Each year on Memorial Day, we take the time to gather with family and friends to remember the bravery and dedication of our armed forces. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with our loved ones, create memories and enjoy good food.

If you’re planning to celebrate Memorial Day this year by hosting a party, here are some simple recipes to help you create a delicious menu without spending hours in the kitchen, so you can enjoy a memorable celebration with your guests. 

Crowd-Pleasing Dishes 

These recipes are perfect for a crowd and are versatile enough to be served as a main dish or as an appetizer or side dish. They incorporate bright, colorful summer flavors and delicious textures that your guests will love—and thanks to Minute Rice, they’re all incredibly easy to make! 

Feta and Tomato Rice

A classic Mediterranean combination can be made in minutes with this Feta and Tomato Rice dish. Combine creamy feta cheese with grape tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, oil, salt and pepper with Minute’s Basmati rice for a deliciously fresh summertime dish. This is perfect as a single serving with Minute Basmati Rice Cups, or can be multiplied for a larger group with Minute’s Instant Basmati Rice. For a heartier version of this dish, add shredded chicken, chopped chorizo, beans or lentils for some extra protein. 

Summer Squash Rice

This Summer Squash Rice recipe is the perfect way to ring in summertime with fresh produce like summer squash, cherry tomatoes and fresh parsley. Toss together cherry tomatoes, squash and oil,  microwave until the vegetables are tender, then stir in a Minute White Rice Cup, parsley and parmesan cheese. In minutes, you and your guests will be able to enjoy the delicious flavors and bright colors of summer produce! 

Lemon Dill Basmati with Cranberries, Pistachios and Goat Cheese

This Lemon Dill Basmati with Cranberries, Pistachios and Goat Cheese is a bright, citrusy dish that makes the perfect side for a summertime party.  Crunchy pistachios, dried cranberries and creamy goat cheese bring delicious texture to this recipe, perfectly accented with fresh lemon, dill and fragrant Minute Basmati Rice. Serve on its own or with chicken fresh off the grill. 

Hamburger Rice Casserole

Hamburger Rice Casserole is sure to be a crowd-pleaser among your Memorial Day guests, and is incredibly easy for you to prepare ahead of time. The base of the casserole is Minute’s Spanish Rice Cups, which are packed with savory flavors like tomato, garlic and onion. The rice is used to form the casserole’s crust, then topped with onions, hamburger meat and cheddar cheese. Serve with tortilla chips and pico de gallo, and watch your guests dig in! 

Amazin’ Crab Rice Cakes 

Crab cakes get a unique spin with these Amazin’ Crab Rice Cakes, which uses rice in place of breadcrumbs to bind the cakes together. Combine crab meat with eggs, seafood seasoning and Minute Butter & Sea Salt Jasmine Rice Cups, which help to incorporate buttery richness and aromatic flavor, to create these crab cakes. To make this dish into an appetizer for your guests, make the crab cakes bite-sized and serve with tartar sauce or remoulade for dipping. 

BBQ Fried Chicken

This incredibly simple BBQ Fried Chicken helps you get the flavor of a cookout without even turning on your grill. Top breaded chicken tenders—either store bought or homemade, if you have the time—with your favorite barbecue sauce, and serve with corn over a Minute White Rice Cup. It’s the perfect simple dish for guests to quickly grab at your party, especially kids.  

On the Grill 

There’s nothing better to mark the start of summertime than cooking on the grill, and these Memorial Day barbecue recipes make it easy to serve up delicious grilled food for your guests. 

All-in-One Shrimp Skewers with Grilled Rice

This All-in-One Shrimp Skewers with Grilled Rice recipe is perfect to enjoy outdoors on a beautiful day. Shrimp marinated in Italian dressing are paired with grilled rice, which is a fun and unique dish to create on the grill. In a pouch of aluminum foil, place Minute Instant White Rice, bell peppers and zucchini and add chicken broth and Italian dressing, leaving room for air to circulate. The liquid will be absorbed by the rice while on the grill, imparting delicious flavor to the rice and vegetables along with the smoky taste of the grill. 

BBQ Grilled Beef Kabobs 

Classic barbecue flavor and colorful summer vegetables are the star of these BBQ Grilled Beef Kabobs. This dish is incredibly simple to prepare—just arrange sirloin steak, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, onions and zucchini on skewers and grill for 6-10 minutes, brushing frequently with your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve over Minute’s Instant White Rice, and you have a perfect summertime meal straight off the grill! 

