Popular Memorial Day Foods: Delicious Ideas for Your Summer Cookout

popular memorial day foods

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. But for many Americans, it’s also the unofficial start of summer and a great excuse for a backyard barbecue or picnic with friends and family. If you’re planning to host a Memorial Day gathering, one of the most important things to consider is the food! Here are some popular Memorial Day foods to inspire your menu planning.

H1: Classic American Fare

Memorial Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate the all-American cuisine that we all love. From burgers and hot dogs to potato salad and apple pie, these classics are always a hit.

H2: Burgers

No cookout is complete without burgers! Whether you prefer beef, turkey, or veggie patties, there are endless ways to customize them with toppings like cheese, bacon, avocado, or grilled onions.

H2: Hot Dogs

Another beloved staple of any Memorial Day celebration, hot dogs can be dressed up or down depending on your tastes. Add some chili, onions, and cheese for a classic Coney Island dog, or go gourmet with ingredients like truffle oil or goat cheese.

H2: Potato Salad

Creamy, tangy, and loaded with carbs, potato salad is a must-have side dish. There are countless variations, but some popular ingredients include celery, red onion, hard-boiled eggs, and mustard.

H2: Apple Pie

End your meal on a sweet note with a slice of warm apple pie. Serve it a la mode with vanilla ice cream or cheddar cheese for a twist.

H1: Grilled Meats

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to grilling season, so it’s no surprise that meats are a big part of the celebration. Whether you prefer steak, chicken, pork, or seafood, there’s something for everyone.

H2: Steak

For a more upscale option, consider grilling some juicy steaks. Tenderloin, ribeye, and New York strip are all popular cuts, and can be seasoned with garlic, herbs, or a simple salt and pepper rub.

H2: Chicken

Grilled chicken is a versatile and healthy option that can be served in many ways. Marinate it in your favorite sauce or spice blend, skewer it with veggies for kabobs, or shred it for sandwiches or salads.

H2: Ribs

Messy but oh-so-delicious, ribs are a barbecue classic. Slow-cook them in a smoker or grill them with a sweet and smoky sauce for fall-off-the-bone goodness.

H2: Seafood

For a lighter option, seafood is a great choice. Grilled shrimp, salmon, or scallops can be paired with fresh herbs, citrus, or butter for a mouthwatering taste.

H1: Fresh Sides

To balance out all the meat and carbs, be sure to include some fresh and healthy sides. Not only will they provide some much-needed nutrition, but they’ll also add some color and texture to your plate.

H2: Grilled Vegetables

Grilling isn’t just for meat! Vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers can be sliced and cooked on the grill for a charred and smoky flavor. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice for a burst of acidity.

H2: Fruit Salad

A colorful fruit salad is a refreshing addition to any cookout. Mix and match your favorite fruits like watermelon, pineapple, and berries, and toss with a honey-lime dressing.

H2: Corn on the Cob

Nothing screams summer quite like fresh corn on the cob. Grill it or boil it, and slather it with butter and salt for a simple but satisfying side dish.

H2: Caprese Salad

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated side, try a Caprese salad. Layer ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.

H1: Desserts

No celebration is complete without something sweet! Here are some dessert ideas to satisfy your guests’ sweet tooth.

H2: Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Set up an ice cream sundae bar with all the fixings, like sprinkles, hot fudge, whipped cream, and cherries. Let your guests create their own perfect dessert.

H2: S’mores

Gather around the campfire and make some classic s’mores. Marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate are all you need for this crowd-pleasing treat.

H2: Strawberry Shortcake

Light and fluffy, strawberry shortcake is a summer classic. Top some biscuits or pound cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream for a delicious dessert.


Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember those who have served our country, but it’s also a time to gather with friends and family and enjoy some delicious food. From classic burgers and hot dogs to grilled meats and fresh sides, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. Add in some sweet desserts, and you’re sure to have a Memorial Day feast that everyone will enjoy.


  1. What is the most popular Memorial Day food?

Burgers and hot dogs are arguably the most popular Memorial Day foods in the United States.

  1. What sides go well with grilled meats?

Grilled vegetables, fruit salad, and coleslaw are all great sides to balance out the meaty flavors.

  1. What’s a unique dessert idea for Memorial Day?

An ice cream sundae bar is a fun and customizable dessert that everyone will love.

  1. Can I make these dishes ahead of time?

Many of these dishes can be prepped or cooked ahead of time, making it easier to host a stress-free gathering.

  1. What drinks should I serve with these dishes?

Lemonade, iced tea, and beer are all popular options to quench your guests’ thirst.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *