55 Memorial Day Recipes for a Holiday Weekend Cookout

updated May 3, 2022
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Memorial Day weekend is upon us! This year, more than ever, we are really looking forward to the unofficial start of summer.

So let’s fire up the grill (after cleaning the grill first, of course), 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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The key to making fresh salsa in no time is to use your food processor.
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An easy, classic guacamole recipe that only requires 5 ingredients.
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Za'atar-Roasted Veggie and Bean Dip
This veggie-packed blender dip Is no-fuss and high-reward. Eat it as a snack with crackers or crudités, or use it to turn a jumble of leftovers into a meal.
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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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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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Loaded Potato Salad
A homey potato salad loaded with bacon, cheese, and green onion/scallions in a sour cream and mayo dressing. It’s all the flavors you love transformed into the perfect summer side dish.
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Bow Tie Pasta Salad
Your cookout isn’t complete with a big-batch of pasta salad dressed in zesty vinaigrette and tossed together with a rainbow of fresh vegetables.
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Grilled Broccoli
How to get the most irresistibly crisp and tender broccoli from the grill in just 15 minutes.
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Spanakopita Kale Salad
With briny feta crumbles, crunchy toasted walnuts, and zippy herbs, this chopped kale salad tastes just like spanakopita, the iconic Greek savory pie.
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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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Beet and Strawberry Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
This vibrant salad is the perfect way to celebrate strawberry season.
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Easy Lemon-Marinated Bean and Vegetable Salad
Creamy white beans and crunchy vegetables marinated in a honey-lemon vinaigrette is the ultimate colorful salad.
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Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta, Chickpeas, and Herbs
This Israeli couscous salad filled with chickpeas, tomatoes, herbs, and feta cheese is hearty enough to make for a vegetarian main, too.
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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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Salt and Pepper Smashed Cucumber Salad
The easiest cucumber salad made with just salt, pepper, and a homemade vinaigrette.
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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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Sour Cream and Dill Cucumber Salad
This recipe for classic cucumber dill salad tossed in a tangy sour cream dressing never gets old.
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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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Beer Brats

The crowning jewel of any good Wisconsin tailgate party are equally good Memorial day fare.

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Spicy Labneh Fried Chicken Sandwich
These juicy chicken sandwiches are stuffed with tangy labneh-fried chicken thighs, peppery arugula, ripe avocado, sweet mango, and dill pickles.
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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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Grilled Lamb Chops with Herb Sauce
These flavorful grilled lamb chops come together in less than an hour.
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Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Burger
These chicken burgers are topped with baba ghanoush, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh goat cheese.
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Easy Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet & Tangy Mustard Glaze
Brine the chops while the grill heats for the juiciest serving of pork, and finish with a sweet and tangy mustard glaze.
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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.

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Chickpea Caesar Salad Wraps
A vegetarian spin on the chicken Caesar salad wrap with crunchy spiced chickpeas, sourdough croutons, and a creamy tahini-based caesar dressing.
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Grilled Open-Faced Cauliflower Banh Mi
Grilling the baguette and the cauliflower florets adds bold, smoky flavor to a vegetarian banh mi.
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Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing
These grilled cabbage wedges with a spicy lime vinaigrette are hearty enough to stand on their own.
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Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers
These easy vegetarian black bean veggie burgers are made with pantry staples and ready in 30 minutes.
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Grilled Gnocchi with Summer Squash and Burst Tomatoes
Grilling gnocchi gives it a crispy exterior and delicious charred flavor. Juicy, bursting grilled tomatoes act as a simple, summery sauce.
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Grilled Yogurt Flatbreads with Israeli Salad
A simple, no-rise flatbread dough is grilled until crispy, then topped with hummus and a fresh cucumber-tomato salad.
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The Ultimate Veggie Burger
This simple vegetable and bean burger recipe is sturdy enough to hold up on the grill.
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Grilled Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Steaks
These cauliflower steaks take on tons of flavor and char when cooked on the grill.
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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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No-Bake Mango Bars
A trifecta of buttery, ginger-spiked graham cracker crust, a smooth mango filling, and a blanket of fluffy whipped cream on top.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Slice-and-No-Bake Cookies
This easy no-bake cookie recipe is made with dark chocolate and peanut butter and filled with peanuts and pretzels.
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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 Sheet Pan Lemon Yogurt Tart
This easy no-bake lemon yogurt tart generously feeds your whole family and then some.
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No-Bake Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
No-Bake Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries are a simple but impressive 4-ingredient, 5-minute, $10, gluten-free, no-bake dessert.
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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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Lemon Cupcakes
Say hello to spring with these lemony cupcakes that taste like pure sunshine. The tender moist-crumbed lemon cupcakes are topped with a buttercream frosting and for extra dazzle, you can sprinkle on yellow or gold sparkling sugar.
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Easy Cast Iron Strawberry Pie
This easy cast iron strawberry pie is the simplest version of this classic summer dessert.
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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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Easy Summer Cake with Fruit & Cream
This will be a cake you make on repeat on through the season — we guarantee it.
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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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Strawberry & Limoncello Rosé Sangria
With very little effort, you can make a pitcher of gorgeous sangria that's perfect for the holiday.
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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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From-Scratch Lemonade
Ditch the simple syrup for the easiest homemade lemonade ever.
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Cucumber Gin & Tonic Pitcher Cocktail
This easy pitcher gin and tonic recipe is dressed up with muddled cucumbers.
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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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Strawberry Mojito Pitcher
This refreshing pitcher of strawberry mojitos just screams summer.
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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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