Here's our biggest collection of summer side dishes that will be a hit at any backyard BBQ, park picnic, family fiesta, or fabulous fête.
Tomato Salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sliced heirloom tomatoes are wow-worthy on their own--a simple vinaigrette and dollops of basil-flecked ricotta take them over the top. Serve with toasted baguette slices to sop up any tomato juices.
Summer Melon SaladYou're just 20 minutes away from the perfect cool-me-down, fruit-filled summer side. Tip: use a small ice cream scoop to create the layers of this refreshing melon salad.
Shaved Carrot, Cucumber, and Sweet Onion SaladPrepare your picnic table with a show-stopping, carrot, cucumber, and sweet onion side salad. Make this easy summer-fresh salad even easier by slicing carrot and cucumber ribbons with a spiralizer.
Summer Melon and Ham Salad with Burrata and ChileWe love the balance of the musky fruit with the salty-sweet ham and the creaminess of the burrata cheese (you can sub fresh mozzarella). You have a lot of strong flavors at play, and the cheese sets the canvas for the whole thing.
Tomato and Cucumber SaladSweet summer peach dressing amps up the deliciousness in this simple tomato and cucumber salad in a super-fast 25 minutes.
New Potatoes with Shaved Celery, Buttermilk, and DillCrisp potatoes and a mild creamy dressing help keep this chunky potato salad from being anything but boring.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go.
Chicken and Arugula Pasta SaladThis hearty dish can be simplified by omitting the chicken and doubling up on the pasta. Tossing hot pasta with a few ounces of creamy Brie makes for a light, luscious, and flavorful sauce to coat this abundant bowl of fresh veggies and whole-grain noodles.
Pasta with Prosciutto, Cherry Tomatoes, and AsiagoThis quick pasta toss is all about the play of textures: crispy bits of prosciutto, snappy squash, and blistered cherry tomatoes.
Charred Squash Saladthis salad is equally delicious over sliced tomatoes with burrata or crumbled Valbreso feta, or as a complement to any protein. The herbs can be swapped for any herbs of your choice. Rotating the squash on the grill before turning allows for a little more char.
Charred Zucchini SaladThis summery salad is easily doubled. To do so, use 2 large skillets to simultaneously cook zucchini batches so the dish is done in the same amount of time.
Quick Summer Squash and Bell Pepper GratinThis quick summer squash side dish, bakes up in minutes. You could also layer sliced tomatoes in between the onion mixture and the squash and bake a few minutes longer.
Sauteed Summer Squash with Thyme and Almonds
Cutting the squash into rather thick slices helps it retain a bit of fresh snap after it's sautéed.
Summer SuccotashThe acidity in this dish gives your palate a great reset that lets you enjoy the different levels of richness, fruitiness, and sweetness in the vegetables.
Sprouted Quinoa with Marinated VeggiesThis raw-food dish needs planning and patience, but the payoff is a salad that pops with each crunchy bite.
Spinach, Pistachio, and Pecorino SaladAmong the many side options this summer, don't forget the greens. Serve a classic, nutty spinach salad alongside your backyard barbecue fixin's.
Grilled Eggplant Planks with Creole SalsaGrill more than meats this summer. Veggies like grilled eggplant make a simple summer side dish to accompany any cookout.
Veggie Salad in a JarMake these salads up to a day ahead; pack them tightly with the dressing on the bottom, followed by denser ingredients that won't get soggy while they marinate.
Marinated Field Peas
Banyuls vinegar is cask aged but smoother and less oaky than sherry vinegar. Sub a milder vinegar, like Champagne or white wine, that won't compete with the earthiness of the peas.
Corn on the Cob with Lemon-Chive Butter
Nothing says summer like fresh corn on the cob. Here are a few of our favorite flavor combos for buttering them up.
Grilled Corn and Snap Pea SaladAssemble this salad the day before you plan to serve it, but toss in dressing just before serving to keep it crisp.
Grilled Cabbage SaladWho says slaw is the only way to enjoy cabbage? This grilled summer side will stand out on your table for it's punchy color, flavor, and texture.
Grilled Vegetables With Creamy Turmeric SauceTurmeric gives this eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash side a zesty, peppery, slightly bitter flavor.
Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Farfalle and fresh veggies make a seriously delicious summer side.
Grilled Tomato BreadThis rustic side dish has a Spanish inspiration, and although it's simple to make, it's rich with the flavor of ripe tomatoes.
Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta SaladIf you're a broccoli salad fan, you'll love the combination of these colorful ingredients, including tart grapes, crunchy pecans, and bacon.
Stuffed Zucchini with Cheesy BreadcrumbsThese stuffed zucchini are sure to be a favorite at any gathering. Overflowing with artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts these are hearty enough to be served as vegetarian main dish.
Grilled Panzanella with Arugula, Burrata, Summer Squash, and OlivesIn this recipe, both the squash and the bread are slightly charred on the grill. This salad pairs well with any grilled meat.
Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Feta DressingFry fresh from the garden tomatoes, in batches, until golden brown and crispy. For a more powerful flavor, substitute blue cheese for feta.
Summer Grilled Peach SaladGorgonzola cheese gets gooey and delicious melted over the grilled peaches in this amazing summer salad recipe. There's a perfect balance of salty and sweet goodness.
Grilled Summer Vegetables and CornEasy, healthy, and delicious, grilled summer vegetables will be your go-to side for impromptu get-togethers this summer.
Grilled Corn on the CobGrilled in its husk, the corn takes on a wonderful, lightly charred flavor while its sugars caramelize and intensify. You'll wonder why you ever thought of cooking corn on the cob any other way.
Shaved Summer Squash Salad with Prosciutto CrispsSummer squash is delicious raw when it's shaved and marinated with a bit of salt. Add salty prosciutto and you have the perfect side dish.
Grilled Summer Veggie SuccotashDon’t let the meat eaters dominate—veggies deserve a front row on the grill. Lightly coat vegetables with oil; they tend to stick to grill grates. if you don’t have a grill pan, cut pieces in half lengthwise, so they’re less likely to drop into the flames.
Green Beans with Toasted GarlicSimple, garlicky beans are a great side dish to any summer meal.
Summer Lemon-Vegetable RisottoRisotto takes patience and constant attention, but the refreshing, creamy result is worth the effort. This recipe is a great way to showcase beautiful summer veggies.
Corn and Summer Vegetable SautéUsers love this quick and delicious vegetable saute. It's sure to be a hit at your next summer gathering.
Nutty OkraSalted dry-roasted peanuts add a nutty bite to this fried okra treat. Set out these crunchy bites as an appetizer before the main event.
Tomato-Herb PastaYou'll love this zesty side dish from Southern Living. It's perfect for a picnic in the park.
Summer SlawThis is a classic, simple coleslaw recipe that stays nice and light with low-fat sour cream and milk. It's swimsuit season, after all.
Grilled Corn Poblano SaladThis salad gets a spicy kick from both poblano chile and chipotle chile, which pair perfectly slightly charred flavor of the grilled corn.
Summer Fruit Salad with Lemon-and-Honey SyrupThis is a light and delicious fruit salad that can be served as a side or over ice cream as an easy dessert.
Smoky Three-Bean BakeThree kinds of beans take the classic dish from ho-hum to fun, with different shapes and pleasing textures--from the al dente bite of chickpeas to the creaminess of Great Northern beans.
Summer Squash CroquettesThese fun fritters packed full of summer squash will be a family favorite.
Marinated Tomatoes with Lemon and Summer SavorySummer savory is slightly bitter and has an aroma similar to that of thyme. It adds a unique twist to the typical combination of tomato and basil.
Summer Beans with Preserved Lemon, Almonds, and RosemaryThis beautiful bean salad is delicious chilled or served at room temerature. Either way, your friends and family are sure to ask for seconds.
Baked Couscous with Summer Squash and HerbsThis side dish--good for a summer brunch or buffet--highlights the squash and kitchen herbs grown at Monticello.
Potato and Summer Vegetable Stovetop CasseroleThis dish affords the chance to improvise with what you find at your local market. Try purple potatoes in place of fingerlings, Maui or Walla Walla onions instead of Vidalias, or sliced beefsteak heirloom tomatoes for the grape or cherry tomatoes.
