Who says Labor Day has to be all about work? As the unofficial last best weekend of summer, these handy backyard BBQ-friendly recipes will keep you out of the kitchen and munching happily through whatever party, get-together or lazy day Monday you have in store. Whether there are only three ingredients or a shorter than average prep time, this list features a handful of dishes that take the stress out of cooking as well as simplifies bartender duties. And really, what better a way to celebrate the three day weekend than with a boozy milkshake in hand?
Grapefruit and Ginger Sparkler, Oh Hey!
If a Labor Day brunch is in your future, why not try this three ingredient play on the morning cocktail classic? With a touch of grapefruit juice, ginger liqueur - Serious Eats recommends Domaine de Canton but local distillery, Koval, offers a ginger liqueur we adore - and a touch of prosecco, this mimosa turned bold and flavorful is easy drinking at its finest. And hey, who says you can't make mimosas with the leftover bubbles as well?! A double win in our book.
Potato Salad at Your Service
In our humble opinion, no Labor Day picnic is complete without a potato salad. Yummy Healthy Easy's 4 ingredient recipe is just as the blog title states: quick, healthy and most importantly, delicious. The Greek yogurt dressing balances the savory notes of the bacon just right and we can see this recipe becoming an end-of-summer staple in no time at all!
But of course, Grilled Corn on the Cob
Nothing beats a perfectly grilled ear of corn. Seasonal and a touch bittersweet, be sure to smear a slab of butter over the kernels and don't forget a touch of salt and pepper to give this grilled treat a zesty crunch. The ladies over at Lolly Jane highlight how to make the perfect grilled corn on the cob in a mere twenty minutes with this easy peasey recipe.
Tomato and Watermelon Salad Delight
Another seasonal favorite, a tomato and watermelon salad with feta not only removes the stress from cooking but also combines a few of our favorite summer and fall flavors. NYT Cooking always has great recipes with a touch of the unexpected and this salad offering is no exception. With zero heat required, just toss the ingredients in a bowl and voilà, salad done!
Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
We went heavy on the grill-able options for this list because, especially in good old Chi, Labor Day weekend is usually one of the last nice spurts before pre-hibernation season begins. This quick and simple pork tenderloin recipe from Tide & Thyme calls for a few garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and of course, pork. So gather around that grill and soak up those rays of sunshine while the meat cooks. Juicy with a zip from the balsamic, this is a classic Labor Day entrée.
Brussels Sprouts w/ Green Apple and Blue Cheese
Not for the faint of heart, this awesome salad from A Healthy Life for Me is jam-packed with green superfoods and loads of complex flavors. A refreshing take on classic veggies, with shredded Brussels sprouts and Granny Smith apples, you don't have to feel guilty about everything you eat on Labor Day!
(Best if made with a food processor, I will admit this is probably the most labor intensive option on the list but most certainly worth the extra prep time in the end.)
Homemade Brownies in 5
Not only are these brownies from the Blue Apron blog quick to make but they are made from just five ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. Top off with a little ice cream and homemade dessert was never easier. But be sure to save a little of that vanilla ice cream for our last but not least appetizing dessert option...
Adults Only Grasshopper
Not only is this cocktail easy to make but it has the last days of summer written all over it. Just add a touch of creme de menthe and creme de cacao with some vanilla ice cream and whipped cream and Boom! cocktail time is on. Be sure to watch the kiddos around this one since they too will think this ice cream treat is theirs for the taking.
Cheers and enjoy!