Plan a Party: Labor Day Picnic

Vegetables and barbecue meat on spring weekend picnic.

Summer is coming to an end and Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to finish off the season with a bang. Labor Day marks the end of warm summer days and outdoor BBQs and instead, welcomes in a new era of cool, crisp sweater weather. While we’re excited to welcome in all the exciting produce that’s to come during fall, we can’t help but wish to have one last hurrah. A picnic is wonderful for bringing together family and friends and what better time than during a long weekend? Put together a couple of crowd-friendly entrees and head on over to your local park for some delicious feasting.

The Menu

Burgers and hot dogs always make an appearance at picnics, partly because of how easy they are to make and partly because they’re always delicious and foolproof. Hatch Chile season is in full swing, so now’s the time to make the most of them, such as in this Bleu Cheese Stuffed Hatch Chile Burgers. Of course, it’s always considerate to have some vegetarian-friendly options on the menu. Green Chile Veggie Burgers will keep the vegetarians happy.

For appetizers and small bites, you’ll want to have finger-friendly foods available that guests can easily grab. These classic hot wings are served with a sweet and spicy nectarine hot sauce that can’t be found with your average hot wings. Finger sandwiches are also great for serving crowds. Simple and delicious, Turkey and Tomato Tea Sandwiches are a picnic classic.

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Of course, no picnic is quite complete with salad on the side. With so many different kinds to make, there’s a good chance you’ll find your guests bringing many different choices of salads to choose from. Where there’s a picnic, there’s always potato salad. Our Southwestern Dutch Yellow Potato Salad brings together a vibrant array of flavors and gives this dish the perfect Tex-Mex twist. For those who are all about freshness, an Organic Vegetable Pasta Salad is filled with organic seasonal favorites such as red bell peppers, sweet corn and sun-dried tomatoes. A Steak Salad with Bleu Cheese Crumbles is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This version calls for beef tenderloin but you can top it with your favorite cut of steak.

For dessert, fruit skewers are a sweet and healthy snack that’s light enough to counter all the typical picnic food entrees. Bring along chocolate sauce for drizzling for those who want a little extra sugar.

Party Planning Tips 

  • Bring a portable grill with you to the picnic, so that you can grill your meats and vegetables fresh. While certain foods can be served cold, items such as burgers taste best hot off the grill.
  • Make sure to set up your grill on a concrete floor. Never place it on a grassy surface in case of a fire.
  • Put together your salads, appetizers and fruit skewers ahead of time.
  • If you want to add to your picnic theme, mason jars are a wonderful alternative to paper cups and make gorgeous decorations.

What will you be planning for Labor Day weekend? Are there any other picnic foods you feel should be on this list? Happy Labor Day!

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