I always say that my favorite season is the one we’re looking forward to. There’s nothing like cold days of autumn and I love watching the world wake up come spring (and the warmth of winter – well, second to none). With so much to look forward to, I can hardly contain my excitement for the days to come, and there’s nothing better than after seasonal group list. Keeping all of this in mind, it’s no wonder one of my favorite (long) weekends of the year falls right at the end of May. It’s the easy and cool epitome of summer, and with a few Memorial Day try-out recipes in your rotation, there’s nothing stopping you from kicking off the season with a get-together. Memorize.
While Monday often causes a collective sigh and initiates a slow transition to working week, Memorial Day marks one of the few exceptions when this rule no longer applies. I am happy to sleep and wake up to a day that has turned to summer before my eyes. Sunny skies and gentle atmosphere — that’s the carefree magic that warm weather days create.
So enjoy all the goodness of summer and get to work designing our dream Memorial Day menu. Whether you’re hosting a crowd, entertaining friends, or just you and the celebrity — relax, unwind and enjoy the deliciousness below.
Featured image of Belathee.
The picture of Michelle Nash
Memorial Day Drinks
Lavender lemonade from The Cookie Rookie
Why we love it: Meet the most refreshing drink of summer ’22. If the design of your table frame is a priority, this will surely make you happy. You can enjoy a soft, yet beautifully vibrant, floral sip minus the alcohol or mix with a splash of vodka (or really, whatever you think tastes best).
Hero composition: Dried lavender infuses your simple syrup with a sweet and almost spicy flavor that contrasts perfectly with the tart lemonade.
Get the recipe for Lavender lemonade.
Agua Fresca from Downshiftology
Why we love it: It’s not much simpler (but at the same time, tastier) than agua Freshca. Mixing chopped fruit of your choice with water, a squeeze of orange and a little something to sweeten things up is all this recipe asks of you. Because while the kitchen may be my happy place, I still like to enjoy the sunshine outside with a delicious beverage in hand.
Hero composition: Because this recipe contains three ingredients (four, if water is included), the fruit is the standout star. So be picky with the flavor you want to shine. The one I like? You can never go wrong with strawberries or papaya.
Get the recipe for Agua Fresca.
Strawberry Rose Sangria
Why we love it: When Camille Styles Executive Producer Michelle first introduced the site with this incredible sangria, I immediately added it to my list of must-do summer recipes. After all, what could be better than a bottle of rosé but having a pretty pink wine with fresh fruit and herbs?
Hero composition: You can add more ingredients to the mix, but it’s still important to choose a good bottle of rosé. Michelle notes that dry, slightly acidic bottles are best. Let her guide you in the right direction.
Get the recipe for Strawberry Rose Sangria.
The picture of Michelle Nash
Memorial Day Appetizers
Burrata With Pesto & Figs
Why we love it: Everyone loves an easy, four-ingredient appetizer (including this writer). But what do I love even more? Snack on figs at their elusive freshness. While the dried versions get me through the off-season, there’s nothing better than immersing yourself in their kaleidoscope-soft, gorgeous interior and enjoying their sweet, honeyed flavor. The only way to improve the enchantment experience? Make this, stat.
Hero composition: Search high and low for burrata. It’s worth the hunt.
Get the recipe for Burrata With Pesto & Figs.
Summer Crudités With Classic Farm
Why we love it: There’s a reason why Hidden Farm ads depict a ecclesiastical setting, with shepherd hills painting TV screens across America. Vegetables and farms represent the best of summer and this enhanced version takes your grazing to the next level. Arrange a variety of deep-fried dishes on the table (crispy peppers and sun-dried tomatoes are recommended). From there, immerse yourself in your heart’s content.
Hero composition: In my experience, the further the farm goes, the more irresistible the soak becomes. If you prefer fresh dill, increase the amount from one teaspoon dried to one tablespoon fresh. I won’t blame you if you choose a little more.
Get the recipe for Summer Crudités With Classic Farm.
Guacamole is easy from eating bird food
Why we love it: Everyone has a guacamole recipe that they love. Some keep it simple and smooth with just butter and a little spice while others like it chewy with a little tomato or toasted corn. I love this way of keeping things traditional while adding a bit of spice to the mix. And don’t sleep on cilantro – that’s a must.
Hero composition: Better than cilantro? Purple onions add areca, sharp.
Get the recipe for Simple avocado sauce.
The picture of Michelle Nash
Memorial Day Salads + Sides
Watermelon tomato salad
Why we love it: This twist on the classic caprese salad is all about color… and flavor… and crunch. Seriously, there’s nothing more satisfying than soaking in a cool chunk of watermelon and being greeted by a creamy bocconcini ball (for you, a mini mozzarella ball) on your next bite. You may meet some skeptics, but they will be convinced after the first fork.
