You know all the big ones: burgers, hot dogs, and s’mores. But maybe you’re on the lookout for some new Memorial Day recipes to take your BBQ to the next level.
After all, what’s a burger without a side of potato salad? Or a piece of BBQ chicken without some crunchy corn salad?
When it comes to a good Memorial Day cookout, more is more! I like to make sure there are plenty of options so everyone can have their fill.
That includes chicken dishes, plenty of sides, vegetarian options, and, of course, tons of desserts!
Let’s make this Memorial Day something to shout about and put on a spread that people will talk about until Labor Day!
1. Easy Potato Salad Recipe
There are so many excellent potato salad recipes out there, but if you want to keep it simple, you’ll need mayo, potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs.
The dressing for this is a quick mix of mayonnaise, chives, milk, apple cider vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper.
I’ll bet you have everything already. It’s just a matter of whisking it together and mixing it into the potatoes.
You won’t have to add the eggs if you don’t want to, but they add an incredible creaminess to the whole dish.
2. White Castle Hamburgers Copycat Recipe
If you’ve never had White Castle before, you’re missing out! Their sliders are so juicy and bursting with fantastic onion flavor.
To recreate the taste at home, you’ll need to add a dry onion mix to the beef.
That way, you’ll get all that flavor with the bonus of little onions right in the mix, too.
3. Grilled Corn on the Cob
Have you ever been to a BBQ and not had corn on the cob? Is it even Memorial Day without a mouthful of kernels and cheeks slick with buttery goodness?
I’m a fan of the husks-off method so that you can get some of that smoky grill flavor all over.
Alternatively, you can always cook your corn on the stove in milk, butter, and water, and then just finish them on the grill.
4. Grandma’s Macaroni Salad (Quick & Easy)
As much as I love the meat, I can’t help but pile my plate high with all the different sides at a BBQ. Macaroni salad is at the top of my list!
This quick and easy recipe gets some great crunch from celery and peppers, along with a tangy and creamy dressing.
5. Fresh Corn Salad
If gnawing on a corn cob isn’t for you, but you still love the taste of corn, this salad is the next best thing!
It’s such a sunny side dish, and the crunch is out of this world.
When it comes to the tangy dressing, less is more. It goes a long way, and you won’t want to outshine the sweet corn.
6. Perfect Grilled Pork Chops
When they’re good, they’re very good. But when they’re bad, they’re bland, dry, and super sad.
For the perfect pork chops, start with a good rub, letting it sit on the meat for a while as the BBQ heats up.
Then, sear the meat over the flames, letting it char a little and get some great color.
Once it’s golden and juicy, move it up to the top rack and use a meat thermometer to check every 5 to 10 minutes.
You’ll be looking for an internal temperature of around 145°F.
7. Grilled Chicken Wings with Seasoned Buffalo Sauce
How do you get perfectly grilled chicken wings with the best buffalo sauce?
You grill them to perfection and then douse them in a heavenly mix of butter, garlic, and hot sauce.
These are marvelously messy and not something to make for a first date! You’ll need a few wet wipes when you’re done, but it’s so worth it!
8. Watermelon Salad with Feta
It might sound odd, but the mix of sweet watermelon with feta, avocado, mint, and lime is such a refreshing side for your next Memorial Day get-together.
It’s salty, creamy, wonderfully crunchy, and the lime dressing just brings it together like a dream.
9. The Best Easy Grilled Vegetables
Trust me: grilling your veggies will be a game-changer!
There’s just something so appealing about those grill marks over the colorful veggies, and you know that they’re going to taste even better.
Be sure to have a nice selection and thoroughly season them before adding to the heat.
10. Fall Off The Bone Ribs
Fall off the bone – that’s the dream, right?
You’ll want your ribs to be bursting with flavor and to just melt in your mouth.
This short-cut version has you cooking your ribs in water before finishing them in the oven.
If you don’t have all day to slow-cook a big batch, this is the next best thing!
11. Lemonade Recipe
Lemonade is just a classic drink that should be at every BBQ, in my opinion.
It’s a hit with kids and adults alike, and it’s super easy to throw together a big batch.
The key to getting the best balance of sweet and zesty is to dissolve the sugar in hot water and cool before adding the lemon juice.
That way, it will dissolve and not just sink to the bottom.
Also, you can jazz this up by adding fresh strawberries, raspberries, or peaches.
12. Grilled Creamed Corn
When it comes to creamed corn, you need a few things to make it memorable: cream cheese, real cheese, and a little spice!
Adding jalapeño to your creamed corn is the best way to level up this simple side dish.
The cream cheese helps to mellow it out, so you won’t have to worry about it being too spicy.
13. Raw Veggie Chopped Salad
This salad is loaded with tastes, texture, and plenty of color. If you’re sick of the same old lettuce mix, you have to try this recipe out!
The dressing is such a pleasant mix of mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, and garlic, giving you just the right amount of salty-sweet goodness over every bite.
14. Grilled Potatoes
Let’s be honest, even with a platter full of vibrant grilled veggies, I’m going to make room for the potatoes!
Two key components will make these the best ever potato side: red potatoes and the rub.
Red potatoes will better keep their shape as they cook, making it so much easier to cook and flip on the grill.
And though it’s not technically a rub, but more of a sprinkling of flavor, it includes salt, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, black pepper, and interestingly, nutmeg.
