Skip to content

58 Amazing Recipes for the Best Memorial Day Ever

Because we could all use a good cookout on the back porch right now.
Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Whether you're enjoying a cookout on the back porch or simply celebrating Memorial Day at home, you can still have a festive time thanks to our amazing list of Memorial Day recipes. From small bites to start with to burgers, cocktails, and even dessert, here are some of our favorite recipes to whip up for every type of summer cookout.

Small Bites

1

Shrimp and Mango Summer Roll

Healthy summer rolls
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The combination of the perfect lean protein; shrimp, with tangy-sweet mango, and a few crunchy strips of red pepper will make for seriously good eating! Adaptable and delicious, once you master the simple wrapping technique, feel free to fiddle with the filling and find your favorite combination of deliciousness.

Get our recipe for Shrimp and Mango Summer Rolls

2

Teriyaki Scallops Wrapped in Bacon

scallop wrapped bacon
Shutterstock

This recipe is also only a few ingredients, ones you might not think go well together, but the subtlety of the scallops is the perfect protein to pair with the complex bite of the teriyaki and let's be real, what doesn't taste great wrapped in bacon?

Get our recipe for Teriyaki Scallops Wrapped in Bacon

3

Spicy Potato Skins

Low-calorie spicy potato skins
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Filled with all sorts of delicious goodness, these spicy potato skins rival the ones that you typically order in restaurants, and are the perfect appetizers to share before a Memorial Day cookout!

Get our recipe for Spicy Potato Skins

4

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Vegetarian artichoke dip
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

For this appetizer, we use a flavorful olive oil-based mayo instead of the fat-filled alternative to cut calories and boost nutrition. Chiles bring some extra heat to the equation, while toasted wheat pitas work as super scoopers instead of the greasy chips you might be used to.

Get our recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip

5

Melted Brie with Vegetables

Vegetarian melted brie vegetables
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If cheese is the focus, surround it with a strong supporting cast. Brie is the unquestionable star here, but the sautéed vegetables add plenty of vital substance to our melted brie cheese recipe.

Get our recipe for Melted Brie with Vegetables

6

Oven-Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Healthy shrimp cocktail
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

In our version, we cut back on the salt by making a fiery homemade cocktail sauce and improve matters with the shrimp by skipping the pre-cooked store-bought kind (most of which are pretty disappointing tasting) in favor of quickly oven-roasting fresh crustaceans tossed in Old Bay seasoning. The only thing this recipe is missing is a frosty beer, but we had a feeling you might have a few waiting for you in the fridge.

Get our recipe for Oven-Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

7

7-Layer Dip

Healthy 7-layer dip
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You can serve this in one giant dish, but building separate layered servings in individual glasses (for a fancy effect, grab some martini or wine glasses) makes for a dramatic presentation and allows for all the double-dipping one could want.

Get our recipe for 7-Layer Dip

8

Cheese and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños

Healthy stuffed jalapenos
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

In this healthy stuffed jalapeños recipe, we pull back on quantity and add in quality ingredients that will pack a flavorful punch and harness the heat of the jalapeños, rather than slathering it in unnecessary fat and calories.

Get our recipe for Cheese and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños

9

Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

healthy stuffed dates
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sweet, salty, smoky, creamy: In a single bite, these tiny packages take you through the highest peaks of flavor country. Each bite containing a single, natural date, wrapped in delicious bacon and blue cheese.

Get our recipe for Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

Mains

10

Tuna Burger with Wasabi Mayo

Asian tuna burgers with wasabi mayo
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When topped with a spicy wasabi mayo, you'll get a burger that brings the heat in every bite. This is far from the basic burger you might be used to!

Get our recipe for a Tuna Burger with Wasabi Mayo

11

Turkey Sloppy Joe

Healthy turkey sloppy joes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The best part about sloppy joes is that everything you need is likely already in your pantry and spice cabinet, gathering dust, waiting for a chance to shine. Open a can, measure out a few spices (if you have children, employ them as your sous chefs), and you'll have a crowd-pleasing dinner on the table in about 15 minutes.