Hero composition: Nothing keeps things fresh and fragrant like a handful of basil leaves.
Get the recipe for Watermelon tomato salad.
Baked Peach and Asparagus Salad with Spicy Pepitas, Cashew Mozzarella and Goji Chipotle sốt
Why we love it: Camille is quick to note that while this recipe consists of my favorite summer fruit (juicy, ripe peaches), this is a far cry from yore’s fruit salads. As you celebrate the start of summer, this salad will remind you of all the good things in the season that you have to look forward to. It’s sweet, savory, and with just a hint of smoke. In other words, perfect.
Hero composition: Goji Chipotle Dressing combines an unexpected array of ingredients (goji berries, dates and potato chips) into a deliciously balanced salad dressing.
Classic Caprese Salad from Love & Lemons
Why we love it: For those who like to keep it classic. There’s nothing easier or more summery than this Italian favorite. While you can always be consistent with one tomato, opting for a bright, beautiful heirloom tomato blend will leave all your guests gasping with delight.
Hero composition: While the three main ingredients (mozzarella, basil, and tomato) contribute equally, for me it’s really about that fruity drizzle of EVOO.
Get the recipe for Classic Caprese Salad.
Tomato, avocado and cucumber salad with Feta
Why we love it: Hello, where have you been all my life? Seriously, as a lover of good pink and green color combinations, this stack of products filled with aesthetics has captured my heart. Crackers and cream butter, with fresh herbs and pickled shallots. I will eat this from now until Labor Day.
Hero composition: Vinegar honey adds a little sweetness you didn’t know you needed, but will appreciate.
Get the recipe for Tomato, avocado and cucumber salad with Feta.
The picture of Michelle Nash
Memorial Day main dish
Lemon Coriander Salsa With Mango Salsa Half Grilled
Why we love it: There are a million and one ways to cook and season salmon (seriously, we’ve tried—and succeeded). But there’s something about coating your fish with a bright and fruity salsa that tickles me. Your bread is rubbed with a generous coating of chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper, giving everything a welcome heat to offset the sweetness of the salsa. This is salmon, recreated for the summer.
Hero composition: Everyone’s Memorial Day can take a little nod to the tropics. Mango makes it happen.
Get the recipe for Mango Salsa with Coriander Salsa.
Grilled garlic shrimp skewers from Downshiftology
Why we love it: When the end of May arrived, I immediately pulled my skewers out of storage (yes, I put seasonal baked goods away for the winter) and wrote down a list of all the recipes I wanted to try. . These shrimp skewers? Seated neatly at number 1. The flavor is bright and nutty, while the baking time keeps your shrimps juicy and fresh. And I will happily enjoy the marinade with a spoon.
Hero composition: Is it just me, or is parsley a seriously underrated herb? This formula gives it the attention it deserves.
Get the recipe for Grilled shrimp with garlic.
Chimichurri Fish Tacos
Why we love it: We’re BIG taco fans here (most of the team works in Austin) and we know a thing or two about what makes a taco, a taco. A lot of attention needs to be paid to tortillas, your protein should be seasoned thoroughly, and your toppings should round everything out with spice, flavor, and freshness. These fish cakes? Test, test and test.
Hero composition: A simple, yet outstanding recipe, made even better with a spoonful of homemade chimichurri.
Get the recipe for Chimichurri Fish Tacos.
Memorial Day Desserts
Gluten Free Lemon Bar
Why we love it: When life gives you lemons, ignore the fact that you’re not gluten-free and make these amazing lemon bars. They are a sweet summer dessert that looks modest at first glance, but is full of ethereal flavor. Try to eat only one. I challenge you.
Hero composition: A graham cracker crust fills every bite with nostalgia.
Get the recipe for Gluten Free Lemon Bar.
Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcakes
Why we love it: It wouldn’t be summer without a strawberry shortcake in your baking arsenal. Although many gluten-free versions have gone horribly wrong, this recipe maintains the original’s soft, fluffy interior and golden, crispy crust. And if you’re looking for a life-changing hack to help you hit those perfect short moves—well, you’ll have to click through to find out.
Hero composition: Strawberry puree makes the most of summer’s tastiest berries.
Get the recipe for Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcakes.
Berries & Cream Layer Cake
Why we love it: While I love the grandeur and incredible height of any and all layered cakes, sometimes, they’re not worth the effort. This beauty is soooo much simpler than it looks and retains all the (accessible) artistry of its more complicated, pastry cousins.
Hero composition: The trio of raspberries, raspberries, and blueberries is an American daydream.
Get the recipe for Berries & Cream Layer Cake.