Labor Day Cooking Ideas

Labor Day cooking brings to mind barbecues, cool drinks and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables from the late summer harvest. Make your end of the summer party one to remember by serving up a well-prepared and scrumptious menu to delight your holiday guests. You can fire up the grill to prepare appetizers, breads, main dishes and desserts complemented by tall, iced drinks and garden fresh salads.


Grilled appetizers honor the summer barbecue tradition, offering something delectable for your guests to nibble on while they visit. Grilled chicken wings, shrimp, corn on the cob along with fruit and vegetable kabobs will tickle the taste buds of your friends and family. Try Easy Appetizer Recipes' buffalo chicken wings, chile lime corn and spicy grilled shrimp. The cherry tomato bruschetta may tempt your appetite with garden-fresh goodness.


Martha Stewart's skillet cornbread makes a tasty accompaniment to chili or baked beans. You can turn your zucchini harvest into a healthy side dish with AllRecipes' zucchini or cranberry zucchini bread. Serve it warm with or without a pat of butter.

Main Dishes

Let the grill do the honors to serve up savory entrées. Grilling options include the traditional hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs as well as steak, fish, chicken, pork chops, even a kid-friendly pizza or shish kabobs. AllRecipes lists a wide variety of grilling recipes from many versions of burgers and hot dogs to salmon and shrimp, whisky-grilled baby back ribs, lamb, venison and pita pizzas. Martha Stewart suggests grilled lemon chicken, marinated flank steak, skewered chicken and red onions and grilled leg of lamb.


Potato salad is a staple of any summer barbecue. You may have your own family recipe or try Easy Appetizers' yummy potato salad or the Food Network's super zesty potato salad. MyRecipes asserts that its crunchy buttermilk coleslaw is the "perfect foil for spicy barbecue sauces." Or surprise your guests with cabbage and apple coleslaw. AllRecipes' bacon ranch pasta salad and cilantro tomato corn salad offer colorful and zesty additions.


Lemonades, iced teas and berry slushes are a refreshing counterpart to the piquant flavors of your holiday menu, especially if you are blessed with a warm day to end the summer vacation. MyRecipes recommends a cool strawberry lemonade slush. Martha Stewart features several iced tea recipes in addition to the traditional style, such as hibiscus mint, ginger, rhubarb, tangerine, jasmine, honey, lemon and strawberry basil. Besides classic lemonade, she also proposes lemon verbena, lavender-infused, orange pekoe, thyme, sparkling roasted vanilla, raspberry, blueberry and cherry versions. AllRecipes proffers watermelon and strawberry lemonade.


Satisfy sweet tooths with homemade chocolate or vanilla ice cream from AllRecipes. Berry pies, cobblers, cakes and tarts give a fresh, satisfying finish to a tasty meal. Check out Martha Stewart's generous collection of berry desserts. Or spoil your guests with one of MyRecipe's luscious cream pies.

Keywords: Labor Day, Labor Day cooking, cooking ideas, Labor Day party, Labor Day food, Labor Day recipes

About this Author

Tamara Van Hooser started writing professionally in1997. Her work has been published in "Well-Connected Educator" and "Tales of Successes with Kids." Van Hooser holds a Bachelor of Arts in applied linguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and trained in elementary education at Warner Pacific College.

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