40+ Labor Day Recipes

Looking for some recipe ideas for your Labor Day cookout? I’ve gathered up my favorite main dishes, side dishes, appetizers, and drinks that are perfect for the upcoming long weekend.

Labor day recipe photo collage.

Creative burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches, along with delicious summer salad recipes, pasta salads, baked beans, and other side dishes, are just a few ways to celebrate. Don’t forget to make a cold drink to go with them! There’s even a few Labor Day dessert ideas to finish the meal. You will love these recipes for your weekend cookout, potluck, or BBQ.

Main Dishes

photo of hot dogs with cheese and caramelized onions

French Onion Hot Dogs

These French onion hot dogs are a great way to give a summer classic a gourmet twist. The hardest part is waiting for the onions to caramelize, but it is so worth the wait. If you love French onion soup, I think you will love this recipe.

lamb burgers.

Easy Greek Burgers

Greek burgers topped with creamy tzatziki sauce, crisp cucumber, tomato, and crumbled feta cheese. This is an easy burger recipe full of fresh flavors!

three pork sandwiches with coleslaw.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

These pulled pork sandwiches start with an easy slow cooker pork recipe that you can make ahead. The shredded meat is piled on soft buns, drizzled with BBQ sauce, and topped with slaw for a delicious pork sandwich. Make them for a crowd or save leftover pulled pork to use later.

turkey burger.

Turkey Avocado Burgers

These summery turkey burgers are topped with avocado, fresh greens and a creamy herb dressing. 

chicken cobb salad in a blue bowl.

Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad

Cobb salad loaded with grilled chicken, crispy bacon, hard-boiled eggs, creamy avocado, and fresh greens, all tied together with a tangy red wine vinaigrette. It’s a light and fresh dish for the long weekend! 

blue cheese burgers

Blue Cheese Burgers

Easy blue cheese burgers with bacon are a restaurant-inspired burger recipe that’s easy to make at home.

caprese roast beef sandwiches.

Caprese Roast Beef Sandwich

This big sandwich combines a fresh caprese sandwich with deli-sliced roast beef. It’s great for picnics or summer get-togethers.

salmon burgers

Cilantro-Lime Salmon Burgers

Fresh salmon burgers topped with a creamy-cool avocado mayo. The burgers have some zing thanks to some fresh lime zest and chopped cilantro, and they take about 30 minutes from start to finish.

a piece of chicken being brushed with the glaze.

Pineapple-Jalapeno Grilled Drumsticks

Grilled drumsticks brushed with a sweet and tangy glaze with a kick of heat from jalapeno and sriracha. Add some grilled pineapple on the side and pile it all on rice for an easy summer dinner.

Bacon & Goat Cheese sliders with arugula and herb mayonnaise

Bacon & Goat Cheese Sliders

Sliders are always fun for parties, and these ones are dressed up with creamy goat cheese, crispy bacon, and fresh arugula.

Bacon Cheeseburger with Green Chile Mayo

Bacon Cheeseburgers with Green Chile Mayo

Give your burger an upgrade with a creamy green chile mayo sauce.

Side Dishes

pasta salad in a clear glass serving bowl

Italian Pasta Salad

This easy Italian Pasta Salad has a tangy homemade dressing and all the Italian-style ingredients like pepperoni, ham, olives, mozzarella cheese, and rotini pasta.

Green Bean Potato Salad | girlgonegourmet.com

Green Bean Potato Salad

Switch up the old mayo-based potato salad for this fresh and flavorful one that has a Dijon dressing and fresh green beans.

overhead shot of baked black beans.

Baked Black Beans

Baked black beans are a great summer side and so easy to make with canned beans. They’re easy to prep and then simmer in the oven – serve them with all of your favorite summer main dishes.

overhead shot of the final dish.

