With Labor Day just around the corner, these 7 Great End of Summer Recipes for Your Labor Day Celebration are just the solution to your menu planning for either a small family gathering or a larger all-out party! Each recipe is delicious and a good mix of fresh ingredients to end your summer. Here’s the “menu” to help you get started:
Appetizer – Lite Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Dip (serve with crackers and/or chips)
Dessert – Vanessa’s Pavlova
With the exception of the dessert recipe, all are “lite” or “lighter” than normal, but if you aren’t on a diet (like me), just substitute the “lite” ingredients for the full fat version and you will have an even more delicious Labor Day celebration feast! All of these recipes will feed a crowd, but if you are expecting a larger crowd, just double or triple them. Also, most can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, cutting your “labor” down for the day of your party!
Let’s start with the recipes that can be made ahead of time:
Tri-colored Roasted Potato Salad
This recipe gets better-and-better as it ages. Make it up to 4 days ahead of time and on the day of your event, the flavors will be perfectly blended and you will have a hit on your hands. Pssst…don’t tell anybody that it’s “lite” – they will never know the difference.
Creamy Petite Pea Salad with Bacon and Cashews in Tomato Cups
You can serve this salad without tomato cups. The tomato cups are just a fun way to serve them, but not necessary. Make this salad up to three days ahead of time; just keep the bacon and cashews stored separately in your refrigerator and mix them together with the salad just before serving. Yum! If you invite Tiffany to your party, there will be no leftovers!
Lite Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Dip
This recipe, too, can be made ahead of time. Make it 2 days before your party and store in the refrigerator. Leave off the panko and cheese topping until just before you pop it in the oven. That will guarantee a nice, crispy topping. Serve this as your appetizer along with crackers and/or chips and you will have no leftovers! Pssst…don’t tell anyone it’s “lite” – they won’t know unless you tell them!
Mexican Corn Salad
This recipe can be made one day ahead of time, if you leave out the cilantro. Go ahead and prepare your cilantro and store it in a plastic baggie in the refrigerator. Then, on the day of your party, mix it in with the prepared salad just before serving. The flavors of the corn and other vegetables will have blended with the spices and dressing and it will be even more delicious than if you had prepared it fresh! By adding the cilantro just before serving, your Mexican Corn Salad will be just perfect.
This incredibly delicious and light-as-air dessert can be made in stages, saving you time and effort on the day of your party. Make the three separate components ahead of time (the meringue, the whipped cream, the fruit), place the meringue in an air-tight container and store. Refrigerate the whipped cream and fruit in separate containers or covered in plastic wrap or in a baggie; store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the next day.
Grilled London Broil with Easy Red Wine Marinade
The day of the party, make the Easy Red Wine Marinade for your Grilled London Broil. Take your Lite Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Dip out of the refrigerator and preheat your oven. While the oven is preheating, make the panko/cheese topping for the dip and spread it on top of the dip. Pop in the oven and bake as directed allowing a few extra minutes since your dip is refrigerator cold.
Then, get the rest of your salads out of the refrigerator, add the last minute ingredients and you are ready to party!
After dinner, assemble Vanessa’s Pavlova and enjoy!
So easy and mostly made days ahead of time to make your Labor Day celebration relatively labor-free!
(recipes mentioned in this post)
- Barefoot with Friends and Vanessa’s Pavlova
- Creamy Petite Pea Salad with Bacon and Cashews in Tomato Cups
- Easy Red Wine Marinade for Beef
- Grilled London Broil
- Lite Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Tri-colored Roasted Potato Salad