45 Labor Day Recipes That Will End Summer on a Delicious Note
Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, meaning there’s no better way to celebrate than with lots of BBQ staples. We’re talking all the cookout essentials from mac and cheese to ribs to baked beans. Here are 45 easy Labor Day recipes that are as easy to make as they are impressive.
1. White Sangria with Peaches and Berries
No one likes a diluted cocktail. That’s why we freeze fresh peaches and raspberries to use in place of ice cubes.
2. Grilled Watermelon-Feta Skewers
Sweet, juicy watermelon and tangy, salty feta are a match made in BBQ heaven. Plus, salad is just better on a stick.
3. Cauliflower ‘Potato’ Salad
Cauli florets > boring spuds. Mayo can sit this one out too; Greek yogurt and sour cream have it covered.
4. Skillet Blueberry Cornbread
Meet pulled pork’s new best friend. They’ll get to meet in just 40 minutes.
5. Jalapeño-Avocado Mac and Cheese
And we thought our go-to comfort food couldn’t get any better. Bring on the pickled jalapeños, green chiles and all the white cheddar.
6. Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken
Not only is this recipe pretty hands-off, it’s also super versatile. Serve it in tacos, over salad or on a brioche bun.
7. Grilled Corn with Spicy Aioli
No barbecue is complete without a few charred ears. And our simple spicy aioli will put them over the top.
8. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing
Well, aren’t you fancy? Bet you never thought salad would be the star of your picnic spread.
9. Chilled Cucumber Salad
Leave lettuce behind for an app that’s ten times as refreshing. Especially after a few sunny rounds of cornhole.
10. Light and Tangy Coleslaw
The quintessential summer side. Whether you pile it high on a pulled pork sandwich or eat it straight out of the fridge, you can’t go wrong.
11. Slow-Cooker Baked Beans
These beat the canned kind by a mile. Think chopped bacon, ketchup and dark brown sugar.
12. Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops
Roasted peach puree transforms into marbled magic when it meets swirls of sweet Greek yogurt.
13. Salmon Burgers
If you have beef with red meat, salmon is here to save the day. The patties are seasoned with a mix of garlic, green onions, lemon, dill and Old Bay.
14. Honey-Lime Chicken and Veggies in Foil
Maximum flavor, minimal cleanup. Just pop each foil packet on the grill and your work is done.
15. Lemon-Berry Sheet Pan Trifle
There’s nothing a sheet pan can’t do. But our favorite trick is light-as-air meringue topped with summer fruit and fresh whipped cream.
17. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
Just the ticket for an alfresco family dinner. A drizzle of sour cream or avocado crema will take the hot edge off the shrimp if your kids are picky.
18. Grilled Zucchini Caprese Salad
We’ll never get sick of the OG, but thin slices of charred summer zucchini are a total game changer.
19. Campfire Grilled S’more Calzones
Stuff store-bought pizza dough with chocolate and marshmallows before grilling until ooey-gooey. And the crowd goes wild.
20. Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Bun or no bun, this Crock-Pot classic is an easy win. But we like it on a sandwich with lots of crispy coleslaw.
21. Grilled Flank Steak with Lemon-Herb Sauce
Don’t let grilling meat intimidate you. All it takes is a killer marinade, five to seven minutes of browning per side and a 15-minute rest before serving.
22. Boozy Lemonade Granita
Aren’t you glad you’re one of the grown-ups?
23. Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Whipped Cream
For everyone who thought their diet meant dessert was off the table. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts and fresh mint.
24. Avocado Chicken Salad
Sliced grapes and lots of mayo? Yawn. Upgrade to avocado, rice vinegar, fresh dill and lemon juice. The store-bought rotisserie chicken will be our little secret.
25. Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce
The trick to drool-worthy brisket? Pop it on the grill or under the broiler to caramelize the outer crust.
26. Fresh Fruit Ice Pops
See ya, artificial flavors and dyes. These pops are the real deal and totally customizable.
27. Roasted Cauliflower Sliders
Vegetarians rejoice. You can still sink your teeth into a stick-to-your-ribs main, and it’s slathered in Sriracha yogurt.
28. Loaded Baked Potato Chips
Wouldn’t it be cool if potato chips and nachos had a delicious baby? We made it happen—and it’s amazing.
29. Bacon Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Burgers
With chopped bacon, shredded cheddar and Worcestershire sauce in the patty mix, these handhelds are beyond juicy.
30. Honey-Peach Semifreddo
Picture digging into a luscious mix of heavy cream, egg yolks, peach jam and diced peaches. (With a glass of prosecco, of course.)
31. Grilled Peach, Chicken and Ricotta Pizza
No one’s passing on a slice fresh off the barbecue. We’re betting it tastes just as good eaten cold the next morning too.
32. Fourth of July Ice-Cream Cake
Labor Day is a patriotic holiday, but we’d be lying if we said we needed an excuse to eat cake.
33. Sweet and Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple
Any reason to put pineapple on the grill, right? There’s pineapple juice in the sauce too, along with soy sauce, rice vinegar and Sriracha.
34. Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce
Don’t look now, but the ground beef in your fridge is getting jealous. Don’t be shy about the homemade yogurt sauce.
35. Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Sorry, messy frying. Not today. Top the fish with fresh slaw, sour cream and lots of lime juice.
37. Broiler S’mores
Try this once and change backyard bonfire nights forever.
38. Strawberry-Mango Hawaiian Shave Ice
A trip to Maui is only 30 minutes of prep and a stint in the freezer away.
39. Grilled Asian Garlic Steak Skewers
Once you have this recipe is in your back pocket, you’ll save a fortune on takeout. Finish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
40. Chicken Tinga Tacos
You take care of the roasted tomato-chipotle chicken. We’ll bring the margaritas.
41. Oven Barbecue Ribs
Homemade dry rub *and* sauce? You’re quite the grill master.
42. Shrimp Boil Skewers with Corn, Sausage and Potatoes
Looking for a break from burgers and dogs? Enter the most low-maintenance, mess-free main you’ve ever made.
43. Grilled Parmesan Garlic Asparagus
Say cheese. Five-ingredient vegetable sides always make us smile.
44. Baked Sesame-Ginger Salmon in Parchment
She’s light, she’s healthy, but most importantly, she only takes 30 minutes to make. Use the oven or trade parchment for foil and upgrade to the grill.
45. No-Bake Berry Tiramisu
Red, white and wow. It doesn’t get any simpler than store-bought ladyfingers, raspberry jam and fresh fruit.