Make-Ahead Memorial Day Dishes

Memorial Day is a special holiday as it gives us the opportunity to collectively pause and express gratitude for all servicemen and servicewomen, both past and present, who have chosen to give so much for our country. This particular holiday weekend also represents the iconic summer kickoff weekend - and who doesn't get excited about the warm summer nights, endless cookouts with friends, and al fresco dinners  that lie ahead?!

Although my Memorial Day weekend plans change every year, they always seem to involve picnic-style eating by the pool or on the patio with family and friends. Flexible holiday weekend plans call for no-fuss meals that can be easily transported wherever our friends decide to gather, and that can be served cold or at room temperature so everyone can just eat when they're hungry. My favorite kind of entertaining!  

I'm sharing a few of my favorite make-ahead picnic dishes that are tried-and-true, full of flavor, and can go wherever your Memorial Day weekend plans take you!

Bacon Ranch Dip2-1

Everyone knows it's not a picnic without a dip. And if it's a good picnic, it most likely involves this Bacon Ranch Dip for artichokes, the ultimate make-ahead dish. Prepare the dip and steam the artichokes ahead of time using our Season and Steam Artichokes and take them in an ice chest wherever your weekend takes you. 


Caprese is one of the simplest yet elevated side dishes you can serve because it only takes a few ingredients, it's packed with fresh flavor, and it looks beautiful when served on a platter. This Artichoke Caprese Salad is a unique spin on the classic. 

DMA-SOLUTIONS_INSTANT-POT_ARTICHOKE-ALMOND-CHICKEN-SALAD_0896-1For an easy main dish, whip up this Artichoke and Almond Chicken Salad by letting your Instant Pot do all the work for you. Refrigerate ahead of time and when ready, serve it on sourdough bread or on a bed of fresh, leafy greens. 


Finally, for a sweet ending to your day, store these Cool & Creamy Classic Artichoke Ice Pops in the ice chest and "pop" them out when everyone's ready to cool down. The wonderful, bright color will have the kids begging to try them and the promise of a refreshing gourmet treat will have the adults lining up, too!

Is there a dish that your picnic can't do without? Let us know in the comments, and we just might try and put our own spin on it! 

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Diana McClean
Growing up on California's central coast, I enjoyed delicious artichokes around the family dinner table and always on Christmas Eve! It is beyond perfection that I now market artichokes for a living and get to share the Ocean Mist Farms story and my love of all things fresh.
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