Labor Day Menu

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The most delicious Labor Day Menu is about to go down!!

Labor Day is this weekend and it’s basically another excuse to make all the food (as if we really needed an excuse!) What’s Gaby Cooking has you covered from head to toe when it comes to menu planning. From appetizers and salads to mains and dessert - there's a little bit of everything so you can mix and match your favorite Labor Day recipes and entertain in style!


Melon Caprese Skewers from (@whatsgabycookin) / Labor Day menu

Homemade Chipotle Salsa from (@whatsgabycookin)

Melon Caprese Skewers - These Italian inspired Melon Caprese Skewers are the perfect snack!

Homemade Chipotle Salsa - This Homemade Chipotle Salsa packs a punch, and it comes together in a blender in less than 5 minutes.

Loaded Guacamole - Creamy smashed avocados with bacon, sun dried tomatoes, cotija and a few extra mix ins… sign me up!

Layered Corn Guacamole - It’s layers of guacamolepico de gallo and corn with a squeeze of lime juice on top!! Serve it up with freshly fried tortilla chips and call it a day. They make for the perfect appetizer for any outdoor entertaining moment because you can grab it, walk around, mingle, sip on a margarita and have the best day ever!!

Homemade BBQ Potato Chips - Thinly sliced potato chips that are fried, dried, and dusted with a homemade spicy BBQ seasoning make for the perfect addition to your Labor Day menu along with some burgers.

Grilled Shishito Peppers - Tthis is like the easiest appetizer of all times. Double or triple the recipe if you’re cooking for a crowd – they’ll disappear in a heartbeat.

Grilled Artichokes - These artichokes are steamed first, then brushed with some oil, and then grilled/charred to perfection and served with a lemon basil vinaigrette!

Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños - These Cheesy Chorizo Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños can be made on your outdoor smoker, grill or in your oven. They are INSANE. Make them immediately. 


Summer Stone Fruit Fattoush 2
Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)  / Labor Day menu

Herbed Caprese Salad - It’s a combo of 2 of my favorites, the Fattoush which is a Lebanese bread salad and a Caprese which we all know and love. The acidity from the dressing paired with the creamy mozzarella is perfection and the grilled bread on the side is exactly what you want to sop up any leftover dressing or pile high with a scoop of tomatoes.

Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad - This Greek inspired Castelvetrano pasta salad is incredible. You can eat this at room temp, warm, cold, you name it! It’s great as the main course and also wonderful as a side dish!

Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad - When someone says, hey can you bring a side dish to the BBQ this weekend, this is what you’re going to bring!

Stone Fruit Salad - This Summer Stone Fruit Salad is the perfect way to go about eating all those gorgeous peaches or nectarines! Load them up with heirloom tomatoes, some salty crumbled feta, fresh herbs and a lemon shallot vinaigrette that you’ll want to drink by itself.

Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Salad - A mega salad board that's perfect for summer backyard entertaining.

California Cobb - A fresh take on a cobb salad loaded with salmon, sweet potatoes, avocado and the most delicious mustard vinaigrette!

Watermelon Jicama Salad - Watermelon Jicama Salad is the perfect no cook, easy to make, super delicious side salad perfect for a hot day.

Peach Caprese - I think we’ve all probably had a caprese by now right? It’s the most epic combo of juicy ripe tomatoes and soft fresh mozzarella. Match made in heaven. But add some perfectly ripe summer peaches to the mix and it takes things up a notch!

Marinated Tomato and Burrata Salad - Perfectly Marinated Tomatoes with a big old pile of Burrata on top!



Santa Maria Tri Tip from (@whatsgabycookin)
Parmesan Pretzel Dogs from (@whatsgabycookin)  / Labor Day menu

Santa Maria Tri-Tip - One of my favorite ways to feed a crowd is with a giant platter of tri-tip. It doesn’t take much to prep and it’s always delicious.

Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa Verde - This Grilled Flank Steak is marinated in a red wine or balsamic vinaigrette and then slapped on the grill. The salsa verde get whirled up in a food processor and then slathered on top before it’s time to eat. I always serve it with a big fork + knife salad on the side because when you put all these of these things together for 1 bite… it’s perfection!

Parmesan Pretzel Dogs - Homemade soft pretzel dough that is embellished with a bit of Parmesan and Italian Seasoning that then gets wrapped around a hot dog and baked until it’s golden brown – AND THEN dunked in ketchup and or marinara sauce.

Guacamole Turkey Burgers - These juicy turkey burgers, topped with freshly made pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese and a healthy dose of guacamole, are absolutely not to be missed!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs - These are slowly cooked for a few hours in the oven and then finished off on the grill so by the time you take a bite, the meat is FALLING OFF THE BONE. They are also doused with this homemade Dr. Pepper spiked BBQ sauce that will make you weak in the knees. It’s not overly sweet if that’s what you’re thinking – just pure perfection.

