Food Ideas for a Cookout

Hey howdy hey! How’s it goin?! I don’t know about y’all but for me, I get paid time off, which includes all the major holidays. I’ll tell you what, the time between New Years and Memorial Day with no paid days off, talk about a struggle bus! Once May rolls around though, the excitement is on because that means Memorial Day is just around the corner, and THAT means it’s time to start prepping for our Memorial Day Cookout.

Every year, the fam gets together at my grandma’s house for a fun, little cookout on Memorial Day. There’s always good food, some pickup volleyball games, music, all the things. My dad or uncle usually whips up the burgers and hotdogs and everyone else just brings a little side dish. I’m not sure if you guys are having a Memorial Day cookout this year with your friends and family, but if you are, and you’re on the hunt for some ideas on what to bring, here’s what my family normally brings.

  • Pasta Salad: if you need a good recipe, my grandma has one that I can share with you.
  • BBQ Meatballs: it’s literally only 3 ingredients (frozen meatballs, bbq sauce, and jelly) and you just cook them in the crockpot. Super simple!
  • Chips and Queso (and salsa and guac): we like to have a variety.
  • Ruffles w/french onion dip: we usually get the brand Helluva French Onion dip and it is the bomb. It’s hard to not eat the whole jar in one sitting lol.
  • Cheese ball w/crackers: at Kroger, they have a section that is dedicated to all things cheese related, and if you look in one of their coolers, they have different flavored cheese balls. We usually get the sharp cheddar one and I usually bring club crackers because that’s my favorite but obviously it’s all about preference.
  • Beef or Chicken Taquitos: I hadn’t heard of these before until my mom made them for taco night one night and y’all, they are soo freaking good. They are in the frozen aisle of the store and you literally just heat them up in the microwave, or I bet they would be good in the air fryer too if you have one. I think I’m going to try that next time lol.
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip: this is always a crowd favorite in our family. My aunt makes a mean buffalo chicken dip and she brings it to every social gathering we have. If you want her recipe, let me know and I’ll get it for you.
  • Deviled Eggs: I’m not a huge fan of deviled eggs but my grandma and my dad’s girlfriend love them so grandma makes them.
  • Shrimp Cocktail: this is always a staple at our cookouts. 
  • Mac n Cheese: this is another staple for our cookouts.
  • Brownies: you will come to know I have the biggest sweet tooth of everyone I know, so I always ask my grandma to make some kind of dessert for the party. Most of the time, I have her make brownies because I don’t have them unless it’s at her house and I usually make cookies at home, so I almost always request brownies.

Hopefully you found this helpful and that it gave you some ideas on what to bring for your Memorial Day cookout, or any cookout really. Enjoy that quality with your friends and family. Have fun! 😊