Get ready to kick off summer with these memorable Memorial Day recipes. This collection of summer favorites includes grilled ribs, brisket, burgers, classic salads, and plenty of easy desserts.
It’s here. The unofficial start of summer.
The One and I have opened the pool, power-washed the patio, scrubbed down the teak table, brought out the grill, and wiped down the Adirondack chairs. All so we can start entertaining en plein air.
And, like so many folks, we kick off the season on Memorial Day weekend.
This year, our menus are set. (I say menus–plural–because we usually entertain on the Saturday and Monday of the weekend.) And you’re looking at our menus below.
Burgers always make their seasonal debut during Memorial Day weekend. And we have tried every recipe on the site: killer barbecue pork burgers with a tangy slaw, juicy lamb burgers, spicy Indian chicken burgers, you name it.
And brisket has graced our table on more than one occasion. Besides the one below, some of my favorites are Coke brisket, a good old-fashioned Texas brisket, and Korean BBQ brisket.
And desserts? Well, it’s the beginning of fruit sweets for me. I’ve had to revive people after having my blueberry lemon cake recipe. But I’m also partial to classic strawberry shortcake and pineapple upside-down cake in a cast-iron skillet always brings smiles.
Whatever you serve, do what The One does and make it colorful and fun. He pulls out his 8 billion pieces of classic Fiestaware, washes our rainbow glasses, irons our checkered tablecloths, and goes to town. Gotta love all that enthusiasm at his ripe old age…
Sweet Tea Cocktail
Augas frescas of Mexico are wonderful. This is one of my favorites. For something a little different add a handful of fresh strawberries and a little orange juice.Chula
Creamy Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs
Cowboy Caviar Salad
This cowboy caviar is amazingly good! Followed exactly except used banana pepper instead of jalapeño. Wonderful summer side dish.lynne t.
Creamy Coleslaw with Cilantro
Memphis BBQ Mop Sauce
This Memphis BBQ mop sauce is just exquisite – I found myself putting it on all sorts foods. The recipe has a fair amount of heat. I did find that it mellowed just a bit over the next few days to the point of perfection. Very much appreciate you sharing this one with us!tommy b.
Spice-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
Smoked Coffee Brisket
I soaked a brisket using this very recipe. The only thing I did different was to soak the brisket over night in a can of beer. This is an awesome recipe and I suggest it to anyone who wants a succulent piece of meat. Super good recipe.barb
Barbecue Pork Burgers
This pork burger was one of the best I’ve ever eaten. I will definitely make more of the sauce next time.becky
Key Lime Pie Bars
Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream
This chocolate ice cream is the stuff that dreams are made of. It has a deep chocolate flavor and has just the right amount of sweetness. It’s reminiscent of chocolate pudding in all of the best ways.trisha t.
Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
Loved this blueberry crumble!!! Followed the recipe exactly and had to make it again the next day as there weren’t any leftovers!nancy w.
Memorial Day Food FAQs
Classic Memorial Day side dishes include easy potato salad, creamy coleslaw, and barbecue baked beans. Grilled corn on the cob is also a welcome treat. If you want to offer something a little different, try this grilled vegetable and orzo salad.
To keep costs down, offer hot dogs. If you want to fancy it up a little, you can offer beer-braised bratwurst, but there are also many ways to cook regular hot dogs that turn out incredibly tasty. If you need a meat-free option at your meal, whip up a batch of carrot hot dogs.
Round it out with a big pitcher of homemade lemonade and s’mores for dessert.
There are a few simple rules to follow to ensure your food doesn’t become spoiled while hosting an outdoor gathering.
1. Keep cooked and uncooked meats separate from each other. This means using different platters and utensils for handling raw meat and cooked meat.
2. Keep perishable foods cold until just before serving. This includes items made with eggs or dairy, such as mayo-based potato salad or spicy deviled eggs, which are particularly prone to spoilage.
3. Don’t let food sit out for more than 2 hours. If it is an exceptionally warm day (above 90°F), food will spoil more quickly and shouldn’t be left out for more than 1 hour.
What sort of party are you throwing to celebrate Memorial Day long weekend and what are you serving? Let me know in a comment below.
14 Memorable Memorial Day Recipes
For the everything sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
For the burgers
- 1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 heaping teaspoon Diamond brand kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon Morton’s brand
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Nonstick cooking spray or mild vegetable oil
- 4 thin slices sharp Cheddar cheese
- 4 soft store-bought or homemade hamburger buns
- 8 store-bought or homemade dill pickle slices
- 4 thin slices red onion
- 4 crunchy lettuce leaves such as romaine
Make the everything sauce
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients until smooth.[lc-tip]The everything sauce moonlights as an excellent dip for fries (whether classic deep-fried fries or easy oven baked fries).[/lc-tip]
Make the burgers
- Divide the ground beef into 4 equal portions and gently roll each portion into a ball. Pat each ball into a hamburger patty about 3/4 inch (18-mm) thick and 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Do your best to make the burgers evenly thick.
- Sprinkle half the salt over the burgers. Grind a little pepper over the burgers. Flip the burgers and sprinkle with the remaining salt and a little more pepper.
- Warm a 12-inch (30-cm) skillet over high heat until it sizzles when you flick a couple drops of water into it, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray or oil.
- Add the burgers to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.
- Use a spatula to flip the burgers. Immediately place a slice of cheese on each burger and cook until the desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes for medium.
- While the burgers cook, split the buns in half and, if desired, lightly toast them.
- Use a spatula to move the burgers to the bottom buns. Top with the pickles, onion, and lettuce. Schmear the sauce on the top bun and plop it on top. Devour immediately.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.