Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout

Summer is in full swing and we are all finally enjoying a bit of the outdoors. So let’s chat about easy patriotic food ideas for your summer cookout.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout

I’m not gonna lie, when the Fourth of July rolls around, I always wish I had made some patriotic treats for everyone to be festive. I actually start thinking about that around Memorial Day, but somehow that sneaks up on me. So that holiday never seems to see any cute red and blue desserts.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout

Although we always have a big family party up north at the cottage for Independence Day, some days just get a bit chaotic. So I wanted to share, what I call, the lazy way to make some cute red and blue treats!

Why the lazy way, you ask? Simply because, like many of you, I have the desire but not the time to execute the perfect firecracker cake, or whatever. But even when you are busy running around, you might still want your celebrations to look cute. So let’s do it the EASY way!

Easy patriotic desserts food ideas

So I am going to share with you an easy way to make some patriotic theme treats that you can share for your July party and all way through Labor Day. Because to me, every summer cookout, seems like it can benefit from patriotic red and blue foods.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout

Here are my top 10 easy, even last minute treats, to celebrate America’s birthday and beyond.

Strawberry and blue shortcake

One of the easiest and best dessert recipes for the summer, to me, is always a strawberry shortcake. What could be better than this yummy and light dessert? Sure, you can always make a cake from scratch if you want, but we’re doing it the quick way! This dessert is a standard for any holiday party.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout cake

Start with any angel food or pound cake. Add strawberries (I like to crush some for a  juicy fruit sauce) and blueberries. Top with ice cream, or whipping cream, or both! And enjoy this bit of sweetness at your next backyard cookout. It’s really that easy.

Dipped pretzels

Last Fourth of July, we let the kids create their own decorated dipped pretzels. Needless to say, this was a huge hit! This required a minimum of prep work.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout patriotic pretzels

After melting colored and white chocolate, we laid them side by side in a tray so the kids could roll their pretzels through it. They were then free to roll them in sprinkles and create these fun little patriotic treats.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout food fun

You could even use food coloring to color white chocolate, but I always like to make things as easy as possible, so pre-colored chocolate is the way to go. 

Readymade cake and berries

This dessert is all about the presentation. You can start with anything you consider the perfect 4th of July dessert. Choose a readymade cheesecake, simple single layer cake, or even a homemade tart like ours.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout tart

My daughter-in-law made this gorgeous dessert, but this display of fruit is what really makes this special. It can be placed on any readymade dessert you want. Simply cut the strawberries, trying to keep the sizes and slices as uniform as possible. Begin on the outer edges, rotating between the red fruit and the blue fruit, line up the slices evenly as shown.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout berries

This red and blue method could be easily put on fruit pizzas with the white cream peeking out from underneath. This is sure to be the perfect addition to your next 4th of July dessert table.

Refreshing drinks

During a hot summer, I always have a drink in my hand. I especially like something bubbly, even if it is just flavored sparkling water. Don’t forget to make some refreshing patriotic drinks simply by just adding a bit of color!

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout drinks

The kids love a good Shirley Temple, so I started with 7-up. Add a touch a grenadine syrup and top with a cherry and a sprig of mint (if you have some). Pop in a blue and white striped straw to turn it into the perfect patriotic drink.

If you want to make something special for the adults, a red or blue sangria would bring those patriotic colors to your gathering.

Yogurt parfait

These parfaits are a great way to start the upcoming holidays or any day, for that matter. Simply layer the proper colored fruit, red white, then blue white.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout parfait

Top with a bit of granola and mini American flags, and you have the best afternoon snack or early morning treat for a crowd. You can even make then the night before and keep them chilled in the fridge. Just add the granola and the flags right before serving.

Pancakes and fresh fruit

This is as basic as it gets in the morning, beyond just patriotic holidays. At the cottage, my favorite thing to make is blueberry pancakes. My grandson Rudy is always shouting for more whip cream, as they sometimes prefer that to syrup.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout pancakes

For a bit of a festive breakfast, serve your red and blue fruit either on the side or baked into your flapjacks. Top with plenty of whip cream, or even sprinkle with powdered sugar for some added white. You can also turn your French toast more patriotic the same way.

Ice cream sandwiches

This treat is such a fun and quick one for your next backyard barbecue! All you need is store bought ice cream sandwiches and sprinkles. A couple of hours in advance, simply unwrap the sandwiches and press the ice cream edges in sprinkles.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout ice cream sandwiches

Place them all back in a container and put back in the freezer so everything gets nice and frozen again. Then pull them out and enjoy! So much fun, and nothing is easier.

Everyone’s favorite snack

Popcorn is everyones favorite snack, and it’s so easy to make this into a patriotic treat. Start by filling up large red Solo cups with popcorn for each party goer. Simply add red and blue m&m ‘s to the top and hand out the individual snacks to everyone.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout popcorn

If you want to mix a larger bowl for a big group, you can even turn it into a giant patriotic snack mix by adding Chex mix, peanuts, and pretzels. Just make sure you have enough of the red and blue to be a feature.

Star wands from fruit

The best part about red and blue as there are natural food options that are widely available and healthy. Last year, we let the kids create their own ‘fruit wands’.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout

We cut watermelon using star cookie cutters in a variety of sizes. We provided skewers for them, and let them thread blueberries, blackberries, and watermelon stars to create a fun little afternoon snack! They loved the activity and it was a fun way to have a refreshing and healthy treat.

Patriotic sundae bar

Everyone loves a sundae bar full of ice cream and other fun foods. It’s easy to steer it to a festive dessert by sticking within your red, white, and blue theme. Of course, you need to offer up everyones favorite toppings, so simply use your patriotic colors for the decor!

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout sundaes

Red, white, and blue is such a classic picnic and cookout color scheme that makes it easy to find tablecloths and decor in those hues. You may even be able to find ice cream that is colored with the famous trio of colors.

Other store bought red, white and blue foods

To create a festive table for your summer bbq with all kinds of food, consider adding some of these items to your menu for good color:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • blue corn tortilla chips
  • blueberry popsicles
  • red bell peppers
  • red velvet cookies or cupcakes
  • mozzarella balls
  • blue potatoes (make a potato salad!) 

Always add a fun twist

Summer is all about fun and food should be that way too. Making things look cute with minimal effort is possible and many times needed, when life gets crazy. So even if you are running a million different directions, you can still add that fun twist to your food, tablescapes, and ‘on-the-go’ picnics. It’s all about adding a bit of personal style to the things you love to do and share with your family.

Easy Patriotic Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout

Tell me in the comments what quick and easy foods you like to make, that allow the summer to feel a bit patriotic. I’d love to hear about the traditions with food that you bust out for the summer holidays. Sometimes food just taste better when you are outside playing, picnicking, or camping. Check out one of my favorite recipes to make at the cottage.

Here’s to enjoying the summer, and keeping things easy to have plenty of play time! Happy 4th of July and summer! Let’s stay connected so we can share some ideas that we are inspired by. Next week I will be a part of a summer tour blog hop, so come back for that to see all the cuteness!

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  1. They all look great!

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