Yellow Plum SaladAs gorgeous as it is delicious, this salad will become a summer staple. Serve it with grilled chicken, pork, steaks, or seafood. Look for the Mirabelle or other golden-fleshed plums.
Potato Salad with Herbs and Grilled Summer SquashThis recipe is a great way to utilize all those fresh herbs that are readily available during the summer. Whether you're growing them in your backyard, potted on the porch, or find them at a local farmers' market, you'll love the brightness they bring to this potato salad.
Fresh Corn and Avocado SaladIn the height of summer, you won't find a better side dish for ribs than this deceptively simple combination of peak-season produce. Try bringing it to a party, too.
Indian-Spiced Grilled Baby SquashGrilling underscores the earthiness of the cumin and coriander, and enhances the nuttiness of this summer squash. Use white, orange, or yellow pattypan squash for the most colorful skewers.
New Potatoes with Onions and Spicy SausageOur users love this spicy, salty recipe, calling it "absolutely fantastic" and "one of the best potato recipes ever!" Give it a try this summer, and see what you think.
Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with TarragonA simple marinade of shallots, balsamic vinegar, and fresh tarragon makes the most of summer tomatoes. Try a variety of heirloom tomatoes in this dish for their different colors and flavors. Prepare this one hour before you eat and serve it at room temperature.
Lightened Squash CasseroleA combo of cornflakes and French fried onions adds an irresistible crunch to this lightened up casserole. At only 139 calories a serving, we think you're safe for swimsuit season.
Roasted Beets with Pine Nuts, Dill, and Red OnionGolden or ruby beets work well in this summer salad. Roast the beets up to four days before serving, and combine with the other ingredients up to two hours before it goes to the table.
Balsamic Carrot Salad"This is a unique vegetable salad that is great served hot or cold and for picnics or casual summer dinners." -Silvina Bates, Orange, CA
Perk up sliced carrots with the addition of white balsamic vinegar, cilantro, and oregano. Not only is this bright side dish is great for picnics and cookouts, it's also a great source of vitamin A, which really is good for your eyes.
Zesty Three-Bean and Roasted Corn SaladThis southwestern-accented recipe combines canned beans with sweet summer corn and red bell peppers for a colorful side dish.
Grilled Vegetable FocacciaHearty focaccia is a fitting base for a medley of summer vegetables. Grill the vegetables while the dough rises. Try other toppings, such as thinly sliced tomato, on the focaccia.
White Bean-and-Asparagus SaladAfter cooking the asparagus, this is practically a dump-and-stir recipe and perfect for a busy summer schedule.
Carrot-Ginger SaladGinger and cilantro add fresh bursts of flavor to this carrot salad. it's a perfect side dish for your next BBQ bash.
Southwest Watermelon SaladMake this refreshing and unique salad for your next summer get-together. Your friends will be clamoring for the recipe.
Lemon-Sugar Grilled PineappleThree ingredients are all you need for a super-easy fruit salad or dessert at your next barbecue.
Homemade Potato ChipsThese baked potato chips call for just three ingredients and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Celery-Fennel Salad with OlivesYou'll love the bite and slight licorice flavor that the fennel gives to this salad. Kalamata and green olives make enhance the flavors and add a salty tang.
Creamy Buttermilk-Herb Potato SaladServe this rich and creamy potato salad at your next picnic for a delightful side dish that goes well with just about everything.
Deviled Eggs with Assorted ToppingsWhat summer party would be complete without deviled eggs? Let your guests get creative and top their eggs with whatever inspires them.
Coleslaw Raita With MintMint and honey add unique flavors to this coleslaw and toasted walnuts a crunchy nuttiness. We also love the tangy sweetness from dried cranberries.
Warm Bacon and Herb ColeslawWe think everything is better than bacon, and this bacony coleslaw will be perfect with BBQ ribs or chicken.
Grilled Jalapeño-Lime Corn on the CobAdd south-of-the-border flavor to buttery grilled corn with jalapeño peppers, cilantro and lime juice.
Grilled Watermelon, Mint, and Feta SaladGrilling watermelon seems strange at first, but one bite into this salty, sweet salad and you'll wish you had done it years ago.
Fresh Squash ChipsSuper delicious and ridiculously healthy, these chips should make an appearance as snacks and a side dish all summer long.
