Ring in this Independence Day by having friends and family over for a kabob party! It’s a twist on the typical cookout that’s snappy and low-maintenance, yet loads of fun. A mix of flavorful skewers is a fun and easy way to entertain a crowd and satisfy everyone’s tastes—you can even let guests assemble and grill their own meals-on-a-stick. Round out the menu with red, white and blue sides, drinks, and desserts. Here are the recipes and tips to help you pull it off.
Kick off the celebration with aappetizer that’s easy, elegant and perfect for summer: nectarines with arugula and burrata cheese. Serve with some crusty bread, and let everyone help themselves to the creamy cheese and sweet, juicy fruit. Greet guests with a festive and refreshing cherry mocktail for sipping (to spike it, try adding an ounce of vodka to each glass).
Then comes the fun part—the kabobs! Set out a variety of meats, seafood and vegetables and let everyone customize their own skewers. For inspiration, try these combos: Cajun shrimp and sausage with potatoes and corn; lamb with peppers, onion and zucchini; classic beef with mushrooms; jerk-spiced pork kabobs with plum relish; and North African chicken skewers. For those of you entertaining vegetarians, we love these colorful kabobs of eggplant and squash threaded on rosemary branches.
On the side, serve salads that showcase more of summer’s best colors and flavors. This pasta salad features a variety of summer beans and fresh herbs, and a simple heirloom tomato salad splashed with tangy vinegar is a foolproof classic.
For dessert, bake a homey pie. Our blueberry crumble pie contrasts a juicy berry filling with a crisp, crunchy crumb topping for a memorable finale to the meal.
Follow this countdown to optimize your time spent with friends and family on the day of the cookout.
- 1 day ahead: Marinate the beef and chicken for the kabobs overnight. Make the pasta salad (leave undressed) and refrigerate.
- Day of: Bake the pie. Mix the base of the cherry mocktail and refrigerate. Prep the rest of the ingredients for the kabobs.
- Just before serving: Assemble the nectarine appetizer. Finish the pasta salad and make the tomato salad. Grill the kabobs. Finish the mocktail.
Chill some additional beverages for the adults. (For ideas on what to serve, check out our warm-weather wine picks and top beers for summer.) Ice the bottles down in a rustic yet stylish copper party tub.
Decorate your table outside with some star-spangled linens for a patriotic touch. Our red Open Kitchen table runners and lapkins and blue-banded dinnerware plates are printed with bold stripes that suit the occasion.
Looking for even more delicious ways to celebrate the red, white and blue? Visit our Fourth of July Pinterest board for additional ideas.