Get our recipe for Turkey Sloppy Joes.

12

A1 Swiss Burger

A1 swiss burger
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The United States is flush with quirky regional burgers, from the pastrami-topped burgers of Utah to the butter burgers of Wisconsin. Our favorite is the Midwestern smashed burger, which involves using a spatula to thwack a ball of ground beef into a thin patty while it cooks in a cast-iron skillet.

Get our recipe for A1 Swiss Burgers

13

Buffalo Wings

Healthy fiery buffalo wings
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Grilling or oven-roasting your wings, on the other hand, cuts fat significantly; it's also easier, cheaper (no quart of oil for frying), and (especially on the grill) tastier.

Get our recipe for Buffalo Wings

14

Copycat KFC Chicken Sandwich

copycat chicken sandwich kfc
Courtesy of MyProtein

Craving a KFC chicken sandwich right now? Don't worry, this recipe is going to satisfy that craving in an instant. We have a copycat KFC chicken sandwich recipe that's going to knock your socks off.

Get our recipe for Copycat KFC Chicken Sandwiches

15

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Paleo pulled pork sandwich
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Traditional North Carolina pulled pork is dressed with nothing more than a bit of spicy cider vinegar that's used to accentuate the meat's flavor, not mask it. We get back to the humble hog treatment and turn out a sandwich flush with flavor and light on calories.

Get our recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches

16

Gai Tod Thai Chicken Marinade

thai chicken marinade
Courtesy of Shayn Prapaisilp

Even though this recipe teaches you how to fry up chicken wings after they sit in the marinade, this marinade is also great for grilling, air-frying meats, vegetables, and much more.

Get our recipe for Gai Tod Thai Chicken Marinade

17

Southwest Turkey Burger

Low-calorie southwest turkey burger
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you're looking for a leaner burger that will satisfy that craving, this southwest turkey burger will do just that! Topped with a homemade chipotle mayo and pepper jack cheese, this burger is sandwiched between an English muffin and topped with a healthy amount of avocado.

Get our recipe for Southwest Turkey Burgers

18

Chicago Hot Dog

Low-calorie chicago dog
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Enjoy a classic Chicago dog at home with our easy-to-make recipe. Remember, no ketchup!

Get our recipe for Chicago Hot Dogs

19

Sliders

Low-calorie sliders 2 ways
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Because one slider recipe wasn't enough, we give you two, so you'll be able to deliver some huge flavor for a truly mini caloric price tag. They're great for appetizers, snacks, or even as the main event!

Get our recipe for Sliders

20

Sea Bass Packet

Paleo sea bass packet
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Why more people don't cook food in packets is one of the culinary world's great mysteries. Not only is it one of the healthiest, easiest ways to cook fish, chicken, and vegetables, but the abundance of flavorful steam trapped inside the packet means your food will still be delicious, even if you overcook it. Plus, there are no pots or pans to clean—just toss the foil in the trash and move on.

Get our recipe for Sea Bass Packets

21

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce

Healthy grilled chicken sandwich with chimichurri
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This grilled chicken sandwich delivers heroic flavor by employing chimichurri, an Argentine herb-based sauce that would make shoe leather taste like fine dining, along with a solid supporting cast of sweet peppers, sharp raw onions, and peppery greens.

Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce

22

Garam Masala Chicken Skewers with Fire-Roasted Jalapeño Dip

garam masala chicken skewers with dip on wood serving board
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

When the chicken breast pieces are cooked to perfection, with a slightly crispy exterior, they'll be impossible to resist. Add that to the spicy jalapeño dip, and you've got an appetizer that just might steal the focus of the whole meal.

Get our recipe for Garam Masala Chicken Skewers with Fire-Roasted Jalapeño Dip

Sides

23

Mac and Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Over the years, we've tested dozens of iterations of the classic—spiked with chiles, topped with bacon, toned down with non-fat cheese. However, we keep returning to this formula: a béchamel base, laced with extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, and finished with a bit of yogurt to give the sauce that perfect texture.

