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100 Easy Labor Day Recipes

Our easy Labor Day recipes prove 15 minutes (or less!) is more than enough time to pack in the flavor.

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Pistachio Mallow Salad

This fluffy pistachio salad is a real treat since it’s creamy but not overly sweet. It’s easy to mix up, and the flavor gets better the longer it stands. It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, served in a green bowl. —Pattie Ann Forssberg, Logan, Kansas

Go To Recipe

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Smash Burgers

Now is not the time to cut calories or skimp on salt. Go for ground chuck that is at least 80/20. If you can find a blend with ground brisket or short rib, all the better. The best burger comes with being liberal with kosher salt—it is beef’s best friend. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Dreamy Fruit Dip

Everyone will love this thick cream cheese fruit dip. Serve it alongside apple wedges, pineapple chunks, strawberries and grapes. —Anna Beiler, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
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Five-Minute Blueberry Pie

If you like the taste of fresh blueberries, you’ll love this pie. Since it’s a breeze to whip up, I make it often, especially in summer. —Milda Anderson, Osceola, Wisconsin
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Taste of Home
Kansas Cucumber Salad Exps Thjj19 403 B02 19 5b 9

Kansas Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are my very favorite garden vegetable, so I use this recipe often. I got it from a friend years ago. I've heard this refreshing dish keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it goes so fast around our house, I've never found out for myself. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Watermelon And Blackberry Sangria Exps Tohjj20 161232 B02 06 3b 3

Watermelon and Blackberry Sangria

This watermelon sangria is deliciously pink! Living in the zinfandel wine country of Northern California, I use our local fare in my recipes often. Our scorching summer months inspired this refreshing, light style of sangria. I like adding fresh blackberries and garnishing it with sprigs of mint or basil for personal flair. This easy recipe is perfect for entertaining, and it’s especially brunch friendly. —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California
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Speedy Shrimp Flatbreads Exps Tohescodr21 68538 B05 14 5b

Speedy Shrimp Flatbreads

My husband and I are hooked on flatbread pizzas, especially this shrimp flatbread pizza recipe. I make at least one a week just to have something tasty around as a snack. This one came together easily because I had all the ingredients on hand. —Cheryl Woodson, Liberty, Missouri
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Marshmallow Fudge

You'll find it nearly impossible to resist this rich chocolate delight. It's chock-full of marshmallows and graham crackers—and no one will believe that the tantalizing treat is low in fat. —Holly Mann, Temple, New Hampshire
9 / 100
Dijon Bacon Dip For Pretzels Exps Tohas19 34652 B05 31 1b 3

Dijon-Bacon Dip for Pretzels

With just four ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge, this quick appetizer comes together in a snap. If you like the zip of horseradish, start with a teaspoon or two and add more to taste. —Isabelle Rooney, Summerville, South Carolina
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Iced Raspberry Tea

Frozen raspberries lend fruity flavor and lovely color to this pretty iced tea that's good throughout the year. The recipe calls for just a few common ingredients and offers make-ahead convenience. —Lois McGrady, Hillsville, Virginia
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Taco Pinwheels

These pinwheels come together quickly when you start with leftover taco meat. They make an appealing party appetizer served with salsa, or a fun lunch option with a salad on the side. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Honey Orange Broccoli Slaw Exps Lsbz18 98973 B01 19 4b 8

Honey-Orange Broccoli Slaw

When you need coleslaw quickly, here's a fantastic choice. Hints of honey and citrus make it special. —Debbie Cassar, Rockford, Michigan
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Dilly Chickpea Salad Sandwiches Exps Tohjj20 190103 B02 06 10b 24

Dilly Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

These chickpea salad sandwiches are super flavorful and contain less fat and cholesterol than chicken salad. They make delightful picnic sandwiches. —Deanna McDonald, Muskegon, Michigan
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Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

This cucumber and onion salad is one of the first recipes I came up with myself. It’s a great salad for picnics. I always come home with an empty bowl! —Brynn Steckman, Westerville, Ohio
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Garlic Garbanzo Bean Spread

My friends and family always ask me to make it. I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe. —Lisa Moore, North Syracuse, New York
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Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Give friends a taste of the tropics on warm summer days with this refreshing fruit blend. For a little extra punch, you might add a splash of coconut rum. —Carol Farnsworth, Greenwood, Indiana
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Candy Bar Apple Salad

This creamy, sweet salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast! —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Aunt Frances' Lemonade

