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summer recipes

Memorial day is right around the corner and in addition to remembering those who have served our country, it’s also the official start of summer. That means it’s time for cookouts in the back yard or at the park or the beach.

We’ve rounded up some great main dishes and side dishes for your Memorial Day barbecue that will take you beyond the hot dogs, hamburgers and potato chips.

BBQ Ribs on the Grill1. Our Fast Barbecued Ribs Recipe You Cook on the Grill

Everyone loves good barbecued ribs, but many recipes are for the oven or the slow cooker.  Ones that are for the barbecue grill often involve pre-cooking in the oven.  We thought you would rather be outside having fun with family and friends.  So here is a barbecued ribs recipe you can cook on the grill in just one hour.


2. Marinated Beef Kebabs

Our marinated beef kebabs recipe is a sure hit with the crowds.  

Kebabs are the perfect cookout food and if you’re trying to go easy on the carbs and grains they’re perfect.


chicken kebabs3. Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs

The perfect alternative to our beef kebabs is our Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs.  

We usually make them both to give guests a choice.  Again, it’s a great food to keep the carbs down since you don’t have the buns associated with hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches.

Curried chicken salad4. Curried Chicken Salad

Instead of relying on just the typical potato salad or macaroni salad, you might want to consider this utterly delicious curried chicken salad recipe.  

Loaded with chicken, celery, almonds and raisins it’s a guaranteed hit with your crowd.

fruit salad5. Mango Jicama Slaw Recipe

Give the traditional fruit salads a rest this year and try this delicious mango jicama slaw recipe.  

It’s a very healthy side dish to have on the table and your family will be requesting it again for your next cookout.

caprese salad6. Caprese Salad

Bring a taste of the beautiful Mediterranean to your backyard cookout with this caprese salad recipe or tomato basil salad, whichever you choose to call it.  

This is by far the easiest recipe to make of the lot.

summer picnic7. Parmesan Basil Oregano Baked Tomatoes

You’ll have to cook this one inside in the oven, but you won’t believe how delicious they are!  It’s also extremely easy to make them.  

Serve these parmesan baked tomatoes layered on a big plate and watch them disappear!

picnic8. Chili Lime Fried Chickpeas

Instead of the baked beans, try these fried chili lime chickpeas.  

You can make them in about 10 minutes.  They have an unbeatable flavor and chickpeas have a very good nutritional profile.  I’ll take them over baked beans any time!

summer cookout recipe9. Spinach Basil Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

The name of this recipe, spinach basil pesto pasta salad, is a long tongue twister, but you won’t have any trouble eating it.  

This will disappear faster than any other side dish on your table.  It’s delicious!

pasta salad10. Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad with Parmesan Cheese

Another great pasta side-dish is our lemon arugula pasta salad recipe.  It has a light summery taste and your guests won’t be able to get enough of it.  

You can serve this hot or make it the day before and refrigerate to be served cold the next day.  It’s delicious either way.

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11. Caprese Salad with Artichokes and Black Olives

This is a more exotic variation of the caprese salad above.  I personally love caprese salad with artichokes and black olives a lot more.  These ingredients are made to go with each other.  This is another one you can make up the day before.

picnic food ideas12. Classic Potato Salad Recipe

Potato salads come in a lot of varieties and one or more of them appear on most every picnic table.  This is one of the classic potato salad recipes.  

Make this one the day before and bring it out to the table when the meats are done!

food13. Grilled Zucchini with Lemon, Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

This is one you probably didn’t think of throwing on the grill.  But one you try our lemon garlic grilled zucchini, you’ll cook it again.  This is very easy to make.  We cooked it in a cast iron grip pan when we did the recipe, but the barbecue grill works even better!

pasta salad14. Lemon Basil Farfalle Pasta Salad Recipe

Of all the pasta salads, this one is my favorite.  This lemon basil farfalle pasta salad tastes delicious and it looks so beautiful on the table.  

The taste is light and zingy and while it is a pasta dish, it doesn’t have that overly filling sensation so often associated with pasta dishes.

15. Cucumber Salad

This cucumber salad is delicious and extremely easy to make.  The bell pepper, onion and dill give it a unique flavor and it’s a lot less work than a green salad

16. BBQ Pulled Chicken and Guacamole Recipe

This is a combination of two or our recipes.  Our barbecued pulled chicken recipe and our easy delicious guacamole recipe.  When the two are combined on a bun you have the most delightful pulled chicken sandwich you ever ate.

cookout recipes17. Grilled Pineapple

You can make this grilled pineapple by slicing a fresh pineapple, or buying the canned pineapple rings.  Add a little olive oil, cinnamon and honey to the mix and throw them on the grill.

 I’m surprised we don’t see this on the table for every summer cookout.  It’s so easy to make and so delicious.

food18. Smoked Mozzarella and Spinach Penne Pasta Salad

This Smoked Mozzarella and Spinach Penne Pasta Salad Recipe is so good.  It tastes like it would be a lot more work to make than it is.  

For the salad there are just a few basic ingredients, pasta, smoked mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese.  

We hope our summer cookout recipe roundup will help you put some delicious zest on your picnic table this coming Memorial Day Weekend.  We hope to have even more cookout recipes together for you before it’s time for your Fourth of July cookout, so be sure to check back in!  Thank you for stopping by!


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