Trust Us: You Can Pull Off a Last-Minute BBQ

4th of July, Entertain, Holidays, Menu Ideas


Perhaps you didn’t have time to get your act together earlier. Or maybe you decided you’re in the mood to have a few friends over after all. Regardless, trust us: You can pull off a last-minute Fourth of July barbecue.


The key is to keep things simple—no need to mess too much with the Independence Day classics!—and to avoid putting anything on the table that requires advance prep or planning. This menu was born to be enjoyed on a sunny day in the backyard—simply follow our tips for pulling it off like a pro. Happy Fourth!

The Menu


For something refreshing and festive to sip on, try our red, white and blue-esque Blueberry Spritzer. Snack on skewers of tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese, a creative (and easy-to-assemble) variation on the classic caprese.


Cheeseburgers are traditional for a 4th of July cookout, and our version won’t disappoint—it’s built with a flavorful mix of ground chuck and sirloin, and topped with all the classic condiments, from sliced pickles to your favorite cheese. For another main course option, serve this finger-lickin’-good Bourbon-Molasses Chicken.



On the side, spring for two summer staples that everyone will be excited to see: This Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad with Sweet Pickles, which adds a tangy component to the menu, as well as a juicy Watermelon and Feta Salad (this one’s got mint and lime). Finish the meal with a homestyle Blackberry Crisp.

The Party Plan

Wait until right before the party starts to begin making Blueberry Spritzers.


Here’s what to do before the crowd comes over:


  • Day of: Make the topping for the crisp and refrigerate; peel and core apples. Make the macaroni and watermelon-feta salads; refrigerate. Assemble the caprese skewers. Chill additional beverages like juice, wine for beer in a rustic party tub.
  • Just before serving: Grill the burgers and the chicken. Make the blueberry cocktail. Bake the crisp.

Decorate your table outside with red, white and blue for a patriotic touch. These dinner plates come in all three colors, and as a bonus, they’re durable enough for outdoor dining. Use a matching platter or a serving tray in a neutral color and casual, woven texture for serving.


A great barbecue goes from day to night, with guests lingering to enjoy the celebration. As the daylight fades, light flameless candles in pretty outdoor teak lanterns for atmosphere. 

Looking for even more ideas? Check out all of our Fourth of July entertaining inspiration.


One comment about “Trust Us: You Can Pull Off a Last-Minute BBQ

  1. Happy 4th of July! | Williams-Sonoma Taste

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