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22 Delicious and Fun Recipe Ideas for the Best Labor Day Cookout

End of summer means one thing – Labor Day cookout! Time to break out all your favorite recipes and enjoy the last days of good weather.
22 Delicious and Fun Recipe Ideas for the Best Labor Day Cookout
22 Delicious and Fun Recipe Ideas for the Best Labor Day Cookout
Anna at SideChef
Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
Love This Recipe?
Anna at SideChef
Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.

The dreaded day we have to bid farewell to summer fun, and all our favorite summer activities is approaching. We’ve spent the entire summer doing every imaginable outdoor activity with friends and family. Joined alfresco dinner parties, picnicked, and had fun at the beach.

If we were to try and find one or two activities all of us no doubt enjoy at least to some degree, an activity that brings us together and provides us with pleasant memories, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It has to be cooking delicious food, or at least appreciating the culinary skills of others and enjoying the food itself.

So if you’re still looking for Labor Day 2022 celebration ideas, we are here to help you make this day special, memorable, and delicious! No matter who you are spending this weekend with or what activities you associate with this unofficial end-of-summer closing party, the essence of Labor Day is the delicious, comforting, satiating food we all love and enjoy!

And when it comes to food, SideChef has the answers you’re looking for! We have some traditional Labor Day meal ideas, some classic cookout foods with an exciting twist, some BBQ and picnic-perfect recipes you haven’t thought of, and Labor Day dessert options to please even the picky eaters, and original BBQ side dishes you will fall in love with… Do we need to continue?

So get ready to see the mouth-watering, hunger-inducing Labor Day recipe collection with five of our favorite appetizers and sides, five delicious main dish options, six of the most American end-of-summer desserts, and six incredible summery drinks to go with your food. And a recipe for a homemade BBQ sauce that will change your life!

APPETIZERSSIDE DISH

Caribbean Style Corn on the Cob

StreetSmart Kitchen

Roasted corn on the cob coated with homemade aioli, paprika, Parmesan cheese and parsley. This Caribbean-style corn will change the way you eat corn forever.

APPETIZERSVEGETARIAN

Cheesy Buffalo Corn Dip

Lauren Holdcroft at SideChef

This irresistible dip was made for those of us who have trouble choosing between our favorite foods and flavors. Mexican street corn with everyone’s favorite buffalo flavor… the end-of-summer crowd-pleaser dish you have been looking for!

LUNCHDINNER

Air-Fried Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Beverly Ng at SideChef

A super easy and quick version of teriyaki chicken wings your family will love. Not only does cooking in an air fryer save time, but it also makes these wings healthier. And you still get to enjoy the sweet and tangy taste of teriyaki.

SALADHEALTHY

The Ultimate Easy Potato Salad

Kitchen Mason

If you think potato salad is too predictable and boring, you must try this recipe. And if you love potato salad and simply must have it at every gathering and cookout, you must try this recipe too. Unbelievably simple and incredibly moreish, it will make you the star of any potluck.

APPETIZERSFINGER FOOD

Pimento Cheese Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

Buy This Cook That

Cheese, bacon, and jalapeno peppers together make a recipe for success at any party. When in doubt, just combine these ingredients and doubt no more!

SALADLUNCH

Southern Summer Salad

Garlic & Zest

This is an amalgam of all your favorite Southern food fantasies on a plate. Juicy peaches, summer-ripe tomatoes, cornbread croutons, country ham, glazed pecans over peppery arugula, red onions, scallions, and sweet corn. The recipes for the cornbread and glazed pecans are also on SideChef.

SANDWICHLUNCH

Beef Burger with Homemade Blue Cheese Mayonnaise

East After Noon

A not-so-classic beef burger for a classic Labor Day cookout. This recipe is truly artisanal labor of love. The homemade blue cheese mayo and red onions flavors will get your friends and family talking about your cooking expertise for a long time.

LUNCHDINNER

Best Ribs Ever

Chef's Opinion

There are so many rib-cooking hacks and tricks, and even more ‘secret ingredients’ to use. These ribs are simple, have no secrets, no exotic names on the ingredient list, no BBQing techniques… These ribs are simply the best ribs ever.