Get our recipe for Mac and Cheese

24

Kiwi, Cucumber, and Mango Salsa

summer salsa
Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha

Looking for a salsa recipe that's going to wow a crowd? Then this kiwi, cucumber, and mango salsa will do just that. Why? It's all because of this salsa's secret ingredient: kombucha!

Get our recipe for Kiwi, Cucumber and Mango Salsa

25

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Vegan sweet potato fries
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sweet potatoes have two big nutritional boons that regular potatoes lack: big doses of fiber and vision-strengthening vitamin A. Plus, the natural sugars found within them will intensify and strengthen when baked or roasted, and they pair just as perfectly with the fiery cayenne to make fries every bit as enjoyable as the ones that bathe in oil.

Get our recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Fries

26

Biltong Salad

biltong salad
Courtesy of Kalahari Biltong

Whether you need a side salad to add to the table for your Memorial Day cookout, or simply need something prep for lunches, this dried beef salad is perfect for both.

Get our recipe for Biltong Salad

27

Oven-Baked French Fries

Vegan crispy oven-baked fries
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The key here is washing the surface starch from the potatoes before baking, which helps encourage surface browning and crisping. The rosemary and Parmesan are nice touches, but the real star of this show is the spud itself. This side dish goes great with a steak and a side of spinach, a juicy burger, or better yet, a turkey burger.

Get our recipe for Oven-Baked French Fries

28

Southern-Style Biscuits

Low-calorie flaky southern biscuits
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

To keep the biscuit as healthy as possible while still producing a genuine, flaky, Southern-style treasure, we've cut out the shortening (trans fats are so 1990s), showed some restraint with the butter, and used low-fat buttermilk to bring moisture and tang to the mix.

Get our recipe for Southern-Style Biscuits. 

29

Caprese Salad

Vegetarian caprese tomato towers
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Make this caprese salad one of your go-to summer salads. It's great for appetizers or as a salad served at your Memorial Day cookout.

Get our recipe for Caprese Salad

30

Spinach Salad

Healthy spinach & goat cheese salad with apples & warm bacon dressing
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A great salad should be many things: sweet and salty, crunchy and tender. In short: a full exploration of taste and texture, but not at the cost of a whole meal's worth of calories. With the addition of caramelized apples, toasted pecans, and creamy goat cheese, this retro spinach salad finally achieves perfect harmony.

Get our recipe for Spinach Salad

31

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds

Healthy brussels and bacon
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Don't worry, we promise, the smoke of the bacon, the heat of the red pepper flakes, and the crunch of the almond will win over even the most stubborn veggi-phobe.

Get our recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds

32

Smoky "Baked" Beans with Bacon

Baked beans
Shutterstock

To preserve the health status of baked beans and simultaneously maximize their deliciousness, we mitigate the sugar surge and build flavor instead with a few of our all-time favorite foods and spices: cayenne, beer, and bacon. See what we mean about maximizing deliciousness? Yep, these smoky baked beans will be both healthy and addictive. Dig in!

Get our recipe for Smoky "Baked" Beans with Bacon

33

Potato Salad

Potato salad
Shutterstock

This version is about as classic as potato salad can get, except for the fact that we resist the urge to drown the vegetables in a viscous sea of mayo. Instead, the mayo is bolstered with Dijon and a tangy shot of vinegar. The result: a healthier potato salad that cuts nearly half the fat from the equation and still tastes like the picnic classic we all adore.

Get our recipe for Potato Salad

34

Smoked Paprika Potato Chips

smoked paprika potato chips on black plate with dipping sauce
Shutterstock

These chips aren't just considerably better for you than the standard supermarket fried variety, they're also about three times as delicious, thanks to the fresh potato flavor and a smoky touch from paprika. Eat them as a snack, or serve alongside a grilled steak or a burger.

