Just as Memorial Day signifies the start of the summer season in the U.S., so does Labor Day signify the end of the summer season. As sad as this is for many of us, it also means the start of one of the best seasons here. Fall is truly special in most parts of the country. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet, we have at least one quintessential summer weekend left. And a summer holiday weekend at that. Here are our Labor Day Cookout Favorites to help you celebrate.
Recipe Roundup: 20 Healthy Labor Day Cookout Favorites
These can make up an entire party, or just tide people over until the main meal is served. Something easy, that can be made ahead, and will last sitting at room temperature, are all good qualities to look for.
Sweet Potato Toast 5 Ways from Our Food Fix
These sweet + savory toasts are free of any gluten, are low-carb, easily customizable, and allow everyone to have fun with the toppings. Make them in advance, set out toppings, and let your guests have fun with it.
Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings from Cook Eat Paleo
Every party is better with chicken wings and this flavorful Paleo version is both healthy and satisfying.
Greek Salad Skewers from Delish
A healthy portable snack that people can easily enjoy while mingling, and you can easily prep in advance.
Loaded Kimchi Fries from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
Every party needs at least one indulgent dish, and loaded fried are a great option. This spicy variety would be a perfect complement to grilled meats and cold salads.
These are usually the start of the show, but that doesn’t mean to have to choose only one.
Sweet + Tangy BBQ Pulled Pork from Our Food Fix
Wonderful with grilled brioche buns or Paleo friendly with grain-free bread or lettuce cups. Complete with a quick cole slaw and pickles, all you need is a vegetable side and you are good to go.
Grilled Green Chicken from Nom Nom Paleo
This is a dish we make often, all throughout the summer. So you better believe we will be cooking it up at least one more time before summer ends. It is best to marinate the chicken overnight for a punch of flavor. We use chicken thighs but a mix of drum sticks and thighs are great for a party.
Crab Cake BLT’s from Our Food Fix
Enjoy summer tomatoes in all their glory with the king of sandwiches. A grain-free crab cake acts as the bread, adding extra protein, vitamin and minerals, and a briny flavor that is out of this world.
Spicy Chipotle Grilled Salmon from Paleo Leap
Fresh salmon is abundant this time of year, so grab a large piece, throw on a spicy flavorful sauce, and grill away. This easily serves a crowd and is a great alternative to red meat if you want multiple options at your party.
Salads and Veggies
We all need vegetables in our diet, even at a cookout. Luckily there are some great flavorful and simple options that everyone will love.
Grilled Cobb Salad from Our Food Fix
One of our personal go-to’s, this is a grown up flavor-forward Cobb loaded with veggies and all the traditional toppings. Made summer friendly with grilled lettuce and chicken thighs, this is hearty enough for a main dish or can be split for a crowd.
Avocado Caprese Salad from Cook Eat Paleo
I have always loved the lovely combo that is a Caprese salad. This version is made Paleo by using avocado instead of the cheese, which is great for those who cannot tolerate dairy. And for those who can, by all means, add fresh mozzarella to the mix!
Tropical Shrimp Ceviche from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
A cold salad is always a winner, especially when served alongside hot heavy dishes. This bright seafood and citrus salad is no exception.
Rustic Ratatouille from Our Food Fix
This is a great time of year to make ratatouille. All these summer vegetables are at their prime, you can easily make the dish well in advance, and it can be served warm or at room temperature. Plus, you will tons of leftovers. Score.
Every good party ends with a sweet note. Summer desserts are all about fresh fruit. And for a summer party, ideally, you have something that is easy for your guests to carry.
Hand held desserts, or those that you can add to the middle of the table for people to help themselves, are perfect for summer parties enjoyed on a deck or patio. They are informal, easy to serve, and great for sharing.
Cherry Jubilee Blondies from Our Food Fix
Ripe sweet cherries are cooked down with Brandy into a quick jam and enrobed by two thick gooey layers of brown butter-esque blondies. A brownie-like consistency with a caramel flavor becomes a grown up version of a childhood favorite dessert.
Summer Fruit Galettes from Our Food Fix
Take all the best summer fruit, a casual free-form crust, and bake yourself a couple of crowd pleasing pies. We outline a template for how to create a fruit galette and provide options for traditional, gluten-free and Paleo crusts. Anyone can be a pie master with this guide.
Grain Free Peach Crisp from Elana’s Pantry
Peaches are pure perfection this time of year, so a peach dessert is a no-brainer. This healthy grain-free option is easily served to a crowd. Should you tolerate grains, feel free to add oats to the topping for extra crunch.
Easy No Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecakes from Our Food Fix
For a light, refreshing, sweet and tangy dessert that is full of healthy fats, these mini personal sized no-bake cheesecakes are great for adults and kids alike. No baking or even cooking required.
Every good party needs a signature drink. One to kick off the festivities and keep them going. Here are several sure to please, and easy enough to make into a mocktail as well.
Strawberry Basil Moscow Mules from Our Food Fix
As if Moscow Mules weren’t good enough already, this happiness in a glass tops them all. Dawn’s personal favorite cocktail is free of any added sweetener, and one of the tastiest drinks you’ll ever have. The secret is marinating strawberry and basil in vodka overnight so it soaks up all the goodness.
Sparkling Peach Sangria by Fed and Fit
All the peach things this time of year, including cocktails. We love a cocktail with a good fizz and this sweet and spicy variety is perfect as a summer refresher.
Honey Bourbon Lemonade from Our Food Fix
The perfect porch cocktail made for sipping on warm days. Incredibly easy to throw together and make for a crowd. Only 3 ingredients and refined sugar-free.
Watermelon Frosé from How Sweet It Is
It wouldn’t be summer without frose, and watermelon. aka the most refreshing combination ever. You feel like a kid drinking a slushie, but in a very grown up way.
Now that you have all these great ideas, what will you be making for the holiday weekend?
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