Party Planner: Labor Day Barbecue

Entertain, Menu Ideas, Menus

Weekend Entertaining: Labor Day Barbecue

It’s summer’s last hurrah (and a three-day weekend)! Make your Labor Day barbecue a memorable one with our menu, featuring a trio of burgers to satisfy every appetite. Round out the meal with some more late-summer favorites — we have all the recipes and tips you need to start planning.




Kick off the party with an easy, tasty appetizer like our French onion and blue cheese dip, which is perfect for snacking. Set out a bowl of potato chips and a platter of fresh crudites for dipping.


For the main event, serve burgers in three completely different styles so there’s something for everyone. These pimento cheese-stuffed burgers get an extra kick from the Southern staple, while burgers made from ground turkey offer a lighter option. Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike will enjoy chickpea and red pepper burgers, topped with a creamy smoked paprika spread.


On the side, enjoy fresh summer salads. Try this simple medley of corn, beans and herbs, plus another sweet-savory dish starring heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and feta.


For dessert, a homey dessert like our plum-raspberry cobbler will satisfy a crowd and showcase summer fruits and their best.


Weekend Entertaining: Labor Day Barbecue


Party Planner


  • 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the dip, cover tightly, and refrigerate.
  • Day of: Prep crudites for the appetizer. Make all of the burger patties, cover, and refrigerate until ready to grill. Make the bean and corn salad and refrigerate until ready to serve. Make the dough for the cobbler.
  • Just before serving: Make the tomato and watermelon salad. Grill and finish the burgers. Finish and bake the cobbler.


An outdoor party calls for festive, refreshing drinks. Mix a pitcher of cranberry limeade and serve in jars with fun straws for a charming presentation. Offer beer and wine for adults — we like a juicy red wine with burgers, like the 2012 Wits End Luna Shiraz in our wine shop.


A burger menu begs for a DIY buffet. Set out condiments (we love our Burger Bomb sauce) and toppings on a serving tray, along with durable plates and flatware, and let guests help themselves. To simplify serving, arrange the dip, chips and crudites in a chip and dip tray. Instead of napkins, provide vintage-inspired striped towels, which suit the casual occasion to perfection.


Get creative with condiments! Homemade beer mustard, barbecue sauce and aioli boost the flavor of any burger, as do pickles you’ve preserved yourself. Make extra of the smoked paprika mayonnaise to have on hand, too.

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