Looking for the best Memorial Day appetizers for your party? You’ve come to the right place!
Each May, Americans celebrate those men and women who bravely gave their lives in service of their country.
These celebrations usually involve family get-togethers, parades, and lots of cookouts.
If you’re unsure of what to bring to your next potluck celebration, this list of Memorial Day starters should help.
Because Memorial Day always takes place on the last Monday of May, many celebrations are held outside in the sunshine.
For that reason, Memorial Day appetizers are usually light, refreshing foods, easy-to-eat finger foods, or snack foods like dips or small sandwiches.
For this list, I’ve tried to include various ideas to help you create a well-rounded Memorial Day menu.
1. Potato Salad
Is there anything more American than potato salad? Whenever Americans gather together, especially outdoors, there’s almost always potato salad.
This recipe is a good one if you like your potato salad somewhat mild and chivey.
It’s creamy, but the potatoes add a nice bit of texture that most people enjoy.
You know that any recipe with the word “Grandma’s” in it will be good, and this macaroni salad recipe is no exception.
It combines macaroni, celery, mayo, onions, bell peppers, and a few other ingredients for a cool, creamy, refreshing dish with plenty of flavor, color, and crunchiness.
When it comes to guacamole, Chipotle makes some of the best. That’s why I love this copycat recipe so much.
All you’ll need to make it are avocados, cilantro, lime juice, onions, salt, and jalapenos.
It has the fresh, earthy taste we love in guacamole, and the jalapeno gives it just enough heat to make your mouth tingle.
Serve it with homemade tortilla chips for an extra special treat.
This savory dip is so thick and chunky that it’s almost more like a cool veggie salad than a dip.
With crumbles of bacon and plenty of diced veggies – onions, corn, bell peppers, jalapenos – no one will judge you for digging in with a spoon instead of chips.
(It does taste great with tortillas, though!)
The milk, sugar, and cream cheese add a creamy, slightly sweet dressing-like sauce that takes the whole mixture from “yummy” to “BEYOND DELICIOUS!”
Buffalo chicken wings may be messy, but everyone at a get-together or cookout expects someone to bring them, anyway.
That someone might as well be you.
These wings are great. The chicken is tender and juicy, and the buffalo sauce is perfectly made, with a spicy kick that’ll have everyone reaching for their drinks.
In many ways, this is similar to the bacon corn dip listed above, but this one has no bacon and a lot more veggies. It also has a very Tex-Mex flair.
There’s corn, black beans, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, jalapenos, cilantro, bell peppers, onions, avocados, and more.
Basically, you can throw anything you want in here, save the kitchen sink.
You can serve it alone as a chunky salad or with tortilla chips.
7. Corn Salad
Corn salad may not be as popular as potato salad everywhere else in the world, but in my house, it’s a must-have side dish at any potluck.
It tastes incredible, and although it’s a bit high in carbs, it’s pretty healthy, too. It certainly has plenty of vegetables in it!
Looking for a last-minute idea you can make in 5 minutes?
Pull out some Hormel No Bean Chili, cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese.
Microwave the cream cheese, add the chili and shredded cheese, and then microwave it a little more. Serve it with chips, and call it a day.
These juicy, succulent fries take a little longer to make – about 8 to 15 minutes depending on what you use for cooking them – but they’re just as simple.
Slice up your avocados and wrap them in bacon. Then, stick them on a baking sheet or pop them in the air fryer. Voila! All done.
If you’re looking for a light, refreshing side salad with a little more zest to it, try this recipe.
It has plenty of everyone’s favorite summer garden veggies (and fruits), including tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and avocados.
In addition, the lemon juice and cilantro add a tremendous tangy blast of flavor.
11. Queso Dip
There are few things in this world better than truly good queso, and queso made using this recipe fits that description.
It’s made from three different cheeses and includes tomatoes, poblano peppers, garlic, and salt.
There’s also a cup of heavy cream to make it smooth and delightfully creamy.
I can’t be sure, but this just might be the perfect queso dip.
With eight hot dogs, four slices of American cheese, and one can of crescent dinner rolls, you can make a savory, buttery finger food that everyone will love.
