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55 Easy Labor Day Recipes Made in a 13×9 Pan

Take the labor out of Labor Day (we had to!) with these recipes for your 13x9 pan. The festive possibilities range from barbecue chicken and brats to side salads and even sweet treats. Send summer off with a bang!

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

To make a dairy-free dessert, I created chocolate peanutty bars. My kids and their friends gobble them up. I’ve written about it on my blog, joyfulscribblings.com. —Dawn Pasco, Overland Park, Kansas

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French-Fry Bake

When a friend brought this to a gathering at church, I simply had to ask for the recipe—what a fast and fun way to serve potatoes! It's always good to find a recipe that can sneak in a few extra veggies; the kids never find the carrots hidden inside this one. —Cheryl Newendorp, Pella, Iowa
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Mexican Layer Dip

This adaptable Mexican layer dip is like a magnet to hungry guests at our family get-togethers and casual parties. It’s tasty served hot or cold. Just one chip full and you’re hooked!—Sheila Frasher, Crown City, Ohio
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Pecan Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting

My mom and I bought a jar of cookie butter to try it out, and we fell in love with it. I knew the flavor would go well with maple syrup and pecans, so I came up with this cake. I like to make a pretty design on the top of the cake with pecan halves. —Natalie Larsen, Columbia, Maryland
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Crumb-Topped Macaroni and Cheese

Everyone loves this grown-up macaroni and cheese. It's also tasty with sharp cheddar and cream cheese instead of Gruyere and mascarpone. Throw in some crispy bacon for a twist. —Jennifer Standing, Taos, New Mexico
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Pina Colada Icebox Cake

This icebox cake has all of the flavors of a pina colada. It takes just one bite to escape to a tropical island! —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Plum-Glazed Country Ribs

When planning to make ribs one day, I remembered that a friend had given me homemade plum jelly. I stirred some into the sauce for a pleasant fruity accent. —Ila Mae Alderman, Galax, Virginia
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Eddie's Favorite Fiesta Corn

When sweet corn is available, I love making this splurge of a side dish. Frozen corn works, but taste as you go and add sugar if needed. —Anthony Bolton, Bellevue, Nebraska
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Delicious Ice Cream Dessert

We appreciate a cool, creamy dessert like this in summer. It stays fresh in the freezer for one week. Top with the fudgy sauce before serving. — Mrs. Earl Brewer, Jackson, Mississippi
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Beef Brisket on Buns

Beef Brisket on Buns

With its slightly smoky flavor, this beef turns out tender and delicious every time! Plus, it slices well so it looks great on a buffet. —Deb Waggoner, Grand Island, Nebraska
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Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

This layered salad is a family favorite from a church cookbook I've had for 40 years. The bacon adds a fabulous crunch. —Mary Brehm, Cape Coral, Florida
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Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake

I created this dish to fill two pans because these cheeseburger sliders disappear fast. Just cut the slider burgers recipe in half if you want to make only one batch. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Corn Pudding

Cornbread mix and canned corn make this southern corn pudding casserole a snap to prepare. Now this is real comfort food! —P. Lauren Fay-Neri, Syracuse, New York
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Cajun Crawfish Sliders

Add a touch of southern hospitality to your festivities with our upscale version of a slider. The crawfish gets a touch of spicy goodness from the chipotle mayo and jalapeno. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Delicious Oven Barbecued Chicken

A friend made this saucy chicken for us when we had our first child. I pared down the recipe to make it lower in fat and calories. Now it's a family favorite, and even the kids ask for this baked bbq chicken breast. —Marge Wagner, Roselle, Illinois
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Loaded Red Potato Casserole Exps Cwam17 38050 D12 13 6b 7

Loaded Red Potato Casserole

This potato casserole has the same flavor of the potato skins you can order as a restaurant appetizer. It's an ideal dish for tailgating and potlucks. —Charlane Gathy, Lexington, Kentucky
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Rhubarb Custard Bars

Once I tried these rich, gooey bars, I just had to have the recipe so I could make them for my family and friends. The shortbreadlike crust and the rhubarb and custard layers inspire people to find rhubarb that they can use to fix a batch for themselves. —Shari Roach, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Zucchini Pizza Casserole

