Our Best Grilling Recipes for Labor Day
Fire up your grill and choose a recipe from our best grilling recipes for Labor Day. From grilled chicken to barbecue pork, these juicy, grilled meats are perfect for your celebratory feast.
Garlic-Basil Grilled Chicken with Caprese Salsa
You'll love the classic Italian flavors of this grilled chicken, and the caprese salsa with sweet, tart grape and cherry tomatoes is the perfect accompaniment to the charred flavor from the grill.
Garlic-Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Thighs
Tangy yogurt tenderizes the meat and balances the heat from the jalapeño peppers. Grill indoors on a grill pan, or rev up the outdoor grill. Steamed sugar snap peas round out the meal.
Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
We cut the tenderloin in half before grilling for a nicely charred crust and a juicy inside in half the time.
Herb-Grilled Summer Squash
Grilled vegetables are as essential a part of the outdoor, open-flame cooking experience as any cut of meat. And few vegetables say summer quite like zucchini and yellow summer squash. Dressed in olive oil and an abundance of fresh herbs, this versatile grilled vegetable recipe is perfect for just about any occasion.
Simple Grilled Halibut
Though simple, this recipe provides you with the tools to grill most any flakey fish. We happen to particularly love halibut because it’s an inherently flavorful fish that requires no more than salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon to taste absolutely divine
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Arugula Pesto
Wake up your grill from winter hibernation with flavorful skewers (chicken, sweet onion, and zucchini) paired with a zippy arugula pesto on the side. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the pesto.
Glazed Chicken and Fig Skewers
Try this recipe for flavorful chicken kebabs. Because they will cook more quickly than the chicken, skewer the figs separately.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce
Smoked paprika comes from a centuries-old tradition in which chile peppers are slowly dried over low-burning fires of Spanish oak and then ground into powder. In the slow cooker, this earthy, aromatic spice adds outdoor smoked barbecue flavor.
Grilled Ancho-Rubbed Pork with Smoky Tomato Salsa
Serve Ancho-Rubbed Pork inside a tortilla and with homemade tomato salsa for a delicious Labor Day dish.
Spicy Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers
These burgers feature cheddar cheese that melts between two patties instead of on top of one. Have tomatoes, red onion, lettuce, mustard, and mayonnaise on hand for guests to dress the hamburgers as they please.
Perfect Grilled Burgers
Delightfully charred, juicy, and full of nuance, these burgers are the only ones you will ever want to make. That’s why we named them Perfect.
Grilled Bone-In Chicken Thighs
How can such a simple recipe for grilled chicken thighs taste so flavorful and satisfying? Once you sink your teeth into the super-crispy skin and find rich, tasty dark meat waiting underneath, you’ll understand. This low and slow cooking method yields tender, succulent meat with carefully developed flavors. Make grilled chicken thighs the simple way, because juicy, decadent chicken doesn’t have to be so complicated.
Grilled Salmon with Orange-Soy Glaze
While the grill is obviously the cooking method for casual, outdoor-centered meals and gatherings, don’t forget that you can still bring a touch of sit-down-dinner-type sophistication to the patio table too. This buttery, smoky, and gloriously glaze-y salmon does just that. We call for individual fillets in this recipe, but you could also opt for going with a whole side of salmon (of roughly equivalent weight) for a truly impressive presentation.
Grilled Oysters with Garlic Butter
The briny flavors of the oysters are further enhanced with the super-savory compound butter used in this recipe. Throwing the element of smokiness from the grill, and you’ve got yourself a little bite of heaven. Oysters are incredibly quick cooking, so allowing them to warm gently as the butter melts over the meat is the way to go.
Grilled New York Strip Steaks
For the absolute best of a classic, everything-you-expect grilled steak experience, you simply can’t beat the New York strip steak. Remember that no matter how you’re cooking a steak, success starts at the supermarket. When shopping, look for steaks that have a nice, even marbling of fat throughout, avoiding those that have a thick ribbon of fat going down the center. Even if it feels like an extraneous step, don’t skip out on making the garlic butter and tying up a bundle of herbs to serve as your basting brush. Trust us, the results are more than worth the minimal time doing both will require. Both will boost the flavor of your steak like you wouldn't believe.
The Best Grilled Ribs
When you're in the mood to grill ribs, you're most likely looking for a magically meaty experience—and trust us, there's a reason we call these the best. The texture of these smokey beauties is everything you want. Grilling your ribs over an indirect heat gives them a crispy exterior bark, while the meat stays tender, but not completely falling-off-the-bone tender—you’re left with the perfect amount of chew. Baby back ribs are readily available at most any supermarket; when shopping, look for the smaller racks as these tend to have more tender meat.
