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Best Labor Day Menu Ideas and Recipes

Updated on August 1, 2015
Fried catfish with rice and cornbread.
Fried catfish with rice and cornbread. | Source

New Holiday Structure, Older Recipes Still Great!

This menu of good dishes for celebrating Labor Day in America were attached to my original Hub extolling the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.

Unfortunately, the Jerry Lewis Telethon has been gone since 2011, even though Jerry was willing to continue past his 60 years of free work and constant effort to help cure Muscular Dystrophy and all its related disorders. Significant progress was made in those 60 years, with some viable treatments developed.

Jerry is still alive and performing as of this writing and we can still enjoy these cookout recipes to use on Labor Day Weekend.

As for donations, mine go to productive companies like Fate Therapeutics and New Work In Muscular Dystrophy and private companies in America that sponsor aerospace projects to help create new compounds in zero-gravity in order to treat diseases and conditions.

The Beginnings of Labor Day in America

Labor Day Recipes: Catfish BBQ

The dishes offered below are some of my favorite recipes for Labor Day, or for any other picnic or cookout I have during the summers in America.

The recipes include

  • BBQ Catfish,
  • Chicken BBQ,
  • Orange and Almond Rice - An organic foods recipe.
  • Grilled Lime Corn,
  • Grilled Corn Salad,
  • Tomato and Pasta Salad,
  • Homemade Fudgecicles.

Many of the recipes are a healthy version of each dish as well.

The Hub includes a video presentation of the history of the Holiday we call Labor Day and for which we enjoy a long weekend away from work over the first Monday in September each year.

In addition, some film is presented by the US National Archives from an exhibit they call The Way We Worked, set to the music of Ray Charles' rendition of That Lucky Old Sun Just Rolls Along. See videos below.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 14 min
  • Ready in: 29 min
  • Yields: Six delicious servings of a whole fish each.

Rate our recipe for Catfish BBQ.

5 stars from 1 rating of Catfish BBQ

Ray Charles Performs "That Lucky Old Sun Just Rolls Along."

National Archives: The Way We Worked

Southern Barbecue Catfish

Serves 6


  • 6 Catfish, each about a pound (16 ounces) in weight
  • 1/8 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 2 T Sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 C White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Tomato Catsup - Apple butter or Peach Butter makes a very tasty variation
  • 1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil or a light vegetable oil like an Asian 3-in-1.


  • If not already done at the fish market, clean, skin and fillet your catfish.
  • Combine all of your remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir.
  • Baste each of your carfish with the BBQ Sauce you just made in the bowl.
  • Put your catfish in a hinged fish basket that has been sprayed with BBQ grill cooking spray.
  • Put catfish in basket on the grill about 3 inches from coals.

Cook catfish for about 7 minutes on each side, until the meat flakes off the bone easily. Don't overcook, and baste with the BBQ Sauce often during grilling.

Virginia Farm Bureau: Chef Maxwell's Labor Day BBQ Chicken

An Early Guest

I wonder if he would prefer Catfish or Chicken?
I wonder if he would prefer Catfish or Chicken? | Source

Orange and Almond Rice - An Organic Recipe

Serves 6 - 8


  • 1 Tbsp. Organic butter
  • 2 Cups Organic orange juice
  • 1 Cup Spring water
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups raw long-grain rice, especially brown rice
  • 1/2 Cup sliced, blanched almonds
  • ¼ Cup chopped parsley


  • Into a large pot over medium-high heat, place butter, orange juice, water, salt, and rice.
  • Stir contents of the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring a few times more.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot.
  • Cook the contents without removing the lid for 35-45 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy. Begin checking the contents at the 35-minute point, but do not stir the pot.
  • Stir in the almonds and parsley into your rice and serve.

Outdoor Grilled Lime Corn

Serves 4 - Double the recipe for a party of 8.


  • 1 Cup Real Mayonnaise or a substitute with low fat, low calories
  • 2 Whole Limes for juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • 4 Fresh Ears of corn
  • 1 Stick of butter or margarine, melted


  • Preheat a gas/electric grill or an indoor counter-top grill to medium-high heat or start the coals outside in a charcoal grill.
  • Combine mayonnaise and lime juice in a small bowl.
  • Season the mayo sauce with salt and cayenne pepper, to taste. Save half of this in another dish for after grilling.
  • Brush each ear of corn lightly with the other half of the mayo sauce, which you are using for the grill.
  • Grill the corn until golden brown, turning often & brushing with butter on each turn.
  • Once the corn is done, brush with the remaining sauce and serve.

