Memorial Day long weekend means that it's the official kick off to summer. And like most celebrations, it's all about the food. So if you are wondering what to make for a Memorial Day summer cookout or BBQ, then you have come to the right place. I am sharing over 60 of the best and most popular Memorial Day recipes including all the classics as well as some new fun summer recipes to try. From burgers and fries, smokey grill recipes, fresh summer salads, delicious dips, cool refreshing desserts, and more, I have got you covered.
Burgers and Fries
Better than the steakhouse, these classic juicy hamburgers are perfectly seasoned, so flavourful and delicious. A go to Memorial Day recipe. You can also try your hand at homemade hamburger buns to serve these patties in.
Mediterranean turkey burgers are tender, juicy, and delicious, loaded with garlic, fresh dill, and lemon juice. The perfect summer weeknight meal.
These 15-minute fish burgers with creamy slaw are juicy, flakey, and packed with flavour. So easy that it's the perfect summer weeknight meal!
Delicious, moist and juicy Mediterranean chicken patties have everything you want in one bite: protein, veggies, herbs, and they're quick and easy to make.
Greek-style spinach and feta turkey burgers are tender, juicy, and flavourful, loaded with spinach, feta and fresh Mediterranean herbs and is so easy to prep. Serve it with tzatziki sauce.
Super juicy and flavourful rosemary thyme quarter pound burgers made with fresh herbs add such an incredible depth of flavour. Just 10 minutes of prep work.
You don't need to be vegetarian to enjoy protein-packed, juicy and flavourful homemade veggie burgers with lima beans.
Super crispy air fryer french fries are tender and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Make this healthier french fry in just 12 minutes!
Pair baked sweet potato wedges with warm spices and a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce and serve as an appetizer or side on game day or on any occasion!
Grilled Skewers and Kebabs
Easy Greek chicken souvlaki skewers marinated in garlic, fresh herbs, lemon and bay leaves for that classic Mediterranean flavour. Grill in under 15 minutes. Serve alongside some easy homemade tzatziki sauce or turn them into Greek chicken gyros wrapped in pita bread. One of my favorite Memorial Day recipes!
Garlic shrimp skewers are delicious and full of fresh flavor. These quick and easy kabobs can be grilled, baked or air fried for an easy summer dinner.
Easy Greek souvlaki beef shish kebabs are marinated in a garlicky lemony olive oil marinade and threaded with fresh vegetables. Cook on the grill or oven. Serve them wrapped inside some quick and easy pita bread.
Juicy and tender grilled cajun shrimp skewers are garlicky, lemony, and packed with flavour with a cajun marinade. Ready in under 30 minutes including prep. Serve it with a fresh Mediterranean chickpea wedge salad on the side.
Juicy and tender teriyaki chicken skewers with pineapple, bell peppers and red onions are sticky, sweet, savoury, and tangy. So flavourful and delicious. Serve over some steamed rice or easy coconut rice.
Juicy and tender, Xinjiang spicy cumin lamb skewers with a bold cumin and cayenne marinade, are so flavourful and easy to make on the grill or air fryer. Serve it with a fresh Chinese garlic cucumber salad on the side.
Flame-kissed, sticky and saucy, grilled orange chicken skewers with a rich, citrus-based marinade are delicious, juicy and so tender. Best summer weeknight dinner ever. Serve with a side of 10-minute vegetarian fried rice or noodles.
Juicy and tender Korean chicken skewers are packed with bold flavors bringing sweet, savory, and spicy your dinner table. The best summer weeknight dinner.
Better than takeout, easy to make tender chicken satay skewers with coconut marinade and homemade peanut dipping sauce is savoury, sweet, tangy, and nutty. Serve it over some delicious easy coconut rice.
Quick and easy, grilled Greek lamb souvlaki skewers are marinated in a simple Mediterranean marinade for just 30 minutes. Serve with some tzatziki sauce. Serve over top of some rice pilaf with carrots and Greek salad on the side. So delicious.
Quick and easy, classic Persian saffron chicken kebabs (joojeh kabob) is marinated in a simple saffron and lemon marinade for that classic Iranian flavour. Make it a full on Persian dinner with Basmati rice with saffron and Persian Shirazi salad with cucumber and tomato.
