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Not Sure What to Cook on July 4th? We’ve Got Some Foolproof Ideas

By the editors of Cook's Illustrated

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Celebrate Independence Day with burgers, pies, and zero mistakes in the kitchen.

We think the menu for Independence Day should be festive, fun, and reliable, so we’ve pulled some of our favorite summertime recipes to help you plan your party. From a classic grilled burger, to an avocado salad, to a fresh peach pie, there’s something to satisfy everyone. But most importantly, thanks to the rigorous testing we put our recipes through, you won’t have to worry about a dish not turning out as well as it should.

Pink Bean and Lima Bean Dip with Parsley

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Pink Bean and Lima Bean Dip with Parsley

The secret behind a bean dip that’s creamy and complex tasting is to pair a starchy bean with a lighter legume or vegetable. This dip, an interesting departure from the usual suspects you find at barbecues, is the perfect way to get your party started.

Tender Juicy Grilled Burgers

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Tender, Juicy Grilled Burgers

Preground chuck patties may be easy to throw on the grill, but if you want ultrabeefy, tender, juicy burgers, start with steak tips, grind your own meat—and open the freezer.

Potato Burger Buns

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Potato Burger Buns

Mashed potatoes are hefty and substantial, but in a potato buns recipe, they give the crumb a light, tender, moist texture.

Grilled Steak with New Mexican Chile Rub

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Grilled Steak with New Mexican Chile Rub

Done wrong, this grilled shell sirloin steak resembles a dusty old boot. But apply some science to your rub and you’ve got a bold way to dress up a less expensive cut.

Avocado Salad with Tomato and Radish

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Avocado Salad with Tomato and Radish

Usually tossed into a pile of greens, mild-mannered avocado sinks to the bottom of the bowl like an afterthought. We found a way to make sure it shines as the star of this dish.

Tunisian-Style Grilled Vegetables

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Tunisian-Style Grilled Vegetables

The North African flavors of this vegetarian dish lured us in, and once we found the perfect grilling method, we were totally hooked.

Fresh Peach Pie


We corralled the moisture that peaches give off during cooking in a number of ways, and the result is a pie with a perfect, sturdy, peachy filling.

Blueberry Pie


A Fourth of July celebration isn’t truly American until you’ve got a slice of blueberry pie and a cool scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top.

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