Before you have a water balloon toss and set off the fireworks, you’ll want to serve some 4th of July appetizers to kick off the party.
Have you ever stopped between bites of some amazing bruschetta, crab dip, or bacon-wrapped scallops and wondered, when did appetizers become a thing? Appetizers have popped up in one form or another in practically every civilization since ancient times. Perhaps it’s some instinctual throwback to our hunter-gatherer grazing days when morsels of fruit and nuts were shared as the pre-cursor to the main course. That being said, we’re sure the founding fathers celebrated the long-awaited birth of a nation with an appetizer or two that evening.Jump to Recipe
Savory 4th of July Appetizers
These savory 4th of July Appetizers are perfect for any gathering, whether a huge bash or a small get-together.
Bun-less Cheeseburger Bites
These gluten-free and keto cheeseburger bites are the perfect way to kick off any gathering. Grill small beef patties (turkey or any substitute is fine), then add them to a toothpick along with all the (tiny) fixins’–a leaf of romaine, a wedge of red onion, a slice of cheese, and a cocktail pickle. Don’t forget the seasonings!
4th of July Charcuterie
Charcuterie is one of the easiest appetizers because, for the most part, it doesn’t require any cooking. For your fourth of July charcuterie, try to stick to a red-white-and-blue theme with these items aesthetically arranged on a platter:
- cherry tomatoes
- watermelon wedges
- blue corn chips with salsa
- cured meats
- white cheeses
- yogurt-covered pretzels
Mexican Street Corn Skewers
Corn on the cob is the ultimate backyard bbq food, but sometimes it needs a little something different. Try some “elote,” also known as Mexican street corn, this year. You’ll need chucked ears of corn on the cob. Grill corn directly over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning often. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and the juice from one lime. Let the corn cool a bit, then smother with the creamy spread. Sprinkle evenly with cotija, lime juice, and a pinch of paprika. Yum!
Dips are the quintessential holiday party food, and for a good reason. They’re easy to make, popular, and it’s socially acceptable to come back for 25 helpings. Here are some of our favorite dips that are perfect patriotic 4th of July appetizers.
Red, White, and Blue Hummus
Now with the worst of a pandemic fear behind us, we can return to the party staple everyone loves: dips. However, double-dipping should still be frowned upon in mixed company. Step up your game with a red-white-and-blue platter of hummus flavors with red pepper hummus (with smoked pepper powder and cayenne powder for extra spice) and red cabbage hummus ( turns blue with a little bit of added baking soda). You could also just make your favorite hummus recipe in batches with red and blue food coloring. We won’t tell. Don’t forget red-white-and-blue corn tortilla chips!
Pretzel Ring Beer Cheese Dip
This vegetarian recipe from Delish has everything you could want in a Fourth of July Appetizers: beer, cheese, and pretzels. Like any delectable dip, this recipe starts with a few different types of shredded cheese, including cream cheese. Stir those up, then add your spices and condiments. We use garlic powder, chives, and Dijon mustard here. The spicy, tangy mustard is the perfect ingredient to play up the hoppy beer. Finally, you add the beer, bake it up, and start dipping your soft pretzel nuggets!
Bacon Cheeseburger Dip
If you’re low on prep time, this tasty dip is super simple. You can make it ahead with my favorite kitchen appliance, the crockpot. Toss in 32 oz. Velveeta Cheese, 16 oz. sour cream, 14 oz. petite diced tomatoes (undrained), 12 oz. bacon (cooked and crumbled), 1 lb. ground beef (cooked and drained), ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, ½ cup red onion diced, and 2 tsp. steak or burger seasoning. Cover and cook on high for two hours. Serve it with tortilla or potato chips (or celery, carrots, and cauliflower for the person who likes a healthy alternative).
Fourth of July Grilled Fruit Kabob Appetizers
- thin skewers
- 2 cups strawberries stems removed, halved
- 2 bananas cut into 1" pieces
- 2 cups large blueberries
- coconut oil spray
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups vanilla yogurt dip
- Soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes. This prevents them from burning on the grill.
- Thread the banana slices, strawberries, and blueberries onto a skewer. Repeat process to assemble as many skewers as you’d like to make.
- Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup.
- Grill on preheated grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally until the fruit softens and gets some char marks.
- Serve immediately! Enjoy with a vanilla yogurt dip, if you'd like!
Light and Fresh 4th of July Appetizers
Not every appetizer needs to be wrapped in bacon or drenched in melted cheese. These light and fresh recipes require little or no cooking!
Watermelon Strawberry Caprese Salad
One of my favorite appetizers of all time is Caprese salad. This traditional Italian dish has tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. As much as I love it, I found this alternative that I may just have to try at the next fourth of July get-together.
Combine cubed watermelon, chopped strawberries, feta, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Garnish with basil and serve. Yum!
Avocado Tomato Salad
This flavorful vegan tomato and avocado salad is simple, colorful, and healthy! Red onion ties the salad together and adds a needed crunch. Add diced tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and cilantro to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, lime juice, pepper flakes, and salt & pepper to taste. Gently toss, and serve immediately! It’s the perfect appetizer or side for your hotdogs, hamburgers, or grilled chicken. You can add cucumbers, chickpeas, black beans, corn, feta, or mozzarella if you’d like!
Fourth of July Brie
Cut off the top rind of the brie, then place brie in a skillet. Bake at 350° F until brie is bubbling and melted throughout about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place sliced strawberries and blueberries in separate medium bowls. Divide 1/4 cup of orange juice and 2 tsp honey evenly between each bowl and toss to combine. When brie is ready, arrange the fruit in the pattern of the American flag. Serve immediately with graham crackers for dipping.
Favorite 4th of July Finger Foods
Any party food should be easy-to-grab as you peruse the snack table. These finger foods are really fun 4th of July appetizers for any Independence Day gathering.
Red, White, and Bagels
Two words: Mini bagels. Toast, smear with cream cheese, then top and strawberries and blueberries. You can drizzle these with honey and sprinkle with chia seeds too! Feel free to get creative with these, even if you have to venture outside the “red, white, and blue” color scheme. Other topping ideas include lox, prosciutto, figs, goat cheese, hot honey, or fruit preserves.
Three of my favorite ingredients together at last: bacon, pickles, and cheese. You only need five ingredients to make this crowd-pleasing appetizer. Halve some dill pickles, scoop out centers and discard. Stir together cream cheese, cheddar, and garlic, then spoon the mixture into pickles and wrap each with a slice of bacon. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F until the mixture is warm and the bacon is crispy (about 18 minutes). They’re savory, simple, and scrumptious. If you want something a little sweeter, try bacon-wrapped pineapple skewers tossed on the grill or baked in the oven!
Pigs in a Blanket
There’s nothing more American than pigs in a blanket. A hot dog wrapped in crispy dough? Yeah…definitely American. These finger foods are super easy to make! All you need is to wrap mini hot dogs in crescent roll dough and bake! You can make sweet, savory, or spicy dips to make them fancier. Try honey-mustard, spicy mayo, marinara sauce, or even a cranberry sauce.
Get Festive With 4th of July Appetizers!
No matter the main dish, the appetizers should always set the tone for any party. And these 4th of July appetizers will definitely do the trick. Don’t forget the beach blankets, yard games, and sparklers! For more recipes for your patriotic get-together, check out our recipes and ideas for Fourth of July drinks!