55 Best Memorial Day Recipes – What to Make for Memorial Day


Memorial Day weekend is upon us! This year, more than ever, we are really looking forward to the unofficial start of summer. Our celebrations will still be smaller, but getting outside and cooking up the classics that make us excited for the season feel more important than ever — like a much-needed win.

So let’s fire up the grill (after cleaning it), dust off your cooler, and get your favorite picnic blanket ready: We’re heading to the backyard for a BBQ! As for what to cook, there are so many good choices. You can’t go wrong with the classics, like juicy burgers, creamy coleslaw, and pasta salad, but we’re also including some dishes you might not have considered that are destined to become favorites, like balsamic veggie kebabs and sweet and tangy pork chops.

Here are our 55 essential recipes for a delicious Memorial Day weekend.

Snacks and Appetizers

One thing is certain: You’re going to need some snacks to get you through the long weekend. Our best advice is to whip up any one (or more!) of these dips and you’ll be in good shape. If you want to try something new, we suggest cacio e pepe popcorn. Better make it a double batch.

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Guacamole Recipe

An easy, classic guacamole recipe that only requires 5 ingredients.

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Cool, Creamy Greek Tzatziki Dip

Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt-based dip with cucumber, garlic, and fresh herbs. Here’s how to make the best version.

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7-Layer Dip

7-Layer Dip is everything you love about a taco, from the beans and guac to sour cream and pico de gallo, served dip-style.

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Restaurant-Style Salsa

Learn the secret to restaurant style salsa at home. It is way easier than you think!

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Cacio e Pepe Popcorn

This recipe for popcorn tossed with Pecorino cheese, black pepper, and olive oil is equal parts fast and fancy.

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Easy Queso Dip

A quick and easy recipe for cheesy queso dip that comes together in less than 30 minutes.

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Feta Salsa

Scoop this colorful salsa up with crostini or pita chips and if you have any leftover, spoon it over salad greens for lunch.

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Easy Shrimp Ceviche

This simple shrimp ceviche is made with poached shrimp instead of raw and finished with tomato, avocado, and cilantro.

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Salads and Sides

We all know that the sides and salads are the best part of cookouts, potlucks, and picnics. From creamy potato salads to crunchy slaws, these are the classics (some with slight variations) that you look forward to seeing in the lineup every summer.

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This easy recipe for quinoa salad filled with fresh vegetables, herbs, and cheese is also make-ahead-friendly.

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The Best Pasta Salad Without Mayo

This easy-to-make pasta salad has a creamy flavor, but ditches the mayo in favor of a rich vinaigrette and soft cheese.

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French-Inspired Potato Salad

This easy recipe for a mayo-free potato salad is light and tangy thanks to Dijon mustard and fresh herbs.

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Pesto Pasta Salad

Nothing says summer like tendrils of pasta, fresh mozzarella pearls, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cucumber dressed in a basil pesto sauce.

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Sesame Ginger Slaw

If you want a side that’s a total crowd-pleaser, there is no better choice than this sesame ginger slaw.

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Balsamic Glazed Veggie Kebabs

Here, mixed vegetable kebabs are brushed with a balsamic and garlic glaze and either grilled or roasted.

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Tangy Carrot Slaw

This French-inspired carrot slaw is tossed with a tangy Dijon mustard dressing.

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Meaty Memorial Day Mains

This weekend is all about grilling out, and these are the meaty mains that are always a hit, plus a few extra ideas if you want to think outside the grill. Burgers and ribs are standard fare, but if you want to change things up, consider some ultra-crispy fried chicken or pulling out the slow cooker for a big batch of barbacoa (it makes great leftovers!).

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Crispy, Juicy Fried Chicken

Using the recently leaked secret spice blend from KFC and best frying practices, we make finger-licking chicken that tastes better than the Colonel.

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Easy Homemade Smash Burgers

These no-frills burgers are exactly what they sound like: ground beef that’s cooked in a skillet and smashed with a spatula to create rough, craggly little patties. Here’s how to master the technique at home.

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Oven-Baked Ribs

We’ve cracked the code to making perfectly tender and mouth-watering barbecued ribs in the oven.

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Spinach and Blue Cheese Burger

Blue cheese, spinach, and caramelized onions transform a juicy beef burger into a French-inspired dinner.

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Easy Jalapeño Grilled Chicken

Flavored with tart lime and the fiery heat of jalapenos, these easy grilled chicken breasts are a summer stunner.

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Vegetarian Memorial Day Mains

These mains skip the meat, but rest assured that when black bean burgers, grilled gnocchi, and cauliflower steaks are on the menu, they’ll be gobbled up in a flash by vegetarian and meat-lovers alike.

Our Favorite No-Bake Desserts

Absolutely no BBQ or picnic is complete without dessert. From a peanut butter cup-inspired pie and no-bake cheesecake to stuffed strawberries and a pan of no-bake cookies, you simply can’t go wrong. Master these no-bake favorites right now so you can whip them up all summer long.

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Easy No-Bake Cheesecake

This no-bake cheesecake is impossibly smooth without a hint of graininess, perfectly creamy and tangy, and complete with a buttery graham cracker crust.

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No-Bake Salted Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

A mash up of Rice Krispies Treats & granola bars, with a double layer of marshmallow coated oats with a dense slick of salted chocolate through the center.

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream

All three components of this pie — the crust, the filling, and the topping — are made in the food processor, meaning it’s all prepped and assembled and ready to chill in the fridge in just 10 minutes.

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No-Bake Icebox Cake

This no-bake dessert involves graham crackers, whipped cream, and fruit. The Result? Flaky, tender cake-like layers that are so delicious.

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No-Bake Cookies

This step-by-step recipe for classic no-bake cookies will set you up for success every single time.

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Essential Summer Desserts

These are the must-bake summertime desserts that make this long weekend celebration even sweeter. You won’t regret turning on the oven for gooey s’mores brownies or turning your haul of ruby-red berries into an easy pie.

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S’mores Brownies

Take everything you love about s’mores and pile it into brownies — how can that be bad?

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Classic Fruit Cobbler

A step-by-step recipe for making cobbler with any kind of fruit. This particular cobbler topping might just be the easiest I’ve ever made.

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Strawberry Blondies

This easy recipe for white chocolate brown butter blondies is studded with fresh strawberries.

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Drinks for All

From mint juleps and sangria to sweet tea and lemonade, these are the tried-and-true warm-weather favorites that scream summertime. Whether you drink alcohol or not, there’s something for everyone here.

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Mint Juleps in a Pitcher

This refreshing cocktail is typically made individually, but making it in a pitcher ensures it’s extra easy to serve.

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Classic Sweet Tea

It’s not summer until there’s a pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge. Here’s how to make a batch everyone will enjoy.

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Non-Alcoholic Sangria

If you’re bypassing alcohol for whatever reason, this is a celebratory recipe you’re sure to enjoy.

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