This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Get ready to celebrate Memorial Day with these mouth-watering recipes! From BBQ favorites and grilled meats to tasty picnic sides and fruity desserts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And don’t forget to stay cool with our selection of cold and refreshing drinks.

Beef with bbq sauce and white onions on a hamburger bun.


 

The Memorial Day long weekend marks the start of summer and is a time for celebration and good food. So if you’re unsure what to prepare for your Memorial Day summer cookout or BBQ, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.

I’m sharing over 35 of the best and most popular Memorial Day recipes, including classic favorites and exciting new summer recipes. You’ll find everything you need, from brisket to sandwiches, summer salads, delicious dips, fruity desserts, and more.

On Memorial Day, we honor the brave men and women who gave their lives while serving in the United States military. Let’s celebrate by spending time with loved ones and enjoying delicious food.

BBQ Memorial Day Recipes

BBQ often refers to smoked and grilled meats. Texans commonly use “BBQ” to describe smoked meats, including brisket, pork, ribs, and sausage.

While the method for preparing and serving these meats varies across the state, the central theme is the same, long and slow-smoked cooked meats.

If you’re referring to cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and the typical quick cookout foods, most Texans would say they’re “grillin’.” BBQ has a different meaning around here.

With that in mind, here’s some of our favorite BBQ recipes!

Hand picking up a smoked pork rib dipped in BBQ sauce.

Smoked Pork Ribs

5 from 2 votes
Smoked Pork Ribs. Flavorful, and tender, this fool proof recipe is easy to make and always pleases!
View Recipe
Tin filled with shredded smoked pork carnitas.

Smoked Carnitas

5 from 1 vote
This non-traditional Smoked Pork Carnitas is a flavorful Tex Mex BBQ mash up recipe. Thanks to using a citrus marinade, and a homemade seasoning mix of Mexican spices, the pork comes out smoky, tender, flavorful and melt in your mouth rich with crispy edges.
View Recipe
Smoked BBQ Brisket sandwich made with sauce, pickles and sliced onion. Served with chips

Smoked BBQ Beef Sandwich

5 from 3 votes
Chopped smoked beef with a light coating of a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce is piled onto soft hamburger buns and topped with tangy pickles and and white onion slices.
View Recipe
A plate of smoked chicken wings served with a small bowl of ranch, one wing dipped into the ranch.

Smoked Chicken Wings

5 from 2 votes
These smoked chicken wings are cooked with sweet smoke and low temps giving you tender, fall of the bone wings with crispy skin! 
View Recipe
Platter of smoked chuck roast sliced and served with juices.

Smoked Chuck Roast (Texas Style)

5 from 58 votes
This smoked chuck roast yields a tender, juicy meat! Slow cooked at a low temperature, this smoked beef roast is the perfect weeknight family dinner or a twist on your usual Sunday Roast.
View Recipe
Texas Brisket on peach paper, sliced with slices of bread, cheese, pickles and onions around.

Texas Smoked Brisket Recipe

5 from 26 votes
This Texas Smoked Brisket uses simple ingredients, but the process used creates meat so tender it will melt in your mouth. Apply a simple rub and let your smoker do the work!
View Recipe
Bear claws shredding smoked pork.

Texas Style Smoked Pulled Pork

5 from 251 votes
Texas Smoked Pulled Pork. This simple, smoked Pork Shoulder/Butt creates the most tender, flavorful pulled pork. Cooked low and slow, this pork is melt in your mouth good!
View Recipe

Don’t have a Smoker? No Problem!

Still want some classic Texas BBQ flavor, but you don’t have a smoker?

Try out this Texas Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Made with the same rub we use when we smoke and no smothering of BBQ sauce in sight, this pork is as close as you can get without the actual smoke.

Slow cooker pulled pork on a hamburger bun served with potato chips.

Perfect Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

5 from 47 votes
This Texas style slow cooked pulled pork is made easier in the slow cooker. Perfect for enjoying as a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, or loaded up on nachos, or even as a pizza topping! The possibilities are endless!
View Recipe

Grilling Recipes

Want something besides the classic cheeseburger and hot dogs on the grill?

