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20 Killer Recipes For Your Labor Day Cookout

You can't go wrong with these delicious holiday dishes.

09/02/2017 08:30 EDT | Updated 09/02/2017 11:25 EDT

Make this holiday weekend one to remember with a delicious backyard bash. From Whipped Feta Dip to Watermelon Gazpacho, these party-friendly recipes are perfect for saying sayonara to summer.

1. Middle Eastern Lamb Kofta

This recipe will take your taste buds on an exotic Middle Eastern adventure. Forget boring grilled chicken and burgers — this is what you should be serving at your last cookout of the summer. GET THE RECIPE

2. Whipped Feta Dip

This is an American riff on htipiti, the salty, tangy feta spread that’s typically served as part of a Mediterranean mezze. Sprinkle it with crushed red pepper flakes and toasted sesame seeds and serve with sliced vegetables and toasted pita wedges. GET THE RECIPE

3. Grilled Asparagus & Feta Salad

This grilled asparagus and feta salad is the kind of dish that makes you wonder if you might possibly be a very happy vegetarian - so simple and so good. GET THE RECIPE

4. Watermelon Gazpacho

This fun twist on gazpacho comes from Juice Manifesto: More than 120 Flavor-Packed Juices, Smoothies and Healthful Meals for the Whole Family by Andrew Cooper (Chronicle Books, 2016). Ginger and chile give it a bit of a kick and complement the sweetness of the watermelon. GET THE RECIPE

5. Chewy, Gooey Golden Rice Krispies Treats

Thought Rice Krispies Treats couldn’t get any better? Wrong! These are made with browned butter, extra salt, and a secret ingredient that makes them taste toasty and caramel-y. I’ll give you a clue: it starts with “golden” and ends with “grahams.” GET THE RECIPE

6. Juicy Steakhouse Burgers

Ever wondered how to make steakhouse-style burgers at home? The secret is to use readily available 85% lean ground beef, a panade — or a mixture of bread and milk that keeps meat tender and juicy even when cooked to medium-well — and lots of seasoning. GET THE RECIPE

7. Raspberry Lemonade

Made with puréed fresh raspberries, this refreshing lemonade has a fruity flavor and vibrant pink color. GET THE RECIPE

8. Grilled Buffalo Wings with Seasoned Buffalo Sauce

Classic Buffalo wings are fried but I love the flavor and ease of cooking them on the grill. They are truly no fuss, no muss and finger lickin’ good! The key is to cook them over a moderate flame so that the fat renders out and the skin gets nice and crispy. GET THE RECIPE

9. Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette

Perfect for a summer BBQ, this is one of those crowd-pleasing, make-ahead recipes that everyone loves. Whether you serve it as a side to grilled chicken or as a dip with tortilla chips (highly recommend!), the bowl is always empty and the plates are always full. GET THE RECIPE

10. Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are easy to make at home and perfect for getting friends and family sharing everything at the table. In this recipe, I marinate and grill the chicken for a smoky, charred flavor, and then sauté the onions and peppers on the stovetop until they caramelize and sweeten. GET THE RECIPE

11. Roasted Tomato Salsa

Utterly addictive, this bright and spicy salsa combines vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, garlic, Serrano chiles, cilantro and fresh lime. The vegetables are roasted, which intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes, mellows the onions and garlic, and adds a light touch of smokiness. GET THE RECIPE

12. Old Bay Shrimp Salad

This is a classic shrimp salad with an Old Bay kick. It’s delicious piled onto a roll, scooped over a salad, or served with crackers as an appetizer. GET THE RECIPE

13. Grilled Turkey Burgers

Turkey burgers are usually dry and tasteless. Not these! The secret is adding Italian turkey sausage — a trick often used with meatballs. GET THE RECIPE

14. Grilled Baby Potatoes with Dijon Mustard and Herbs

Perfect for a backyard BBQ, these baby potatoes are boldly flavored with a thick Dijon mustard marinade, then grilled until crispy and charred. GET THE RECIPE

15. Macerated Berries with Greek Yogurt Whipped Cream

This summery recipe comes from Gina Homolka’s bestselling cookbook, Skinnytaste Fast & Slow (Clarkson Potter, 2016). Gina’s trick to making the homemade whipped cream with less fat is folding in some Greek yogurt, which also adds a slight tang that’s terrific with the berries. GET THE RECIPE

16. Grilled Pesto Shrimp

Whether you serve this dish for dinner with pasta and a vegetable or as an appetizer all alone, the shrimp will disappear in a flash. Trust me, no matter how much you think you’ll need, make extra! GET THE RECIPE

17. Peaches, Burrata & Prosciutto with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

In this fun play on Caprese salad, sweet peaches make a luscious stand-in for tomatoes and creamy burrata replaces fresh mozzarella. It’s the perfect “company dish” for a summer BBQ. GET THE RECIPE

18. Grilled Moroccan Chicken Breasts

I can’t claim this recipe is authentic, but the spices — an aromatic blend of cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika and coriander — make it taste decidedly Moroccan. The best part is that it only takes minutes to prepare, and there’s barely any clean up. GET THE RECIPE

19. Warm Couscous Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette

Made with couscous, scallions, crunchy almonds, and a tangy-sweet vinaigrette, this is the perfect side dish for summer. By that I mean it’s wonderfully light, takes mere minutes to make, travels well to a picnic or BBQ, and can be served warm or room temperature. GET THE RECIPE

20. Luscious Lemon Squares

With a crisp and buttery shortbread crust, luscious lemon filling, and dusting of powdered sugar, these lemon squares are as pretty as they are delicious. They also freeze beautifully, so you can make them ahead of time and defrost as needed. GET THE RECIPE

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