Celebrate your freedom to eat well with this collection of 20 creative burger and dog recipes that show off our nation’s appetite for good times. Your cookout compatriots are sure to “mustard up” some oohs and ahhs with these Grade-USA-inspired recipes—from the healthy “Amber Waves” burger to the “Pursuit of Happiness” bacon-wrapped hot dog. Check out our 10 burger recipes and 10 hot dog recipes for a cookout that will have your family and friends seeing stars and stripes!
And for more star-spangled fun, decorate your fixin's table with pinwheels, rockets, banners and more with our 4th of July crafts and free printables.
Star-spangled burger recipes
Another great idea from the French, la baguette! Top your burger and baguette with melted Brie and a dab of Dijon mustard for an homage to gourmands everywhere. (And don’t forget les french fries!)
The Melting Pot
Get a true slice of American life with an amalgamation of melted cheeses atop your burger. (For the simple, unassuming palate, aka kids.)
Purple Mountain’s Majesty
Heaped with purple onion and purple potato hash, this burger will easily climb to the top of your list of favorites. A real purple people-pleaser.
The (Fire) Works
Batten down your hatches and prepare for this explosion of flavor with a black bean burger topped with Pepper Jack cheese and all the fixings. Oooohhh. Ahhhhh. Mmmmmm.
Spread peanut butter on the bottom bun. Add a beef patty. Then top with ketchup, mustard and pickles. North meets south in a battle of gastronomic proportions.
Top this all-American burger with dried cherries, onions and barbecue sauce. We cannot tell a lie—this burger is awesome.
The Freedom of Speech
Give your words some impact when you top your burger with garlic aioli spread and grilled onions. (May we suggest a pairing of mint iced tea?)
Red, White and Blue Cheese
Top your burger with red, ripe tomatoes, sliced white Vidalia onion and blue cheese crumbles for a patriotic trifecta of bliss.
A grain burger, sprouts, tomato, avocado, baby spinach and hummus ride atop a whole-grain wheat bun. Here’s to yer health, ’Merica!
The Uncle Sammich
Topped with American cheese and a single giant onion ring, this big guy wants YOU for lunch. And the feeling’s mutual.
The Rocket’s Red Glare
A little sriracha sauce alongside a smoked sausage with peppers will send your taste buds skyrocketing and your eyes watering. Ooh, but it hurts so good! Add some coleslaw and cilantro to help cool the burn.
The White House
Start with a white sausage (knackwurst) and add white cheese and grilled white onions. Whoever thought monochrome was boring never tasted this masterpiece.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Before you grill, slit your hot dog open and add cheese. Then wrap it in a few strips of bacon. Grill. Be thankful you have the unalienable right to eat more than one.
The Declaration of Deliciousness
Pile some potato salad pickles or spicy pickled vegetables on top of a veggie dog and add crushed-up potato chips.
The Boston Weenie Party
Add a helping of baked beans and yellow mustard atop your hot dog of choice for a symbiotic relationship of flavor. Frank and beans, we salute you.
The Covered Wagon
Also known as a pig in a blanket, this well-known combo of dough and hot dog can be baked in the oven or grilled (who knew?). We used refrigerated pizza crust and nonstick cooking spray to make this delicious outdoor version of a classic. People will be circling these wagons, we guarantee!
The GI Joe Dog
Suit up your dog in camouflage of green relish, guacamole and sprouts and send it on some reconnaissance work…in your stomach. The best part is, no one will be able to see how many you eat.
The Bald Eagle
If ketchup and mustard just ain’t your thing, unshackle yourself from the tyranny of condiments! Try this super simple hot dog recipe: Grill a hot dog and add a cushiony bun (or not). Then eat it. Ahh, there’s elegance—and yumminess—in simplicity.
The Yankee Doodle
No need to go to London to ride this pony…or rather, eat this dog. Just add a spoonful of warm macaroni and cheese and a jaunty pickle spear “feather,” to your hot dog for a delicious meal you’ll be singing about the whole darn day.
The American Dream
Serve up a dog with barbecue sauce, crushed pineapple and some shredded Jack cheese. You won’t want to wake up from this blissful dream!
Jennifer Fuijta cooks and overeats in Kansas City, where she's a writer for Hallmark. Her husband and teenage sons say she's nice except when she is in the kitchen, where she's a total bossypants.