Memorial Day BBQ Ideas

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Sweet Macaroni Salad - Plain Chicken

Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don’t like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida

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Start off your meal with these Memorial Day appetizers!

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Cola Burgers Exps Sdjj19 10699 C02 05 3b 9

Cola Burgers

A friend who’s an excellent cook shared this hamburger recipe with me, and it has since become a family favorite. The unusual combination of cola and French salad dressing added to the ground beef gives it fabulous flavor. The mixture is also used as a basting sauce on the moist burgers. —Melva Baumer, Millmont, Pennsylvania

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Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats Exps Tohas21 261266 B04 09 4b 14

Watermelon Rice Krispies Treats

Not only do these watermelon Rice Krispies Treats look like your favorite summery fruit, they taste like ’em, too! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Summer Avocado Salad Exps Ft21 32459 F 0317 1 5

Summer Avocado Salad

Garden-fresh veggies and a sprinkling of feta cheese make this cucumber, tomato and avocado salad a healthy summer standout! —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona

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Rhubarb Lemonade SlushTASTE OF HOME

Rhubarb Lemonade Slush

My family loves rhubarb, and this is such a fun way to enjoy it. It’s nice to have in the freezer and bring out when guests drop by. Even people that aren’t crazy about rhubarb enjoy it. —Cathie Beard, Philomath, Oregon

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Sloppy Joe Dogs Exps Gbbz19 44721 E11 28 8b 5

Sloppy Joe Dogs

There are so many different ways to top a hot dog, but this tasty sloppy joe version beats them all. ‐Kimberly Wallace, Dennison, Ohio

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Quick Taco Dip Exps Fttmzj21 25766 E03 03 4b

Quick Taco Dip

This quick taco dip is a definite family favorite. In fact, this recipe has been made more times than I can count! It just looks very colorful to a table, and it never lasts long. —Rhonda Biancardi, Blaine, Minnesota

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Old Fashioned Whoopie Pies Exps Bwcr21 8448 B04 06 15b 2

Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies

Who can resist soft chocolate sandwich cookies filled with a layer of fluffy white frosting? Mom has made these for years. They’re a treat that never lasts very long with me and my two brothers around. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina

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9 / 50
Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn Exps Tohas21 200632 E04 14 2b 7

Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you’re really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Barbecue Macaroni Salad Exps Tohjj21 258987 E02 03 3b 8

Barbecue Macaroni Salad

My family loves a touch of barbecue sauce and ranch dressing in our mac salad. Not too much—just a hint of both makes this everyday salad something special. —Andrea Bolden, Unionville, Tennessee

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Lip-Smackin’ BBQ Chicken

The kids always say “prepare to lick your lips” when we have friends over for barbecue chicken. I’m proud of this dish, the first recipe I ever created. —Sue Thomas, Spartanburg, South Carolina

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Margarita Tres Leches Cake Exps Ft21 89418 F 0408 1

Margarita Tres Leches Cake

The first time I ever had Tres Leches cake I felt like I was in Heaven. I have made it at home using several techniques and flavors and this Margarita twist on the classic is my favorite. —Laurie Lufkin, Essex, Massachusetts

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Red, White & Blue Potato SaladTASTE OF HOME

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Tossing the cooked potatoes with stock and wine right after you drain them infuses them with flavor. The liquid absorbs like magic. —George Levinthal, Goleta, California

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Grilled Brats With Sriracha Mayo Exps Sdjj17 166036 D02 14 2b 3

Grilled Brats with Sriracha Mayo

I am a Sriracha fanatic, so that’s what inspired this dish. You can boil the brats in your favorite beer to reduce the fat and give them flavor before grilling, or spread garlic butter on lightly toasted buns. —Quincie Ball, Olympia, Washington

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Confetti Snack Mix Exps Hca21 23688 C03 23 1b

Confetti Snack Mix

I’ve made this party mix for many years and I usually double the recipe. It makes a wonderful gift, and everyone always wants the recipe. —Jane Bray, Temple Terrace, Florida

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Summer Squash Salad Exps Ftmz21 712 B03 10 4b

Summer Squash Salad

This is a colorful and tasty alternative to coleslaw. Like most gardeners, we usually have an abundance of squash and zucchini in summer, so this dish is inexpensive to prepare and a great way to put this fresh produce to use. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida

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Chocolate Scotcheroos Exps Ft21 44037 F 0408 1 8

