16 Best Memorial Day Recipes for Any Gathering

I always say my favorite season is the one we’re headed into. There’s nothing quite like cool, calm autumn days and I love watching the world wake up again come spring (and the warmth of winter – well, like no other). With so much to look forward to, I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the days ahead, and there’s nothing better than catching up on my seasonal bucket list. With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that one of my favorite (long) weekend getaways is at the end of May. It’s the easy, sweet epitome of summer, and with some tried-and-true Memorial Day recipes in your rotation, there’s nothing to stop you starting the season with a gathering to remember.

While Mondays are often worth a collective sigh and start the slow transition into the work week, Memorial Day is one of the few exceptions to which this rule no longer applies. I’m happy sleeping and waking up to a day that turned into summer right before my eyes. It’s sunny and light – it’s the kind of carefree magic that makes up for warm weather days.

So let’s soak up all the goodness of summer and start designing our Memorial Day dream list. Whether you’re hosting a crowd, entertaining friends, or just you and your family – sit back, relax, and indulge in the deliciousness below.

Featured image by Belathee.

picture of Michelle Nash

Memorial Day Drinks

Lavender Lemonade from The Cookie Rocky

Why we love it: Find out the most refreshing drinks of the summer of 22. If designing your tablescape is at the top of your interest, then this will definitely be fun. The light, yet stunning, vibrant floral can be enjoyed without alcohol or drizzled with a drizzle of vodka (or really, whatever you think tastes best).

Main ingredient: Dried lavender infuses your simple syrup with a sweet, almost spicy flavor, creating the perfect contrast with lime juice.

Get the Lavender Lemonade recipe.

Agua Fresca from Downshiftology

Why we love it: It doesn’t get much simpler (but at the same time more delicious) than agua fresca. All this recipe calls for is mixing the chopped fruit of your choice with water, citrus juice, and a little something to sweeten things up. Because although the kitchen may be my happy place, I prefer enjoying the sun outside with a delicious drink in hand.

Main ingredient: Because this recipe contains three ingredients (four, if you’re counting the water), the fruit is the standout star. As such, be picky with the flavor you want to shine through. my favorites? You can’t go wrong with strawberries or papaya.

Get the fresh water recipe.

strawberry rosé sangria

Why we love it: When Michelle, executive producer at Camille Styles, first credited the site with this amazing sangria, I immediately added it to my list of summer must-haves. After all, what’s better than a bottle of rosé but a pretty rose-colored wine infused with fresh fruits and herbs?

Main ingredient: You may add more ingredients to the mix, but it’s still essential to choose a good bottle of rose. Michelle notes that slightly acidic dry bottles are best. Let it point you in the right direction.

Get the recipe for Strawberry Rosé Sangria.

picture of Michelle Nash

Memorial Day Appetizer

Burrata with pesto and figs

Why we love it: Everyone loves an easy four-ingredient appetizer (including the writer). But what do I love the most? Snack on figs at their elusive peak of freshness. While the dried versions keep me off-season, there’s nothing better than drenching your teeth in its soft, strikingly colored interior and savoring its sweet, honey-sweet flavour. The only way to improve the spirited experience? Make this dish, stat.

Main ingredient: Search high and low for burrata. It’s worth the chase.

Get the recipe for Burrata with Pesto and Figs.

Summer Crudités with Classic Ranch

Why we love it: There’s a reason the commercials for Hidden Ranch depict a rural setting, where pastoral hills paint TV screens across America. Vegetable and farm embodies summer at its best, and this elevated version takes your herding to the next level. Arrange a pan of toast on a board (crunchy peppers and sun-ripe tomatoes recommended). From there, immerse yourself in your heart’s content.

Main ingredient: In my experience, the more dill the plantation, the more irresistible the dip. If you prefer fresh dill, increase the amount from 1 teaspoon dried to 1 tablespoon fresh. I wouldn’t blame you if you chose more.

Get the recipe for Summer Crudités With Classic Ranch.

Guacamole is easier than eating bird food

Why we love it: Everyone has a go-to guacamole recipe that they swear by. Some keep it simple and smooth with nothing more than avocado and some spice while others like it chunky thanks to some tomato or charred corn. I love that this keeps things traditional while throwing a little spice into the mix. And don’t sleep on coriander – it’s a must.

Main ingredient: Better than coriander? Red onion adds a sneaky sharp pungency.

Get the recipe for Easy Guacamole.

picture of Michelle Nash

Memorial Day Salads + Side Dishes

Watermelon and Tomato Caprese Salad

Why we love it: This twist on the classic caprese salad is all about color…and flavor…and crunch. Seriously, there’s nothing more satisfying than drenching your teeth in a cool cube of watermelon and receiving a spool of creamy boconcini (that’s a little ball of mozzarella, for you) for the next bite. You may encounter some skeptics, but they will be convinced after the first fork.

