Oh, summer, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. First, there’s the weather, giving us every excuse to splurge on a new swimsuit (or three). Then there’s the results of the weather, which hopefully means a gorgeous, bronze tan (and not a painful sunburn). And of course, the best part about the sunny season — the barbecues. While summer might still officially be a month away, everyone knows that Memorial Day is basically the official kickoff to the season, so what better way to celebrate than with an inaugural barbecue? Here are 20 dishes that definitely need to be a part of the spread.
3. Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders: If you’re looking for a beef burger alternative, look no further than this simple and delicious pulled pork slider recipe. Top it off with some coleslaw to create one of the yummiest bites you’ll have all summer. (via Prevention RD)
4. No Mayo Coleslaw: Speaking of coleslaw, you might want to give this a try. Scratch that. You need to give this a try. Unlike other coleslaws, this cabbage mixture is super light, but still packs a ton of flavor. (via PBS)
5. Key Lime Grilled Chicken Taco Skewers: Food blogger Little Leopard Book decided to put a twist on a traditional chicken skewer by adding her homemade taco seasoning and some Key limes. The end product is this colorful, tangy dish that’s not only pretty to look at, but delicious to eat. (via Little Leopard Book)
6. Grilled Corn With Chipotle Lime Butter: What’s a BBQ without grilled corn on the cob? Not one we’d ever attend. What truly sets this recipe apart from others is the zesty chipotle lime butter. For more vegetarian BBQ ideas, see other tasty dishes here. (via Delish)
7. American Flag Fruit Pizza: This proud and patriotic dish not only celebrates the holiday, but is pretty healthy for you too. Instead of cream cheese, this fruit pizza calls for Greek yogurt. So really, it’s an international affair. (via Tablespoon)
8. Bourbon and Brown Sugar Barbecue Ribs: Just when you thought you couldn’t love ribs more, you discovered this iteration that uses a homemade bourbon and brown-sugar glaze. It’s the stuff that summer dreams are made of. (via Cooking with Curls)
9. The Best Burger: Food blogger Oh, Sweet Basil shares her two secrets to creating the best hamburger — challah buns and a meat mixture of 60 percent ground chuck and 40 percent brisket. By the looks of her finished product, she knows what she’s talking about. ( via Oh, Sweet Basil)
10. Summer Orzo Pasta Salad: Barbecues aren’t just about heaping amounts of meat. They’re also about beautiful summer pasta salads, like this chickpea, cucumber and tomato orzo dish. For more refreshing pasta salads, click here. (via A Cedar Spoon)
13. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Hot Dogs: How does one go about elevating their hot dog game? Perhaps by wrapping them in some bacon, tossing on some grilled onions and piling them high with guacamole. Just a thought. (via Port and Fin)
14. Potato Salad with Chive Flowers: Potato salads are not the prettiest dishes, with its starchy lumps and globs of mayonnaise. But that all changes immediately when you add a handful of gorgeous and flavorful chive flowers to the mix. (via Cook Sister)
16. Greek Salad: Treat your palate with a refreshing bite of this crisp mix of olives, cucumbers, peppers and red onions — all the makings of a perfect summer salad. (via Serena Bakes Simply from Scratch)
17. Smokey Baked Beans: Another barbecue staple that should not be overlooked — baked beans, particularly this version from La Creme de la Crumb, which adds a touch of smokiness to balance out the sweetness in the dish. (via La Creme de la Crumb)
18. Super Soft Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies: We know there are lots of other foods to nosh on during a barbecue, but make sure to save room for these extra big, extra fluffy chocolate chip cookies. (via Lovely Little Kitchen)
19.Turkey Zucchini Burgers with Lemon Yogurt Sauce: If you’re looking for a healthier BBQ alternative, this turkey zucchini burger will do the trick, all while satisfying your biggest beef burger cravings. (via The Iron You)
20. Buffalo Wings: There’s something about buffalo wings that incite excitement and fun. Maybe it’s because they’re usually served at parties or perhaps it’s the way the orange sauce sticks to your fingers. Either way, MUST HAVE.
What will you be making for your Memorial Day BBQ? Share your dishes and recipes with us in the comments below!