Our Best Labor Day Appetizers
Start off your Labor Day feast right with these crowd-pleasing appetizers, including creamy dips, finger foods, and other tasty snacks.
Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime
No time for skewers? Gently toss the ingredients in a salad bowl, or dice the tomato, watermelon, and cheese into small cubes to serve as a fresh relish for grilled meats.
Slow-Cooker Beef Nachos
From the Kitchen of Julie Hutson, Callahan, Florida. "This is surprisingly yummy to have such simple ingredients."
Grilled Pepper Poppers
Stuffed with garlic and herb cheese and topped with bacon, these bite-sized appetizers are sure to be a hit with guests.
Rainbow Tomato Bruschetta
Notes: Linda Wisner of Portland, Oregon uses a mix of heirloom tomato varieties from her garden; heirlooms are available in many farmers' markets. Toast the baguette slices up to 1 day ahead; cool, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature. Prepare tomatoes up to 1 hour ahead; cover and let stand at room temperature.
Grilled Watermelon Pizza
For a fruity and finger-friendly appetizer, grill watermelon wedges and top with pickled onions, blue chees, and pecans.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Okra
A sweet-tangy balsamic glaze makes this summertime appetizer irresistible. Using two skewers for the wrapped okra makes it easier to flip on the grill.
Pulled Pork Barbecue Nachos
Start off your Labor Day meal with fresh and colorful layered nachos made with our famous pulled pork.
Crab Cake Hush Puppies
Serve these Crab Cake Hush Puppies with your favorite rémoulade or cocktail sauce for tasty appetizers. Hush puppies, a Southern classic made by deep-frying a cornmeal batter gets a seafood makeover. Served with a creamy, thick dipping sauce, these salty critters are a great option for a potluck meal or an appetizer that serves to impress. Freeze any leftovers and defrost up to 3 months later.
How to Make Mini Caprese Bites
Learn how to make Mini Caprese Bites for a quick party appetizer that your company can't resist. Fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella combine with tangy balsamic vinaigrette for a no-cook dish that comes together in just 20 minutes.
Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches
With the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors, these Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
Lemon-Caper Parmesan Potato Salad Bites
Turn "jacket potatoes" into irresistible potato salad bites. Capers offer a twist on traditional relish; they're actually pickled flower buds and add bright, briny flavor to this appetizer.
Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers
Put out half of the skewers, and keep the remaining chilled until ready to serve. Everyone loves a good melon salad, so we took that idea and "skewer-ed" it. Salty cured ham meets creamy, fresh melon for the ultimate savory/sweet combination. With the addition of smooth mozzarella cheese, these skewers are texturally satisfying and not shy on flavor. Your guests will absolutley the easiness and accessibility of these skewers, and you'd be surprised at how impressed they'll be.
Pigskins in a Blanket
Using puff pastry instead of crescent roll dough to wrap up the sausages adds a great deal of richness and flavor. And replacing the pig in this version of pigs in a blanket is fully-cooked chicken sausage.
Colby-Pepper Jack Cheese Dip
Prepare this hearty dip made with chicken, chipotle peppers, jalapenos and chili powder up to a day ahead; cover and chill in an airtight container, and bake just before serving.
Bruschetta with Peach Salsa and Melted Brie
To make this fresh and fruity appetizer in advance, you can prepare and refrigerate the salsa up to a day ahead. Toast bread and assemble just before serving.
Layered Spicy Black Bean Dip
Just layer cream cheese, black bean dip and shredded cheese and top with your choice of onions, olives and tomatoes to make this Mexican dip.
Usher in the warm days of spring and summer with Strawberry Bruschetta. This refreshing mixture of nectarine, grape tomatoes, strawberries, and basil are served over baguette slices with slatherings of goat cheese.
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip
You can keep the queso blanco warm in a fondue pot or 1-qt. slow cooker. These are hearty, and would be a winner for a tailgate too.
Cheesy Sausage Roll-Ups
These southwestern-style roll-ups require just 5 ingredients.
Mini Corn Dogs with Cranberry Mustard
These cute corndogs will please adults and kids alike.
Hot Crab Dip
Combine fresh crabmeat with cream cheese, sour cream, and Cheddar cheese for a rich and creamy seafood dip.For a lighter version, use reduced-fat cream cheese and light sour cream.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
The rich and creamy combination of bacon, cream cheese, and cheddar nicely contrasts the muted spice of grilled jalapeño peppers. This appetizer recipe is a healthy, fresh alternative to the popular breaded and fried version.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
This easy buffalo chicken dip is addictively delicious, and you’ll never bring it to a party without getting rave reviews. Our buffalo chicken dip recipe delivers bold, three-cheese flavors and a kick of spice from the hot sauce. The creamy, tangy dip is the perfect crowd-friendly comfort food to make as temperatures drop. Serve this 5-ingredient dip with crackers and celery, and keep this appetizer in your collection of easy tailgating or dinner party favorites.
