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A full Labor Day picnic of five 15-minute dishes

By Michelle Edelbaum, September 1, 2010 - 11:43am

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A full Labor Day picnic of five 15-minute dishes

I haven’t actually invited anyone over yet, but I just have this feeling we’ll be having a get-together over Labor Day weekend. Impromptu, last-minute.

Even if you planned ahead for your party, you may still be in the same boat as I am: I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen cooking on the last unofficial weekend of summer. I want to host a get-together I can actually enjoy with my friends, which means keeping cooking to a minimum. I’m not up for more than chopping, tossing and serving.

I could just throw some burgers and dogs on the grill, but this weekend I want something a little different. Here’s a full Labor Day picnic of five 15-minute dishes that require only minimal cooking so you have more time to enjoy your weekend.

Related Link: Find 20+ more easy Labor Day recipes here.

Main Dish
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches: No cooking here. I’m going to pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store so I can serve my crowd easily, even though I know the sodium will be little higher than if I cooked the chicken at home (plus the rest of my menu is fresh and since we don’t buy prepared foods often, I think it’s OK once in a while). Note: The proportions in this recipe are for one; just increase it based on the number of guests you’ll be having.

Side Dishes
Sliced Tomatoes with Pesto Drizzle: This ultra-quick recipe uses prepared pesto to keep things simple. It’s a great way to make the most of fresh summer tomatoes—from your garden, the farmers’ market or the store.

Broccoli Slaw: The ingenious cooks in the EatingWell Test Kitchen have lightened this popular potluck classic with a dressing of reduced-fat mayo and yogurt. To speed preparation, use shredded broccoli slaw from the produce aisle.

Drinks
Cherry-Mint Spritzer: This mint-infused cherry drink can be made with or without the alcohol—if you want a mocktail, just omit the rum. It’s so simple that you can mix up this fresh summer sipper while you’re chatting with your friends.

Dessert
Strawberry-Raspberry Sundaes: I’ll dress up nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt with this super-basic strawberry and raspberry sauce for a sweet finish to my end-of-summer meal.

What one dish are you definitely making for your Labor Day weekend festivities? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Michelle Edelbaum, Entertaining, Holidays

Michelle Edelbaum
Michelle is the digital editor for EatingWell Media Group. She puts her background in journalism to work online at EatingWell.com and in EatingWell Magazine, authoring the Good Questions interview with interesting people in the world of food and health.

Michelle asks: What one dish are you definitely making for your Labor Day weekend festivities?

Tell us what you think:

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