Memorial Day Party Recipes On A Budget

April 18, 2019 | Food Lion
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Memorial Day Party Recipes On A Budget

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance ― both for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the United States and its allies and for those loved ones, friends, and acquaintances who passed before us. Although the reason for the day is somber, the celebrations that occur afterward are anything but. Memorial Day usually marks the unofficial beginning of summer, with the end of another school year and the prospect of family vacations creating an aura of excitement.

One of the many ways to celebrate Memorial Day is with food. Although grilled foods and salads typically rule the long weekend, you can get creative and show off your patriotic spirit by making food that displays the nation's colors and feeds big groups of partygoers in your community.

Seven-Layer American Dip

Seven-layer dips are popular one-dish items that you can bring to any party or gathering. They're delicious cold or warm and allow partakers to get a number of different flavors on a single scoop. To achieve the color and design of the U.S. flag, this one features minced onions and sliced black olives where the stars of the flag go and a combination of diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and sour cream for the stripes on the flag. Greek yogurt is a terrific substitute for the sour cream, and any white cheese, including crumbled cotija cheese, works well instead of Monterey jack.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 8-12


  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans
  • 2 to 3 cups taco meat
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • Tortilla chips or tortillas for serving


  1. Cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking or serving dish with the refried beans.
  2. Top the refried beans with the taco meat, spreading evenly.
  3. Add the diced onions in a square pile in the upper-left corner of the dish, pressing them down flat.
  4. Top the onions liberally with the black olives.
  5. Drizzle sour cream along the top and bottom edges of the dish to resemble stripes on the American flag. Add another line of sour cream directly beneath where the onions are to the other side of the dish.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes in rows between the sour cream lines.
  7. Fill in the remaining gaps with shredded Monterey jack cheese.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350-degrees-Fahrenheit oven, if possible, and serve warm with tortilla chips or warm tortillas.

Mixed Berry Compote and Pound Cake

This dessert is a simple way to get red, white, and blue colors on your springtime table. The pound cake is mild in flavor and serves as a terrific complement to the sweetness and tanginess of the berries. The berry compote is very versatile; you can use any leftovers on pancakes or waffles for the next morning's breakfast. For speedier prep time, purchase a premade pound cake from your local Food Lion bakery.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 55 minutes TOTAL TIME: 75 minutes SERVES: 16


For the pound cake:

  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the compote:

  • Zest and juice from 3 lemons
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 cups mixed berries: blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease the bottoms of two loaf pans with vegetable oil spray. Set aside.
  3. Beat the sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl constantly.
  4. Beat the mixture on high for five minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  5. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Beat the flour mixture into the sugar mixture alternately with milk on low speed until smooth. Pour the batter into the baking pans.
  6. Bake the cakes for 55 minutes to one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cook the compote while the pound cakes are baking.
  8. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, and brown sugar to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted completely.
  9. Rinse the berries well under cool running water. Hull and quarter the strawberries.
  10. Add the berries to the saucepan and stir well. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer them to a serving bowl to cool.
  11. Remove the pound cakes from the oven and cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans to cool on a wire rack. Cool completely for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

A favorite with kids and adults alike, these red velvet cupcakes are surprisingly light and perfect for late spring celebrations. The cream cheese frosting adds just enough tang to bring out all of the flavors of the cupcakes. Adding some blue sanding sugar and an American flag toothpick will have everyone feeling patriotic.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 25 minutes TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes SERVES: 12


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk powder
  • 1 cup water
  • Vegetable oil spray

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For decoration:

  • Blue sanding sugar
  • American flag toothpicks


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. For the cake batter, add the butter, sugar, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer set to low to combine all ingredients for 30 seconds. Change the setting to medium and mix for two minutes.
  3. Add the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk powder to another large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and then add the water. Use the hand mixer on a medium setting and blend everything together for about two minutes, scraping the side of the bowl as needed.
  5. Spray cupcake or muffin tins with vegetable oil spray. Pour the cake batter slowly into the muffin tins, leaving about a quarter-inch of space from the top.
  6. Place the muffin pans on a baking sheet and put them in the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  8. Make the icing while the cupcakes are baking.
  9. Add the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Use a low setting on your hand mixer to combine the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and whip the icing for at least five minutes until it's light and airy.
  10. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the tins to cool on a wire rack. Cool them completely for least 30 minutes before icing them. Sprinkle a small amount of the sanding sugar on top of each cupcake. Insert an American flag toothpick into the center of each cupcake. Place the cupcakes on a large platter and serve.
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