40 Fun Memorial Day Recipes – A Couple Cooks

Fire up the grill and celebrate the holiday with these Memorial Day recipes! From classic BBQ favorites to refreshing salads and desserts, find the perfect dishes for enjoying the day with friends and family.

Memorial Day recipes: grilled chicken salad on platter.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to celebrate than with a backyard barbecue or potluck? Every year, we fire up the grill and get ready to indulge in our favorite summer flavors!

This year we’ll be packing to travel out of the country, but we’ll still make a mini-feast. Here are all our favorite Memorial Day recipe ideas from our website for the holiday, created, tasted, and approved by the two of us and our family!

Types of Memorial Day recipes

When you think of Memorial Day recipes, there are a few categories of foods that fit into this holiday:

  • Grilled foods are a staple of any Memorial Day cookout. Think juicy burgers, grilled salmon or chicken, and veggie burgers or tofu. Grilled vegetables make great side dishes, like tender and smoky corn on the cob, asparagus, zucchini, and bell peppers.
  • Summer salads are a must-have. Refreshing and light, they offer a welcome contrast to the heavier grilled options. There’s everything from crisp green salads, pasta salads, potato salads, bean salads, and more.
  • Dips and finger foods make the meal fun. Whether you prefer creamy guacamole, spicy salsa, fruit skewers, or a classic hummus, these crowd-pleasers are perfect for snacking throughout the day.
  • Summer drinks are the most fun, like lemonade, iced tea, and infused water are all excellent choices. Or make summer cocktails like a watermelon mojito or a blueberry margarita.
  • Desserts go big on seasonal fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and peaches. Incorporate them into cobblers, pies, or simply enjoy them fresh with a dollop of whipped cream.

Our top Memorial Day recipes for the holiday!

More summer recipe inspiration

Memorial Day is all about summer salad, grilled items, fun frozen drinks, and fruit desserts! Here are a few more ideas for your holiday planning:


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This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! Mix up a batch as an easy side dish or quick lunch.

  • 8 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons (2 cups)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups baby arugula (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles (omit for vegan and add more salt)

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the cucumber and tomatoes, chop the sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and slice the onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt. Then whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Once the pasta is done, add it to the large bowl of dressing and toss with the chopped vegetables. Add the feta cheese and fresh ground black pepper and stir to combine. 
  5. Taste and add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve immediately. Stores up to 5 days refrigerated (leftovers taste great; allow to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more salt as necessary).

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

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