With the 4th of July right around the corner, it’s time to start planning for the perfect cookout.
Whether you have watermelon or burgers (or both!) on the mind, Nick’s of Clinton has you covered for all of your cookout needs. Visit our store or give our team a call today to learn how we can help you to prepare for the perfect day.
Fourth of July Menu Ideas
The Fourth is a time to celebrate our country, rejoice over freedom, and spend time with family and friends. While there are a number of traditional Fourth of July foods that you can certainly serve during your cookout, you can also deviate from the norm and try something a bit more innovative. Some of our favorite 4th of July menu ideas include:
- Pasta salad. When it comes to pasta salad, don’t hesitate to get creative. While a traditional pasta salad is always yummy, there’s also the option for Mediterranean pasta salad, Caprese pasta salad, chicken ranch or buffalo pasta salad, or even a Mexican pasta salad! The options are endless.
- Potato salad. Like pasta salad, potato salad can be traditional: potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, red onions, and celery. But there’s also the option to mix it up by adding different spices, herbs, meats, cheeses, nuts, etc. A German potato salad is also a great alternative!
- Burgers. Burgers are a great thing to grill for the 4th of July—always a crowd pleaser. Burgers are simple, easy, and can be dressed up for everyone’s preference. If you’re serving picky eaters, a burger bar with various topping options is recommended.
- Kabobs. A fun Fourth of July favorite are kabobs. In addition to meat kabobs, consider some vegetable kabobs or even fruit kabobs—you can put these together to be red and blue and dipped in white (whipped cream) quite easily.
- Ribs. If you have a bit more time to prepare, consider deviating from the traditional burgers and hotdogs and prepping some ribs instead. Ribs make for great grilling and are always a favorite.
- Watermelon. Many people would agree that it’s just not the Fourth without watermelon! Rather than just cutting up the melon fresh, consider a fruit salad, watermelon, feta, and mint (or basil!) salad, or even grilled watermelon, which is quite delicious.
- Salad. Adding some greens to the mix on the Fourth is an easy way to get some vitamins while keeping things tasty. There are dozens of different salad options to consider, so don’t limit yourself to just lettuce and ranch or a plain old Caesar.
In addition to your main dishes, don’t forget about dessert! For the Fourth of July, we love homemade ice cream, cookies, brownies, and strawberry shortcake. A berry cheesecake that shows off America’s colors can be a beautiful option, too!
What You Need on Your Shopping List
In addition to planning the perfect food menu, don’t forget about small appetizers and drinks! On your shopping list, you’ll surely want:
- Main dish ingredients
- Sparkling waters/non-alcoholic beverage options
- Wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverage options + mixers
- Desserts—either ingredients for a dessert or a premade dessert
- Disposable plates (opt for compostable!)
Other Considerations for Planning the Perfect Cookout
When you’re planning the perfect cookout, remember that it’s not just about the food. Sure, the cookout is important, but there are many things that can contribute to or detract from a wonderful time. Consider the setting, and make sure your grill is ready to go before it’s cooking time. While sun is likely, remember that rain is possible, so a contingency plan (perhaps large tents or umbrellas?) is a must. Also, consider that planning some games or other activities for guests to enjoy can lead to a more enjoyable get-together. And finally, remember that you don’t have to do it all! You can also host a cookout that’s potluck style and ask different attendees to contribute different menu items.