My sister and I spent a week each summer with our Aunt Frances, who always had this thirst-quenching lemonade in a stoneware crock in her refrigerator. It makes a refreshing drink after a hot day of running around. —Debbie Reinhart, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
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Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia
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Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

Our family loves dessert, and this chocolaty, layered treat is one of Mom's most-requested recipes. It's so easy to prepare this Oreo ice cream cake! —Kimberly Laabs, Hartford, Wisconsin
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Broccoli Raisin Salad

For a simple but sensational side dish, I throw together this refreshing broccoli salad with raisins. I adjusted a friend's recipe to cut a few calories. The raisins add sweetness, and the bacon gives it a nice crunch. —Angela Oelschlaeger, Tonganoxie, Kansas
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Dill Pickle Dip

My love for pickles led me to create this Dill Pickle Dip. It’s so easy to whip together. But be warned, it’s addicting! —April Anderson, Forest Lake, Minnesota
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Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Chocolaty S'mores Bars

One night my husband had some friends over to play poker and he requested these s'mores bars. They polished off the pan and asked for more! I shared the recipe, and now their families make them, too. —Rebecca Shipp, Beebe, Arkansas
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Blueberry Lemon Trifle

A refreshing lemon filling and fresh blueberries give this sunny dessert sensation plenty of color. Don't worry about heating up the oven—this trifle doesn't require baking. —Ellen Peden, Houston, Texas
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Spectacular Overnight Slaw

To come up with this dish, I used a number of different recipes, plus some ideas of my own. It’s great because it can be made the night before. Whenever I serve it, I’m inundated with recipe requests. —Ruth Lovett, Bay City, Texas
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Homemade Guacamole

Nothing is better than freshly made guacamole when you're eating something spicy. It is easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that's too hot. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Broccoli Salad Supreme

People can't get enough of the sweet grapes and crunchy broccoli in this colorful salad. I appreciate its make-ahead convenience. —Terri Twyman, Bonanza, Oregon
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5-Ingredient Fudge

You’re moments away from a pan of creamy fudge. Just microwave, stir and spread. This easy homemade fudge recipe is the best. —Sue Tucker, Edgemoor, South Carolina
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Chipotle Guacamole

My guacamole is so good because it has just a hint of smoke from the chipotle pepper. Stir in the chopped pepper or put a dollop in the center of the dip so people who aren’t into the pepper can scoop around it. —Gayle Sullivan, Salem, Massachusetts
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Loaded Baked Potato Dip

I never thought of using waffle-cut fries as a scoop for dip until a friend of mine did at a baby shower. They’re ideal for my cheesy bacon and chive dip, which tastes just like a baked potato topper. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Strawberry Watermelon Slush

We like to relax on the back porch with glasses of my slush after a long, hot day. Strawberries and watermelon blend up with lemon juice and sugar for an instant refresher. —Patty Howse, Great Falls, Montana
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Mojito

Traditional mojitos are made with rum, which is both pleasant and mildly sweet. If you want a new spin on the classic mojito recipe, try using tequila for tart, yet refreshing flavor. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Culinary Editor
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All-American Banana Split

In 1904, the first banana split recipe was made here in Latrobe, Pennsylvania by David Strickler, an apprentice pharmacist at a local drug store. We still use his original formula when we make banana splits in our restaurants. —Melissa Blystone, Valley Dairy
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Red, White and Blue Berry Pie

To me, this colorful pie is the epitome of summer. Bright blueberries and raspberries sandwich a cream cheese layer in the pie that’s quite festive. I can’t imagine a holiday party without this tasty treat! —Cindy Zarnstorff, Anchorage, Alaska
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Creamy Taco Dip

You'll know this snack is a hit at your next gathering when you come home with an empty pan! —Denise Smith, Lusk, Wyoming
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Chocolate Chip Dip

Is there a kid alive (or a kid at heart) who wouldn’t gobble up this cookie dough dip with graham crackers? It beats dunking them in milk, hands down! You can also try it with apple wedges. —Heather Koenig, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
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Fresh Cucumber Salad

Crisp, garden-fresh cukes are always in season when we hold our family reunion, and they really shine in this simple salad. The recipe can easily be expanded to make large quantities, too. —Betsy Carlson, Rockford, Illinois
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Dill Vegetable Dip

A friend gave me this zesty dip recipe many years ago, and now I serve it at our annual holiday open house. To make it mobile, spoon a serving of the dip in the bottom of a small cup, then garnish with fresh veggies. —Karen Gardiner, Eutaw, Alabama
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Snack Crackers

