27 Genius Recipes for Labor Day

August 30, 2017

Whether you're at the beach, or at the lake, or just bumping around home soaking up your last long weekend for a good while (don't think about it), these recipes will make the weekend happier, more festive, more memorable, and therefore make it last, maybe, forever.

Don't just grill a burger; stuff it with bacon and chorizo and smear romesco all over it! Eat pimento cheese! And barbecue chicken with two types of mayo! Stand around drinking boozy grasshopper shakes and eating little salt-crusted potatoes and making a mess of yourself.

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Let's go all out for Labor Day. Here are 27 ways to do it.

José Pizarro's Salt-Crusted Potatoes with Cilantro Mojo

salt-crusted potatoes with cilantro mojo

Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus


Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Grasshopper Shake

Jennie Cook's Zucchini Butter

Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)

Virginia Willis' Deviled Eggs


Louisa Shafia's Watermelon, Mint, and Cider Vinegar Tonic

Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole

Brigit Binns' Crab Cakes

Maricel E. Presilla's Cuban Avocado, Watercress, and Pineapple Salad

Canal House's Marinated Zucchini

Eric Korsh's Farm Lettuces Salad with Dill Vinaigrette

Yotam Ottolenghi's Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

Sarah Leah Chase's Scalloped Tomatoes

Michel Richard's Glazed and Glistening Haricots Verts

Kevin Gillespie's Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms and Lemon

Vera Obias' Cheddar & Black Pepper Cornbread

Kevin Gillespie's Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Michael Ruhlman's Pasta with Tomato Water, Basil, and Garlic

Suzanne Goin's Grilled Pork Burgers

Michael Ruhlman's Rosemary-Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Steven Raichlen's Salt-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Grilled in Cloth (Lomo al Trapo)

Bill Smith's Atlantic Beach Pie


Martha Stewart's Slab Pie

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Fresh Blueberry Pie

Nigella Lawson's One-Step, No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

Brooke Dojny's Blueberry Snack Cake with Toasted Pecan Topping


Bonus round: Genius Yogurt Whipped Cream

Tell us: What are you cooking this weekend? What kind of whipped cream are you putting on it?

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].

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  • Ryan
  • kathleen cherrier
    kathleen cherrier
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


Ryan August 28, 2014
Michael Ruhlman's pasta recipe is great. Plenty of variations to try with it.
kathleen C. August 27, 2014
Great collection of recipes. I can't wait to try them. Thank you.