Appetizers, sides, and entrees – this collection of Labor Day recipes has it all.
If you’re hosting a big celebration or an intimate gathering for the long weekend, look to this list for the best recipes.
Labor Day marks the end of summer, and what better way is there to say goodbye to the season than with a fun BBQ?
If you’re running out of ideas, you’ll find a variety of recipes right here.
From classic favorites to budget-friendly copycats to unique creations, I have you covered.
Rich, hearty, and perfect for the weather, these Labor Day dishes will be a guaranteed party hit.
Ready for a sumptuous feast? It’s time to fire up the grill.
1. Peanut Butter Burgers
Let’s start off this list with a bang! Burgers are great with ketchup, mayo, and mustard, but peanut butter? I was doubtful at first, but I’m glad I tried it.
If you’re a fan of satays and peanut sauces, this recipe is definitely a must-try.
The peanut butter adds a lovely contrast of flavor and texture to the otherwise straightforward burger.
Besides the unusual condiment, this intriguing burger is also loaded with melted cheddar cheese and slabs of maple bacon.
2. Grandma’s Macaroni Salad
Impress your grandma with your mad kitchen skills with this macaroni salad.
Rich, creamy, and delectable, it’s an excellent side dish for grilled meats.
Growing up, macaroni salad was a staple at family celebrations. I would only see it at big parties, so I always thought it was difficult to make.
I was wrong. This recipe only calls for a handful of basic ingredients, and the steps couldn’t be easier. And yes, it’s just as good as my grandma’s.
3. Grilled Chicken Wings
When it comes to grilling, burger patties, ribs, and hot dogs usually come to mind.
Chicken wings are a less popular choice, but once you’ve tried these, you’ll definitely want to add them to your protein options.
These grilled chicken wings are truly exceptional.
Marinated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, coriander, turmeric, nutmeg, and cumin for 4 hours, these wings are absolutely bursting with deliciousness.
Grilling instead of the usual frying gives them an extra charred, smoky flavor, to boot.
4. Fall Off the Bone Ribs
This list of summer recipes isn’t complete without fall-off-the-bone ribs! They’re the most anticipated meat at a BBQ, and for good reason.
These ribs have succulent meat so tender they almost melt in your mouth. The flavor is quite like no other, either.
Glazed with a homemade sauce made of ketchup, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce, these ribs will disappear in a flash.
5. KFC Coleslaw
Colonel Sanders may be most known for his amazing fried chicken, but for me, his coleslaw is hands down, the best.
It’s very basic – shredded cabbage and carrots tossed with a creamy dressing. In fact, there’s nothing fancy about the ingredients at all.
It’s such an easy recipe, but somehow, it tastes like magic.
It’s cool, crunchy, and creamy with a hint of sweetness. Apart from fried chicken, it also goes perfect with any grilled protein.
6. The Best Potato Salad
I’m not a salad person, but this one, I’m completely on board with.
You really can’t go wrong with tender potatoes and mayonnaise. Just these two alone already makes me happy.
The addition of chunks of hard-boiled eggs, pickle relish, celery, and red onion, is just a bonus.
Just like coleslaw, this salad is served chilled, making it an awesome pairing to hot, fresh-off-the-grill meats.
The contrast of hot and cold gives my tastebuds unparalleled satisfaction.
7. Quick and Easy Pasta Salad
Here’s another salad recipe I don’t mind eating any day. I love the idea of combining pasta and greens. It makes eating veggies enjoyable!
This salad is also loaded with zucchini, tomatoes, olives, and parsley. Dressed with a simple vinaigrette, this salad is refreshing as can be.
Apart from this colorful and crunchy medley, you can also look forward to two kinds of cheese – mozzarella balls and parmesan. Get in my belly!
8. Patti LaBelle’s Macaroni and Cheese
Packed with Muenster, mild and sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Velveeta cheeses, this mac and cheese is undeniably cheesy.
The thought of all those salty, melted cheeses coating my mouth is making me hungry!
If you think you’ve already had the best-tasting mac and cheese the culinary world has to offer, wait until you try this one.
Interestingly, this recipe wasn’t even invented by a world-class chef!
We have the beloved singer and actress, Patti LaBelle, to thank for this beautiful monstrosity.
9. Grilled Cheese Hot Dogs
Just like burgers and ribs, hot dogs are synonymous with BBQ parties.
If you love the combination of smoky, grilled hot dogs and melty cheese, this recipe is the one to beat.
Hot dog + bun + cheese + bacon = guaranteed success. You really can’t go wrong with this combination.
With two kinds of cheese and crispy bacon, these hotdogs won’t last very long.
In fact, I won’t be surprised if they’re the first to disappear at your backyard festivities!
10. Creamy Broccoli Salad
Want a sure-fire way to get the kids to eat broccoli? This recipe is the solution. This salad is so outrageously rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious.
Here’s how it goes down: broccoli meets crunchy nuts and bacon bits, chewy raisins, and aromatic onions.
For the dressing, you’ll have a creamy blend of mayo, sugar, and just a splash of vinegar.
Whether you serve it on the spot or wait for it to chill, this salad will be a hit.
11. Grilled Pizza
Pizza has never tasted this good.
No one will be able to say no to this extra-special grilled pizza.
Whether you’re making the crust from scratch or using store-bought, grilling it will give it a significant boost in flavor and texture.