Peach-Ginger Chicken Thighs
The lightly spicy, fresh peach relish that accompanies these simple grilled chicken thighs adds color and a burst of vibrant flavor to create a wow-worthy summertime dish. In fact, don’t be afraid to make a double batch of this salsa, as we have no doubt you’ll be able to find plenty of delicious ways to enjoy the leftovers—even if it’s just with tortilla chips for a next-day afternoon snack. Simple to prepare and loaded with fresh, seasonal flavor, these Peach-Ginger Chicken Thighs are the perfect entree for your next casual cook-out.
Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts
This is, quite honestly, the only recipe for grilled chicken breasts you’ll ever need. The simple combination of olive oil, lemon, and fresh herbs creates a clean, summery flavor profile that brings out the best of lean, white meat. Fresh garlic and red pepper elevate the marinade, as well as the inherent flavor of the bird. Relative to the amount of oil and liquid going in, the amount of each aromatic called for in the marinade may seem like a lot—however, this marinade is intentionally intense by design. Using a marinade this flavor-forward allows for overall less marination, which is what you want when it comes to chicken breasts.
Grilled Octopus with Korean Barbecue Sauce and Baby Bok Choy Slaw
If you’ve ever ordered a delightfully meaty and tender, charred octopus dish at a restaurant and immediately thought to yourself, “Wow, I wish I could make this kind of thing at home,” well—you can. And this recipe is going to light the way.
Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-Balsamic Salsa
Blueberries are the standout ingredient for the sweet and sour sauce that accompanies these grilled kebabs.
Burgers with Green Tomato Mayonnaise
This is a fabulous new way to add even more tomato flavor to a great burger. Try the tangy, chunky mayo on fish sandwiches and crab cakes too.
Perfect Chicken Kabobs
For a delicious Labor Day dish, prepare these Perfect Chicken Kabobs.
Roasted BBQ Drumsticks with Cowboy Beans
Brush drumsticks with a soy sauce and tomato paste mixture before baking and serve with cowboy beans.
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Impress your Labor Day guests with this deceptively easy Pulled Chicken Sandwich recipe, which includes a seven-ingredient rub and a simple 15-minute sauce that comes together while the chicken grills. Serve on buns, over fresh greens, or on top of a baked potato for a filling dinner.
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ancho-Tequila Glaze
Your guests will go crazy for these perfectly moist and flavorful chicken thighs.
How to Cook Beer-Can Chicken
Chicken on a beer can? You bet. Grilling is a delicious way to "roast" a whole bird, especially when beer is involved. Use a milder brew if you wish, but skip hoppy IPAs.
Grilled Chicken with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce and Spicy Slaw
This recipe comes from Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, CO. Don't forget to pack a heatproof brush for basting the chicken.
Parmesan Buffalo Burgers with Balsamic Ketchup
Kick off your Labor Day party grilling with Parmesan Buffalo Burgers with Balsamic Ketchup. Ground buffalo has fewer calories and half the fat of lean beef but boasts big meaty flavor. And slow-roasted tomatoes in the Balsamic Ketchup intensifies their sweetness.
Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry-Peach Salsa
Go for bone-in center loin chops or loin chops at least 1 1/2 inches thick. Meatier chops ensure a good char while the inside cooks through.
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
How to Cook Chipotle Barbecue Burgers with Slaw
Smoky burgers and creamy slaw create an all-American meal in 20 minutes.
Grilled Shrimp and Smoky Grilled-Corn Grits
Grab the skewers, fire up the grill, and enjoy these easy and delicious kabobs at your Labor Day celebration.
Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs
Mixed Grill Kebabs with Guava BBQ Sauce
The spicy-sweet sauce goes well with grilled fish, pork, and chicken.
Grilled Lemon Chicken
A great, mostly make-ahead party dish. Simmer the chicken ahead of time so that all it needs is a few minutes on the grill. Squeeze the soft, juicy grilled lemons over the meat, or cut the lemons into pieces to eat skin and all.
How to Make Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
Good Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches don't have to result from hours over the grill. Try this chicken sandwich that starts with a rotisserie chicken and super easy homemade barbecue sauce for a quick Labor Day meal.
Spanish-Style Brined Pork Tenderloin
Basic Grilled Steak
Serve a Basic Grilled Steak with corn and Smoked Tomatoes for a simply delicious Labor Day meal.
Smoked Pork Shoulder
Enjoy hickory smoke-infused pork shoulder at your Labor Day gathering. Serve the shredded pork on buns for sandwiches or use it to top salads and baked potatoes.
Jamaican Ribs with Sticky Rum BBQ Sauce
Get a taste of the islands by seasoning the baby back ribs with spicy jerk seasoning, marinating in rum, and basting with a tangy brown sugar and rum sauce.
Grilled Molasses Flank Steak with Watermelon Salsa
Smoky sweet molasses flank steak pairs perfectly with the fresh watermelon salsa.