How to Make Baked Pita Chips
These crispy chips will complete any appetizer dip. Double or triple the recipe to serve a large crowd or pack extras for lunchboxes.
Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta
To prepare this appetizer, top grilled baguette slices with caramelized tomatoes, ricotta, and basil.
How to Make Simple Guacamole
Two perfectly ripe avocados and a small handful of simple seasonings are all it takes to make the best guacamole you've ever tasted.
Anne's Hot Sausage Dip
This sausage cream cheese dip may be simple, but it’s not messing around—it’s easy, fast, and delicious, and one of the best dip recipes on our website. This cheesey sausage dip is the perfect party dip recipe and makes a fantastic appetizer to set out before a holiday feast. Serve with a substantial corn chip to ensure perfect scoops everytime.
How to Make Spinach-and-Artichoke Dip
This crowd-pleasing appetizer is rich and creamy without excess fat and calories. Assemble up to two days ahead, and bake just before serving.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Dip
Fire up the coals for Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Dip. Chipotle peppers give this dip its zip.
It's a quick snack to make before dinner. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor, give it a whirl, and presto–you've bought yourself an hour to make a meal. Healthy dippers include baby carrots, radishes, jicama, and sugar snap peas.
Frozen Fruit Skewers With Honey-Yogurt Dip
These kid-friendly skewers are a great solution for cooling down in the summer heat.
Roasted Corn Salsa
How to Make Loaded Baked Potato Dip
Learn how to take your love of baked potatoes to the next level with this easy and addictive Loaded Baked Potato Dip recipe. Move that loaded spud from the side dish spread to the appetizer buffet. You won't regret it and your friends will love it.
BBQ Chicken Bean Dip
Step aside, Buffalo chicken. Move it along, basic bean dip. The game day dip to rule all game day dips has arrived. This bold yet balance BBQ Chicken Bean Dip has so much going for it: It’s easy to make, you likely have most of the necessary ingredients on hand, and most importantly—this cheesy chicken appetizer will be a winner with any crowd. The barbecue sauce used in to make the dip couldn’t be easier to mix up, and it’s one you can come back to again and again for all of your BBQ needs; however, if you want to shave a few minutes off the recipe, you can certainly use your favorite bottled sauce instead. We suggest topping the dip with cheese towards the end of baking in order to prevent the dip from becoming too greasy.
Cheesy Stuffed Pizza Crust Ring
You know how as soon as you grow into a fully formed adult human, you realize that the best part of a delivery pizza is the part you’ve been foolishly tossing aside (for your parents to eventually graze on)? Well we decided to make up for lost years by making this cheesy stuffed crust ring, no pizza necessary. Of course, we all know the only thing better than a standard hand-tossed pizza crust is a stuffed crust. We flavored this cheesy ring of bready glory with a seasoning blend inspired by the masters—Domino’s—and served it up with a delicious blend of the two most perfect crust dipping sauces: ranch and marinara. Warm from the oven, this cheesy appetizer perfect for a Super Bowl party, or any other game day gathering.
Lasagna Dip With Pasta Chips
Olive Garden got this one right, folks—lasagna in dip form is all kinds of wonderful, especially served with freshly fried, crisp pasta chips. Trust us, this meaty, cheesy appetizer will be a welcome addition to any party.
Chickpea Crackers with Chunky Tapenade
These rustic, gluten-free crackers are addictively salty and crunchy, like a snack should be. The creamy hummus and briny tapenade are the perfect complements to create an impressive appetizer spread.
Pimento Cheese Puffs
Classic French gougères with a Southern remix. These airy pimiento cheese puffs make an impressive addition to virtually any party spread. While the choux pastry dough may seem intimidating to make, trust us—success is just a matter of not walking away from the pan. As long as you can stay put and keep stirring (so that your dough doesn’t burn), you can make gougères.
Instant Pot Mango Chutney
This chutney is slightly sweet and spicy, with a pleasant lingering heat from the Serrano and del arbol chiles. The sharp pops of flavor from the pickling spices mimic the flavors you’d find in North Indian cuisine. The orange juice and lime juice add some acidity and sour flavors to balance the natural sweetness in the mangoes. It’s the perfect cooling accompaniment for curries or fried samosas, but it would also work well on a cheese board.
Grilled Garlic Knots
You can’t beat a garlic and butter roll, especially one that has been grilled. The cheese and parsley give them a nice Fazoli’s feel, while the charred bread adds extra flavor. Plus, they’re a cinch to grill. Prepared pizza dough can easily be found in the deli section of major grocery stores, but you can even buy it directly from a pizza shop if you ask.
Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Dates with Brie
These yummy little bites are not your normal appetizer. Make sure to use large dates, which are much easier to handle and fill than small ones, and center cut bacon—thick cut bacon will take too long to cook. If a date splits while you’re filling it, just press it back together. These are best warm, right off the grill, but are still good at room temperature.
