20 Must-Make Recipes for Your Memorial Day BBQ (2024)

Oh, summer, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. First, there’s the weather, giving us every excuse to splurge on a new swimsuit (or three). Then there’s the results of the weather, which hopefully means a gorgeous, bronze tan (and not a painful sunburn). And of course, the best part about the sunny season — the barbecues. While summer might still officially be a month away, everyone knows that Memorial Day is basically the official kickoff to the season, so what better way to celebrate than with an inaugural barbecue? Here are 20 dishes that definitely need to be a part of the spread.

1. Grilled Sriracha Wings: If you’re as big of a fiend of the Asian hot sauce as we are, well then, these wings need no explanation. (via Creole Contessa)

2. Four Cheese Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese: The recipe’s name alone has a few of our favorite words — cheese, bacon, macaroni. You can go ahead and count us in. (via The Owl and the Goblet)

3. Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders: If you’re looking for a beef burger alternative, look no further than this simple and delicious pulled pork slider recipe. Top it off with some coleslaw to create one of the yummiest bites you’ll have all summer. (via Prevention RD)

4. No Mayo Coleslaw: Speaking of coleslaw, you might want to give this a try. Scratch that. You need to give this a try. Unlike other coleslaws, this cabbage mixture is super light, but still packs a ton of flavor. (via PBS)

5. Key Lime Grilled Chicken Taco Skewers: Food blogger Little Leopard Book decided to put a twist on a traditional chicken skewer by adding her homemade taco seasoning and some Key limes. The end product is this colorful, tangy dish that’s not only pretty to look at, but delicious to eat. (via Little Leopard Book)

6. Grilled Corn With Chipotle Lime Butter: What’s a BBQ without grilled corn on the cob? Not one we’d ever attend. What truly sets this recipe apart from others is the zesty chipotle lime butter. For more vegetarian BBQ ideas, see other tasty dishes here. (via Delish)

7. American Flag Fruit Pizza: This proud and patriotic dish not only celebrates the holiday, but is pretty healthy for you too. Instead of cream cheese, this fruit pizza calls for Greek yogurt. So really, it’s an international affair. (via Tablespoon)

8. Bourbon and Brown Sugar Barbecue Ribs: Just when you thought you couldn’t love ribs more, you discovered this iteration that uses a homemade bourbon and brown-sugar glaze. It’s the stuff that summer dreams are made of. (via Cooking with Curls)

9. The Best Burger: Food blogger Oh, Sweet Basil shares her two secrets to creating the best hamburger — challah buns and a meat mixture of 60 percent ground chuck and 40 percent brisket. By the looks of her finished product, she knows what she’s talking about. ( via Oh, Sweet Basil)

10. Summer Orzo Pasta Salad: Barbecues aren’t just about heaping amounts of meat. They’re also about beautiful summer pasta salads, like this chickpea, cucumber and tomato orzo dish. For more refreshing pasta salads, click here. (via A Cedar Spoon)

11. Firecracker Popsicles: If you’re lucky, it’ll be hot wherever you are come Memorial Day, in which case, you’ll need these icy, festive popsicles to cool you down. (via Becca Bakes)

12. Teriyaki Salmon Skewers: The key to these Asian-flavored salmon skewers is the marinating process, which allows the fish to become super tender and rich in flavor. (via Rock My Style)

13. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Hot Dogs: How does one go about elevating their hot dog game? Perhaps by wrapping them in some bacon, tossing on some grilled onions and piling them high with guacamole. Just a thought. (via Port and Fin)

14. Potato Salad with Chive Flowers: Potato salads are not the prettiest dishes, with its starchy lumps and globs of mayonnaise. But that all changes immediately when you add a handful of gorgeous and flavorful chive flowers to the mix. (via Cook Sister)

15. Mexican Layer Dip: Inevitably, there will be chips at a barbecue. Ideally, you’d have this Mexican layer dip from The Pioneer Woman to dunk them in. Make it happen. (via The Pioneer Woman)

16. Greek Salad: Treat your palate with a refreshing bite of this crisp mix of olives, cucumbers, peppers and red onions — all the makings of a perfect summer salad. (via Serena Bakes Simply from Scratch)

17. Smokey Baked Beans: Another barbecue staple that should not be overlooked — baked beans, particularly this version from La Creme de la Crumb, which adds a touch of smokiness to balance out the sweetness in the dish. (via La Creme de la Crumb)

18. Super Soft Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies: We know there are lots of other foods to nosh on during a barbecue, but make sure to save room for these extra big, extra fluffy chocolate chip cookies. (via Lovely Little Kitchen)

19.Turkey Zucchini Burgers with Lemon Yogurt Sauce: If you’re looking for a healthier BBQ alternative, this turkey zucchini burger will do the trick, all while satisfying your biggest beef burger cravings. (via The Iron You)

20. Buffalo Wings: There’s something about buffalo wings that incite excitement and fun. Maybe it’s because they’re usually served at parties or perhaps it’s the way the orange sauce sticks to your fingers. Either way, MUST HAVE.

What will you be making for your Memorial Day BBQ? Share your dishes and recipes with us in the comments below!

