It’s that time of year again, the unofficial start of summer: Memorial Day. You know what that means – it’s time to dust off that grill, call up your friends, and prepare a Memorial Day cookout that will be the talk of the neighborhood. So, let’s talk food, flavors, and how to make the most of this fantastic day of remembrance and camaraderie.
For this post, I’m sharing recipes from Tastefully Simple. Full disclosure, I lead digital marketing there, so I might just be a little biased, but c’mon, 28 years of flavor can’t be wrong. Tastefully Simple creates insanely easy, crazy delicious foods like seasonings, sauces, dips, mixes and desserts that make your life taste better. You’re gonna love it!
Kickstart your Memorial Day Cookout with Appetizers
Let’s get the ball rolling with some appetizing starters, shall we? A great Memorial Day cookout is all about pacing, and these appetizers will set the tone without filling up your guests too soon.
How about some grilled shrimp skewers marinated in garlic and herbs? They’re easy to handle, full of flavor, and will have everyone eager for what’s coming next. And don’t forget a classic like deviled eggs – but with a twist. Add some smoked paprika and bacon bits for an extra burst of flavor. Lastly, consider some grilled veggie kebabs for your vegetarian friends. Trust me, no one will be able to resist these tasty treats.
The Main Attraction: Grill Time!
Now, it’s time for the stars of our Memorial Day cookout – the mains. And we’re not just talking about the classic hot dogs and hamburgers, though they certainly have their place.
Get adventurous with some BBQ chicken drumsticks smothered in a tangy, homemade barbecue sauce. Or how about some grilled salmon with a honey and garlic glaze? For our vegetarian buddies, a hearty portobello mushroom burger can be just as satisfying. Make sure to serve them with some classic sides like coleslaw and corn on the cob. After all, what’s a Memorial Day cookout without them?
Sidelines Stealing the Show: Side Dishes and Salads
What’s a Memorial Day cookout without some stunning sidekicks? Side dishes and salads are the unsung heroes that perfectly complement your main dishes, adding a delightful variety to your cookout menu.
Let’s start with the quintessential cookout side: potato salad. Try a creamy, homemade version with a touch of mustard for a tangy kick. Or perhaps you fancy a refreshing twist? How about a Greek-style pasta salad with feta, olives, cucumber, and a zesty lemon-olive oil dressing?
But let’s not forget the greens. A classic Caesar salad can never go wrong, but if you want to get creative, why not whip up a watermelon and feta salad? It’s a refreshing combination that’s sure to surprise and delight your guests.
Grilled veggies are also a must-have for any cookout. Zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus – you name it, the grill can enhance their flavors. Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt, and you’re good to go.
Remember, the best Memorial Day cookout is not only about the mains. It’s the harmony of all the dishes that makes your cookout menu truly unforgettable.
Sweet Finish: Desserts to Die For
A great Memorial Day cookout isn’t complete without some sweet treats to wrap things up. Let’s go beyond the traditional fruit salad and get creative.
Think about serving grilled peaches with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. The grill caramelizes the peaches’ natural sugars, creating a dessert that’s both healthy and utterly delicious. And if you’re feeling a little more indulgent, make some s’mores. You can even have a DIY s’mores station where guests can roast their marshmallows to their liking. It’ll be a sweet ending to a memorable Memorial Day cookout.
Don’t Forget the Drinks!
The final touch to any Memorial Day cookout is, of course, the drinks. Quench your guests’ thirst with a variety of options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
For the adults, whip up some fruity sangria or classic margaritas. And for those preferring non-alcoholic options, a homemade lemonade or iced tea will hit the spot. Make sure to have plenty of water on hand, too – hydration is key in the summer heat.
This Memorial Day cookout is going to be a smash hit. And remember, while we’re all here for the good food and company, don’t forget to take a moment to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day. Here’s to good times, great food, and honoring those who’ve served.
Other recipes to try: