The Best Outdoor Recipes to Make Memorial Day Weekend

Prepare to grill and appreciate nature on Memorial Day weekend! We’ve compiled our favorite tips and tricks for outdoor entertaining in the summertime, plus offer up a few of our favorite grilling recipes.

A collage of four images sharing Easy Grilling Menu items

Memorial Day weekend is coming up later this month, and like a good little food blogger, I wanted to put together a helpful article for y’all on Memorial Day entertaining, food and more.

While Memorial Day is a somber one as we reflect on the lives lost in wars and conflicts, the weekend also marks the unofficial start of summer.

Which, to me, means grilling some great food and (hopefully) sharing it with people I love.

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    Memorial Day food traditions

    Since Memorial Day weekend is often thought of as the unofficial start to summer, lots of folks fire up their grills and cook outdoors. We’re talking burgers, hot dogs and more.

    Whether they’re making hamburgers, hot dogs or other grilled entrees, it’s all about eating outside, enjoying the (hopefully!) beautiful weather while sharing food and memories with the people you love.

    A Juicy Lucy Burger is cut in half with the cheese oozing out of it.

    How to host a Memorial Day gathering

    Hosting is a pretty easy thing when you break it down into steps! 

    1. Choose the time and date of your gathering.
    2. Invite friends.
    3. Decide your menu. (Keep in mind that some of your guests might have different dietary requirements and diets than you do.)
    4. Go grocery shopping.
    5. Create your kitchen timeline.
    6. Be the host with the most!

    Also, you might want to check out How to Host a Backyard Barbecue (and Backyard Barbecue Essentials) if you’re planning to make barbecue this Memorial Day weekend. (Because, ahem, barbecue and grilling are different things.)

    A woman places a New York Strip Loin Steak onto a sizzling hot grill

    Some products you might want to entertain on Memorial Day Weekend

    Disclaimer: The links below are affiliate links. If you click through and take action, I will receive a small commission. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about the affiliate programs The Speckled Palate participates in.

    When you’re entertaining, you want to make things as easy as possible on yourself. When you’re entertaining outdoors, this is doubly so.

    While I would normally serve guests on our everyday dinner plates and glassware, an outdoor gathering is infinitely easier when you purchase the following items. Not only will you not have to fret about your nice glass products getting broken, but clean up will be easier, too.

    Cheeseburger kebabs on a platter, with Pinterest text

    Now… what recipes are good for grilling and serving outdoors?

    Check out the following, friend.

    Grilling and Outdoor-Friendly Memorial Day Weekend Menu

    Whenever Memorial Day weekend rolls around, we find ourselves outdoors, soaking in the sunshine and the good weather. We also find ourselves longing to eat outdoors and share these dishes with our friends.

    So, here's a fabulous menu of foods that work well together and that work well outdoors. Meaning—you don't have to keep them cold for long (or there are ways to keep them cold!)

    Memorial Day Weekend Grilled Entrees

    It's officially grilling season, which means we're going to fire up ours as often as possible starting on Memorial Day weekend. I've compiled several of our favorite entrees that are easy to serve for the family and for a crowd, if that's more your style.

    Memorial Day Weekend Side Dishes

    Since we're kicking off the summertime, these side dishes are fabulous for enjoying outside! Most are OK to sit at room temperature for a little while, and the ones that aren't... well... I'm sharing my tips and tricks as to how to make 'em work in the great outdoors.

    Memorial Day Weekend Desserts

    Because no Memorial Day weekend gathering would be complete without something sweet at the end of the day! These desserts are easy to make in advance, easy to transport and easy to enjoy in the great outdoors, too!

    Memorial Day Weekend Drinks

    Because no gathering is complete without drinks, I've compiled a few summery sippers that you and your guests will love!

    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. You know, years and years ago I visited some friends in New York state (as an Aussie teen, that was awesomely cool. My first trip to America!) and their mother made that Clementine and Ramen noodle salad. I still remember how amazing it was and how I had eaten nothing like it ever before (but then again, I hadn’t eaten a bagel either). It makes me feel warm and fuzzy to see it here! Hope that you had an amazing weekend of thankfulness for our freedom and your own warm feelings from spending time with those you love! xx

    2. How amazing is this!! I always love reading your blog! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    3. Whoa! All of that looks AMAZING!! Saving this for next weekend. We were off camping and had steak, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and ribs on the campfire. Yummy but my stomach hurt afterwards. lol

    4. What gorgeous photos! I always forget to plan posts in advance. For my “real” job I have to write articles and develop recipes about 6 months in advance, so you’d think I’d learn! hehe. That apple pie looks insane!!! I want a slice. Love the crust and those juicy apples. Mmm I’d like that for breakfast please!

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