SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE!! And that means it’s time to buckle down and get a Memorial Day Menu squared away! Get ready – it’s everything you could possibly need for this weekends cook-out!
SUMMER DRINKS + COCKTAILS:
Skinny Margaritas – No Memorial Day menu is complete without a good drink or two. These are the best skinny margaritas out there – hands down, no questions asked.
Watermelon Tequila Punch – The most summer-y cocktail there is! Watermelon Tequila Punch with plenty and lime and mint to make it extra refreshing!
Blackberry Pineapple Smash – It’s a simple cocktail of muddled blackberries, clear rum, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice and a touch of mint. Easy as that.
Strawberry Basil Lemonade – A refreshing blend of homemade lemonade, fresh strawberries, and basil. Depending on who’s enjoying this with me, I’ll add a bit of vodka or just leave it non-alcoholic and add a splash of sparkling water and enjoy it over some ice. Either way it’s absolutely delicious.
Strawberry Peach and Rosé Sangria – This Strawberry Peach and Rosé Sangria is my go-to batch cocktail!
Loaded Guacamole – The KEY to any Memorial Day Menu! There must always be guacamole. ALWAYS.
Bruschetta Bar – Grilled bread, tons of vegetables, different kinds of sauces, meats, and various cheeses. It’s an easy Memorial Day appetizer to feed a crowd.
Queso Fundido – Ooey gooey melted cheese with smoky poblanos make the most amazing dip known to man.
Jalapeño Popper Dip – The best of a Jalapeño Popper in dip form! It’s easy to serve, you don’t have to assemble dozens of individual poppers, and it’s easy to skim off a little dip from the top before your guests arrive and cover up any evidence with some extra scallions. Definitely not speaking from experience…
Roasted Onion Dip – Loaded with caramelized onions, shallots, herbs, sour cream, Greek yogurt, fresh chives, and some of my favorite seasoning on earth, this roasted onion dip couldn’t be easier to whip up.
Spinach Dip with Tortilla Chips – The most incredible hot cheesy spinach dip you’ll ever make!
Fully Loaded Black Beans Nachos – These Fully Loaded Black Beans Nachos are a vegetarian’s dream. It’s all about these homemade re-fried black beans that get tossed with some chips and doused with cheese and salsa plus a few other odds and ends.
Melon Caprese Skewers – These Italian inspired Melon Caprese Skewers are the perfect bite-sized summer appetizer or snack!
Summer Charcuterie Snack Board – The summer charcuterie board of my dreams! There’s caperberries, roasted red pepper bruschetta, grilled artichokes, prosciutto, salami, sausage, olives, cheese, crostini, fruit, you name it.
Stone Fruit Cheese Platter – This Stone Fruit Cheese Platter will be a showstopper at any summer dinner party. It’s got cantaloupe, peaches, nectarines, apricots, prosciutto, burrata, feta, olives and more.
Summer Cheese Board – Cheeses, meats, cherries, nibbles, bits, bobs… it goes on and on and it’s my absolute FAVORITE way to start a party!
Watermelon Peach Salad – This Watermelon Peach Salad is loaded with cooling cucumbers, salty feta and some fresh mint!
Avocado Corn Salad – A bright herby Avocado Corn Salad with plenty of lime juice and a hint of garlic! This makes for the perfect summer side dish!
Watermelon Jicama Salad – The perfect no cook, easy to make, super delicious, perfect for a hot day kind of salad.
Burrata Tomato Salad – An updated spin on the classic caprese – but with burrata, a few homemade croutons and a healthy drizzle of basil vinaigrette
Cherry and Peach Panzanella – Peaches, cherries, freshly made croutons, burrata cheese, basil, lemon champagne vinaigrette. It’s quite simple, but that’s the beauty of it.
Butter Lettuce Salad – If you need a quick and easy salad that can go with literally any main course – look no further!
