32 Labor Day Side Dishes

Updated: Jun. 14, 2023

These Labor Day side dishes let you do your day off the right way. Prepare to make crowd favorites for every Labor Day to come.

Sour Cream Cucumbers Exps Fttmz18 26502 B11 16 6b 4Sour Cream Cucumbers Recipe photo by Taste of Home

When it comes to Labor Day food, side dishes are just as important as the grilled main dishes. From refreshing healthy Labor Day salads, to corn on the cob and creamy pasta salads, you can’t go wrong with any of them. No matter who comes to your party, your side dish is sure to be the talk of the town.

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Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio

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Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad

This salad is perfect with a grilled steak for a Tex-Mex meal, and most of it can even be prepared out in the backyard. Poblanos and cayenne make it pop and it’s ideal as a Labor Day side dish. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Cucumber Coleslaw

I created this cucumber coleslaw recipe so I could use a julienne peeler I received as a gift. I had leftover sparkling wine, so I thought I'd try to use it over julienned cucumbers to make this refreshing slaw. It's a nice way to round out a brunch or picnic. —Merry Graham, Newhall, California
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Hawaiian Fried Rice

Growing up in the South Pacific, rice was the mainstay of our diet. When my husband and I moved stateside, we created this Hawaiian fried rice recipe. We bring this dish to every potluck, and it’s always the hit of the party. It’s especially a crowd favorite as a Labor Day side dish. —Janice Edwards, Plainville, Illinois
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Slow-Cooker Sriracha Corn

A restaurant here advertised Sriracha corn on the cob, but I knew I could make my own. The golden ears cooked up a little sweet, a little smoky and a little hot—perfect if you ask my three teenage boys! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Bacon Pea Salad

My husband absolutely loves peas. My middle son isn’t the biggest fan, but he loves bacon. So, I combined the two, and it was perfect! This pea salad is an awesome Labor Day side dish, especially for a barbecue. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Sweet & Sour Squash Salad

This Labor Day salad goes over really well with all ages, and it’s a good way to get kids to eat summer squash. —Opal Shipman Levelland, Texas
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Heirloom Tomato Salad

This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases my guests. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Pina Colada Molded Salad

My gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It’s a wonderful anytime treat and as a Labor Day side dish. Now that I’m retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Tomato-Melon Chicken Salad

Nothing says summer like picking watermelon, tomatoes and raspberries, then tossing them together in a salad. The addition of grilled chicken makes it a satisfying summery meal. —Betsy Hite, Wilton, California
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Jalapeno Popper Corn Salad

I created this recipe for a wedding I was catering, and it's a good thing I made buckets of it, because I couldn't stop eating it! This chilled creamy salad combines all the best flavors of jalapeno poppers with the delicate sweetness of fresh corn. —Amanda Miller, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Tomato, Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad

With ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and grilled corn, this bright salad tastes just like summertime! It’s sure to be a massive crowd favorite as a Labor Day side dish. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Salami & Provolone Pasta Salad

Everyone needs a perfect pasta salad that’s easy to make, especially on busy nights when your family wants a dish that’s fast, light and cool. This is just the thing. —Jill Donley, Warsaw, Indiana
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Patriotic Potatoes with Mustard Sauce

Show your true spirit with a bowl of red, white and blue potatoes dressed with bacon and sour cream. They’re tops in my hit parade of patriotic dishes. —Julie Murphy, Peachtree City, Georgia
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Simple Waldorf Salad

This is my go-to salad when I need a quick little meal. When I want a sweeter taste, I use whipped cream instead of yogurt. —Wendy Masters, East Garafraxa, Ontario
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Ranch Pasta

I came up with this ranch pasta after making recipes for a bridal shower. It was party day and I needed to take some shortcuts! Everyone loves the simple Parmesan ranch white sauce, and it's easy to throw in veggies you have on hand. —Merry Graham, Newhall, California
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Marinated Three Bean Salad

Fresh herbs and cayenne pepper provide the fantastic flavor in this marinated salad featuring fresh veggies and canned beans. —Carol Tucker, Wooster, Ohio
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Honey-Pecan Kiwi Salad

This dish won second place in a summer salad recipe feature published in our local newspaper. But it takes first place with my family, always happy to try my new creations. —Marla Arbet, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Creamy Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this creamy macaroni salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Give friends a taste of the tropics on warm summer days with this refreshing fruit blend. For a little extra punch, you might add a splash of coconut rum. —Carol Farnsworth, Greenwood, Indiana
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Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

My niece introduced me to this colorful recipe some time ago. I now make it when I have buffets or large gatherings because it can be prepared hours ahead. This is a great way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia
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Pressure-Cooker Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got bored with fixing plain old squash and cheese. I decided to jazz it up a bit by adding seasoned croutons and bacon. This was a huge hit with the family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Grilled Veggies with Caper Butter

We enjoy the tart, peppery taste of capers. No one likes a bland veggie, and caper butter helps peppers, squash and zucchini shine. —Danyelle Crum, Indian Trail, North Carolina
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Broccoli and Apple Salad

Even my picky daughter loves this one! My yogurt dressing on crunchy veggie salad makes a cool and creamy Labor Day side dish. —Lynn Cluff, Littlefield, Arizona
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Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes

This garlic and basil linguine is a perfect way to use up your late-summer tomato harvest. It makes a great light supper when paired with a salad, or you can make it heartier with some chopped chicken. —Susan Jones, Downers Grove, Illinois
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Creamy Red Potatoes

This rich and creamy potato side dish is my go-to for potlucks. It’s super easy to double, so I usually do. Folks almost always take seconds, and I almost always get compliments. —Shelia Schmitt, Topeka, Kansas
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Cheesy Summer Squash Casserole

Onion and cheddar cheese perk up the rich flavor of summer squash in this comforting casserole. A crispy cornflake-crumb topping adds a little crunch. —Katherine Metz, Jacksonville, Florida
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Tortellini Caesar Salad

This salad was served at a dear friend’s baby shower by a health-conscious friend, who suggested the dressing be prepared with low-fat or fat-free ingredients. Either way, the creamy dressing has plenty of garlic flavor and coats the pasta, romaine and croutons nicely. —Tammy Steenbock, Sembach Air Base, Germany
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Tangy Cilantro Lime Confetti Salad

I love standout salads that burst with flavor—the kind that make you feel as if you’re splurging without having to eat that piece of chocolate cake. This is one of my very favorites, and everyone I serve it to loves it as well. —Jasey McBurnett, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Pizza Salad

A fun summer dish, this is a different salad that tastes as good as it looks. I love to take it to parties—the wonderful zesty flavor really complements a barbecue! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland