26 Grilling Recipes for Your Memorial Day Cookout

From grilled chicken and salmon to grilled peaches and corn, fill your Memorial Day with these crowd-pleasing recipes.

26 Grilling Recipes for Your Memorial Day Cookout
Grilled Pork Chops on Plate with Carving Fork
Marta A Rivera Diaz / Simply Recipes

Americans gather on Memorial Day with flags flying high and grateful hearts, to remember those that gave their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. This federal holiday, on the last Monday in May, is also viewed as the official start to summer. 

Like any other holiday, celebration, or remembrance, food is in order. The unofficial official start of summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill and head to the backyard for a barbecue. 

All of these amazing recipes work for grilling masters as well as newbies. We also have some tips to help you master cooking on the grill so you can impress your guests. This comprehensive list of grilling recipes will inspire your Memorial Day menu. Breathe in the fresh air and thank your lucky stars for those that served this country by giving it all.

Robin Shreeves joins Rachel in collecting these recipes.

Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

Grilling Pork Chops
Nick Evans

Giving thick chops an hour to brine is well worth the added step to keep them nice and juicy. They’re topped with a brown sugar and paprika rub and hit the grill for six minutes per side. Use an instant read thermometer to ensure perfectly cooked pork chops. —Rachel

Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken Thighs

Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken Thighs
Cynthia Christensen / Simply Recipes

"In most Korean households, gochujang is rarely used straight out of the container. Instead, it is used in conjunction with other ingredients to add a subtle, or striking heat, depending on how much is used." —Cynthia Christensen, Contributor

Easy Grilled Salmon

Grilled salmon with a forkful taken out alongside asparagus and lemon on the plate.
Ciara Kehoe

This grilled salmon recipe gives four different marinades to choose from. Each works with the same basic method, one that ingeniously prevents the fish falling apart on the grate. —Rachel

Grilled Grapefruit Paloma

Two Salt Rimmed Glasses of Grilled Grapefruit Paloma With Two Grilled Grapefruit Slices on the Glass Rim Next to More Slices of Grilled Grapefruit on a Small Tray, and in the Surroundings, a Bottle of Club Soda and a Cream Pitcher
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

"This recipe makes four drinks, but you can halve it to make two (using one halved grapefruit) or you can double it to make a pitcher that serves eight." —Laurel Randolph, Senior Recipe Editor

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Grilled Romaine Lettuce
Elise Bauer

If you’re looking for an easy upgrade to the side salad, try grilling whole romaine hearts! A herb vinaigrette is lightly brushed on right before grilling on high heat. Serve whole or chopped, for a simple grilled salad. —Rachel

Grilled Peaches

Grilled Peaches on a Wood Board
Simply Recipes / Hannah Zimmerman

"Though it might be tempting, do not flip the peaches to check on them before the two- to three-minute mark. Be patient and you’ll be rewarded with beautifully charred peaches." —Hannah Zimmerman, Contributor

Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Mexican Street Corn topped with crema and cilantro on a plate
Megan Keno

This quick and easy side dish can feed a large crowd. Sweet, char-grilled corn is topped with a tangy sauce of crema, lime, and cilantro—serve with carne asada and you will not disappoint your guests.

Of course, you can do plain grilled corn on the cob, too. —Rachel

Char Siu Chicken

Stove Top Char Siu Chicken
Alison Conklin

Only requiring eight ingredients and 30 minutes of active time, this dish is sure to delight. Chicken thighs are quickly marinated in a combination of ginger, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce before grilling. Serve with classic potato salad or daikon and carrot pickles. —Rachel

Slow and Low Country Ribs

Country style Rib recipe - cooking country ribs slow and low
Elise Bauer

Cooking meaty pork ribs over low heat for hours lends a tender, perfectly juicy rib. Baste in barbecue sauce, serve with coleslaw and a fistful of napkins. —Rachel

How to Grill the Best Steak

How to grill steak recipe
Nick Evans

I love a thick ribeye steak for special occasions, especially for a smaller gathering. Season the steak and let it dry brine in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before grilling. Thirty minutes before you want to eat, make the herbed butter on the stovetop and heat up the grill. Cook the steak to the desired doneness and let it rest for five minutes before slicing and serving. —Rachel

Grilled Chicken with South Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

Grilled BBQ Chicken
Elizabeth Stark

It’s surprisingly easy to make your own mustard-based barbecue sauce. This one uses seven basic pantry ingredients and is ready in ten minutes. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Leftovers can be used to make an excellent pulled chicken sandwich. —Rachel

