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Memorial Day Recipes
This is the weekend many of us, particularly in Minnesota, literally crave all year: the start of summer. Around here, nobody waits until the calendar says it is officially summer; instead, we’re ready to rock our grilling game the minute snow melts for the season. All that to say: prepare your taste buds for the most patriotic cookout party yet. These Memorial day recipes will have your neighbors begging for an invite – we’ve got everything from crisp salads to savory main dishes to luscious desserts. Let’s dive in and give your taste buds a holiday to kick off the summer with.
When it comes to hosting a cookout, one of the most exciting aspects is undoubtedly the appetizers. These tantalizing bites set the stage for a delicious and memorable meal, preparing the taste buds for the meal to come. From savory finger foods to refreshing dips, cookout appetizers are the perfect way to kick off a gathering filled with laughter, good company, and amazing flavors.
- Peach Caprese Salad
Here’s a delectable twist on the classic caprese salad. It’s sweet, tangy, and succulent all at once. Not to mention it’s ridiculously easy.
- Avocado Salsa
This is one of our favorite go-to appetizer recipes, as it’s easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time, and is always well received.
- Mango Salsa
We absolutely love this mango salsa, with its tropical sweetness and refreshing flavors!
- Watermelon Salad Recipe
Come late May, watermelons abound. This is a fabulously refreshing way to serve up everyone’s favorite summer fruit.
As friends and family gather around, one thing that steals the spotlight at these backyard parties is the main dishes. Cookout main dishes are the crowning glory of any outdoor gathering, boasting an array of mouthwatering options that has something for everyone. From juicy burgers and tender ribs to succulent steaks and flavorful grilled chicken, these easy dishes transform an ordinary cookout a simply extraordinary experience. The main dishes at a cookout are more than just food; they bring out the spirit of summer, ushering people together to celebrate good company and great food.
- Grilled Pork Chops
These savory pork chops are truly special – they’re easy enough for weeknight meals, yet will bring you praises around the gathering table.
- Grilled Chicken Thighs (with the Best Marinade)
This is the only grilled chicken thigh recipe you’ll ever need, as the marinade is finger-licking amazing.
- Grilled Shrimp Kabobs (Skewers)
If seafood is your vibe, or you have eaters who appreciate succulent shrimp, just make this. It’s 100% tender and flavorful.
- Asian Chicken Skewers
If you want chicken skewers at the party, look no further than these mouthwatering kabobs.
- Marinated Ribeye Steaks
If you want your steaks to shine, they simply must be marinated in the right sauce – the flavors here are magnificent.
- Perfect, Smoky Pulled Pork (Slow Cooker)
If your grill is busy with burgers, you can absolutely make amazing pulled pork in the slow cooker!
- Asian Burgers with Sriracha Mayo
Up your burger game with this scrumptious twist, with huge flavors! Feel free to use regular buns as well.
Tossed with an assortment of colorful, vibrant vegetables, crunchy toppings, and drizzled with tantalizing dressings, they elevate the cookout experience to new heights. Crispy green salads not only provide a healthy and nutritious option but also add a touch of elegance and freshness to any outdoor gathering.
- Best Creamy Caesar Salad Recipe
This is hands-down the BEST Caesar salad – once you taste this homemade version, you’ll immediately taste the difference.
- BBQ Ranch Chopped Chicken Salad
The creamy BBQ ranch dressing is perfection over this crispy salad – you can easily make it meatless, if you prefer.
- Easy Chopped Greek Salad
This super easy Greek salad is crispy, fresh, and flavorful!
- Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)
If you’ve never tastes Esquites, be prepared to be wowed. Every time we make this, we come home with an empty dish.
- Strawberry Avocado Caprese Salad Recipe
Is there any other salad prettier? This one’s as delicious as it is beautiful.
- Chinese Chicken Salad
This is the ultimate crowd-pleasing salad, with its crunchy greens and fragrant sesame ginger dressing.
Pasta Salads & Potato Salads
Whether served as a main course or a side dish, pasta salad offers a balance of heartiness and lightness, making it a welcomed addition to any cookout spread. So, as you prepare to celebrate and share good times with friends and family, let the goodness of pasta salad transform your gathering into a feast of flavors and textures.
- Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe
If there are any Caesar salad lovers in your group, they’ll love this pasta salad with the same delectable flavors.
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken
With or without chicken, this pasta salad has all the flavors any cookout gathering needs.
- Easiest Summer Italian Pasta Salad
This one is both simple yet flavorful, and can be made ahead of time.
- Asian Pasta Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
We adore this Asian pasta salad, reminiscent of Chinese chicken salad, but made with pasta instead of chicken!
- Tortellini Pasta Salad with Pesto Sauce, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella
Rich with tomatoes and pesto, this tortellini pasta salad is bursting with summer flavors.
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad (L&L BBQ Copycat)
There’s no mac salad like this one – it’s the one that made L&L BBQ chain famous for its macaroni salad.
- Easy Ranch Potato Salad
This one is hands-down the winner of all potato salads – it’s easy and ridiculously tasty!
- Potato Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
It’s hearty, satisfying, and simple – everything a cookout potato salad should be.
Whether enjoyed at a picnic in the park, a backyard barbecue, or a leisurely gathering in the sunshine, summer desserts bring smiles, laughter, and a touch of sweet to every get-together, all season long.
- Strawberry Icebox Cake (No Bake!)
This no-bake icebox cake brings out the best in lush strawberries of the season!
- Lemon Icebox Cake (No Bake!)
If a sweet tanginess suits your taste buds, this simple lemony dessert is just the ticket.
- Strawberry Ice Cream
It’s crazy easy to make your own creamy ice cream all summer long! Once you try this, your eaters will be begging for more.
- Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe
There’s no better way to start the summer season than this fresh, luscious strawberry pie.
- Sweet Cherry Pie Recipe
Don’t let the cookout season pass you by without serving up this delectable cherry pie!
- Peach ‘n Blueberry Crumb Bars
These dessert bars literally shout that summer is here; they’re wonderfully delicious.
- Fresh Peach Crisp
Peaches are the ultimate summer fruit; make the most of them with this irresistible peach crisp.
- Easy Fresh Raspberry Cake (9 Ingredients)
This fresh raspberry cake is weeknight-easy, yet impressive enough for all your summer gatherings.
Did you make this?
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4th of July: Strawberry Caprese
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, good quality, thicker is better
- 1 cup mozarella pearls, extra-mini size*
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, seeded and halved
- 1 cup strawberries, ripe, hulled, halved
- 1 large avocado, semi-rip, diced and sprinkled with lime juice
- ½ cup basil, freshly torn, leaves only
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: honey roasted almonds or other nuts, chopped or slivered
- Balsamic Reduction: In a small saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Boil and stir 3-4 minutes or just until liquid is reduced by about half; should be thick and syrup-like. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool to room temp.
- Toss: When ready to serve, add all remaining ingredients to a large platter or bowl, folding very gently with rubber spatula. Add kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, sprinkle with almonds if desired, and serve immediately.
- Slice the avocado last, prior to serving, and sprinkle with lime juice in order to prevent browning.
- If you can’t find mozzarella pearls, you can use a large, fresh mozzarella ball and cut it into bite-size pieces.
- Caprese salad is best when tossed and served immediately. Be sure all ingredients are chilled prior to slicing/combining.
- Balsamic reduction can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered at room temperature.
- If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