Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and a great reason to get your friends and family together for a cookout. It also offers another opportunity to celebrate National BBQ Month and grill up some of the fabulous locally raised Arizona pork, beef, and chicken. With so many great grilling choices to choose from, it’s hard to go wrong. Here are some great ideas for what to serve at or take to this year’s Memorial Day cookout.
Start Out Right
If you are hosting the party, make sure the guests who arrive early or on-time have something to snack on while the party ramps up. Fill bowls with traditional potato and tortilla chips plus a bowl or two of something a little less expected like pita or veggie chips. Give guests something to dip those delicious chips into by offering up small bowls of these delicious dips and spicy salsas.
- Cantaloupe Basil Salsa
- Chicken Enchilada Dip
- Corn and Black Bean Salsa
- Jalapeno Pepper Dip
- Artichoke Dip
Another way to keep your guests happy and having fun is to set out a spread of appealing appetizers that tempts the appetites of everyone. Pick and choose from this list.
- Avocado Appetizer
- Baked Goats Cheese Appetizer with Shrimp and Basil
- Batter Fried Zucchini
- Green Chili Wontons
- Pennee’s Fresh Cucumber Delight
Serve Up Some Salad
You can’t have a cookout without a couple varieties of delicious salads made with fresh Arizona produce. Offer your guests basic salads built around the fresh and fabulous flavors of fruits and vegetables and fancier fare featuring more interesting and unusual ingredients. Salads give you an easy way to offer a little something for everyone. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
- Avocado and Tomato Salad
- BBQ Pork Salad with Summer Fruits and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Chutney Melon Chicken Salad
- Cole Slaw
- Country Garden Salad
- Fettuccine and Ham Salad
- Golden Beet Pomegranate Salad
- Golden Beet Fennel Avocado Salad
- Isabell Rousseaus Carrot Salad Recipe
- Join the Party Salad
- Melon Cucumber Salad
- Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese Dressing
- Orange Almond Salad
- Farmers Favorite Salad
- Waldorf Salad
Veggies and Sides
Grills aren’t just for cooking meat; they can also be used to create some great sides using fresh, flavorful Arizona produce. Be creative as almost any veggie tastes great tossed with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper and then grilled to perfection.
- Garlic Roasted Summer Squash
- Grilled Summer Squash
- Mexican Summer Squash
- Grilled Romaine with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
A cookout wouldn’t be a cookout without the savory smell of grilling meat floating through the air. Beef, pork, and poultry raised right here in Arizona will fill everyone’s plate with fantastic flavors. Try these great recipes.
- Citrus Marinated Grilled Turkey
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- Marinated Beef Tips
- Molasses Marinated Beef Tenderloin
- Buckboard Bacon Burger
- Sonoran Hot Dogs
Don’t Forget Dessert
Finish off the day with delicious deserts featuring everyone’s favorite flavors.
- Arizona Melon Dessert
- Cheri’s Classic Prickly Pear Cheesecake
- Christy’s Yummy Gooey Bars
- Grandma Howard’s Apple Pie
- Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake
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- 8 Great Ways to Celebrate National Tortilla Chip Day (fillyourplate.org)