Countdown to Summer: Last-Minute Memorial Day Menu Ideas

Need ideas for your Memorial Day menu? Whether the skies are clear or cloudy, you and your guests will enjoy nibbling, grilling, and sipping together.

Of course Memorial Day is meant to honor those who died in service of our country, but it has also become an opportunity to gather friends and family and celebrate the unofficial arrival of summer.

Need ideas for your Memorial Day menu? We’ve gathered some of our favorite ideas for nibbling, grilling, and sipping, right here in one helpful post. Whether the skies are clear or cloudy, you and your guests can count on delicious food and drinks.

Memorial Day Menu Ideas: Nibbling

It takes time to fire up the grill and cook everything to perfection. Make sure your guests have something to nibble on while they’re waiting. One of our most popular posts is all about creating a cheese board everyone will love. While it does take more effort than cubing some cheddar and tearing open a sleeve of crackers, an impressive cheese board is easier than you might think. Plus, unless it’s melting in the hot sun, you don’t have to worry about whether your snacks are the right temperature.

Another classic everyone will love is guacamole. Serve it with plenty of chips and some pico de gallo, and watch your guests eat it up. Don’t forget a squeeze or two of lime to help inhibit oxidation — bright green guac is more appealing — and don’t let it sit in direct sunlight. If you want to get really creative, try a few of the offbeat guacamole recipes we featured. They’ll turn guacamole from an appetizer into a side dish.

Memorial Day Menu Ideas: Grilling

While you’re munching on appetizers, be sure you’ve got plenty of goodies on the grill. Hot dogs and hamburgers are classic fare, but don’t forget the vegetarians among your guests. These vegetarian burger recipes are hearty enough for carnivores. Don’t skimp on buns and condiments either. We bet the meat-eaters will ask if they can try these grain- and veggie-based concoctions too.

Corn on the cob season starts in June, but you may already be seeing fresh corn at the grocery store. If you can’t wait until the Fourth of July to sink your teeth into this summertime treat, we’re with you. Check out our recommendations for grilling corn on the cob, along with ways to top all of those ears.

Memorial Day Menu Ideas: Sipping

Finally, all of this delicious food is bound to make your guests thirsty. While we’re all for cracking open a cold beer or enjoying some iced tea, you might also add a special drink or two to your Memorial Day menu. Sangria is one of our favorite drinks to serve at gatherings because it’s perfect for making in large batches. Plus, you can always find a sangria recipe to match your personal fruit and wine preferences.

Another drink that lends itself well to summer celebrations is lemonade. Make a batch of homemade lemonade, save some for the kids, and doctor up the rest with the help of these spiked lemonade recipes we found. Just remember to quench your thirst with the non-alcoholic lemonade first, and then sip the adults-only version slowly.

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