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40 Contest-Winning Labor Day Recipes

See ya later, summer! These contest-winning Labor Day recipes are perfect for a relaxing day at home or an end-of-season bash.

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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

I saw a bar recipe using apple and lemon peel on a muffin mix box. I tried it from scratch with shredded zucchini and fresh blueberries instead. It’s a nifty combo. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon

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Melt-in-Your-Mouth SausagesTaste of Home

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sausages

My family loves this recipe. It’s such a good all-around dish, either for sandwiches like these or served with hot cooked spaghetti.

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Grilled Firecracker Potato SaladTaste of Home

Grilled Firecracker Potato Salad

I can eat potato salad like crazy. A little spice is nice, so I use cayenne and paprika in this grilled salad that comes with its own fireworks. —Ashley Armstrong, Kingsland, Georgia

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Heirloom Tomato PieTaste of Home

Heirloom Tomato Pie

My green-thumb neighbors like to share produce with me. I return the delicious favor by baking tomato pies for all. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia

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Jim's Secret Family Recipe RibsTaste of Home

Jim's Secret Family Recipe Ribs

For more than 30 years, my brother-in-law Jim kept his famous rib recipe a secret. When he finally shared it, we just had to pass it along because we loved it so much. This one's for you, Jim! —Vicki Young, Brighton, Colorado

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Strawberry GelatoTaste of Home

Strawberry Gelato

You'll love this smooth and creamy gelato with bright strawberry flavor and just a hint of sea salt and honey. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon

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Chipotle Mexican Street Corn Dip with Goat CheeseTaste of Home

Chipotle Mexican Street Corn Dip with Goat Cheese

I was craving Mexican street corn that I had during a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, so I came up with this fabulous dip. It blends the traditional profile of the popular street food with updated flavors for a tasty twist. —Joseph A Sciascia, San Mateo, California

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Onion Beef au JusTaste of Home

Onion Beef au Jus

Garlic, onions, soy sauce and onion soup mix flavor the tender beef in these savory hot sandwiches served with a tasty, rich broth for dipping. The seasoned beef makes delicious cold sandwiches, too. —Marilyn Brown, West Union, Iowa

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Creamy Green Chile Chicken CobblerTaste of Home

Creamy Green Chile Chicken Cobbler

Biscuity crumbs take this family-friendly combo of rotisserie chicken and cheesy, creamy green enchilada sauce over the top. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona

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Smoked Pimiento Cheese CrostiniTaste of Home

Smoked Pimiento Cheese Crostini

Pimiento cheese has long been a favorite in our family, so these bite-sized appetizers are a treat! I add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to give them a little kick. Caramelized onions create another layer of flavor. You can make the cheese and onions three to five days in advance; they store well. If you need to save time, you can use premade jalapeno pimiento cheese. —Caitlyn Bunch, Trenton, Georgia

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Patriotic PopsTaste of Home

Patriotic Pops

My kids love homemade ice pops, and I love knowing that the ones we make are good for them. We whip up a big batch with multiple flavors so they have many choices, but these patriotic red, white and blueberry ones are always a favorite! —Shannon Carino, Frisco, Texas

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Heirloom Tomato Galette with PecorinoTaste of Home

Heirloom Tomato Galette with Pecorino

I found beautiful heirloom tomatoes and had to show them off. In this easy galette, the tomatoes are tangy and the crust is beyond buttery. —Jessica Chang, Playa Vista, California

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Stuffed Asiago-Basil MushroomsTaste of Home

Stuffed Asiago-Basil Mushrooms

Even if you don't like mushrooms, you will have to try them again with these pretty appetizers, which taste divine. For a main dish, double the filling and use large portobellos. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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Green Chile Creamed CornTaste of Home

Green Chile Creamed Corn

When hosting big meals, I would sometimes run out of burners. Then I realized my slow cooker could help by simmering corn and green chilies with pickled jalapenos. —Pat Dazis, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Pineapple Upside-Down Muffin CakesTaste of Home

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffin Cakes

A friend submitted this recipe to a cookbook our school district was compiling. The first time I made them, the whole family declared the recipe a winner. Delicious and healthy to boot, they remain favorites to this day. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Chipotle Sweet Potato SaladTaste of Home

Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad

I love the velvety taste and texture of sweet potatoes. Once, I tried someone’s sweet potatoes with peppers and thought they tasted delicious together. I took those flavors and developed them into this creamy, smoky potato salad. —Carolyn Eskew, Dayton, Ohio

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Key Lime Pie CupcakesTaste of Home

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

I bake over 200 of these cupcakes for our church suppers, and we always run out. If you can't find Key lime juice, use lime juice. Just add a tad more sugar. —Julie Herrera-Lemler, Rochester, Minnesota

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Lemon Roasted Fingerlings and Brussels SproutsTaste of Home

Lemon Roasted Fingerlings and Brussels Sprouts

My trick to roasting veggies is to choose ones that cook in the same amount of time. Other combinations to try? Cauliflower florets with baby carrots or okra with cherry tomatoes. —Courtney Gaylord, Columbus, Indiana

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Nutty Oven-Fried ChickenTaste of Home

Nutty Oven-Fried Chicken

The pecans that give this dish its unique nutty flavor are plentiful in the South, and so is chicken. I love to make and serve this simple oven fried chicken dish because the chicken comes out moist, tasty and crispy. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida

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South-of-the-Border Caprese SaladTaste of Home

South-of-the-Border Caprese Salad

Plump heirloom tomatoes highlight this garden-fresh showpiece, drizzled with a sweet-tart dressing and sprinkled with cheese. It's perfect for an outdoor party and so easy to make! —Kathleen Merkley, Layton, Utah

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Lemon Chiffon CakeTaste of Home

