For an easy Memorial Day idea, honor our veterans and soldiers and signal the arrival of summer with dinner outside.

By Sarah Martens
Updated April 02, 2021
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Show gratitude for the freedom that soldiers have fought for by celebrating Memorial Day with your family. Share easy Memorial Day recipes and enjoy the barely-there summer weather. We have everything you need to enjoy spending time together. The day will go smoothly with our easy make-ahead menu and our fun family game ideas. This year, try serving our new take on grilled burgers (with a peanut butter sauce!) or whip up a batch of key lime pie cupcakes.

4th of July fruit holders
Credit: James Baigrie

Our No-Fail Memorial Day Menu

These easy party-ready recipes are perfect for an outdoor summer dinner. We've added creative twists to classic summer dishes like burgers, salad, and grilled corn.

Rosemary-Grapefruit Gin Cocktail
Credit: Blaine Moats

Rosemary-Grapefruit Gin Cocktails

Put that fresh herb garden to good use. These sweet-tart drinks are a great way to start the party, and they only take a few minutes to prep. Make the rosemary syrup the night before.

Watermelon-Mint Salad in small glass jars
Credit: Blaine Moats

Watermelon-Mint Salad

Snag a sneak peek of summer's fresh flavors with this watermelon salad perfect for your Memorial Day menu. It's super simple to make and only calls for five ingredients. Make and chill up to four hours before serving.

Get the recipe: Watermelon-Mint Salad

Peanut Butter Burgers
Credit: Matthew Clark

Peanut Butter Burgers

Your family will love these oh-so-juicy grilled burgers. The secret? Peanut butter tucked inside the burger mix prior to grilling. Finish the burger with the classic toppings and a generous spread of peanut butter.

Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Burger

Barbecue Jackfruit Sandwiches
Credit: Matthew Clark

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

These faux-BBQ sammies will please vegetarians and carnivores alike. Their meaty taste comes from shredded jackfruit and barbecue sauce. Serve it with sliced red onions for a little heat.

Get the recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

A summertime staple and must-have Memorial Day dish, pasta salad is the perfect picnic side. Try this dressed-up version with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. It has all the flavors of your favorite sandwich plus a tangy sour cream dressing.

Get the recipe: BLT Pasta Salad

Padma's Grilled Corn
Credit: John Kernick

Padma's Grilled Corn

Corn on the cob is perfect for any Memorial Day menu. It's portable, grillable, and oh, so flavorful thanks to lemons, smoked paprika, and fleur de sel. Serve the grilled corn warm.

Get the recipe: Padma's Grilled Corn

Ice Cream Tacos

Ice Cream Tacos

This fun (and easy-to-make) treat deserves a place on your Memorial Day desserts table. Upgrade a basic ice cream sundae by making waffle-cone "taco shells." Then let family members create their own masterpieces by setting out different flavors of ice cream and toppings.

Get the recipe: Ice Cream Tacos

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes
Credit: Matthew Clark

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Enjoy a Memorial Day cupcake that's sweet-but-tart. These cute Key lime cupcakes are filled as well as frosted and feature a decadent graham cracker crust.

Get the recipe: Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Girl playing bean bag game
Credit: Kate Mathis

Fun Family Entertaining Ideas

Casual entertaining in the backyard is one of the joys of summer. These fun outdoor game ideas let family members entertain themselves on a whim.

  • Set up activity stations to encourage spontaneous fun. Think croquet, badminton, volleyball, or bocce ball ($30, Walmart).
  • For the kids (and the kids at heart), set out Hula-Hoops, sidewalk chalk, water balloons ($18 for 280, Walmart), music, and more.
  • Arrange some chairs in the shade, and have a tub filled with beverages to beat the heat. If you live in a hot and sunny climate, consider a kiddie pool ($10, Target) for instant cool-offs.


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