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40 Labor Day Recipes – Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts & More!

Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching and that means it is time to gather our favorite picnic recipes to share with family and friends. As summer quickly comes to a close, we have one final opportunity to fire up the grill, sip on some cool beverages, and enjoy a meal outdoors with others. 

For this unofficial farewell to summer, we’ve put up a delicious collection of Labor Day dishes that will turn your gathering into a feast.  So, whether you’re throwing a big party or just want to cook up something special in the backyard, we have everything you need. 

From mouthwatering grilled meats, fresh salads and satisfying side dishes and sweets, there is something for everyone. So pick out your favorite recipes and enjoy the time celebrating with your loved ones.

Labor Day Recipes
Labor Day has become known as the unofficial end of summer celebrated outdoors at various cookouts and backyard barbecues.

Labor Day Traditions

In the United States, on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is a national holiday that honors the workers of the labor movement that started in the late 1800s. Labor Day serves as a tribute to the strength and determination of workers across the country who fought for justice in the workplace.

However the holiday has also become known as the unofficial end of summer. It is often celebrated with community parades, picnics, and backyard barbecues.

Nearly every family will pull out their grill and gather with friends and family to enjoy one last outdoor meal together. It’s an opportunity to indulge in the simple pleasures with friends and family. And what better way to do that than through food? 

Our simple and satisfying Labor Day recipes are designed to celebrate the flavors of summer. Fresh, seasonal ingredients take the stage and let you savor the flavors that the warm months have to offer. We’ve also included some deliciously easy and fresh recipes to whip up in a pinch.

Luckily, these are all crafted with simplicity and enjoyment in mind. From quick and easy grilling options to refreshing salads and desserts, they allow you to create classic and contemporary summer dishes without worry.

pellet grill baby back ribs
Additionally, our savory appetizers and grilled recipes, listed below, will have you wanting more!

40 Of Our Favorite Labor Day Recipes

Grilling Recipes

When grilling, there’s something satisfying about sound of the food sizzling as it hits the grill. Not to mention the aroma that lofts through the air, making everyone’s mouth water as they wait for the food to hit the table.

Here are some of our favorite grilling recipes that you will definitely enjoy as part of your Labor Day celebration.

Baby Back Ribs Recipe

The Best Grilled Hamburgers

Smoked Chicken Wings

Strip Steak Recipe

Grilled Barbecue Chicken Legs

How To Grill Corn on the Cob

Grilled Potato Packs

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Fresh and Flavorful Salads

No cookout would be complete without some sort of salad. They are full of color, textures, and layers of delicious flavor. They’re a celebration of summer harvests and can offer a refreshing and healthy option that’s anything but ordinary.

From creamy broccoli salad to our zesty Italian pasta, these cool, creamy and refreshing salads add a tasty mix of textures and flavors. Additionally, creating these dishes as easy make-ahead recipes, you can make more time for yourself to enjoy the festivities. 

Also, by making them a few hours ahead, you’ve given these foods more time for their flavors to meld together to become even better tasting!

zesty italian pasta salad - Labor Day Recipes
Homemade Zesty Italian Pasta Salad – easy to make and to customize to your preference.

Potato Salad

Doritos Taco Salad Recipe

Cold Ramen Noodle Salad

Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Seven Layer Salad Recipe

Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe

Creamy Broccoli Salad

Easy Caprese Salad (made with cherry tomatoes)

Cucumber, Onion & Tomato Salad

Labor Day Appetizer Recipes

Labor Day weekend brings a wide variety of appealing appetizers that set the stage for your festive weekend. Of course, from Firecracker Shrimp and Cowboy Caviar, to creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip and Veggie Pizza, these appetizers easily invite guests to indulge while waiting for the main dish to be served.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Cold Veggie Pizza

Cowboy Caviar

Firecracker Shrimp

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Creamy Bacon Crack Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Dill Pickle Chip & Veggie Dip

Homemade Vegetable Dip

Pepperoni Dip

Easy Spinach Dip

buffalo chicken dip with vegetables
Buffalo chicken dip served with sliced veggies.

Other Simple and Savory Side Dish Recipes

Labor Day cookouts most often a variety of tasty side dishes that are shared among family and friends. Although these dishes enhance the main courses and create a well-rounded meal, they are often times the star of the food table.

From the familiar comfort of slow cooker baked beans and creamy confetti corn, to a cool and creamy BLT potato salad, Labor Day’s side dishes ensure a satisfying feast for everyone to enjoy.

Creamy Confetti Corn

BLT Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Rounds

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Smoked Baked Beans

smoked baked beans
Smoked baked beans makes for a fantastic side dish that can feed a crowd.

Desserts Recipes For Labor Day

Last, but not least – desserts are a great show stopper to any festive meal.  Our Labor Day dessert recipes are designed to do just that as well as add that extra touch of sweetness to your gathering.

Also, similar to the salads, some desserts we’ve mentioned are great to make ahead of time, like the sweet Strawberry Dessert Squares or the Easy Blondie Brownies.  Others, like our S’mores Rice Krispie Treats and No Bake Monster Cookie Bites are simple and easy to make and can be put together right before the first guests arrive. 

From fruity delights to rich and indulgent treats, they’re the perfect finale to a fun and festive Labor Day gathering.

Scotcheroos Recipe

Strawberry Crunch Dessert Bars

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Squares

Easy Blondie Brownies

S’mores Rice Krispie Treats

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lasagna

No Bake Monster Cookie Bites

Blueberry Crunch Ice Cream (no machine required)

Now, as the last days of summer draw near, take advantage of the chance to enjoy these Labor Day recipes with a crowd pleasing feast. These Labor Day dishes provide you the ability to enjoy a variety of dishes and to savor the flavors of the summer season coming to an end.

So, light up the grill and gather with your family and friends and enjoy your Labor Day celebration!

Enjoy! Mary

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