. Cut into quarters.
- Puree chives, olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and kosher salt and black pepper in a blender until smooth.
- Add sauce and flat-leaf parsley to potatoes and toss to combine.
3. Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Bars
This crowd-pleasing dessert recipe from Taste of Home is perfectly themed for the 4th of July! It boasts a color scheme based on the American flag, as well as plenty of fruity flavors to contrast with the smooth, creamy cheesecake. One pan of these deliciously patriotic bars yields 12 servings!
- 1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
- 3/4 cup 2% cottage cheese
- 1 package (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese
- Sugar substitute blend equivalent to 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup reduced-sugar strawberry preserves
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line an 8-in. square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend up sides; coat foil with cooking spray. Remove pie crust from foil pan; break into fine crumbs into prepared pan. Press crumbs onto bottom of pan.
- Place cottage cheese in a small food processor; process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Add cream cheese, sugar blend, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla; beat until smooth. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg whites and egg; add to cottage cheese mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Pour over crust.
- Drop preserves by teaspoonfuls over filling. Cut through cheesecake with a knife to swirl. Sprinkle with blueberries.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until center of cheesecake is almost set. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate 2 hours or until cold.
- Lifting with foil, remove cheesecake from pan. Cut into bars.