Our 26 Best Labor Day Recipes to Send Off Summer

Fire up the grills for the end-of-summer cookouts and barbecues

Labor Day marks the end of summer—and the summer grilling season—and back to school for many Americans. To fete the end of the sunny season, gather with friends and family and fire up the grills for a celebratory barbecue or cookout. We’ve compiled a list of the best recipes to try this Labor Day, from burgers to baked brie and white sangria.

Thai Fish Burger

“Combining a mild fish like cod with store-bought curry paste, cilantro, and kaffir lime makes for an incredibly flavorful patty, and serving it with a simple topping of thinly sliced cucumbers, red onion, and cilantro tossed with nuoc cham (a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce made from garlic, chile, sugar, fish sauce, and lime) is my ideal summer meal.” —Farideh Sadeghin, Test Kitchen Director Get the recipe for the Thai Fish Burger »

Fried Anchovy-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Light and airy, with a subtle squash flavor, zucchini blossoms are wonderful to cook; they make a flavorful, delicate appetizer when stuffed with salty anchovies and fried. Since the blossoms have a short shelf life, use them within a day of purchasing. Be sure to remove the stamens before working with them. Get the recipe for Fried Anchovy-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms »

Fried Chickpea-Battered Potatoes (Bhajiya)

For this Mumbai street-food snack from Raghavan Iyer, chunks of potato are dredged in a light chickpea-and-rice-flour batter that is spiced with turmeric and chile powder. The potatoes are then deep fried until a golden crust forms and served with cilantro and tamarind chutneys. The spiced batter can be also used for other vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli florets, sliced plantain, and eggplant.

Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam

There’s a reason this recipe is a classic party appetizer: crowned with jam and wrapped in puff pastry, a wheel of brie turns into a gooey, irresistible treat that’s great eaten with crackers or toast. Get the recipe for Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam »

Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios

Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios

White Sangria

Choose a high-acid, no-oak sauvignon blanc or similar white for this sophisticated version of the party wine drink from bartender Jon Santer of Prizefighter in Emeryville, California. Get the recipe for White Sangria »
Chef José Andrés likes to season his steak after it cooks, claiming that this helps to accentuate the flavor of meat, and particularly this slow-grilled, smoky rib eye. Get the recipe for Grilled Bone-In Rib Eye »

Grilled Artichokes

Grilled artichokes over embers are delicious, and double as an aphrodisiac. Get the recipe for Grilled Oysters »

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Grilling then smoking these ribs gives them an intense crust and soulful flavor. Get the recipe for Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs »

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

Red Sangria

For his riff on the classic Spanish wine-based drink, Jon Santer of Prizefighter in Emeryville, California, layers on more fruity flavors with French apéritif Lillet Rouge and the orange cognac-based liqueur Grand Marnier. Get the recipe for Red Sangria »

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Chef Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner, a restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, serves a version of this refreshing dish during the late summer. Smith says he developed the salad after paying a visit to a few of his former cooks in Mexico, where he discovered a range of dishes that melded sweet, spicy, and sour flavors. Get the recipe for Watermelon and Tomato Salad »

Charred Cabbage Slaw

Charred Cabbage Slaw

Pickled Stone Fruit and Burrata Flatbread

A light vegetarian lunch, or even savory summer dessert, the sugary pickling brine in this recipe helps the peaches and plums caramelize on the grill.

Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter

Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter

Giant Fennel-Chile-Rubbed Steak

This T-bone steak is grilled with a simple rub of ground fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and red chile flakes. Get the recipe for Giant Fennel-Chile-Rubbed Steak »

Potato Salad with Red Onion

This cool, creamy potato salad is spiked with pickle relish and red onion. Get the recipe for Potato Salad with Red Onion »

Potato Salad Hot Dog

Potato Salad Hot Dog

Spice-Rubbed Chicken With Duck Sauce

The fiery chile-based rub on this chicken is balanced by a basting of sweet-sour duck sauce. Get the recipe for Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Duck Sauce »

Warm Red Potato Salad

Tender grilled red-skinned potatoes are doused in herb vinaigrette in this warm salad. Get the recipe for Warm Red Potato Salad »

Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry Crisp

Grilled Strawberries

Roasting strawberries over mellow, barely glowing embers turns them from bright red bulbs to plump crimson pillows of deeply sweet juice. Get the recipe for Grilled Strawberries »

Grilled Cantaloupe with Peach Agrodolce

In this elegant dessert, cantaloupe is grilled until it caramelizes and is then dressed with agrodolce, a sour-sweet Italian sauce made by reducing vinegar and sugar. Get the recipe for Grilled Cantaloupe with Peach Agrodolce »

The “Grill Everything but the Burger” Brisket Burger

The all-brisket patty for this burger—from San Francisco’s Wes Rowe, a pop-up burger slinger—is grilled, but in a cast-iron pan over the flame.

Grilled Oysters

Oysters are the perfect aphrodisiacs to have on Valentine’s day. Believed to increase fertility, these half shells evoke images of romance. Grill them for your lover and sprinkle some pecorino and bottarga before serving. Get the recipe for Grilled Oysters »

Burnt Peaches and Plums with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts

At once rustic and refined, this technique amplifies the inherent sweetness of the fruit. The mascarpone-mint leaf combo brings a rich yet uplifting twist. The more ripe your fruit, the better it will caramelize. Look for freestone peaches that will let you remove the pits easily. Mallmann says: “Let them burn a bit without touching them. Don’t flip and flop.” Get the Recipe for Burnt Peaches and Plums with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts »