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30 Small-Scale Labor Day Side Dishes

These side dishes let you do your day off the right way.

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Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad

This salad is great with a grilled steak for a Tex-Mex meal, and most of it can even be prepared out in the backyard. Poblanos and cayenne make it pop. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Cucumber Coleslaw

I created this cucumber coleslaw recipe so I could use a julienne peeler I received as a gift. I had leftover sparkling wine, so I thought I'd try to use it over julienned cucumbers to make this refreshing slaw. It's a nice way to round out a brunch or picnic. —Merry Graham, Newhall, California
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Hawaiian Fried Rice

Growing up in the South Pacific, rice was the mainstay of our diet. When my husband and I moved stateside, we created this Hawaiian fried rice recipe. We bring this dish to every potluck, and it's always the hit of the party. —Janice Edwards, Plainville, Illinois
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Slow-Cooker Sriracha Corn

A restaurant here advertised Sriracha corn on the cob, but I knew I could make my own. The golden ears cooked up a little sweet, a little smoky and a little hot—perfect if you ask my three teenage boys! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Bacon Pea Salad

My husband absolutely loves peas. My middle son isn't the biggest fan, but he loves bacon. So, I combined the two, and it was perfect! This pea salad is an awesome side dish, especially for barbecue. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Sweet & Sour Squash Salad

This salad goes over really well with all ages, and it's a good way to get kids to eat summer squash. —Opal Shipman Levelland, Texas
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Heirloom Tomato Salad

This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases my guests. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Pina Colada Molded Salad

My gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It's a wonderful anytime treat. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Tomato-Melon Chicken Salad

Nothing says summer like picking watermelon, tomatoes and raspberries, then tossing them together in a salad. The addition of grilled chicken makes it a satisfying yet still summery meal. —Betsy Hite, Wilton, California
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Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
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Jen's Baked Beans

My daughters wanted baked beans, so I gave homemade ones a shot. With mustard, molasses and a dash of heat, I made these beans absolutely delicious. —Jennifer Heasley, York, Pennsylvania
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Jalapeno Popper Corn Salad

I created this recipe for a wedding I was catering, and it's a good thing I made buckets of it, because I couldn't stop eating it! This chilled creamy salad combines all the best flavors of jalapeno poppers with the delicate sweetness of fresh corn. —Amanda Miller, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Tomato, Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad

With ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and grilled corn, this bright salad tastes just like summertime! —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Salami & Provolone Pasta Salad

Everyone needs a perfect pasta salad that’s easy to make, especially on busy nights when your family wants a dish that’s fast, light and cool. This is just the thing. —Jill Donley, Warsaw, Indiana
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Patriotic Potatoes with Mustard Sauce

Show your true spirit with a bowl of red, white and blue potatoes dressed with bacon and sour cream. They’re tops in my hit parade of patriotic dishes. —Julie Murphy, Peachtree City, Georgia
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Simple Waldorf Salad

This is my go-to salad when I need a quick little meal. When I want a sweeter taste, I use whipped cream instead of yogurt. —Wendy Masters, East Garafraxa, Ontario
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Ranch Pasta

I came up with this ranch pasta after making recipes for a bridal shower. It was party day and I needed to take some shortcuts! Everyone loves the simple Parmesan ranch white sauce, and it's easy to throw in veggies you have on hand. —Merry Graham, Newhall, California
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Marinated Three Bean Salad

Fresh herbs and cayenne pepper provide the fantastic flavor in this marinated salad featuring fresh veggies and canned beans. —Carol Tucker, Wooster, Ohio
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California Avocado Salad

Spread a little sunshine with this easy salad. Just four ingredients drizzled with Orange Yogurt Dressing and you have a light lunch or a pretty side to serve with dinner. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Pesto Tomato-Cucumber Salad

My sister and I created this fresh salad at one of our "recipe nights" and it's been a hit at every party since! Try red pepper flakes for a little kick if you'd like, or add Greek pepperoncini. —Jennifer Freier, Algonquin, Illinois
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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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Summer Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this summer pasta salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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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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Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

My niece introduced me to this colorful recipe some time ago. I make it when I have buffets or large gatherings because it can be prepared hours ahead. This is a wonderful way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia
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Pressure-Cooker Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got bored with fixing plain old squash and cheese. I decided to jazz it up a bit by adding seasoned croutons and bacon. This was a huge hit with the family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Grilled Veggies with Caper Butter

We enjoy the tart, peppery taste of capers. No one likes a bland veggie, and caper butter helps peppers, squash and zucchini shine. —Danyelle Crum, Indian Trail, North Carolina
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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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Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes

This garlic and basil linguine is a perfect way to use up your late-summer tomato harvest. It makes a great light supper when paired with a salad, or you can make it heartier with some chopped chicken. —Susan Jones, Downers Grove, Illinois
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Creamy Red Potatoes

This rich and creamy potato side dish is my go-to for potlucks. It’s super easy to double, so I usually do. Folks almost always take seconds, and I almost always get compliments. —Shelia Schmitt, Topeka, Kansas
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.

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