35 Memorial Day Recipes You Can Make in Your 13x9
When the weather starts heating up and the kids finish up another school year, we know it's time for a backyard barbecue. Memorial Day serves as the perfect opportunity to kick off the summer season right—by celebrating the long weekend with fun in the sun and an outdoor bash to boot. It’s not about fancy table settings, strict time schedules, or fussy menus. It’s about inviting the whole neighborhood, firing up the grill, and getting the good times going. But first, you need to get your Memorial Day food squared away. This year, pair your barbecue, hamburgers, and hot dogs with a fresh spread of summer casseroles that you can make in your trusty 13x9 baking dish. Because every cookout starts simple enough, but Southerners are a social bunch. More are bound to come out of the woodwork for a heaping plate of baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and sheet cake. These Memorial Day recipes will have you prepared for every summer cookout this season, starting with a big send-off.
How To Make Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake
Recipe: Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake
This classic should be in every Southern woman's recipe repertoire. A moist, delicious Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake pleases crowds of all ages, and is the perfect dessert to bring to a neighbor, to a potluck, or to a summer party. Mayonnaise may sound like a strange ingredient to add into a cake, but this iconic Southern staple yields an ultra-moist texture and mellows out the sweet flavor. The tradition of using mayonnaise in cakes dates all the way back to war times, when ingredients like eggs and oil were rationed. In place of these, cooks substituted mayo – whose main ingredients are, as you probably know, eggs and oil. Pulling together this homemade sheet cake recipe only takes about 20 minutes of hands-on prep time. We've topped this recipe with our creamy Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting, which is a decadent garnish on this Southern dessert. If you're not a chocolate-on-chocolate gal, feel free to use your favorite buttercream or frosting to finish off your cake.
Start this recipe by whisking together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder in a medium bowl. The addition of salt in this recipe actually brings out the sweetness – so don't forget to add it! Then, prepare a 13- x 9-inch pan by greasing and flouring. Using a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until you have a creamy, light brown mixture. The goal is to have ribbons form when the beater is lifted from the bowl. Then, add mayonnaise to your wet ingredients, and beat at low speed until combined. Next, add the cocoa-flour mixture to the egg mixture alternately with hot water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Be sure to beat at low speed after each addition so that the mixtures can become fully incorporated. Pour the batter into your pan, and bake! Cool your Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake completely before spreading on your favorite frosting.
Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole
This casserole doesn't stop at one fresh summer vegetable—it's a triple threat.
Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Make sure that your macaroni and cheese gets a summery touch, too. You've got ripe tomatoes at your fingertips...use them!
Okra and Rice Casserole
Recipe: Okra and Rice Casserole
Because making enough fried okra for a cookout full of Southerners just isn't going to happen. This dish is simple and delicious, featuring a mix of tender sautéed okra, sweet corn, Cajun spices, and buttery garlic breadcrumbs.
Baked Ziti with Summer Vegetables
Give a classic cheesy baked pasta a Memorial Day-ready twist with loads of in-season squash and tomatoes.
Classic Baked Beans
Recipe: Baked Beans
You can't beat this classic side at any backyard barbecue, cookout, or picnic.
Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Bars
Be a star at the Memorial Day cookout with these patriotic bars.
Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake
Recipe: Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake
This not-too-sweet cornmeal cake makes the most of your fresh fruit.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Recipe: Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Every Memorial Day cookout will love a full-fledged Tex-Mex casserole. Whip up some fresh guacamole on the side, and you're set.
Creamy Crab Dip with Peppadews
Southerners love a creamy dip, and a creamy crab dip never fails to get the party going in the summertime.
Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-up
Recipe: Deb Wise’s Tamale Pie Mix-up
This big-batch version of the beloved Tex-Mex pie will help feed a hungry cookout crowd, no sweat.
Savory Tomato Cobbler
Recipe: Savory Tomato Cobbler
You won't find a prettier use of your fresh summer tomatoes. It's a side dish fit for a Southern party.
Brown Butter-Caramel Blondies
Recipe: Brown Butter-Caramel Blondies
Chewy and gooey, these brownies are filled with hidden pockets of delicious caramel.
Hot Chicken Salad
Recipe: Hot Chicken Salad
They'll go wild over the hot chicken salad, mark our words. This baked version of Southern chicken salad is a crowd-pleaser.
Baked Smokin' Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Mac and Cheese with Ham
This deliciously smoky recipe is packed full of a creamy smoked Gouda and Cheddar sauce, corkscrew pasta, and chopped smoked ham. Need we say more?
Zucchini Rice Gratin
Recipe: Zucchini Rice Gratin
This gratin is perfect for a hot-weather party because it favors cheesy squash casserole, but skips the heavy mayonnaise.
Mini Confetti Cakes
Recipe: Mini Confetti Cakes
Use a small round cutter to cut these adorable mini cakes out of a simple sheet cake—then let them steal the show!
Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
Recipe: Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
Win over the fruit lovers at the cookout with these gooey crumble bars.
Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Recipe: Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Pull this classic Southern dish together in just one hour—and in a portable casserole that can be served family-style at the Memorial Day party.
Hot Potato Salad
Recipe: Hot Potato Salad
Think of this recipe at the perfect middle ground between potato salad and cheesy potato gratin.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Recipe: Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
This casserole fits under the "friendly for every occasion" category.
King Ranch Chicken
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken
This Tex-Mex recipe is a crowd favorite, making it a one-stop shop for success at a Memorial Day family dinner.
Cream Cheese Brownies
Recipe: Cream Cheese Brownies
A rich and tangy layer of swirled cream cheese mixture takes regular brownies to delicious new heights.
Cherry Pie Bars
Recipe: Cherry Pie Bars
Classic cherry pie practically screams summertime, and these bars capture all the fruity flavor in a big-batch and portable recipe.
Recipe: Zucchini Lasagna
Freshen up a family favorite for spring and summer. Thin, woven slices of zucchini make it festive enough for any potluck.
Homemade Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Leeks
Thin, crispy fried leeks make a lighter topping alternative to fried onions for a warm weather cookout.
Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
Kentuckians—and Kentuckians at heart—rejoice! This recipe takes a classic Hot Brown sandwich and turns it into a potluck-ready casserole.
Tater Tot Bake
Recipe: Tater Tot Breakfast Bake
Because every kid will take down a hearty portion of this tater tot-laden casserole, no matter the time of day—and especially with a hot dog on the side.
Recipe: Savannah Red Rice
You won't find a rice dish with as much flavor as red rice, made with bacon, tomatoes, cayenne pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
Lemon-Coconut Chess Bars
Recipe: Lemon-Coconut Chess Bars
These bars are perfect for entertaining. This summery recipe gets a hint of tropical flavor from coconut milk.
Recipe: Patchwork Cobbler
Topped with squares of sugar-crusted pastry, this cobbler will show off those fresh summer peaches, plums, and blueberries.
Sloppy Joe Casserole
Recipe: Sloppy Joe Casserole
We took a classic summer camp lunch and made it into a potluck-worthy casserole.
Recipe: Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Fresh vegetables covered in melty cheese and crushed buttery crackers? Done and done.
Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Recipe: Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Topped with banana pudding, this fun dessert will keep them coming back for more.
Ham and Noodle Casserole
Recipe: Ham and Noodle Casserole
Made with egg noodles, chopped ham, and a mix of springy vegetables, this casserole feeds a crowd in a pinch.