Bacon-Wrapped Barbecue Burgers
Jerk Shrimp with Grilled Onion, Avocado, and Mango Salsa
Spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning gives this grilled shrimp recipe a hot kick. Pair with our Caribbean-inspired mango salsa to help cool your taste buds.
Triple Play Barbecued Chicken
Triple the flavor of grilled chicken by first seasoning with a spicy rub, smoking the chicken over wood chips, then brushing with a sweet and tangy sauce.
Slow-Grilled Pork With Ranch-Barbecue Sauce
It's hard to beat a low-and-slow-cooked Boston butt with its meat that just falls off the bone. This twist on traditional pulled pork relies on a rub of Ranch dressing mix, injected Creole butter, and a homemade Ranch-Barbecue Sauce to serve up incredible flavor.
Grilled Apple Pie a la Mode
Whether it’s in the backyard or around a campfire, this easy, on-the-spot recipe has all the elements of a perfect apple pie. Make sure to use apples that are the same size so they’ll cook at the same rate. The ice cream will melt quickly, so put it on the apples right as you serve them.
Grilled Pattypan Squash With Garlic Butter
This squash has a subtle sweetness and a meaty, yet juicy texture. The flavor is simple, but the savory garlic butter takes things up a notch. Pattypan squash has a different shape that typical squash, but it’s just as inexpensive—so cooking one up is an easy and budget-friendly way to impress company. Try it as a side for grilled chicken or steak.
Grilled Chicken and Summer Corn Salad
Grilled, crispy-skinned chicken thighs paired with a vibrant corn and tomato salad—this is the epitome of summer flavor. When it’s at peak ripeness, raw corn is absolutely bursting with sweet, juiciness, making it a perfect match for acidic tomatoes, a bright lemon vinaigrette, and herbaceous fresh basil. So, be sure to use ripe, plump summer corn for this recipe.
Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches with Sweet Chile Sauce
Give your pork chops a summer makeover with the help of this tangy, spicy sauce and fresh, sweet peaches.
Grilled Radishes with Feta and Thyme
Cooked radish is often overlooked, but it works really well and combining it with fresh radish gives you the best of both worlds. These are easy to make and a little different than the normal grilled fare, which makes them fun., especially when paired with grilled meats You can use any type of radish, but the large ones will be easier to grill—for smaller radishes, use a grill basket. You’ll want the butter to be warm when you make the dressing, so don’t make it too early or warm it up again before drizzling it over the radishes.
Grilled Chicken Wings
You can’t go wrong with this basic recipe for perfect grilled chicken wings. A grilled wing is smoky, crispy, and an all-around delicious change of pace from its fried counterpart. You can dress your grilled chicken wings as you please (classic Buffalo sauce works or even a honey-sesame glaze), but we’d highly recommend giving this lemon-pepper sauce a go. You may be surprised to see jarred lemon curd in the ingredient list, however, a savory-sweet sauce is a brilliant way to use this convenience product. (After all, doesn’t your favorite barbecue sauce have a prominent element of sweetness?) The curd delivers a rich, lemony sweetness that’s balanced with aromatic sautéed garlic, brightened with fresh juice, and perfectly matched with a well-salted, savory grilled chicken wing.
Classic Grilled Corn on the Cob
Fresh, grilled corn on the cob is a hallmark of warm and sunny summer days. Paired with grilled hamburgers, smoked pork or other grilled vegetables, grilled corn is an important part of your outdoor meals. For a pretty presentation and to make handling hot ears easier, use the husks as handles. After silking the ears of corn, pull the husks back to form a ponytail-like handle; tie together with a kitchen string or a smaller piece of torn husk. Soak the husk “pony-tails” in cold water about 10 minutes before grilling to prevent burning, or simply hang the husks over the edge of the grill. Take the sweet, smoky flavors of grilled corn on the cob to the next level with flavorful twists on butters and toppings.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Everyone will gobble up these spicy grilled sweet potato fries topped with honey and salty queso fresco. Serve them as a fun appetizer or alongside burgers or your favorite grilled protein. Microwaving the sweet potatoes before they hit the grill ensures the fries will be tender throughout and helps them cook up quickly.
Umami Grilled Leg of Lamb
This impressive main is very tender and loaded with dynamic flavor. The doneness of the lamb varies depending on what part of the meat you eat from, making it perfect for a crowd with different preferences. Most grocery stores carry deboned leg of lamb in spring, but you can also ask your butcher to cut the lamb bone out of the leg and to butterfly it. If the meat is thicker than 1 inch anywhere, cut it down to size or cook it longer. Know your grill and make sure to use a thermometer.
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.
Grilled Banana Split
This is a fun mashup between banana pudding and a sundae. You could even get the kids involved with this. Grilling the banana adds a little flavor, while charring the vanilla wafers makes for an interesting texture—together, it’s delicious. Banana pudding ice cream pulls everything together, so it’s definitely worth buying.