Chocolate Scotcheroos

This scotcheroos recipe was give to me by one of my students at school. It has become one of my family’s favorites and are so easy to make.—Lois Mays, Covington, Pennsylvania

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Peach-Chipotle Baby Back RibsTASTE OF HOME

Peach-Chipotle Baby Back Ribs

My son and I collaborated in the kitchen one day to put our own unique twist on classic baby back ribs. We added a sweet peachy glaze and a little heat with chipotle peppers. It was a great bonding experience, and now we have a keeper recipe for fall-off-the-bone ribs. —Rebecca Suaso, Weaverville, North Carolina

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Summertime Tea Exps Thjj19 99346 B02 20 2b Rms 5

Summertime Tea

You can’t have a summer gathering around here without this sweet tea to cool you down. It’s wonderful for sipping while basking by the pool. —Angela Lively, Baxter, Tennessee

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Strawberry-Lime Bars

Our family loves fresh strawberries, so I look for different ways to use them. This tempting, yummy dessert has sweet strawberries, tart lime and salty pretzels. —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia

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Colorful Cornbread Salad

When my garden comes in, I harvest the veggies for potluck dishes. I live in the South, and we think bacon and cornbread make everything better, even salad! —Rebecca Clark, Warrior, Alabama

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Cherry Plum Slab Pie With Walnut Streusel Exps Rc21 258303 E02 18 9b 17

Cherry Plum Slab Pie with Walnut Streusel

I love to make desserts with fruit all summer, and this cherry slab pie is wonderful because you can quickly make it for a crowd. The crumbly, nutty streusel is perfect with fruit. You can make your own pastry or use store-bought pie crust. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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23 / 50
Dr Pepper BBQ SauceTASTE OF HOME

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

My family is stationed in Italy with my husband, Lt. William Robert Blackman. William grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m from Texas, so the dish that spells “home” for us is a good ol’ barbecue. I have my own recipe for barbecue sauce that we like to pour all over sliced brisket. Eating it reminds us of weekend barbecues with our families. —Tina Blackman, Naples, Italy

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Buttery Horseradish Corn on the CobTASTE OF HOME

Buttery Horseradish Corn on the Cob

For a July Fourth barbecue, I whipped up a butter and horseradish topping for grilled corn. People actually formed a line to get seconds. —Trish Loewen, Bakersfield, California

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Freezer Strawberry Shortbread Dessert Exps Bdsmz17 48992 B03 03 4b 7

Freezer Strawberry Shortbread Dessert

When I’m planning party menus, I appreciate dessert recipes like this; you can make and freeze it up to two weeks before serving. A refreshing slice is welcome after a big meal.—Cassie Alexander, Muncie, Indiana

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Sweet-Tart Cucumber SaladTASTE OF HOME

Sweet-Tart Cucumber Salad

A dear friend showed me how to use up cucumbers in a tangy salad. The longer it chills, the deeper the flavor. Look for lemon or pickling cucumbers. —Dian Jorgensen, Santa Rosa, California

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Shrimp Pasta Salad Exps Sdam17 32108 D12 07 6b 6

Shrimp Pasta Salad

I adore shrimp, so discovering it in this pasta salad recipe was a real treat for me. The lemon-dill sauce is light and bright. It’s one of our favorite cold pasta salad recipes! —Traci Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania

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Patriotic Ice Cream Cupcakes Exps Sdjj17 46906 D02 15 5b 2

Patriotic Ice Cream Cupcakes

These frosty cupcakes are practically a fireworks display on their own. The little treats feature red velvet cake, blue moon ice cream, a creamy white topping and star-spangled sprinkles. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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29 / 50
Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Both my husband and I were raised on farms, and we prefer home cooking to eating out. That works out fine since I love trying new recipes! I’ve served this apple salsa as an appetizer and a snack. Plus, it’s sweet enough to be a dessert. It’s easy to transport besides. —Carolyn Brinkmeyer, Golden, Colorado

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Southwestern Star DipTASTE OF HOME

Southwestern Star Dip

I enjoyed this sensational dip at a holiday party and begged for the recipe. No others are the ones begging me! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Strawberry Jam Cake Exps Tohfm22 92780 B09 16 4b

Strawberry Jam Cake

When I need a cake for a special occasion, this strawberry jam cake is my go-to recipe. Every year I make it for a cake raffle we have at work for Relay for Life. It has raised a lot of money for a very good cause. —Tammy Urbina, Warner Robins, Georgia

