Here’s Every Single Labor Day Cookout Recipe in One Place

updated Aug 29, 2022
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Photograph of steak kebabs in on a metal quarter sheet tray.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Labor Day weekend has a way of creeping up. June, July, and August fly by, packed with summer fun. Then, all of a sudden, you’re looking towards fall (hello, apple desserts!). It’s a little bittersweet.

But it’s not fall yet! And to celebrate a summer (hopefully) well-spent, you want to cap off the season right, with a cookout. All the best summer foods are in order. Gather friends and family, brush down the grill, crack open a cold drink, and toast the classic summer traditions. To help you out we’ve gathered all the Labor Day recipes that are worth making this holiday weekend into one place. Here you go.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

Refreshing Drinks

1 / 6
Hibiscus Mezcal Pitcher Cocktail
When the tart, sweet flavor of hibiscus combines with the smokiness of mezcal, you get one irresistible cocktail.
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2 / 6
3-2-1 Pitcher Margaritas
Easy pitcher margaritas that serve a crowd, made with just tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.
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3 / 6
Cucumber Gin & Tonic Pitcher Cocktail
An easy pitcher gin and tonic recipe with muddled cucumbers.
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4 / 6
Watermelon Margarita
An easy 3-ingredient recipe for fresh watermelon margaritas.
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5 / 6
Sparkling White Peach Sangria
White wine and white peaches keep this simple 4-ingredient sangria cool and refreshing.
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6 / 6
How To Make Lemonade from Scratch
Ditch the simple syrup for the easiest homemade lemonade ever.
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Small Bites

1 / 4
Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Skewers
Tomato-mozzarella salad epitomizes summer living and putting it on a stick is simply an easier way for a crowd to enjoy it.
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2 / 4
Halloumi and Melon Skewers
Cubes of cantaloupe, watermelon, and briny halloumi are charred on the grill, then brushed with a honey-lime glaze.
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3 / 4
Grilled Guacamole
Grilling avocados creates a lightly smoky, rich and silky guacamole.
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4 / 4
Tomato-Mango Salsa

f you love the way ripe summer tomatoes and peaches play together, you will simply love this blend of tomato and mango.

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Grilled Mains

1 / 8
Steak Kebabs
Savory marinated steak cubes are grilled with zucchini ribbons and cherry tomatoes in this easy, colorful skewer.
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2 / 8
Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
A simple spice rub perks up these classic grilled chicken drumsticks that are finished in a sweet-tangy barbecue sauce.
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3 / 8
Chili-Lime Chicken Skewers
Everyone needs a go-to summery chicken dinner, and this is mine. Bite-sized pieces of zesty, smoky marinated chicken are threaded onto skewers and grilled to perfection.
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4 / 8
Easy Chili Dogs
A super-shortcut chili makes these dogs a party hit.
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5 / 8
How To Make the Juiciest Burger Patties
Just one ingredient will make your burgers infinitely juicier this summer, and it's already in your kitchen: butter!
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6 / 8
Grilled Steak
Learn to grill strip steaks with our fail-proof grill method.
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7 / 8
The Best Smoked Ribs

With just a bag of wood chips and your grill, you can easily make the best smoked ribs you’ve ever eaten, no special equipment needed.

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8 / 8
Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil
A side of salmon cooked in a foil packet with garlic butter on the grill or in the oven is the easiest way to serve salmon for a crowd.
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Vegetarian Recipes

1 / 7
Stone Fruit Panzanella
Utilizing a medley of widely available seasonal produce is both what makes this salad incredibly simple and so special.
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2 / 7
Roasted Veggie Sandwich
This not-your-average veggie sandwich features a crusty ciabatta roll packed to the gills with roasted, briny, earthy, creamy flavors and textures.
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3 / 7
Cheesy Grilled Eggplant with Tomato Jam
This grilled eggplant dish, which is like a lightened-up twist on eggplant Parm, features a homemade tomato jam and melty mozzarella.
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4 / 7
Grilled Open-Faced Cauliflower Banh Mi
Grilling the baguette and the cauliflower florets adds bold, smoky flavor to a vegetarian banh mi.
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5 / 7
Veggie Burgers
A simple vegetable and bean burger recipe that's sturdy enough to hold up on the grill.
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6 / 7
Smoky Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburgers
An easy grilling recipe for vegetarian portobello mushroom burgers topped with smoked Gouda, tangy peppers, and arugula.
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7 / 7
Grilled Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Steaks

These smoky and spicy cauliflower “steaks” with a squirt of lime and flurry of cilantro make a satisfying centerpiece on any table, vegetarian or not.