Our 13-year-old daughter, Dana, loves to make this crunchy and flavorful snack for us. Her four older brothers finish off a batch in no time. —Sue Manel, Milladore, Wisconsin
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Hot Pizza Dip

You can assemble this effortless appetizer in a jiffy. The pizza-flavored dip goes very fast, so you may want to make two batches. —Stacie Morse, South Otselic, New York
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Marshmallow Fruit Dip

You can whip up this sweet and creamy dip in just 10 minutes. I like to serve it in a bowl surrounded by fresh-picked strawberries at spring brunches or luncheons. —Cindy Steffen, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
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2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge

This 2-ingredient peanut butter fudge is a favorite never-fail quickie recipe. —Eleanore Peterson, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
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Broccoli Slaw with Lemon Dressing

Our family absolutely loves broccoli, so I'm so happy there's finally a slaw mix in stores that uses broccoli stems. I like this slaw best after 20 minutes or so to allow the flavors to meld. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts
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Easy Citrus Seafood Salad Exps Tohjj20 242786 E02 05 1b 6

Easy Seafood Salad

This super simple, deceptively delicious recipe was inspired by a seafood salad I had in the Bahamas that featured conch. I substituted crab and shrimp for the conch and like it even more! —Cindy Heyd, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Brownie Batter Dip

I’m all about the sweeter side of dips, and this brownie-batter variety fits in with my life’s philosophy: Chocolate makes anything better. Grab some fruit, cookies or salty snacks and start dunking. —Mel Gunnell, Boise, Idaho
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Easy Macaroni Salad

This hearty pasta salad is sure to please appetites of all ages—and it serves a lot of folks! —LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Cookies 'n' Cream Berry Desserts

This sweet berry dessert makes an especially pretty final course in the spring. With berries, a creamy topping and a sprinkle of meringue cookies, it always earns praise. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Balsamic Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad recipes are my absolute favorite! This fast, fresh salad is a winner at every get together. It's an easygoing, healthy side dish for kabobs, chicken or anything hot off the grill. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, Virginia
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Blue Lagoon Margaritas

This is one super drink that’ll have the neighbors asking, “What’s that?” Show them and make an extra batch to share. —Willie DeWaard, Coralville, Iowa

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S'mores Crispy Bars

My aunt always brought s’mores-style bars to our family's summer cottage. Plain or frosted, they’re perfect for eating on the run. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Mushroom Cheese Bread

This savory grilled bread is delightful with barbecued steak, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. For variation, we sometimes use half cheddar cheese and half mozzarella. —Dolly McDonald, Edmonton, Alberta
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Nutella-Stuffed Strawberries

Gourmet strawberries are pricey to order but easy to make. We serve strawberries with hazelnut spread as an appetizer or dessert. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Savory Cucumber Sandwiches

Italian salad dressing is an easy way to add zip to this simple spread. You can also use it as a dip with crackers and veggies or a sandwich filling. —Carol Henderson, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
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1-2-3 Snack Mix

Salty and satisfying, this colorful, kid-friendly trail mix provides quick protein and energy by the handful on action-packed summer days. It's great for long car trips, too! —Sue Sherman, Toledo, Ohio
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Strawberry Corn Salsa

This recipe makes art in a bowl! All the colors of summer are captured in this salsa with a fresh, light flavor perfect for snacking between swims or to kick off a backyard barbecue. This can be served with chips or alone as a side dish. —Catherine Goza, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Secret-Ingredient Stuffed Eggs

My take on deviled eggs is full of surprises. The down-home appetizer Mom used to make gets an upscale touch from mango, goat cheese and pecans. People love these tempting treats. —Beth Satterfield, Dover, Delaware
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Swift Strawberry Salad

Swift Strawberry Salad

A simple blend of syrup, orange juice and caramel topping forms the light dressing for the fresh berries and the crunchy cashews found in this sensational salad. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Lemon Garlic Mushrooms

I baste whole mushrooms with a lemony sauce to prepare this simple side dish. Using skewers or a basket makes it easy to turn them as they grill to perfection. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Mandarin Turkey Pinwheels Exps46112 Sd132779c06 13 8bc Rms 6

Mandarin Turkey Pinwheels

Curry, smoked turkey and mandarin oranges give these pinwheels their unique flavor. My cousin and I made them for an open house and people came back for seconds...and then thirds! —Lorie Miner, Kamas, Utah
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Honey-Pecan Kiwi Salad

This dish won second place in a summer salad recipe feature published in our local newspaper. But it takes first place with my family, always happy to try my new creations. —Marla Arbet, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Spiked Lemonade Exps Thsum18 37199 D02 01 8b 2

