IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Sandra Lee uses pantry staples to perk up classic barbecue recipes

Making a big barbecue spread for Labor Day weekend doesn't have to be difficult.
/ Source: TODAY

Labor Day weekend is here but summer definitely isn't over! If you've got a hankering for classic cookout food, I've got the ultimate menu for you and your family — and it all comes together easily with the help of handy store-bought staples.

What's my secret to throwing an easy yet hearty barbecue bash? We're going to use the same ingredients to make an incredible sauce for the main dish and our savory side.

Ribs are a classic cookout food, but you don't need a grill to make ribs that are moist and tender on the inside with a perfectly caramelized crust. Cook these babies low and slow and you'll have a winning rack of ribs every time.

Take canned beans from tame to tasty with a few easy-to-find extras. If you have bacon or pancetta, crisp some up and throw it in with your beans for a wonderfully salty layer of flavor. Then dress them up with barbecue sauce, hot sauce and Montreal seasoning.

Remember Nutter Butters? We loved them as kids and we still love them today. Turn these tasty cookies into crafty snacks with a little store-bought icing and your favorite candy. Kids love to help out with this one, plus you can have an adorable dessert ready to go without ever turning on the oven.

This tropical cocktail makes me feel like I'm on the beach. While this island-inspired beverage is typically made with rum, you can really use any kind of alcohol you prefer, from vodka to tequila or even gin — just don't forget the pineapple juice.

Cheers to the ultimate summer barbecue bash!