Prep Ahead 4th of July Menu

By far the biggest stressor when it comes to entertaining is the menu. No one wants to spend hours in the kitchen before the party or while guests are there. Plus, having piles of dishes to do is enough to keep even a seasoned entertainer from throwing their next get together.

That’s why I’m a big fan of prep ahead menus. A prep ahead menu includes dishes that can be made the day before or morning of and simply pulled out of the fridge when guests arrive. All the dishes get done ahead of time as well meaning you’re not having to rush to clean before the party starts. Here’s the ultimate 4th of July prep ahead menu (keep scrolling to get the full prep breakdown)

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Starters

  • Cheese and Charcuterie Board: All of your cheeses can be sliced and placed on the board the night before along with your charcuterie. Leave space for nuts, crackers and fresh berries which you’ll add right before guests arrive. Be sure to wrap well and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

  • Blue Corn Chips and Salsa: The ultimate easy app. Right before guests arrive, pour salsa into a bowl and put chips in a bowl and you’re ready to go.

Dinner

  • Proteins: The chicken breasts, hamburgers and hot dogs can all be cooked while guests are there. To make it easy, buy preformed patties so all you have to do is throw them on the grill.

  • Condiment Tray: Slice onion and tomato the night before. You can platter both with lettuce, sliced cheeses and pickles the night before or the morning of.

  • Summer Vegetable Greek Pasta Salad: The beauty of pasta salad is it’s actually better the next day. Cook pasta, blanch vegetables and mix together with dressing the night before. Add feta cheese and a little more dressing right before guests arrive and put in a bowl.

  • Watermelon Arugula Feta Salad: This is a salad that will be better if made right before guests arrive. But, if you buy already cut watermelon, all you need to do is add all ingredients to a bowl, mix and serve. While it can’t be made ahead, it will only take you about three minutes to make.

  • Grilled Corn on the Cob: Get it grill ready the night before by peeling and wrapping in foil with butter and seasonings. Throw it on the grill with your proteins and you’ll be good to go.

  • Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Like the corn on the Cobb, it can prepped the night before and cooked on the grill with your proteins.

Dessert

  • Cherry Pie with Fresh Berries and Vanilla Ice Cream: The ultimate simple dessert. Pies are great because they can sit out in the heat without the worry of it melting. While you can make homemade if you like, I’ve found our local grocery store bakery makes an excellent pie! Add a carton of vanilla ice cream for serving and you’re good to go.