BBQ Brisket Plate

If you have a bit more time to prepare, slow cook some brisket on your grill or smoker for this BBQ Brisket Plate. With a Minute White Rice Cup, barbecue sauce, baked beans, and pickles and onions for garnish, this dish is a simple take on classic American barbecue. It’s perfect for a single serving meal, or can be multiplied to create a meal to share.  

Summer Salads 

Salads are perfect in the summertime to bring a light, refreshing element to your table. These recipes take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables to create colorful, filling and delicious salads that your guests will love. 

Chicken Caprese and Strawberry Rice Salad

This colorful Chicken Caprese and Strawberry Rice Salad is refreshing, delicious and easy to make for your Memorial Day cookout. Start with a dressing made from oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, thyme, salt and pepper, then mix in with rotisserie chicken, Minute Instant Jasmine Rice, strawberries and mozzarella for a hearty salad. Add in arugula and basil for your greens, then top with walnuts for a great crunch.

Mexican Street Corn and Rice Salad

Delight your guests with this fun Mexican Street Corn and Rice Salad, packed with refreshing summer flavors and the perfect amount of spice atop fragrant Minute Jasmine Rice. The dish incorporates delicious elote-inspired ingredients like queso fresco, jalapeño and avocado, along with a chili and lime mayo sauce. It’s the perfect side dish for your Memorial Day weekend table—and it only takes 15 minutes to make! 

Creamy Avocado, Crab and Rice Salad

This Creamy Avocado, Crab and Rice Salad is hearty enough to be a meal by itself or a great side dish for your Memorial Day party. Crisp summertime ingredients like bell pepper, celery and fresh chives combine with rich creamy textures from avocado, feta cheese and ranch dressing for a salad packed with delicious flavors. The subtle, sweet flavor of crab compliments these ingredients perfectly, and Minute’s Instant Jasmine Rice brings an aromatic touch to the dish. 

Delicious Desserts

No party is complete without dessert! These recipes are perfect for a summer party—refreshing, fruity and best of all, easy to make.  

Coconut Pineapple Rice Popsicles

Help you guests cool off in the summer heat with these Coconut Pineapple Rice Popsicles. These popsicles incorporate basmati rice, which imparts a delicious aroma that enhances the tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut. Simply combine Minute Basmati Rice Cups, coconut milk, honey, pineapple and sweetened coconut flakes, then freeze in popsicle molds before your guests arrive. For a twist, you can make these into piña colada popsicles by adding lime juice and rum extract, or try incorporating your favorite flavors to really make these popsicles your own!   

Crispy Quinoa Berry Crumble 

Baking can be intimidating, but this Crispy Quinoa Berry Crumble makes it easy with just a few ingredients. Fresh berries are the star of the crumble’s filling, while the topping made from Minute Organic White & Red Quinoa, brown sugar, butter and flour brings a delicious crunch and sweetness to the dessert. Simply combine the ingredients into a baking dish and bake for an hour, then serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Tips for Planning Your Memorial Day Party 

You’re the host of this celebration, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy the event that you’ve worked so hard to put together! To minimize stress the day of the event, make sure you prep any ingredients you can in advance to make last-minute details go more smoothly.

You can pre-cut veggies and fruits ahead of time, and measure out ingredients and store them in the correct quantity so dishes are easily prepared the day of your event.  Salads and other cold dishes can be prepared the day before, then finished with dressing right before serving. 

Along with a great Memorial Day cookout menu, the atmosphere is key to hosting a great party. Set up your outdoor space—again, doing as much prep ahead of time to save yourself stress—to reflect Memorial Day with patriotic colors incorporated in your place settings, servingware and drinkware. You can also embrace the start of summer by including bright, light colors and breezy textures. To protect guests from the heat, try offering some shady spots in your party space and be sure to keep coolers stocked with plenty of cold drinks so everyone can stay hydrated. 

Memorial Day parties are about being outside, enjoying the company of family and friends and honoring our dedicated armed forces—not toiling away in the kitchen for hours. The important thing is to focus on enjoying the party that you’ve created with your guests. Using Minute Rice and these simple but delicious recipes, you and your guest will surely have a Memorial Day celebration to remember.  

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