Memorial Day Grilling Recipes

The traditional American tradition of barbeque is an integral part of the nation’s identity. There are many different ways to cook meat and other food, but everyone can agree on these 5 tips.

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died in service of the United States. The “memorial day menu no grill” is a list of recipes that will help you celebrate this day and not worry about cooking on your grill.

Vintage man cooking recipes illustration.

Memorial Day weekend ushers in another fantastic summer for many of us. Thousands of people will come to our country’s beaches, lakes, and mountains to enjoy the warm sunlight and pleasant weather. I’ll be right there with the rest of you, of course. With a cool beer in one hand and a spatula in the other, I spend the bulk of my Memorial Day weekends at our lake home on Georgia’s gorgeous Lake Oconee, surrounded by family and friends.

On weekends like this, my home usually becomes the hub of activity. After all, my family has a reputation for never having met a stranger. If you came by my back door, for example, mama would immediately give you a selection of home-cooked food and drink from her kitchen, followed by an invitation to stay for dinner. It’s probably true that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. For my culinary skills and Southern hospitality, I owe Momma a duty of appreciation.

I reasoned that since I couldn’t invite you all over for dinner, I’d give you the next best thing: my recipes. When I’m at the lake, I like to spend my time outdoors, alone with my grill. These dishes give an excellent foundation for grilled meals for your holiday picnic.

Most importantly, say a prayer for the members of our military forces and their families this weekend while you’re surrounded by family and friends and eating some of the delicious meals below. For our nation, some have given the ultimate sacrifice. Many of them are engaged in combat or serving in locations distant from their loved ones. May our thoughts and prayers be with them till they get safely at their destination.



Caramelized Onion + Mayonnaise with basil and balsamic vinegar + Steak Sandwiches in a Bistro

Vintage bistro steak sandwich over a plate.

Even having such a long name, this dish is quite simple. However, don’t be fooled by the recipe’s simplicity; it’s packed with taste. Follow my step-by-step directions to make this delectable and filling dish. (Takes 15 minutes to prepare, 45 minutes to cook, and serves 4)

Bistro Steak Sandwiches

4 buns for hamburgers (French-style if available) 14 cup extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt 2 pound skirt/flank steak Onions Caramelized with Fresh Cracked Pepper (see below) Mayonnaise with basil and balsamic vinegar (see below)

Caramelized Onions

Vintage caramelizing onions in skillet. 14 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 large yellow onions, finely sliced 1 tsp. salt (kosher)

In a skillet over medium low heat, combine the ingredients. Cook for 25–35 minutes, stirring often, until onions are caramelized and soft.

Basil-Balsamic Mayo

Vintage basil balsamic mayo illustration. Mayonnaise (1 cup) 1 garlic clove, coarsely minced 14 cup julienned fresh basil 2 tblsp balsamic vinaigrette

In a mixing basin, whisk together all of the ingredients until well blended. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Cooking and putting things together

Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium-high. Slice the buns and toast them over direct fire, cut-side down, until slightly browned and toasted. Meanwhile, season the skirt steak well with salt and pepper after coating it with oil. Cook the steaks for 2–3 minutes on each side on the grill over direct heat for medium rare/medium (depending on the thickness). Remove the steaks from the grill and set aside for 4–5 minutes before slicing. Then, every 14 inches or so, thinly slice the steaks on the bias and across the grain. On the bottom side of the bread, pile the sliced steak high, while liberally covering the top side of the bun with mayo and onions. Finish the sandwich with the toppings and serve right away.


Beef Kebabs on the Grill

Vintage grilling beef kebabs illustration.

These juicy, marinated kebabs are ideal for making ahead of time and then grilling and serving in a matter of minutes. These are sure to be a favorite with your visitors, since they’re packed with delicious meat and bright veggies. (Serves 4) (Prep 15 minutes, Marinate 3–4 hours, Cook 15 minutes)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/2 cup) 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 10 garlic cloves, minced 1 lemon, juiced 2 lbs. fresh mint, chopped 2 teaspoons Filets of top sirloin, sliced into pieces 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped Sweet peppers (assorted), seeded and sliced into pieces 2 tbsp. Kosher salt 1 tbsp. freshly cracked pepper 3 tbsp. red pepper flakes 1 tsp allspice powder a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a zip-lock bag and marinate in the fridge for 3–4 hours, or overnight. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Using metal or bamboo skewers, skewer the contents equally (soak prior to using). Grill skewers for 2–3 minutes on each side over direct heat for medium. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before serving. Serve.