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Barbecued Burgers

I can’t take all the credit for these winning burgers. My husband’s uncle passed down the special barbecue sauce recipe. We love it on everything…it was only natural to try it on, and in, burgers. Add cheese and bacon to take them over the top. —Rhoda Troyer, Glenford, Ohio

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33 / 50
S Mores On A Stick Exps Sdjj18 116570 C02 16 6b 1

S’mores on a Stick

My kids love to take these for treats everywhere. That’s lucky for me since they are so easy to make. Beside the sprinkles, try mini candies for toppings.—Ronda Weirich, Plains, Kansas

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Green Chile Ribs

I like my food with a spicy kick; my wife does not. These ribs with green chiles suit her taste. For more firepower, add cayenne or jalapenos. —Guy Newton, Nederland, Colorado

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35 / 50
Summertime Watermelon Punch for a CrowdTASTE OF HOME

Summertime Watermelon Punch for a Crowd

I attended a patio party years ago where the hostess had a clever watermelon “bowl” with a scalloped edge and filled with this punch. It was the hit of the party, and she was kind enough to share the delicious punch recipe with me. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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36 / 50
Sweet Tea Barbecued Chicken Exps Mtbz19 185669 E03 08 2b Rms 11

Sweet Tea Barbecued Chicken

Marinades sometimes use coffee or espresso, and that inspired me to try tea and apple juice to perk up this sauce. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey

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Mango Jicama Salad Exps Sdjj17 200769 B02 16 6b 4

Mango and Jicama Salad

This pretty salad has become part of my regular summertime rotation because of its freshness and versatility—it’s great with everything from grilled chicken to seafood! Try it with coconut-flavored vinegar for a fun tropical twist. —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Grilled Firecracker Potato Salad

I can eat potato salad like crazy. A little spice is nice, so I use cayenne and paprika in this grilled salad that comes with its own fireworks. —Ashley Armstrong, Kingsland, Georgia

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Fudgy S’mores Brownies

I combined the perfect summer snack with my favorite brownie recipe to get these s’mores brownies. They’re sure to wow at your next big party. —Judy Cunningham, Max, North Dakota

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Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

When I see Meyer lemons in the store, it must be spring. I like using them for these easy chicken kabobs, but regular grilled lemons still add the signature smoky tang. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada

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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey

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Cheesy BBQ Beef Dip

Barbecued beef dip is a holiday staple in our house. My husband can’t get enough! —Selena Swafford, Dalton, Georgia

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Pineapple ColeslawTASTE OF HOME

Pineapple Coleslaw

When I was a child, my mother often served this salad with multicolored marshmallows sprinkled on top, much to my delight. The marshmallows added a touch of sweetness that really complemented this salad’s tangy flavor. —Betty Follas, Morgan Hill, California

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Jen's Baked BeansTASTE OF HOME

Jen’s Baked Beans

My daughters wanted baked beans, so I gave homemade ones a shot. With mustard, molasses and a dash of heat, I made these beans absolutely delicious. —Jennifer Heasley, York, Pennsylvania

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Creamy Grilled Potato Salad Exps Dsbz17 67646 D01 13 1b 2

Creamy Grilled Potato Salad

To avoid turning my oven on in the summer, I grill just about everything—including this creamy potato salad. My friends have dubbed this ‘The Best Potato Salad You’ll Ever Put in Your Mouth!”—and I love that!” —Gayle Robinson, Carrolton, Georgia

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Triple Fruit FreezeTASTE OF HOME

Triple Fruit Freeze

These pops won’t turn your tongue blue or neon green like many store-bought pops because they’re made with fresh grapes, blueberries and kiwifruit. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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Summer Orzo Exps Tohjj22 186955 Dr  02 03 10b 1

Summer Orzo

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Frozen Banana Split Pie Exps Bdsmz17 40581 D03 03 4b 4

Frozen Banana Split Pie

This dessert is special enough to make hamburgers and fries a meal to remember! It’s so tall and pretty and just like eating a frozen banana split. Make it ahead to save time. —Joy Collins, Birmingham, Alabama

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Herb & Cheese-Stuffed Burgers

Tired of the same old ground beef recipes? This quick-fix burger alternative, with its creamy cheese filling, will wake up your taste buds. —Sherri Cox, Lucasville, Ohio

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Star-Spangled Lemon Icebox Pie

With a little chill time, my no-bake lemon pie turns into a potluck superstar. My kids like to arrange the berries in a patriotic pattern. —Lauren Katz, Ashburn, Virginia

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