Skip the same old, same old burgers and hot dogs at your Memorial Day BBQ this year. Instead, go big or go home with incredibly easy recipes with ingredients straight from the local commissary!
Host an Epic Early Summer BBQ
These are some of my own go-to recipes for my own BBQs and cookouts. As a busy mom with two little kids, I default to things that I can make super quickly and easily, even sometimes with a little slow cooker support.
Easy Baked Beans
- one can each beans: kidney, black, navy
- molasses to taste
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lb bacon or salt pork
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- spices: paprika, salt, pepper to taste
First, brown the bacon, let cool and roughly chop. Dice the onion and red pepper. Quickly saute in a hot pan. In a crock pot set on high, combine the beans, onions, red pepper, bacon, sugar, vinegar, molasses, garlic and spices.
Mix to combine. Cook on high for 1-2 hours, then turn to low or warm until serving.
Simple Juicy Ribs
- rack of ribs
- brown sugar
- spices: salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika, chili powder, nutmeg, cloves
Combine the brown sugar, amounts will vary but start with 3/4 cup, with the spices. Vary the amounts based on what spice to sweetness ratio you prefer. Add more paprika and chili powder for spicier ribs; pump up the cinnamon and sugar for sweetness.
Before you add the rub to the ribs, preheat the oven to 400. Now, spread the sugar mix over the ribs, over both sides, in a foil lined rimmed baking pan.
Pop the ribs in the oven for about 10-15 min to develop a crust. Then drop the heat to 350 for about an hour. At the end of the hour, preheat the grill.
Through the ribs on the grill for about 20 minutes to finish, flipping at least once.
Chop into individual ribs and serve hot.
- blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
- granny smith apple
- pecans or walnuts
- loose leaf spinach
- lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper
Rinse and roughly chop the apple. Rinse the berries and spinach, too. Chop the nuts. Toss the spinach, apple, berries and nuts in a large salad bowl.
Mix the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a small container until combined. When ready to serve, add the dressing to the salad.
Yummy Peach-Berry Pie
- 2 Pilsbury prepared pie crusts
- 1-2 bags frozen peaches
- 1-2 bags frozen berries of choice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice to taste
Defrost the peaches and berries. It’s okay if they’re not 100% thawed out. Combine the fruit in a large bowl with the sugar, cinnamon, and spices. Mix well.
In a pie pan, unroll one pie crust and pat down gently. Spoon the fruit mixture into the pie crust. Top with the second crust. Use a fork to poke holes into the upper crust.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400. Lower the heat to 350 and keep baking until the top crust is golden brown and crispy, about 45-60 min.
Mix Up the Sides
You don’t need to DIY or homemake every single item at your epic BBQ. Far from it! With yummy pre-made sides and extras from the commissary, it’s simple to host a feast for your friends.
Add rolls baked fresh in the commissary bakery, plus some cold cuts and cheese from the deli, for an easy sandwich station. Spice it up with gourmet mustards, mayo, pickles, olives and sliced veggies for an extra dose of deliciousness.
Make your own chips and dips bar. Grab a ton of chips from the snack aisle. My faves are the Lime Tostitos and Lays Salt & Vinegar. My kids love dipping wavy chips into French onion dip! There are also a ton of options for salsa, guacamole and hummus.
You can also grab a ton of pre-made sides, like pasta and potato salads. It’s easy to add a little extra variety to your buffet with a few containers of these easy sides.
Don’t forget the produce section! Not everything has to be pre-packaged or made from scratch. Grab fresh veggies and fruits to make self-serve platters.
Make a fruit tray with sliced apples, pineapples, grapes and orange slices. You could make it more festive with a sweet fruit dip.
DIY a veggie platter with cucumber and carrot sticks, plus sliced bell peppers and broccoli. You could add some olives and cherry tomatoes, too.
Don’t make everything yourself. Ask your friends and family to pitch in and make it a potluck! You’ll be able to try some of their favorite BBQ dishes while sharing your specialties, too.