These flavorful grilling recipes are where it’s at!

Easy prep and quick to cook you’ll enjoy the charred and smoky flavor of these main dishes.

Grilled chicken breast that has been sliced.

Mexican Grilled Chicken

4.98 from 41 votes
Mexican Grilled Chicken. Juicy, tender grilled chicken that has been marinaded in a flavorful blend of fruit juices and chili powders. Quick and easy to put together this is sure to be a hit with your next BBQ!
View Recipe
Up close view of shrimp on skewers after being grilled.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

5 from 45 votes
Grilled shrimp. These shrimp are marinated in a garlic, cilantro, lime marinade. Then grilled over charcoal to give a wonderful smokey flavor. This recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option! 
View Recipe

Non BBQ Cookout Recipes

These delectable dishes are ideal for a backyard get-together, however, you can cook them indoors using your oven or stovetop.

From juicy cheeseburger sliders to a fun and flavorful shrimp boil, these recipes will leave your guests satisfied and impressed without needing outdoor cooking equipment.

Up close cheeseburger slider on hawaiian rolls showing layers of ground beef, cheese, pickles and burger sauce.

Cheeseburger Sliders with Hawaiian Rolls

5 from 14 votes
These mini Cheeseburger Sliders with Hawaiian Rolls are packed with tender, juicy ground beef melty cheese, and tangy pickles all smothered in a homemade burger sauce. Perfect for Game Day or family dinner!
View Recipe
White bowl filled with chopped green lettuce, topped with cooked burger meat, cheese, avocado, tomato, pickle, red onion all drizzled with burger sauce.

Burger Bowls

5 from 22 votes
Burger Bowls. This low carb burger bowl/salad is a quick and easy way to enjoy all the flavors of a burger!
View Recipe
Shrimp boil spread out on butcher paper, with a side of old bay seasoning, beer and garlic butter.

Shrimp Boil with Garlic Butter

5 from 20 votes
This quick and easy Shrimp Boil is full of flavor! Corn on the cob, potatoes, and jumbo shrimp all boiled in a flavorful broth and drenched in a garlic butter sauce.
View Recipe

Cold Appetizers and Dips

Cold dips are a perfect addition to your menu. These dips are easy to prepare and serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables.

Whether you prefer creamy, tangy, or spicy dips, there’s a recipe for everyone.

From classic guacamole to creamy fried pickle and ranch dip, these recipes are sure to please your guests and keep them cool and refreshed.

Up close image of guacamole in a molcajete.

Tableside Guacamole

5 from 3 votes
This tableside guacamole recipe is simply the best. The use of fresh ingredients makes all the difference, and the best part is that it's so easy to make. It's a go-to recipe for any gathering or just a little treat for yourself.
View Recipe
Bowl of Mexican Corn Dip served with tortilla chips.

Mexican Corn Dip

4.97 from 31 votes
This Mexican Corn Dip is a snack version of Mexican street corn perfect for serving at parties or potlucks with tortilla chips.
View Recipe
Bowl of dill pickle dip topped with toasted pinko, fresh dill and chives.

Fried Pickle and Ranch Dip

5 from 3 votes
Smooth and creamy this dip is flavored with a homemade ranch mix, fresh herbs and tons of dill pickles! A fun and easy dip to serve up for your friends and family and will quickly be enjoyed!
View Recipe
Glass dish showing layers in the seven layer dip.

7 Layer Dip Recipe

5 from 21 votes
This easy 7 layer dip has a base of creamy bean dip topped with sour cream, guacamole, cheese, and veggies. Ready in under 10 minutes, this dip can be made ahead of time and set out for easy snacking when needed!
View Recipe
Bowl of Texas Caviar black eyed pea dip served with lime garnish.

Texas Caviar Recipe

5 from 10 votes
Texas Caviar. Fresh, zesty, and flavorful, this dish is loaded with black eyed peas, black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper and avocado all drizzled in a cilantro lime dressing. This easy to make recipe can be served as a side dish, appetizer, or salad!
View Recipe

Cookout Side Dishes

A great outdoor cookout is only complete with delicious side dishes to complement your main course.

