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55 Labor Day Weekend Food Ideas

Three cheers for hard-working folks everywhere! Take time to celebrate with these Labor Day food ideas.

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Mini S’mores

Combine marshmallow creme, chocolate, graham crackers and more for a summery delight at any time of year. —Stephanie Tewell, Elizabeth, Illinois

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BLT Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

BLT Macaroni Salad

A friend served this BLT pasta salad, and I just had to get the recipe. My husband loves BLT sandwiches, so this has become a favorite of his. It's nice to serve on hot and humid days, which we frequently get during summer here in Virginia. —Mrs. Hamilton Myers Jr., Charlottesville, Virginia

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Cheesy Summer Squash CasseroleTaste of Home

Cheesy Summer Squash Casserole

Onion and cheddar cheese perk up the rich flavor of summer squash in this comforting casserole. A crispy cornflake-crumb topping adds a little crunch. —Katherine Metz, Jacksonville, Florida

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Maple Mustard ChickenTaste of Home

Maple Mustard Chicken

My husband loves this chicken dish. It calls for only five ingredients, and we try to have them all on hand for a delicious and cozy dinner anytime. —Jennifer Seidel, Midland, Michigan

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Raspberry Patch Crumb BarsTaste of Home

Raspberry Patch Crumb Bars

To give these fresh, fruity bars even more crunch, add a sprinkling of nuts to the yummy crumb topping. Everyone will want to indulge. —Leanna M. Thorne, Lakewood, Colorado

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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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Summer Salad by the LakeTaste of Home

Summer Salad by the Lake

I came up with this recipe to show appreciation to all the teachers at my son’s school. The dish had to be as special as the teachers, who always go the extra mile for their students. I think this salad did the trick! It's hearty, earthy, sweet and loaded with nothing but good stuff. —Ramya Ramamurthy, Fremont, California

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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter BlondiesTaste of Home

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Blondies

I converted these blondies to be gluten-free so that my family could enjoy a comforting dessert. We were really craving brownies one night, and this cakelike treat hit the spot! They're a great spin on gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. —Becky Klope, Loudonville, New York

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Easy Berry Cheesecake ParfaitsTaste of Home

Easy Berry Cheesecake Parfaits

These sweet little parfaits take everything that's good about cheesecake and make it way easier. You get the rich creaminess, graham cracker crunch and bright berry flavor all in a fun individual portion. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Jen's Baked BeansTaste of Home

Jen's Baked Beans

My daughters wanted baked beans, so I gave homemade ones a shot. With mustard, molasses and a dash of heat, I made these beans absolutely delicious. —Jennifer Heasley, York, Pennsylvania

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Cajun Grilled ShrimpTaste of Home

Cajun Grilled Shrimp

The kicked-up marinade on these shrimp makes this a flavor-packed dish. Serve over rice, and make sure to squeeze those charred lemons over top—that makes them taste extra bright and delicious. —Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Star-Spangled Lemon Icebox PieTaste of Home

Star-Spangled Lemon Icebox Pie

With a little chill time, my no-bake lemon pie turns into a potluck superstar. My kids like to arrange the berries in a star pattern. —Lauren Katz, Ashburn, Virginia

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Burger AmericanaTaste of Home

Burger Americana

Go on a burger road trip in your own backyard. Grill the patties and load them sky-high. Peanut butter and bacon make them Southern style; coleslaw and tomatoes, a Northern version. —Susan Mahaney, New Hartford, New York

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Zesty ColeslawTaste of Home

Zesty Coleslaw

This simple slaw tastes best when it's refrigerated for at least one hour. The mixture seems to get creamier as it sits. —Michelle Gauer, Spicer, Minnesota

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Rainbow S'moreo CookiesTaste of Home

Rainbow S'moreo Cookies

Homemade Oreo-style cookies are pretty great on their own, but they're even better when you add graham cracker crumbs to the cookie dough, stuff them with marshmallow creme, and then roll them in sprinkles. You can change the color of the sprinkles depending on the holiday or occasion you're baking them for. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Sweet & Smoky Pulled Pork SandwichesTaste of Home

Sweet & Smoky Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My primo pork is smoky, tender and tastes like it came from a barbecue joint. Without much help from me, it basically shreds itself. —Lauren Adamson, Layton, Utah

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Berry TartletsTaste of Home

Berry Tartlets

Bring spring flavors together in these delectable miniature tarts. Raspberries and blueberries both work well with the whipped cream and lemon curd mixture or choose your favorite berries instead. These sweet treats are great for a ladies tea, brunch or spring holiday celebration. —Mary J. Walters, Westerville, Ohio

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Pressure Cooker Garlic-Dill Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Pressure Cooker Garlic-Dill Deviled Eggs

Easter isn't complete without deviled eggs. I like to experiment with my recipes, and was pleasantly pleased with how the fresh dill really perked up the flavor of these irresistible appetizers. —Kami Horch, Frankfort, Maine