Easy, garlicky and buttery grilled shrimp boil with prawns, corn, baby potatoes and sausage, seasoned and tossed with parsley takes just 20 minutes to cook. Throw some whole potatoes on the grill too and serve this with some BBQ chicken stuffed baked potatoes.
Italian pasta salad is delicious, wholesome, and easy to make. Make it up to three days ahead for your summer picnics and cookouts. You can't get more classic than Italian Salad on Memorial Day!
This creamy cucumber salad is the easy, refreshing snack and side dish your summer cookouts have been missing. Make it ahead with just 5 minutes prep. Another one of the classic Memorial Day recipes.
Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ.
Take fresh-off-the-grill corn on the cob and turn it into a light, flavourful summer corn salad, topped with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and cheese.
Easy homemade potato salad is loaded with baby potatoes, eggs, and green onions and tossed in a mayo sauce and is a go-to for summer barbecues and picnics.
Fresh, crisp, classic coleslaw salad is a must-have recipe for a summer barbecue or picnic, or as an easy make-ahead lunch. Make it in less than 10 minutes.
Quick and easy Mediterranean orzo pasta salad packed with fresh vegetables and herbs is tossed in a Greek lemon vinaigrette. Healthy, light and delicious.
Watermelon feta salad with cucumbers and mint is a simple and delicious refreshing summer salad that you can toss together in 5 minutes.
Loaded with fresh ingredients, strawberry avocado salad with poppy seed dressing is the ultimate summer salad -- light, vibrant, fresh, sweet, and tangy.
Chickpea Greek salad is a fresh, healthy, vibrant, and colorful salad, packed with traditional Mediterranean ingredients, superfoods, and nutrients.
Creamy broccoli slaw salad is healthy, delicious, and flavourful. It's packed with crunchy vegetables, salty feta, sweet raisins, and a creamy dressing.
Take a bite into this refreshing, gluten-free quinoa and spinach salad bursting with colourful tomatoes, cucumbers and raisins.
Mediterranean chickpea wedge salad combines chickpeas, crunchy vegetable toppings, and hummus dressing for a delicious deconstructed falafel flavour.
Shrimp taco salad with cilantro lime dressing is flavourful, delicious, and easy to make. It has all the fixings and of shrimp tacos, but without the mess.
Celebrate summer with this go to, simple and colourful summer fruit salad! Just toss a handful of fruits together in a honey lemon dressing and dig in!
Slow cooker BBQ ribs are juicy, saucy, and tender -- the meat literally falls right off the bone. Add this easy recipe to your list of crockpot recipes.
These sweet and sticky honey garlic chicken wings are baked or air fried until crispy and tossed in a honey garlic sauce. So crave-worthy and so easy to make.
Better than the steakhouse, the best tender and juicy ribeye steak with a perfect seared crust is garlicky, buttery and packed with so much flavour. Serve with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and easy air fryer asparagus. Or, why not make your meal a full on surf and turf with lobster tails... um yes please!
Sweet and sticky, baked BBQ chicken wings are perfectly crispy, so delicious, and smothered in barbecue sauce. They are the perfect summer appetizer. Plus, you can easily adapt them for the grill.
Baked miso garlic chicken wings are crispy, delicious, and easy to make. They're marinated in a savoury Asian marinade, and cooked in the oven or air fryer.
Summer Side Dishes and Snacks
Buttery and salty grilled corn on the cob with beautiful char marks, delicious flavor, and the best texture is the easiest recipe to throw on the grill.
Tomato bruschetta with balsamic glaze is an easy Italian appetizer topped with tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil and olive oil. Delicious, fresh and simple. It's one of my favourite Easter appetizers of all time.
Quick and easy, creamy stovetop mac and cheese with white cheddar is a delicious and comforting one pot 20-minute meal packed with three types of cheese.
Mexican street corn (elote) is a delicious corn on the cob loaded with a cheesy sauce elevated with cilantro and lime. Creamy, cheesy, spicy, and flavorful.
Classic deviled eggs are a simple and easy to whip up, go-to appetizer for lunch or dinner, or just as a snack. It's a classic picnic recipe you can't miss.
Three-ingredient prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and cantaloupe bundles are salty, sweet and juicy -- the trifecta you never knew you needed.
When it is inconvenient to grill your corn on the cob, try buttery, oven-roasted corn on the cob with garlic butter with beautiful char marks instead. You could also adapt this recipe for the grill.
