Easy Labor Day Meals for Easy Entertaining Five

Posted: August 24, 2021 4:03 pm

Summer’s last hurrah always takes place during Labor Day weekend. It’s typically the last weekend most pools and beaches are open to the public. School typically gets into full swing after Labor Day weekend, and for most families, it is the last long weekend prior to the holidays. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a group of very easy recipes so that you can host one last bash before officially saying goodbye to summer. These recipes will keep you from spending the entire day in the kitchen or at the grill, but they’re tasty enough that they’ll have your guests asking if you’ll share the recipe.

Smash Burgers

This recipe is a new take on the classic hamburger. Be sure to opt for ground chuck that is “80/20” (eighty percent lean), or find some ground brisket or short ribs. Any of those cuts of meat will provide a distinct flavor. Also, don’t go sparingly on the kosher salt; it really brings out the flavor in this recipe.


1 pound of ground beef (see substitutions listed above)
1 tsp kosher salt (divided)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper (divided)
1 tsp canola oil
4 hamburger buns, split (For a kick of flavor, choose Hawaiian Bread sweet buns)
Condiments to taste and cheese, tomato and pickles to taste

Turn the burner up on a medium-high setting, add oil to your skillet. Place four balls of ground beef in a nine inch cast iron skillet (the cast iron really brings out the flavor of the beef). Take a metal spatula and flatten the balls of meat to about 1/4 or 1/2 inch thickness. Now sprinkle an 1/8 tsp of pepper and salt on the patties. Cook about 1.5 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Turn the patties and sprinkle the same amount of pepper and salt on the top side. Cook at least one minute, until the meat is well-browned. Serve on Hawaiian sweet buns with desired condiments.

Pistachio Mallow Salad

This light and fluffy summer salad makes a great dessert, and it’s just rich enough for those with a sweet tooth.


1 16 oz. carton of whipped topping
1 3.4 oz. package of instant pistachio pudding mix
(optional) six or seven drops of green food coloring
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits, DO NOT DRAIN
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (may substitute the same amount of chopped walnuts)

Combine the whipped topping and pudding mix in a large bowl. At this time, you may add the green food coloring if desired. Fold in both the marshmallows and the pineapples. Cover and refrigerate for two hours before serving. If you wish to add more whipped topping, do so just before serving.

Speedy Shrimp Flatbeds

This simple recipe allows for one of summer’s prime seasonal foods – fresh shrimp! This recipe serves two, but can be doubled (or quadrupled!) to serve as many guests as you need.


2 whole pita breads (can be substituted with 2 naan flatbreads)
1 5.2 oz. package of garlic herb spreadable cheese
1/2 pound peeled, cooked, and deveined shrimp (31 – 40 per pound)
1/2 cup chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil (leaves)
Optional – lemon wedges

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Place the flatbreads or pita bread on a baking sheet. Place cheese on the flatbreads, then layer with the tomatoes and shrimp. Bake for 4 – 6 minutes or until the shrimp is heated through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil. Can be served with lemon wedges, if desired.

Taco Pinwheels

Pinwheels make a great appetizer any time of the year, but these taco pinwheels make a great meal all by themselves! Add salsa or cheese dip for extra pep.


4 oz. of softened cream cheese
3/4 cup Seasoned Taco Meat (this should already be prepared, you can find the recipe here
1/4 cup finely shredded cheese (you may choose any flavor)
1/4 cup salsa
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. ripe olives, chopped
2 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
Five 8 in. flour tortillas
1/2 cup lettuce, shredded

Beat the cream cheese til smooth in a small mixing bowl. Stir in taco meat, cheese, mayo, olives, salsa, and onion. Spoon the mixture over tortillas, and sprinkle lettuce lightly over the mixture. Roll the tortillas tightly. Refrigerate the wrapped tortillas for at least one hour before serving. When ready to serve, unwrap the tortillas and cut into pieces of one inch each. Serve with salsa or cheese dip.

Dilly Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

If you want to serve something healthy with a lot of flavor, then look no further than the Dilly Chickpea Salad Sandwich. This alternative offers less fat and cholesterol than the traditional chicken salad sandwich. Great for a picnic by the beach or at your backyard party.


1 15 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayo, reduced fat or vegan
3 tbsp. honey or Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. fresh dill, snipped
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
12 slices bread, multigrain or whole wheat

In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) to a desired consistency. Stir the onion, seasonings, celery, dill, mayo and mustard. Spread over six slices of bread and layer your choice of toppings. Top with the second piece of bread.



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