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Sara Tan

Sara Tan is a lifestyle writer and editor who is obsessed with all things fashion, food, and pop culture. She's originally from LA, but recently relocated to Oakland, CA. When she's not sitting behind her laptop, you can find her shopping sales, spinning at SoulCycle, or exploring her new city with her French Bulldog by her side.

20 Must-Make Recipes for Your Memorial Day BBQ (2024)


What is a good menu Memorial Day cookout? ›

Many of the recipes are meant to be prepared ahead and simply set out, while others are best grilled as you chat with guests.
  1. Classic Potato Salad. Image. ...
  2. Shrimp a la Plancha. Image. ...
  3. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Image. ...
  4. Margarita. Image. ...
  5. Savory Fruit Salad. Image. ...
  6. Tajín Grilled Chicken. ...
  7. Browned-Butter Rhubarb Crisp. ...
  8. Broccoli Salad.
May 24, 2023

What is the most eaten food on Memorial Day? ›

Top 7 Memorial Day Dishes & Their Historical Significance
  • Barbecue Ribs: A Journey Through American Barbecue. Barbecue ribs carry a rich heritage deeply rooted in American barbecue culture. ...
  • Grilled Chicken: A Mid-20th Century Marvel. ...
  • Corn on the Cob: A Native American Staple. ...
  • Coleslaw and Potato Salad: European Influences.
May 19, 2023

What is a must have for BBQ dinner? ›

Some must-have ingredients include store-bought chips, dips and fruit platters, homemade barbecue sauce and of course, meats and fish to grill such as pork ribs, sausage, shrimp, salmon, beef spare ribs and chicken drumsticks.

What do people BBQ on Memorial Day? ›

Memorial Day BBQ & Grilling
  • BBQ & Grilled Beef Burgers.
  • BBQ & Grilled Chicken.
  • BBQ & Grilled Skewers and Kabobs.
  • BBQ & Grilled Salads.

What do people barbecue on Memorial Day? ›

This collection is bursting at the seams with everything you think of when it comes to a great Memorial Day backyard barbecue. The grill master in your house will earn kudos with the Tequila Lime Steak, Barbecue Burgers, Best Pork Ribs, Steak Kababs, Garlic Shrimp and Marinated Ribeyes.

What is a good meal to serve 20 people? ›

19 Ideas For Easy Meals For Large Groups
  • Taco Bar.
  • Meatballs.
  • Butter Chicken.
  • Lasagna.
  • Chili.
  • Homemade Pizza.
  • Baked Pasta.
  • Skewers.
Apr 4, 2023

How many pounds of BBQ do I need to feed 20 people? ›

How much BBQ for 20 people: 8 pounds (128 oz) of meat total (2 meats recommended) 1 XL size (feeds 10-12 people) for each side ordered. Drinks: 2 gallons.

What is the best meat for a BBQ party? ›

Some of the best BBQ meats include steak, pork chops, ribs, succulent chicken thighs and breasts, burgers, fish, and sausages. Enhance your proteins by marinating them overnight in spices, herbs, and oils for added flavour.

What do people eat on Memorial Day? ›

This is a recipe you'll turn to all summer long.
  • 02 of 25. Quesadillas al Pastor. ...
  • 05 of 25. Grilled Chicken Sandwich With Tangy Honey Barbecue Sauce. ...
  • 08 of 25. Southern-Style Grilled Cobb Salad. ...
  • 11 of 25. Bacon Cheeseburger. ...
  • 14 of 25. Sweet Heat Hot Dogs. ...
  • 17 of 25. Cheesy Mushroom Sliders.
May 14, 2023

How many hotdogs will be eaten on Memorial Day? ›

It's estimated that over 800 hot dogs are eaten on Memorial Day…per second. This means nearly 72 million hot dogs are eaten on this day alone…

What is the most popular side dish at a BBQ? ›

Most cookouts feature an assortment of a few essential BBQ sides: Corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and pasta salad. We're not about to mess with perfection; because this barbecue side lineup is just that: perfect. But when it comes to the recipes themselves, you've got options.

What are two dishes that are traditionally BBQ? ›

Main dishes to serve at a BBQ
  • Steak. Try serving grilled rib-eye steak, sirloin, or strip steak. ...
  • Sausages. Sausages or hot dogs are always a regular at barbeques. ...
  • Slow-cooked ribs. ...
  • Burgers. ...
  • Seafood. ...
  • Pulled Pork. ...
  • Chicken. ...
  • Vegetarian and vegan options.
Aug 16, 2022

What are foods Americans eat at a cookout on holidays? ›

Every cookout needs a main course, side dishes and drinks to feed hungry loved ones who have been out in the sun all day. Proteins like hamburger patties, hotdogs, chicken or shrimp are all common foods to throw on the grill.

What foods do you serve at a cookout? ›

Get the Classic Coleslaw recipe.
  • Carne Asada. ...
  • Antipasto Potato Salad. ...
  • Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. ...
  • Baked Beans. ...
  • Grilled Beer Brats. ...
  • Grilled Chicken Kebabs. ...
  • Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs. ...
  • Corn & Tomato Gnocchi Foil Packets.
Jun 7, 2023

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