Spiked Lemonade

Rum gives a tropical addition to this fabulous homemade lemonade. If you have vodka on hand, try that instead of the rum. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Broccoli and Apple Salad

Even my picky daughter loves this one! My yogurt dressing on crunchy veggie salad makes a cool and creamy side dish. —Lynn Cluff, Littlefield, Arizona
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Chunky Mango Guacamole Exps128238 Th143190d10 009 2bc Rms 2

Chunky Mango Guacamole

You can double or quadruple this guacamole recipe. The onion, tomato and mango can be chopped in advance. Add avocado just before serving. —Diana Nienberg, McComb, Ohio
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Nacho Popcorn

My husband and I like to munch on this while watching TV. The nacho flavoring is a zesty alternative to butter and salt. —Linda Boehme, Fairmont, Minnesota
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Red, White and Blue Frozen Lemonade

This patriotic drink is as pretty as it is delicious. With cherries, blueberries and lemon juice, we created a striped lemonade that is perfect for a Fourth of July celebration. —Shawn Carleton, San Diego, California
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Spinach, Apple & Pecan Salad

One day, company was on the way, and I forgot to buy salad fixings. Scavenging the fridge for ingredients, I pulled these together and invented a salad superstar. —Kelly Walsh, Aviston, Illinois
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Refreshing Beer Margaritas

I'm always surprised when people say they didn't know this drink existed. It's a really refreshing cocktail, and it's easy to double or triple the recipe. —Arianne Barnett, Kansas City, Missouri
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Ham & Jack Pudgy Pie

Pepper jack cheese adds spicy flavor to these warm, melty sandwiches. —Terri McKitrick, Delafield, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Your guests are in for a sweet surprise when they try this chocolate chip cheese ball—it tastes just like cookie dough! Rolled in chopped pecans, this chip-studded spread is wonderful on regular or chocolate graham crackers. I especially like it because it can be assembled in a wink. —Kelly Glascock, Syracuse, Missouri
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S'mOreos

My son introduced us to this twist on classic s'mores when we were camping. Have a jar of Nutella around? Slather on the inside of the graham cracker halves before you build this one-of-a-kind treat. —Christina Smith, Santa Rosa, California
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Easy Deviled Eggs

After wondering how to make deviled eggs for years, I stumbled across this recipe. It comes from the Durbin Inn, a well-known restaurant in Rushville, Indiana from the 1920s until it closed in the late ’70s. The eggs are delicious, and it’s easy to make more for larger gatherings. —Margaret Sanders, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Homemade Cherry Crisp

Our family loves this pretty, tasty dessert. It uses convenient pie filling, so you can make it in no time—and it takes mere minutes to heat in the microwave. —Laurie Todd, Columbus, Mississippi
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Granola Trail Mix

My family has always enjoyed this crunchy four-ingredient snack. When we go camping, each person includes one additional ingredient like mini marshmallows, corn chips or cookie pieces. The taste is never the same, and we're often surprised by the combinations. —Shelley Riddlespurger, Amarillo, Texas
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Fizzy Peach Shake

This easy recipe came about when I was a child living in Washington. Fresh peaches were everywhere, so my mom and I came up with this tasty peach shake. This recipe says summer to my family and me. —Teresa Jarnot, Monroe, Washington
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Red, White 'n' Blue Torte

My guests see fireworks when I turn a frozen pound cake into a patriotic pleaser! Assemble this tempting torte early in the day and keep it in the refrigerator until it's time for dessert. —Margery Bryan, Moses Lake, Washington
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Blueberry Graham Dessert

When you’re short on time but long for cheesecake, try this fruity dessert. Ricotta and cream cheeses give every bit as much flavor as cheesecake without the effort. Instead of making individual servings, you could layer the ingredients in a glass serving bowl. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
79 / 100
Quick Watermelon Salsa Exps Jmz18 32285 C03 02 2b 2

Quick Watermelon Salsa

On hot days, this sweet combo of watermelon, pineapple and fresh cilantro has everything you want. The flavors blend beautifully, it’s pretty, and it comes together in no time. —Betsy Hanson, Tiverton, Rhode Island
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Chocolate Chip Bars

People are always surprised when I tell them these chocolate chip bars come from the microwave. Chockfull of chocolate chips, the bars are especially good served with a big glass of cold milk. —Shirley A. Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
81 / 100
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Pastrami Roll-Ups

For a book club event, I created pastrami roll-ups with cream cheese and a pickle. Those tasty bites quickly pulled a disappearing act. —Merritt Heinrich, Oswego, Illinois
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Spicy Popcorn