My husband has a hearty appetite, our two kids never tire of pizza and I grow lots of zucchini, so this tasty tomato casserole is absolutely tops with us throughout the entire year. Once you've tried the recipe, you may even decide to grow more zucchini in your own garden next summer! —Lynn Bernstetter, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
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Glazed Chicken Wings

I received this easy wing recipe from a cousin on Vancouver Island during a visit there a few years ago. They're an appealing appetizer, but also a favorite for Sunday lunch with rice and a salad. —Joan Airey, Rivers, Manitoba
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Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota
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Grandma's Spinach Salad

With all its fresh ingredients, this pretty spinach salad was my grandma’s favorite. Even my little ones like it (but don’t tell them spinach is good for them)! —Shelley Riebel, Armada, Michigan
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Bake-Sale Lemon Bars

The recipe for these tangy lemon bars comes from my cousin Bernice, a farmer's wife famous for cooking up feasts. — Mildred Keller, Rockford, Illinois
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Grilled Beer Brats with Kraut

I made this for my son’s 21st birthday bonfire, which included a dozen buddies. The kraut topping flavors are fabulous. —Keeley Weber, Sterling Heights, Michigan
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Creamy Taco Dip

You'll know this snack is a hit at your next gathering when you come home with an empty pan! —Denise Smith, Lusk, Wyoming
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Burrito Bake

Back when I was in college, my roommate would frequently make this economical baked burrito casserole. It's so easy to put together, and one serving goes a long way. —Cindee Ness, Horace, North Dakota
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Can't Leave Alone Bars

I take these quick and easy treats to church meetings, potlucks and housewarming parties. I often make a double batch so we can enjoy some at home. —Kimberly Biel, Java, South Dakota
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Best Ever Beans and Sausage

When my wife asks what she should make for a gathering, she's always told to bring this—and a couple of copies of the recipe! — Robert Saulnier, Clarksburg, Massachusetts
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New Orleans-Style Spicy Shrimp

We have family members who attended college in New Orleans. This shrimp captures their favorite flavors from the Big Easy, with the right touches of spice and heat. —Susan Seymour, Valatie, New York
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Sausage Mushroom Appetizers

These stuffed mushrooms are can't-stop-eating-them good. For variations, I sometimes substitute venison or crabmeat for the pork sausage in the stuffing. —Sheryl Siemonsma, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Potluck Taco Casserole

This is the dish I most often take to potlucks, and the pan comes home empty every time. It has the irresistible taco taste that everybody craves. —Kim Stoller, Smithville, Ohio
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Pretzel Gelatin Dessert

This is one of my mother's absolute favorite desserts. The salty pretzel crust is the perfect complement to the sweet cream cheese filling. —Erin Frakes, Moline, Illinois
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Parmesan Asparagus

Nothing could be more simple than this side dish. Since it has just four ingredients, I assemble it in no time, then pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes. It turns out perfect every time. —Mary Ann Marino, West Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Best Ever Mac & Cheese

To make this amazing mac, I make a sauce loaded with three different cheeses to toss with the noodles. When baked, it's gooey goodness with a crunchy topping that...don't get me started! —Beth Jacobson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Crowd-Pleasing Party Meatballs

We served this scrumptious dish at our wedding. It went over so well that it’s been served at other weddings and family functions, and the requests keep coming! —Stefany Blevins, Portsmouth, Ohio
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Cheeseburger N Fries Casserole Exps 13x9bz19 7899 E10 05 6b 2

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

Kids love this casserole because it combines two of their favorite fast foods. And I like the fact that I can whip it up with just four ingredients. —Karen Owen, Rising Sun, Indiana
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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

I love peanut butter and chocolate, so I combined recipes to blend the two. This chocolate peanut butter cake is heavenly served plain or topped with ice cream. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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12-Hour Salad

This recipe was Mom's scrumptious scheme to get her kids to eat vegetables. She never had any trouble when she served this colorful crunchy salad. Mom thought this salad was a real bonus for the cook since it must be made the night before. —Dorothy Bowen, Thomasville, North Carolina
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Meatballs Sausage Dinner

