73 Vintage Fourth of July Recipes

Updated: Jul. 09, 2024

Celebrate Independence Day with an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu! With classics like apple pie and canapes, along with buttermilk biscuits and cucumber salad, these recipes are a guaranteed hit.

While there are plenty of things to do on the Fourth of July, eating these old-school recipes is the best! From appetizers to patriotic sides to char-grilled mains to easy desserts, these dishes are going to have you going back for seconds (or thirds).

Once you’ve had your fill, continue your Fourth of July party with a boozy cocktail or two and lots of outdoor games.

1 / 73

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Wondering what Fourth of July food to bring? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
2 / 73

Simple Marinated Grilled Pork Chops

This pork chop marinade is so simple that I use it on all kinds of meat. For a more robust flavor, let the meat marinate in the refrigerator overnight. —Lori Daniels, Beverly, West Virginia
3 / 73

Easy Baked Beans

My family enjoys this easy baked beans recipe with cornbread, but it also rounds out any old-fashioned Fourth of July menu. Canned pork and beans make meal prep quick. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas

If you’re hosting the holiday at your place this year, check out our Fourth of July recipes for a crowd.

4 / 73

Grilled Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks

When Mom makes grilled chicken thighs and drumsticks, this is the way we like it prepared. It’s juicy, has great barbecue flavor and makes a big batch, so it’s a perfect Fourth of July food. —Brenda Beachy, Belvidere, Tennessee

Keep Independence Day simple this year with these Fourth of July recipes that are super easy to make.

5 / 73

Creamy Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this creamy macaroni salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland

Discover more of our 4th of July salads and best Fourth of July appetizers.

6 / 73

Key Lime Cream Pie

I am very proud of this luscious no-bake beauty. It’s so cool and refreshing—the perfect old-fashioned Fourth of July food. Wherever I take this pie, it quickly disappears, with everyone asking for the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida. Check out our favorite easy 4th of July desserts.
7 / 73

Overnight Slaw

Think of slaw as a side for all seasons—but especially summer—and for all entrees. Fix this recipe ahead, and don’t forget to use your food processor for even easier prep. —Nancy Brown, Janesville, Wisconsin
8 / 73

Kansas City-Style Ribs

Our family recipe for ribs has evolved to near perfection. These country-style beauties are a legend in our close circle. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
9 / 73

Smoked Deviled Eggs

Give all those eggs a flavor upgrade. Grilling these smoked deviled eggs gives them a distinctive taste that will have everyone talking. —Catherine Woods, Lexington, Missouri
10 / 73

Triple Berry No-Bake Cheesecake

I’ve made many cheesecakes and enjoy them all, but they’re usually time-consuming. When I first tried this Fourth of July food, my husband said it was better than the baked ones, and that was a big plus for me! —Joyce Mummau, Baltimore, Maryland
11 / 73

Three-Bean Salad for 3

We make this 3 bean salad all summer long! It’s a delicious side dish for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu. —Barbara Wiggins, Lexington, North Carolina
12 / 73

Grilled Corn in Husks

If you're new to grilled corn in the husk, season the ears with butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley. It's especially good! Be sure to give the corn a long soak before putting it on the grill. Hot off the grate, the kernels are moist and tender with a wonderful, sweet flavor. Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
13 / 73

Fresh Cherry Pie

If you're looking to learn how to make a cherry pie, this recipe is the place to start. This ruby-red cherry pie is just sweet enough, with a hint of almond flavor and a good level of cinnamon. The cherries peeking out of the lattice crust makes it so pretty, too. I like to make a few of these cherry pies throughout the summer. —Josie Bochek, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Discover more of our best Fourth of July cookies.

