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43 Labor Day recipes perfect for that last summer bash

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

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Labor Day eats and drinks

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Labor Day eats and drinks

This may be your last chance to enjoy those grilled meats, sides, desserts and sweet drinks that scream "summer."

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Labor Day celebration recipes

Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
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Labor Day celebration recipes

You're going to want to remember these recipes.

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Mediterranean turkey burger

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Mediterranean turkey burger

These juicy grilled turkey burgers are amped up thanks to a sprinkling of feta cheese.

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Zucchini-tomato gratin

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Zucchini-tomato gratin

Zucchini and tomatoes cooked together into a cheesy gratin make this an utterly craveable side dish.

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Sweet tea sangria with basil

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Sweet tea sangria with basil

Basil sweet tea is even better when it's used to make this complex sangria.

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Strawberry-cream cheese puff pastry tart

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Strawberry-cream cheese puff pastry tart

This strawberry-cream cheese tart is as pretty as it is easy to make.

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Grilled Hawaiian chicken

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Grilled Hawaiian chicken

Sweet, savory and sticky, this grilled Hawaiian chicken is a dish you'll make again and again.

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Grilled pork burgers

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Grilled pork burgers

Grilled pork burgers topped with pineapple are just the thing to shake up your next barbecue. 

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No-churn pineapple upside-down cake ice cream

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No-churn pineapple upside-down cake ice cream

Give a retro dessert a summery makeover with this pineapple upside-down cake ice cream.

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Grilled zucchini caprese

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Grilled zucchini caprese

Grilled zucchini caprese is a fun way to use up the last of summer's bounty.

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Watermelon-basil mojito

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Watermelon-basil mojito

Say goodbye to summer with a round of these fruity watermelon-basil mojitos.

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Grilled lamb kebabs with Lebanese tomato salsa

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Grilled lamb kebabs with Lebanese tomato salsa

These grilled lamb kebabs with an intriguing Lebanese tomato salsa are a perfect Labor Day meal.

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Tomato-pomegranate salad

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Tomato-pomegranate salad

Sweet, tart and bold, this tomato, pomegranate and red onion salad pairs well with all manner of meats.

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Chickpea and avocado garden salad

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Chickpea and avocado garden salad

This creamy, healthy chickpea and avocado salad is a perfect match with heavier grilled meats.

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Mini Key lime pie cookie cups

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Mini Key lime pie cookie cups

Cookie cups are the perfect way to serve Key lime pies to a crowd.

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Fig, feta and watermelon salad

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Fig, feta and watermelon salad

This uniquely refreshing salad will have your guests begging for seconds.

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Smoky 6-spice grilled chicken thighs

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Smoky 6-spice grilled chicken thighs

Spicy, smoky grilled chicken deserves a place at every picnic table.

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Fresh raspberry and Greek yogurt ice pops

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Fresh raspberry and Greek yogurt ice pops

Fruity, creamy and tangy, these Greek yogurt and raspberry pops are a great way to stay cool on Labor Day.

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Sesame broccoli slaw

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Sesame broccoli slaw

This crunchy slaw is perfect with grilled meats.

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Grilled salmon with mango salsa

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Grilled salmon with mango salsa

Succulent grilled salmon with zesty mango salsa is an exciting meal for your Labor Day barbecue.

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Summer fruit punch

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Summer fruit punch

This punch is the perfect way to use up leftover fruit, and you can make it a cocktail with vodka or gin.

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Shaved asparagus with grapefruit and mint

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Shaved asparagus with grapefruit and mint

Grassy asparagus and sweet-tart grapefruit make for an intriguing side dish in this salad.

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Blueberry crisp with no-churn ice cream

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Blueberry crisp with no-churn ice cream

Blueberry crisp is a classic dessert, but crème fraîche ice cream gives this version an edge.

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Cowboy caviar

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Cowboy caviar

Black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes and zesty seasonings make this side go great with barbecued meats.

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Lemon-basil bars

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Lemon-basil bars

Basil gives these lemon bars a sophisticated twist.

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Cowboy steak salad

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Cowboy steak salad

Juicy grilled steak and a medley of vegetables make this salad a veritable Labor Day feast.

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Bourbon-blackberry lemonade

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Bourbon-blackberry lemonade

This dark and fruity lemonade is given a layer of intrigue thanks to a shot (or two!) of bourbon.

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Bacon and egg potato salad

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Bacon and egg potato salad

It's not a barbecue without potato salad, and this tasty version gets a makeover with eggs and bacon.

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Birthday cake ice cream

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Birthday cake ice cream

This fun ice cream tastes just like birthday cake, but it's perfect for the last warm days of summer.

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Mango-coconut bread pudding

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Mango-coconut bread pudding

Jazz up a comfort food classic with this mango-coconut bread pudding.

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Tropical mango-pineapple sherbet

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Tropical mango-pineapple sherbet

This tangy tropical sorbet gets a flavor boost thanks to whole buttermilk.

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Peachy lemonade martinis

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Peachy lemonade martinis

Peaches and lemonade give these martinis a makeover worthy of barbecues and picnics.

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Sweet potato noodle salad

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Sweet potato noodle salad

These low-carb sweet potato noodles are a light and refreshing side for any meal.

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Blackberry-peach sangria

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Blackberry-peach sangria

Blackberries and peaches mean this sangria screams summer.

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Grilled garlic-lime chicken

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Grilled garlic-lime chicken

Zesty garlic-lime chicken is even better when it's topped with mango-cucumber salsa.

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Fizzy violet lemonade

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Fizzy violet lemonade

Fizzy purple lemonade is a fun beverage for your Labor Day soiree — add gin if you're feeling fancy.

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Grilled flat iron steak with summer marinade

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Grilled flat iron steak with summer marinade

Nothing screams barbecue like a big, juicy steak, and the marinade on this one can't be beat.

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Barbecue pork shoulder

merc67/Getty Images
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Barbecue pork shoulder

This BBQ pork shoulder is way easier than it looks -- for impressive entertaining without much effort.

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Pineapple-mint margaritas

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Pineapple-mint margaritas

Tangy-sweet pineapple and refreshing mint make these cooling margaritas the ultimate barbecue cocktail.

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Grilled tropical margaritas

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Grilled tropical margaritas

Because the only thing better than a salty margarita is a sweet-and-salty margarita made with grilled fruit.

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Strawberry, ginger and coconut cocktail

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Strawberry, ginger and coconut cocktail

The perfect combo of strawberry, ginger, coconut and booze could not be more refreshing.

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Grilled chicken and pineapple pitas

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Grilled chicken and pineapple pitas

Just one bite of these grilled chicken wraps with pineapple and crunchy slaw, and you'll be hooked.

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Coconut-white chocolate iced coffee

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Coconut-white chocolate iced coffee

Somewhere between dessert and coffee, this coconut-white chocolate concoction is a must-try.

Originally published Aug. 2015. Updated Aug. 2016.

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