Let the party begin
What sets a holiday party apart from a regular barbecue on any summer weekend? Appetizers. Of course, we always start our backyard barbecue with a summery dip or guac and fries for dipping, but when it comes to Labor Day, we really try to up the ante. Devilled eggs, a variety of bruschetta, oysters – heck, even our dips are seriously upgraded when it comes to the last big barbecue of the season. Take Kardea’s recipe, for example. Her easy-to-make dip is bursting with sweet and smoky flavor thanks to her secret ingredient: red peppers that she roasts on the grill. And, the divers are elevated as well; colorful grilled vegetables replace more common options like crackers or tortilla chips. This appetizer is so delicious you might forget about main courses and desserts!
Get the recipe: Smoked Red Pepper Dip with Grilled Vegetables
To kick off your end-of-summer party, serve potato chips alongside Trisha’s mix of yellow and white corn, jalapenos, chili peppers and tomatoes.
Get the recipe: Corn Salsa
Bacon Deviled Eggs
Upgrade a beloved kitchen starter – deviled eggs – by adding an ingredient everyone loves: salty, smoky bacon.
Get the recipe: Deviled Eggs with Bacon
Anna’s Tomato Pie
Late tomatoes, which tend to be extra-sweet and juicy, are perfect for Ina’s impressive pies. She tops a homemade crust with Gruyere and Parmesan cheese, thick tomato slices and fresh pesto.
Get the recipe: Anna’s Tomato Pie
Zucchini and goat cheese rolls
Katie’s pretty reels are deceptively easy. To make them, cut the zucchini into very thin slices (use a mandolin if you have one), garnish them with a goat cheese filling and roll them up.
Get the recipe: Zucchini and Goat Cheese Roulettes
Valérie takes bruschetta to a whole new level by layering the flavors of a classic muffuletta sandwich: mortadella, capicola, salami and a tasty homemade olive spread.
Get the recipe: Muffuletta Bruschetta
Stuffed mushroom skewers
Stuffed mushrooms are an all time favorite appetizer. Slide them onto a skewer and place them on the grill for your next outdoor gathering. For a zesty result, try replacing the sausage and parsley with fresh chorizo and cilantro.
Get the recipe: Stuffed Mushroom Skewers
Grilled Garlic Flatbread
Turn a ball of pizza dough into an appetizer everyone can enjoy by tossing it with olive oil and spices from your pantry and grilling it to perfection. This garlicky flatbread can be served with a dip, but it’s also great on its own.
Get the recipe: Toasted Garlic Flatbread
Crudités and tangy ranch dip are a classic appetizer. Here, Molly makes her dip from scratch using Greek yogurt and a blend of dried spices from her pantry. It couldn’t be easier!
Get the recipe: Yogurt Ranch
Citrus Shrimp Nachos
Ree layers prawns and citrus-marinated veggies over crispy fries for an easy yet tangy appetizer that screams “summer.”
Get the recipe: Citrus Shrimp Nachos
Grilled oysters with lemon dill butter
There’s no better way to end the summer than with Ina’s Simple Grilled Oysters. A quick homemade herb butter (touched up with just a hint of citrus) added to each shell ensures a juicy, flavorful bite when the seafood comes off the grill.
Get the recipe: Grilled Oysters with Lemon Dill Butter
Salty feta, fresh dill and tangy olives bring a Greek-inspired twist to classic guacamole. Serve with tortilla chips and cucumber slices for dipping.
Get the recipe: Greek Guacamole
Mini Stuffed Peppers
This party-ready appetizer is sure to be a hit. Alex stuffs the peppers with creamy goat cheese and toasted pine nuts to give them a touch of decadence.
Get the recipe: Mini Stuffed Peppers
Use an outdoor grill instead of an oven to make margherita pizzas. Cut them into thin slices and you have an appetizer that will please all your guests while the burgers and steaks are on the grill.
Get the recipe: Grilled Pizzas
Mini chicken and mango tostadas
Save time on this appetizer by using cooked, shredded chicken. Place on a tortilla chip with mashed avocado.
Get the recipe: Mini Chicken Mango Tostadas