Last-Minute 4th of July Cookout Ideas

Nothing says 4th of July better than a cookout with stars-and-stripes themed décor and everyone’s favorite summer foods. We make it easy with all-American ideas that will have everyone feeling patriotic on Independence Day.

Stars and Stripes
Pulling off a last-minute 4th of July get-together doesn’t have to be stressful. Two of the easiest colors to decorate with are red and blue, and your local party store is sure to have a good supply of budget-friendly options. Use red, blue, or flag-themed tablecloths as a base, and top with red, white, and blue plates, cups, and napkins. Arrange red and blue bandanas to make a patriotic runner, or tie them to chairs as an accent. To add a little extra flair, sprinkle star-shaped confetti on tables. If you have a star-shaped craft paper cutter, you can make your own star confetti from red and blue paper. Decorate using toothpicks with cut-out stars as a fun topper for burger buns.

All-American Cookout Classics
Keep it simple with cookout classics like hamburgers and hot dogs. Even corn on the cob can be grilled on the barbecue. Potato chips and pickles are great finger-friendly sides, but if you want something more substantial, potato salad and coleslaw are easy to find in the deli section of your grocery store. Carve up a chilled watermelon for a juicy treat, and consider using a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut it for some added patriotic flair. The star shapes can also be placed on a popsicle sticks for easy, mess-free snacking.

Tip: If you have vegetarians or vegans on your guest list, many brands now offer meatless alternatives to hot dogs and hamburgers.

Desserts That Say U-S-A
Strawberries and blueberries are perfect summer fruits that can be combined in many delicious and patriotic ways. One fun recipe creates an American flag with strawberries, using whipped cream for stripes and blueberries for stars. This idea can also be used to decorate the top of a rectangular cake. The strawberries, whipped cream, and blueberries can also be layered in clear jars for an eye-catching red, white, and blue treat. Cupcakes can also be topped with white frosting and garnished with strawberries and blueberries, or red and blue sprinkles.

With patriotic décor and delicious summer foods, all that’s left are the fireworks. Just be safe!