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Mixed Fruit with Lemon-Basil DressingTaste of Home

Mixed Fruit with Lemon-Basil Dressing

A slightly savory dressing really complements the sweet fruit in this recipe. I also use the dressing on salad greens. —Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois

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Juicy Cherry PieTaste of Home

Juicy Cherry Pie

Lucky you! Tart, or sour, cherry season is in the heart of summer. Choose fresh tart cherries that are bright in color, shiny and plump. They should feel relatively firm when pressed lightly. —Karen Berner, New Canaan, Connecticut

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Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street CornTaste of Home

Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you're really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Spiced Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Lime ButterTaste of Home

Spiced Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Lime Butter

This grilled chicken gets a lovely pop of color and flavor from the lime butter—don't skip it! —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas

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Mom's Super Stupendous Potato SaladTaste of Home

Mom's Super Stupendous Potato Salad

In college, my best friend and I debated whose mom made the best potato salad. Turns out they were almost identical! Even though I've since tweaked our recipe, it still takes me home again. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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S'mores on a StickTaste of Home

S'mores on a Stick

My kids love to take these for treats everywhere. That's lucky for me since they are so easy to make. Beside the sprinkles, try mini candies for toppings.—Ronda Weirich, Plains, Kansas

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Easy Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime ButterTaste of Home

Easy Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter

Grilling corn in the husks is so easy. There's no need to remove the silk and tie the husk closed before grilling. Just soak, grill and add your favorite flavored butter. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Basil Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato MayonnaiseTaste of Home

Basil Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise

I often end up with a bumper crop of basil—here's a favorite way to use some of it. These burgers feature great Italian flavor. The gooey, cheesy centers and scrumptious topping are irresistible. —Virginia Kochis, Springfield, Virginia

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Grilled Stone Fruit SaladTaste of Home

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad

Summer is the time we enjoy grilling and adding fresh fruit to our menu, and this smoky-sweet salad is the best of both worlds! I like to marinate the fruit for extra flavor before I grill them. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Bourbon Candied Bacon Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Bourbon Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs

At our house, it doesn’t get any better than deviled eggs with bacon—bourbon candied bacon, that is. See if you can resist them. We can’t. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Balsamic-Glazed Beef SkewersTaste of Home

Balsamic-Glazed Beef Skewers

With only five easy-to-double ingredients, these mouthwatering kabobs are one of our favorite recipes. We like them with hot cooked rice and a tossed salad. To prevent wooden skewers from burning, soak them in water for 30 minutes before threading on the meat. —Carole Fraser, Toronto, Ontario

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Loaded Potato SaladTaste of Home

Loaded Potato Salad

Get a load of this: sour cream, bacon, shredded cheddar, green onions and more come together to give you all the richness of restaurant potato skins at your next picnic. —Monique Boulanger, Greenwood, Nova Scotia

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Southern Peach Upside-Down CakeTaste of Home

Southern Peach Upside-Down Cake

A dear friend from the South gave me the idea for this peachy cake. I add bourbon and top each slice with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. —Trista Jefferson, Batavia, Ohio

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Italian Grilled Steak SandwichTaste of Home

Italian Grilled Steak Sandwich

If you need to feed a hungry crowd you can't go wrong with steak sandwiches. They're easy to make and rich with the flavors of Italy. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware

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Tangy Baked Seven BeansTaste of Home

Tangy Baked Seven Beans

Everyone needs a go-to side dish for school events, picnics and potlucks. Here's mine. Freeze leftovers for future outings. —Rod Lundwall, Tooele, Utah

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Marinated Mozzarella & Tomato AppetizersTaste of Home

Marinated Mozzarella & Tomato Appetizers

Inspired by a dish I had at a restaurant, this simply sensational combination should marinate for at least three hours—the longer the better. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York

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Slow Cooker French Dip SandwichesTaste of Home

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

These sandwiches make a standout addition to any buffet line. Make sure to have plenty of small cups of broth for everyone to grab. Dipping perfection! —Holly Neuharth, Mesa, Arizona

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Cran-Orange Couscous SaladTaste of Home

Cran-Orange Couscous Salad

I often create salads for summer using a variety of healthy, filling grains. This version with tender couscous is amped up by the bright flavors of oranges, cranberries, basil and a touch of fennel. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York

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Jalapeno-Swiss Turkey BurgersTaste of Home

Jalapeno-Swiss Turkey Burgers

These easy turkey burgers are extra juicy and loaded with flavor. I think the spicy jalapenos give it just the right level of heat, but feel free to adjust the amount to amp it up or tone it down. —Wanda Allende, Orlando, Florida

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Melon-Berry SaladTaste of Home

Melon-Berry Salad

The best way to cool down on a warm day is with a chilled fruit salad. Serve this one for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Yogurt and coconut milk make the creamy dressing even more decadent. Wait until just before serving to garnish the salad. Otherwise the toasted coconut will get soggy. —Carrie Hirsch, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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Spicy Cajun Potato SaladTaste of Home

