Memorial Day is often seen as the beginning of the summer season. With kids are out of school for the weekend and many people having the day off of work, it’s an ideal time to plan your Memorial Day BBQ! With a few helpful tips you can prepare foods that will leave your guests remembering the event for several weeks.

Main Courses

First, you need to decide on the main course that you’ll serve. This is an important component of catering your BBQ as your side dishes often go along with the main course. If you’re unsure of what to prepare or how to prepare the meat that you’re going to offer, then consider a catering company that can make the food for you. Although hamburgers and hot dogs are common items to serve at a BBQ, you can take a step toward a professional level! You can do this by preparing ribs with a smoky sauce or chicken wings that are wrapped with bacon.


A nice tequila lime fruit salsa is a side dish that guests can enjoy before the meal is served. It can be served with tortilla chips or thin slices of cucumber. You should consider frying the chips in vegetable oil before adding a drizzle of lime juice. You can also make a refreshing salad with kale or lettuce, watermelon cubes, or other types of fruit that you enjoy. To top off this salad add pistachios and a drizzle of olive oil. Another appetizer that you can serve is fruit kabobs. These are kabobs made with slices of various types of fruit that are grilled so that they have light marks on them. As a helpful tip, you don’t want to leave the fruit on the grill for a long time because it can deplete the moisture and dry them out.


Pasta is always a nice addition to any Memorial Day BBQ. They are easy to make and can include almost any ingredient that you have on hand. Use penne pasta with slices of cherry tomatoes, fresh peas, dried fruit, pecans, and mint leaves for added flavor. If you want something a little more exciting then use spinach, mushrooms, pieces of fresh bacon, and slices of hard-boiled eggs. Top the salad with feta cheese or mozzarella and slices of olives.

Side Dishes

Once you have the refreshing components complete, you can start working on the side dishes that can take your Memorial Day BBQ to the next level. When you cater to your guests, you should think about the foods that they enjoy and what they often eat at gatherings. Try to use these flavors in the dishes that you make, such as small pieces of grilled bacon in a bowl of baked beans. You can even add a peach glaze to grilled corn on the cob for a sweet component.


Don’t forget the desserts, as no BBQ is complete without a sweet treat! Similar to lemon bars, strawberry and lime cookie bars are a deliciously refreshing option. Patriotic cupcakes made with red velvet cake and blue raspberry ice cream are a nice treat to serve before the fireworks start in the evening. To add an extra sweet element, top off the ice cream with whipped cream and patriotic sprinkles.

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- Chef John Deatcher

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