BBQ Pulled Pork and BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches are the stress-free choice for your Memorial Day BBQ Menu.
Of course, you can throw burgers and brats on the grill, but burgers can be dry or cold before your guests get one on a bun.
Easy make-ahead recipes give you more time to attend to guests or other important events.
See our Special Note about Memorial Day at the end of the post.
Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Smoked Chile Dry Rub
Grilled Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Coleslaw with Celery Seed
- 1 pound dry Navy beans , about 2 cups
- 2 teaspoons Sea salt , plus more to taste
- 1/2 pound bacon , cut into 1/4" pieces
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 1 cup chopped mild green chilies
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup Show-Me BBQ sauce , or favorite BBQ sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse and cover dry beans in water with 1 teaspoon baking soda. Soak for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans, then add beans and enough water to cover by 2 inches in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so beans are cooking at a rapid simmer for 1 hour. Check for doneness and add 2 teaspoons salt to the pot and continue to cook until beans are tender, about 30 more minutes.
- In a skillet, fry the bacon pieces until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove from skillet and set aside. Saute chopped onion in 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat until caramelized; add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Mix hot water, vinegar, mustard, sugar, molasses, bbq sauce, bay leaf, and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as desired. Mix cooked beans, bacon, onions and garlic, and green chilies in a separate bowl until combined. Once mixed, pour into a large casserole dish and cover with the sauce mix. If needed, add additional water to cover the beans.
- Cover and bake at 325º (or place in slow cooker on high) for 3-4 hours. Add liquid if necessary to keep beans just covered. For the last hour of baking, remove cover to allow sauce to evaporate and thicken, if needed. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Bow Tie Pasta Salad
- 16 ounce mini bow tie pasta , cooked and drained
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes , halved
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini , coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups yellow summer squash , coarsely chopped
- 12- ounces artichoke hearts , drained and quartered
- 1 whole red pepper , chopped
- 8 ounces sliced black olives , drained
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup diced Provolone cheese , 1/4″ dice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parley
- vinaigrette or Italian dressing , as desired
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and allow to cool. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss with enough dressing to coat well just before serving.
- 1/2 small sweet onions
- 1/4 Serrano pepper
- 1/4 green pepper
- 1/2 yellow chili pepper , mild
- 1 clove garlic
- 5 Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt , to taste
- Put garlic, peppers, and onion in food processor and pulse to chop fine. Cut stems off of cilantro just below leaves. Add tomatoes and cilantro to processor and pulse to chop slowly so that tomatoes do not become too small.
- Remove from processor and squeeze fresh lime over mixture, stir well. Add salt and stir well. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.
Ghirardelli Magic Cookie Bars
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 12 ounces Ghirardelli double chocolate chips
- 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350° (325° for a glass dish). In a 13×9 inch pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle crumbs over butter; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. All holidays are difficult for families who have lost loved ones, but Memorial Day must be especially difficult to process as others plan picnics and backyard parties. Parades, street fairs, vacation plans coincide with graveside visits.
This is an excerpt from an article featured in The Gazette, What to say to grieving families, and why it’s important to remember, about the grief families experience as they remember those they have lost:
“But after the crowds go home, grief is rarely tidy, say those who have lost a child in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some people inadvertently contribute to the heartache with awkward talk of closure or a tone-deafness about the significance of Memorial Day.”
So what expressions of sympathy are truly helpful?
“The kindest thing you can do is just say, ‘Tell me about him,’ because if you don’t talk, you get sick. I’ve had some terrible times after Jake was killed, but for me, being of service is the way to go. I’d hope Jake would say, ‘I’m proud of you, Pops.'”