Labor Day cookouts are our favorite gateway to fall, and they’re the perfect way to send off the summer. Our favorite dishes to serve up over the Labor Day weekend are easy, offer minimal prep time, and have the best flavors of summer (with a note or two of the richness of all the best autumn foods). What’s important for this holiday weekend is to gather with friends, family, and good food—all the ingredients you need to make memories that can last until the next time everyone drops by—and to celebrate a good, honest day’s work. Work hard, play hard, that’s what we always say.
Easy Labor Day Recipes To Make Ahead of Time
BBQ Smoked Meatloaf Balls
We love these BBQ Smoked Meatloaf Balls because they’re the perfect late-summer crowd pleaser. There’s no slicing required, and they’re the perfect size for kids and grown-ups who love bite-sized eats (and who doesn’t love all things bite-sized?). Mix up and shape the meatloaf balls ahead of time to make prep extra-easy on cookout day.
Our BBQ Smoked Meatloaf Balls Recipe
End-of-Summer Cole Slaw
It doesn’t get simpler, or more classic: Our End-of-Summer Cole Slaw is a must-have side for your Labor Day BBQ. Simply toss the ingredients together and put in the fridge to chill until your cookout guests arrive (the flavors in your slaw should be allowed to mingle for at least 20 minutes). Done, and done.
Our End-of-Summer Cole Slaw Recipe
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Pulled Pork Sandwiches are one of our go-to recipes to quickly and easily feed a crowd something delicious and deeply satisfying. If you’re itching to get creative with these over the Labor Day weekend, you can do that, too—make the pulled pork the night before, then serve it up as sliders, full-sized sandwiches, or offer it on the buffet alongside all the toppings you can think of—our classic End-of-Summer slaw is one of our favorites, and we wouldn’t argue with jalapenos or seasoned potato chips, either.
Our Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe
Labor Day Recipes For the Grill
Bacon Blue Cheese Cowboy Hot Dogs
Anyone can grill a hot dog on Labor Day weekend, but only a Head Honcho can serve up these grown-up flavors on such a classic canvas. Line these ‘dogs up on a serving tray and let your crew serve themselves. Don’t skip the onion rings and the BBQ sauce.
Our Bacon Blue Cheese Cowboy Hot Dogs Recipe
Southwestern BBQ Bacon Burger
Light up the grill for the warm flavors packed into this Southwestern BBQ Bacon Burger, complete with crispy bacon, fire-grilled corn, candied jalapenos, and crunchy jalapeno chip. Don’t forget the BBQ sauce and pepperjack cheese—you won’t regret it.
Our Southwester BBQ Bacon Burger Recipe
BBQ Chicken Pizza
This BBQ Chicken Pizza offers a few shortcuts—including an already-prepared crust—that make it an easy recipe for the Labor Day weekend. Plan to bake it in the oven like we show in our recipe, or throw it fully assembled on the grill to kiss it with smoke. The combo of red onion, gouda cheese, and BBQ chicken is not to be missed—any of our sauces work wonderfully on this pretty pie.
Our BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
Labor Day Cookout Sides
Easy Baked Barbecue Beans
It’s difficult to find four words that are more musical and comforting together than Easy Baked Barbecue Beans. This cookout side is the perfect, humble, tummy-warming side for the Labor Day weekend. Simply assemble all ingredients and allow to chill in the fridge until it’s time to go in the oven or on the smoker—prep couldn’t be easier.
Our Easy Baked Barbecue Beans Recipe
Oven Roasted Barbecue Potato Salad
If there were ever a recipe where summer and fall come together, it’s in our Oven Roasted Barbecue Potato Salad. We combined the roasted flavors we love in autumn dishes with the nostalgia of a classic potato salad to create something new, satisfying, and quick-and-easy to whip up for a hungry crew.
Our Oven Roasted Barbecue Potato Salad
Jalapeno Popper BBQ Chicken Dip
We love a dish where our favorites join forces, and this Jalapeno Popper BBQ Chicken Dip combines two of our greatest loves. Plus, it couldn’t be easier: simply combine the ingredients, top with cheese, and cook. Whether you do it in the oven or the smoker, you won’t be able to think of this side dish as a sideshow.
Our Jalapeno Popper BBQ Chicken Dip Recipe