Summer is unofficially coming to a close with Labor Day this Monday in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean grilling season is over yet! Keep the outdoor dining going with some of my favorite healthy Labor Day recipes.
September is actually our favorite month to grill. The weather is still warm enough to eat outside, but not so hot that you’re dripping with sweat (especially with the hot grill in the mix)!
Whether you’re looking for appetizers or side dishes, grilled mains, or dessert ideas that are end-of-summer friendly, this post has you covered.
I originally published this post a few years ago, but it has been updated with my relevant newer recipes. Enjoy!
Healthy Labor Day Recipes
Labor Day Appetizers & Sides
No BBQ is complete without a few appetizers to munch on while the grill is heating up. Here are a few of my favorites!
This dip uses plain Greek yogurt in place of mayo and sour cream for a lightened-up, super flavorful appetizer that tastes just like the original.
Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite crackers! You can also add cooked ground turkey or ground beef if desired.
This salad is crunchy, tangy, and doesn’t require any cooking. And the grapes add a nice sweetness to the mix!
It’s dressed in a tangy lemon yogurt dressing, packed with herbs, and studded with pumpkin seeds for a little added crunch.
These healthier deviled eggs are made without mayonnaise, but they’re just as tasty as the classic party appetizer!
Plain Greek yogurt lightens up the filling while keeping the creaminess. And dijon mustard adds tons of flavor! These deviled eggs are so delicious, and require just 6 ingredients.
These fun sliders work great as either an appetizer or a main dish for Labor Day! Pulled chicken and BBQ sauce pair with creamy coleslaw (no mayo needed!) and your favorite slider buns.
They’re easy to make and they’re a hit at every party or gathering!
This refreshing salad has lots of crunch and a delicious sweet and salty flavor! Feta crumbles add a savory flair, while the watermelon and watermelon rind adds a light sweetness. Pistachios and peppery arugula round out the mix.
Plus, everything is tossed with a light lime dressing. It’s the perfect side salad for any summer meal!
A mix of spicy hummus and cheddar cheese makes this queso creamy, melty, and decadent without being too heavy. Perfect for BBQ snacking!
Serve this healthier queso dip with tortilla chips and/or crunchy veggies like carrots or cucumbers.
Is there anything more summery than pasta salad? This is a perfect side dish for a cookout on a hot day!
It’s packed with veggies like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and peppery arugula, and tossed in a creamy and zesty Italian dressing. You can keep it vegetarian, or add salami or pepperoni – up to you!
Tired of bringing regular ol’ hummus and carrots to parties? This crossover between white bean hummus and guacamole is your answer! It’s super easy to throw together and is a total crowd-pleaser.
It’s delicious with pretty much anything – crunchy veggies, crackers, chips, even as a wrap or sandwich spread!
These bite-sized snacks are my latest obsession. Roasted sweet potato rounds topped with hummus, tomato, feta, and basil? Yes, please!
They’re so easy to make and are perfect for bringing along to a potluck or BBQ. Plus, the Mediterranean-inspired topping gives them a summery vibe!
This taco salad is bright and refreshing, making it perfect for summer and for potlucks. Plus, it’s super easy to make.
Just throw in your favorite taco toppings, such as pico de gallo, diced avocado, black beans, salsa – the options are limitless!
If you’ve never used watermelon rind in a recipe before, you’re in for a treat! It adds a nice crunch and freshness to this coleslaw, and cuts down on food waste, too.
This refreshing no mayo coleslaw is packed with veggies (like bell peppers), and is a refreshing side dish that’s perfect for any main!
Main Dishes for Labor Day
Here are some of our favorite grilled meals & grill-able recipes:
I’m obsessed with chimichurri sauce, and it’s amazing on shrimp. I use some of the sauce to marinate the shrimp, and save the rest to drizzle on top – so much flavor for such little effort!
Plus, the shrimp cooks super quickly on the grill, so it’ll be ready in no time. No need to stand in front of a hot grill for ages!
These turkey burgers are packed with spicy jerk seasoning flavor, while the bright and refreshing pineapple salsa cools them off a bit. This recipe is a great way to dress up regular turkey burgers.
Plus, you can make extra salsa and serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips. So delicious!
Salmon filets are coated in blackening seasoning and pan-seared or grilled to flaky perfection! Wrap them in tortillas and spoon some homemade mango habanero salsa on top for a refreshing and spicy meal.
