Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember the brave men and women who gave their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is also a time to gather with family and friends and enjoy the start of summer. One of the best ways to celebrate this day is by hosting a backyard barbecue with delicious food. If you’re looking for easy Memorial Day side dishes to impress your guests, you’re in the right place. Here are some simple recipes that are perfect for your Memorial Day celebration.
1. Classic Potato Salad
Potato salad is a staple at any summer barbecue, and this classic recipe is a crowd-pleaser. Start by boiling potatoes until they’re fork-tender. Then, mix them with chopped hard-boiled eggs, diced celery, diced onion, and a simple dressing made of mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Chill the potato salad for a few hours before serving, so the flavors have a chance to meld together.
2. Grilled Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a summer classic, and grilling it adds a smoky flavor that takes it to the next level. Start by shucking the corn and brushing it with olive oil or melted butter. Grill the corn over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until it’s charred in spots and tender. Serve it hot, with extra butter and salt if desired.
3. Caprese Salad Skewers
Caprese salad is a refreshing and colorful side dish that’s perfect for Memorial Day. To make it easy to serve, skewer cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle the skewers with balsamic glaze for a sweet and tangy flavor.
4. Watermelon Feta Salad
Watermelon is a summer favorite, and pairing it with salty feta cheese makes for a delicious and unexpected flavor combination. Start by cubing the watermelon and tossing it with crumbled feta cheese, sliced red onion, chopped mint, and a simple dressing made of olive oil and lime juice.
5. Baked Beans
Baked beans are a classic side dish that goes perfectly with barbecue. Start by sautéing diced bacon until it’s crispy, then add diced onion and cook until it’s softened. Add canned baked beans, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Bake the beans in the oven until they’re hot and bubbly.
6. Grilled Vegetables
Grilling vegetables is a healthy and delicious way to add some variety to your Memorial Day spread. Start by slicing vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant into thin rounds. Brush them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until they’re tender and slightly charred.
7. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is a versatile and easy side dish that can be customized to your liking. Start by cooking pasta according to the package directions. Mix the pasta with chopped vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and diced bell peppers. Toss with a simple dressing made of olive oil, vinegar, and your favorite herbs.
8. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a classic party food that’s easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. Start by hard-boiling eggs and cutting them in half. Mix the egg yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish. Spoon the filling back into the egg whites and sprinkle with paprika.
9. Fruit Salad
A colorful and refreshing fruit salad is the perfect way to end a Memorial Day meal. Mix together a variety of fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, and grapes. You can also add a bit of sweetness by drizzling honey or a citrus dressing over the top.
10. Cucumber Salad
Cucumber salad is a light and refreshing side dish that’s perfect for a hot summer day. Start by slicing cucumbers thinly and tossing them with thinly sliced red onion and a simple dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add chopped dill for an extra burst of flavor.
Coleslaw is another classic side dish that pairs perfectly with barbecue. Start by shredding cabbage and carrots and mixing them with a simple dressing made of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add in chopped green onions or parsley for some extra flavor.
12. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is a simple yet delicious side dish that’s easy to make. Start by slicing a baguette or other bread into rounds. Brush the bread with olive oil and minced garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast the bread in the oven until it’s crispy and golden brown.
13. Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a comfort food that’s always a hit at parties. Start by cooking elbow macaroni according to the package directions. Mix the macaroni with a simple cheese sauce made of butter, flour, milk, and your favorite cheese. Bake the macaroni and cheese in the oven until it’s hot and bubbly.
14. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a healthier alternative to regular fries and are easy to make at home. Start by slicing sweet potatoes into thin wedges. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and any other seasonings you like, such as cinnamon or paprika. Bake the fries in the oven until they’re crispy and golden brown.
15. Brownie Skewers
End your Memorial Day celebration on a sweet note with these fun and easy brownie skewers. Start by cutting brownies into bite-sized pieces. Skewer the brownie pieces with strawberries, marshmallows, and any other fruits or treats you like. Drizzle the skewers with melted chocolate for an extra indulgent treat.
Hosting a Memorial Day barbecue can be a fun and rewarding way to celebrate the holiday. With these easy Memorial Day side dishes, you can impress your guests without spending all day in the kitchen. Whether you prefer classic dishes like potato salad and baked beans or more creative options like watermelon feta salad and grilled vegetables, there’s something for everyone on this list.
- Can I make these side dishes ahead of time?
Yes, many of these side dishes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them.
- Can I substitute ingredients in these recipes?
Absolutely! These recipes are meant to be flexible, so feel free to substitute ingredients to your liking.
- Are these side dishes suitable for vegetarians?
Yes, many of these side dishes are vegetarian-friendly. However, be sure to read the ingredients carefully to make sure they meet your dietary needs.
- How can I make sure my grilled vegetables don’t stick to the grill?
Make sure your grill is well-oiled before adding the vegetables, and don’t overcrowd the grill. You can also use a grill basket or skewers to make sure the vegetables stay in place.
- What other desserts can I serve besides brownie skewers?
You can serve a variety of desserts, such as fruit tartlets, ice cream sundaes, or even a simple fruit salad with whipped cream. Get creative and have fun with it!