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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 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 Casserole Exps Cf219 22787 C12 14 3b 5

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 Chicken Exps Hscbz19 43591 E07 12 6b 5

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 Bars Exps Mtbz19 38122 E03 08 6b Rms 3

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 Ribs Exps Thjj17 200278 C02 08 1b 7

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 Lake Exps Thjj18 213944 C02 01 2b 11

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 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 an enticing spin on gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. —Becky Klope, Loudonville, New York
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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 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 Shrimp Exps Sdas18 119900 C03 28  2b 7

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 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 Americana

Go on a burger road trip in your own backyard. Grill the patties and load them sky-high with your favorite toppings. For instance, 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 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 Cookies Exps Ucsbz17 193568 B05 24 3b 1

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 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 Tartlets Exps Hca18 69772 C05 19 4b 4

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 Eggs Exps Thso18 206283 D04 24 4b 4

Pressure-Cooker Garlic-Dill Deviled Eggs

Easter isn't complete without deviled eggs. I like to experiment with my recipes, and was pleasantly surprised 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 Dressing Exps Cwam18 40989 C12 13 7b 4

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 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 Corn Exps Tohas21 200632 E04 14 2b 5

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 Butter Exps Tham18 119913 B10 10 2b 6

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 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 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 Butter Exps Sdas18 227475 C04 04  5b 11

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 Mayonnaise Exps40355 Thhc1997845d03 01 1bc Rms 5

Basil Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise

I often end up with a bumper crop of herbs—and here's one of my favorite basil recipes. 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 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 fruits for extra flavor before I grill them. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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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 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 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 Cake Exps Fbmz18 169900 B05 08 1b 4

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 Sandwich Exps Hca18 106054 D08 30 3b 8

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 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 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 Sandwiches Exps75723 Sd2847494d02 15 3bc Rms 2

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 Salad Exps Thjj18 212801 C01 30 5b 10

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 Burgers Exps Sdon17 117810 C06 23 8b 2

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 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 Salad Exps Thjj18 200882 D01 30 6b 3

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 Mayo Exps Sdjj17 166036 D02 14 2b 3

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 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 Chicken Exps Fttmz19 44478 C03 06 5b Rms 6

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 Salad Exps Thjj17 166658 D02 02 5b 4

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 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 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 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 Bars Exps Thfm17 197614 C09 22 6b 2

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 Coleslaw Exps Thjj17 201853 C02 02 4b 9

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 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 Dogs Exps Thfm17 196673 D09 23 5b 1

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 then 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 Salad Exps Thjj18 174845 D01 30 7b 12

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 & 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 Salad Exps Thjj17 164559 D02 03 4b 8

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 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 Salad Exps Sdjj17 200450 B02 16 3b 10

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 working with Taste of Home since 2011. When she isn’t writing, she’s answering your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Community Cooks. She spends her free time cooking, crafting, and volunteering for various organizations in her home town.

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