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Delicious and Fun Recipe Ideas for the Best Labor Day Cookout

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner and you still haven’t decided how to celebrate, what to cook or what to do? Picnic or BBQ cookout? Burgers or ribs? Corn dip or potato salad? Cobbler or key lime pie? We have some delicious answers for your Labor Day dilemmas. Get ideas for amazing Labor Day meals to enjoy the last moments of summer!
Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. 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.
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Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. 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.
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The dreaded day when we have to bid our 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, had fun at the beach….

Wait a minute, that’s not quite true. Summer activities 2021 were most likely rather different for most of us. Chances are it wasn’t the best or most eventful summer you’ve ever had. And even though Labor Day may also feel a little different this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it.

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 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, Labor Day dessert options to please even the picky eaters, 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 5 of our favorite appetizers and sides, 5 delicious main dish options, 5 of the most American end-of-summer desserts, 5 amazing summery drinks to go with your food. And a recipe for a homemade BBQ sauce that will change your life!

Here are 20 of our top, delicious Labor Day recipes to bid farewell to summer 2021.

Let’s begin with savory:

EASYPEANUT-FREE

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!

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Air-Fried Teriyaki Chicken Wings

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.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

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.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

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!

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Ultimate Creamy Pasta Salad

OnePotChef

This creamy pasta salad has ‘ultimate’ in its name for a reason. It simply is perfect for any occasion: house party, BBQ, picnic, potluck, alfresco dinner party… or just a regular dinner, this pasta salad is an ultimate side dish.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

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.

TREE NUT-FREEFULL MEAL

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.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

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.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Maryland Crab Mac & Cheese

Vodka & Biscuits

Mac and cheese is such a satisfying American classic. If you’re ready to take your mac and cheese game to the next level, make this right now! Forget about calling it just a side dish, it is so good it can go on absolutely everything! Put it in your pulled pork sandwiches, on your burgers, on top of a hotdog, have it for breakfast… Seriously, you won’t be able to get enough of this cheesy perfection!

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

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:

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

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.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

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.

PEANUT-FREEFISH-FREE

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.

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Cook's Illustrated Blueberry Cobbler

Alexandra's Kitchen

If you love a good cobbler, go for a blueberry filling next time. This recipe takes almost a scientific approach to cobbler making. And you’ll know it works when you try it. Perfect tender golden biscuit top and blueberry filling made just right. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is a must.

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

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 drinks to send off the Summer days:

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Herbal St-Germain Margarita

By Gabriella

Nobody knows exactly how many different flavors Margarita cocktail is available in. This summer drink sure is versatile. The light floral taste of St-Germaine adds a bit of summer nostalgia to this version of everyone’s favorite party cocktail.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

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!

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

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.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

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.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

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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