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Tropical Grilling Recipes for an Unforgettable Labor Day

Bring Some Tropical Flavor To Your Labor Day Grilling 

The start of September might feel like peer pressure to usher in a new season, but we say it’s the perfect time to savor what’s left of the Summer and try something new on the grill. Late still-warm evenings haven’t been touched by Fall chill yet, so gather your friends and family for a last hot-weather bash before the sweaters come out of the closet and half your pantry is pumpkin flavored.

So many types of food can easily transition between seasons, but nothing says Summer quite like Hawaiian flavors. We’ve rounded up some innovative and exciting recipes that will transform your Labor Day gettogether from a traditional barbeque to a trip to the tropics. 

For the Grill:


Epicurious Shishito Peppers and Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Coconut Shrimp with Shishito Peppers


Epicurious is our go-to for impressive recipes that are still easy to execute successfully. Shishito peppers are a seedy, pop-able finger food that is made irresistibly smoky on the grill, and paired with the coconut shrimp is sure to be a hit.

“We strongly endorse eating this dish with your hands, discarding shrimp and pepper stems as you go” - Epicurious 

The marinade is a flavorful combo of soy sauce, lime, and grated garlic to take things up a notch, and help the shredded coconut stick to the shrimp. 

We’re tempted to throw this on the grill just to enjoy the smell. 



Grilled Huli-Huli Chicken

With so many good reviews, we couldn’t pass up this Huli Huli chicken recipe plucked straight from Hawaii! Plus Taste of Home’s Test Kitchen gave this one a thumbs up, so it’s not just a crowd-sourced favorite.

Staples like brown sugar, ketchup, ginger root, garlic, soy sauce, and chicken broth are already in the regular at-home cook’s pantry, so you might be able to whip it up in a pinch. 

Chicken thighs are preferred over chicken breasts for this recipe because of the higher fat content, allowing them to stay moist and juicy over high heat. 

Tropical Sides: 

 Tropical Slaw from Jamie Geller

Tropical Slaw

With sweet main dishes as the focus, liven things up with a tangy, fruity slaw on the side. Tropical flavors like mango and pineapple keep it on theme. If you’re not a fan of Splenda, you can always use regular sugar. 

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes (Hawaiian purple potatoes with Coconut Milk)

It might be a stretch to find purple sweet potatoes for this recipe, but you can use any type of sweet potatoes and the coconut milk will give you that tropical flavor you’re looking for. According to Eat Like NoOne, the easiest place to find purple sweet potatoes is Whole Foods - a favorite of ours for an amazing array of ingredients and always-impressive meat selection.

Stunningly purple and easy to make, this recipe is only 5 ingredients from start to finish and an easy crowd pleaser. 

To Drink : 

Inspired Fresh Life Blue Hawaiian Cocktail Mocktail Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Cocktail or Mocktail 

A vibrant blue hue and Hawaiian flavors make the Blue Hawaiian a fun drink to pass around!

You’ll need blue curacao liqueur and coconut rum, as well as pineapple juice and lime juice. It’s easily adaptable to a non-alcoholic beverage with pineapple juice, coconut water, and non-alcoholic blue curacao syrup. 

TikTok Viral Hawaiian Mimosa Sugar and Soul

Hawaiian Mimosa 

If your ideal drink is bubbly, you’ll love this spin on a traditional mimosa. 

"This Hawaiian Mimosa is made with prosecco, coconut rum, pineapple juice, and grenadine. It’s light, sweet, fruity, and downright delicious – no wonder it’s gone viral on TikTok!" - Sugar and Soul

The color is gorgeous, the flavor unbeatable - and 3.5 million TikTok viewers can't be wrong, right? 

There are even instructions to make this recipe in large batches - so you can make it in advance and spend more time enjoying your Labor Day! 


Sweet Treats:   

Food and Wine Stephanie Foley Fruit Pavolova

Coconut Pavlovas with Tropical Fruit

Meringues are so light and delicious, it’s a nice departure after sticky-sweet sauces and creams. Top these coconut pavlovas with kiwi, mango, and passion fruit to end the night on an antioxidant-packed note. 

Bon Appetit Black Sesame Mochi Cake


Black Sesame Mochi Cake with Black Sesame Caramel



Adventurous eaters rejoice! There’s a chewy, Hawaiian butter mochi-inspired dessert looking to bring some new flavors to your fete. Per usual, Bon Appetit recipes are a bit advanced, but if you’re up for it this might be your new favorite take on a sesame-flavored treat.


And there you have it! Fire up your grill and stock up because you might want seconds of these amazing recipes. 


Happy Grilling!