Fire up that grill, set those cold side salads in the fridge to chill, make a fruity drink, and let’s get this show on the road! If you need inspiration for Memorial Day here are some yummy recipes!
Salads and sandwiches are two of my favorite summertime meals, and this tasty pasta salad combines both into one amazing dish. It has all the flavors of a classic BLT with the addition of ranch dressing and pasta.
Ranch BLT Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces rotini or other short pasta
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 (.4 oz) package Ranch dressing mix
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup cubed Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water and drain.
- In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, Ranch dressing mix and vinegar.
- Stir pasta into dressing mixture, along with tomatoes, cheese, red onion, bacon, and lettuce.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. If making the day before, stir in lettuce and bacon just before serving.
Mojito Fruit Salad
Mojitos are great year round, but the combination of mint and lime is especially refreshing in the heat and especially when it’s mixed with the ripest of summer fruit and berries, like in this salad. Fresh chopped watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and mint are tossed with a quick and easy, lightly-sweetened lime glaze before serving. So simple. Adding a splash or two of rum would be a fun way to jazz up the recipe. leftovers are fabulous when added to a sparkling wine.
- 4 cups chopped watermelon
- 1lb strawberries, chopped
- 6oz raspberries
- 6oz blueberries
- 1/4 cup packed mint, chopped (NOT 1/4 cup chopped mint)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Add watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and mint in a large bowl. Stir together lime juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl then pour over fruit and berries. Gently toss with a spatula then let sit in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the natural juices in the fruit to start coming out. Don’t forget the added rum!
Root Beer Can Chicken
Gluten-free Root Beer Can Chicken is a whole chicken grilled on top of a can of root beer. Super crispy skin and juicy chicken is the perfect centerpiece at any Memorial Day grill out!
Ingredients SERVES 3-4
- 3-4lb chicken, neck and giblets removed
- 1 can root beer
- grapeseed oil (or vegetable or canola oil)
- For the rub
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 3/4 Tablespoon salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat grill over high heat until it reaches 325 degrees then turn down to medium-high to maintain temperature. Combine all rub ingredients in a small bowl then mix to combine.
- Pour out half the can of root beer then add 1 teaspoon rub mixture into the can while holding it over the sink as it will foam and over flow a bit. Place root beer can on a plate then set aside.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels then rub all over with oil. Season the inside with a couple big pinches of the rub then season the outside (may not need it all.) Place chicken over root beer can then transfer to the grill over indirect heat – meaning don’t place the chicken directly over the flame.
- Put the lid down then grill for 45 minutes – 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer placed into the thickest part of the breast reads 160-165 degrees, keeping the temperature between 325 and 340 degrees during cooking time (it doesn’t have to be precise.) Do not lift the lid for at least the first 40 minutes as the grill will take a long time to heat back up.
- Use tongs to transfer the chicken and root beer can to a plate then let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Be very careful as the root beer can will be HOT!