Get our recipe for Smoked Paprika Potato Chips

35

Pickled Cucumber Salad

pickled cucumber onion salad
Shutterstock

This recipe resides in that small but happy space between side dish, condiment, and healthy meal. It's good enough to eat on its own, but it's also the type of punchy, assertive salad that can be served over a piece of grilled salmon, chicken, (or even steak) and you can even tuck it into your favorite a wrap or sandwich.

Get our recipe for Pickled Cucumber Salad

Drinks

36

Sauvignon Blanc Margarita

cupcake sauvignon blanc margarita
Courtesy of Cupcake Vineyard

Use up that leftover bottle of white in your fridge and make a sauvignon blanc margarita for your Memorial Day cookout.

Get our recipe for Sauvignon Blanc Margarita

37

Blackberry Sangria

Copycat Carrabbas Blackberry Sangria in two glasses with a pitcher
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

While sangria is a fun cocktail to enjoy at happy hour, it can be loaded with some hidden sugars. Between the juice, the simple syrup, and even the fruit, sangria tends to be higher in sugar compared to other cocktails or a glass of wine. So we found a way to make a healthier pitcher of sangria for your Memorial Day cookout so you can save that sugar count for dessert later!

Get our recipe for Blackberry Sangria

38

Bubbly Rose Kombucha Float

bubbly rose kombucha float
Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha

There really is nothing like a cold glass of rosé after a long summer day. If you find yourself getting bored of that usual bottle, why not make a summery cocktail with the same kind of flavor, but made with kombucha instead? And yes, you do float a scoop of vanilla ice cream in there!

Get our recipe for Bubbly Rose Kombucha Float

39

Rose Paloma Cocktail

cupcake rose paloma
Courtesy of Cupcake Vineyards

With this cocktail recipe, you're getting the best of both worlds. This rosé Paloma cocktail is the perfect drink to have on a hot, summery day

Get our recipe for Rose Paloma Cocktail.

40

Avocado Pineapple Margarita

Avocado margarita

Here's how to make this delicious margarita with all the Mexican staples you love—avocado, pineapple, lime, chili powder, and of course, tequila!

Get our recipe for Avocado Pineapple Margarita

41

Pimm's Cup

pimms cup cocktails
Courtesy of Taylor Arnold

Use up those leftover strawberries and can of ginger ale and make a Pimm's cup to sip on! Bonus points if you can garnish yours as beautifully as this.

Get our recipe for Pimm's Cups

42

Clover Club

the clover club cocktails
Courtesy of Taylor Arnold

If you're looking for a cocktail to impress, the clover club should be your go-to. This cocktail recipe calls for an egg white and a homemade raspberry syrup!

Get our recipe for Clover Club

43

Moscow Mule

moscow mule
Courtesy of Taylor Arnold

Whether served in a glass or a copper mug, Moscow mules are a great approachable drink that everyone can enjoy at the Memorial Day cookout.

Get our recipe for Moscow Mule

44

77 St. Mark

the 77 st mark cocktails
Courtesy of Taylor Arnold

An original cocktail made by a New York City bartender, the 77 St. Mark is made with tequila, Aperol, and green chartreuse.

Get our recipe for 77 St. Mark

45

Lucien Gaudin

the lucien gaudin cocktails
Courtesy of Taylor Arnold

Get our recipe for Lucien Gaudins

46

Berry Spicy Kombucha Cocktail

don Julio berry spicy cocktail
Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha

Looking for a cocktail that involves a little kombucha and tequila? Riberio provides a few drinks that do just that! To make this fruit drink, you need a great combination of strawberries and kiwis with spicy jalapeño.

Get our recipe for Berry Spicy Kombucha Cocktails

47

Jalapeño en Jalisco

jalapeno cocktail don julio
Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha

A mix of spicy and sweet, this cocktail is made with tequila and mezcal and is the perfect refreshing cocktail for a Memorial Day cookout.

