The 4th of July is just around the corner, so if you’re hosting a party or attending a barbecue, it’s time to start thinking about the food you’ll be preparing. Celebrated to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, this fun summer holiday is all about getting together with loved ones and having a great time — from backyard barbecues to watching 4th of July fireworks with the family.
If you’re looking for cheap 4th of July recipes or quick potluck ideas so you don’t have to spend much time in the kitchen, give these eight recipes a try.
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1. Cucumber Salad: Under $8
Leave potato salad off your 4th of July BBQ menu this year and opt for cucumber salad instead — a cheaper, easier and healthier alternative. Follow this recipe from Betty Crocker to make a cucumber salad that serves 12 people. You’ll need 4 medium cucumbers, 2/3 cup white vinegar, 2/3 cup water, 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/4 tablespoon pepper. You can also add some dill weed for extra flavor if you happen to have some in the cupboard already.
- Thinly slice cucumbers and place them in a bowl.
- Place remaining ingredients in an airtight container and shake.
- Pour mixture over cucumbers.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Drain cucumbers and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Sprinkle with dill weed.
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2. Deviled Eggs: Under $8
This 4th of July potluck staple requires just four ingredients and takes only 15 minutes to make when following this recipe from Food.com. To make 24 deviled eggs, you’ll need 12 large eggs, 8 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons mustard and pepper to taste.
- Hard boil the eggs.
- After removing the shell, cut boiled eggs lengthwise into halves.
- Remove yolks and mash with fork.
- Mix mayonnaise, mustard and pepper in with yolks.
- Scoop yolk mixture into whites, lightly piling it on the egg.
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3. Guacamole: Under $10
As far as easy, cheap recipes go, it doesn’t get much better than this guacamole recipe from Allrecipes.com. If you want to make enough for a small party, you’ll need 4 avocados, 2 small onions, 2 garlic cloves, 2 ripe tomatoes, 2 limes and salt and pepper to taste. You can even add a little cilantro for flavor.
- Peel and mash the avocados.
- Mix in chopped onion, garlic, tomato, half the lime juice, salt and pepper.
- Season with remaining lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
4. Baked Beans: Under $12
If you’re looking for easy recipes to make to celebrate the 4th of July, this quick baked beans recipe from Betty Crocker is it. This recipe should serve 10 to 12 people and only calls for a few ingredients — 2 28-ounce cans of baked beans, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup ketchup and 2 teaspoons mustard.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ingredients in a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly.
5. Fruit Salad: Under $13
Both healthy and easy, this 4th of July recipe from Food.com is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. You’ll need 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, 2 cups halved seedless grapes, 1 small cubed cantaloupe, 2 sliced bananas and 1/3 cup orange juice.
- Place all fruit in a large bowl.
- Pour orange juice over fruit and coat evenly.
- Cover and refrigerate for four hours.
- Stir before serving.
6. Black Bean Burgers: Under $13
Go meatless this 4th of July with this black bean burger recipe from MyRecipes. To make 8 patties, you’ll need 10 hamburger buns, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 4 teaspoons chopped garlic, 2 15-ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained), 2 teaspoon grated lime rind, 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs and 2 egg whites.
- Put 2 buns in a food processor, pulsing until you have approximately 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
- Place 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and beans in food processor. Process until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
- Combine bean mixture with breadcrumbs.
- Stir in grated lime rind and remaining ingredients (minus buns and remaining olive oil).
- Wet your hands and divide mixture into eight equal portions, shaping each into a 3-inch patty.
- Pour remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil into large nonstick skillet and heat on medium-high.
- Add patties to pan, cooking four minutes or until edges are browned.
- Flip patties and cook another three minutes or until edges are browned.
- Serve on remaining hamburger buns.
7. Ginger Mint Watermelon: Under $13
It’s not Independence Day without watermelon, so turn this holiday essential into a creative side dish or dessert. This “Ginger Mint Watermelon” recipe from ABC’s “The Chew,” is one of the easiest recipes to make and it’s sure to impress your guests. This recipe serves eight and you’ll only need five ingredients — 2 cups orange juice, 4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, 4 tablespoons roughly chopped mint, the juice of 2 limes and 6 cups cubed watermelon.
- Whisk the orange juice, ginger and mint together.
- Place the watermelon in a bowl and pour the mixture over it.
- Cover the watermelon and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until the liquid has been absorbed.
8. Mexican Street Corn: Under $14
A non-traditional spin on classic 4th of July food, Mexican street corn is cheap, quick and easy to make. This recipe from Epicurious yields 12 servings and only involves five ingredients — 12 ears of corn, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 pound cheese (shredded cotija or crumbled feta), 3 limes and cayenne pepper to taste.
- Grill corn.
- Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on corn.
- Roll corn in cheese to coat.
- Sprinkle corn with cayenne pepper.
- Quarter lime wedges and serve one with each ear of corn.
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Many of these recipes involve herbs, spices and condiments you might already have on hand. In that case, you can probably make them for even cheaper. The recipes can also be altered to serve more — or less — depending on how many you’re serving this 4th of July weekend.
Note: Total prices were estimated using average food prices from the USDA and Numbeo that were accurate as of June 17, 2016.