If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a reason to gather and celebrate. Memorial Day is almost here, and with any luck, the weather will be brilliant. It’s time to dust off all of the backyard fixtures, grab your loved ones, and head outdoors to celebrate. This is definitely the holiday to get out of the kitchen and relax in the sun while the grill does all the work, so why don’t you try a whole dinner on the BBQ? It doesn’t matter if you have a tiny little dome charcoal grill or a giant poolside island grill, you can prepare a whole family meal on the BBQ if you’re smart about space. Just employ the gang’s best grill master and you’ll be munching a balanced supper in no time. Read on for some great Memorial Day Grilling Recipes.
In honor of Memorial Day, I’ve included some of my favorite BBQ recipes. There is sure to be something for everyone on this roster!
Memorial Day Grilling Recipes
Let’s start with the main component: the meat. I always lean toward chicken at family functions, and you can do anything from boneless skinless breasts to leg quarters to a whole bird with this delicious bourbon BBQ sauce. Don’t worry, all of the alcohol cooks off and leaves a wonderfully smoky flavor that all ages will love.
If you’re more of a ribs clan, this sweet cola rib recipe from Gina and Pat Neely is definitely a crowd pleaser. If steak is your jam, you’ll definitely love this grilled ribeye that’s brightened up with a lovely chimichurri sauce.
If your style is burgers and dogs, do burgers and dogs. If you want to switch up your routine, try preparing classic onion burgers, which are seasoned with a packet of French onion soup mix. If you want to get extra fancy, stuff them with this homemade filling I use for burgers, chicken, and pork chops:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz sharp cheddar, grated
3 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp onion powder
Finely diced jalapeno or habanero pepper (optional)
Blend everything together until smooth and then stuff a small amount into the center of each burger before sealing. Sometimes I mix it up by using smoked gruyere or chipotle cheddar, but you can use any cheese you like.
Think about setting up a Hamburger Bar at your next bbq party.
Just have all the fixings out for your guests to make the ultimate grilled hamburger. Have fun include things like avocado, cooked mushrooms, cheeses and bacon to name a few.
While any of these recipes are worthy of a Memorial Day cookout, you might be in the mood for something different. Did you know that you can grill pizza? This could be a fun and different experience, and the whole family can pitch in on the preparation!
Now on Memorial Day Grilling Recipes side dishes. One of the easiest and best things to make on the grill is corn. When I prepare corn on the grill, I don’t husk it first. I just soak all of the cobs in water for about an hour before hand, and then you can grill them on the husk sans foil without worrying about them burning.
Now all you need is some butter, salt, and pepper. However, the adults might enjoy a nice chipotle cream sauce over it. Just crack open a can of chipotle in adobo and mix 1-2 peppers with a pint of cream in a blender or food processor and heat it up before serving. You can also try state fair corn, which is where you slather the cob in mayonnaise, roll it in grated parmesan cheese, and squirt on a little lime juice. It sounds weird, but if you’re brave enough to try it, you won’t regret it.
Baked beans are another great BBQ side dish that can actually be prepared on the grill. Just put them in a cast iron dish, a dutch oven, or even a metal pan, cover, and place directly on the grate until hot and bubbly. You can use your favorite brand, or try this classic recipe (with double the bacon, of course.)
You’ve got to eat your veggies, which is great because so many veggies do so well on the grill, and there’s so much in season right now. You can stick with something simple like asparagus, or slice up any mix of your favorite hearty vegetables. Some of the best for the grill are: zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, onions, bell peppers, carrots, parsnips, sugar snap peas (in the pod,) and cherry tomatoes. But, if you use tomatoes, don’t add them until the last ten minutes of grilling. Make these easy veggie kebabs for a crowd pleaser.
You can make thick, hearty slices and put them directly on the grill, or julienne them, mix them up, and place them in a tin foil pouch. Either way, this marinade is perfect for grilled veggies:
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh (or ½ tablespoon dried) minced basil
2 tablespoons fresh (or ½ tablespoon dried) rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh (or ¾ teaspoon dried) thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk everything up and marinade the veggies for a half hour before grilling. They’re done when they’re slightly soft but not floppy.
You can snag up some rolls to go with the meal, or you can try this recipe, which is very near and dear to my heart. When I was 7, I got my first cookbook (for kids) for Christmas, and I’ve been a foodie ever since. This is my favorite recipe from that book. I made it at every BBQ function we had growing up, and I still sometimes make it for my family today. It’s called a gooey cheese loaf, and it goes like this:
1 loaf of French Bread
10 slices American cheese
½ cup butter
⅓ cup onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat to low-medium and sauté until the onions are translucent. Definitely keep that heat down, or your butter and garlic will brown. Make ten slices in the bread, almost all the way to the bottom, so the loaf still holds together. Place the loaf on a large sheet of foil and brush the butter/onion mixture in between each slice. Then, fold each piece of American cheese in half and place one into each slice. Drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the loaf, wrap it up tightly in foil, and place on the upper rack (or the outside of a lower rack) of the grill. Cook for 8-15 minutes, until the cheese is melty and gooey. Now you have a loaf of gooey, delicious, pull-apart bread to round out the meal.
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Whatever you decide to make, enjoy your time outdoors with your loved ones. Hopefully this will be the first gathering of many for the season.