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10 Dishes to Make Ahead at Your Next 4th of July Barbecue

10 Dishes to Make Ahead at Your Next 4th of July Barbecue


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Plan ahead and enjoy time with your guests

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Make-Ahead Dishes for the 4th

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Barbecue Baked Beans

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Barbecue baked beans are a summer cookout must-have. Their sweet and smoky flavor pairs well with grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and steak.

Dry Rubbed Porterhouse Pork Chops with Steakhouse Butter

Prepare a simple compound butter and the dry rub for these pork chops a few days in advance so you can whip up a steakhouse-quality meal at the drop of a hat.

Grilled Chicken with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Make a simple peach barbecue sauce up to five days in advance for this flavorful take on grilled chicken.

Healthy Orange and Avocado Salad

Prepare the dressing and citrus for this salad in advance. Avocado should be prepped as close to the start of the party as possible, but the lime juice in this dressing will slow the browning of the avocado.

Jalapeño Bacon Mac and Cheese

You can’t fail when you add bacon and jalapeño to, well, anything — including ooey, gooey macaroni and cheese. Cook everything the night before, store it in the refrigerator, and bake right before guests arrive.

Pulled Pork

Michael J Bennett/Wikimedia Commons

This easy but delicious barbecue staple is the ideal dish to make a week prior to your Fourth of July cookout.

Quinoa Black Bean Veggie Burger

This is a hearty veggie burger with some Southwestern flair. Spend a day in the kitchen making a big batch, and freeze the patties on a sheet tray before storing them in a freezer-safe plastic resealable bag. You’ll have a healthy meal that can go straight from the freezer to the oven to the table in no time.

Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Salad

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Shrimp salad is an easy make-ahead meal. For a kid-friendly twist, substitute diced red bell pepper for the chiles.

Summer Pasta Salad

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Bright and colorful, this pasta salad is filled with lots of summer's best ingredients, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and asparagus. A dressing made of sesame oil, soy sauce, and vinegar is easy to put together, but adds a lot of flavor.


50+ BBQ Party Ideas for an Unforgettable Summer Cookout

The center of every barbecue is the food, of course, and we have everything you need to make any cookout incredibly delicious. Our favorite grilling recipes, barbecue sauces, barbecue side dishes, summer desserts, and summer drinks are all featured in this roundup, so you'll have plenty of options to prepare for your meal. We also have fun, fresh DIY decor to give your outdoor dinner table a little boost. For holiday barbecues, try setting the scene with Fourth of July party decorations or whipping up a few Fourth of July desserts to show your patriotic spirit. After scrolling through this list of tips and ideas, you'll want to plan a barbecue for every single weekend of the summer.

An essential part of any good party, you need the right mix of tunes. And for an outdoor backyard or beach barbecue, that means adding in at least a few essential summer hits to ensure your playlist really slaps.

Keep reading: 30 Best Summer Songs.

Sweep aside the soil but leave the potted herbs and plants! Add a tall pitcher of something delicious and a selection of beer or other canned and bottled drinks and you now have the perfect outdoor bar.

Make sure to give the guests something to do besides mingling and sipping on drinks, while you grill everything up. Lawn games like cornhole are a great go-to. If you need a set, let us shamelessly point you to some gorgeous designs we developed with game company Slick Woody's.


Smoked Cheese

There aren’t many recipes that will earn you kudos like homemade cold smoked cheese. Our applewood-smoked cheddar has always been a crowd-pleaser. It has a unique, nutty taste that you won’t find in any other store-bought cheese. The good thing is that it’s very simple to prepare.

Use any of your favorite mild cheeses, like gouda or cheddar, but time will vary depending on what you cheese. Something soft will only need 30 minutes, will more mature or hard cheese could need several hours.

Cheese is best cold smoked in the winter months due to the lower temperatures, but with a little bit of finesse, you can still do it in the summer. Either way, you will need to make it ahead of time, and store it for a couple of weeks to allow the smoke to mellow and smooth out. Once it’s ready, you’ll have an incredible smoked gouda or cheddar cheese that’s unlike anything you’ve had before. Trust me.


22 Mouthwatering Recipes You Need to Make For Your Next Barbecue

When it comes to July 4th weekend, we guarantee youll see a nonstop stream of food. Lots and lots of food. What better way to celebrate summer than with a cookout? Its the embodiment of what makes the season so great-sun, friends, food, and a cold beer (or three).

