There’s something entirely nerve wrecking about Labor Day weekend- especially because it means gathering together with all your friends and family. Which inevitably means you have to cook.

Whether it be a beachside hangout, backyard BBQ, or picnic in the park, it most likely involves everyone bringing a dish to share. You do not be that one person who shows up empty handed (you know who you are), and not all of us have the ability to cook like the contestants of Master Chef.

But even if you totally dropped the ball last year, now is the chance to ace it and impress everyone with your hospitality skills. So to help you get ready for whatever potluck-style feast you’ll be heading to this holiday weekend, here are 20 full-proof and delicious summery recipes that will help you convince everyone you’re America’s next Martha Stewart.

1. Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad


A bright and summer side dish made of fresh corn, fragrant tomatoes, and ripe avocados tossed in a cilantro lime dressing. Find recipe here.


2. No-Mayo Coleslaw

No-Mayo Coleslaw

A healthier twist on traditional coleslaw that subs the mayonnaise with lemon juice and honey. Find the recipe here.


3. German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

Potatoes + bacon = the perfect match. Find the recipe here.


4. Garlic Lemon Green Beans

Garlic Lemon Green Beans

This no-fuss vegetable option makes the perfect light side dish. Recipe here.


5. Italian Caprese Salad

Italian Caprese Salad

The best part about this salad is the caprese stays fresh for much longer than regular lettuce. Also, it is much less messy to make. Recipe here.


6. The Perfect Guacamole

All you have to do is mash together some avocado with fresh cilantro, lime, red onion, jalepeno and- voila! You’ll have the perfect guacamole. Recipe here.


7. Antipasto Skewers

Basically, you can grab any of your favorite foods, chop them into small pieces, and stick them on skewers. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Recipe here.


8. Minty Fruit Salad

Great recipe for serving a crowd, and much better than bringing only one type of fruit. Recipe here.


9. Lemon Iced Tea

Iced Lemon Tea

What could be more refreshing that a cold glass of lemony iced tea? Recipe here.


10. Poached Shrimp Succotash

Poached Shrimp Succotash

Definitely easier to make than it sounds. If this doesn’t impress anyone, who knows what will. Recipe here.


11. Grilled Chicken Thighs

Grilled Chicken Thighs

These can be eaten on their own, sliced for a sandwich or salad, or even put in a bun and served as a burger. Recipe here.


12. Asparagus, Peas, and Smoked Gouda Frittata

Asparagus, Peas, and Smoked Gouda Frittata

This easy meal only takes 25 minutes, and is full of healthy green vegetables. Recipe here.


13. Oven Roasted Fajitas

Oven Roasted Fajitas

A great Mexican dish made of only three simple main ingredients: chicken, bell peppers, and onions. Recipe here.


14. Bacon Avocado Pasta

Bacon Avocado Pasta




An easy pasta dish full of crispy bacon, avocado, and Parmesan cheese. The best part is it can be served either hot or cold! Recipe here.


15. Honey Mustard Brisket

Honey Mustard Brisket


This requires slow cooking in a brisket, but the flavor combination makes the end result worth it. Recipe here.


16. Low Country Boil

Shrimp Boil

Especially great to make for large groups. All the ingredients are tossed in one big stock pot. Recipe here.


17.  Nutella Brownies

Nutella BrowniesAll it takes is two ingredients: nutella + eggs. Yes, it really can be that simple. Recipe here.


18. Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Chip PB Cookies

These cookies take less than 30 minutes to make, include only 7 ingredients, and are the perfect mixture of salty & sweet. Recipe here.


19. PB&J Pie

PB&J Pie

Perfect for kids and adults alike. This one is no-bake, and requires no crust. Recipe here.


20. Watermelon Raspberry Slushie

Watermelon Raspberry Slushie

Refreshing slushies made out of summer fruits, can be made either non-alcoholic or alcoholic depending on preference. Recipe here.


Now get to cooking, and soon you’ll be the talk of the town!

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