Hot Bacon Potato Salad with Green BeansClassic potato salad ingredients get a kick from bacon and green beans. We love this paired with a perfectly grilled steak.
Tabbouleh SaladThis classic Middle Eastern salad, chock-full of herbs and spiked with lemon, is a perfect make-ahead and portable option.
Lemony Cucumber SaladDon't forget that something fresh, vibrant, and crunchy is often missing from potluck gatherings; this easy salad will get gobbled up quickly because it satisfies on those levels.
Vermont Baked BeansWhite beans and maple syrup give this dish its signature flavor, while the Dijon mustard and hot sauce add a little kick.
Quick Kale with Bacon and OnionsOne serving of this hearty side offers more than your day's need of vitamin K, which helps promote strong bones.
Summer Squash Ribbons with Lemon and ParmesanThe beautiful, thinly sliced ribbons of summer squash are dressed simply with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Add parmesan and a little salt and pepper, and you have an elegant summer side dish sure to impress.
Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Queso Fresco (Ensalada de Betabel)This beet salad is full of bright colors and flavors, with sweet beets playing off tangy lime and orange.
Cucumber Potato SaladCucumbers add a crunchy freshness to this potato salad, and the bite of red onion balances the creaminess. Perfect for a summer picnic.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pomegranate DrizzleBeautiful heirloom tomatoes are showcased in this delicious salad. It's also good with grilled halloumi cheese tucked between the tomato slices.
Grilled Apricot HalvesBrush grilled apricots with a mixture of olive oil, honey, and fresh thyme and serve as a simple side dish, over a bed of greens, or even as a topping for grilled pizza.
Fig, Tomato, and Sweet Onion SaladFresh figs add the perfect amount of sweetness to this gorgeous salad.
Smoky Baked Beans with ChorizoAdd extra flavor to baked Great Northern beans with dry-cured Spanish chorizo, a type of smoked sausage with a deep red color.
Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted GarlicThe bold, straightforward flavors of garlic and crushed red pepper make this classic Mediterranean broccoli dish a user favorite.
Tee's Corn PuddingThis classic recipe has a rich, soufflé-like texture without the hassle. The result is an impressive summer side dish the entire family will love.
Sweet-and-Sour Green BeansMake extra of this bacony side dish because it's sure to disappear quickly.
Cuban Corn on the CobThis Cuban take on grilled corn stars ingredients like fresh parsley, cilantro, and grated parmesan cheese. Try it the next time you're gearing up to grill.
Grilled Stone Fruit with Balsamic GlazeBrush grilled peach, plum and apricot halves with a sweet balsamic glaze and top with shaved cheese for a fruit side dish or not-too-sweet grilled dessert.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tarragon-Parsley ButterMuch more than the sum of its two parts, Sara Simpson's side dish of beefy grilled portobellos with herbed butter is satisfying enough to be a vegetarian main course.
Grilled Sweet Potato, Orange, and Chickpea SaladNot only is this salad great-tasting, orange and yellow foods, such and the ones in this salad, boast carotenoids like geta-carotene, which is a type of vitamin A that boosts your immune system.
Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato TianTian, a French word used throughout Provence, refers to both a shallow cooking vessel and the food cooked in it. An 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish works well for this eggplant, zucchini, and tomato creation, but if you have a 2-quart tian or gratin dish, all the better.
Indian-Spiced OkraEven folks who usually don't like okra enjoy the taste and texture of this highly seasoned dish. We left the seeds in the chile for moderate spice. Serve with grilled chicken or lamb.
Cranberry Beans with Parsley PestoFresh-from-the-pod cranberry beans are creamy and delicious, especially when adorned with a mixture of herbs, nuts, and cheese. Serve alongside grilled lamb or pork, or enjoy a larger serving as a vegetarian entrée.
Grilled Asparagus and 6-Minute EggYou'll love this unique and beautiful way of preparing grilled asparagus, perfect for intimate summer gatherings.
Macaroni Salad with Summer TomatoesWhite balsamic vinegar, tomato, and basil help this side dish maintain its fresh appeal.
Summer Fruit SaladAdd some savory flavor to your sweet fruit salad with avocado, arugula, and cilantro and mix with a bottled poppy seed dressing.