SANDWICHLUNCH

5-Ingredient BBQ Chicken Sandwich with Ranch Slaw

SideChef

One more amazing combination of several Labor Day staple foods. BBQ chicken, creamy ranch slaw, fused together into this juicy flavorful sandwich. You’ll have these sandwiches ready to be served in 30 minutes, and they will probably be gone in about 5 minutes.

PASTACHEESE

Smoked Mac and Cheese with Gouda and Caramelized Onions

Summer Yule

Call it fun food, call it comfort food, I’m just calling this smoky mac and cheese recipe DELICIOUS. Perhaps best of all, this is a stovetop-only recipe.

APPETIZERSMAIN DISH

Sriracha Chicken Skewers with Peaches and Basil

Domesticate Me

Looking to add a summer celebratory twist to your chicken skewers? Go for peaches and basil! Light, fresh, these skewers are perfect for end-of-summer BBQ.

Special Labor Day desserts:

DESSERTVEGETARIAN

Peaches and Cream Pie

Where Your Treasure Is

Peaches are such a perfect ingredient for classic end-of-summer desserts. But instead of going with the expected peach cobbler, make this peach cream pie. Serve it chilled and watch how it disappears off plates in seconds.

DESSERTVEGETARIAN

Apple Crisp

In the Kitchen with Jonny

A no-nonsense delectable dessert that will help you smoothly transition into fall. This is a classic old-school apple crisp recipe your grandma used to make. Simple and comforting.

DESSERTVEGETARIAN

Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen

These cupcakes are just full of banana and cinnamon flavor taking you right into the fall season. Gorgeously flavored, moist, and soft, with a pudding center and banana cream cheese frosting. You will get asked for this recipe every time you make them.

DESSERTVEGETARIAN

Summer Blueberry Galette

Lauren Holdcroft at SideChef

Nothing screams summer like blueberries! These pies without the pan are a gorgeous, low-effort dessert that is just as delicious, and if you like a high ratio of buttery crust to filling, then you might like this Summer Blueberry Galette more than a traditional pie.

DESSERTVEGETARIAN

Key Lime Ice Cream Pie

Where Your Treasure Is

We can all agree that Key Lime Pie is a beloved American classic. If you like the original, you will fall in love with this slightly healthier version. A delicious, light, creamy cool ice cream dessert that tastes like Key Lime Pie.

Labor Day Drink Ideas

DRINKSDRINKS

Hibiscus Aperol Margarita

By Gabriella

Nobody knows precisely how many different flavors of Margarita cocktail are available. This summer drink sure is versatile. This is a sweet and tangy margarita perfect for the end-of-summer cookout.

DRINKSVEGAN

3-Ingredient Blackberry Cooler

SideChef

This refreshing non-alcoholic drink is summer in a glass! All mixed and ready in just 5 minutes, it’s perfect for any kind of last-minute gatherings and parties. And oh so refreshing!

DRINKSQUICK AND EASY

Frozen Watermelon Daiquiri

Live Eat Learn

If you want a boozy summer cocktail that can help you forget about the summer heat, this frozen watermelon daiquiri will quench your thirst.

DRINKSVEGETARIAN

Cherry Rose Slushie (Frosé)

Live Eat Learn

Now you know that there’s a more elegant name for boozy slushies. This recipe makes instant frosé (you know, frozen + ros​​é). And you will love the gorgeous cherry flavor.

DRINKSBRUNCH

Sparkling Blood Orange Mocktail with Turmeric

Jessica Gavin

One more alcohol-free beverage is on our list. This blood orange mocktail is packed with nutrients and healthy flavors of turmeric, ginger, mint, and rosemary. It will boost your immune system and get you ready for the coming cold. And it’s really yummy too!

Now as promised, for all the BBQ sauce lovers out there, we give you a simple and quick way to make your very own homemade, preservative-free tangy-sweet BBQ sauce. Using only 8 ingredients you most probably already have in your kitchen, and following 3 simple steps. Enjoy!

Have a delicious Labor Day Weekend!

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