14 / 73

Memphis Barbecue Sauce

I created this Memphis BBQ sauce recipe for our summer picnics because we love to grill. It can be made ahead, so it’s ready whenever you fire up the grill. —Angela Spengler, Niceville, Florida. Looking for more? Check out our collection of the best Fourth of July BBQ recipes.
15 / 73

Grandma’s Potato Salad

Our old-fashioned Fourth of July menu wouldn’t be complete without this chilled old-fashioned potato salad. It’s my grandma’s treasured recipe. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
16 / 73

Roast Beef Finger Sandwiches

These simple sandwiches are ideal for a bridal shower, brunch or high tea, when the menu is a bit more substantial. The mustard adds a nice kick without being overly spicy. —Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California
17 / 73

Salmon Mousse

It’s so easy to top crunchy cucumber slices with a smooth and creamy salmon filling. Guests rave about the fun presentation, contrasting textures and refreshing flavor. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
18 / 73

Patchwork Quilt Cake

Looking for dessert for your old-fashioned Fourth of July menu? This cake has a great homemade flavor and tender crumb. Be sure to pile on the buttery frosting, which adds a burst of vanilla. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
19 / 73

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Easy and economical, Refrigerator Dill Pickles are tangy, zesty and crispy. No one will believe you made them yourself! —Jake Haen, Ocala, Florida
20 / 73

Burger Americana

Go on a burger road trip in your own backyard. Grill the patties and load them sky-high with your favorite toppings. For instance, peanut butter and bacon make them southern style; coleslaw and tomatoes, a northern version. —Susan Mahaney, New Hartford, New York
21 / 73

Pennsylvania Dutch Coleslaw

My mother used to make this salad on holidays. With all the cabbage that is grown here, this Fourth of July food is a real natural for us! —Deb Darr, Falls City, Oregon
22 / 73

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

My grandma topped this treat with homemade vanilla ice cream. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
23 / 73

Old-Fashioned Coney Hot Dog Sauce

Camping and hot dogs go hand in hand. Roast some up over the fire, then top with this irresistible one-pot sauce. —Loriann Cargill Bustos, Phoenix, Arizona
24 / 73

Corn ‘n’ Cucumbers Salad

This was one of my mother’s recipes and I think of her whenever I make it. It’s a nice change from a regular cucumber salad and perfect for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu.
25 / 73

Favorite Bread & Butter Pickles

I made these pickles while growing up and love them because you can eat them with just about anything. Now, both of my children love these pickles, too. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as we do! —Linda Weger, Robinson, Illinois
26 / 73

Martha Washington Candy

Passed down by my grandmother and mother, this Martha Washington candy recipe is a cherished family tradition. We've even had each grandchild and great-grandchild take a turn stirring the candy mixture! —Cindi Boger, Ardmore, Alabama
27 / 73

Watermelon Gazpacho

My refreshing gazpacho is a delightfully simple, elegant dish. Serve as a side or with pita and hummus for a meal. —Nicole Deelah, Nashville, Tennessee
28 / 73

Baked Two-Cheese & Bacon Grits

In the South, everyone loves three things: bacon, cheese and grits! After playing around with this Fourth of July food, I took it to my first family party as a newlywed, and it was a huge hit. This recipe has become a family tradition that I’m sure will be passed down for generations. —Melissa Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
29 / 73

Red, White 'n' Blue Salad

Our striking "flag" salad drew plenty of attention at our Independence Day party. The shimmering stripes are formed with distinctive gelatin layers. It makes you want to salute before spooning some up! —Laurie Neverman, Green Bay, Wisconsin
30 / 73

Slow-Cooked BBQ Pork Ribs

Check your pantry; you probably have everything needed to turn these ribs into a sweet, tangy, fork-tender treat. —Annette Thompson, Woodbury, Vermont
31 / 73

Cucumber Party Sandwiches

This is one of my favorite appetizers. We have lots of pig roasts here in Kentucky, and these small sandwiches are perfect to serve while the pig is roasting. —Rebecca Rose, Mount Washington, Kentucky
32 / 73

Rosemary Lemonade

A friend suggested I add a sprig of rosemary to lemonade. The herb makes the drink taste fresh and light, and it's a pretty garnish. —Dixie Graham, Rancho Cucamonga, California
33 / 73

Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

Warm, buttery dinner rolls are absolutely irresistible. I save time and use a stand mixer to make my dough. —Jennifer Patterson, Shoshone, Idaho
34 / 73

Apricot Salad

Colorful gelatin salad adds a spot of brightness to any table. It blends well with this old-fashioned Fourth of July menu. We children didn’t know if it should be a salad or dessert, with its smooth texture and delicate flavor. —Fae Fisher, Callao, Virginia
35 / 73

