Your foolproof Memorial Day cookout menu

The sun is finally out and your cutoffs are looking mighty comfortable. It's a lovely three-day weekend and all your favorite relatives are coming to your place for a casual backyard cookout - but what will you feed them? Our complete menu of salad, ribs, macaroni and cheese and two desserts will please all kinds of picky palates, including younger kids and your grandparents. It's easy as pie (mmm, pie) and you can add all your favorite side dishes.

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad

This is literally the easiest salad you will ever make in your life. The ingredients are super fresh, summer-friendly and all the colors are gorgeous to look at. We love Ina Garten's simple recipe.

Hearty Glazed Root-Beer Ribs

These ribs taste even better than they look: the sweet fizziness of the root beer makes the meat so tender it falls off the bone, creating finger-licking goodness that your guests will rave about all summer. Lori Yates of Foxes Love Lemons makes an awesome version.

Deviled Egg Macaroni & Cheese

Combining everyone's favorite picnic food with everyone's favorite comfort food, it's really hard to go wrong with this recipe. The creamy cheese makes a perfect counterpoint to the tangy ribs, and you can be sure there won't be a bite to spare. This version at Juanita's Cocina will make your little foodie heart go pitter-patter.

Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie

It's almost unfair to combine words like "ice cream" and "pie" in the same dish, and this mint chocolate chip creation is so irresistible that you'll probably want to make more than one. With a crust made from chocolate sandwich cookies (be still my heart), this version is our pick for the summer.

American Flag Berries

To close out the festivities, these fun strawberries are just the ticket. They're fruit, so they're sort of healthy, but with the perfect amount of chocolate and sprinkles, they become a late afternoon treat you can take up to the treehouse with ease. Use good quality chocolate and this recipe from Spoonful for best results.

No matter what you choose to make for Memorial Day, keeping it simple and focusing on fresh summer ingredients will help you throw a great party and spend more time with your guests than in the kitchen.
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