Have the Tastiest 4th of July Yet with the Cheesiest Sides for a Cookout

Finally, the holiday best celebrated with cheeseburgers and all things fired on the grill. It’s time to invite your friends over, tell them to bring their suits, and stock the propane tank, 4th of July is here and we’ve whipped up some amazing 4th of July recipes and one awesome tablescape for you to serve along with the perfect cheeseburger this BBQ season. We went Tillamook Cheddar heavy for our BBQ feast and are sharing the secrets to a flavorful bash in our tasty 4th of July cookout guide below! 

Photos by Wynne Photography exclusively for Darling Down South

4th of July Party Ideas 4th of July Party Ideas

How to Have the Tastiest 4th of July 

When preparing your 4th of July feast, I love building a menu that is fresh, flavorful, and most importantly, shares some ingredients with the other parts of the menu. I couldn’t escape an opportunity to Tillamook-up some classics like baked Mac n Cheese and a corn salad. We also bust out all of our red and white entertaining ware! 

4th of July Party Ideas

Since our feast could be a bit messy, we went straight for a paper table runner and made sure each guest had a reusable napkin at their disposal. A paper pinwheel adorned with each guests’ name made for a fun way to personalize the table settings. Melamine plates and acrylic vintage-inspired glassware added a retro feel to our dinner party without worrying about something breaking. 

4th of July Party Ideas 4th of July Party Ideas

All in all, these are the elements for a perfect 4th of July bash! 

Now let’s talk about the food. 

4th of July Party Ideas

The key to a great BBQ is a well-cooked cheeseburger! We love serving our burgers thin double stack style so that we get a perfectly juicy burger from the grill every time and we can sneak in some more Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sliced Cheese. We used their Sharp Cheddar, Medium White Cheddar, and Colby Jack to load up our burgers. Some people were traditionalists, and others went rogue and used all three varieties! But that’s the great thing about Tillamook Cheese, its high-quality flavor means you can load it up without it overpowering your dish.

4th of July Party Ideas 4th of July Party Ideas

Now it’s time elevate your 4th of July BBQ with amazing sides – and dessert! As far as BBQ sides go, there are a million options which means a million options to add some cheese to those sides. Since we’re adding cheese, I want to make sure it is the highlighted flavor without being overly heavy; this holiday is all about eating in between swimming at the pool, the lake, or an inflatable pool in the backyard after all! 

4th of July Party Ideas

4th of July Party Ideas 4th of July Party Ideas

Thanks to Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese, I think I’ve cracked the code on the perfect Mac N Cheese. Instead of traditional macaroni, we made this out of orecchiette because the bowl shape is perfect for holding onto all of that dreamy cheddary béchamel. It was essential to use Tillamook shredded cheese because it melts quickly into the base and ensures that we get enough cheese dispersed throughout! To cut the richness we added a little brown mustard, paprika, nutmeg and some heat with Aleppo pepper. Then we topped our dish with a heavy crumble of panko breadcrumbs and baked it to perfection. 

4th of July Party Ideas4th of July Party Ideas

4th of July Party Ideas

Our corn salad was kind of like a kitchen sink corn salad: we cubed up some delicious Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar, tossed in some grilled corn, halved a few baby tomatoes, a red pepper, and made a creamy and acidic basil dressing to really liven up the dish. We made this a few hours before the BBQ started and served it cold. 

When the burgers were all assembled, and the plates were ready to be eaten, we dove into our Tillamook 4th of July feast and enjoyed kicking off our summer with a proper BBQ! 

4th of July Party Ideas 4th of July Party Ideas 4th of July Party Ideas

To recreate this spread at home, click here to see what Tillamook products are available near you and find our recipes below.  

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Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar Corn Salad with a Creamy Basil Dressing
Prep Time
25 mins
Total Time
25 mins
This refreshing corn salad is a lightened up side to serve alongside any BBQ. We used basil, lemon, white balsamic vinegar and a little mayo to give this salad dressing a bit of an acidic but creamy kick.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq sides, corn salad
Servings: 8
  • 4 cups of fresh corn hulled off the ear or two cans of sweet corn, drained
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • ½ of a red pepper diced
  • 1/3 of an English cucumber diced
  • 4 ounces of Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar cubed into pea sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup of red onion diced
  • 2 TBSP of Salt
  • 6 large basil leaves minced
  • 2 TBSP of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ of a lemon juiced
  • A few cracks of black pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine corn, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, English cucumber, sharp white cheddar, red onion, and salt. Toss until well mixed.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together basil, mayonnaise, white balsamic vinegar, lemon, and black pepper until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the dressing into the bowl with the corn mixture, and toss lightly to combine.
  4. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
  5. Serve cold.

The Creamiest Tillamook Cheddar Mac N Cheese
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Resting Time
5 mins
Total Time
25 mins

We’ve figured out how to make the creamiest bechamel of your dreams and mixed it with some delicious Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese for the perfect Mac N Cheese.  

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mac n cheese, macaroni and cheese
Servings: 8
  • 1 pound of Orecchiette pasta
  • 2 TBSP of Salt
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup of all purpose flour
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 2 tbsp brown mustard
  • ½ tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • ½ tsp of paprika
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups of Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese
  • 1 cup of panko bread crumbs
  1. Cook pasta in heavily salted water according to package directions for al dente (about 9 minutes). Drain and reserve a cup of starchy pasta water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, place a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat and melt your butter. When the butter has melted, add the flour and stir with a whisk until it’s combined to look like very wet sand.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a runny milkshake.
  4. Stir in brown mustard, salt, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, and Aleppo pepper until well combined.
  5. When the spices have been combined, add in your Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Shreds and stir until the sauce has thickened and the cheese has completely melted.
  6. Add in your pasta and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  7. Once combined, if the pasta is still too thick with sauce, you can thin it out with a little bit of pasta water, slowly adding about 1 TBSP at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  8. 20 minutes prior to eating, preheat oven to 375 °F, top with panko bread crumbs and bake for 10 minutes until the top is browned.
  9. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.


Author: Cynthia

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