From classic potato salad and coleslaw to grilled corn and baked beans, there are endless options for tasty and easy-to-prepare side dishes.

So, whether you’re hosting a big backyard bash or a casual cookout with friends and family, these recipes will make your outdoor gathering successful.

Bowl of creamy potato salad made with egg and dill pickle. Topped with sliced apart hard boiled egg.

Southern Potato Salad

5 from 30 votes
This creamy southern potato salad is perfect for all your Summer BBQs. Made with tender potatoes, hardboiled eggs, dill pickle relish, in a tangy mayonnaise, mustard based dressing.
View Recipe
Overhead view of creamy red potato salad being served with a spoon.

Red White & Blue Potato Salad

5 from 22 votes
This Creamy Red Potato Salad is perfect for potlucks, BBQs and picnics! Simple and easy to make, this side dish can be made ahead of time. Loaded up with red potatoes, blue cheese crumbles and a creamy white dressing this Red White & Blue potato salad is patriotic to serve all summer long!
View Recipe
White bowl filled with chopped romaine lettuce topped with tomato, avocado, radishes, cucumber, cotija and pepitas.

Mexican Salad

5 from 1 vote
This light and healthy Mexican Salad features crisp romaine lettuce and cold, refreshing toppings all coated with a homemade honey lime vinaigrette with fresh cilantro. This salad can be served as a side dish for all your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex meals or as a main dish. 
View Recipe
Overhead view of pasta salad in a white bowl.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

5 from 14 votes
This pasta salad is loaded up and tossed with a creamy homemade ranch dressing. This dish is constantly being requested and it never lasts long! Perfect for potlucks or family meals.
View Recipe
Plate of elotes served with extra crumbled cotija, lime wedges and fresh cilantro.

Mexican Street Corn

5 from 8 votes
Mexican Street Corn, or Elotes. This grilled corn recipe is coated with a cooling lime Crema, spiced with some Chile powder, and topped with crumbled Cotija and diced cilantro. The perfect side dish or appetizer!
View Recipe
Overhead view of baking dish with baked beans, topped with fresh parsley as a garnish.

Favorite Baked Beans

5 from 1 vote
Favorite Baked Beans with Bacon! These are the baked beans that EVERYONE loves! Loaded with a sweet, brown sugar sauce and seasoned with black pepper bacon. These beans are the perfect side for all your BBQs
View Recipe
Bowl filled with a creamy southern coleslaw served with wooden spoons.

Classic Southern Coleslaw

5 from 53 votes
This quick and easy classic Southern Coleslaw recipe comes together in minutes using only a handful ingredients. The cold, tangy flavors are perfect for pairing with some smokey BBQ meats.
View Recipe
Large white bowl filled with macaroni salad, elbow macaroni noodles, green bell pepper, hard boiled egg, and red onion all tossed in a creamy dressing.

Classic Macaroni Salad

5 from 6 votes
Macaroni Salad. The ultimate in summer eating! This classic macaroni salad is the perfect side dish to any picnic or BBQ. Coated with a creamy dressing, loaded with fresh crisp veggies, this simple, easy to make recipe is sure to be a winner! 
View Recipe
Bowl filled with mexican fruits, topped with tajin and drizzled with chamoy.

Mexican Fruit Salad

5 from 2 votes
Enjoy a delicious and refreshing Mexican fruit salad that combines sweet fruits with a splash of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of chili lime seasoning.
View Recipe

Drinks to welcome Summer

Quench your thirst and cool down on a hot day. These drink recipes will impress your guests and get you in the summer spirit.

So, raise a glass to the season and check out these fantastic drink recipes perfect for welcoming summer!

Cup of sweet tea in a glass topped with crushed ice, lemon wedge and a sprig of mint.

Classic Sweet Tea

5 from 5 votes
This home-brewed Southern Sweet Tea is smooth, refreshing, and simple. This classic southern drink is quick and easy to make at home.
View Recipe
Glasses of agua fresca lined up showing strawberry, watermelon and a pineapple mango.