Green Beans With Caramelized GarlicGently cooking the garlic in oil mellows the flavor and tenderizes the cloves. Once you've removed the cloves, store garlic-infused oil in a jar in the fridge up to one month to add garlicky goodness to other dishes.
Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh Peaches, Goat Cheese, and PecansThe picture of this beautiful summer salad says more than words can!
Herbed Green and Wax BeansAdding a bundle of herbs (bouquet garni) to the steaming liquid imparts subtle flavor and aroma to the vegetables.
Classic American Potato SaladSay "potato salad," and this classic recipe comes to mind: chunks of tender potato and plenty of chopped hard-cooked eggs, lightly coated with a tangy mayonnaise dressing full of crunchy red onion, celery, and pickles.
Santa Fe Slaw"This recipe came together when I found a half bag of spinach in the refrigerator alongside a small jicama and an open can of chipotle peppers," says Roxanne Chan.
Baked BeansSavor the relaxed side of summer with this slow-cooking Dutch oven recipe for beans infused with the flavors of molasses, apple cider vinegar, and dry mustard.
Lemony Quinoa Salad with Shaved VegetablesThe Good News: Eating quinoa is a great way for vegetarians to get protein. Jeremy Fox tosses nutty-tasting quinoa with crunchy shaved vegetables for a refreshing salad loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Parmesan Flans with Tomatoes and BasilUse a variety of colorful tomatoes, including red, yellow, orange, and green, to make this elegant dish more visually appealing. Serve as an appetizer or side dish, or pair it with a chilled soup, salad, and wine for a light meal.
Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger ButterBe sure to use true baby carrots with tops. So-called baby carrots sold in bags are often whittled-down mature vegetables; their texture will be too tough for this recipe.
Sweet and Sour Pattypan Squash and Green BeansServe these pickles with cocktails or with grilled poultry or fish. This recipe makes four (one-pint) jars—enough to keep and give away to friends and neighbors.
Mediterranean Chickpea SaladCreate a colorful salad that's packed with protein by combining chickpeas, tomatoes, and arugula. The salad is also full of flavor from the mixture of manchego cheese, lemon zest, and mint.
Spiced Basmati Pilaf with Garden PeasThis flavorful pilaf features an aromatic broth laced with sautéed onion, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and whole cloves.
Chilled Fresh Corn Soup with King CrabThis chilled soup is full of delectably sweet fresh corn and gorgeous pieces of king crab legs. Perfect for a hot summer night.
Peaches and Mixed Greens SaladTossing juicy peaches into a green salad with a tart raspberry-shallot dressing makes an ideal sweet-savory side good with grilled pork or chicken.
Orzo SaladFeta cheese, parsley, and balsamic vinegar add bright flavor to the cooked pasta. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour for a cool side dish to hot grilled entrees.
From-Scratch Oven FriesThese oven fries are the perfect side for grilled burgers and dogs. Be sure to make extra of this crowd-pleaser.
Two-Corn Polenta with Tomatoes, Basil, and CheeseCorn kernels and polenta layer texture and flavor in this dish. Serve with green beans and grilled pork.
Zucchini-and-Summer Squash SaladMake the most of the bounty of summer produce and cook summer squash on the grill. Marinate the squash and onion wedges in a mixture of orange and lime juices, olive oil, honey, and a dash of hot red pepper, then serve the veggies with a drizzle of the remaining marinade for over-the-top flavor.
Peanutty ColeslawYou'll love this Asian twist on slaw with spicy wasabi and crunchy peanuts.
Fried Green Tomatoes
No one does Fried Green Tomatoes like Southern Living. The cornmeal and flour crust is what sets this recipe apart from others. In only a matter of minutes, your tomatoes will be battered, fried and perfectly crispy. Not only can you enjoy these as a perfect summer appetizer paired with Buttermilk Herb Ranch Sauce, try sandwiching them with lettuce and bacon for an elevated BLT or scattering them in between fresh tomatoes and mozzarella for crunch and flavor in a caprese salad.
Sautéed Chard with PancettaThe pancetta (Italian unsmoked bacon) renders a small amount of fat, which is then used to sauté the chard. Serve this robust side with steaks, roast chicken, or roast pork.