30 Fabulous Recipes for Your Memorial Day Celebration
Usher in the unofficial start of summer with these all-American dishes.
Memorial Day is an important holiday in the United States, a chance for the nation to honor those who have died serving in the military. While it's a solemn day of remembrance, it also marks the unofficial start of summer and is often celebrated with parades, picnics, and family cookouts. To make your Memorial Day festivities as delicious as ever, we rounded up 30 of the best recipes for the holiday—everything from potato salad to fruit crumbles, a no-bake cheesecake, and burgers and hot dogs galore.
This holiday is also when many people will commence grilling on a regular basis, but outdoor cooking is not the only way to serve up summertime fare. While you could certainly grill your ribs, our recipe for Tuscan Ribs, pictured here, puts the oven to good use. Three racks of baby back ribs marinate with olive oil, paprika, fennel seeds, sage, thyme, and rosemary. They slow-roast in the oven for two hours until the meat is fork-tender and releases its juicy flavor. Serve the ribs with another Memorial Day classic: potato salad. There's a recipe for potato salad that has rich balsamic glaze that pairs oh so well with these ribs, but you'll also find a recipe for a classic mayonnaise- and mustard-based potato salad in this collection, too.
Other favorite Memorial Day recipes you'll find are are baked beans with homemade barbecue sauce, seasonal fruit desserts such as berry cobblers and pies, homemade ice cream, plenty of crowd-friendly main courses (most of which are, yes, cooked on a grill), and a few cocktails and mocktails to keep you cool all weekend long.
Have a festive and fabulous Memorial Day cookout with these casual recipes that everyone will love.
Quick BBQ Sauce
Everyone's favorite barbecue sauce recipe is just the thing for adding to pulled pork sandwiches, grilled ribs, or even burgers. Our recipe calls for just six ingredients: ketchup, light brown sugar, white wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and cayenne for heat.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Potato Salad
Potato salad is a classic Memorial Day recipe and our version is as good as it gets. Mayonnaise brings the necessary creaminess, while a couple tablespoons of whole grain mustard and sliced cornichons give it a sharp edge.
Red, White, and Blue Potato Chips
Iced Watermelon-Lemon Tea
Classic Burger-Joint Cheeseburger
Perfect Lobster Roll
Even if you're not spending Memorial Day at the beach, your tastebuds will be transported seaside with this lobster roll. It's the perfect blend of a hot lobster roll and cold lobster salad—poached lobster meat is tossed with just a touch of mayonnaise, plus lemon juice and drawn butter.
Classic North Carolina Pulled Pork
Instead of slow-cooking pulled pork, try grilling the boneless pork shoulder, which gives it an extra smoky flavor that complements the sweet and sticky barbecue sauce.
Cross-Country Hot Dogs
Martha's Strawberry Ice Cream
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, which means it's also start of ice cream season. Our founder has perfected a pretty-in-pink ice cream recipe that's made with an entire pound of strawberries. For a boozy edge, add a generous splash of tequila or vodka.
Grilled Corn with Chile-Lime Salt
Our homemade lemonade is sweet as can be and couldn't be easier to make. All you need is freshly squeezed lemon juice and granulated sugar to make this Memorial Day beverage.
Strawberry Biscuit Sheet Cake
Grilled Sausages with Charred Tomato Relish
No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake for a Crowd
Baked Beans with Bacon
Homemade baked beans are an essential Memorial Day recipe. A little bit of garlic and fresh thyme add an earthiness that offsets the sweet barbecue-style sauce. And no one will be able to resist the crispy, savory strips of bacon on top.
Lemon Mezcal Margarita
Grilled Dry-Rubbed Rib-Eye Steaks
Pinwheel Cherry Pie
Creamy Macaroni Salad
The duo of mayonnaise and low-fat yogurt bring the creaminess—and a touch of tang—to this classic Memorial Day recipe. For some crunch, we added thinly sliced radishes, celery, and dill pickles, which also cut through the richness of this staple side.
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Thyme Sauce
When it comes to entertaining for a holiday such as Memorial Day, our philosophy is the more that can be made ahead, the better. This low-key, fragrant salad fits the bill. You only need four ingredients, which can be made into a salad an hour—or up to a day—in advance.
Gazpacho Salad with Croutons
Herbed Celery-Potato Salad
Zucchini Dill Pickles
For an extra-special Memorial Day cookout, try your hand at making homemade pickles using zucchini, which is at its best and brightest during the summer. The squash are pickled in white vinegar and fresh dill along with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, celery seeds, and chile peppers. You can serve them right away, or let them marinate for up to one month.