Labor Day Barbecue: 5 Unique Menu Ideas

    Are you hosting a Labor Day barbecue for your neighbors and friends? Then you’ll need some fun and unique dishes to serve all your hungry guests! Try mixing it up with something different than just burgers and dogs for your Labor Day barbecue. Be sure to also have plenty of salad and sides to compliment the main meal. Check out these menu ideas for some inspiration.

    One of the great things about salads is you can make them in large quantities and they are also easy to store and serve if you need to do a lot of food prep in your event venue. This year, mix it up from the traditional Caesar salad and try out one of these fun salad options:

    Tuscan Pasta Salad With Grilled Vegetables

    This recipe is quick and easy, and is full of classic Tuscan ingredients including radicchio, fennel, bell peppers, orecchiette (pasta), cannellini beans, parsley, and parmesan cheese. To make, grill or pan fry the bell pepper, radicchio, and fennel wedges with olive oil and salt and pepper until charred and crip, about five minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, and then cut into small pieces. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Add the veggies, beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, and a little lemon juice. Toss well, then add parmesan and fennel fronds. You can serve immediately or refrigerate. Check out the full recipe on the Food Network website.

    Spinach and Citrus Salad with Sweet and Spicy Pecans

    Spinach salads are packed with healthy nutrients and are really refreshing on a warm day. To make this delicious dish, chop up some spinach and green onions and put into a large bowl, then add some chunks of fresh orange. Add a little sugar and spice by making some sweet and spicy pecans. Simply soak the nuts in a mixture of sugar, butter, rosemary, and cayenne then toast in the oven for about five to ten minutes at 350 degrees. Toss into salad, combine with a citrus dressing and serve.


    Choose a variety of sides to compliment your grill options at your Labor Day barbecue. Make them ahead of time if possible and store them in plastic containers so you can easily transport them to and from your event space.

    Baby Bok Choy with Yellow Bell Peppers

    This side dish is a great healthy option for your barbecue. To make, simply heat up some olive oil in a pan on high heat. Toss in yellow bell peppers and chopped green onions and cook through. Then lower the heat, add the baby bok choy pieces, toss with a little bit more oil and remove once the bok choy is slightly wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. The white ends of the bok choy should still be slightly crunchy.


    It’s pretty much a given that burgers and hot dogs will be served at your Labor Day barbcecue. Spice things up with some of these unique main dishes to go with all your scrumptious sides and salads.

    Baby Back Ribs

    The secret to making savory baby back ribs lies in the spices. Get some olive oil, brown sugar, paprika, pepper, onion, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. First rub the ribs with oil, then combine all the spices and coat ribs with your spice mixture. Wrap them in foil so they are completely sealed. Grill the ribs over indirect medium heat for one hour. Finally, remove foil and place them over direct heat. Baste with barbecue sauce and grill for 20 minutes, turning and basting occasionally throughout. Cook until tender and serve.

    Apricot Chicken Drumsticks

    This is the perfect end-of-summer dish to serve your Labor Day party guests. Simply get some chicken drumsticks or wings and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, in a small bowl, combine canola oil, warm apricot jam, mustard, and brown sugar. Finally, coat your grill rack with a little cooking oil and grill the chicken until cooked, turning and basting occasionally with sauce. Let cool for five minutes and serve.

    What other unique recipes are you planning on making for your Labor Day barbecue? Feel free to share with us by leaving a comment below, on Facebook or Twitter. Check out some of our other Labor Day party ideas including decorations and drink and dessert recipes.