Grilled Summer Cobb Salad – There’s all sorts of grilled veggies like romaine, corn and asparagus, stone fruit, tomatoes and avocado! Slathered in my famous basil vinaigrette. What more could you want in a summer salad.
MEMORIAL DAY MAINS:
50/50 Mushroom Beef Burger – The star of the show for any Memorial Day menu. Fire up the grill and get the burgers going!! My spin on the classic is made with 50% ground beef and 50% finely chopped mushrooms and it’s truly the juiciest perfect burger of all times.
BBQ Baby Back Ribs – These are slowly cooked for a few hours in the oven and then finished off on the grill so by the time you take a bite, the meat is FALLING OFF THE BONE. They are also doused with this homemade Dr. Pepper spiked BBQ sauce that will make you weak in the knees.
Cheddar Jalapeno Chicken Burgers – It’s not only stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro and jalapeños, but it’s enhanced even more with the addition of guac, sour cream, and some pico. It’s incredible.
Pulled Pork Sliders – Throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning, toast some slider buns in the afternoon and then throw it all together when it’s time to eat. It takes absolutely zero concentration and you’re free to enjoy the party with your guests. What’s not to love?!
Caesar Salad Hot Dogs – Think of your favorite Caesar Salad piled up within a hot dog bun. It’s a trifecta of 1: perfectly grilled hot dog with 2: shredded lettuce mixed with a touch of Caesar dressing, and lastly 3: some parmesan crisps to add a little bit of pizzaz.
Parmesan Pretzel Dogs – Homemade soft pretzel dough that is embellished with a bit of Parmesan and Italian Seasoning that then gets wrapped around a hot dog and baked until it’s golden brown – AND THEN dunked in ketchup and or marinara sauce.
BBQ Nachos – These nachos are made on the BBQ. Because that’s how we roll. They are loaded with refried beans, tons of shredded cheese, chicken, corn, jalapeños, green onions, guacamole and sour cream. Then all of those toppings get piled up on some tortilla chips on top of a grill pan and then transfer it onto a grill and you’re golden.
Grilled White Pizza – I’m always looking for an excuse to make grilled pizza. White pizza is basically pizza without the red sauce. Instead I use a combination of olive oil and garlic and then top it with copious amounts of cheese and topped it all off with caramelized mushrooms, basil and red onions for some extra crunch.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Tomato Salad – One of my favorite ways to serve steak – Grilled Skirt Steak with Tomato Salad! Slice it up before serving for easy access for your guests.
Grilled Chicken with Avocado and Tomato – This grilled chicken is beyond. Marinated grilled chicken combined with a dreamy avocado tomato and corn salad is the most perfect summer bite.
Grilled Korean Chicken Skewers – These are a little sweet, a little spicy (just a tiny zip) and so succulent and moist…. omg. I’m into them! They are the perfect recipe to double or triple and serve to a crowd this summer! Don’t skimp on the scallions and lime juice as garnish, they give it even more flavor and balance out the subtle heat from the samba!
Yogurt Marinated Chicken Skewers – Now I know we’ve all heard of marinating chicken in yogurt… but these go so far beyond that!! The marinade is packed with crushed red pepper flakes, sweet paprika, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, garlic and lemon juice. It’s perfection.
Spicy Shrimp Tostadas – Perfectly spiced shrimp, crispy tortillas and some shredded lettuce and mango for a bit of texture!
Smashed Avocado Fish Tacos – The charred tortillas are the perfect base. The lime spiked avocado is basically my quick hack to a guacamole. The fish is seasoned to perfection and mind blowing flavorful. And then just top it all off with your favorite hot sauce of choice. SIMPLICITY at it’s finest.
MEMORIAL DAY SIDES:
German Potato Salad – Some kind of potato salad is mandatory on any Memorial Day menu in my opinion. My mom’s famous German Potato Salad is mygo-to. No mayo here – just bright flavors to compliment any main course!
