Two Healthy Make-Ahead Recipes For Your Memorial Day Party cover

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May. It’s a special day because it invites us to pause and commemorate all of the servicemen and servicewomen who have died in the U.S. military.

Memorial Day weekend is also the unofficial kick-off for Summer. For many of us, it’s a weekend to celebrate the warmer weather and longer days by connecting with family and friends at picnics, parties, and cookouts.

If you’re attending or hosting a Memorial Day gathering next weekend and aren’t quite sure what to make, check out these healthy and delicious recipes. I love these recipes because you can make them ahead of time and you can serve them cold or at room-temperature – no heating required!

Here are two healthy make-ahead recipes for your Memorial Day party.

pasta salad vegetables

Picnic Noodle Salad

Serves 2

½ pound macaroni noodles

⅓ cup “Ranch” Dressing (recipe below)

1 medium cucumber, chopped

¾ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

¾ cup shredded carrots

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cups chopped baby spinach

1 15-ounce BPA-free can white beans, drained and rinsed

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Omnivore Option: 8 slices nitrate-free deli ham, chopped

Optional additions: black olives, broccoli, shredded cheese, corn

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain then rinse in cold water until fully cooled. Add cooked pasta and all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well and serve topped with ham if desired.

“Ranch” Dressing

Makes about 1 cup

¼ cup tahini

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 scallion, minced

1 tsp dried dill

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp honey OR maple syrup

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

water to thin, if desired

Whisk all the ingredients well in a small mixing bowl. Add about ¼ cup of water to make the dressing thinner, if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.


cream cheese veggie rolls

Cream Cheese Veggie Rolls

Serves 2

2 large collard green leaves, tough ends removed

½ cup organic cream cheese OR vegan cream cheese

½ cup black bean dip

1 cup shredded carrot-cabbage blend

1 large tomato, sliced

1 cup sprouts

½ cup salsa

Omnivore Option: 4 slices nitrate-free deli roast beef

Lay the collard leaves onto a flat surface. Spread the cream cheese and bean dip over the leaves. Divide remaining ingredients (except salsa) between the leaves. Top with sliced roast beef, if desired. Roll like a burrito, then slice into rounds. Serve with salsa for dipping.

Here’s another recipe for Mediterranean Broccoli Salad that would be a nice addition to your picnic table that’s loaded with healthy, wholesome ingredients.

Do you have a favorite Memorial Day recipe to share? I’m always on the lookout for fun new recipes. Send it to me at or share it in our Facebook Group.

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