The dough alone is amazing with its perfect crunch and smoky char.
Smothered with sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings, it’s bound to be your new party favorite.
12. Paula Deen’s Corn Casserole
This corn casserole is a side dish and dessert in one. This delightful southern treat is not only perfect with grilled meats, but with chili as well.
It’s good even on its own! I for one can devour this casserole even without an entree.
It’s wonderfully sweet and savory, cheesy, and bursting with golden corn kernels.
For the consistency, expect it to be a cross between cornbread and pudding.
13. Grilled Garlic Cajun Shrimp Skewers
Sweet and plump shrimp are threaded into skewers, brushed with a cajun and garlic sauce, and grilled to perfection. How amazing is that?
You’ll love the contrast between the sweet shrimp meat and bold spices from cajun and garlic.
If it’s your first time working with shrimp, here’s a tip.
Grill them for just 2 minutes on each side to get the perfect texture: soft yet snappy, not tough or rubbery.
14. Veggie Burgers
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a juicy burger.
These veggie burgers are so good you won’t even miss the beef. Trust me, even non-vegans will ask for seconds.
Made with a blend of roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, black beans, and spices and seasonings, these patties are every vegan’s dream.
They’re gluten-free as well! With this recipe, everyone can get in on the fun.
15. Air Fryer Brats
Having a last-minute Labor Day celebration? Don’t worry, I have you covered.
Once you’ve tried cooking brats in the air fryer, you won’t want to cook them any other way.
These air fryer brats take just 15 minutes to make, and it’s just as simple as popping them in the basket.
While waiting, you can make a 5-minute cheese sauce to go with your snappy, smoky sausages. You’ll also find a great recipe for it in this article.
16. Grilled Sausages, Peppers, and Potatoes
This platter of grilled sausages, bell peppers, and potatoes is a feast for the eyes and the palate!
The colors alone are already mouthwatering. The flavor and texture combination is just on point.
Plus, it’s such an easy platter that you can throw together in less than 15 minutes.
Serve this with a variety of dips and your appetizer is complete.
17. Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos
These sheet pan chicken nachos are the stuff of legends.
Loaded with tortilla chips, shredded chicken, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole, this is the ultimate party treat.
They’re also a snap to make. All the ingredients are thrown onto a sheet pan and popped into the oven.
It’s a simple dish, yet it tastes like it took a lot of effort to make.
18. BBQ Baked Beans
Soft and starchy beans and savory ground beef are coated with a thick, sweet, and smoky BBQ sauce.
The harmony of flavors and textures makes it the perfect BBQ side dish.
It’s hearty to boot, so it makes any meal extra hearty and filling.
Unlike other recipes that call for hours of cooking, this one will only take you 40 minutes.
That said, don’t feel like you need to wait for a special occasion to whip these up!
19. Smoky Parmesan Corn on the Cob
I’m such a sucker for corn on the cob. Even on its own, I love it. This one is coated with parmesan and paprika, making me fall for corn even harder.
For this recipe, you’ll get two cooking options – baking and grilling.
While the grill undoubtedly adds an extra layer of flavor, the fact that you can also bake it means you can serve it any day.
20. 3-Ingredient Grilled Ranch Potatoes
Rarely do you ever encounter delicious dishes that only call for five ingredients, let alone three. These grilled ranch potato skewers are truly one-of-a-kind.
Potatoes, ranch seasoning, and olive oil – how awesome is it that these simple ingredients can create such a tasty treat?
Aside from the rich and savory flavor, you’ll also love the potatoes’ texture: fork-tender with a mildly crispy outer crust.
21. Easy Crab Cakes
Soft and sweet crab meat is mixed with crunchy breadcrumbs, creamy dressing, and seasonings.
The mixture is shaped into patties and popped into the oven.
Fifteen minutes later, the patties will have turned golden brown with a crispy outer crust.
I have no idea why I once thought crab cakes were so complex to make!
22. Philly Cheesesteak Foil Packs
Philly cheesesteak in foil doesn’t sound at all glamorous, but trust that all the amazing flavors and textures you’ll want in the classic treat are there.
Loaded with perfectly seasoned beef crumbles, potatoes, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a whole lot of cheese, these unassuming Philly cheesesteak foil packs will surely steal the show.
23. Beer Can Chicken
While many argue that a can of beer does nothing for chicken, this recipe will definitely change people’s minds.
The idea is to stuff an entire can of beer inside the cavity of the chicken and grill.
Not only will the beer enhance the flavor of the bird, but it will also ensure it stays tender and moist.
It may not be scientifically proven to work, but I’m a believer. Try it, and you will be one, too.
24. Wingstop Fries
Wingstop fries are sensational. They’re thinner than most, making them extra crunchy and crispy.
Sprinkled with sugar and salt, they have that wonderful sweet and salty contrast I can never get enough of.
With this copycat recipe, you’ll master the science of transforming raw spuds into the crispiest fries you’ll ever have tried.
25. 15-Minute Grilled Salmon
Capping off this list is a hearty, healthy, and delicious grilled salmon recipe that only takes 15 minutes to make.
Drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with a rub of salt, garlic powder, and dried parsley, basil, and minced onion, your salmon will be undeniably tasty.
It’s definitely special occasion-worthy, but it’s so easy you can make it any day of the week! It’s a perfect addition to your weekly meal rotation.
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