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.
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!
Smoked Pork Ribs
5 from 2 votes
Smoked Pork Ribs. Flavorful, and tender, this fool proof recipe is easy to make and always pleases!
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.
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.
Perfect Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
5 from 46 votes
Perfect Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. This Texas style 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!
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.
Mexican Grilled Chicken
4.98 from 40 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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
This Tex Mex Layered dip is made with layers of creamy, taco seasoned beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, green onions and olives. Easy to make a prep ahead, simply unwrap and set out for snacking!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.