Easy Grilled Peppers

Platter of Grilled Peppers Surrounded by Olives, Capers, Olive Oil, and Toast
Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

"Grilled peppers will last four to five days in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months. Peel them now or peel them later." —Sally Vargas, Contributor

Easy Grilled Pork Chops

Grilled Pork Chops on Plate with Carving Fork
Marta A Rivera Diaz / Simply Recipes

"Grill two-inch-thick rib chops for about four minutes per side over high heat. Then finish cooking them through over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Boneless chops or thinner rib chops will take less time to cook through." —Marta Rivera, Contributor

Hot Dogs with Spicy Kimchi Slaw

Hot Dogs with Kimchi and Gochujang
Nick Evans

Make your backyard barbecue seamless and easy by setting out a variety of toppings for a build-your-own hot dog bar. This kimchi slaw is a fresh and easy addition to an all-meat or meatless hot dog. —Rachel

Greek Pizza on the Grill

The best grilled pizza topped with halved tomatoes, black olives, cheese, zucchini ribbons and sliced potatoes. The pizza is set on a slate background and a piece on the right is pulled away from the rest.
Sally Vargas

Who says you can’t grill up a variety of pizzas for your Memorial Day celebration? Grilled potatoes, zucchini, olives, and feta are added to a grilled pizza crust for an unforgettable vegetarian pie. Feel free to experiment and use any other veggies, cheeses, and meats you have on hand. —Rachel

Spicy Grilled Turkey Burger with Coleslaw

Spicy Turkey Burger with Coleslaw
Elise Bauer

A shake or two of tabasco sauce ups the wow factor for these easy turkey burgers. Fresh basil and mayo are used for both the burgers and the coleslaw, which helps tie the meal together and makes prep time a breeze. —Rachel

Grilled Artichokes

Grilled artichokes
Elise Bauer

Simply prepared artichokes are steamed first and then brushed with an herb infused oil. Set them on the grill to take on a little char and you’ll never want to eat artichokes any other way. —Rachel

Barbecued Pork Shoulder on a Gas Grill

bbq pork shoulder on grill
Elise Bauer

Fire up the gas grill for this pork shoulder that's wrapped in foil and grilled low and slow, taking on a smoky flavor. Start early in the day. A four-pound roast can take about 8 hours, but it's definitely worth it. —Robin

Grilled Spicy Citrus Ribs With Bourbon Glaze

A parchment lined baking sheet with cut ribs from a grilled ribs recipe.
Lori Rice

Brine plumps up the meat with extra moisture so they won't dry out easily on the grill—which comes in handy if the Memorial Day cookout festivities distract you. —Robin

Grilled Onions

The best ever grilled onions piled on a purple rimmed platter.
Mike Lang

Take your burger toppings up a notch with these grilled onions. They take on a sweet and smoky flavor that complements any grilled patty. —Robin

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus
Elise Bauer

Fresh asparagus is abundant just around Memorial Day, and this recipe cooks them simply and quickly on the grill. They're tender but still have a bit of a crunch. Grill a bunch, because they're kind of irresistible. —Robin

Grilled BBQ Wings

A plate of grilled wings.
Eliezer Martinez

Start the cookout off with these popular wings. Grill them low and slow over indirect heat and then slather with homemade Buffalo sauce. —Robin

Grilled Radicchio Salad

Radicchio Salad
Elise Bauer

Grilling radicchio transforms the vegetable's bitterness into a slight nuttiness. It's super easy to grill, and you can serve it warm or at room temperature. Throw it on the grill first and it'll still be good by the time you finish the burgers, dogs, and BBQ chicken. —Robin

Beef Kabobs

Beef Kabobs
Elise Bauer

Fill the grill with these kabobs, pile the skewered grilled meat and vegetables high on a plate, and watch them disappear. Marinate the beef overnight for the best results. —Robin

Juicy Lucy Hamburger

Side view of a Jucy lucy burger cut in half to show the cheese in the middle and on a wooden cutting board.
Mike Lang

What's a juicy Lucy burger? It's a cheeseburger with the cheese inside instead of on top. There's a molten American cheese center in this grilled, super juicy burger, perfect for a Memorial Day cookout. —Robin

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken for Memorial Day
October Creative and Elise Bauer

Serve the juiciest chicken to ever come off your grill to your cookout guests when you cook the entire chicken on top of a can of beer. As the beer steams inside the bird's cavity, it keeps it moist on the inside while the heat from the grill crisps up the outside. —Robin