5 Festive Appetizers for Your Labor Day Barbecue

By Patti Plummer

Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer—but that doesn’t mean the party has to end! There are still plenty of warm days ahead, which means there’s still time for a barbecue or two by the pool. Here are five great appetizer recipes that are sure to be a hit at your Labor Day barbecue or any end-of-summer party.

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Deviled Eggs with California Avocado

Recipe Provided by the California Avocado Commission


Deviled Eggs with California Avocado RecipeServes 12

12 eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
4 tsp. prepared mustard
½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper
½ medium onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.



Hard boil and cool eggs. Remove shells, slice in half and remove yolk. Set aside white to be filled.

Sauté onions and celery until tender. Place sautéed onions and celery into food processor (or blender) and puree. Add yolks, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and avocado and blend well.

Fill egg whites and sprinkle with paprika (if desired).

Recipe and photo courtesy of © California Avocado Commission



Grilled Spicy Watermelon

Grilled Spicy Watermelon RecipeServes 8 – 10

1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce
Pinch salt
1 watermelon, medium sized
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro


Preheat grill to high. In bowl, whisk together lime zest, juice, 3 tbsp. (45 ml) of the honey, garlic chili sauce and salt.

Cut watermelon into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick wedges. Lightly drizzle each side with remaining honey and place on grill. Grill until just browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Place watermelon slices on a plate and drizzle with lime dressing. Garnish with cilantro.

For something sweet, try one of these delicious grilled desserts >>

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board



Classic Guacamole

Recipe Provided by the California Avocado Commission


Classic Guacamole RecipeServes 8

4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tomato, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped onion
⅛ tsp. ground cumin
3 drops hot pepper sauce
Tortilla chips

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.


Using a fork, coarsely mash avocado with lemon juice and garlic. Stir in remaining ingredients to blend.

Recipe and photo courtesy of © California Avocado Commission



Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley Torte

Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley TorteServes 32

4 ounces smoked ham, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups butter, divided
3 3-oz packages cream cheese
3 tablespoons Madeira, or Port, divided
White pepper, ground, to taste
2 cups parsley, firmly packed, stems removed
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup ham, cubed


Place 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the 4 ounces chopped ham, 1 tablespoon wine and white pepper to taste; process until smooth. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.

In processor, process another 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the parsley, green onion, 1 tablespoon of wine and white pepper to taste. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.

Process remaining butter, cream cheese, the red peppers, remaining wine and pepper to taste until smooth; remove to small bowl, cover and chill. Line a glass 2-quart bowl or glass 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap; sprinkle in cubed ham; spread the ham mixture, spread the red pepper mixture, and top with a layer of the parsley mixture. Cover and chill overnight. Unmold onto serving plate; let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board



Festive Stuffed Figs and Celery

Created by: Almond Board of California


Festive Stuffed Figs and Celery with Almonds RecipeServes 55 (1 fig each)

2 packages (3 oz. ea.) Neufchatel cheese
3/4 cup creamy almond butter
1/2 tsp. brandy or orange juice
1/4 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 cup diced green chilies
1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds
Fresh celery stalks
25-30 dried figs
25-30 whole natural or blanched almonds, toasted


Beat together Neufchatel cheese and almond butter. Divide mixture in half. Stir brandy or orange juice and orange peel into one mixture; chill. Stir chilies and chopped almonds into remaining almond butter mixture.

Stuff celery stalks with chili-cheese mixture; cut into serving pieces about 3-inches long. Chill until ready to serve.

Slit figs partly down center. Pipe or spoon 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chilled orange-almond butter mixture into opening. Press one whole natural or blanched almond into center. Repeat with remaining figs. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Almond Board of California


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