Lemon Chiffon Cake

This moist, airy lemon chiffon cake was my dad's favorite. Mom revamped the original recipe to include lemons. I'm not much of a baker, but whenever I make this dessert my family is thrilled! —Trisha Kammers, Clarkston, Washington

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Taco LasagnaTaste of Home

Taco Lasagna

If you like foods with southwestern flair, this just might become a new favorite. Loaded with cheese, meat and beans, the layered casserole comes together in a snap. There are never any leftovers when I take this dish to potlucks. —Terri Keena, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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Zucchini CupcakesTaste of Home

Zucchini Cupcakes

I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert, you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont

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Warm Feta Cheese DipTaste of Home

Warm Feta Cheese Dip

We’re big on appetizers, so this dip is a mashup of our favorite tastes, like cream cheese, feta, basil and sweet peppers. Serve with bread or chips. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Bacon Cheeseburger BallsTaste of Home

Bacon Cheeseburger Balls

The first time I served these, my husband and kids thought we were having plain meatballs. Then they cut into the flavorful filling inside! —Cathy Lendvoy, Boharm, Saskatchewan

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S'more Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

S'more Sandwich Cookies

Capture the taste of campfire s'mores in your kitchen. Graham cracker crumbs added to chocolate chip cookie dough bring out the flavor of the fireside favorite. Melting the cookies' marshmallow centers in the microwave makes them simple to assemble. —Abby Metzger, Larchwood, Iowa

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Teriyaki Shish KabobsTaste of Home

Teriyaki Shish Kabobs

When I was a teenager, my father worked for an airline, and my family lived on the island of Guam in the South Pacific. A friend of my mother gave her this tangy-sweet recipe, and we enjoyed it often. Now I make it for my family, and they're big fans as well. —Suzanne Pelegrin, Ocala, Florida

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Lemon Cranberry Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

As the family cook, I appreciate how easy this is to throw together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad never gets boring. One of my favorite variations is to substitute diced fresh mango for cranberries, cilantro for parsley, and lime for the lemon juice and zest. —Mary Shenk, Dekalb, Illinois

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Chocolate Malted CookiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Malted Cookies

These cookies are the next best thing to a good old-fashioned malted milk. With malted milk powder, chocolate syrup, plus chocolate chips and chunks, these are the best cookies I've ever tasted…and with six kids, I've made a lot of cookies over the years! —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan

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Fresh Shrimp and Avocado NachosTaste of Home

Fresh Shrimp and Avocado Nachos

I'm a fan of shrimp, and my family loves nachos. When I combined those favorites and added fresh avocado, the result was a cool yet satisfying snack. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan

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Strawberry-Rosemary Yogurt PopsTaste of Home

Strawberry-Rosemary Yogurt Pops

We planted strawberries a few years ago and these tangy-sweet frozen yogurt pops are my very favorite treats to make with them! The options are endless. Try using other yogurt flavors like lemon, raspberry or blueberry. You may also substitute your favorite herb for the rosemary—or simply omit it. —Carmell Childs, Ferron, Utah

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"Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ RibsTaste of Home

"Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ Ribs

A sweet, rich sauce makes this BBQ ribs recipe so tender that the meat literally falls off the bones. And the aroma is wonderful. Yum! —Tanya Reid, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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Grilled Three-Cheese PotatoesTaste of Home

Grilled Three-Cheese Potatoes

While this is delicious grilled, I've also cooked it in the oven at 350° for an hour. Add cubed ham to it and you can serve it as a full-meal main dish. —Margaret Hanson-Maddox, Montpelier, Indiana

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Creamy Lime Pie with Fresh BerriesTaste of Home

Creamy Lime Pie with Fresh Berries

I combined the tangy tastes of lime and cilantro with cream cheese for this unusual berry pie that showcases seasonal fruit. The ginger cookies add zip to the crust. —Anneliese Barz, Fort Mill, South Carolina

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Chunky Blue Cheese DipTaste of Home

Chunky Blue Cheese Dip

Every time I make this quick blue cheese dip, someone asks for the recipe. It only requires a few items, so its a snap to put together. I often prepare the thick spread with Gorgonzola cheese and serve it with toasted pecans. —Sandy Schneider Naperville, Illinois

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Frosted Fudge BrowniesTaste of Home

Frosted Fudge Brownies

A neighbor brought over a pan of these rich fudge brownies along with the recipe when I came home from the hospital with our baby daughter. I asked her how to make brownie frosting like that, and I've made them ever since for family occasions, potlucks and parties at work. —Sue Soderlund, Elgin, Illinois

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Garlic Bread Pizza SandwichesTaste of Home

Garlic Bread Pizza Sandwiches

I love inventing new ways to make grilled cheese sandwiches for my kids. This version tastes like pizza. Using frozen garlic bread is a timesaver. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Down East Blueberry BuckleTaste of Home

Down East Blueberry Buckle

This buckle won a contest at my daughter’s college. They shipped us four lobsters, but the real prize was seeing the smile on our daughter's face. —Dianne van der Veen, Plymouth, Massachusetts

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Appetizer Tortilla PinwheelsTaste of Home

Appetizer Tortilla Pinwheels

A friend gave me this recipe, and whenever I serve these tortilla roll ups, people ask me for the recipe, too! The cream cheese pinwheels can be made ahead of time and sliced just before serving, leaving you time for other last-minute party preparations. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio

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Grilled Peach, Rice & Arugula SaladTaste of Home

Grilled Peach, Rice & Arugula Salad

This hearty salad was created when I needed to clear out some leftovers from the fridge—and it became an instant hit! The grilled peaches are the ultimate "tastes like summer" salad booster. —Lauren Wyler, Dripping Springs, Texas

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.