Get our recipe for Jalapeño en Jaliscos

Sweet Treats

48

Apple Crumble

Apple crumble
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Not only do the oats and almonds give this dish a shot of fiber, healthy fat, and antioxidants you wouldn't find in a standard flour-based crumble, but the crunchy texture of the topping makes for a more rewarding contrast to the soft cooked apples.

Get our recipe for Apple Crumble

49

Kombucha Pina Colada Popsicles

kombucha pina colada popsicles
Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha

Sure, you could run to the ice cream truck and get your favorite treat, but why not make some popsicles at home? Especially if you can make them with a little bit of your favorite kombucha!

Get our recipe for Kombucha Pina Colada Popsicles

50

Vanilla Grilled Pineapple and Rum Sauce Sundae

Sundae with grilled pineapple and rum sauce
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Add a swirl of rum sauce and some toasted coconut to this grilled pineapple sundae recipe, and it's like having a piña colada, minus the hangover. It's like a vacation on a plate.

Get our recipe for Vanilla Grilled Pineapple and Rum Sauce Sundae

51

Fudgy Brownies

Low-calorie fudgy brownies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

With a restrained amount of butter and sugar and a dose of good, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, you're going to have a delicious square to devour, rather than a sweet treat that leaves you disappointed. This brownie may be low-calorie, but it's 100 percent the real deal.

Get our recipe for Fudgy Brownies

52

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthy oatmeal–chocolate chip cookies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The wonder of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies lies in the texture: a perfectly chewy interplay of butter-softened flour and baked oats, with a surprising jolt of chocolaty goodness. The oatmeal provides a great opportunity to bring a healthy ingredient to a dessert.

Get our recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

53

Grilled Apricots

Vegetarian grilled apricots
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

That small circle from the peach pit is practically screaming for a little scoop of yogurt or ice cream to go in it! This grilled peach recipe is filled with fiber, protein, and healthy fat—is about as good as dessert ever gets.

Get our recipe for Grilled Apricots

54

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Combining the delicious taste of apples with cranberries, oats, and walnuts, this dessert is pretty much fall in a bowl. Plus, you can make it in a pressure cooker, so there's not a lot of elbow grease (and dirty dishes) required. It's bound to be one of your favorite Memorial Day recipes to date.

Get our recipe for Apple-Cranberry Crisp

55

Triple Coconut Cream Pie

triple coconut cream pie on a white table with a slice missing
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Looking for a way to use up that can of light coconut milk? Try this coconut cream pie! This dessert recipe will satisfy any sweet tooth, and it will have every coconut fan savoring every delicious bite.

Get our recipe for Triple Coconut Cream Pie

56

Homemade Ice Cream

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

If you're looking for an easy dessert that will wow a crowd, this homemade ice cream recipe will do just the trick. Bring out all the sauces, sprinkles, and candy toppings, and you can have yourself the ultimate ice cream sundae extravaganza!

Get our recipe for Homemade Ice Cream

57

Milkshakes

finished milkshakes with straws
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Milkshakes on Memorial Day sound like the most American thing to indulge in! The trick to making thick milkshakes is your ice cream to milk ratio. You actually want to have more ice cream than milk in order for the milkshake to be thick and creamy. It's kind of an art, but once you get used to it, making it at home is a breeze—and rather addicting if I'm being honest here!

Get our recipe for Milkshakes

58

Fruit Pizza

Fruit pizza recipe slice ready to serve for dessert
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Did you know that the base of a fruit pizza is a giant sugar cookie? Yep, that's right! When you make a fruit pizza recipe, it's actually one large sugar cookie topped with icing and fruit. So making a fruit pizza recipe with glaze is actually easier than making pizza dough from scratch—simply because the "crust" is easier to put together. It's the perfect, colorful dessert to share during your Memorial Day cookout.

Get our recipe for Fruit Pizza

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!

0/5 (0 Reviews)
Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in recipe development, food, and diet coverage. Read more
Filed Under