Slow-Cooker Memphis-Style Ribs

After my dad and I had dinner at the legendary Rendezvous Restaurant in Memphis, I was inspired to create a slow-cooked version of tasty dry-rub Memphis ribs. Smoked paprika in the rub mimics the flavor that the ribs would get from being grilled over hot coals. —Matthew Hass, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin
36 / 73

Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie

When I first made the original recipe for this bourbon-splashed pie, I added some vanilla extract and eliminated the flour. We loved the result. —Paul Falduto, Efland, North Carolina
37 / 73

Garlic-Dill Deviled Eggs

In my family, the Fourth of July isn’t complete without deviled eggs. Fresh dill and garlic perk up the flavor of these irresistible appetizers that you’ll want to eat on every occasion. —Kami Horch, Calais, Maine
38 / 73

Green Chile Creamed Corn

When cooking my old-fashioned Fourth of July menu, I would sometimes run out of burners. Then I realized my slow cooker could help by simmering corn and green chilies with pickled jalapenos. —Pat Dazis, Charlotte, North Carolina
39 / 73

Patriotic Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Bring on the red, white and blue with these creative cupcakes, perfect for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu, Memorial Day or any favorite occasion. With some delicious and colorful frosting and a careful arrangement, your sweet display will be a patriotic nod to our great American flag. —Rebecca Wetherbee, Marion, Ohio
40 / 73

Potato Wedges with Sweet & Spicy Sauce

I’m a small-business owner, so most of my Fourth of July foods are a result of not having time to run to the store, and doing with what’s on hand. Here’s a perfect example. Dip these wedges in anything. —Dana Alexander, Lebanon, Missouri
41 / 73

Red-White-and-Blue Berry Delight

Loaded with fresh strawberries and blueberries, this luscious JELL-O is perfect for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu! —Constance Fennell, Grand Junction, Michigan
42 / 73

Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Fourth of July foods my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
43 / 73

Homemade Cherry Crisp

Our family loves this pretty, tasty dessert. It uses convenient pie filling, so you can make it in no time—and it takes mere minutes to heat in the microwave. —Laurie Todd, Columbus, Mississippi
44 / 73

Potluck Fried Chicken

This Sunday dinner staple is first fried and then baked to a crispy golden brown. Well seasoned with oregano and sage, this classic is sure to satisfy diners at church potlucks, late-summer picnics or for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu. I love fixing it for family and friends. —Donna Kuhaupt, Slinger, Wisconsin
45 / 73

Sour Cream Potato Salad

Italian dressing and horseradish make this creamy potato salad different from most, plus those ingredients really add some zip! It’s perfect for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu.
46 / 73

Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the Fourth of July food I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
47 / 73

Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota
48 / 73

Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

This cucumber and onion salad is one of the first Fourth of July foods I came up with myself. It’s a great salad for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu. I always come home with an empty bowl! —Brynn Steckman, Westerville, Ohio
49 / 73

Blueberry Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

We live in blueberry country, and this Fourth of July food is a perfect way to showcase these luscious berries. A neighbor first made this pie for us when we had a death in the family several years ago. Our whole family enjoys it. —R. Ricks, Kalamazoo, Michigan
50 / 73

Wisconsin Butter Burgers

It’s no secret that Wisconsinites love their dairy—so much that they sometimes top their burgers with a generous pat of butter. My recipe is a lot like the butter burgers you’ll find in popular restaurants all over the state. —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio
51 / 73

Dad’s Creamed Peas & Pearl Onions

While I was growing up, it was our family tradition to make creamed peas with pearl onions as a Fourth of July food. My dad was not a happy camper if he didn’t see this dish on the table. It was his favorite! I made it for my own family while our kids were growing up, and now my daughter makes this dish for her family. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
52 / 73

Oat & Coconut Icebox Cookies

This Fourth of July food was passed down through my family from Grandma Irene and is a favorite of my dad and cousin Dennis. It’s a true cookie lover’s cookie: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and perfectly dunkable. —Lori Rowe, Tigerton, Wisconsin
53 / 73

Slow-Cooker Country-Style Ribs

Quick to prep for the slow cooker, this dinner is terrific with a salad and a fresh side. My family practically cheers whenever I make it! —Cheryl Mann, Winside, Nebraska
54 / 73

