The holiday that signifies the end of summer is right around the corner. It’s time to start planning those Labor Day cookout menus for grilling outside with family and friends and eating your way through the last of summer’s best produce. We just can’t wait for this late summer long weekend: Our most-loved fruits and vegetables are at their peak, it’s cool enough outside that we can actually bear to be standing over a grill for a few hours, and it’s our last excuse to eat multiple grilled burgers until next year.
However much we love Labor Day, if you’re the one hosting this year’s grill-centered party, you’ll probably be stressing about how much preparation, planning, and work has to go into the celebration. It isn’t easy to cook for that many people, make sure that everybody’s favorite dishes are included, and make sure your home is looking suitably beautiful all at the same time. To help you out this year, we’ve rounded up our favorite Labor Day grilling recipes, which take up as little of your time, effort, and attention as possible. And this doesn’t mean you’ll just be serving hot dogs coated in ketchup and mustard.
Begin your meal with some simple charred crostini topped with salty ham and melting cheese. Follow them with fancy hot dogs, buttery grilled crab legs, easy cheesy homemade burgers, and plenty of sides ranging from classic Mexican corn on the cob to grilled salads. Don’t forget that you can cook dessert on the grill, too — there’s no need to turn your oven on and bake a special cake when you could serve up a decadent, family-friendly, grilled peach parfait. So grab an ice-cold beer and get cooking with these 16 grilled dishes that take the labor out of Labor Day.