For the perfect, all-purpose macaroni salad, look no further than this easy recipe. Our version of the staple summertime side dish delivers everything you love about a classic, creamy pasta salad, but with an extra touch of vibrancy. Chopped bell peppers deliver colorful, sweet crunch while cream cheese provides a tangy depth, and fresh dill lends a flavorful kick of freshness. Whether you’re heading to a picnic or potluck-style barbecue, a large bowl of this macaroni salad will always be more than welcome.
Tomato Tart with Smoked Mozzarella and Dijon
Our take on a Southern classic is super delicious, and kind of tastes like biscuit pizza—the biscuit is flaky and buttery with a fun cornmeal texture, and the tomatoes are tender and juicy without sogging out the crust. Mixing the mayonnaise and cheese together makes things feel even more Southern. Your local farmers’ market will have the most delightfully colorful tomatoes with the best flavor, so search there. For a crispier crust, invert a rimmed baking sheet, which will circulate more air underneath it. You can also reheat this in the oven without sacrificing any taste—just wrap it in foil first.
Chicken Tikka Masala Dip
If you like buffalo chicken dip, you’ll love this super creamy version of chicken tikka masala. Thanks to the cream cheese, its tangier than traditional tikka masala. Don’t use Greek yogurt—it’s too chalky and astringent for this. Pulsing the chicken and yogurt helps tenderize everything and makes it scoopable. For a more flavorful twist, try chicken thighs instead of breasts. Serve this at your next party and blow everyone away.
Instant Pot Pork Sliders with Watermelon Barbecue Sauce
This has all the flavor and tenderness of all-day barbecue, but comes together in a few hours. The watermelon juice replaces the stock usually found in Instant Pot or slow cooker pulled pork recipes, and the rind gives the sauce from extra body. The pork’s sweetness resembles that of al pastor, so it would work just as well in tacos as it does in sliders.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Cool, herbaceous, and refreshing, this creamy cucumber salad is the perfect accompaniment to any number of summer entrees, including barbecue pulled pork, grilled chicken, smoked brisket, and more. If you can’t find English cucumbers, simply use regular cukes, but peel them first.
Basic Cheese Dip
Say hello to our best-ever basic cheese dip. So creamy, decadently cheesy, and perfectly easy to whip up at a moment’s notice, this simple cheese dip recipe is the one to keep on hand to address any and every queso craving. Rich, but not too thick, our basic cheese dip makes a primo last-minute party appetizer or “something special” treat to make a weeknight meal feel a little more festive. We made this no-frills cheese dip with customization in mind; use it as a versatile base for all of your favorite cheese dip stir-ins. Chorizo, fresh slice jalapeño, cilantro, chopped onion, or taco meat would all be delicious additions.
Spicy Grilled Watermelon
This bold and beautiful grilled watermelon recipe features a kick of heat, balanced with bright lime and salty cotija cheese. With a bit of cilantro for a pop of freshness and color, this summery side dish is ready for your next cookout. For a more dynamic spice experience, we love Tajin seasoning—which can be found at most grocery stores and pairs exceptionally well with melon. If you have trouble finding it at your local supermarket, try the nearest Mexican market or order it online. You can cut the watermelon away from the rind before or after grilling and chop it into a more composed salad if desired.
Classic Potato Salad
No need to rush to the store—we’ve got the perfect potato salad recipe right here. Creamy and rich, with hints of tangy vinegar and crunchiness from fresh vegetables, this classic potato salad is hearty and perfectly delicious. Russet potatoes are the ideal here, because they break down a little and make the potato salad creamier. Also, feel free to add in fresh herbs or more veggies to customize it to your tastes—think of this recipe as a basic canvas for foolproof potato salad.
What's better than pork? Pork wrapped in pork. This little piggy comes together easily and will please everyone at the backyard barbecue.
Piña Colada Snack Mix
Everyone’s favorite beach drink becomes crunchy in this snack mix filled with flavor: Sweet, rich coconut, tangy lime and pineapple, and saltiness. You’ll find dried fruit in the produce sections of most stores. We used large coconut flakes. Toss in the fat before you add salt and seasoning to ensure an even dispersal. This makes a lot, and will easily cut in half, but leftovers hold really well in a sealed bag. Serve with actual piña coladas, or your favorite beer.
Ultimate Crispy Ranch Smashed Potatoes
This practical (and much tastier) alternative to loaded potato skins is both fun and filling. The savory potatoes are crisp and salty on the exterior, and soft and creamy inside.
Kung Pao Chicken Salad
Creamy chicken salad gets a major punch of personality with this wow-worthy, kung pao makeover. Featuring all of the flavors you know and love about kung pao chicken, the incredible savory-sweet dressing only gets tastier as it sits, so feel free to prep your chicken salad in advance and allow it some time to chill in the refrigerator. Kewpie mayonnaise is a Japanese brand of mayo that’s slightly sweeter than the standard U.S. supermarket standbys (like Hellman’s or Duke’s) and has a distinct savory richness—and it’s definitely worth seeking out. That, and the spicy chile crisp (don’t worry, it’s not as spicy as it looks in the jar), can be found at most Asian markets or ordered online.