Shrimp Kebabs with Rosemary on the Grill

Vintage grilling rosemary shrimp kebabs illustration.

Grilling tender, fresh shrimp is one of my favorite things to do. The rosemary serves as a skewer and imparts a pleasant herbal taste to the hefty shrimp. (Takes 10 minutes to prepare, 8 minutes to cook, and serves 4–6)

6–8 large rosemary sprigs, steeped for 10 minutes 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp Kosher salt 1 lemon, juiced, fresh cracked pepper 2 tblsp. olive oil (extra virgin)

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat on one side. Meanwhile, season the shrimp with a large amount of salt and pepper in a mixing basin. Toss in the lemon juice and olive oil until well incorporated. Begin skewering the shrimp from the bottom of the rosemary sprig to the top (with the leaves), being careful not to overcrowd them. 1–2 minutes over direct heat, add shrimp to grill. Cook for another 3–4 minutes over indirect heat, or until the shrimp are firm and pink. Remove from the grill and serve right away.

Baby Back BBQ Ribs, Oven Roasted/Grilled

Vintage oven grilling baby back BBQ ribs.

The majority of you don’t have access to a smoker, so this recipe is created with that in mind. If you wish, you may skip the cooking step outlined below and just smoke the ribs for 3–4 hours over low heat (175–200 degrees F). The end result is a tender, fall-off-the-bone rib with lots of bite and taste. If desired, spare ribs may be substituted. (Takes 15 minutes to prepare, 3–4 hours to cook, and serves 4–6)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Kosher Salt Fresh Cracked Pepper Garlic Powder BBQ Sauce 2 Slabs Baby Back Ribs, trimmed (I use Johnny Harris BBQ sauce out of Savannah, GA)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil in the meanwhile. Season the ribs generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder after coating them in olive oil. Place the ribs on the oven pan, meat side down, and bake for 3–4 hours. Preheat the grill to medium-high, then carefully place the ribs over direct fire, meat side up (as shown), and slather with BBQ sauce. Serve after 10–15 minutes on the grill.


Slaw with red cabbage, chive, and blue cheese

Vintage red cabbage, chive, blue cheese slaw on a plate.

This colorful and tasty slaw is made without mayonnaise and retains all of its taste. It’s best to make this at least an hour ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge until ready to serve so the flavors can mingle. This slaw goes well with all of the grilled foods listed above. (Time to prepare: 15 minutes, time to cook: N/A, servings: 4–6) 5 cups finely sliced red cabbage 34 cup chives, cut every inch on the bias 12 CUP BLUE CHEESE, CRUMBLED a third of a cup of extra virgin olive oil 14 cup vinaigrette de vin rouge 1 tsp. salt (kosher) 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

In a large serving dish, combine the first three ingredients. After that, mix together the other ingredients until smooth. Toss the cabbage with the oil and vinegar combination until it is uniformly spread. Refrigerate for at least one hour before to serving, covered. Chill or serve at room temperature.

What are your plans for Memorial Day? In the comments, please share your grilling recipes and advice!



Indoor memorial day recipes are a way to cook food that is not only healthy, but also safe. Reference: indoor memorial day recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best thing to cook on a grill?

A: The best thing to cook on a grill is anything that you want. If you dont know what the best thing would be, then either chicken or steak are good options.

What is the most popular food for Memorial Day?

A: The most popular food for Memorial Day is corn on the cob, which has been around since settlers first arrived in North America.

Why do we grill out on Memorial Day?

A: In 1864, General John Logan issued an order that those who died in the Civil War would not be honored. This meant they could no longer have a traditional Memorial Day funeral as they had traditionally been given during this time of year.

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