3 Recipes for your Memorial Day Backyard BBQ | Hunter Fan

3 Recipes for your Memorial Day Backyard BBQ

  • Hannah Pittman

We’re sharing some of our favorite backyard BBQ recipes for Memorial Day festivities.

On the Grill: Shish Kabobs

They’re easy, fun to make, colorful, and can be made a variety of ways.

Kabobs on the grill
Kabobs on the grill

What you need:

  • Skewers – metal or wood will work.
    • Pro tip: if you’re using wood skewers, soak them in water for 10-30 minutes to prevent them from burning.
    • Meat(s) of choice- we love mixing steak and chicken!
    • Seafood (optional)- shrimp is our go-to for seafood add-ons.
    • Vegetables of choice – peppers and onion are a perfect combination. Try mixing it up with potatoes, corn, or even pineapple for a sweeter taste!
    • Marinade – make your own or buy a bottle from the grocery store (no judgement here)!
    • Alternative to marinade – DRY RUB! It’s how we do it in Memphis!

Memphis-Style Dry Rub

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup mild chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Get started:

  • As previously mentioned, if you have wooden skewers, put them in a bowl of water.
    • Wash your vegetables and start cutting them into smaller, bite size pieces (but not so small that they fall off the kabob when cooking). Try keeping the vegetables organized by type.
    • Cut up the meat and put it in a separate bowl.
    • Form an assembly line with your ingredients and call in your help!
      • This can be a fun activity for your kids to help with!
    • Begin threading the ingredients on to the skewers until there is nothing left.
    • Place the skewers into a large bowl or dish.
    • Pour marinade over the skewers and make sure they are evenly coated. (Or if using dry rub, dust kabobs generously.)
    • Let marinade sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours.
    • Fire up the grill & get to cooking!

Kabobs can be served with almost any side: French fries, potato salad, rice, salad, etc. Whatever you & your family like will more than likely complement your creation. This dish is easy to make and hard to mess up! It’s a crowd favorite and would be great for your backyard BBW.

For Your Sweet Tooth: Red, White, & Blue Trifle

This simple dessert is fun to decorate, looks impressive, and has a healthier alternative!

Trifle dessert

What you need:

  • Angel food cake
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Cool whip
  • A fruit jam of your choice
  • & of course, FRUIT! – think about color: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, etc.

*All of the ingredients have sugar free or fat free options you can find at your grocery store.


Get started:

  • This dish is best prepared in a trifle dish. Though, any glass dish will work!
  • Make the pudding according to the package and set in the fridge to thicken.
  • Set the cool whip out so it will soften, making it easier to spread.
  • Grab your cutting board and begin cutting the angel food cake. You can simply cut pieces as if you were serving it alone or cut the cake into smaller squares. Your choice!
  • Next, cut up your fruit. Some of your fruit will be hidden within the trifle but some of it will be shown against the glass or the top. Think about your fruit design as you are preparing.
  • Now, you are ready to go!

The fun part: Remember the help you got with the kabobs? Call them back in – the kids would love to help put this colorful dessert together!

  • Start by layering the bottom of the dish with angel food cake.
  • If you want fruit along the sides of the dish – add those here.
  • Then the jam – (it doesn’t have to be evenly spread)
  • Add a layer of pudding.
  • Add more fruit.
  • Add a layer of Cool Whip.
  • And repeat. Do these steps until you’re at the top of your dish. Make a fun design at the top with your leftover fruit.

*This dish is best after setting in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Last But Definitely Not Least: The Patriotic Cocktail

The kids got to help with the last two recipes. This one’s all you!


There are a million different cocktail variations that you can do for Memorial Day. If you don’t believe us – take a quick Pinterest search. For this one, we’re going to keep it simple, light, and refreshing.

Vodka Fruit Spritzer – Serves 4

What you need:

  • ½ cup of vodka
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ liter club soda, chilled
  • 2 tbsp simple syrup (half water, half sugar, boil until sugar melts and then cool before using)
  • Raspberries & blueberries for garnish

Get started:

  • Combine all of the ingredients but the club soda in a pitcher and gently muddle.
  • Add chilled club soda and stir.
  • Fill glasses with ice and using a strainer, pour the drink into the glasses.
  • Garnish with fruit and drink up

We hope these recipes prove to be helpful and make your Memorial Day plans feel more festive! Let us know how they turn out by tagging us using #athomewithhunter.