Planning a Memorial Day party and getting overwhelmed by the details? A great party can take a whole lot of preparation and thus can cause a whole lot of stress. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!

After all, planning involves preparing the guest list, picking recipes for that perfect meal, coming up with delightful Americana decor ideas, and ensuring you have plenty of comfortable seating.

There’s excellent news, though:

It’s easy to simplify Memorial Day hosting! After all, the decorations are a breeze to manage when you stick with patriotic colors that showcase all the yummy food. Plus, some of the best Memorial Day recipes are simple and just as delicious as foods that take hours to prepare.

Choosing recipes that are easy to prepare can help your gathering go off without a hitch and free up your time to chat with guests and create special memories.

Memorial Day Decor Ideas

Memorial Day decorations are typically patriotic, and that means lots of red, white, and blue accent items. Start with big, colorful decor items first, such as a bright red or blue tablecloth or table runner. Flag-themed napkins and placemats can also be added to showcase the patriotic Memorial Day theme. Additionally, you can add a flag-themed centerpiece, a bouquet of bright red flowers, or some vividly red pillar candles for visually appealing centerpieces.

Want to encourage guests to walk along a specific path through your outdoor space? Consider draping red, white, and blue garland along the path to gently guide people where you want them to be – and to keep them out of your flowerbeds. If you expect your gathering to continue after dark, consider adding some colorful LED tea lights alongside the path to help guests see the walkway after the sun goes down.

What are Essential Memorial Day Recipes for Hosting a  BBQ?

Now that you have a few traditional Memorial Day decorating ideas to work with let’s move on to the menu. Keep your Memorial Day grilling recipes simple and traditional. Hot dogs and hamburgers are traditional meats to serve on this holiday. However, you can turn these classics into Memorial Day BBQ recipes by mixing up a light barbecue sauce. For example, you can combine:

  • ½-cup honey
  • ½-cup vinegar
  • 1-teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-teaspoon garlic powder. It’s easy to adjust the quantities to suit your preferences or make a bigger batch if you’re throwing a big bash. Plus, you can add additional spices if you have favorites that aren’t mentioned.
  • Cook your hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill or one of our fire pits until they’re almost done.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure the inner temperature of the meat is at least 160 F.
  • Then use a basting brush to apply a light coat of your homemade BBQ sauce.
  • Leave the hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill for about two minutes on each side – just long enough to caramelize the BBQ sauce.

Healthy Options for Memorial Day

Looking for some lighter fare to serve at your party but not into the idea of serving a cold salad? Consider including Memorial Day cookout recipes for healthy favorites like grilled chicken and vegetables or sliced potatoes cooked in foil packs. Coat your grill racks with nonstick cooking spray and let the metal bars heat up before putting the chicken on to cook. Season the chicken to taste with spice options like salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic. Or keep it unseasoned while it cooks, and then apply a light coat of your favorite BBQ sauce when it’s almost done.

To make foil packs:

  • Spray the center of a large piece of aluminum foil with nonstick spray.
  • Put a layer of vegetables or potatoes in the center of the foil – approximately one to two cups.
  • Salt and pepper to taste, and add a pat of butter.
  • Then, wrap the foil and secure the ends with several folds.
  • Put the foil packs on the heat with the butter facing up. The produce will steam and simmer in the foil.
  • Check it after ten to 15 minutes.

Memorial Day Drink Recipes

Serving delicious cold drinks can turn a good picnic into a great outdoor party. Lemonade is a summer party classic, and you can add some zest to it – no pun intended – by adding other types of juice. For example, use your favorite lemonade brand, and then mix a cup of cherry, strawberry, or raspberry juice into it. It adds a delicate taste, and the tanginess of lemonade blends well with the flavor of the sweeter juices. Want to turn your lemonade into an adult beverage? Consider giving it a kick by adding flavored brandy or Schnapps in your outdoor drinkware.

Want to mix up something unique and a bit sweeter? Grab your punch bowl and indulge your sweet tooth with some chilly fruit punch.

  • Start with a basic fruit-punch-flavored soft drink that you mix with water.
  • Pour in a 2 L bottle of your favorite clear soda – or diet soda if you prefer.
  • Add 2 qt. of pineapple juice, and then stir everything together.
  • To finish up, add a quart of sherbet instead of ice to keep your fruit punch cold and to add a touch of flavor.

Memorial Day Dessert Recipes

The dessert you serve completes the meal and adds to the experience your guests enjoy at your Memorial Day party. If you keep the meal simple with a classic picnic and BBQ recipes, then simple, light desserts are the perfect way to finish things off. For example, fruit pies are always a crowd favorite.

You can also mix up a batch of patriotic-themed cupcakes using your favorite cake mix or recipe. You can even make decorating the cupcakes part of your party if you’re looking for an activity to add to the gathering. If you expect a lot of young children, you might want to keep it simple and avoid bright red or blue frosting. Just display some plain cupcakes and some basic cake decorating supplies such as vanilla icing and red, white, and blue sprinkles. The cleanup will be easier, and the cupcakes will still taste just as delicious.

Make this Memorial Day with your friends and family a day to remember with great food from our easy Memorial Day Recipes and a few stylish, eye-catching accessories like fire pits and outdoor tableware from Ashley. Browse through our selection of outdoor entertaining pieces to find furnishings and accessories that express your style.