Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer for many families around the country. All weekend kids will be jumping into the pool, families will be heading to the beach, and dads will be dusting off the BBQ grill. If you're hosting a summer kick-off party the one thing that you'll need is good food. While there are always the classics like BBQ ribs and macaroni salad, we've also rounded up our favorite quick and healthy Memorial Day recipes to try. Trust us, after making these dishes, you'll want to make them all summer long.
For even more ideas, check out 50 Amazing Summer Recipes You Have to Try.
Farro Caprese Salad
Caprese salads are one of our favorite easy dishes. Oh My Veggies is amping up the flavor and the nutritional value by adding in the ancient grain, farro, and basil-based vinaigrette.
Get the recipe from Oh My Veggies.
Grilled Chicken Fajita Kebabs in Under 30 Minutes
Kebabs are a great party food because they are portable and easy to make. Fit Foodie Finds also gives a tip to grill your limes and squeeze them over the cooked kebabs before serving for a tangy zip.
Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds.
Memorial Day Green Summer Wedge Salad with Tempeh Bits
The green dressing is the true star of this summer wedge salad from Healthy Happy Life. If you're not vegan you can swap the vegan mayo and tempeh for regular mayo and bacon too.
Get the recipe from Healthy Happy Life.
Watermelon and Mint Juice
Staying hydrated on warm summer days is important. This watermelon and mint juice from VeguKate will keep you feeling refreshed all day. You'll definitely want to follow the tip to strain the juice because the pulp left behind from the watermelon can be a weird texture.
Get the recipe from VeguKate.
Ribs are a Memorial Day must, but if you're inviting over some vegetarian or vegan friends you'll want to try to make these vegan ribs from My Darling Vegan. The sauce is what makes these so tasty, and you likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry already.
Get the recipe from My Darling Vegan.
Tropical Tequila Sunrise Popsicles
For a sweet treat just for adults try making tropical tequila sunrise popsicles from Real Food by Dad. If you do have kids running around at your party you could easily leave out the tequila for an under-21 crowd too.
Get the recipe from Real Food by Dad.
Crispy Baked Carrot Chips
Use up those carrots that are rolling around in your veggie drawer with this baked carrot chip recipe from Running to the Kitchen. The recipe has two variations, sweet and spicy, so you can make a bit of both for your guests.
Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.
Simple Homemade Chili Cheese Dip
There's nothing better at a party than dips, especially those with gooey cheese, like this one from Simple Green Moms. The addition of black beans to the dip makes it a little heartier and helps the dip to stretch farther.
Get the recipe from Simple Green Moms.
Citrus and Herb Marinated Feta
Feta cheese is a blank canvas for a lot of flavors. The citrus and herb marinated feta from Gourmand in the Kitchen will need to sit in your fridge for at least 24 hours before serving so be sure to plan your time before a party correctly.
Get the recipe from Gourmand in the Kitchen.
Rainbow Kale Slaw
Begin Within Nutrition has a fantastic dupe for Whole Foods rainbow kale slaw. The recipe requires a lot of slicing and chopping so be sure to set aside enough time for that and the one-hour period the slaw should rest in the refrigerator.
Get the recipe from Begin Within Nutrition.
5-Ingredient Strawberry Salsa
Salsa doesn't always have to be made with tomatoes, and Gimme Some Oven proves that with easy strawberry salsa. There is a bit of heat from a jalapeno, but if you cut out the seeds and membrane the spice level drops quite a bit.
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
Chocolate Eclair Cake
After a super savory feast, nothing is better than a sweet treat. Love from the Oven shared their favorite icebox cake that's inspired by a French pastry, the eclair. The no-bake dessert is so easy and is an instant crowd-pleaser.
Get the recipe from Love from the Oven.
Peach Swirl Cheesecake
If you live in an area where peaches are already starting to come in you're going to want to make this silky smooth cheesecake from Love & Olive Oil. The real secret to the dessert coming out perfectly is that all of the ingredients should be at room temperature.
Get the recipe from Love & Olive Oil.
Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Dragon Fruit Salsa
Taco bars are always a hit in the summertime. This recipe from Love & Olive Oil does have a few components, but you could easily buy your own taco shells and skip making your own to save some time.
Get the recipe from Love & Olive Oil.
Cowboy caviar has a few different iterations around the country, but we love the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything the most because it uses store-bought Italian dressing versus a homemade dressing for an easy shortcut.
Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
Fruit Pizza from Pinch of Yum is sure to be a hit with any kids coming to your house for Memorial Day. The pizza starts with a sugar cookie crust and cream cheese frosting, then you can pile on just about any fruit that you like.
Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.
Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw
While it might be a little more time-consuming than other recipes, Pinch of Yum's fried chicken sandwiches will be a major hit. Pan-frying the chicken makes cleanup easier than a deep fryer, and your friends can help with making the slaw or getting out toppings. Just lay everything out on a board and let your guests assemble their sandwiches themselves.
Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.
Guacamole with Frozen Peas
Frozen peas are super versatile, as seen with this guacamole with frozen peas recipe from Eating Bird Food. After blitzing the peas in a food processor they get added to a large bowl to be mixed with the other ingredients. Before you can set the dip on the table it's virtually devoured.
Get the recipe from Eating Bird Food.
Banana pudding is a southern staple at summer get-togethers. While the recipe from The Seasoned Mom does take a while, the majority of the time is when the banana pudding is setting up in the fridge. The time in the chill chest is vital to the dish coming out correctly.
Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.
Sweet Potato Cheddar BBQ Chicken Burgers
The BBQ chicken burgers from Ambitious Kitchen are kept juicy with the addition of sweet potatoes and plenty of melted cheddar cheese. Just be sure to follow their tip about making sure your ground chicken is at least 93% lean so the added fat can give flavor and keep the patty moist.
Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Skewers
This recipe from Lil' Luna is super easy and only has four ingredients. Wrapping the bacon around the asparagus can be a little time-consuming but if you have kids it's something they can help with too.
Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.
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