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Celebrate the 4th of July with this festive summer menu from Alejandra Ramos

Learn how to make patriotic twists on summer favorites, like fish tacos with red, white and blueberry salsa.

The long July Fourth holiday weekend is right around the corner, which means that Americans across the country are planning their cookout menus and packing their coolers in preparation for gatherings with family and friends. However you choose to celebrate the occasion, there's one thing that most July Fourth celebrations have in common: great food.

Whether you’re firing up the grill or you've been put in charge of the all important Fourth of July appetizers, cocktails or desserts, there’s no shortage of patriotic recipe ideas to go around. Need help narrowing down the options? Food and lifestyle expert Alejandra Ramos is joining TODAY to share four of her favorite festive recipes for the ultimate July Fourth spread.

In this expertly curated menu, Ramos will take you from appetizers all the way to dessert. You won’t want to miss out on her spin on classic macaroni salad (hint: this version involves Mexican-style street corn). Add a new tradition to your cookout this year with Ramos’s ingenious sheet-pan clambake (zero giant pots necessary!), plus a patriotic fish taco recipe that will have you seeing stars and stripes. For something sweet, Ramos shares a creative red, white and blue dessert that the whole family will love.

Alejandra Ramos's July Fourth Recipes

Mexican-Style Street Corn Macaroni Salad

The bright and tangy flavors of Mexican-style “street corn” add a fun twist to this summer party-ready elbow macaroni salad. Serve this as a fun side dish or add shredded chicken or black beans to make it a heartier main course. Prep it just before serving, or make it the night before and chill in the fridge for an easy and ready-to-go potluck recipe that will be an instant crowd pleaser at all your summer bashes.

Sheet-Pan Clambake

Sheet-Pan Clambake

Alejandra Ramos

No need for giant pots or special equipment — this easy twist on a classic clambake is made right in your oven using a couple sheet pans and is perfect for summer entertaining and fun weekend meals. Be sure to serve along with plenty of crusty bread for dipping and set out some large bowls to hold the empty shells!

Tangy blueberries add a tart twist to a classic pico de gallo style salsa. Paired with tomatoes and crispy white onions, they’re the perfect patriotic topper for simple pan-fried fish tacos. This makes enough salsa for the fish tacos, but if you prefer, you can double or triple the salsa recipe and serve with chips as a snack. To keep the red, white and blue theme, I recommend looking for red jalapeños or serrano peppers (they’re the same variety — just a little more mature). If not available, feel free to use the green peppers, or stick with red chile flakes to stay on theme!

Sweet and crunchy freeze-dried berries add a patriotic pop of color to these gooey marshmallow and cereal bars. I love blueberries and raspberries, but feel free to pick and choose your favorites. Note that you do need the freeze-dried berries for this recipe; fresh or frozen berries will add too much liquid to the treats, and regular dried berries are too chewy.