Greek Potato Salad – If creamy potato salads are more of your speed then this one is for you.
Mexican Grilled Corn – Grilled corn brushed with mayo and then dusted with spices, lime juice and crumbled cheese… what’s not to love?
Basil Parmesan Grilled Corn – Rather than slathering the corn with mayo this time around, I brushed it with basil vinaigrette and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. It’s a side dish that’s packed with flavor and you’re for sure going to be obsessed.
Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette – Now, these aren’t just any grilled artichokes. They are steamed first, then brushed with some oil, and then grilled/charred to perfection and served with a lemon basil vinaigrette!
Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad – Pasta salad is another must-have side dish on any Memorial Day menu. And this Greek inspired Castelvetrano pasta salad is exactly what we all need as we inch our way towards summer.
Tomato Confit Pasta Salad – This is no boring pasta salad by any means, and it’s SO MUCH better than any mayo based pasta salads!
MEMORIAL DAY DESSERTS:
Strawberry Blueberry Shortcakes – These Strawberry Blueberry Shortcakes are one of my favorite patriotic desserts and I highly recommend adding them to your Memorial Day menu. Making them couldn’t be simpler. Homemade biscuits, a big dollop of freshly whipped vanilla infused chantilly cream, and macerated strawberries and blueberries is my idea of the perfect summer dessert.
S’more Pops – These S’more Cheesecake Pops are easy to make, perfect for summer entertaining and the BEST way to infuse s’mores into more desserts!
Browned Butter Thick and Chewy Crispy Rice Treats – Upping the ante with these Browned Butter Thick and Chewy Crispy Rice Treats.
Best Ever Brownie Recipe – The most fudgy and gooey homemade brownies. You won’t need another brownie recipe after this one.
Potato Chip and Pretzel Fudge – Potato Chip and Pretzel Fudge has the salty and crunchy quality that’s so often missing in fudge, and it requires less than 10 minutes of cook time.
Cheesecake Cookie Bars – Layers of homemade cookie dough and cheesecake mixed together results in the most decadent (but easy) Memorial Day dessert.
Snickerdoodle S’mookies – 2 snickerdoodle cookies with a toasted marshmallow and some chocolate sandwiched in between. Hence… a s’mookie. S’mores but with cookies. Game over.
Mixed Berry Peach Galette – The perfect summer dessert to serve with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream!
Grilled Peaches – Since you’ve got the grill already going you’ve gotta make grilled peaches. Grilling them brings out the flavor even more and you get little caramelized bits that are like little pieces of happiness. Add to that a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of sea salt and some ice cream – nothing can compare!
Banana Pudding Pie – Layers of thinly sliced bananas, freshly whipped cream, homemade vanilla pudding and wafers… omg it’s everything you’ve ever wanted in life and more.
If you’re looking for more recipe ideas check these out:
Memorial Day Recipes: Strawberry Blueberry Shortcakes
For the Shortcakes
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Strawberries + Blueberries
- 1 pound strawberries tops removed and sliced
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 pint blueberries
For the Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Biscuits
- Combine the flour, lemon zest, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds until everything is evenly combined.
- Add the butter and pulse for 20-30 seconds until the butter is cut into small pea sized chunks.
- Combine the cream and vanilla in small bowl.
- Add the cream mixture to the food processor and combine for 30 seconds until you have a dough.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and divide it into 9 equal portions, about 3 ounces each. Form each portion of dough into a biscuit about 3/4 inch thick.
- Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet lined with parchment and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
For the Strawberries + Blueberries
- Combine the sliced strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and set aside for at least 2 hours until the strawberries are juicy.
- Before serving, toss the marinated strawberries with the blueberries
For the Cream
- Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla bean until medium stiff peaks form and then set aside.
- Slice the biscuits in half and place the bottom half in a bowl. Top with a large spoonful of the fruit and a large dollop of the cream. Place the other half of the biscuit on top and serve immediately.