Adding flair to your Independence Day barbecue with red, white, and blue food isn’t necessarily tacky. It can be downright delicious.
From cocktails and salads to entrees and desserts, there are plenty of tasty—and cheap—recipes that play on the stars and stripes.
We asked chefs, food bloggers, and other experts for their best bets that are sure to become annual traditions.
Here are 9 to make this year:
Red, White and Blue Poke Cake
Even if you forgo the flag motif on top, the recipe from AllFreeCasseroleRecipes.com is red, white, and blue on the inside.
Poke holes into the cooked cake with a toothpick, and use a mix of sweetened condensed milk and strawberry and blueberry pie poured on top. It’ll seep in, adding flavor and color.
Rainbow, White and Blue Martini
Pinnacle vodka offered up a recipe featuring its Rainbow Sherbet flavor.
Mix two parts of the vodka with one part blue curacao, one part grenadine, and a splash of lemon juice.
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a cherry.
Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
An oil-based dressing, rather than mayonnaise, makes this dish healthier, says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of the forthcoming “The One One One Diet.”
To make, quarter a cup and a half each of regular, red, and blue fingerling potatoes. Place the red and white potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
Place the blue potatoes to cook in a separate saucepan, which will keep the color from bleeding into the other potatoes.
Simmer both batches until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, and then drain.
Add one tablespoon of oil to each saucepan of boiled potatoes and sauté both for five minutes. (“This gives the potatoes a crispy texture with a soft middle,” she explains.)
Combine all three kinds of potatoes in a bowl with two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, and one tablespoon each of chopped fresh chives and dill.
In a separate cup, mix ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1.25 teaspoons salt, two teaspoons Dijon mustard, a half teaspoon black pepper, and a tablespoon oil.
Mix, and combine with potatoes.
Fireworks Pie Fries
Red, white and blue sugars—corresponding to cherry, apple and blueberry pie fillings —help diners decide which of these mini pies, via Pillsbury, to pick.
But with each pie cut into thin “fries,” there’s no need to choose just one kind.
Grilled Chicken with Red, White and Blue Salsa
Danielle Rollins, author of “Soiree Entertaining with Style,” pairs a dish of grilled chicken with a salsa featuring blueberries, strawberries, and jicama.
Patriotic Fruit Salad
“I use cookie cutters to make watermelon stars for this salad,” says Haley Gibbons of HelpfromHayley.com.
Mix a half-cup honey, a quarter-cup pomegranate juice, a tablespoon sugar, one-eighth cup lemon juice, and a tablespoon of chopped fresh mint for the dressing. Set aside.
Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut shapes from half-inch thick slices of seedless watermelon. Cut leftover bits into large chunks.
Peel a jicama and cut two cups’ worth into small strips. Combine watermelon and jicama with two pints blueberries.
Drizzle dressing over fruit.
Still have that star-shaped cutter handy?
Nikki of Tikkido.com uses a star-shaped piece of watermelon, or star-shaped ice cubes of watermelon juice, for her sparkling, non-alcoholic cocktail.
For this recipe from De Rodriguez Cuba in Miami Beach, muddle two sliced strawberries and a dash of basil in a martini shaker.
Pour in two ounces pear vodka add a quarter-ounce each of lime juice and elderflower liquor. Shake.
Strain into glass and top with a half-ounce Champagne.
Vegan Red, White and Blue Fruit Tart
Coconut “whipped cream,” strawberries and blueberries decorate this vegan tart from Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox of “May I Have That Recipe?”
They offer shortcuts using prepared foods, if necessary.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.