Chef Chris Valdes shares recipes for Memorial Day barbeque dishes

The dishes include grilled sweet plantains, macaroni pasta salad and more.

May 23, 2024, 7:25 AM

Chef Chris Valdes is a Miami-born author, chef and celebrity caterer, who is known for being a finalist on Food Network Star's "Star Salvation."

To help prepare us for the Memorial Day celebrations this weekend, Valdes returned to "Good Morning America" studio on Wednesday and shared some of the best dishes to serve at your barbeque party.

From burgers to salad to dessert, he's got it all covered!

PHOTO: Chef Chris Valdes serves his Ropa Vieja Birria Tacos at Latin Nights as part of the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One, Oct. 14, 2023, in New York.
Chef Chris Valdes serves his Ropa Vieja Birria Tacos at Latin Nights as part of the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One, Oct. 14, 2023, in New York.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Check out the full recipes below.

Mexican Street Corn Macaroni Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


1 box Macaroni, cooked and drained
5 ears fresh corn, husked, grilled, and corn kernels removed
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
¼ cup scallions, chopped
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, diced (Seeds optional)
Salt, and chili powder to taste


1. In a large bowl, combine and the ingredients. Season with salt and chili powder to desired taste. Chill until ready to serve.

Smashed Burger with Garlic Aioli

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


For the Smashed Burgers

2 lb. ground hamburger 80/20, formed into 8 loosely formed balls
8 slices American Cheese
4 Brioche buns, buttered
Seasoning salt to taste

For the Garlic Aioli

2 cups Mayonnaise (you may use vegan mayo)
½ cup red wine vinegar
10 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder


1. For the garlic aioli, combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulse until fully combined and you have a puree-like consistency. Set aside.

2. Heat griddle to 375 degrees F. Once hot, place ball of hamburger on hot griddle, top with a piece of parchment paper and press down with a burger press to make a patty as thin a possible without it breaking.

3. Sprinkle with seasoning. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until brown and caramelized. Flip, season, and cook the other side until brown and caramelized. Top each meat patty with American cheese and cook until the cheese is fully melted.

4. Toast the inside part of the brioche buns until crisp. Spread a generous amount of garlic aioli on each inside bun and place to meat patties, along with your favorite toppings and serve.

5 Ingredient Grilled Sweet Plantains with Dulce De Leche Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


4 ripe (dark) plantains
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Dulce De Leche Ice Cream


1. Preheat grill to 450'F. Slice the plantains in half vertically, leaving the peel on.

2. Spread butter onto the exposed banana halves. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.

3. Start grilling the plantain with the flesh side down. Grill for 10 minutes or until the plantain slightly softens. Turn over to peel side and grill for about 4 minutes.

4. Serve warm and top with Dulce De Leche Ice cream or Ice cream of choice.

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