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Labor Day Meal Ideas

5 minutes read Aug 25,2022
Labor Day Meal Ideas Cooking Over a Campfire

Don't spend your Labor Day weekend stressing over campground meals. Spend more time relaxing with family and friends by using some great tips and tricks for meal preparation and how to pack your cooler.

Labor Less When You Prep Meals Ahead

Take time off from cooking while on vacation by prepping and freezing multiple meals ahead of time. Sun Outdoors provides amenities like grills and fire pits, so it's easy to cook or reheat them at your convenience.
You'll want to include cooking or serving directions and label single servings, so there is no confusion when it's time to eat.

Primo Premade Meals

These easy meals are made in advance, kept frozen or cool, packed into a cooler, and quickly finished over a grill. Doesn't get much simpler than that.

Kabobs Rule

As the king of the premade meals, kabobs can be made-to-order, frozen and easily transported. Vegetarian? You can never thread too many vegetables together.
Add pre-cut pieces of veggies, chicken, steak or shrimp kabob bits to a favorite marinade in a sealable bag. Label individual kabob bags if there are allergies or preferences. Then pop into a freezer or refrigerate until it's time to put them into the cooler.
Kabob Cooking Tips

  • Lemon-based marinades should be used the day you're cooking. Foods get mushy when soaked too long in lemon juice.
  • Keep your protein separate from vegetables when grilling. Meat typically takes longer to cook than vegetables.
  • Flat kabob skewers make it easier to control the rotating and cooking times.

Perfect Pizza

This homemade frozen pizza beats anything out of the grocery freezer section and can be personalized for picky eaters. Adults and kids will enjoy the distinctive shape of the final pizza.

  • Create your own personal pizza with store-bought pizza dough, your favorite cheese and toppings. Don't go overboard on the toppings or it will complicate the next step.
  • Roll the pizza into a log shape and pinch the ends to seal in all the yumminess. Poke some holes in the pizza roll.
  • Brush the edible log with melted butter and Italian seasonings like garlic and oregano to taste.
  • Wrap in foil and freeze.
  • Place on grill or over hot coals for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Better Burgers

Freeze up a batch of any of these gourmet burger options and you'll have a delicious campfire burger ready within minutes.  

Foil First

Many simple and tasty Labor Day meal ideas are cooked wrapped in foil. Use heavy-duty foil for folded meal packets as it holds up better over flames. Plus, foil packet meals freeze and pack like dream. Upgrade from the traditional Hobo fare with any these delicious and easy-to-make foil packet meals:

Super Spuds

There's no wrong way to make campfire potatoes. Start with this basic recipe and cater to your liking.  

  • Chop up potatoes and veggies, drizzle with olive oil and preferred seasonings, fold up into a foil packet, label, chill, and pack it.
  • When ready to go over the coals or grill, poke holes in the foil packet and put over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes.
  • Carefully open the foil packet as it will be hot.

Too much work? Cut a potato open, add your favorite toppings, wrap in foil, and place on hot grill or in coals for 25 or so minutes.

Fajita Fun

Factor in foil fajita packets for an over-the-fire or grilled meal after an adventured-filled day. Before your trip, let each family member create their own fajita mix, label, and freeze or refrigerate. When it's time for dinner, just place the foil packet on the grill, cook and serve.

Freeze Ahead French Toast

Go all "Ooh, la la" at the resort with this delicious preassembled French toast idea.

  • Mist a tinfoil pie plate with cooking spray.
  • Cube up thick slices of bread of your choice. Place in pie pan
  • Combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and syrup.
  • Pour over bread cubes.
  • Cover with top with parchment paper.
  • Wrap foil securely and freeze.
  • Cook over grill for 60 minutes or until center is firm.
  • Top with fresh fruit, powder sugar, and syrup.

Simple, economical, and easy to clean up, foil packet meals give you more time to relax and enjoy the long holiday weekend festivities.

Camping Cooler Packing Hacks

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to pack your cooler. The main point is to keep the cooler as cold as possible for as long as possible.
Don't let your Labor Day weekend eats and treats spoil with these additional tips on packing food and beverages in the cooler.  

Take Two

If you can, use two coolers to separate beverages and food. If you have three coolers and kids, break it down even more by having different drink coolers for adults and children.

Cool It

Pre-chill not only the cooler, but everything that goes into it. Packing items at room temperature will cause the ice to deplete that much quicker.

Ice, Ice Baby

It is recommended to use twice as much ice as for the amount of food and beverages that need to stay cold. Frozen meals and water, ice pack sheets or blocks, and dry ice are all effective ways to help keep things cool in the cooler. Cookie trays and foil pans serve as great dividers between layers of ice and food.

Get Some Groupies

Sort and pack food in order of meals if possible. Reuse plastic grocery bags to bundle prepped food by the meal or the day.

List and Label

Big bold labeling on all packages reduces hunting and gathering within a cooler. Some people even put a list of items and their placement right on top of the cooler so there is no mistaking what you're grabbing.

Watch the Water

Using reusable, watertight containers not only stop sogginess but also eliminates the need to recycle or dispose of excess packaging at the campground. Not to mention saving precious cooler space.

Save Space

Stash take-out condiment packets in resealable bags and bring them with you.

Don't keep these Labor Day meal ideas recipes and cooler packing tips all to yourself! Share them along with any additional suggestions you and your family swear by so everyone can enjoy a relaxing long weekend.