Spicy Cajun Potato Salad

Here in Louisiana we have a lot of get-togethers, and if you want your dish to be chosen over all of the rest, it has to have a kick! This does the trick. —Amanda West, Sibley, Louisiana

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Grilled Brats with Sriracha MayoTaste of Home

Grilled Brats with Sriracha Mayo

I am a Sriracha fanatic, so that’s what inspired this dish. You can boil the brats in your favorite beer to reduce the fat and give them flavor before grilling, or spread garlic butter on lightly toasted buns. —Quincie Ball, Olympia, Washington

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Zucchini Panzanella SaladTaste of Home

Zucchini Panzanella Salad

I learned how to make panzanella from my friend's grandmother. Once I discovered how to make the perfect vinaigrette, it became a dish I crave during the summer. It's also a great way to use day-old bread and your garden's bounty of zucchini. —Felicity Wolf, Kansas City, Missouri

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Orange-Spiced ChickenTaste of Home

Orange-Spiced Chicken

Five ingredients are all you’ll need for this fast and extremely flavorful marinade. With one taste, it’ll become your most-requested chicken recipe! —Debra Stevens, Lutz, Florida

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Bacon Pea SaladTaste of Home

Bacon Pea Salad

My husband absolutely loves peas. My middle son isn't the biggest fan, but he loves bacon. So, I combined the two, and it was perfect! This pea salad is an awesome side dish, especially for barbecue. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas

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Honey BBQ ChickenTaste of Home

Honey BBQ Chicken

I grill everything—veggies, oxtail, tofu. This chicken is our favorite. I keep a ready supply of sauce and rub, so prep couldn't be easier. —Jerry Rosiek, Eugene, Oregon

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Bomb Pop CookiesTaste of Home

Bomb Pop Cookies

The sound of the ice cream truck has even my husband running out to the curb with money in hand. Our neighborhood has a big potluck on the Fourth of July, so I decided to make cookies that resemble Bomb Pops. These were a big hit! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Mushroom Bacon Turkey BurgersTaste of Home

Mushroom Bacon Turkey Burgers

If you ask me, a good burger needs mushrooms on top, but they tend to slide around and fall off. I decided to put mushrooms right into the patties—problem solved! —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York

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Not Your Mama's Seven-Layer BarsTaste of Home

Not Your Mama's Seven-Layer Bars

The addition of dulce de leche makes this a decadent new take on traditional seven-layer bars. You can cut this recipe in half and make it in an 8x8-in. pan. —Andrea Barlow, Hot Springs, Arkansas

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Emily's Honey Lime ColeslawTaste of Home

Emily's Honey Lime Coleslaw

Here’s a refreshing take on slaw with a honey-lime vinaigrette rather than the traditional mayo. It’s a great take-along for all those summer picnics. —Emily Tyra, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Watermelon Feta Flag SaladTaste of Home

Watermelon Feta Flag Salad

Our family celebrates the Fourth of July with a watermelon salad that resembles the flag. Here’s an all-American centerpiece that’s truly red, white and blue. —Jan Whitworth, Roebuck, South Carolina

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Cincinnati Chili DogsTaste of Home

Cincinnati Chili Dogs

My in-laws are from Ohio, so we have Cincinnati chili at many of our family gatherings. I spiced up this family classic with cinnamon and cocoa powder and ladled it over hot dogs. It's perfect for game day, tailgates and potlucks. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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Honey Mustard Red Potato SaladTaste of Home

Honey Mustard Red Potato Salad

This summer cookout star is crunchy-delicious with a brilliant zesty dressing. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona

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Barbecue Brats & PeppersTaste of Home

Barbecue Brats & Peppers

We live in brat country, and this barbecue-style recipe feeds a crowd. The sauce gives it a welcome change from the same old grilled bratwurst. — Maria Zrucky, Kronenwetter, Wisconsin

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Mama's Warm German Potato SaladTaste of Home

Mama's Warm German Potato Salad

My grandmother, Mama, made this potato salad for every family gathering at her home. The relatives would arrive with their specialties in hand. She never wrote the recipe down, so I had to re-create it from memory. Years later, it's just about right. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida

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Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Blue Cheese Mustard SauceTaste of Home

Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Blue Cheese Mustard Sauce

This simple steak gets a big flavor boost from two of my favorites: mustard and blue cheese. My husband and I make this recipe to celebrate our anniversary each year! —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Khmer Pickled Vegetable SaladTaste of Home

Khmer Pickled Vegetable Salad

I grew up as a missionary kid in Cambodia, and most of my favorite foods have a Southeast Asian background. Locals love eating this pickled salad for breakfast, but I like it as a side for lunch or dinner, especially with chicken satay. —Hannah Heavener, Belton, Texas

Sue Stetzel
Sue has been part of the Taste of Home family for over 16 years. Her collection of magazines dates back to the premier issue in 1993. When she isn’t writing, she’s answer your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Volunteer Field Editors.