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Side Dishes

1 / 14
Tomato Orzo Salad with Tahini Dressing
This salad is equal parts nourishing and nutty thanks to the tomatoes, orzo pasta, fresh veggies, feta cheese, and tahini.
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2 / 14
Caesar Pasta Salad

Inspired by the beloved salad, tendrils of spiral pasta are partnered with bite-size pieces of juicy chicken breast, crisp romaine, ruby-red tomatoes, buttery croutons, and shards of salty Parm, all tossed together with creamy Caesar dressing.

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3 / 14
Italian Potato Salad
This mayo-free potato salad is made extra colorful thanks to green beans, cherry tomatoes, and lots of fresh herbs.
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4 / 14
Pesto Pasta Salad
Nothing says summer like tendrils of pasta, fresh mozzarella pearls, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cucumber dressed in a basil pesto sauce.
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5 / 14
Buttermilk Cucumber Salad
This refreshing rendition of the classic creamy cucumber salad still has all the zip and crunch, but incorporates elements from raita and tzatziki, other cooling cucumber-and-dairy dishes.
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6 / 14
Hot Honey Butter Bath Corn
Butter bath corn is taken to whole new heights with the addition of sweet honey and fiery red pepper flakes.
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7 / 14
Tri-Color Slaw with Lime Dressing

Here’s one of the simplest yet most colorful slaws I know how to make. It only has a few ingredients, and a bright, fresh flavor of lime and cilantro.

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8 / 14
Tomato Salad
This simple salad, made with thinly-sliced red onions, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of oil and vinegar, lets juicy summer tomatoes shine.
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9 / 14
Tropical Quinoa Salad with Creamy Mango Dressing
This light, refreshing salad is packed with avocado, mango, and quinoa, then tossed in a creamy mango dressing.
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10 / 14
How To Grill the Best Corn on the Cob
This simple method for grilling corn on the cob leaves you with juicy, smoky cobs you can happily serve on a weeknight or for a big summer bash.
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11 / 14
How To Make the Best Classic Potato Salad
Today, let's pare it down to the basics and talk about how to make an easy, classic, all-American potato salad.
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12 / 14
Tangy Carrot Slaw
A recipe for easy carrot slaw tossed with a tangy Dijon mustard dressing.
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13 / 14
Feta and Eggplant Pasta Salad

Speckled with roasted eggplant, tangy feta, and fresh herbs, this salad is just the kind of dinner your summer evening is asking for.

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14 / 14
Squash Casserole
Squash casserole is a classic meat-and-three side dish, binding mild summer squash with a creamy cheddar sauce and topped with a crunchy cracker topping.
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1 / 11
Mixed Berry Shortcake Trifle
An impressive bowl of buttery shortcakes, berries in berry syrup, and whipped mascarpone cream.
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2 / 11
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Meet the life-changing and tantalizing brown butter chocolate chip cookie.
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3 / 11
Easy Peach Cobbler
Fresh summer peaches are covered with a pillowy cream biscuit topping for the easiest-ever Southern peach cobbler.
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4 / 11
Triple Berry Crumb Bars
A combination of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries makes these tender crumb bars fit for the season. Serve them with vanilla ice cream for the ultimate summer treat.
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5 / 11
Mini Ice Cream Cakes

Here’s a fail-proof way to make ice cream cakes in the summer: in a trusty muffin tin to make cute, single-serving sweet treats.

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6 / 11
Whole Wheat Plum Crumble Pie

This plum crumble pie has that “upmarket hippie” vibe due to the addition of whole wheat flour. But don’t let the wholesome title and ingredient fool you. It’s 100% summer food glory.

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7 / 11
Peanut Butter Chocolate Icebox Cake
The most over-the-top ode to peanut butter & chocolate comes to life in this stunning no-bake cake. If you love Reese's cups or buckeyes, this is for you.
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8 / 11
How To Make Ice Cream Sandwiches for a Crowd

There is a much faster (and much better) way to make ice cream sandwiches for a crowd.

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9 / 11
Grilled Peaches with Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream

We kept the grilling part as simple as possible — just a smidge of olive oil on the surface to keep the peach from sticking. We just wanted the fruit to be warm and have pretty grill marks. The pizzaz comes from the sweetened, boozy whipped cream we put on top.

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10 / 11
How To Make a Fruit Crumble
Learn how to make a crumble with any fruit in 3 easy steps.
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11 / 11
S'mores Brownies

This dessert starts with a crisp, buttery graham cracker base, which is baked just until golden-brown. Smack dab in the middle are the brownies; a thick layer of the richest, fudgiest brownies around. But what really completes this dessert is the gooey marshmallow topping. It gets flashed under the broiler to give it that campfire-esque color and char.

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