As 4th of July weekend rolls around, the family starts to gather, and the grill gets fired up, but it can be easy to forget a very important component: good side dishes. Steaks and burgers are the primary draw of grilling seasons, but no meal is complete without a tasty side of green beans, or homemade potato salad. The best side dishes don’t come from the grocery store deli, so a little bit of preparation can lead to excellent taste rewards.
When searching for the best 4th of July food ideas, potato salad recipes stand out for a few reasons. A simple potato salad can be made several days in advance, and will actually taste better after a day of refrigeration, as the flavors begin to mingle. Potato salad ingredients are typically easy to find, many of which you may already keep in your pantry. This collection of potato salad recipes for 4th of July offer several distinctly different options, each one a perfect companion to your grilled main course.
Classic Potato Salad
When learning how to make potato salad, it’s good to start with the classic version. Different regions of the United States have slightly varying ideas of what makes up a traditional potato salad recipe. Typically, you’ll see ingredients like russet potatoes, onion, celery, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard. This recipe also includes hard boiled eggs for added texture, and white wine vinegar for a pop of flavor. The vinegar, a natural preservative, will help this easy potato salad last longer in the refrigerator, so make plenty for leftovers.
Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
This homemade potato salad is one of the best 4th of July food ideas. Made with red skin, Yukon Gold, and Purple Peruvian potatoes, the finished side dish stands out in red, white and “blue” glory. Using olive oil instead of a creamier dressing makes the colors shine, while the ham and walnuts add a great heartiness. If you want to keep this dish vegetarian, saute a cup of diced carrots in olive oil, and let them cool before stirring in.
Mustard Potato Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
We like to add a little booze to the menu whenever possible, and this potato salad with bacon, that uses Sherry wine vinegar in the dressing, caught our eye. It incorporates a few less common ingredients, like fresh tarragon and sliced shallots, but the flavors come together for a fresh and delicious compliment to steaks and chicken. Try adding 1/2 cup of white wine to your baking dish before you put the potatoes in the oven for added sweetness.
Grilled Jalapeño Potato Salad
If your friends and family prefer spicier fare, you’ve got to try this savory treat. For this great side dish, you grill the potatoes and jalapeños, so it’s perfect for 4th of July, or anytime you already have a hot grill. The ingredients include cumin, green onions, and cilantro, which makes for Southwest inspired flavor. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but you can grill the green onions, too, for more smoky taste.
Whiskey & Blue Cheese Potato Salad
Finally, check out our original potato salad recipe for whiskey and blue cheese potato salad. Ingredients include spicy mustard, sweet barbecue sauce, and nutty wheat berries, but the real highlight is the potatoes themselves. You start by adding a cup of whiskey to the water before you boil the potatoes. This will infuse the sweet, woodsy flavor of your whiskey into every single bite. Happy Independence Day, everyone!