Whether you’re cooking up a feast for a small group of friends or keeping things low-key with your family, these fresh and easy 4th of July appetizers are guaranteed to impress. Kick off your Independence Day barbecue with a selection of delectable dishes—from kid-friendly finger foods, like soft pretzels, to elevated appetizers, like mini lobster rolls—that we’re certain our forefathers would approve of. And if you need help with the rest of the menu, serve these appetizers alongside our favorite 4th of July entrées and one (or two) of these patriotic desserts for the ultimate backyard bash.

RELATED: 35 4th of July Cocktails That'll Steal the Show

1. Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa

There’s a little bit of heat (from the jalapeño) in this healthy dip, but if you prefer mild salsa, feel free to leave it out.

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2. Grilled Watermelon-Feta Skewers

This sweet and tangy salad begins on the grill; the char marks offer pleasant smokiness to the watermelon. And the best part? There are no bowls to clean afterward. Now that’s a win.

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RELATED: 8 Next-Level Skewer Recipes to Make on the Grill This Summer (Dessert Included)

3. Carrot Pigs in a Blanket

This lighter take on the classic will leave plenty of room for all those hot dogs and burgers later. Serve them with plenty of green goddess dip (and ketchup for the picky eaters).

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4. Italian Bruschetta Bar

Don't fuss over the arrangement—a random presentation is the best way to convey a relaxed vineyard vibe. We'll bring the wine.

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5. Avocado Deviled Eggs

A fun twist on a party favorite that you'll be serving at every BBQ you host from now until forever, guaranteed. Buttery avocado makes the filling extra creamy.

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RELATED: The Secret Ingredient for Perfect Deviled Eggs

6. Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Save time making this crowd-pleasing 4th of July appetizer by starting with store-bought rotisserie chicken and shredding it yourself.

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7. Sweet Corn Grilled Guacamole

Putting avocados on the grill gives this dip a delicious, smoky flavor. Might we suggest making it a permanent part of your Taco Tuesday menu?

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8. Summer Crostini

How many seasonal ingredients can you fit onto a baguette, you ask? We say the possibilities are endless. Try pairing blue cheese with grilled peaches, goat cheese and balsamic with fresh cherries, or cheddar with blueberry jam.

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9. Chargrilled Vegetable Platter

All you need to season these guys are salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss them on the grill and you've got your own Italian-style antipasti. Don't skimp on the tangy yogurt sauce.

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10. 10-Minute Pineapple Black Bean Tostadas

Simply lay out your tostada shells, spread them with a spoonful of black beans, layer a few slices of avocado and add the salsa. Voilà.

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11. Keto Guacamole Burger Bites

Because everything tastes better when it’s mini (and topped off with avocado). Savor bacon-wrapped meatballs topped with fresh produce and pearl mozzarella.

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12. Zucchini Caprese Salad

We upgraded the O.G. with even *more* summer flavor by adding grilled zucchini to the tomato-basil-mozz combo. We promise you’ll never go back.

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13. Wonton-Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Rather than going through the trouble of coating and breading the cheese, wonton wrappers are a shortcut to the crunch you crave. The result is the same crispy sticks you know and love—but with way less effort.

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14. Grilled Peach, Chicken and Ricotta Pizza

An excellent way to make the most out of the season's fresh fruit. Store-bought pizza dough allows this summer pie to come together in just one hour.

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15. Cilantro, Lime and Yogurt Grilled Chicken Wings

Any holiday party is incomplete without finger foods. We’ve got you covered with these tangy, vinegary wings that will disappear in seconds at the cookout.

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16. Coconut Shrimp

Your favorite restaurant app is surprisingly easy to make at home (and just as delicious). Don't forget lots of sweet chili sauce for dipping.

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17. Sweet-and-Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple

They’re quick and easy to whip up, and guaranteed to take your cookout to the next level. Thanks to the handy skewers, you won't need chopsticks or forks. (Oh, and if you need help cutting the pineapple...)

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18. Crispy Carnitas Guacamole

Who knew that two of our favorite Mexican dishes would pair together so nicely? Ready thine chips, amigas.

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16. Hot and Tangy Cauli-Ranch Buffalo Dip

Just substitute chicken for cauliflower rice and sauté until golden and tender. Serve it with crackers, tortilla chips, potato chips or sliced veggies.

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20. Prosciutto Bites

Think bite-sized balls of store-bought pizza dough wrapped in slices of salty prosciutto and coated with Parmesan cheese. Mamma mia.

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21. Baked Gorgonzola Bites

All you need is five ingredients and 30 minutes to make this pull-apart recipe. Think of it as a savory take on monkey bread.

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22. Mini Lobster Rolls

Name a more iconic summer sandwich, we'll wait. Miniature buns mean you'll get the perfect ratio of claw meat to toasted, buttery bread in every bite.

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23. Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Soft Pretzels

Make the most of both these spring veggies while they're still at peak deliciousness. They're baked until the pretzels are golden and the dip inside is ooey-gooey.

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24. Cheesy Polenta Bites with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Piled high with all of our favorite savory adds-ons, these little guys are officially our new favorite snack. Even the kids won't mind that they're eating a vegetable.

