Must Have Foods For Your BBQ

July 4th is one of the greatest days of the year.

Not only do we get to celebrate America’s Birthday, but we get to BBQ, hangout with family and friends and enjoy some delicious drinks (ahem, this sangria). 

Since food is a MAJOR part of this day, I spoke with all of my favorite people about what they think is a food you HAVE to have at your BBQ. We came up with a pretty impressive list! Pay attention so that your BBQ can have all of the essentials. 

Hot Dogs & Hamburgers (duh)

I think it goes without saying that a July 4th BBQ would be a failure if there were not hot dogs and hamburgers there. You can keep these items traditional or you can spice them up. For your hot dogs, try elevating your condiments by making things like Old Bay mayo or a maple mustard. Adding grilled toppings like onions, peppers and tomatoes also take your standard dog to the next level. You can check out a full list of things to do to your hot dogs here.


According to my boyfriend, Pete, you can never have too much protein at a BBQ. Ribs are easy to prepare and make, which make them perfect for a BBQ. Simply wrap them in foil and throw them in the oven or grill and a low temperature and let them cook for a few hours. When you’re ready to serve, crank up the heat and baste with some BBQ sauce to get a nice caramelization. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare ribs

Potato Salad 

My cousin, Daniel, told me that a BBQ is incomplete without a perfect potato salad and I think I have to agree with him. What is a better accompaniment to dogs and burgers than a creamy potato salad. My personal favorite recipe is a mayo and mustard based potato salad from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook “Cravings“. It has bacon, hard boiled eggs, pickles and more. It is literally perfection. 

Creamy Potato Salad With Bacon
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
  1. 4 pounds medium red potatoes
  2. kosher salt
  3. 12 oz bacon
  4. 1 1/2 cups mayo
  5. 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  6. 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  7. a squeeze of yellow mustard
  8. 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  9. 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  10. 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  11. 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
  12. 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  1. In a large pot, combine the potatoes with water to cover. Salt it until it tastes good, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce the hear to a summer and cook until you can pierce the potatoes easily with a fork (20-25 minutes).
  3. Drain and cool to room temp, then cut them into bite-seized piece and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch pieces
  5. in a medium skillet cook half the bacon over medium heart until crispy (10 minutes).
  6. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Repeat with the remaining bacon.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, Dijon mustard, relish, yellow mustard, black pepper and 2 tsp of salt until smooth.
  9. Add the dressing to the potatoes along with the bacon, eggs, onion, scallion greens and jalapeno.
  10. Gently toss to combine.
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Macaroni and Cheese

Mac & Cheese is my must have because I honestly just love mac and cheese. When I was a kid my mom would lie to me and say her homemade mac was actually “from the blue box” a.k.a. Kraft Mac & Cheese. Now I’ve grown up and do not discriminate against any mac & cheese, even the blue box. I make probably some of the best mac & cheese around. 

Chel Loves Wine's Mac & Cheese
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  1. 1/2 stick butter
  2. flour
  3. 3 cups of milk
  4. 1/2 lb macaroni
  5. 2 cups of cheddar
  6. 1 cup of mozzarella
  7. 1 tsp of nutmeg
  8. 1 bay leaves
  9. salt & pepper
  1. Bring a bot of salted water to a boil and add your macaroni. Cook according to the package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter and add enough flour to create a rue.
  3. Cook the rue until it starts to get golden brown then slowly whisk in 3 cups of milk.
  4. Add nutmeg and bay leaves.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, occasionally stirring.
  6. Once mixture is boiling, remove bay leaves and add cheese a handful at a time and whisk in until melted.
  7. If cheese sauce is too think, use a small amount of pasta water to thin out until at your desired consistency.
  8. Mix macaronis and cheese sauce together and place in a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes at 375*
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Grilled Corn

If we had to include a veggie, it would be corn, even though it’s the least veggie, veggie ever. Corn has endless possibilities. YOu can remove it from the cob if you’d like but I prefer to keep it on. Check out these four ways to spice up your corn via The Food Network.

What are you must have BBQ foods? Let me know in the comments and leave the recipe if I should give it a try!!


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    1. You’ll have to come to the US and get some great BBQ! It’s one of my favorite foods.. and yas to friday night lights! Such a good show

  1. I’m about ribs and grilled corn all day long. Homemade icecream? Mouth watering. Great post, makes me excited for July 4th coming up.

  2. Mmmmm. Yep, we usually have these at every one of our July 4th celebrations. 🙂 The creamy potato salad with bacon especially sounds incredible. Definitely pinning this recipe!

  3. This is the perfect list. I made some coconut rum soaked watermelon for a friend’s BBQ – so I’d add watermelon to this list. Also, my friend had a Southern staple – spicy boiled peanuts. BBQ heaven!