16 Mouthwatering Recipes For Memorial Day Weekend

2015-Memorial-Day-Recipe-RoundupSummer is coming.

Yes, the official first day of the season is still a good month out, but I feel like Memorial Day will always be summer’s true kickoff (right?). And given the fact that New Yorkers have been wandering the streets in their finest nearly-naked ensembles for the past two weeks, I’d say we’re off to a running start.

I’m actually going to a wedding in Chapel Hill this weekend, and while I won’t be cooking, I will be losing my roommate at various barbecue-heavy events (thank you Jessie and Jamie for hosting Logan’s fantasy weekend) and sweating through my dresses enjoying the sunshine, so most of my Memorial Day traditions shall be upheld. Thank God.

For those of you planning to do some holiday weekend hosting (you go, Glen Coco!), I’ve rounded up my favorite warm weather eats for your feasting pleasure. From finger food and burgers to crowd-pleasing desserts and cocktails, there’s a little something for everyone on this list, and I promise each of these recipes will lead to the type of compliments and general swooning you domestic geniuses have become accustomed to. Godspeed and happy grilling, friends!

16 Foolproof Recipes for Memorial Day:

Grilled-Watermelon-with-Jalapeños-Feta-and-Honey-5Grilled Watermelon with Jalapeños, Feta and Honey. If you’re weirded out by the concept of warm watermelon, I get it, but please just trust me on this one. A couple minutes on a hot grill brings out the fruit’s sweetness while adding a subtle smoky flavor, and once you get the fiery jalapeños, salty feta and honey involved? In the always eloquent words of my roommate, “SO DANK!”

Cilantro-Lime-Chicken-with-Strawberry-Jalapeno-Salsa-20Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken with Strawberry-Jalapeño Salsa. Of all the recipes being pimped today, this is hands-down the most foolproof. Super juicy chicken paillard with sweet and spicy salsa slays in both the flavor and presentation departments, and it’s all doable in 30 short minutes. Hallelujah, slow clap, etc. 

Best-Summer-Grilling-Recipes-Grilled-Vegetable-Quesadillas-with-Goat-Cheese-and-PestoGrilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Pesto. These flavor-packed ‘dillas would be an excellent finger food addition to your Mem Day soirée, but they’re also a great laid-back lunch/vegetarian dinner option. (Make your life easier by prepping them in advance and then throwing them on the grill as needed!)

Grilled-Beef-Hot-Dogs-with-Mango-Cucumber-Slaw-and-SrirachupThai Hot Dogs with Homemade Srirachup. You can’t kick off summer without hot dogs, and these beautiful babies are the only way to go. The accoutrement combo of sweet and savory slaw, crunchy peanuts, and the exquisite fire of Srirachup is delicious insanity, and your family and friends will be blown away by your trailblazing hot dog skillz. 

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-CremaSweet Potato and Black Bean Turkey Burgers. What I love most about these flavor bombs (which are smothered in highly addictive Sriracha-lime crema) is that they’re serious winners on the nutritional front. This is especially good news given the season’s general nudity…

Barbecue-Flank-Steak-Tacos-with-Corn-Peach-Salsa-9Fiery Barbecue Flank Steak Tacos with Summer Mess Salsa. When in doubt, tacos are always the right choice. (If you can’t find good peaches, don’t panic. You can sub in mango or leave out the fruit all together.)

Best-Summer-Grilling-Recipes-Chipotle-Turkey-Burgers-with-GuacamoleChipotle Turkey Burgers with Guacamole. Spicy turkey burgers topped with turkey bacon and plenty of guac are guaranteed to kick your Memorial Day festivities into high gear. And since these bad boys are a Dude Diet original, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re starting your summer on the right foot. (Let’s keep it tight, dudes.) 

Mexican-Street-Corn-Salad-with-Bacon-Chiles-and-Cheese-4Mexican Street Corn Salad. All the fun of street corn without the messy hands/corn in your teeth. You’re welcome.

warm-roasted-potato-salad-with-pancetta-sund-dried-tomatoes-and-arugula-7Roasted Potato Salad with Pancetta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula. Since this version of potato salad doesn’t involve the devil’s condiment mayonnaise, which can be somewhat divisive, I like to think it’s a “take anywhere” type of dish. 

Vegan-Three-Bean-Quinoa-Salad-4Three Bean Quinoa Salad. I always found bean salad sort of weird and sad until I started making this version, which is based on a bestie’s family recipe. It’s a (vegan and gluten-free) game changer. 

Health-Vegetable-Fajita-Salad-with-Chipotle-VinaigretteVegetable Fajita Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette. Whether you’re going the burger/dog route or getting a little more creative with your Memorial Day spread, you’ll need at least one veggie heavy side to balance things out. This smorgasbord of a salad gets my vote.

12-Foolproof-Fourth-of-July-Recipes-Summer-Salad-with-avocado-corn-and-herb-grilled-shrimpSummer Salad with Avocado, Corn and Grilled Herb Shrimp. My go-to summer salad. Always has been, always will be. 

Grilled-Peach-Crisp-Sundaes-with-Cinnamon-Honey-Drizzle-1Grilled Peach Crisp Sundaes. If you’re looking for a no-fuss, crowd-pleasing dessert for your weekend celebrations, this is it, folks. The peaches become gloriously softened and caramelized on the grill, then you just top them with your favorite ice cream, a sprinkling of granola, and drizzle of cinnamon-spiked honey. Simple, yet sexy.

12-Foolproof-Fourth-of-July-Recipes-Summer-Berry-CrispSummer Berry Crisp. Honestly, I don’t trust people that don’t like crisp. Crisp is downright magical, especially when it’s made with plump summer berries and plenty of brown sugar. Don’t fight me on this. 

rose-sangria-2Rose Sangria with Strawberries, Peaches and Basil. If you dig rosé even half as much as I do, I’m both nervous and excited for you to make this summery sangria. It tastes like sunshine and happiness, which has the potential to be very dangerous… 

12-Foolproof-Fourth-of-July-Recipes-Lemon-Mint-Iced-TeaLemon-Mint Iced Tea. I recommend keeping a vat of this tea on hand at all times this weekend. It’s best consumed outside with your favorite people, and it takes very kindly to a generous pour of bourbon or rum. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, add some grilled lemon slices to your pitchers for smoky flair.

Happy unofficial beginning of summer, peeps! Sending all my best sunshine-y, relaxing, rosé-colored vibes your way.

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