Sesame Noodle Salad

This sesame noodle salad is ready in less than 30 minutes! It’s a great side dish or light dinner for the summer and is so easy to make. It has lots of noodles, rotisserie chicken, cabbage, and green onions tossed together with a quick and easy sesame peanut sauce.

overhead photo of a avocado shrimp salad

Avocado Shrimp Salad

Quick and easy avocado shrimp salad with a zingy cilantro-lime dressing, bell pepper, corn, and lots of creamy avocado. It’s a no-cook, 20-minute recipe!

a bowl of pasta salad

Pesto Pasta Salad

This pesto pasta salad is loaded with fresh veggies like asparagus, spinach, and peas. Add some chicken, pesto, and pasta, and you get a summer-fresh pasta salad that is ready in 30 minutes.

overhead shot of the fruit salad.

Mexican Fruit Salad

Fresh and light Mexican fruit salad is a combination of summer fruits dressed in a spicy-sweet dressing. It’s a great cold side dish for any meal, or make it for your summer potlucks, BBQs, or cookouts.

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

A fun twist on a traditional BLT, this salad has a creamy mayo dressing, crispy bacon, and sweet cherry tomatoes.

overhead shot of the final dish.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Fast and fresh black bean and corn salad with a zippy lime dressing. This is a great summer side dish for all the potlucks, BBQs, block parties, or anytime you want a light and delicious salad.

photo of orzo pasta salad in a platter

Orzo Pasta Salad

This orzo pasta salad is a light, summery side dish for BBQs and potlucks. It’s full of fresh broccoli, red bell pepper, red onion, and chickpeas and is dressed with a lemony Dijon vinaigrette. 

overhead shot of a bowl of pasta salad.

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad

Creamy ranch pasta salad with crispy bacon, sweet green peas, and smoked cheddar cheese is a cool and creamy pasta salad recipe for summer.

Appetizers

a bowl of avocado salsa verde with a chip being dipped.

Avocado Salsa Verde

Avocado Salsa Verde is a fresh salsa recipe with creamy avocado, tomatillos, serrano pepper, and fresh cilantro and lime juice. It’s so easy you can make a batch in about 10 minutes!

jalapeno popper dip in a bowl with crackers.

Jalapeno Popper Dip (or Spread)

This jalapeno popper dip is an easy appetizer recipe. You can make it a day in advance and serve it with crackers or chips. It has all of the flavors of bacon-wrapped jalapeno wrappers but served up cold and creamy as a dip instead. 

a chip being scooped in the dip.

Chipotle Black Bean Hummus

Black bean hummus with a kick of spicy, smoky chipotle peppers and topped with pico de gallo is a twist on a traditional hummus recipe. Combine everything in a food processor, blend and serve with tortilla chips, pita, vegetable sticks, or crackers for an easy appetizer or snack.

corn salsa.

Corn Salsa

This fresh and fast corn salsa is the perfect appetizer or side dish for so many occasions. It has really simple ingredients and only takes 15 minutes to make.

everything seasoning dip.

Everything Bagel Dip

You only need four ingredients to make this everything bagel dip and it takes all of ten minutes to start to finish. Everything bagel seasoning and fresh green onions flavor the creamy dip made with cream cheese and sour cream.

cowboy caviar guacamole in a bowl with tortilla chips around it.

Cowboy Caviar Guacamole

Cowboy caviar combined with creamy guacamole is a quick and easy dip recipe loaded with fresh flavors. It has avocado, beans, corn, peppers, tomatoes, and fresh lime juice all mixed up and ready for a big bowl of tortilla chips to go with it. 

the dip with a cracker in it.

BLT Dip

This creamy BLT dip is so easy to make – it only takes about 10 minutes! It’s creamy and loaded with flavors from a classic BLT sandwich but in dip form.

pimento cheese dip.

Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento cheese is a classic Southern cheese spread made with simple ingredients that, when combined, is hard to resist. Serve it with crackers and it will disappear fast!

a bowl of salsa with chips

Easy Homemade Salsa

Homemade salsa that’s not watery, not too thick, and full of fresh flavors from tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeno. This is a cooked salsa recipe that is ready to go in less than 30 minutes. It’s full of fresh flavors and so easy to make.

