Easy Memorial Day Menu Ideas to Make at Your Backyard Barbecue
For an easy Memorial Day idea, honor our veterans and soldiers and signal the arrival of summer with dinner outside.
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.
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 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.
Get the recipe: Rosemary-Grapefruit Gin Cocktails
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.