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Classic BBQ side dishes to whip up for the 3-day weekend

As program host of QVC’s popular cooking and dining show "In the Kitchen with David," David Venable offers a diverse and unique viewership experience with features such as product information, cooking demonstrations, on-air guests, celeb...

Make these easy BBQ side dishes for your Memorial Day festivities

Headed to a summer barbecue? You'll want to make something easy that doesn't require the hot oven. You'll want to make something everyone likes. And, you'll want to make something that doesn't need to be kept warm or fussed with. Here are four recipes that fit the bill: two classic salads that are fresh and hearty, one lighter option using summer fruit and deviled eggs... with a barbecue flair.

Make these easy BBQ side dishes for your Memorial Day festivities

Image: QVC

Smoky bacon BBQ deviled eggs

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons cooked, minced smoked bacon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoky barbecue sauce
  • 1 scallion, sliced on a bias

Directions:

  1. Carefully pierce the large end of each egg with a push pin or thumbtack, without cracking the shell. Gently rest the egg in a medium-sized saucepan. Repeat. Cover the eggs with 1 inch of water and heat over high heat until the water comes to a rapid boil. Cover, remove the eggs from the heat, and let the pot sit for 25 minutes. Drain the water and place the eggs in an ice bath for 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight.
  2. Peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Set the whites aside. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and hot sauce to the yolks and mash with a fork until smooth. Fold in the chili powder, cumin, bacon, salt and pepper.
  3. Fill each egg white with the yolk filling. Top each yolk with a drop of barbecue sauce. Top each egg with a few scallion slices.

My tip: By piercing the end of the egg, you're ensuring a perfectly round egg with no flattened ends. There is air in the bottom of the egg and a hole allows that air to escape, giving your egg room to expand and fill the shell as it cooks.

Make these easy BBQ side dishes for your Memorial Day festivities

Image: QVC

All-American macaroni salad

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 4 cups elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and chilled
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced deli ham, diced

Dressing:

  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Directions:

  1. Combine the elbows, onion, celery, peas, red peppers, carrots, eggs and ham in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Then, in a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, sugar and celery seed. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and fold until evenly coated. Chill and serve.

My tip: To make this salad heartier, I added some ham and hard-boiled eggs. You can also add (or substitute) diced chicken, turkey, salami or even cooked potatoes.

Make these easy BBQ side dishes for your Memorial Day festivities

Image: QVC

Grilled potato salad

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

Salad:

  • 3-1/2 pounds red bliss potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 3-1/2 teapoons salt, divided
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 large red peppers, tops removed, seeded and cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. To prepare the dressing, place the oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper, salt and tarragon into a blender or food processor and mix until completely combined. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the salad, place the potatoes into a large stock pot. Cover the potatoes with water, add 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt, and stir. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the grill to medium-high.
  4. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and run cold water over the potatoes, cooling them. Drain again and set aside.
  5. Place the cooked potatoes, red onion wedges, red pepper pieces and sliced fennel into a large bowl. Pour the oil over the veggies and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper and toss again.
  6. In batches, grill the veggies until nicely charred and tender, flipping them often to ensure even cooking. (The onions and peppers will take about 8-10 minutes, the fennel will take about 10-12 minutes, the potatoes will take 12-15 minutes.)
  7. Spoon the veggies into a large serving bowl and let them cool for 5-7 minutes. Then, transfer them to a large cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces. Return the veggies to the bowl and drizzle with the dressing.

My tip: This salad can be enjoyed warm or cold. If you don't like tarragon, substitute it with another fresh herb like basil, parsley or chives.

Make these easy BBQ side dishes for your Memorial Day festivities

Image: QVC

Watermelon and feta salad

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Salad:

  • 1 (6 pound) seedless watermelon, rind removed, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 (4 ounce) bags watercress
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. To prepare the dressing, add the vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Add the chopped basil and pulse 3 times.
  2. To prepare the salad, combine the watermelon, watercress and onion in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.

My tip: How do you know when a watermelon is ripe? It should feel heavy (because most of a watermelon is water), have a yellowish flat spot on one side to indicate it's been maturing on the ground and you should hear a hollow sound when you tap on it.


David Venable is the program host of QVC's popular cooking and dining show In the Kitchen with David. He offers a diverse and unique viewership experience with features such as product information, cooking demonstrations, on-air guests, celebrity appearances and live viewer interaction. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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