If there's one national holiday a year where you should really take it easy, it has to be Labor Day. This holiday, set aside to honor hardworking American men and women, is simply about having a hard-earned day off work. So why should you work in the kitchen when you don't have to? You can still have a fabulous end-of-summer party without putting forth unnecessary effort.
The key to having a labor-free Labor Day party menu is keeping things simple. You don't want to have to run to the grocery store and load up a cart with a bunch of expensive, single-use ingredients. Instead, you want to focus on fresh flavors, guaranteed crowd-pleasers and dishes that make the most of the bounty that comes at the end of summer. Get ready to grill peaches and have salads with plenty of perfectly plump tomatoes.Of course, the other aspect of keeping things low-key is to minimize cook time, prep work and number of ingredients. So in a labor-free Labor Day party menu, you'll find plenty of no-cook dishes and quick and easy marinades like Italian dressing. These things optimize flavor and time. Don't believe a fantastic yet easy Labor Day party is possible? Just check out these 12 recipes and become a believer.
Nothing says summertime like a caprese salad. These one-bite appetizers are assembled on a toothpick, making them easy to assemble and even easier to enjoy with guests.For the Caprese Bites recipe, click here.
The Ultimate Guacamole
The key ingredient to packing tons of flavor into your guac with almost no effort? Pickled jalapeños. Check your fridge; you probably already have a jar.For the Ultimate Guacamole recipe, click here.
The Best Grilled Steak
The best grilled steak is actually a simply prepared steak. Just season with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and prepare to wow your guests.For The Best Grilled Steak recipe, click here.
Grilled Fish Tacos and Taco Sauce
Making your own taco sauce sure does sound impressive, but this quick and easy recipe has just five ingredients. Pair it with a simple grilled whitefish and you have an impressively simple dish.For the Grilled Fish Tacos and Taco Sauce recipe, click here.
Grilled Lemon Pepper Shrimp Kabobs
Lightly season your shrimp with lemon pepper, drizzle some olive oil on them and get cooking. This appetizer or main dish can be totally done in under 15 minutes.For the Grilled Lemon Pepper Shrimp Kabobs recipe, click here.
Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken
Grilled chicken is healthy, delicious and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. This quick and easy recipe has a single marinade ingredient: Italian dressing.For the Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken recipe, click here.
The Best Coleslaw Ever
This Asian-inspired coleslaw uses pantry staples like peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil in its dressing, saving you a trip to the grocery store.For the Best Coleslaw Ever recipe, click here.
Microwavable Potato Salad
Save time and keep your home cool by cooking your potatoes in the microwave instead of boiling them. This creamy and tangy potato salad is ready to go in under 20 minutes.For the Microwavable Potato Salad recipe, click here.
No-Cook Summer Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta
OK, yes you do have to cook the pasta. But the toss-ins such as fresh summer tomatoes, herbs and mozzarella cheese just need a quick chop.For the No-Cook Summer Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta recipe, click here.
Scratch / Maria Rodale
Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad
This simple summer salad uses fresh watermelon, olive oil, goat cheese, sea salt and herbs. That's it!For the Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad recipe, click here.
Grilled Peaches With Sweet Mint Mascarpone
This dish might sound complicated, but it's so simple, so sweet and so delicious. Your grill is already going for other cookout dishes, so throw some fresh peaches on and mix up a fresh five-ingredient filling.For the Grilled Peaches With Sweet Mint Mascarpone recipe, click here.
Mint Chocolate Icebox Cake
The best easy Labor Day party recipe is the Labor Day party recipe you can make days ahead of time. This refreshing mint and chocolate cake requires no oven and can be made and refrigerated days ahead of time. And if this icebox cake doesn't do it for you, check out these no-bake desserts.For the Mint Chocolate Icebox Cake recipe, click here.More From The Daily Meal:18 Recipes for an Epic Labor Day Party
16 Grilled Dishes That Take the Labor Out of Labor Day