Summer and Autumn commingle on Labor Day. You get the best of both worlds. All the tastes of summer are still yours for the taking: berries, corn, watermelon, and herbs. Yet it’s time to welcome harvest foods too, all the squash, sweet potatoes, and spices that have sustained generations before you. There is space for both seasons in the Labor Day side dishes you choose.

During a big Labor Day barbeque party, I want to be able to fill my plate up high. I mean, c’mon, you’re at a party. Nonetheless, I still want to keep my macros balanced for that day. I don’t want to wake up on Tuesday morning bloated and unenergized. Here are some go-to macro-friendly side dishes for Labor Day that are simple to prepare and pair well with ribs, hot dogs, tofu skewers, you name it.

Minimal Labor, Maximally Delicious Side Dishes

You can use this simple but tasty corn salsa in so many ways!

Fresh and Easy Corn Salsa

Nothing screams summer like corn. My Fresh and Easy Corn Salsa is so light and versatile and full of good veggies like avocados, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro. It is extremely macro-friendly. That’s one reason I love salsas. They are so nice to you when it comes to macros. While you’re all standing around the grill or waiting for that one relative to show up (you know the one), have this on hand. It is delish!

Say goodbye to summer with this Labor Day side dish: watermelon, cucumber, and feta salad!

Easy Watermelon Cucumber Feta Salad

Summer is not over yet, so I’m holding on, and that means savoring some of my favorite sides like this Easy Watermelon Cucumber Feta Salad. Watermelon and cucumber just belong together, and the feta gives it that extra tang (although you can use whatever crumbled cheese you like). Labor Day picnics are the best, and I can’t imagine one without this side dish. Once it’s all gone, just lie back on your picnic blanket and enjoy those summer breezes.

Keep life low-carb with spaghetti squash this fall. This Pad Thai side dish is incredible.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Yes, it’s that time again. Bring out the spaghetti squash! You’ve heard me gush before. It’s low-carb, high in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and fiber. It is a household staple for us all fall. This recipe is special, though. Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai includes chicken, a sauce made from peanut butter, and plenty of vegetables. You’ll be thanking the laborers of the nation that gave you a day off to eat this.

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You need some good Labor Day side dishes to go with that hot dog. This corn and peach salad is perfect for the occasion.

Freshly Charred Corn and Peach Salad

Doesn’t that look refreshing? It is. You might know that I am a great lover of salads, and this Freshly Charred Corn and Peach Salad captures the spirit of summer. The corn pairs well with a little jalapeno, green onion, radish, and of course…peach. You really could substitute in plenty of other fruits, though. Put this on your plate next to your bratwurst and keep your macros in good shape.

This Salmon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Chimichurri Salad  is so popular at our summer barbecues.

Salmon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Chimichurri Salad

If you serve this recipe as a Labor Day side, I hope your dearest friends and family are coming over, because they are going to LOVE this Salmon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Chimichurri Salad. It’s tangy, peppery, and sweet, and your guests will be going up for seconds. I know I’m always going on about sweet potatoes but for good reason. They share qualities with spaghetti squash, being chock-full of vitamins A and C, but they are also so good for your immune system and even have anti-cancer properties. The cold and flu season is coming, so sweet potatoes are your friend.

If your Labor Day celebration includes piles of meat, try using this refreshing Tabouli Salad as a side dish.

Tabouli Salad with Feta, Brown Rice, and Cauliflower

I know it’s hard to imagine a taste but try…some mint, cucumber, tomato, parsley, red onion, arugula, feta, cauliflower, and brown rice. Those are the kinds of fireworks that go off on your tongue with this Tabouli Salad with Feta, Brown Rice, and Cauliflower. If you have never had tabouli (a traditional Middle Eastern salad), you are missing out. When those meaty ribs come out of the smoker, you’re going to want a light, tasty side like this to counter them.

Labor Day Sides That Satisfy Everybody (and…pssst…are macro-friendly)

It feels like school has barely begun once Labor Day hits. If you’re still recovering from the demands of those Back to School weeks, planning a big meal, especially a healthy one, is going to seem epic. I love sharing recipes to make things easier on you. Pick a couple of these and give them a try. I think you’re going to find that some of these macro-friendly sides are ones you’re going to want to go back to over and over again. And then you can spend Labor Day without feeling guilty about what you’re eating! That’s the beauty of a macro-balanced lifestyle. 

If you want to stay up to date on my latest creations, make sure you are hanging out with me on Instagram and TikTok. I have a new cookbook coming out soon! I am so excited about it.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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