Has your husband/boyfriend/lovable-but-absent-minded roommate recently called to inform you that the barbecue you are attending tonight is, in fact, a potluck, then followed up with “What are we bringing?” and, “Oh, didn’t I tell you?” It sounds like you and I are living parallel lives you could use one of these 10 last-minute Fourth of July recipes.

10 Fast Fourth of July Recipes

Ben and I are, in fact, attending a potluck (a pig roast!), and to give him his due justice, he gave me 24 hours notice that we should bring, “more than one thing.” He also suggested that we “just buy it,” a clear indication that after our three plus years co-habitation, I am still a total stranger.

Unless it’s a bottle of wine, I feel strongly about showing my host my appreciation for his or her efforts (such as burying a pig in the ground) by arriving with something I made myself. I find it doesn’t matter so much how much or how little time I spend on the dish—all my hosts remember is that I cared enough to expend a measure of effort contributing to the meal, even if that effort was restricted to three ingredients and 10 minutes.

In case you, like me, need to pull a dish together by tonight or tomorrow, here are 10 excellent options that you can bring with pride to any Fourth of July affair. All are ready in less than half an hour and have ingredients you can find at your nearest grocery store. As this post goes to press, I have yet to grocery shop, but I’m fairly settled on #2 and #8, and I might have to throw in a #10, because I like to make an entrance.

 BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad. Don’t have the dressing called for in the recipe? Any light ranch dressing will do!

Skinny Greek Layer Dip

Skinny Greek Layer DipPrepare to freak out. One of the most popular recipes on this blog!

Cherry Salsa Recipe

Fresh Cherry Salsa. Add blueberries to make it red, white, and blue!

Red White and Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing. Perfect for a healthy breakfast or lunch and so festive for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July! {paleo, gluten free}

Red White and Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad. Fresh, festive, and the honey lime dressing is gosh darn addictive.

Easy Baked Beans. Healthy recipe that's ready to go in less than 30 minutes and almost completely hands free!

Easy “Baked” Beans. Let no barbecue be without the beans!

Skinny Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan Dip

5-Minute Roasted Red Pepper Dip. If only everything this good in life were this easy.

No Mayo Creamy Green Pea Salad with Almonds and Bacon

Green Pea Salad with Bacon and Almonds. Give peas a chance! Especially when there’s bacon…

A skinny version of the Asian Ramen Salad that everyone loves!

Asian Ramen Salad. The Midwest classic, with a sexy ingredient makeover.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza with Crescent Roll Crust

Rainbow Fruit Pizza. Can you handle the cuteness?

Fizzy Grapefruit Margaritas. SO refreshing!

Fizzy Grapefruit Margaritas. Arrive with a pitcher, and let the party begin!



This post is a part of The Fives series (which, despite its name, can include 10 things, because everyone needs extra Fourth of July eats!)

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Hello Erin,

    My fiance and I are going to a James Taylor outdoor concert in the Berkshire mountains tomorrow. (Can’t wait!) It’s a picnic before event and we were so happy to get your email with your 10 last minute recipes. They all look so good but my favorite is the roasted red pepper dip. I will be looking for those pasta chips!

    Happy July 4th!
    Maureen and Rey 

    1. Hi Maureen! This makes me so happy to hear. I hope you and Rey love the dip, and it’s wonderful to know that this list was helpful to you. Have a very happy Fourth of July!

  2. Mmmm! That Greek layer dip looks so so good to me right now. We’re going to an outdoor show as well tomorrow and that sounds like an amazing thing to make!!

  3. Yummy!! These look really good!! You would probably be made at me because I’m bringing a bag of pretzels and a bag of BBQ chips to our cookout tonight! That’s right nothing homemade. I don’t have to bring anything  but I want to. There is going to be a lot of food anyway! So our neighbor said anything chips, etc whatever! Y’all have fun! 

  4. Love these suggestions!! We have all been there and needed a last minute dish to share :) Thanks for the help!!