Munchies

Make These Easy Sides for the Perfect Labor Day BBQ

Get your last ya-yas out during this Labor Day weekend with a proper cookout.

by Becky Hughes
Sep 1 2017, 7:00pm

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Sorry to bum you out, but summer is over. Sure, it'll still be hot as hell outside for a little while longer, but the energy changes after Labor Day weekend—summer was the rager, and September is the head-pounding hangover.

Get your last ya-yas out during this long weekend with a proper cookout, and make sure it does summer justice. That means treating your meat right and giving it some sides to share the spotlight with.

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Let's start simple with a classic potato salad. Le duh. Then massage yourself some good old fashioned creamy coleslaw. And, while you're at it, pasta salad. It's what the people want.

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Luckily, some of the easiest sides are the best ones—perfect for No Labor day. Like this anchovy, little gem, and tomato salad. Simply toss a few ingredients together, and you've got just the thing to offset a giant hunk of steak. Avocado, grapefruit, and crab salad is so straightforward, you can throw it together even after you've tossed back a few beers. And how about this cucumber salad—it makes it's own freakin' vinaigrette. Or, after you've grilled up your meaty mains, throw some veg right on the embers to make this zucchini and white bean salad. Stupid easy.

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

But hey, it's summer's last hurrah, and that means you should take some risks. Get weird. Put cucumbers on the grill. Brush grilled corn with a sweet, coconutty, turmeric-laced sauce. Toss ramen, quinoa, and almonds into cabbage for the crunchiest slaw ever.

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Is it blasphemous to serve Vietnamese-style coleslaw on an American holiday? Mexican elote? How about—hear us out—Armenian salad? Now is not the time to be a xenophobic monster. Make these.

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

OK, ready to have your mind blown? Amp up simple greens with watermelon dressing. Mic drop.

Now go on, kick this Labor Day barbecue's ass. 'Til next year, summer.

Need to make mains or desserts? Check out our full Ultimate Summer Recipe Collection.