16 no-sweat side dishes & desserts for an instant Labor Day menu

Mediterranean pitas

The whole point of a three-day weekend is to enjoy one extra day of uninterrupted relaxation. No one wants to spend the last long weekend of the summer slaving over a big backyard meal!

Our solution: This no-sweat, instant party menu that mostly uses prepared foods from the supermarket and a few on-hand ingredients—just shop, assemble and serve! You might have to use the toaster oven to get the pitas crisp, or boil a pot of water to make the pasta or potato salads. But for the most part, these dishes come together in no time, meaning you've got plenty of opportunity to stretch out the last of the summer.

  1. Do the Twist Press a stack of napkins tightly between your palms and move your hands in opposite directions to form a spiral.
  2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Use old glass soda bottles or jars as vases; just add flowers from the yard.
  3. Bowl Them Over Grab whatever fruit you have in the kitchen and pile it into a large bowl to use as a centerpiece.
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