Top 16 Labor Day Cookout Recipes

Send off summer right with these grilled or smoked dishes

cajun style cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries
Jeff Wasserman / Stocksy United

As the kids head back to school and the end of summer approaches, it's time to end the season with one last, big cookout. Try these recipes for your smoker or grill to make your Labor Day party spectacular. Try your hand at ribs or go beyond basic for some gourmet burger options.

  • 01 of 16

    Texas-Style Smoked Brisket

    Sliced brisket and biscuits on cutting board
    Manny Rodriguez / Getty Images

    If you're feeding a crowd, this traditional Texas-style beef brisket recipe will produce a great piece of smoked meat. You will need eight to 10 hours to produce your masterpiece, but it is time well-spent.

  • 02 of 16

    Smoked Beer in the Butt Chicken

    Chicken Roast
    Svitlana Pavelko / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The beer in the butt chicken recipe was developed by a couple of guys with too many beer cans and not enough pans. Now, it is recognized as one of the best ways to keep chicken moist and flavorful when grilled. But you can also use this technique in a smoker for smoked beer in the butt chicken.

  • 03 of 16

    Firecracker Salmon

    High Angle View Of Orange Smoked Salmon Over Blue Background
    Nina Van Der Kleij / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Marinated in a rich Asian-style mixture of spicy heat and savory flavors, this salmon picks up a little kick and a lot of flavor. If you want to turn up the heat, double the number of red pepper flakes.

  • 04 of 16

    Grilled Apple and Brie Flatbread

    Grilled Apple and Brie Flatbread
    Sabrina S. Baksh / Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Make a quick appetizer to please your guests with this grilled apple and brie flatbread. You can use prepared naan bread as the base. It can also be the main course for any vegetarians at the cookout.

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.
  • 05 of 16

    Steak Burgers With Port Wine Reduction Spread

    tenderloin beef Burger cooking with french style on light and relax table
    skaman306 / Getty Images

    This is sure to be one of the best gourmet burgers you'll ever try. Large, well-seasoned patties are grilled to perfection, placed onto toasted ciabatta bread with melted cheese and topped with a delectable port wine spread.

  • 06 of 16

    Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog With Jalapeño Cheese Sauce

    Three hot dogs with mustard, mayonnaise and arugula
    istetiana / Getty Images

    Plain old hot dogs might please the kids at the cookout, but you can make them a bit fancier to appeal to the whole crowd. Bacon, homemade cheese sauce, and jalapeños make these pack a punch.

  • 07 of 16

    Greek Chicken Kabobs

    Greek Chicken Kabobs

     Anita Schecter

    Bring the bright flavors of the Mediterranean to your Labor Day celebration with this recipe for Greek chicken kabobs. Cubes of boneless chicken marinate in a mixture of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano before being skewered with bell pepper and red onion. Once grilled, the kabobs are served with a homemade tzatziki sauce.

  • 08 of 16

    Marinated Vegetable Kebabs

    Marinated Vegetable Kebabs
    Rachel Slepekis / Getty Images

    Your garden (or the farmers market) is bursting with fresh vegetables by the end of summer. Make good use of zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and more with these ​quick and easy veggie kebabs.

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    Grilled Herb Burgers

    Veggie Burger
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Refresh your burger game with these grilled herb burgers. Chopped fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, and chives are added to the patties to give them wonderful flavor. Serve on a ciabatta bun or baguette with your favorite condiments.

  • 10 of 16

    Rosemary and Red Wine Flat Iron Steaks

    High Angle View Of Meat On Cutting Board
    Roman Larin / EyeEm / Getty Images

    If steaks on the grill are your choice for the cookout, this flat iron steak recipe is you'll enjoy. The combination of red wine, mustard, and fresh herbs ​brightens this already flavorful cut of beef.

  • 11 of 16

    Burrata Salad

    Burrata Salad

     Elaine Lemm

    Grilled nectarines take on a nice texture, and the sweetness is a good match for the smokiness of the grill. Paired with crisp lettuces, fresh herbs, juicy tomatoes, and gooey cheese, this burrata salad is an impressive first course or side dish.

  • 12 of 16

    Kansas City Ribs

    Kansas City ribs
    Alan Richardson/Riser / Getty Images

    If you're in the mood for sweet, sticky, and delicious pork barbecue ribs then Kansas City ribs are what you're looking for. Smoke these pork ribs for four to six hours. You'll brush them with a homemade barbecue sauce in the thick and sweet Kansas City style.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Grilled Fig and Arugula Pizza

    fresh fig pizza
    monika dabrowski / Getty Images

    Sweet figs play off of peppery arugula and sharp cheese for a magical combination on a grilled pizza crust. This makes a quick appetizer to keep the crowd happy or a great option for the non-carnivores at the cookout. Use a Spanish manchego or an aged Parmesan for the most flavor.

  • 14 of 16

    Cajun Burgers

    cajun style cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries
    Jeff Wasserman / Stocksy United

    Take your cookout to the bayou. Adding Cajun seasoning and mustard to the burger patties before grilling gives them a delicious flavor on their own. You can serve it with a mild Cajun-spiced barbecue sauce, or step up the heat any way you want. Try a thick slice of pepper jack cheese or a hot and spicy barbecue sauce. If you make an extra messy burger try an extra-hearty (and crunchy) bread for the bun.

  • 15 of 16

    Baked German Potato Salad

    Baked German Potato Salad

    Sabrina S. Baksh / Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Your guests will love this fresh take on German-style potato salad. You will roast fingerling potatoes and onions to caramelize and crisp them, then toss with bacon in an oil, vinegar, and honey dressing. You may never go back to potato salad made with boiled potatoes and mayo.

  • 16 of 16

    Grilled Honey Basted Nectarines

    Grilled Honey Basted Nectarines
    nicolebranan / Getty Images

    You can grill your dessert as well as the main course. Summer nectarines or peaches grill beautifully and then you can transform them into any dessert you wish. Add a scoop of ice cream and crumbled cookies to make a sundae. Or, make a dessert pizza by baking a crust of sugar cookie dough topped with slices of your delicious grilled fruit.