Memorial Day Weekend is, for many people, a chance to fire up the grill for the first time in a long time as the season of backyard cookouts begins in earnest—here’s a tutorial on how to bring those grills out of hibernation, by the way. But for every grilling buff out there looking to sweep the neighborhood competition, there are a dozen guests who must decide what they can contribute. This list is for them.
What follows are some quick and easy apps, sides, and desserts that the non-grilling experts among us can bring to any barbecue, picnic, potluck, or garden party. As much as possible, these recipes eschew a hot oven, and they don’t require precious space on the grill; they’re make-ahead options that have been proven to please a crowd. Here are The Takeout’s best ideas for your summer kickoff.