Well be honest: Barbecues aren't exactly great for your waistline. You might indulge a little more than you normally would, and thats okay. Thats typically what a holiday is all about. As long as youre filling your plate with protein and some vegetables (we have you covered with plenty of options listed down below), you dont have to feel entirely guilty about splurging on some dessert at the end of the night.

Thats where the grill comes in: there's nothing better than a juicy hamburger seared to perfection. Or a hot dog with the right amount of smoky char. Sparks will fly right off your taste buds after you taste these simple-to-make barbecue staples. Here, 12 recipes that are easy, delicious, and the best thing you can serve up when the day is long, the night is warm, and the weekend feels endless.

1. GRILLED STEAK KEBABS

Who doesnt love meat on a stick? These kebabs with sweet potato fries are the prefect mix of savory and sweet. Its a protein-packed meal thats super easy to make, too-just throw your ingredients into one pan and grill em up. If you want to kick the flavor up a notch with a smoky char, invest in a heavier-duty cast iron grill pan (like this one ) to sear your meats and vegetables at a higher temperature. Watch the video above to see how to make it.


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What's Selfmade?

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When is the program?

The summer session of Selfmade kicks off Monday, June 28 and runs for 10 weeks through Friday, September 3, 2021.

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The enrollment price is $2,000, but for the summer session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.

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Gareth Morgans / Getty Images

This essential recipe for grilled corn on the cob could not be simpler or more delicious. All you need is fresh ears of summer corn, some butter, fresh herbs, and a hot grill to serve up this cookout favorite.


13. FRESH SUMMER SALAD

A pile of meat and potatoes is great-but if you’re looking for some lighter fare, opt for a side of this bright summer salad. With its base of tomatoes, this salad packs a flavorful punch-no droopy iceberg lettuce necessary. You’ll use extra virgin olive oil for some healthy fat, lemon juice and vinegar for tang, and basil for freshness and color. This salad pairs great with fish, but we’d argue that it tastes great with just about anything you’re going to eat outdoors. (Find the full recipe here.)


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This green bean salad contains rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and hot sauce for an explosion of flavor.

Get your 4th of July celebration started with the most delicious 4th of July recipes that will have your friends and family surrounding the food table until the fireworks start.

With everything from appetizers and drinks to main dishes and desserts, this list has something for everyone. It’s also the ideal menu for a party of any magnitude, whether you’re just feeding a couple of friends and family or planning a whole neighborhood get-together. And even better, some of these recipes can be prepped days before your party, like the sangria and peach ice pops, as well as five minutes before the first guests arrive, like the ricotta dip.

You can scroll through these 4th of July recipes, and pick-and-choose the ones that make sense for your budget and prep time. But we also won’t judge you if you want to spoil your guests with all this delicious food either.


19 Totally Surprising Summer Slaws

Your slaw is totally going to be the best slaw at the barbecue.

These creative coleslaw recipes are anything but boring.

Never need a coleslaw recipe again.

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Smoky, grilled shrimp and spicy slaw are the keys to next-level tacos.

These open-faced tostadas will make you forget all about Taco Tuesday.

The ultimate side dish for the buffalo wings fanatic in your life.

This chicken dinner gets a kick from loads of fresh herbs and a zesty Brussels sprouts slaw.

Marinated in Cholula, these shrimp tacos will spice up any weeknight.

You can't have wings without slaw.

There's really no recipe avocado can't improve.

Make your slaw tropical with juicy mangoes, lime, and coconut for a refreshing summer side.

Blend sweet and savory with tart apples, dried cranberries, and rich and salty feta cheese.

Ditch the mayo and use Dijon mustard and honey for a tangy twist on coleslaw.

This coleslaw is more crunch and less cream, going light on the dressing so the fresh cabbage is the star of the dish.

Lemon juice and poppy seeds amp up the summer in this slaw.

This slaw is inspired by the Far East, with fresh ginger, lime, peanuts, and fish sauce.

Balance out the sweetness of strawberries, oranges, and grapes with a bold and rich blue cheese.

This simple recipe packs in complex flavors from maple syrup, vinegar, and cilantro.



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  2. Lawson

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