Hosting a Memorial Day gathering, whether it's for friends or just family, shouldn't mean spending all day in the kitchen or over a hot grill.
So, TODAY Food cooked up some of our go-to recipes that either keep the ingredients to a minimum, don't take much time to put together or don't require any baking at all. From sides to steaks, there's something simple enough for every kind of cook. Just choose a few favorites (or all of them — since they're easy-peasy!) and let the unofficial start of summer begin.
Memorial Day Barbecue Recipes
No guest would ever guess this make-ahead steak took only 30 minutes to make. It's great for entertaining since you can put the meat in the marinade and prep the sauce the day before to make cooking and serving a cinch.
Grill up perfect pork chops with just four easy ingredients for a sweet and savory dish that no one will be able to resist.
Al Roker's beautiful, smoked brisket only takes five minutes to prepare (no, we're not kidding) and then spends the next eight hours slow-roasting in the oven until it's ready to be the juiciest star of the cookout.
Grilled salmon with an asparagus tapenade is a healthy dish that doesn't always get to shine come Memorial Day amid the smoked meats and dogs. But with only 10 minutes prep time and 10 minutes on the grill, it's totally worth making and is a good start for a lighter spread.
Serving beef sliders to a crowd is a fun way to dish out the main course and requires no utensils. But grilling up two dozen patties may not be the ideal scenario. Instead, make a big meatloaf a couple days before and slice it up into little rounds. The party people will be happy, and so will the host!
An easy way to feed (and please) a crowd is with chicken wings. Al's baked chicken wings are smothered in a delicious espresso-barbecue sauce from Austin's famous barbecue joint Franklin Barbecue. This party-ready dish is a no-brainer.
Memorial Day side dishes
Maíz rustido is Spain's version of Mexican street corn. Like its south-of-the-border counterpart, this sweet corn is charred and served with salty cheese, smoky spices and zesty citrus and will be on the plate in less than 30 minutes.
Serve this five-ingredient sweet potato mash in a bowl in the center of your platter of barbecued meats. It makes for a beautiful presentation, and it's much easier to serve — and for your guests to dig into.
There's something so refreshing about the combination of juicy watermelon and salty feta. When you add sweet blueberries, you have the perfect, patriotic summer salad.
This salad is quick and easy to make, and it's a nice side dish to a grilled meats like steak and pork chops. Long, curling ribbons of zucchini are shaved with a vegetable peeler and dressed with lemon, olive oil, honey, mint and basil, with Parmesan and hazelnuts sprinkled on top. It's a no-cook, 10-minute treat.