Entertaining Leisure Recipes

Simple Memorial Day Dishes

Today I’ve got you covered for simple Memorial Day dishes – main course, side dish or dessert.

Whether you are hosting and providing the main dish, or attending an event and bringing a side dish, keeping it simple is always best for summer enjoyment.

I have rounded up my favorites from the blog and linking recipes here.

Simple Memorial Day Main Dishes

Fire up the grill for hamburgers, hot dogs or chicken.  You can never go wrong with serving up grilled food.

Or if you prefer to stay indoors, using the slow cooker or Insta Pot lets you prepare ahead of time and enjoy your guests without cooking.

My recommendations:

Main Dishes

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Place a few chicken breasts in the crockpot with this recipe, shred with two forks and serve with soft brioche buns or crunchy Kaiser rolls and this dish cannot be beat.

I topped this sandwich with homemade coleslaw.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Another take on chicken, chicken salad is simple to assemble, easy to modify and can be whipped up hours early to cool in the fridge while you attend to setting up outdoor games (or mixing sangria).

Sister Susie let me know she made these sammies with Greek yogurt and they turned out great.

Pioneer Woman Fall-Off-the-Bone Slow Cooker Ribs

After a lot of rib trials, this recipe from the Pioneer Woman never fails.  The ribs are always tender and never dry.  Make sure you give them 8 hours for low and slow cooking in the crockpot.

Instapot Brisket

Tender Melt-in-Your-Mouth Instapot Brisket from thekitchn.com is a traditional roast recipe with gravy instead of BBQ sauce.  But it can be made up to three days ahead of time and can easily be sliced for yummy sandwiches.

Side Dishes

Quinoa Salad

Easy-to-modify, I’ve highlighted one recipe with microgreens, but using parsley or arugula would be tasty too.  The other one I loved was the Quinoa Beet Salad.

Best Broccoli Salad

DF Denisse turned me on to this broccoli salad recipe from Loveandlemons.com.  Yes, this is another healthy side dish, but I promise it is so full of flavor you will feel like it is decadent.


To be honest, baking is not one of my super powers and I’m rarely (or never) asked to make or bring dessert. But it’s not to be skipped by any means!

Really, there is nothing more simple than fresh fruit to serve for dessert.  Strawberries are still really good now and served in a pretty dish with a dollop (by which I mean mountain) of whipped cream is tasty, healthy and simple.

Watermelon slices can serve as a side dish or dessert.  It also helps that they look so patriotic.

DF Deb shared a fruit skewers picture from one of her events.  These are a little more work but so enticing for your guests.

Anyone remember the world’s best homemade strawberry gelato hub whips up in the summer? Oh, yeah, very high on my recommendation list. And since he makes it, it qualifies as simple, right?

Wrap Up

With two more weeks to prepare before the holiday weekend, I hope this gives you some inspiration for simple Memorial Day dishes that will leave you with enough time to attend a ceremony or honor our fallen.

God bless and have a wonderful week.