When I want to indulge in a snack, I make this spicy popcorn. One batch doesn’t last long at our house. You can add more or less red pepper flakes to suit your family’s taste. —Kay Young, Flushing, Michigan
83 / 100

Star-Spangled Parfaits

The best time for this dessert is midsummer, when the blueberries are thick in our northern woods. Red raspberries can be added to the mixed berries, too, to brighten the patriotic colors.—Anne Theriault, Wellesley, Massachusetts
84 / 100

Cookout Caramel S'mores

These classic treats make a fabulous finish to an informal meal. Toasting the marshmallows extends our after-dinner time together, giving us something fun to do as a family. —Martha Haseman, Hinckley, Illinois
85 / 100

Citrus Avocado Salad

This recipe nicely showcases grapefruit and oranges, which are at their peak around the holidays. Citrus fruits pair well with a sweet dressing. —Sonia Candler, Edmonton, Alberta
86 / 100
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Fresh Fruit Salsa

This salad has all the bright colors and fresh flavors of summer. —Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York.
87 / 100

Chipotle Lime Avocado Salad

I use my music to promote a healthy lifestyle, like eating your veggies. This bright salad is loaded with avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes and a little heat factor. —DJ Cavem, Denver, Colorado
88 / 100

Old-Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

This old-fashioned banana cream pie recipe is full of flavor. Because it uses instant pudding, this no-bake dessert is ready in just minutes. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
89 / 100
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Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine
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Pizza Oyster Crackers

This quick and easy snack is a favorite of my kids. I always include a baggie in their lunch boxes. —Carol S Betz, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Peachy Jalapeno Guacamole

Fresh jalapenos and summer-ripe peaches give this creamy guacamole so much flavor. It's got a little kick, but I love that it's not so spicy it burns off my taste buds! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
92 / 100

Cannoli Dip

Ricotta is one of my family's favorite ingredients. I made up the cannoli filling and broke up some ice cream waffle shells to use as "chips and dip"—it was an instant hit! It's also good served slightly warm. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington
93 / 100

Fruit Kabobs with Cream Cheese Dip

These fruity kabobs are so refreshing on a warm day. They're also a quick and easy treat for get-togethers. —Kathleen Hedger, Godfrey, Illinois
94 / 100

Raspberry Ice Cream in a Bag

Making homemade ice cream is fun for the whole family, and the fresh raspberry flavor of this treat makes it a perfect summer activity. Kids can shake the bags until the liquid changes to ice cream and then enjoy the reward! —Erin Hoffman, Canby, Minnesota
95 / 100
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Tangy Texas Salsa

I'm a "transplant" from Wisconsin currently living in Texas. Even after 20 years, I can't get enough of our wonderful local citrus. This is one way to work it into a main dish. The combination of tangy fruit, spicy jalapeno and distinctive cilantro is perfect over any meat, poultry or fish. We also dip into it with chips. —Lois Kildahl, McAllen, Texas
96 / 100
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Bacon Horseradish Spread

This spread is a great choice for any occasion because it's loaded with flavor and comes together in a snap. Start with one or two teaspoons of horseradish and add more to suit your taste. —Terri Peterson, Spring Valley, Illinois
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Ranch Snack Mix

This is a wonderful fast-to-fix munchie. The recipe makes tons and doesn't involve any cooking. It's a cinch to package in individual snack bags, it keeps its crunch and it's a savory alternative to the cakes and pies usually offered at bake sales. —Linda Murphy, Pulaski, Wisconsin
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Honey-Rum Grilled Bananas

These grilled bananas are the perfect dessert following a cookout. My family was skeptical at first, but everyone tried the recipe and they all agreed it was delicious. I use coconut rum from the Bahamas. —Lori Wendt, Mahomet, Illinois
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Beer Dip

Ranch dressing mix flavors this easy dip packed with shredded cheese. It's perfect paired with pretzels. Be forewarned, though—it's hard to stop eating once you've started! The beer cheese dip can be made with any type of beer, including nonalcoholic. I've taken it to many parties and I am always asked for the recipe. —Michelle Long, New Castle, Colorado
100 / 100
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S'mores on a Stick

My kids love to take these for treats everywhere. That's lucky for me since they are so easy to make. Beside the sprinkles, try mini candies for toppings.—Ronda Weirich, Plains, Kansas

Lara Eucalano
Lara is a writer, editor and gardener who loves to cook almost as much as she loves to eat. She will absolutely hop on a plane in search of good food!