24 Recipes to Make for a Labor Day Cookout
Salmon Skewers with Almond Charmoula
Simply grilling fish is TV chef Andrew Zimmern’s favorite way to eat what comes out of the ocean. For these skewers, he pairs rich salmon with North African charmoula, a brightly acidic herb paste tempered with sweet fruit and—his personal twist—crunchy nuts.
Arugula Salad With Potatoes and Green Beans
Use fingerling, Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold potatoes in this salad and toss them gently with the vinaigrette so they keep their shape.
Kaiserschmarrn with Peaches
Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime
This supremely simple fruit salad is the perfect side dish for grilled foods.
Ricotta and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta with Pancetta
Peak-season tomatoes make all the difference in this simple bruschetta from author Susan Spungen.
Bacon-Wrapped Vegetable Skewers with Dill Pickle Relish
Dill pickle-herb oil—used as both a marinade and a dipping sauce—gives smoky oyster mushrooms and cherry tomatoes a double hit of brightness.
Mixed Citrus and Arugula Salad
This salad calls for a trio of citrus, including navel oranges, which are meaty and slightly acidic. Feel free to try other varieties such as Cara Caras, which have a lovely pink flesh and delicate flavor. No matter what kind you choose, you'll get a big dose of vitamin C.
Swordfish Skewers with Salsa Verde
Chef Chad Colby uses fresh bay leaves on these fresh swordfish skewers, which imparts a lovely fragrance to the dish.
Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms and Lemon
"My granny taught me that when corn is very fresh, the juices are naturally creamy," Kevin Gillespie says. "I took that as the gospel." He grates half of the corn here to make a luxurious puree that thickens without cream.
Mashed Potato Casserole with Pulled Chicken and Crispy Bacon
This recipe featuring mashed potatoes, pulled chicken and crispy bacon yields comfort food at its best.
Salmon and Cherry Tomato Skewers with Rosemary Vinaigrette
Cook these simple salmon-and-tomato kebabs on skewers or even on sturdy rosemary sprigs.
Grilled Peach, Onion and Bacon Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
The secret to this salad is using big, juicy sweet onions like the Vidalias that Linton Hopkins favors, which get nicely charred on the grill.
Grilled Chicken, Tomato and Onion Sandwiches
Except for the olive-oregano relish, all the components of this chicken sandwich are grilled—the chicken, tomatoes, sweet onion and even the bread—making for the ultimate grilled sandwich.
Smokin' Sweet Chicken Wings with Cherry Barbecue Glaze
Cherry preserves with habanero chile create a fabulously sticky, sweet and spicy glaze for grilled chicken wings. Glaze them just before serving so the sugars don't burn.
Bow Ties with Sun-Dried Tomato and Scallion Cream
Sun-dried tomatoes give intense flavor to this quick, no-cook sauce. Fusilli would also be a good shape to use here; the cream sauce will cling to its every curve.
Chocolate-Crusted Plum Galette
Serena Bass makes her juicy plum galette with fresh rosemary and a chocolaty pastry crust. The combination of plums and chocolate with herbs may be unusual, but it works beautifully, thanks to what Bass calls her "chocolate instinct."
Grilled Lemon Pound Cake with Peaches and Cream
Bryan Calvert, chef and co-owner of James in Brooklyn, New York, loves the versatility of his supermoist lemon pound cake: He uses it to make everything from French toast to a stuffing for baked apples. At this time of year, he grills it until crisp and toasty, then tops it with warm, tender grilled peaches and whipped cream.
Hard Cider Sangria
Instead of wine, this juicy sangria is made with hard cider spiked with lemon juice and apple brandy.
Achari Pimiento Cheese Spread
Farhan Momin took this Southern staple and gave it a makeover by incorporating his mother’s classic Indian pickling spices. Serve it with some crackers, between two slices of white bread, or toasted naan.
Grilled Chicken with Nectarines and Chanterelles
Paired with tart and tangy nectarines and juicy grilled chicken, chanterelles are earthy, savory, and a bit nutty when cooked. Spatchcocking the chicken, or removing the spine and cracking the breast bone, helps ensure even cooking on the grill.
Next-Level Turkey Burgers with Lemon Aioli
A quick brine produces super-moist burgers with chin-dripping juices. The brining also helps the burgers cook faster, so flip them often to help them cook evenly and prevent charring.
Double-Cut Rib Eye with Sweet Gorgonzola Butter
At her modern chophouse, Jar, in Los Angeles, 2002 BNC Suzanne Tracht’s menu changes with the seasons. To celebrate summer, she says, “this juicy, sweet combo of Gorgonzola and beef alongside fresh heirloom tomatoes is how I kick off the outdoor months.” A two-rib prime rib eye mini-roast makes it easy to light up the grill.
Black-and-Blue Pie with Brown Sugar Crumb
For juicy—but never runny—berry pie, Nicole Rucker crushes a single large handful of the berry filling to help create the perfect saucy consistency. Huckleberries and blackberries create the namesake black-and-blue filling, but a mix of any brambleberries and blueberries will do. A crumb topping adds texture and helps absorb some of the pie’s juice, allowing it to slice cleanly.
Frozen Cucumber Margaritas with Chili-Sumac Salt
Gail Simmons’ most recent slushy obsession is a tequila, cucumber, and coconut water creation, blended up with cilantro and lime and rimmed with a mix of chili powder, sumac, and salt. It’s an ode to her favorite Mexican street snack: fruta con chile y limón, little bags of sliced mango, cucumber, and jicama usually sprinkled with Tajín, a spicy and sour snack seasoning.