Over Memorial Day weekend, many of you will have cookouts or invite family and friends over for a meal together, and some of you will even watch the Indianapolis 500! Whether hosting or attending a cookout (or cook-in, if weather isn’t permitting), I hope you’ll take a look in our archives for inspiration. To start you off, I’ve chosen a few recipes that are perfect for entertaining because they are either suited for making ahead or they come together very easily at the last minute, so you can maximize the time you spend with your guests. I’ve made sure to include a mix of savory, sweet, vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. I hope you’ll be inspired to cook something special here for your loved ones. –Kristina
Matt’s Corndogs. This recipe has a vegan option. While it isn’t make ahead, it’s quintessential Americana!
Ming’s Pulled Pork with slaw and barbecue sauce. Make a day or two before, and gently rewarm, served on a platter with a basket of bread and , your guests will love making their own sandwiches!
Giao’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Have these on a platter ready to go with the arrival of the first guest, or lay out the ingredients and allow your guests to roll their own. Either way, they’ll love what they taste!
Dan’s Grilled Scallops and Rhubarb Relish. Wonderfully succulent, very classy! Impress your guests with these scallops and a side of rhubarb relish.
Cerentha’s Sausage Rolls. Great little appetizers that can be made, frozen and reheated in no time. You have no excuse not to always have a batch of these in the freezer! The cheat-short crust is fantastically flaky, even better reheated. Experiment with vegan options!
Sharon’s Pickles. These pickles are ready the next day, and stay good for months in the refrigerator. They are perfect for sandwiches, like Ming’s pulled pork, burgers, or cheese sandwiches. And of course, just for snacking!
Alyson Fox’s Carrots Avocado and Orange with Cumin. This side dish is sooo good, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it. It’s quick and easy, perfect for last minute preparation.
Jill’s vegetarian sushi There are some guests who just like to keep it light. This “sushi” fits the bill! Best made a bit before your meal, don’t refrigerate it or it will get hard! Readers have provided excellent alternative fillings for Jill’s recipe so have a read through, or try your own.
Eleanor’s Strawberry Tofu Pie This pie can easily be made vegan by adapting the crust to your needs. Best of all, it’s a no-bake pie! Make it while strawberries are still available.
Whimsy and Spice’s Peach Ginger Ice Cream Blondies Cut these into bite-sized pieces, or leave them a bit bigger. Anyway you cut it, they are the best ice cream sandwiches ever!
Marjorie’s Lemon Tarts This elegant dessert comes together very quickly and can be made as late as the morning of your cookout and served in the afternoon.
Ditte’s Fruit Meringue Cake (Pavlova). The great thing about this dessert is that you can put your favorite fruit on it. Mixed berries are always a good choice. The crunchy exterior and soft interior meld with the cream and berries to make a sublime sweet finale to any meal.
Spike’s Almond Joy Milkshakes These little milkshakes taste exactly like drinking an Almond Joy. Kids and adults alike will love these. It will take you all of 3 minutes to whip up a batch and pour them into glasses.