Get inspired for your first official cookout of the season! Madison from A Joyfully Mad Kitchen shares her best Memorial Day party ideas. Scroll to the bottom for a video demonstration of her Raw Chopped Veggie Salad.

Memorial Day Entertaining Tips and Ideas

One of my favorite parts about spring and summer is the endless opportunities for hosting friends and family! With so many holidays (Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and July 4th), there are so many excuses to get together.

I love being the one to host, but I know entertaining guests can be stressful for a lot of people. After you’ve finished cleaning up your house, there’s so much food to plan and of course the dishes nightmare after everyone leaves.

Here are a few tips to make entertaining this Memorial Day less stressful plus a bonus easy recipe that is perfect for a Memorial Day get together.

+ Ask for help!

Easy Recipe Idea for Summer

All American Sugar Cookie Bars via A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

For some reason, we think that if we are hosting we have to do it all. If you have family or friends coming to your house, let them help!

Whether it’s coming by early to help set up, helping you clean, or even letting one of the guys do the grilling for you, don’t be afraid to let your guests help you.

They will feel less awkward helping than standing around waiting for food to be served!

+ Consider a pot luck.

Recipe Ideas for Entertaining

There’s absolutely no reason why the host has to provide 100% of the food for a cook out.

If you have guests joining, let them bring food if they offer, and if they don’t, politely ask if they’d like to bring something. It’s helpful to ask what everyone is bringing. f you’re having lots of food from guests, offer to provide the “main dish” and drinks and let others bring sides and desserts.

If you’re having lots of food from guests, offer to provide the “main dish” and drinks and let others bring sides and desserts.

+ Go light on main dishes and heavy on sides.

Summer Salad Idea

I don’t know about you, but at cook outs, I always go for the sides as my main attraction and get just a little bit of the meat. Maybe I just use the holiday as an excuse to indulge a little, but it does often seem like there is a lot of leftover main dishes at cook outs and the sides usually disappear. Plan accordingly for this and don’t plan to have 8 different main course items!

Plan accordingly for this and don’t plan to have 8 different main course items!

+ Make food ahead of time.

Simple Recipes for Summer

Whenever possible, make the food the day before the get-together! A lot of desserts and side dishes are really easy to make ahead of time. Even some meats can be made in the slow cooker the day before and reheated the day of.

This will make dish duty a million times easier and will allow you time to spend with your guests instead of in the kitchen.

+ Opt for disposable.

When you’re having a big group of people over, sometimes plastic utensils or plates make things a million times easier. If you are having a salad or side dish, consider individual cups for certain things to make it easier for guests to grab a bite while mingling. There’s no need for a huge plate for just one side dish.

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This also gives people the opportunity to munch on various things throughout the event rather than having to wait for a designated meal time.

With these tips, you’re ready for a stress-free Memorial Day party! Here is that recipe I promised. Check out this video for how to make this Raw Chopped Veggie Salad!

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About the Author

Madison Wetherill

Madison is a lifestyle + food blogger at A Joyfully Mad Kitchen. Her recipes have been featured on the Today Food Club and other food blogs. She focuses on easy to make recipes and tips to take the stress out of cooking and hosting friends and family. She lives in Arizona where she is passionate about community, design and photography.

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