You thought you would just grill some burgers and go to the local fireworks display. Maybe you completely ignored our 18 Easy Recipes for July 4th article yesterday. Now that the holiday is here, perhaps you’ve had second thoughts, but no time to pull it together? Rubbish! YOU CAN DO THIS!

Today, we offer up an easy solution, which combines some store-prepared food with recipes made at home. We’ve done this in under an hour, with time to spare. If you have the stove space and the extra hands, you could even add making some potato salad to the mix. Voila! A perfectly patriotic July 4 meal!

Easy July 4th meal You can pull this meal off in less than an hour! The trick is knowing what to pick up and keeping the prep at home simple.

You can pull this meal off in less than an hour! The trick is knowing what to pick up and keeping the prep at home simple.

Hit the grocery store and pick up (for a party of eight):

  • Fried chicken (there is almost always one grocery store in town known to have really good fried chicken. If you don’t have one, think of a restaurant that has some fried chicken. We’re giving a pass to those with drive-thru lanes today. Just get some fried chicken. Why not burgers or hot dogs? Fried chicken doesn’t require buns, condiments or the need to cook it yourself.
  • Two containers of rinsed and ready arugula
  • One large container of precubed, seedless watermelon
  • One pint of blueberries
  • One container of feta cheese, crumbled (You’ll need 1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on your preference.)
  • 12 ears of corn (If your party doesn’t eat all of the corn, cut it off for leftovers the next day.)
  • Half a seedless watermelon
  • 1 to 2 large baguettes
  • Butter
  • Dressing of your choice
  • Potted flowering plant for the table with two small American flags
  • Toothpicks to make the blueberry garnishes for your cocktail
Summer July 4th Easy Table deco: See how pretty this table is? The flower is on a wine box with a napkin on top of it. The chicken is placed atop a pot made for a plant. Height makes the table more interesting.

See how pretty this table is? The flowers are on a wine box with a napkin on top of it. The chicken is placed atop a pot made for a plant. Height makes the table more interesting.

Make one of the following delicious holiday punches. (You may recognize these from yesterday’s recipe listing.) Be sure to add any needed ingredients to your grocery list.

GRAND OLE FLAG (Recipe by RED, Spirits & Wine):

Little things, like making these blueberry garnishes, make the whole meal seem more complete and thought out. Shhhh ... no one needs to know how easy the whole thing was! (Recipe by RED, Spirits & Wine)

Independence Day Punch: Little things, like making these blueberry garnishes, make the whole meal seem more complete and thought out. Shhhh … no one needs to know how easy the whole thing was!

Both of these cocktail recipes were included in yesterday’s 18 Easy July 4th Recipes, but we’re placing them in here again so that you don’t need to click back and forth between articles. Believe us, we were stumped for good punches, and RED Spirits & Wine totally came through! Delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 24 ounces Four Roses bourbon
  • 12 ounces blackberry brandy
  • 8 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 12 ounces water
  • 6 ounces simple syrup (You can make this easily with a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar. You can bring to a boil and cool. If you make it with powered sugar, it’s super fast to get your syrup, as the powered sugar dissolves so quickly.)
  • 4 cups of ice
  • 1 ounce red wine
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Toothpicks
DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix together the bourbon, brandy, lemon juice, water, simple syrup and ice.
  2. Pour the mixture into cups filled with ice.
  3. Float 1 ounce of red wine on top.
  4. Add a blueberry garnish. (Put 3 or 4 blueberries on each toothpick and then take two toothpicks, with blueberries on them, and poke them together into one long garnish. You can be more festive by using those flag toothpicks!)

INDEPENDENCE DAY PUNCH (Recipe by RED, Spirits & Wine):

Easy Fizzy Rum punch recipe: (Recipe by RED, Spirits & Wine)

This tropical rum punch is fizzy because of the full bottle of Prosecco added. The star straws are paper straws. Check your local paper stores for fun designs!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) white rum
  • 1 bottle (750  ml) gold rum
  • 4 ounces grenadine
  • 2 ounces Rose’s lime juice
  • 16 ounces pineapple juice
  • 16 ounces orange juice
  • 8 cups of ice
  • 1 bottle of Prosecco
  • Fresh orange slices for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix together the white rum, gold rum, grenadine, lime juice and pineapple juice.
  2. Pour over ice.
  3. Top with Prosecco.
  4. Garnish with orange slices.

Going to the store is the most time-consuming part. Once you’re home from shopping, save time with these handy tips:

  • Have helping hands start shucking the corn immediately, unless you bought preshucked corn (even better).
  • Keep the chicken in the container until you are ready to eat. You may have to warm it in the oven a bit closer to serving time.
  • Place the arugula, blueberries, watermelon and feta in a large salad bowl. Mix and top with dressing. I suggest the T. Lish Sweet Garlic or Annie’s Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Easy July 4th Salad: Watermelon, blueberries, feta and arugula.

Doesn’t this make the prettiest July 4 salad?

  • Put the corn in a large pot of water, cover and turn on medium-high. When the water starts to boil, your corn is done.
  • Cut the the half watermelon into slices.
  • Slice baguettes almost through, but not quite. Add butter at each slice. Wrap each loaf in foil and place in a 225-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Voila! Your holiday meal is served. Now relax. You did it, and it wasn’t really that hard, was it?!!