(You can easily reduce the spice level in the salsa – check out the post for full recipe details)!
Sweet, juicy strawberries pair perfectly with savory grilled steak in this unbeatable summer salad recipe! It’s easy to make but feels a little fancy.
Plus, it’s all tossed in an easy homemade strawberry vinaigrette dressing that really takes it to the next level!
This recipe has you baking salmon and veggies on a foil-lined baking sheet, but you could easily turn this into a BBQ game-changer by wrapping everything up in a foil packet and placing it on the grill!
Whether you bake or grill it, this recipe is easy and filled with flavor. Plus, it’s paired with summery veggies like zucchini, summer squash, and juicy tomatoes!
This grilled chicken has a delicious sweet & salty glaze featuring watermelon and balsamic vinegar. So summery and crave-worthy!
Serve it with your favorite summery sides, such as grilled vegetables or this refreshing watermelon rind salad!
Toss some sausages and your favorite veggies into foil packets for a delicious grilled dinner (+ quick & easy cleanup).
The sausage is pre-cooked, so these are even quicker to cook. Plus, they’re so fun to make – even the kids can help put together the foil packets!
Matt and I LOVE these burgers. They have tons of Greek flavor packed right into the patty! Plus, the tasty yogurt sauce elevates them even more.
Feel free to substitute ground turkey, beef or chicken for the lamb if you’d like. You can use regular buns or serve them up with pita bread to mix it up!
Cook this delicious spice-rubbed salmon on the grill instead of in the oven, and you’ve got a perfect Labor Day BBQ main dish!
The watermelon salsa is so summery and fresh and adds a great crunch to the dish. This is seriously one of my favorite salmon recipes!
Grill up some pork tenderloin for these tasty tacos! Top with homemade salsa verde (recipe included), sliced radishes, cilantro, and/or your favorite taco toppings.
It’s a delicious twist on pork carnitas tacos, and so flavor-packed!
Vegetarians shouldn’t have to stick only to sides or store-bought veggie burgers! These easy 5-minute veggie burgers are the perfect addition to a BBQ spread to make sure everyone has something yummy to eat.
They’re so tasty, meat eaters will love them, too!
This recipe takes lots of yummy summer foods (corn, peaches, grilled chicken) and puts them together for an incredible meal.
You can never go wrong with grilled chicken, especially when it’s marinated with lime juice and honey. And the rest of the salad is pure summer perfection.
Labor Day Desserts
Fun and creative desserts really take a BBQ to the next level. But they don’t have to be time-consuming or complicated! Here are some of my favorite easy dessert recipes for summertime.
This simple sorbet is super refreshing and easy to make. You only need a handful of ingredients. Plus, you can make it with rum for a tasty mojito cocktail dessert combo!
There’s no added sugar in this recipe, so it’s a healthy treat that will definitely cool you down on a hot day!
This recipe takes fruit salad to the next level with a delicious yogurt & honey-lime dressing. It’s easy, flexible, and absolutely delicious!
It’s a great side for brunch or lunch BBQs in particular. Plus, you can easily switch it up with your favorite fruit!
This dairy-free ice cream tastes like a creamy, cool version of zucchini bread! Perfect for a hot day, plus zucchini is in season during the summertime.
This easy homemade ice cream doesn’t require an ice cream maker, and it’s studded with shredded zucchini, walnuts, and chocolate chips!
Who doesn’t love a refreshing popsicle at a BBQ?! Making your own homemade ice pops is so simple. Just blend, pour, and freeze.
These nectarine popsicles only require a handful of ingredients, and are lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup (or honey).
These lemon bars are vegan (made with ultra-creamy coconut milk) and don’t require any baking! Even the crust is no-bake, and oh so delicious. Zingy and refreshing!
Plus, these are dairy free and gluten free, so everyone can enjoy them. 🙂
The addition of rosemary and lime to these refreshing watermelon popsicles makes them even tastier! The perfect treat to cool down in hot weather.
They’re super simple to make, and are lightly sweetened with honey (or pure maple syrup).
This blueberry custard pie doesn’t require any baking, so it’s perfect for hot weather. Plus, it’s delicious, and it’ll look so pretty on the table with your Labor Day spread.
It’s also vegan, dairy free, and gluten free (including the crust)!
I hope you love these tasty and healthy Labor Day recipes! What are your favorite things to make for end-of-summer BBQs?