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by Rachel Klein July 03, 2018

The 4th of July Barbecue has been done a thousand times. Burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and lemonade are just some of the recipes that make their way to your backyard every year with little innovation. Don’t get us wrong, we love the classics, but what about switching it up for an elevated menu that still screams summer? We’ve scoured the internet and gathered some amazing recipes for you to try this year!

Frozen Hibiscus-Lime Margaritas

Regular margaritas? What are those? Keep cool with these creativehibiscus-lime margaritas from Madeline Hall.

Serves 8


For the hibiscus syrup

  • 3 cup water
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus

For the margaritas

  • 8 cups ice (add more if needed)
  • 2 cups hibiscus syrup
  • 4 large limes, juiced
  • 12 oz tequila
  • 4 oz triple sec
  • extra lime and kosher salt, for rimming the glass (optional)


  1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the water, sugar, and dried hibiscus flowers. Heat until right before boiling, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Strain the liquid through a sieve and discard the dried hibiscus.
  3. In a blender, combine the ice, hibiscus syrup, lime juice, tequila, and triple sec. Blend on low and slowly increase speed to high until ice is fully blended. Add more ice if needed for a smooth blend.
  4. Garnish glasses with salt rim and a lime wedge, and divide margarita mixture evenly between two glasses. Enjoy immediately!


Watermelon and Feta Salad

Instead of just putting out watermelon slices, change things up with thisrecipe by Tori Avery.

Serves 8


  • 8 lb. whole seedless watermelon, chilled (about 12 cups of cubed fruit)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 whole limes, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (sheep's milk feta preferred)


  1. Cut rind from the watermelon, then chop the fruit into 1 inch chunks. Place chunks in a colander to drain as your chop.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.
  3. Place watermelon in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing and chopped mint over the watermelon and toss gently to coat. Pour the crumbled feta into the salad bowl and stir gently to integrate the cheese into the salad. Serve.


Southwest Black Bean Burger

The beef burger is the most recognizable staple of the July 4th Barbecue. Check out this healthier, yet still delicious,option by Aimee Mars.

Serves 8


Black Bean Burger

  • 4 15 oz cans of black beans (drained, not rinsed)
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup red onion (grated)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt  and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 8 potato buns

Corn Salsa

  • 2 cups corn
  • 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Sweet Chili Mayo

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Place the drained, not rinsed, black beans in a medium sized bowl and mash with a fork until the beans are mostly broken up but still have some whole beans visible.
  2. Add in the bread crumbs, onion, egg, chili powder, sweet chili sauce, and season in a bit of salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and set aside for a couple of minutes.
  3. While the black bean mixture is over to the side, prepare the corn salsa by placing the corn, tomatoes, red onions, chili powder, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in an iron skillet (or at least a very heavy bottomed one) over medium-low heat.
  5. Form the bean mixture into patties the same size as your buns (they will not shrink while cooking).
  6. Place each pattie into the skillet and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Place the Pepper Jack Cheese on top of each pattie and let melt.
  7. While the burgers are cooking make the sweet chili mayo by whisking together the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  8. Toast the buns in an oven or grill them on a griddle. To make the burger layer the pattie on the bottom of the bun and top with the sweet chili mayo.
  9. Spread the corn salsa over the sweet chili mayo and top with avocado. Enjoy!


Roasted Mexican Street Corn

It’s about time to embrace corn with flavor. Thisrecipe from Damn Delicious will add some heat to your cookout.

Serves 12


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 12 ears of corn
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder and lime juice; set aside.
  3. Place corn husks directly on the oven rack and roast until corn is soft, about 35-40 minutes.
  4. Peel down husks and spread with mayonnaise mixture.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with chili powder, cotija and cilantro.


Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

We all remember chasing down the ice cream truck for an ice cream sandwich to cool us down in the midst of summer. Realize your childhood dreams with thiselevated favorite by Smitten Kitchen.

Serves 16-25


  • 3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (about 2 grams)
  • 2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 cups ice cream of your choice


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two 8×8-inch square baking pans with parchment paper, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, heat chocolate and butter together until about 3/4 of the way melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
  4. Stir in sugar until fully combined, then eggs, one at a time and vanilla.
  5. Stir in salt until combined, then flour, until it just disappears.
  6. Divide batter between two prepared pans and spread it evenly — an offset spatula will make this easier.
  7. Bake on different racks for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating once top to bottom and front to back, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each pan comes out batter-free.
  8. Transfer hot pans directly to freezer (you can put down dish towels or a cooling rack to protect shelves). Chill until cold and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Remove first pan from freezer, and cover with ice cream. Use a spatula to smoosh it down and smooth the top.
  10. Remove second brownie pan from freezer. Run a knife between edges of brownie and pan to make sure it’s not sticking anywhere and use parchment sling to life the brownie out of the pan, remove the parchment and place it on top of the ice cream.
  11. Place the empty brownie pan on top of the brownie lid, to weight it, and press down a little. Keeping the weighting pan on top, return brownie-ice cream stack to freezer until fully firm, another 30 minutes.
  12. Run a knife around the brownie stack again to make sure it’s not stuck, and use the parchment sling to transfer the ice cream sandwich block to a cutting board. Cut into squares. 

What are your 4th of July favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Klein
Rachel Klein

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