The three day weekend is upon us! And so is the end of summer, unfortunately. With barbeques firing up all over the country to send out summer on one last hurrah, many are looking for a Labor Day BBQ menu that’s not only tasty and crowd-pleasing, but easy. Here are three great Labor Day BBQ recipes to celebrate getting the day off that won’t leave you feeling like you just put in a full day’s work:
Keep clean-up to a minimum with these effortlessly easy foil packet recipes. No messy grill, no messy tongs, and guests can even eat right out of the foil since they’re a complete meal in and of themselves. Just add ingredients to foil, wrap up in packets making sure to seal tightly, and cook over a medium grill for 15-20 minutes to achieve pro grill-master status without the work, maintenance, or mess. Score! Here are some delicious combinations to try:
- Clam bake with shrimp, corn, clams, kielbasa potatoes white-wine & butter
- Spicy chicken sausage with chipotle sweet potatoes, bell peppers and asparagus
- Chicken thighs with yakisoba noodles, veggies and bottled teriyaki sauce
- Scallops with jarred avocado-mango salsa, carrots, onions and zucchini
- Chicken breasts with jarred pesto, cherry tomatoes and portobello mushrooms
Did you know you can make pizza on the grill? It’s also waayyy easier than it sounds and makes for a fun party where guests can essentially create their own personal pizzas exactly how they want them. With a little set up beforehand, they get to create their own favorites and you get to kick back and let them. Genius. Here’s how to set it up:
- Pre-made pizza dough (usually figure about 3-4 people per each 1 lb of dough) Willing to DIY the dough? Here’s a great recipe.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Jarred red sauce and pesto
- A variety of toppings (get as high brow as you like): Sliced onions, olives, pineapple, pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, bell peppers and the like!
Step 1: Set up your pizza making station: Pre-roll-out rounds of dough and stack between sheets of parchment paper on a plate next to the grill, and set up a table with your sauces, cheese and toppings with room to create.
Step 2: For each pizza, brush dough with olive oil and then gently place it on the grill and cook for 1-3 minutes or until brown.
Step 3: Brush with more oil on top, then flip dough over onto a plate or pizza peel so the uncooked & oiled side is down. Then add sauce, cheese and toppings to the browned top side.
Step 4: Slide back onto the grill and cook with the lid down for another 3-8 minutes or until dough is crispy and golden brown on the bottom. Slide onto a plate, slice and enjoy!
The Easiest Ribs Ever (with a sneaky secret)
Shhh….here’s a secret for the best grilled ribs ever – cook them in the oven! Seriously! I like to bake my ribs low and slow all day in the oven and then at the very end, transfer them to the grill to get that charred flavor on the outside and get the glaze nice and sticky. They’ll be moist and falling off the bone and no one will ever suspect you weren’t babysitting the ribs all day on the grill. Here’s the super simple recipe:
- 2 racks of baby back ribs (feeds 4-6)
- 4 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ Rub (I love The Salt Lick’s blend from Austin, TX)
- A bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s anyone?)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a glass baking dish with foil and arrange your ribs inside. Rub ribs with one tablespoon of your rub on each side. Cover dish with foil and bake for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender, but not quite falling apart.
Preheat grill to medium, and place ribs on the grill gently (they’ll be tender!) brush with bbq sauce and turn several times basting with more sauce as needed until caramelized and slightly charred. Serve!
Do you have a favorite go-to BBQ recipe that’s both crowd-pleasing and time-saving? Share it in the comments below! And let us know if you end up trying one of these non-labor intensive Labor Day BBQ recipes.