Agua Fresca Recipe (Basic Recipe for ANY fruit)

5 from 5 votes
This easy Agua Fresca Recipe can be used to make a refreshing, non-alcoholic, fruit drink using any of your favorite fruits. Perfect for cooling down and relaxing on a hot summer day.
View Recipe
Frozen fruit margaritas lined up with mango, strawberry, and lime, with wedges of limes surrounding.

Frozen Margarita Recipe (using ANY fruit)

5 from 31 votes
These Frozen Margaritas are cold, frosty, and fruity! You can blend up a batch of these slushy margaritas in less than 5 minutes and with only a handful of ingredients. The perfect drink for any hot and sunny day.
View Recipe

Memorial Day Dessert Ideas

These desserts are sure to sweeten up your Memorial Day celebration.

From classic apple crisp and banana pudding to patriotic strawberry cobbler, there are plenty of recipes for satisfying your sweet tooth.

Up close view of American strawberry cobbler baked with Stars and Stripes in pie crust on top.

All-American Strawberry Cobbler

5 from 1 vote
Strawberry Cobbler is a classic summer treat made with fresh juicy strawberries. But this recipe for strawberry cobbler with pie crust, takes it up a notch by adding a Stars and Stripes pattern on top. Not only will this dessert satisfy your sweet tooth, but it will also add some festive flair to your holiday gathering.
View Recipe
Strawberry shortcake served on a white scalloped plate, gold fork on the side.

Strawberry Shortcake

5 from 14 votes
This made-from-scratch Strawberry Shortcake recipe features sweet buttermilk biscuits, fluffy whipped cream, and juicy strawberries.
View Recipe
Overhead view of texas sheet cake cut into slices and sprinkled with extra cocoa powder.

Texas Sheet Cake

5 from 6 votes
This easy to make Texas Sheet Cake is a rich, chocolate cake baked in a jelly roll pan and topped with a smooth fudgy icing.
View Recipe
Stacked coconut lime cupcakes topped with coconut cream cheese frosting.

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

4.84 from 6 votes
Light and fluffy Coconut Lime Cupcakes with a creamy coconut filling all topped with a swirl of coconut cream cheese frosting. Fun and tropical flavored summer cupcake recipe!
View Recipe
Baked apple crisp being served with a large spoon.

Apple Crisp

5 from 3 votes
Warm baked cinnamon apples topped with a buttery, brown sugar oat topping. This simple, classic recipe highlights the natural flavoring of the apples with timeless fall flavorings. Making this Apple Crisp recipe a family favorite.
View Recipe
Trifle dish filled with layers of bananas, Nilla wafers and pudding.

Homemade Banana Pudding

5 from 4 votes
Creamy, homemade Southern Banana Pudding with vanilla pudding made from scratch layered with vanilla wafers, slices of banana, and topped with a whipped topping! An easy to make, Southern dessert recipe sure to please a crowd!
View Recipe

Top Tips for a Successful Cook Out

  1. Make Ahead: figure out which recipes can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until it’s time to set out for serving. Our favorites to prep beforehand include the Southern Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Mexican Street Corn Dip, Agua Frescas, and Banana Pudding
  2. Toppings: if you’re serving meats, burgers, or hot dogs, make sure you are offering lots of topping options so that there’s something for everyone! Remember the ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, or fun salsa like this Mango Salsa, Strawberry Salsa, or Pineapple Salsa
  3. Food Safety: Make sure to cook your meats to the appropriate temperature to maintain food safety. Remember that you should only leave your sides or other foods set out in hot temperatures for one-hour maximum. Place foods in ice chests or coolers, or use your refrigerator as needed. 
  4. Sun Screen and Bug Spray: stay safe and protect the skin of yourself and your loved ones. Set up a sunscreen and bug spray station away from the food to allow yourself and the guest to spray and reapply as needed. 
  5. Hydration: water is essential when spending time outdoors; make it fun by serving Agua Frescas or setting up a pitcher with water garnished with fresh fruits such as lime and berries, or use cucumbers. 

Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

You may also like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *