You're at the grill or in the kitchen anyway, so stock up while you cook up this Labor Day weekend. The coming school nights will bring homework, sports practice, and extracurricular activities. Plan for the party — and the next few weeks — to help make suppers a breeze with these Labor Day recipes for your end-of-summer celebration.

1. Grilled Hamburgers

Buy patties or ground beef in bulk and cook on the grill, then let cool and place between thin hamburger buns with or without cheese slices. Freeze in a single layer (to prevent sticking), then store in a freezer-safe container or gallon-sized freezer bag. Warm in the oven or microwave. The grilled flavor helps these cooked-ahead hamburgers keep delicious flavor. For best results, use 100% ground beef with no additives or solutions.

2. Mini Sandwiches

Mini sandwiches are great for your Labor Day picnic, birthday parties, and hanging out at the lake. They are also easy to make up in large quantities for lunches or quick suppers. Use regular sandwich bread, flatbreads, or bread rolls sliced lengthwise. Fill with deli ham, deli chicken, or roast beef along with hummus, a little cheese, pickles, or any sandwich fixins your family likes. Place in oven on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until cheese has just melted. Store in the refrigerator for several days worth of lunches, or store in in the freezer for quick and easy reheating in the microwave or steamer.

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3. Bean Dip

Great to eat with crackers and chips, bean dip can also be spread on tortillas for a delicious bean burrito, placed in shells for delicious bean tacos, or spread on pita bread. Bean burritos can be cooked, then stored in a casserole dish for easy reheating.

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4. Salads

Chicken salads, egg salads, and ham salads often make appearances at Labor Day gatherings, but they don't last a long time in the refrigerator. Make enough to have a few days' worth — and use it up first.

  • Spread on sandwich bread or tortillas.
  • Pack in a reusable container for dipping with corn chips, pita chips, crackers, or cut veggies.

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