Warm, rich, creamy baked spinach dip is a delicious and easy appetizer that is baked until warm and melty. Easy to make ahead and a total crowd pleaser. It's one of my favourite Memorial Day recipes.
Incredibly tasty, this easy and basic guacamole takes less than 5 minutes to make. It is the perfect dip for a Mexican-inspired Super Bowl party.
Smooth creamy roasted red pepper hummus is a delicious, flavourful, vegan + gluten-free dip. This healthy appetizer is easy to make with a few ingredients.
Caramelized onion dip is creamy, flavorful, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. This easy appetizer is perfect for entertaining, on game day, or for a snack.
Easy 5-minute pico de gallo chunky salsa is packed with fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and lime juice (and optional jalapeños for a spicy kick).
Light and airy, whipped ricotta dip is so easy to make in just 5 minutes with a few fresh ingredients including fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, and honey.
Whip up classic smooth and creamy hummus dip at home in just 5 minutes, by combining chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in the blender. Serve it with veggies or crackers, or use it in a vegan hummus wrap.
Homemade queso Mexican cheese dip is smooth, creamy, delicious, flavorful, and so easy to make. It's so much better than store-bought in every way. One of the most satisfying Memorial Day recipes.
Baba ganoush is a creamy, roasted eggplant dip mixed with garlic and tahini for an explosion of flavour! It is perfect served with pita chips or veggies.
Light and fresh, easy tzatziki sauce is a creamy yogurt cucumber dip packed with fresh cucumbers, garlic, dill, lemon juice and olive oil. So easy to make.
Smooth and creamy pesto hummus is a healthy, delicious and flavourful dip that is easy to make in just 5 minutes. It's vegan and gluten-free.
Desserts and Drinks
It is time to say good-bye to the store-bought stuff and make strawberries and cream popsicles at home using fresh fruit and Greek yogurt! You can't have a collection of Memorial Day recipes without cool and refreshing popsicles.
This braided lattice apple pie is packed with cinnamon apples tossed in a caramel sauce and sealed in a buttery, flaky pie crust with a braided lattice top. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Smooth, sweet and refreshing 3-ingredient peach sorbet can be made with just a few minutes prep and without an ice cream maker! It's dairy-free and vegan.
Any level baker can make a beautiful, decadent, thick and fluffy, classic New York cheesecake without any cracks using this easy to follow recipe.
Complete your summer party, barbecue or picnic with a sweet, refreshing pitcher of sparkling strawberry lemonade, made with real fruit!
Individual apple crisp are served in ramekins so that you and your guests can enjoy single-sized servings meaning you will get the crunchy corners of crumble all to yourself. Add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for maximum happiness.
Smooth and creamy no churn vanilla ice cream with strawberry jam + toasted peanuts is easy to make, no ice cream maker required and better than storebought.
Simple homemade peach iced tea is the perfect summer drink. So refreshing, so peachy, so sweet and so perfect.
Soft and fluffy lemon sweet rolls are filled with a lemon vanilla sugar and topped with homemade lemon cream cheese icing. They're sweet, citrusy, and tart.
No sorbet is easier or tastier than 3-ingredient strawberry sorbet made with vibrant, sweet and utterly succulent strawberries. This treat is low on calories and full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so snack away on this all-natural treat… without the guilt!
Easy homemade apple hand pies/turnovers are the perfect fall treat -- stuffed with tender apples and cinnamon and wrapped in crispy, flakey, buttery crust.
Looking for the perfect summer treat? Blend together fresh berries and ice cream to make creamy, quick and easy, 5-minute blackberry milkshake at home!
Memorial Day Summer Kick Off Party Tips
- Plan your menu ahead of time. You can prepare many of these grilling recipes and summer recipes ahead of time. Some actually do need to be marinated in advance, some can stored in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator, and some can even be frozen, according to recipe directions.
- Prep your ingredients as much as possible. Once you have decided on what you are going to serve on Memorial Day, you can try and prepare as much as you can ahead of time. For instance, chop up ingredients, prepare salads and store the dressing separately in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
- Set the table the night before. Planning a fun summer backyard party? Get out all your summer plates from the storage and set your table in advance, or have it all ready to set on Memorial Day. It's one less thing to worry about.
Did You Make Any of These Memorial Day Recipes?
Please leave a comment and rating below, and let me know what you thought of this round up of Memorial Day recipes. Be sure to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.Print