Although to be fair, you may want to double or even triple that recipe because I’m not kidding when I say everyone loves them.
People devour these cheesy pigs in a blanket very quickly.
If you’re that family member who always brings something charming that doesn’t require any cooking, these salami and cream cheese bites are the dish for you.
Simply roll up some salami with cream cheese inside. If you want, stick a green olive on top, and stab the whole thing with a toothpick.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cream cheese flavors, either. I prefer the chives and onion flavor, myself.
Many people have their own versions of this dreamy Velveeta sausage dip, and some of the variations are even better than the original.
However, all you must have to make this highly addictive, super cheesy dip is sausage, a pound of Velveeta, and a can of ROTEL.
It’s thick, a tiny bit spicy, and one of the best get-together dips there is.
*Note: If you like it spicy, get a can of hot ROTEL. Mild is better for those who don’t want their tongues to burn.
Of all the different seven-layer dips you can make, seven-layer taco dip is probably my favorite.
It’s almost like having a whole Mexican buffet in one large bowl.
Some of the layers have more than one ingredient, of course, which allows you to add all the most delicious taco toppings – refried beans, salsa, cheese, various veggies, and more.
It’s the easiest, least messy way to make a “taco bar.”
These tiny cheeseburgers are the stuff! Full of ground beef and overflowing with cheese, these pack a double-dose of burger goodness in every bite.
Be sure you make plenty because no one will be able to stop at one.
If Chipotle’s cornered the market on delicious guacamole, then Applebee’s gets the crown for the best spinach artichoke dip.
This dip may be a warm, gooey, and cheesy mess, but that’s what makes it so yummy.
You can serve it with chips, crackers, or even thick bread, but honestly, it’s so good, I could eat it with a spoon.
You can’t have a Memorial Day cookout without barbecue.
These pulled pork sliders are one of the easiest ways to enjoy a tasty barbecue without all the mess and hassle.
Best of all, you can make these in your oven instead of standing over a hot grill in the even hotter sun.
Plus, that recipe for homemade coleslaw? It’s seriously delicious.
19. Caprese Bites
Turn a Caprese salad into bite-sized mouthfuls of deliciousness with this recipe for Caprese bites.
The mozzarella cheese balls have the best taste – salty and a tiny bit spicy, with an Italian flair – and the tomatoes and basil leaves are fresh and tasty.
Finally, the balsamic glaze is just incredible. I could eat it on anything.
20. Cowboy Crack Dip
This dip is basically Velveeta sausage dip, only creamier, cheesier, and with some corn thrown in for extra flavor. It’s another easy crowd-pleaser.
If you think Olive Garden’s bruschetta is good, just wait.
It has nothing on this homemade version containing tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan, garlic, and tons of seasonings and herbs.
Spoon it on top of toasted French bread, and get ready to groan with pleasure. This stuff is ridiculously good.
All the best appetizers are quick and easy to make, and these nachos literally have “quick and easy” right there in their name.
They take about 15 minutes to make, and they’re piled high with awesome toppings.
You can add whatever you like to them, of course, but the recipe is pretty perfect as-is.
The meat is well-seasoned with a bit of spice, and the beans and onions provide texture and flavor.
The jalapenos add heat, and cheese is cheese! Feel free to get creative, though.
23. Greek Feta Dip
One of my favorite things about Greek feta dip is that I can make it two days early and still have it taste fresh and fabulous when I decide to serve it.
There’s also no cooking involved, which is always a plus when you’re in a hurry.
This dip is herby and zesty, and it’s perfect on chips or paired with a veggie tray.
This recipe had me from the moment I read the words “bacon” and “brown sugar.”
What’s the saying? Two great tastes that taste great together?
Add in a plump, juicy smokie sausage, and you pretty much have heaven on a plate.
If you’ve never had Hawaiian chicken kebabs, you’re missing out!
The chicken is tender and smothered with one of the most incredible marinades you’ll ever taste.
The combination of earthy onions and peppers and tangy, tropical pineapples is inspired!
These are flavors that shouldn’t mix well together, but oh my gosh, they do! These are phenomenal, and that’s all there is to it.
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