Eating well is practically your patriotic duty, so whip up double batches of these recipes early in the day, and leave them in the refrigerator to chill

Fourth of July Recipes Don’t Have to Be Complicated—Try These for a No-Fuss Party
Ericka McConnell

Here’s something to ease your mind about entertaining: Even professional party planners keep it simple when they host at home. They want to enjoy the party too, after all. “There is never enough time to be perfect in all things, so be good in a few,” says Alexandra Angle.

After launching an event-planning business in 1999, Alexandra and her husband, Eliot, became the go-to caterers on the L.A. party circuit, and released a book, Cocktail Parties with a Twist (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), in 2002. The Angles have moved away from party planning, but they still bring style to gatherings at their home in Elysian Heights. Here they’ve created a fun, hassle-free Fourth of July party.

“It’s too hot to spend hours working inside,” Alexandra says. So she devised a menu of appetizers that can be served cold. “Perfect for an easy party.” 

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Shrimp and prosciutto may not seem like typical fare for the Fourth of July, but there’s no rule. We’ve always been a melting pot, so really anything goes on Independence Day. Add a touch of Italian to America’s big day; include shrimp amongst the typical hot dogs and hamburgers. It’s all good. 

And if you’re really still uneasy, cap the party with a good old American apple pie. Eating well is practically your patriotic duty on July 4, so whip up double batches of these recipes early on the day of your party, and leave them in the refrigerator to chill. Then party setup will be almost as easy as moving those trays outside.

Patio Party Hints

  • Lift the table. To create an outdoor buffet, the Angles brought their dining room table outside and raised it 6 inches by placing the legs on stacks of books. “For a walk-around party, it’s better to have the table at bar height,” Alexandra says. “The guests can move comfortably around it and serve themselves.”
  • Jazz up the menu. “Don’t feel constrained by the typical July Fourth fare,” Alexandra says. “We are a country of people from many countries, so don’t hesitate to mix it up.”
  • Make edible centerpieces. The Angles placed florist foam in square containers and put a candle in each. Then they pierced strawberries on bamboo skewers and poked them into the foam around the candles, so that guests could “pick” the berries during the party.

Quick and Easy Party Recipes

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