Easy Avocado Roasted Corn Bean Salad by Pepper Ferguson

Cookout Tomato & Pasta Salad

Serves 4 to 6


  • 10 or 12 Plum tomatoes or about 1.5 - 2 pounds total
  • 2 Cus of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Ounces finely crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white-wine or red-wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Pound medium-sized pasta


  • Wash the tomatoes and pat dry.
  • Quarter the tomatoes and place them into a mixing bowl.
  • Toss the tomatoes with the basil leaves, blue cheese, oil, and vinegar and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate the bowl and let marinate 45 minutes or overnight.
  • At serving time, cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain it, and add to a mixing bowl while warm.
  • Add the tomato salad and toss well.
  • Let the dish rest at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve.

Fudgesicles or Fudge Pops to Make at Home

Makes 8 Popsicle sized fudge pops with a Popsicle freezer tray, or makes 4 individual dessert cup servings. Either way makes a good treat.


  • 1 Small Box of any sugar-free instant pudding mix like chocolate, chocolate mint, cholocate fudge, mocha, or your favorite flavor.
  • 2 Cups Soy Milk or Skim Milk
  • 4 Tablespoons of powdered baking cocoa like Hershey or Bakers


  • Take out a Popsicle freezer tray or use individual serving cups or even a couple of clean ice cube trays.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together and pour the pudding mixture into whatever serving containers you will use.
  • Freeze the fudge pop several hours or overnight.

© 2014 Patty Inglish


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I hope you like them! Glad to see you stop by :)

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 3 years ago from USA

      I miss the the telethon too. Thanks for sharing some delicious looking recipes. I'll be back to give them a taste test.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Friends and I caught some catfish one summer and it s pretty good. I hope you like the recipes!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Not much of a holiday this year, but I would like to make that Orange and Almond Rice recipe in the future. Hubby would like the catfish.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Yum!!! These are such great recipes you have shared here, Patty. I am arriving late in the day of Labor Day, but I will certainly keep these handy for the near future.

      I do miss the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. Wow, I did not realize just how long it aired.

      I do hope you have a lovely Labor Day weekend and enjoyed great food too.

      Blessings always

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Sounds like a feast! Love the photo of the buffalo. Good to learn that Jerry Lewis is alive and well. Surprising to discover how many celebrities from the past are still performing sometimes.

      These recipes sound delicious for anytime it's nice enough to grill outside, and here in Texas that's most of the time. Of course that's the opinion of a Yankee, so Texans may disagree. I refuse to go outside except for necessity on days like today when it's 98 degrees F. or higher.

      Hope you're in a cool place and enjoying the holiday!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @The Examiner-1 : Thanks for the notice -- Everything plays for me, except "Labor Day" and that's odd it won't play in America, where Labor Day is a tradition. I found an updated version from History Channel.

      Thanks again!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Patty, on the first video - Labor Day - I received "This video is not available in your country". It must be YouTube because I am in N.A.

      In "National Archives: The Way We Worked" and "Chef Maxwell" I received 'An error occurred, please try again later.'

      None of these three played.


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I hope you like them! That rice is one of my favorites.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great recipe ideas and so simple to make.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I too, was tired of the massive negatives in the world, breakfastpop! A nice menu can work wonders, can it not? Please tell the proprietors at The Inn of common sense that they can have all these recipes. See you there soon.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      The world is imploding around u, so I have to thank you for these recipes. Reading them changed my mood for the better and now I'm hoping my menu for the holiday will change with it!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I hope you have the chance to try some of these dishes soon! Happy Labor Day!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      What an interesting melding of concepts both historical and gastronomic. There looks like some tastey dishes offered for our eating pleasure.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      The rice tastes pretty good and I also like to make it with lemon for a change. Happy Holiday to you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for these Labor Day recipes. The orange and almond rice seems simple enough for me. Happy Labor Day!