Take the Day Off: Low-Labor Recipes for Labor Day

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Labor Day is just around the corner, meaning the end of summer isn’t far behind. Wind down the season with one last celebratory cookout. Each element of our quick-and-easy sendoff menu comes together in under 30 minutes, meaning you can soak up the last of the warm weather without toiling away in the kitchen. Hey, they don’t call it a “day off” for nothing.

Your final products of grilling season should be the best ones yet. Bobby Flay’s Beer Brats fill the bill, since they’re braised in beer before being finished off on the grill until they achieve a nice, golden crust. These brats take under 20 minutes to cook from start to finish, and are best topped with the goods: sauerkraut, green peppers and onions.

After a whole summer of red-meat hamburgers dripping with cheese, finish off burger season on a high note with Rachael Ray’s 5-star Southwest Turkey Burgers, which take just 25 minutes to make. These grilled white-meat sensations keep up with the rest, thanks to their flavor-packed blend of fresh herbs, peppers and spices.

Even the hors d’oeuvres at your cookout should be grilled. Rachael doesn’t use a hot grill just to get a char on her Grilled Shrimp; the outdoor kitchen tool also makes it possible for the starter course to be ready in just 10 minutes.

On the side, turn to Rachael’s foolproof, smoky Black Bean and Corn Salad, a colorful dish ready in 25 minutes. Each scoop of this vegetarian salad comes loaded with corn, beans, red bell pepper and onions, plus cumin and a squeeze of lime.

Since no day off is complete without a drink, mix Trisha Yearwood’s Frozen Sangarita, a frosty cross between a frozen margarita and fruity sangria. Just 15 minutes separate you from drinking this by the pool.

Finish off your Labor Day menu Tyler Florence’s way, with a no-bake Banana Cream Pudding flavored with vanilla, bourbon and creme de banana. Topped off with homemade whipped cream, this creamy treat puts the final touch on your cookout spread in just 25 minutes.

Get more ways to have the best Labor Day ever with our top cookout classics here.