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25. Brussels Sprout Sliders

The healthiest (and cutest) alternative to buns of all time. Don't @ us.

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RELATED: 25 Crowd-Pleasing Fourth of July Recipes

26. Sweet Potato, Corn and Feta Salad

A hearty side dish to serve alongside burgers, dogs, chops or steak.

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27. Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs

Potato salad? Meh. Sliced watermelon? Yawn. On the other hand, these Mexican handhelds will be the talk of the evening. And best of all, you can whip them up in less than an hour.

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28. Creamy Broccoli Salad

You can’t go wrong with cheese, cashews, onions and dried cranberries tossed in velvety dressing.

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29. Mini Skillet Pizzas with Mushrooms and Roasted Tomatoes

An easy way to please everyone? Take an all-time favorite food (pizza) and make it bite-sized. Use the prettiest tomatoes from the farmers market—you won't be disappointed.

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30. Rodney Scott’s Pimento Cheese

This ten-minute app is as authentically Southern as it gets. The key is shredding your own sharp cheddar for the optimal silky-smooth texture.

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31. 15-Minute Gazpacho with Cucumber, Red Pepper and Basil

Since no one wants to spend a summer night standing over a hot stove, this cold soup comes together lickity-split in the blender or food processor instead.

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32. Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

Char these citrusy, flavorful skewers to perfection, then hand them out to your guests. (The kids will need plenty of fuel for playing in the sprinkler, after all.)

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33. Salami, Artichoke and Ricotta Pasta Salad

Tender pasta + briny artichoke hearts + salty salami + creamy ricotta = every flavor note you could ask for in a pasta salad. The mustard vinaigrette takes it over the top.

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34. Rainbow Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

Bring the biggest tote bag you own to the farmers market and load up on allllll the heirloom tomatoes. Once they're sliced, all you have to do is season them, toast the baguette and spread on the ricotta.

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35. Cauliflower ‘Potato’ Salad

You won't find a single drop of mayo in this picnic staple. Instead, we use Greek yogurt, sour cream and Dijon mustard for a dressing that's equal parts creamy, tangy and flavorful.

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36. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Even with steak, pulled pork and mac and cheese on deck, we *always* have room for tacos. Kick the party off with this tropical-inspired dish that only takes 20 minutes to whip up. (Here's how to cut a mango without making a slimy mess, BTW.)

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37. 15-Minute Cucumber-Avocado Blender Soup

Cool, refreshing cucumber. Buttery, creamy avocado. Fresh-squeezed lime juice. Allllll the herbs. Need we say more? (If so, maybe the Asiago-encrusted baguette will sway you.)

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38. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

Move aside, meats: Peaches and halloumi cheese are coming in hot. Be patient and wait for the char marks to fully develop—the salad is way more Insta-worthy that way.

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39. Shrimp Boil Skewers with Corn, Sausage and Potatoes

Your guests will be totally wowed when they see this portable take on a seafood boil hit the picnic table. Just lay out some newspaper and let everyone dig in.

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40. Smoky Barbecued Corn

Butter and salt? You can do better than that. Try this zesty combination of mayo, lime juice, chili powder, paprika and Parmesan cheese instead.

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41. Baked Mac-and-Cheese Bites

We usually prepare a massive pot of mac to serve with pulled pork, ribs and other BBQ mains. But we love the idea of making everyone's favorite side portable and utensil-free.

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42. Chilled Cucumber Salad

It just might be the most refreshing salad ever created. Even better, it only requires five simple ingredients (and most of them are likely in your kitchen right now).

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43. Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

As if the blend of heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and yellow bell pepper couldn't get any summerier, the recipe also calls for two juicy peaches for a touch of sweetness.

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44. BLT Pasta Salad

It does its namesake justice with all the traditional ingredients (minus the bread, of course). Make an extra batch of the black pepper bacon to serve on burgers.

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45. Chopped Italian Salad Pizza

To no one's surprise, veggies just...taste a million times better atop an impeccably crispy pizza crust. The pie is loaded with Italian staples like ricotta, fresh mozz and pepperoncini.

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46. 15-Minute Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Store-bought rotisserie chicken does it again. Once the chicken is shredded, just toss it in Buffalo sauce with chopped celery and assemble the sliders.

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47. Mexican Street Corn Dip

Mind if we fall face-first into this pile of cheesy heaven? Cool. Who brought the cerveza?

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48. Skillet Blueberry Cornbread

Whether you're serving grilled chicken, pulled pork or seared steak, cornbread is a safe pairing. This one also boasts summer blueberries and brown sugar streusel to boot.

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49. Fruicuterie Board

When in doubt, you can't go wrong with an array of fancy cheeses and fresh fruit. Load it up with all your faves, from kiwi and watermelon to apricots and plums.

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50. Mini Peach Tarts with Goat Cheese and Honey

This light-yet-filling summer appetizer has just the right amount of sweetness and spice to make our mouths water for more. Even better, they’re shockingly easy to make, thanks to frozen puff pastry.

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RELATED: 43 Fresh Corn Recipes to Make All Summer Long

For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.

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