05/29/2016 07:28 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Memorial Day Cookout: 16 Recipes for a Foolproof Feast


It seemed like Memorial Day would never come, but the unofficial start of summer is finally here! Celebrate with a foolproof feast. Whether your hosting a backyard BBQ or taking a dish to a potluck, these grilling recipes, summery salads and simple sweets have you covered.

1. Raspberry Lemonade


Made with puréed fresh raspberries, this refreshing lemonade has a fruity flavor and vibrant pink color. GET THE RECIPE

2. Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing


This recipe was inspired by the popular Thai Crunch Salad served at California Pizza Kitchen. It's made with crisp Napa cabbage, crunchy vegetables and edamame but it's the creamy peanut dressing that makes it so good -- I guarantee you'll want to put it on everything! GET THE RECIPE

3. Honey, Lime & Sriracha Chicken Skewers


These chicken skewers marinated in honey, lime juice and Sriracha are every bit as good as they look -- and if you haven't tried Sriracha, the Asian hot sauce named after the coastal city of Si Racha in Thailand, this is the perfect recipe to taste just how delicious it is. GET THE RECIPE

4. Peel n' Eat Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce


Nothing says summer like Peel n' Eat Shrimp, and they're as easy to make as they are fun to eat. Here, I've prepared them Maryland-style: simmered in beer and Old Bay with homemade cocktail sauce on the side. GET THE RECIPE

5. Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Red Pepper, Chickpeas, Lemon & Dill


Made with bulgur, fresh herbs, chopped vegetables and buttery chickpeas, this Middle Eastern-style salad is like a bulked-up tabbouleh. GET THE RECIPE

6. Juicy Steakhouse Burgers


These burgers are tender, juicy and full of flavor -- just like the ones served at your favorite steakhouse. GET THE RECIPE

7. Grilled Asparagus & Red Onions with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar


Grilled asparagus and grilled red onions are both fine dishes on their own, but together they're even better. The distinct green flavor of slightly charred asparagus marries beautifully with sweet caramelized onions. GET THE RECIPE

8. Grilled Turkey Burgers


If you prefer a burger that's a bit healthier, try this one. The secret to making them juicy and flavorful is to add Italian turkey sausage, a trick often used with meatballs. GET THE RECIPE

9. Minted Cucumber Salad


Light, crunchy and refreshing, this salad is the perfect summer accompaniment. GET THE RECIPE

10. Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs


This is my basic, go-to grilled chicken -- perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or cookout -- and so versatile. You can serve the fillets on their own (kids love them), topped with cheese on a toasted bun or, as I often do, sliced over a salad. GET THE RECIPE

11. Sun-Dried Tomato Dip


If an empty bowl is the sign of a good dish, this dip adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook is a sure winner. It's tangy, delicious and full of bright summer flavor. GET THE RECIPE

12. Grilled Shrimp Kebabs with Tomato, Garlic & Herbs


These flavorful shrimp are perfect for entertaining -- either as an appetizer or main course -- because all of the prep is done ahead of time. All you have to do when your guests arrive is throw the skewers on the grill. But be forewarned: people will eat more than their fair share. Make extra! GET THE RECIPE

13. Cornbread Muffins


These tender and sweet cornbread muffins are the perfect side to any outdoor feast. My kids love them so much that I'm constantly swatting their little hands away from the bread basket so they don't fill up. GET THE RECIPE

14. Simple Summer Strawberry Cake


A few pantry staples and some fresh strawberries are all you need to make this delicious, foolproof cake. And it's so simple, you can have it in the oven in 15 minutes! GET THE RECIPE

15. Luscious Lemon Squares


With their crisp and buttery shortbread crust, tart lemon filling and powdered sugar topping, these lemon squares are as pretty as they are delicious. They also freeze beautifully, so you can make them ahead of time. GET THE RECIPE

16. Supernatural Brownies


If you've been searching for the perfect brownie recipe, look no further. I promise you, this is it! The recipe comes from Nick Malgieri's Chocolate cookbook, an excellent resource for all things chocolate. GET THE RECIPE