40+ Healthy Labor Day Recipes for a Picnic, Party or Barbecue

Enjoy these healthy Labor Day recipes that are perfect for a picnic, barbecue or party! Mix-and-match them for the tastiest buffet-style meal.

Healthy Labor Day Recipes photo compilation.

Healthy Labor Day Recipes

Next weekend is a long holiday weekend to celebrate Labor Day! I love holiday weekends and Labor Day is one of my favorites as it means barbecues, picnics, potlucks and parties. It’s time to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy the gorgeous “end of summer” sunny weather with tons of tasty food.

But what it really means is get outside, laugh and play, eat, soak up a little vitamin D and have some fun! And I am ALL for that.

Healthy eating on Labor Day is easier than you might imagine with summer menu items like salads, grilled meat and seafood, fruit, veggies, salsas and dips. Even if you’re not the one cooking, odds are you’ll be able to find something healthy to eat. But if you are the one cooking, I’ve got several recipes (all gluten-free of course) that’ll help you put together a mouth-watering and deliciously healthy Labor Day menu.

Girl setting up labor day picnic on the beach.

Labor Day Main Meals

For the healthy main dish think grilled fish, meat and kebabs. That smoky, barbecue flavor just screams Labor Day yumminess! Sure, utensils can be used…but they can also be optional. Licking your fingers is all part of the fun.

Here’s a few recipe ideas for crowd-pleasing mains:

Two bottles of infused water and a beach blanket of picnic food.

Labor Day Salads

Salads are the best food option for a hot summer day! They’re light yet refreshing, and their nutrition boost will help you win that next round of cornhole (PS – who else LOVES a game of cornhole?). Salads can be considered mains as well, especially if you add a little protein.

Here’s a few of my favorite summer salad recipes:

A beach picnic with a plate full of food.

Labor Day Side Dishes & Snacks

The most classic side dish for a holiday weekend is potato salad – am I right? Well, I’ve got a family recipe that’ll make your stomach happy. I’ve also got several munchies to satisfy your slightly salty or sweet cravings.

Here are my favorite side dish and munchie recipes:

Other healthy munchies include: grapes, olives, salami, prosciutto, raw or grilled veggies, melon slices and various cheeses.

Beach picnic on a towel with bottles of infused water.

Labor Day Desserts and Sweet Treats

If you’re outside enjoying the holiday you don’t want to be inside slaving over a complicated dessert. These healthy desserts can be made ahead of time, then delivered to the hungry masses when the timing is right, or when the sun starts setting. Whichever comes first!

Here are a few of my favorite summertime desserts:

Healthy Labor Day recipes on a beach blanket.

Labor Day Beverages

When it comes to quenching your thirst, I always recommend drinking lots of water during the summer months. And one of the best ways to keep it interesting is to infuse it with fruits, veggies and herbs. But if you’re looking to add a little extra fun to celebrate the last days of summer, just whip up a pitcher of a cooling, refreshing beverage.

Here are some of my favorite drinks:

A Few Other Labor Day Tips

Happy Labor Day everyone! Enjoy the holiday that’s dedicated to all your hard work – you’ve deserved it!

Girl walking along the beach.

Post originally published September 2015, but updated to include new recipes. 

Two healthy labor day recipes next to each other.

40+ Healthy Labor Day Recipes: Avocado Salsa

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
These healthy Labor Day recipes are perfect for a picnic, barbecue or party! And you can never go wrong with an avocado salsa.


  • 6 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 4 avocados, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Give everything a toss and taste test to see if you need additional salt.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Lisa's Tips

Yields: 4-5 cups of salsa (depending on the size of your avocados).


Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 156mg, Potassium: 630mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 629IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Avocado Salsa, Chunky avocado salsa
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4 comments on “40+ Healthy Labor Day Recipes for a Picnic, Party or Barbecue”

  1. I can’t wait for warmer weather and better conditions to try these out!5 stars

  2. That berry recipe !!!!!!! YUM !!!!!5 stars

  3. looks delicious!