15. Cobb Pasta Salad
Cobb salad is my favorite thing at Panera, and it’s super filling. But this version is even better!
I mean, how can you go wrong with bacon, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, and blue cheese? Oh, and it gets a generous helping of ranch to mix it all together.
Add some grilled chicken, and you’ll have one tasty Memorial Day dinner.
16. Bacon Corn Dip
You’re probably wondering by now, and, yes, I am slightly obsessed with corn.
It’s just so perfect! The color, the taste, the crunch – it goes with pretty much anything!
This might be called a dip, but it’s more of a creamy bacon and corn salad. Between the corn, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño, it has so much great texture.
This is best served hot (which is why it’s called a dip, I guess), but it would be just as tasty served cold.
17. Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza
So, maybe you’re not throwing a big party for Memorial Day. I totally get that! But that doesn’t mean you can’t make something special just for you and yours.
This BBQ chicken pizza is tangy, meaty, and so fun to make from scratch.
I like mine with lots of red onion and plenty of smoky cheese. If you’re feeling extra spicy, why not throw on some pineapple and jalapeños?
18. Grilled Fruit Kabobs
Remember what I said about grilled veggies? Well, it goes double for grilled fruit!
You’ll want something that will hold its shape, but that has lots of natural juices to help caramelize over the heat.
You could go for peaches, strawberries, or melons, or a mix of them all!
Serve with some marshmallows and maybe a drizzle of honey (or chocolate!).
19. KFC Coleslaw Recipe
Just like potato salad, I don’t think you can have a BBQ without coleslaw. And this zesty copycat recipe is one of the best.
KFC keeps it traditional, using cabbage, carrots, buttermilk, and onions in the mix.
You might be surprised to see sugar and lemon juice in the mix, but I promise it works.
20. Vegetable Kabobs
I think finger food is super important at a BBQ. Moms and Dads need to be able to follow their little ones around and eat at the same time.
These veggie kabobs are the perfect way to eat on the go.
Like the fruit kabobs, you’ll want to go for veggies that will hold their shape and also cook at the same rate. No potatoes here, I’m afraid!
21. Bisquick Fried Chicken Recipe
Not everyone likes hot dogs or eats red meat, so I try to include some chicken dishes in the mix when I have people over.
This recipe is one of my faves.
The meat is so juicy, and the coating is wonderfully crisp. Bone-in legs and thighs are my go-to, but you could use chicken breasts, too.
Just watch it and check it often to avoid drying it out.
22. Chicken Tender Sub Sandwich Recipe
I get that not everyone likes to pick apart their chicken. With that in mind, I don’t know anyone that can turn down a crispy chicken sandwich.
Buttermilk fried chicken is the best for this because you know it will be packed with flavor and insanely juicy.
You could even lay it all out and let people make their own!
23. BBQ Baked Beans
Baked beans from a can are a little sweet and watery. Baked beans made from scratch are smoky, bold, and deliciously thick.
There are a few things you absolutely must have in your baked beans: meat, mesquite flavored seasoning mix, molasses, brown sugar, and BBQ sauce.
If you like them with a kick, feel free to throw in some cayenne, too!
24. Erin’s Peach & Avocado Green Salad
Are you adding fruit to your salads? You should be!
This peach and avocado salad is sweet and creamy, with a lovely tangy from the blue cheese.
You’ll also get some great crunch from toasted almonds and red onion.
25. Jalapeño Corn Coleslaw
The base for this coleslaw is made using cabbage, corn, jalapeno, cilantro, and onions. It’s crunchy, sweet, spicy, and just what you need as a side for your next BBQ.
I have to say, the dressing – mayo, sugar, mustard, lime juice, celery seeds, and salt – is so good, I use it as a dip for my fries! It’s creamy, zesty, and irresistible.
26. Easiest Vegan Chickpea Burgers
No, they won’t taste like real beef burgers. But they are nutritious, flavorful, and super filling.
Your vegan friends will be thrilled if you serve these at your Memorial Day BBQ.
I’ll bet a few meat-eaters will be super impressed with how delicious these are.
27. Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
How do you make your ice cream sandwiches even more delicious? You make them with brownies instead of cookies!
This is the indulgence you didn’t know you needed. But the combination of creamy ice cream and fudgy brownies is a Memorial Day dessert dream.
I like to use vanilla ice cream for a pleasant color contrast, but you can use whatever you want! A pretty pink raspberry would look amazing.
28. Triple Berry Pie
Sure, you could make your tried-and-true apple pie, and it will no doubt be a hit!
But why not go with something different and try out a berry-filled pie?
If the lattice work is too much of a hassle, just cut out a bunch of stars and scatter them over the top! It’s just as cute and super simple.
29. Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp
Apple crisp is such a great option when serving a crowd. You’ll get all the same fantastic warm flavors you get from pie without the hassle of making the pastry.
Plus, the crisp topping gives you some lovely texture that you just won’t get from a pastry shell.
30. Healthy Homemade Fruit Popsicles
Making your own popsicles is such an excellent way to ensure they’re all-natural. No additives or excess sugar here, please!
And it really couldn’t be easier. You’ll just need a good blender and plenty of fruit!
I really like making mine with yogurt (you can use vegan yogurt to keep it dairy-free), but if you prefer yours less creamy, just add in some fruit juice or water.
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