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Memorial Day Recipes to Kick Off Grilling Season


The end of May brings with it the long holiday weekend celebrating Memorial Day. Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day always falls on the last Monday in May in the U.S. and honors all of those who have died in the nation’s wars. (Thank you to each and every one of those who has served this great nation).

This long holiday weekend also kicks off the unofficial start to the summertime season, which usually means one thing – the start of the grilling season. If you are looking for some delicious dishes and mouth-watering meals to entertain your Memorial Day guests, keep their taste buds asking for seconds with these recipes, perfect for kicking off the unofficial start to the summer grilling season.

Memorial Day Recipes


Burgers are anything but basic and boring, especially if you get creative. Combine the irresistible flavors of savory and sweet with another summertime staple – fresh peaches straight from the farmers market when you whip up these Sweet as a Peach BBQ Burgers. If you do not want to do all of the cooking, consider hosting a build-your-own backyard burger bar party and let guests make their very own one-of-a-kind culinary creations.

If you need some tips to get you started with grilling up the best juicy burgers, here is a guide to the best meat for burgers and a grass-fed guide to grilling up the perfect burger. Need some more burger ideas? Check out this arsenal of burger recipes and get your grill on. From elk to organ meat to everything else you can think of, there is a burger recipe in there for every one of your guests including dietary restrictions and taste preferences.

Grilled Brats and Sausages

Fire up the grill and throw on some fan favorites like brats and sausages. Whether you live on the east coast, west coast, or somewhere in between, grill up these Midwestern-Style Beer Bratwursts that are sure to please. These brats are perfectly grilled and then cooked down in a beer sauce with butter and onion. Another guaranteed crowd-pleaser for any holiday weekend cookout is these Sausages Braised with Cider and Smoky Bacon.

Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is anything but bland. Instead, consider it a blank canvas for all of your Memorial Day grilling recipes. Grilled chicken is the perfect protein to experiment with because it is so versatile. From Simple Grilled Chicken Drumsticks to a Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad, grilled chicken is great for Memorial Day weekend. If you want to grill up something fresh and fun, try this Zesty Lemon Chicken with a light and refreshing cucumber dipping sauce for a cooling layer of flavor on a hot spring or summer day.

Grilled Franks

Hot dogs are a summertime staple and if you want to give those classic franks a flavorful twist, try this recipe for Jaime Dogs. These deliciously grilled franks are decorated and fully dressed with Sugar-Free Pork Bacon. (Yum!) Gluten-free and Keto-approved, these hot dogs are perfect for a Memorial Day night spent sitting by the campfire. Looking for an alternative to a basic and boring hot dog bun? Try these Paleo Sweet Potato Buns.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Hosting pescatarians? Throw some shrimp on the Barbie with these Teriyaki Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs. Savory and sweet, this recipe channels those under-the-sea vibes and includes wild-caught seafood that is so fresh, guests will think they are dining right off the coast. Plus, food on a kabob skewer is just way more fun to eat.

Smoked Pulled Pork

Smoked pulled pork is a delicious and super simple recipe that can easily feed the masses. Okay, so you may not exactly grill it, but you can smoke it, and if your grill is not quite ready for the summer grilling season, no worries. You can just as easily whip up this mouthwatering meal in a slow cooker. Enjoy it as its own sandwich or use it as an additional burger topping for the ultimate carnivorous meal. Pulled Pork Bacon Burger, anyone?

Get Your Grill On

Memorial Day weekend means so much more than grilling. This holiday is meant to remember all of those we have lost, making it the perfect time to celebrate them over a good home-cooked meal straight off the grill. Gather with family, friends, and neighbors and unofficially kick off the summer season with fun new and tasty grilling recipes. Try one or more of these recipes, or explore more grilling recipes right here. Happy Memorial Day everyone!


ashley martens

Meet The Author

Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing on her portfolio.