Main ingredient: Nothing keeps things fresh and peppery like a handful of basil leaves.

Get the recipe for Watermelon and Tomato Caprese Salad.

Grilled Peach and Asparagus Salad with Spicy Pepitas, Cashew Mozzarella, Goji Chipotle Sauce

Why we love it: Camille is quick to notice this during this recipe includes My favorite summer fruit (juicy, ripe peaches) this is a far cry from old-fashioned fruit salads. As you celebrate the start of summer, this salad will remind you of all the good things of the season that you should look forward to. It’s sweet, savory, and has a bit of a smoky flavor. In other words, perfect.

Main ingredient: The Goji Chipotle Dressing combines an array of unexpected ingredients (goji berries, dates, and chipotle powder) into one deliciously balanced salad.

Get the recipe for Grilled Peach and Asparagus Salad with Spicy Pepitas, Cashew Mozzarella, and Goji Chipotle Sauce.

Classic Caprese Salad from Love & Lemons

Why we love it: For those who like to keep it classic. There is nothing easier or screams summer more than this favorite Italian restaurant. While you can always be consistent with one tomato variety, choosing a bright, beautiful heirloom mix will have all of your guests gasping for joy.

Main ingredient: While the three main ingredients (mozzarella, basil, and tomato) contribute equal value, to me, it’s really about a fruit drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Get the classic Caprese salad recipe.

Tomato, avocado and cucumber salad with feta cheese

Why we love it: Hello beautiful salad of the night, where have you been all my life? Seriously, as a lover of a good mix of pink and green, this aesthetic build-up of products has my heart. Delicious cake and creamy avocado, plus fresh herbs and pickled red onions. I’ll eat this between now and Labor Day.

Main ingredient: Honey vinegar adds a little sweetness you didn’t know you needed, but you’ll appreciate very much.

Get the recipe for Tomato, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad with Feta Cheese.

picture of Michelle Nash

Main Dishes on Memorial Day

Salmon, Coriander and Lemon with Mango Dressing from Half Baked Harvest

Why we love it: There are a million and one ways to cook and season salmon (seriously, we’ve tried—and succeeded). But there’s just something about garnishing your fish with a bright, fruity sauce that makes me really swoon. The fillets are rubbed with a generous layer of chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, giving everything a welcoming heat to offset the sweetness of the salsa. This salmon, reimagined for summer.

Main ingredient: Memorial Day for All could be used as a simple reference to the tropics. Mango is what happens.

Get the recipe for Cilantro Lime Salmon with Mango Salsa.

Down Shiftology Grilled Shrimp with Garlic

Why we love it: When the end of May comes around, I immediately pull my skewers out of storage (yes, I keep my seasonal barbecue gear in the winter) and write a list of all the recipes I’m thrilled to try. Are these shrimp skewers? Sit up straight in spot #1. The flavor is bright and garlicky, while grill time keeps the shrimp fresh and fresh. I will happily use the seasoning with a spoon.

Main ingredient: Is it just me or is parsley an underrated herb? This recipe gives it the spotlight it deserves.

Get the recipe for Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers.

Chimichurri Fish Tacos

Why we love it: We’re big fans of tacos here (the majority of the team is in Austin, after all) and we know a thing or two about what makes a taco taco. Pay close attention to the tortillas, your protein should be well seasoned, and your toppings should be well-rounded with spice, flavor, and freshness. These are fish tacos? Check, check, check.

Main ingredient: A simple yet distinctive recipe, made even better with a tablespoon of homemade chimichurri.

Get the recipe for Chimichurri Fish Tacos.

Memorial Day Sweets

Gluten Free Lemon Bars

Why we love it: When life gives you lemons, ignore the fact that you’re not gluten-free and make these amazing lemon bars anyway. It’s a sweet summer dessert that at first glance may seem unassuming, but it’s full of spicy, sweet flavor. Try to eat only one. I dare you.

Main ingredient: The graham cracker crust fills every bite with nostalgia.

Get the recipe for these gluten-free lemon bars.

Gluten Free Strawberry Cake

Why we love it: It’s not summer without a little strawberry cake in your baking arsenal. Although many gluten-free versions have failed, this recipe manages to preserve the thin, golden, and crunchy inner crust. And if you’re looking for the life-changing hack to help you achieve perfectly circular shortcuts – well, you’ll have to click to find out.

Main ingredient: Spiced strawberries benefit from the best summer berries.

Get the gluten-free strawberry cake recipe.

Raspberry and cream layer cake

Why we love it: Although I love the opulence and amazing height of any of the cake layers, sometimes they just aren’t worth it. this beauty soooo Much simpler than it sounds, and it retains all the (accessible) artwork of its more complex cousins.

Main ingredient: The trio of raspberries, blackberries, and raspberries are daydreams of Americana.

Get the raspberry and cream cake recipe.

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