One day I was having trouble deciding what to make for dinner, so I combined whatever was in the refrigerator and freezer. To my surprise, everyone loved it! —Elizabeth Martz, Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania
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Cheddar-Bacon Dip

Both children and adults enjoy this dip. And I'm a fan because it's so quick and easy to prepare. I make it for special occasions…birthdays, Christmas parties and more. —Carol Werkman, Neerlandia, Alberta
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Haystack Supper

Served as the main dish at our family reunion buffet, this flavorful layered taco-style dish was a true crowd-pleaser. Folks were pleasantly surprised to find a rice layer, and everyone enjoys the creamy cheese sauce. —Jill Steiner, Hancock, Minnesota
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Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars

If you're looking for a fun snack for kids, try this chewy peanut butter popcorn recipe that have a mild peanut butter taste. They're easy to mix and can be pressed into a pan to form bars, or shaped into balls. —Kathy Oswald, Wauzeka, Wisconsin
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Creamy Hash Brown Casserole

This versatile side dish is so good with grilled steak, and is delicious with other meats as well. A creamy cheese sauce and crunchy topping make this potato casserole popular for family dinners and potlucks. —Teresa Stutzman, Adair, Oklahoma
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Baked Beef Tacos

This taco recipe takes classic taco ingredients and gives them a fresh approach by baking the shells upright in refried beans and tomatoes. The bottom gets soft, and the top stays crisp and crunchy. —Patricia Stagich, Elizabeth, New Jersey
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Chili Cornbread Salad

A co-worker brought this wonderful dish to a potluck several years ago. She had copies of the recipe next to the pan. Now I make it for get-togethers and also supply copies of the recipe. I never have any leftover salad or recipes. —Kelly Newsom, Jenks, Oklahoma
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Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Bake Exps Thfm17 195129 B09 28 2b 11

Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Bake

This bacon cheeseburger tater tot casserole is the perfect dish to bribe your kids; homework, chores, piano practice—consider them done! —Deanna Zewen, Union Grove, Wisconsin
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Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

My husband loves pie, so I made one with apples, raspberries and cranberries. It’s so good, I bend the rules and let the grandkids have it for breakfast. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
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Contest-Winning Cajun Cabbage

Looking for a different treatment for cabbage? Try this spicy cheese-topped dish that I adapted from a friend's recipe. I added a little of this and that until it tasted the way I wanted. Not only do my husband and kids like it, I get rave reviews when I make it for company or church functions. —Bobbie Soileau, Opelousas, Louisiana
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Jersey-Style Hot Dogs

I grew up in northern New Jersey, where hot dogs with grilled potatoes were born. It's a combo you’ll love. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Mexican Chicken Wings

I make these spicy appetizers for parties and football games and never have any leftovers. The hot wings contrast nicely with the cool but zippy dip. When the wings run out, we use the extra cilantro dip on tortilla chips. —Barbara McConaughey, Houlton, Wisconsin
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Baked Honey-Glazed Chicken

When I was a young girl, this was my oldest sister's Sunday dinner. The tradition has continued, as I make this dish twice a month and my four daughters serve their families with this favorite dish. It has an old-fashioned subtle flavor and the chicken is crisp and brown. —Pat Dube, Phoenix, Arizona
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Baked Parmesan Broccoli

I began making this creamy side dish years ago as a way to get my kids to eat broccoli. They've since grown up, but still request this satisfying dish. It's truly a family favorite. —Barbara Uhl, Wesley Chapel, Florida
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Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese

Prep once and feed the family twice when you double this chicken mac and cheese and freeze half of it. I created it for the people I love most, using ingredients they love most. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Broccoli Potato Supreme

My family insists that this two-in-one casserole makes an appearance at all of our special meals. Every bite is doubly delicious! —Jane Birch, Edison, New Jersey
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Frito Pie

Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic. —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico
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Easy Cheesy Loaded Grits

A tasty bowl of grits inspired me to develop my own recipe with sausage, green chiles and cheeses. It just might be better than the original. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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