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Independence Day Recipes and Menu (July 4th)

The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate America's independence with family, friends and lots of good food. This year I am making a delicious meal featuring grilled baby back ribs and, for those who prefer, grilled chicken, both with a molasses barbecue sauce. The starter, sides and dessert, many of which utilize the abundance of fresh produce available in July, include some of my favorite dishes for a summer celebration and complement either of the meats. When they arrive, guests can help themselves to a yogurt dip, called Tzatziki, served with vegetable crudités and pita triangles. The side dishes include a macaroni and parmesan cheese salad, corn on the cob, baked beans and pepper cabbage salad, a Pennsylvania Dutch favorite.

For dessert, I will make my mother's berry crumb pie with fresh blueberries and serve it with homemade ice cream. The menu is certain to delight everyone. Most of the dishes can be prepared in advance or require minimal last minute effort. See the notes below the menu for preparation suggestions. If you don't find what you are looking for, all of the recipes include links to alternate choices and many more can be found by using the search box above or browsing the Recipe Files.

Fourth of July Menu

Cucumber-Garlic Yogurt Dip

served with
Vegetable Crudités
Toasted Pita Triangles

Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
Barbecued Chicken
Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Independence Day Image

Corn on the Cob

Pasta and Parmesan Cheese Salad

Easy Three-Bean Baked Beans

Pepper Cabbage Salad
Independence Day Image

Mom's Berry Crumb Pie
(made with fresh blue or other seasonal berries)
served with
store-bought or
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation Notes: If making homemade ice cream, prepare it up to several weeks ahead and store in a covered container in the freezer. The pie crust can be made several weeks ahead, covered and frozen, or several days ahead and refrigerated, as indicated in the recipe. (Alternately, you can use your favorite store-bought unbaked pie crust.) The barbecue sauce and pepper cabbage salad can be prepared up to three days in advance, covered and refrigerated. The beans can be assembled or fully baked and refrigerated. One day ahead, toast the pita bread and store in an airtight container. Prepare and refrigerate the macaroni salad and yogurt dip. Rub the ribs with the dry rub, cover and refrigerate.

The morning of the event, shuck the corn, clean the vegetables for the dip and refrigerate both. Make the pie and keep at room temperature. If the beans were only assembled, start baking them about 2-1/2 hours before serving. Otherwise, plan for about one hour to reheat. Heat the grill and start the ribs and chicken as indicated in the recipes. Set the salads and dip at room temperature for about thirty minutes to remove the chill. Add the tomatoes to the potato salad. Serve the dip with the vegetables and pita triangles when the guests arrive. Cook the corn using one of the methods provided in the recipe. Before dessert, place the ice cream in the refrigerator for about fifteen minutes to soften slightly before serving with the pie. That's it. Relax and have a great day!


Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs Recipe Photo