Roasted red pepper & basil pinwheels on a plate

Roasted Red Pepper Pinwheels

These pinwheels are so simple to make and a great appetizer when you need something easy. Cream cheese, basil, and red peppers rolled up in tortillas – make them ahead for the best flavor!

photo of a vegetable platter with bowl of tzatziki

Tzatziki Dip

Tzatziki is a quick and easy spread or dip that takes just minutes to make. Make it ahead so the sauce has time to chill in the fridge so all of the flavors develop. Serve it as a dip with pita and veggies for an easy appetizer.

photo of guacamole

Simple Guacamole Recipe

Irresistibly scoopable homemade guacamole! This is my go-to simple guacamole recipe – you’re just four ingredients and 10 minutes away from this bowl of goodness.

Drink Recipes

a glass of iced tea with a straw.

Passion Fruit Iced Tea

Easy Passion Fruit Iced Tea is a quick drink recipe with just four ingredients. It’s tropical and refreshing – a great summer drink!

a pitcher of vodka lemonade.

Sparkling Vodka Lemonade

Cold and refreshing sparkling vodka lemonade is the perfect sippin’ drink for a warm summer night. The soda water adds fizz plus cuts the sweetness of the lemonade for a perfectly drinkable drink. This recipe makes four large drinks and can be easily adjusted to serve more or less.

overhead shot of the lemonade.

Strawberry Lemonade

Cold and refreshing strawberry lemonade made from scratch with fresh lemon juice, frozen strawberries, water, and sugar. This recipe is easy to make and easy to customize, too, with other frozen fruit like blueberries, raspberries, or peaches.

photo of the cocktail

Watermelon Mojito

Cold, fizzy, and so refreshing – these watermelon mojitos are a twist on the classic Cuban drink. Made with fresh watermelon juice, rum, mint, and Iime juice it’s a great drink for a warm summer night.

pineapple agua fresca

Pineapple Agua Fresca

A refreshing aqua fresca made with fresh pineapple, lime juice, and a touch of honey is an easy drink to make. It’s light, refreshing, and perfect on a hot day.

a glass of berry lemonade with another one in the back.

Sparkling Berry Lemonade

Cold and fizzy lemonade made with fresh blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and lemon juice. Perfectly sweetened and the best way to cool off when it’s hot.

two margarita wine spritzers

Margarita Wine Spritzer

Wine spritzers get a margarita twist! These cold and refreshing drinks are easy to make and easy to sip on, especially if it’s a hot summer day.

photo of margaritas

Citrus Margaritas

Ice-cold margaritas, made with four different citrus fruits, are so refreshing!

Desserts

close up shot of a slice removed from the cake.

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

Chocolatey cold frozen cheesecake with a coffee twist! This mocha cheesecake is a no-bake dessert with a chocolate cookie crust and topping and a rich mocha cheesecake filling.

overhead photo of berry crumble

Triple Berry Crumble

This berry crumble is easy to make and a great summer dessert. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries topped with a golden crumble topping is delicious on its own but even better served warm with a scoop of ice cream.

overhead shot of cookies in a bowl.

Cookies and Cream Cookies

These cookies and cream cookies have the best soft and chewy texture, with crushed Oreos in every bite. They’re easy to make, plus you can freeze the cookie dough for later, so a fresh-baked batch is just minutes away.

overhead shot of the brownies.

Peanut Butter Brownies

Fudgy and rich peanut butter brownies with a layer of peanut butter filling baked inside and a swirl of it on top. If you’re a fan of peanut butter cups, you will love this brownie recipe.

Caramel brownie no churn ice cream

Caramel Brownie No-Churn Ice Cream

No ice cream machine? No problem! This no-churn ice cream is rich and creamy – plus, you can customize it however you like.

Three blueberry hand pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Blueberry Hand Pies

Using store-bought pie crust makes these hand pies so easy to make. Plus, they are freezer-friendly, which means you can make them ahead and bake them as you need them. See the recipe notes for instructions on how to freeze them.

a pile of chocolate chip cookies.

Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe produces a perfectly balanced cookie – crispy around the edges and soft and chewy in the middle with plenty of melty dark chocolate throughout. The texture, the nutty and complex flavor, and the appearance of these cookies make them a winner in my book.

I hope you’ve found some amazing Labor Day recipes to try!

Happy Cooking,

April

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Post updated from the archives. First published in August 2020.

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