9 Delicious Easy-to-Make Labor Day Recipes

labor day recipes

Labor Day recipes shouldn’t be too laborious. When you’re focused on having fun, delicious and easy recipes are anyone’s go-to. But, it’s usually hard to think of recipes that don’t take too much time to prepare yet still taste amazing.

 

Best Labor Day Recipes to Try This Holiday Weekend

Having picnics and backyard barbecues are two of the most popular ways Americans celebrate Labor Day. And this doesn’t come as a surprise considering the role food plays in fostering human connection. Breaking bread at the same table is how a lot of people spend quality time together.

But, Labor Day is supposed to be dedicated to the American workforce. It’s a time when hard-working laborers can take a three-day break from the stresses and pressures of their jobs. So, while cookouts and picnics are the norms, most people don’t want to slave over a hot stove all day long.

Here are the most delicious Labor Day food ideas that aren’t too difficult to prepare.

 

1. Italian Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • For the pasta salad:
    • 1 lb rotini pasta, cooked and cooled
    • 1 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 cups diced salami
    • 1 cup black olives, sliced
    • 1 cup baby bell peppers, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • 8 oz mozzarella pearls
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
    • For the dressing:
      • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
      • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
      • 1/4 cup pesto
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
      • 1 garlic clove, grated

Directions:

  1. To prepare the pasta salad, combine all prepared ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients, except the olive oil. Then, slowly pour the olive oil, whisking constantly until well incorporated.
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and mix to combine.

Considering there’s no cooking involved (except for the pasta), this is certainly one of the easiest recipes for Labor Day weekend.

 

2. Coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 2 6-oz bags of pre-shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup applied cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, ground

Directions:

  1. To make the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add salt and black pepper.
  2. Mix the dressing with the coleslaw mix. Add in dill and parsley, and toss again to combine.
  3. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour before serving.

 

3. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled Corn on the Cob | labor day food ideas

Ingredients:

  • 8 corn cobs, in the husk
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp paprika, ground
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • kosher salt

Directions:

  1. To grill the corn, pre-heat a grill pan or your outdoor grill to about 500 degrees.
  2. Remove the husk from the corn cobs, leaving only the two innermost layers. Peel those two layers to expose the kernels without removing them completely.
  3. Remove all the silk threads from the corn. Then, take the reserved pieces of husk and place it back over the kernels. Leave some gaps to allow the heat to penetrate.
  4. Grill the corn for about 5 minutes, making sure to turn each one a quarter of the way before allowing it to cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat this until all sides are grilled, then remove the corn from the heat.
  5. In a bowl, combine the butter, chives, garlic, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Spread the butter mixture over the surface of each corn cob before serving.

While this does take some preparation, it’s definitely one of the easy Labor Day recipes you can try.

4. Green Goddess Chicken Salad Dip

Ingredients:

  • For the salad dip:
    • 4 cup cabbage, finely chopped
    • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 3 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
    • 1 1/2 cup cucumber, finely chopped
  • For the dressing:
    • 3 cup packed baby spinach
    • 1/2 cup basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    • 1 shallot, peeled
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Tortilla or pita chips

Directions:

  1. Toss all the salad dip ingredients in a large bowl to combine.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Mix together the dressing and the salad dip, making sure to incorporate them well.
  4. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

5. Grilled Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 lemon, halved

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the grill to about 450 degrees.
  2. To prepare the asparagus, remove and throw away a chunk measuring about 1 inch from the base of the stalks.
  3. In a large bowl or sheet pan, coat the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Grill the asparagus, making sure to place them across the grates of the grill to prevent them from falling in between. Allow each side to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Once cooked, transfer the asparagus to a platter. Squeeze lemon juice over them before serving.

6. Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs | labor day food

Ingredients:

  • 8 beef hot dogs
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 8 hot dog buns

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and putting an oven-safe rack over the top.
  2. Score the hot dogs about 1 inch apart. Then, wrap each hot dog with a slice of bacon. Use a wooden pick to keep the bacon secure. Season the bacon-wrapped hot dog with garlic powder and chili powder, though this is optional.
  3. Place the bacon-wrapped hot dogs on the rack above the baking sheet. Allow it to cook until the bacon crisps up (about 25 minutes), making sure to turn the hot dogs halfway through.
  4. Place the hot dogs on buns and finish with the toppings and condiments of your choice.

 

7. Grilled Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pizza dough
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 lb mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Divide the pizza dough into two. Form them into balls before stretching each one into an 8-inch circle.
  2. Brush oil onto both sides of the pizza dough before cooking on a preheated grill. Allow the dough to cook for about 2 minutes before flipping.
  3. Once flipped, place the toppings on the cooked crust and let the pizza cook for another minute. This will allow the dough to cook fully and the cheese to melt. Repeat with the second pizza.
  4. Garnish the pizza with chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil (chili flakes optional) before serving.

It’s not a traditional pizza, but it’s one of the easiest Labor Day weekend recipes that will surely taste fantastic.

 

8. Grilled Watermelon

Looking for the simplest Labor Day dessert recipes? You can’t go wrong with fresh fruit — with a twist!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 large watermelon
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Vegetable oil for grilling

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your grill to about 500 degrees and brush the grates with vegetable oil.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, and the zest of one lime in a bowl, mashing them together for better results.
  3. Cut your watermelon into wedges about 1 inch thick. Place them on a sheet tray in one layer, making sure not to crowd the tray.
  4. Take one teaspoon of the sugar and salt mixture. Set aside for later use.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and salt mixture over both sides of the watermelon wedges. Leave the wedges for 15 minutes before dabbing away the excess moisture using paper towels.
  6. Grill the watermelon wedges for about 3 minutes before flipping to grill them for the same amount of time. Sprinkle the sugar and salt mixture set aside earlier before serving.

 

9. Easy Strawberry Shortcake

labor day recipes

Ingredients:

  • For the shortcake:
    • 2 pt fresh strawberries, sliced
    • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • For the whipped cream:
    • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Mix together 3 tablespoons of sugar with all your strawberries in a large bowl. Place in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, spray a lined baking pan (8-by-8 inches) with cooking spray.
  3. Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt along with the baking powder and baking soda. Mix in the heavy cream and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the dough into the baking pan and even out the top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
  5. For the whipped cream, simply combine the ingredients and whisk together either by hand or with an electric mixer. Whisk until soft peaks form, then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. Slice the cooled cake into smaller pieces. To assemble, place one slice at the bottom, add a layer of the sweet strawberries, then add another slice at the top. Finish off with a dollop of whipped cream.

 

Start Cooking!

Not everyone has the time or energy to whip up a three-course meal nowadays. But, instead of ordering in, try out one or more of these easy Labor Day recipes for a delicious homemade dish.

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