The 15 Recipes I Have to Make Before Labor Day Hits

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

There is still plenty of summer to be had, even though the calendar says Labor Day is approaching much faster than I’d like it to be. So I am soaking up every little bit of the season in these lingering weeks of August. Aside from beach days and picnics on my agenda, there are these 15 recipes. Each of them — whether they are dinners, snacks, desserts, or drinks — are celebrations of summer, so there is no arguing that they need to be checked off my list before September arrives.

Main Attractions

I plan to eat multiple simple bowls of pasta with fresh tomato sauce before Labor Day hits. Classic burgers will continue to be flipped on the grill, but now that eggplant is at its best, I want to swap them in for a great meatless alternative. Also corn is so good right now, which means I am throwing it into everything I possibly can.

Flank Steak Panzanella(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Salads, a Snack, and a Sauce

Salads that are loaded with summer veggies are meals I seriously look forward to from June through August. I plan to get my fill until I buy the last juicy tomato at the farmers market. Light, no-cook snacks are in order as well — especially when they also involve seasonal produce. I also have to make romesco, the Spanish roasted red pepper sauce that moonlights as a dip and a spread, because its charred, smoky flavor tastes like summer.

S’mores Brownies(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Summer Sweets

I have a sweet tooth 365 days a year, but I find it’s strongest in the summer months when I could easily eat my weight in berry and stone fruit desserts and consume ice cream daily. Oh, and anything revolving around s’mores is definitely a must.

Rosé Lemonade(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Happy Hour Cocktails

A few cocktails that celebrate the season, whether they are made with summer fruit, served frozen, or just revolve around rosé, are very much on my agenda during these last weeks of August. Summer Fridays and lazy afternoons out by the pool require something refreshing to sip, and these drinks definitely fit the bill.