Labor Day

12 All-Star Community Recipes for the Ultimate Labor Day BBQ Bash

And for our 12th birthday celebration, too.

August 30, 2021
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog.

Twelve years ago, it all started with a book deal for the first-ever online community cookbook called—you guessed it—Food52. Our cofounders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs had a hunch that home cooks are the greatest cooks. And over a decade—and many more cookbooks and, well, a lot of other stuff—later, we believe that more than ever.

As part of our birthday celebration this year, we rounded up 12 beloved community recipes, just perfect for summer—there's still time left! Which one have you made over and over (and over)? Which one is now on your must-make list? Let's chat all about it in the comments. Here's to another great year.

1. Homemade Potato Chips

Sure, you could fry these—or you could microwave them (yep, really). Whichever path you pick, don't skip the all-star seasoning, with buttermilk, chives, and bacon.

2. Zucchini Pancakes

The cover star of our first cookbook, this recipe is a godsend whenever you buy way too much zucchini (it happens). Serve with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even crème fraîche.

3. Dilled, Crunchy Sweet Corn Salad With Buttermilk Dressing

Yes, you can eat corn raw. It's sweet, crunchy, and carefree, like summer should be. While this no-cook salad could be served as a side, we'd be just as happy calling it dinner and done.

4. My Mother's Lebanese Tabbouleh

This tabbouleh started with Cdilaura's grandmother, "who never used a written recipe, making it each time to taste just the way she liked." Now it is written down—for all of us to enjoy.

5. A Tomato Sandwich Worthy of a Little Bacon

Bacon avocado aioli? Be still, our beating hearts. Put it toward a tomato sandwich like inpatskitchen. Or, really, whatever sandwich is for lunch. Cucumber would be great.

6. Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches

An herby, yogurty sauce worthy of its name. Be a hero and make a double batch to put toward a crudités platter (or, shhh, sneaking a taste out of the jar with a spoon).

7. Hot Dog & Hamburger Potato Buns

Next time you're invited to a cookout, bring these pillowy, potato-rich buns. As community member mrslarkin put it, they will "elevate anything you want to put in your mouth."

8. Dad's Favorite Seafood Stew

"Our family was in the retail fish and seafood business for almost 80 years," writes inpatskitchen, which led to hundreds (hundreds!) of seafood recipes. This one became a favorite.

9. Summer Corn Chowder

A brothy chowder with sweet corn, salty bacon, and heady poblanos. According to commenter Vivienne, "If you never cook any other recipe from FOOD52, COOK THIS ONE !!!!"

10. Watermelonade

As refreshing as dashing through a sprinkler on an August day, this drink was inspired by our cofounder Merrill's bridal shower. A few commenters suggest adding vodka, and who are we to disagree?

11. Simple Summer Peach Cake

Because every birthday needs a cake. This proudly minimalist recipe is inspired by Food52er Savour's mother, who "would fix me a bowl of cut-up peaches with milk, sprinkled with sugar and a dusting of nutmeg."

12. Zucchini Applesauce Bread

This zucchini bread leans on applesauce for its plush, tender crumb. Serve with salted butter for breakfast, or dress up with berries and cream for dessert.

What are you making for Labor Day? Let us know in the comments.

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