Thomas Jefferson’s Vanilla Ice Cream

The third U.S. president is credited with jotting down the first American recipe for this treat. No vanilla bean on hand? Substitute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Just stir the extract into the cream mixture after the ice-water bath. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
55 / 73

Grilled Peppered Steaks

I once wanted a peppered steak for supper, so I tossed some spices together and came up with this Fourth of July food. My family thoroughly enjoyed it. —Stephanie Moon, Boise, Idaho.
56 / 73

Oven-Fried Cornbread

Nothing completes an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu like a crisp cornbread baked in a cast-iron skillet. This old family recipe has been passed down to each generation. —Emory Doty, Jasper, Georgia
57 / 73

Old-Fashioned Applesauce

We had all kinds of apple trees in the yard when I was growing up, so I don't know for sure which ones Mother liked best for applesauce. (Today I use Cortlands.) I do know that her applesauce was very white. The secret, she said, was to keep the apples in salt water while she peeled them so that they wouldn't darken. —Doris Natvig, Jesup, Iowa
58 / 73

Red, White and Blue Dessert

I changed a recipe I found and ended up with this rich, fresh-tasting dessert. Decorated to resemble a flag, it’s perfect for an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu or any other patriotic occasion. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
59 / 73

Tender Barbecued Chicken

After a long day at work, a slow-cooked meal is a great help. One of my family’s favorites is this moist slow-simmered chicken. For an appealing look, choose a darker brown barbecue sauce. —Jacqueline Blanton, Gaffney, South Carolina
60 / 73

Garden Tomato Salad

For as long as I can remember, Mom made a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers. Now I make this Fourth of July food whenever beautiful tomatoes are in reach. —Shannon Arthur, Upper Arlington, Ohio
61 / 73

Sandy's Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe and won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
62 / 73

Quick & Easy au Gratin Potatoes

On holidays, a friend serves these creamy, cheesy potatoes when we gather together to celebrate with lifelong friends and grown children. —Carol Blue, Barnesville, Pennsylvania
63 / 73

Strawberry Gelato

You’ll love this smooth and creamy Fourth of July food with bright strawberry flavor and just a hint of sea salt and honey. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
64 / 73

Pork Chops with Glaze

Rosemary adds a special touch to these beautifully glazed pork chops that are the perfect Fourth of July food. —Louise Gilbert, Quesnel, British Columbia
65 / 73

Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we’d lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested that maybe a slice of hot apple pie would make me feel better. She was right. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
66 / 73

Homemade Potato Chips

Forget buying a bag of potato chips at the grocery store when you can make these at home. This quick and easy recipe will complete your old-fashioned Fourth of July menu. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
67 / 73

Jumbo Chocolate Cutouts

The recipe for these light cookies has been passed down from generation to generation. Have a little extra fun with frosting if you like. They freeze well, too! —Helen Brown, East Dover, Vermont
68 / 73

Contest-Winning Fresh Blueberry Pie

I’ve been making this blueberry pie recipe for decades since the ingredients for the filling are readily available in Michigan. Nothing says summer like a piece of fresh blueberry pie! —Linda Kernan, Mason, Michigan
69 / 73

Green Bean-Cherry Tomato Salad

My grandmother made a cold green bean salad with potatoes for every family barbecue. Now I bring my own version of the Fourth of July food to parties. With added color and taste from the cherry tomatoes, this classic favorite is even better. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
70 / 73

Rosemary Citrus Sorbet

This pretty pastel dessert bursts with the fresh flavors of grapefruit, lime and rosemary. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
71 / 73

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Planning an old-fashioned Fourth of July menu? The recipe for these four-ingredient homemade buttermilk biscuits has been handed down for many generations. —Fran Thompson, Tarboro, North Carolina
72 / 73

Grilled Three-Potato Salad

Everyone in our extended family loves to cook, so I put together all of our favorite recipes in a cookbook to be handed down from generation to generation. This Fourth of July food comes from that cookbook. It’s a delicious twist on traditional potato salad. —Suzette Jury, Keene, California
73 / 73

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

While growing up on a farm, I often ate rhubarb, so it's natural for me to use it in a pie. I prefer to use lard for the flaky pie crust and thin red rhubarb stalks for the filling. These two little secrets helped this strawberry rhubarb pie recipe win top honors at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. —Marianne Carlson, Jefferson, Iowa