4th of July Appetizer Recipes

patriotic crab canapes

The 4th of July is time to bring out the stars and stripes, as well as the red, white, and blue. Make the most of this patriotic holiday with these Independence Day-themed appetizers.

Independence Day Appetizers

Your guests will get into the spirit of America's most patriotic holiday when you serve them fun appetizers with an Americana theme.

Patriotic Crab Canapé

These crab canapés are the perfect red, white and blue finger foods.


  • 8-ounce package of blue corn tortilla chips
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cups lump crab meat, cleaned and drained
  • 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Cherry tomatoes, seeded and quartered


  1. Lay the tortilla chips out on a tray.
  2. Combine red pepper, crab, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, and scallions in a bowl, and mix until combined.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Top tortilla chips with spoonfuls of crab salad.
  5. Top each appetizer with a quarter slice of cherry tomato.

Stars and Stripes Mini Pizzas

These red, white, and blue mini pizzas are great right off the grill.


  • 2 packages pre-made pizza crust dough
  • Flour
  • 4 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled


  1. Lay out all ingredients before starting.
  2. Heat a grill to medium high.
  3. Flour a surface and roll out the pizza dough until it is 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut the pizza dough into stars and oblong rectangles.
  5. Brush both sides of the pizza crust with olive oil. Place the crusts on the hot grill.
  6. Grill for 90 seconds.
  7. Flip, and top each crust with tomatoes and bleu cheese.
  8. Turn down the grill to medium low.
  9. Cover and cook until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
  10. Arrange the pizzas on a rectangular platter in the shape of a flag with stars in the upper left corner and rectangle pizzas placed end to end to make stripes.

Red, White and Blue Roasted Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic summer appetizer. Make this one pop for the Fourth of July by using three different colors of baby potatoes.


red, white and blue roasted potato salad
  • 1 pound each baby red, white, and blue potatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, put through a press
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • Purple cabbage leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes, seeded and halved.


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil and fresh thyme.
  3. Place them in a single layer in a baking pan, cut side down.
  4. Roast until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Set the potatoes aside to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk together the shallot, garlic, lemon juice and zest, red wine vinegar, mustard, and olive oil until well combined to make a vinaigrette.
  7. Add the cooled potatoes and red bell pepper to the bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette.
  8. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  9. Peel clean cabbage leaves from the head and trim to make a small bowl.
  10. Place small scoops of salad into the cabbage bowls.
  11. Top with cherry tomatoes.

Smoked Salmon Stars

Pair tasty smoked salmon with a delicious blueberry ketchup and puff pastry stars for an instant Independence Day classic.


smoked salmon stars
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

  • 1 medium shallot, minced

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed on the counter for about 30 minutes
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon

Blueberry Ketchup Instructions

Make the ketchup ahead of time and let it cool completely before using.

  1. Combine berries, shallot, sugar, vinegar, ginger, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

Puff Pastry Stars Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly flour your work surface.
  3. Roll the puff pastry sheets out slightly into an elongated rectangle, until they're about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut the pastry into small star shapes.
  5. Place the puff pastry stars on prepared baking pans. Prick each star with a fork several times.
  6. Bake in the oven until browned and puffed, about 18 to 25 minutes.
  7. Cool the puff pastry stars on a wire rack.
  8. To assemble the dish, top each star with a dollop of crème fraîche, smoked salmon, and blueberry ketchup.

Have a Festive Fourth

These recipes are great starters to a fun meal filled with patriotic recipes and cocktails. By combining good food, great friends, and fireworks, your guests will have a fantastic time on the 4th of July.

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4th of July Appetizer Recipes