I’m so sad that Labor Day is coming up because it means summer is really over. Although my son actually goes back to school the week before, he does have a 4-day weekend for the holiday. We aren’t really doing anything special, but we do have a small family gathering coming up later in September.

I’ve been checking out all the great Labor Day recipes from my favorite bloggers to get ideas for that party. I’m looking for things that I can make ahead of time that will keep pretty well.

Don't spend your whole end of summer bash sweating over a stove! Prep these great Labor Day recipes ahead of time and spend the day soaking up the last of summer fun with your family!

Featured Make-Ahead Labor Day Recipes: From Drinks to Dessert

Mermaid Punch Mocktail

Mermaid virgin drink 3_zpsmf4djmqj

Whip up this virgin drink ahead of time in a large pitcher. Then, when it’s time to party, you just need to add the sanding sugar to the glasses and pour! Check out this mocktail recipe at OurFamilyWorld.


Bacon Broccoli Salad


Another great one from Baking Beauty, since this one has to chill for a few hours, you can easily make it the night before and leave it sit in the fridge until you’re ready for your big family picnic. It’ll be a hit for bacon lovers, and you’ll be getting some healthy broccoli into the day’s menu. Get it here.

Supreme Pasta Salad


Every picnic needs pasta salad in my opinion. It’s one of the few salads that I’ll actually eat, being the insanely picky eater that I am. This one is chock full of goodness!  Check out the recipe on Love to Be in the Kitchen!

Skinny Classic Coleslaw


My mom absolutely loves coleslaw, so no family party will be complete without it. If you have family members watching their weight (or just trying to eat healthier), this spin on the dish from Healthy Seasonal Recipes is perfect.

Caprese Crostini Skewers

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Crostini Skewers via homework

I think Caprese salads are one of the prettiest appetizers, especially when they’re on a skewer. If you’re worried that the crostini will get soft from being in the fridge, you could prep the rest of this recipe from Home Work ahead of time, then just slip on the toasted bread the day of the party. Get the recipe here.


Spicy Mustard Potato Salad

potato salad

I am so particular about my potato salad. It can’t have too many little chunks of random vegetables in it. I like the smooth texture of the potatoes, and a crunchy piece of celery or carrot totally throws me off. I love this recipe from Bunny’s Warm Oven. She adds eggs, which perfectly complements the potatoes, and doesn’t include a bunch of other weird (to me) veggies. Just pure goodness with a little spicy kick! Get the recipe here!

Grilled Marinated Chicken



Okay, so the grilling part you’ll have to do on the day of your picnic, but the rest of this recipe actually needs to be started the night before. You’ll need to marinade the chicken for 8-12 hours. Imagine how juicy and delicious it will be? Grab the recipe on Love to Be in the Kitchen.

Semi-Homemade BBQ Sauce


Semi-Homemade-BBQ-Sauce-GiftBBQ sauce goes with so many different picnic foods, from meats to potatoes! Make this semi-homemade sauce ahead of time, then pop it in your cooler the day of the party! Get the recipe at Not Just Paper and Paint.

Strawberry Poke Cake

Strawberry Poke Cake Baking Beauty


This is one of my favorite summer desserts! It’s so easy to make and you can use just about any fruit or Jello. You actually HAVE to make it ahead of time (at least a few hours) so it has time to set. Get the recipe on Baking Beauty!

More fabulous Labor Day Recipes to Make in Advance

Do you have any favorite Labor Day recipes that you can make (or partially make) ahead of time?