BBQ Nachos - These nachos are made on the BBQ. They are loaded with refried beans, tons of shredded cheese, chicken, corn, jalapeños, green onions, guacamole and sour cream. WHOA.

Spicy Shrimp Tostadas - Eat ’em with a knife and fork, or fold them in half and eat them like a taco. Either way the spicy shrimp is addicting and the cilantro vinaigrette doused lettuce and mango give it a little crunch and a little sweetness!

Chicken Shish Kebabs - My Dad's Chicken Shish Kabobs recipe that is seriously one for the record books! You will love it!

Grilled Chicken with Avocado Tomato Salad - This grilled chicken dinner party meal is beyond. Marinated grilled chicken combined with a dreamy avocado tomato and corn salad it's summer in a bite.

BBQ Chicken Pizza - Your favorite flavors from BBQ Chicken onto a pizza with a grilled pizza crust!


Snickerdoodle S'mookies - 2 snickerdoodle cookies with a toasted marshmallow and some chocolate sandwiched in between. Hence... a s'mookie. S'mores but with cookies. Game over.

Blackberry Peach Crisp - This blackberry peach crisp is bubbly perfection. Minimal prep time and it feeds a crowd!

Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream - There’s really nothing quite like Grilled Peaches topped with Vanilla Ice Cream! It's one of my all time favorite desserts.

S'more Cheesecake Pops - These S’more Cheesecake Pops are easy to make, perfect for summer entertaining and the BEST way to infuse s'mores into more desserts! 

Strawberry Peach Pie - If a pie is more your speed for dessert, then this strawberry peach pie is a must try.

Mixed Berry Galette - This Mixed Berry Peach Galette is the perfect summer dessert to serve with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream! 

S'more Slutty Brownies - A spin on one of my favorite desserts. S'mores Oreo cookies are sandwiched by homemade cookie dough and homemade brownie batter and then torched marshmallows are added on top. The result is nothing short of amazing.

Strawberry Blueberry Shortcakes - These start with homemade biscuits that get sliced in half and then topped with a big dollop of freshly whipped chantilly cream, macerated strawberries and blueberries get piled on, and it's finally topped with the rest of the biscuit. It’s my idea of the perfect Labor Day dessert. 


Santa Maria Tri-Tip

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 1 vote
One of my favorite ways to feed a crowd is with a giant platter of tri-tip. It doesn’t take much to prep and it’s always delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Main Course, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


For the Tri Tip

  • 1 whole tri-tip about 2 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons rub see below

For the Rub

  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Salad

  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes 5–6, sliced into ¼"-thick rounds
  • 6 Persian cucumbers sliced into ¼"-thick rounds
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • Red wine vinegar for serving
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Trim silver skin off the trip tip but leave some of the fat.
  • Massage the meat with the rub until fully covered and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Prepare a charcoal grill or gas grill to high. Place tri-tip on grill and sear one side well, 6 to 7 minutes making sure it doesn’t burn. Rotate the tri-tip and sear other side for about the same time. Reduce heat to medium-high or move the meat to a part of the grill that’s not over direct flames. Turn meat again and cook another 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook again for an additional 5-6 minutes. A 2-pound roast will need about 20 to 25 minutes total cooking time. Cook until an instant read thermometer reads 120°F for a rare roast, 130°F for medium-rare and 140°F for medium.
  • Remove from the grill, let rest on a cutting board 30 minutes for the juice to redistribute and for it to slightly cool.
  • Arrange tomato slices, cucumber slices, and basil along a serving board. Drizzle tomatoes and cucumbers very lightly with vinegar. Drizzle oil over everything and season liberally with sea salt and ground pepper To serve, slice against the grain. Serve next to tomatoes and cucumbers.


Serve it up family style and then let people grab and go! I would serve it with a side of basil vin, cilantro vin, tomato confit, or a fun salsa.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 1834mg | Potassium: 987mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1681IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 4mg
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  1. I love how much avocado pops up here, total yum!! Amazing spread, I would love to see friends and family arrive with any of these beautiful dishes.

  2. Everything looks amazing! Truly though, I can't believe it's almost Labor Day! Where has the year gone?!

  3. YES! I was just starting to plan this weeked! I love your pictures- everything looks mouthwatering!

  4. Thank you, Gaby!!! I have a large crowd coming to the lake this weekend and you just made my menu planning SO much easier!! How do I decide what to make as it all looks amazing?? 🙂

    And I made your bruscetta bar for a recent reunion of several high school girlfriends (class of 1973!!) and it was a HUGE hit!!

    LOVE your blog!

  5. I think I will just send this link to everyone and I will sit back and relax and enjoy eating all of this!!! It looks incredible! All of it!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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