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You Can Grill & Chill with These 7 Memorial Day Recipes

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When we picture a holiday meal around the grill, it’s usually accompanied by an assortment of unhealthy foods: chips, beer, burger buns, pasta salads, desserts.

And the idea of “healthy” food always seems like it’s going to be a lot of work.

Which isn’t how any of us want to spend our summer holidays.

But it’s totally possible to have a healthy and enjoyable grill n’ chill festivity — with these Memorial Day recipes.

And, in truth, you can make these Memorial Day recipes at any time of year. They’ll work well for Independence Day, Labor Day, and everything in between. So pick one or two and give them a try. You’ll likely surprise yourself and your guests (in a pleasant way). Not to mention, you’ll feel way better the day after your grill-fest.

Grill & Chill with These 7 Memorial Day Recipes

1. Foil Pack Chicken with Cajun Spice and Vegetables

Foil Pack Chicken with Cajun Spice and Vegetables

This recipe is so simple: mix all the ingredients in one bowl, divide up the ingredients into foil packets, and grill the packets until the chicken is cooked through. It’s easy to double (or triple!) this recipe if you have more guests. Also, the spices pair perfectly with simple Instant Pot mashed sweet potatoes.

2. Citrus Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Here’s a great dish to prepare ahead of time, so you can focus on socializing. The prep for this grilled shrimp recipe is minimal, and the cook time is even less. Whatever time your guests meander in, you’ll be able to serve them something fresh, flavorful, and hot with this easy recipe.

3. Grilled Butternut Squash with Almond Satay Sauce

This dish is an awesome vegetarian appetizer. Or, for the omnivores among us, it’s a perfect side to any grilled protein. Most importantly, this recipe is quick, easy, and delicious. Plus, if you need to save time, you could make the sauce the day before and reheat when it’s party time.

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4. Tandoori Chicken Thighs

You don’t actually need a traditional tandoor oven to enjoy the flavor of tandoori chicken. Get this one marinading the day before, then just take the chicken out of the refrigerator and get grilling. It’s a fair bet your guests will never have had a dish like this at any other Memorial Day grill-n-chill they’ve been to.

5. Bunless Herbed Turkey Burgers

It wouldn’t be an official backyard party (or poolside party, or RV park party, or…you get the idea) without some burgers. For a twist, try turkey! Ground turkey is a great source of lean protein. And you can keep these gluten-free and low-carb by foregoing a bun — replacing it with a nice lettuce wrap.

6. Tangy Mango Salsa Salad

Tangy Mango Salsa Salad

Wow your guests (or the host of the party you’re attending) with this colorful, flavorful salad. This fruity salad is ideal for a warm spring or summer lunch and also works as a dinner when paired with grilled chicken or a piece of pan-seared salmon.

7. Zesty Beet Carrot and Apple Salad

This salad is delicious and refreshing on its own or as a side with some grilled chicken or fish. If you don’t usually eat your beets raw, we urge you to give this one a try. It is incredibly easy to put together, too.

P.S. if you want to make even the simplest food into something exciting, try this Easy Avocado Whip.

P.P.S. If you’re trying to cut sugar, but want to enjoy an adult beverage, try our Low-Calorie Spiked Arnold Palmer.

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Becca Borawski Jenkins
Becca earned her MFA in Cinema-Television Production at USC’s famed film school, and her first career was as a music editor. Becca found her way to career number two through martial arts. She trained in BJJ and muay Thai and worked with professional MMA fighters, building websites, organizing fight promotions, and producing videos.

In 2005, she became a student at CrossFit Los Angeles where she met WLC co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck. In only a couple years, she became CrossFit Level III Certified, left her entertainment career, and dedicated herself full time to coaching, serving as the Program Director of CFLA and founder of the CFLA CrossFit Kids program. After seven years as a music editor and then eight years as fitness instructor, Becca segued to her current career — full-time editor and writer.