Good news! Even though 4th of July festivities are right around the corner, there are a lot of perfect-for-summer dishes that are super easy to pull together at a moment’s notice. So, whether you’re throwing an impromptu get-together or you didn’t quite have the time you expected to pull off that red, white, and blue jello mold, we’ve got you covered with 10 easy last-minute recipes.
1. Lemon-Garlic Whipped Feta with Pesto
This is an appetizer everyone will swoon over. Feta is partnered with Greek yogurt and a squeeze of lemon, then blended into a gloriously creamy, tangy dip. It comes to together in minutes, and can be paired with veggies, pita chips, and crackers and even used as a spread for burgers.
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)
2. Tomato Chickpea Salad
This simple salad is filled with good things like chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, herbs, and a tangy sherry vinaigrette. Best of all, it can be tossed together in a flash.
3. Minted Summer Couscous with Watermelon and Feta
Bring this summery salad together quickly with pre-cut watermelon. Prep the herbs and whisk together the dressing while the couscous cooks and cools. You can even turn it into a main course by topping it with grilled chicken or shrimp.
4. The Easiest Tangy Cucumber Salad
Not only is cucumber salad a well-loved summertime essential, but it is also one of the quickest and easiest sides to pull together.
5. Hot Corn Casserole
Like all the best casseroles, this one is a crowd-pleaser that comes with the promise of ease and can be pulled together in under 30 minutes. Serve it as a dip, paired with tortilla chips; side dish; or condiment for topping burgers, brats, and grilled chicken.
6. Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad
Pull this potluck salad together even faster by spreading the just-cooked quinoa over a baking sheet, then popping it in the fridge for about 10 minutes. The grains will cool quickly, and this trick will guarantee they keep their toothsome, chewy texture.
7. Balsamic Glazed Veggie Kebabs
Pull out the skewers and load them up with whatever veggies you have handy — all of summer’s produce is fair game. These tangy kebabs come together quickly and work as main course or side dish with a quickie glaze.
8. Firecracker Rice Krispies Treats
Bring a tray of these no-bake treats to your 4th of July shindig and I guarantee it’s a dessert your friends will talk about for days to come. Red and blue Pop Rocks not only make these Rice Krispies treats more festive, but they also are seriously fun to eat.
9. Red, White, and Blue Trifle
Consider this your fast and fancy alternative to the flag cake you usually make. Use store-bought angel food or pound cake to keep it easy, then layer jewel-toned berries, vanilla pudding, and whipped cream to make a fresh dessert.
10. 4th of July Wine Sparklers
Don’t forget the drinks! Pull out a star-shaped cookie cutter for the watermelon and drop in some blueberries, and this simple sparkling pitcher drink instantly gets a fancy, patriotic twist.