15+ Picnic Side Dishes for Outdoor Summer Meals
Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing
This tangy side dish with sweet onions and honey pairs beautifully with just about any main dish. For taking to a picnic, be sure to chill the salad beforehand and keep chilled until it's time to eat. You can also use sweet-hot mustard in place of the Dijon and honey for a zesty flavor.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
What’s the secret for a pasta salad everyone will want to try? Homemade ranch dressing. Here’s your brand new go-to side for a backyard barbecue, potluck, or picnic. People in the test kitchen liked this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad so much they were taking it home, and we’re thinking it had something to do with our perfectly, herby, garlicky, ranch that coated the veggies and pasta perfectly.
Corn on the Cob with Seasoned Salts
This delicious corn on the cob can be grilled ahead of time, and then wrapped in tin foil to keep warm.
For a refreshing summer side, serve lemony Watermelon-Cucumber Salad to go along with your favorite grilled dish.
Sour Cream and Onion Dip
Serve this creamy dip with carrot and celery batons, sliced bell pepper, or pita chips.
Tortellini Caprese Bites
Tortellini Caprese Bites are drizzled with a basil vinaigrette and are so simple to prepare. Assemble the skewers, and then be sure to chill for two hours before serving.
Bacon Bow Tie Crackers
These simple-to-prepare bacon-wrapped crackers are addictive and irresistible. After baking the crackers, let cool and pack into a glass or plastic storage container for transport.
Smoky Red Lentil Hummus
Use this fun riff on classic chickpea hummus to anchor a tray of fresh, seasonal vegetable dippers—we recommend multicolored carrots, radishes, and cauliflower florets. You can prepare the hummus up to three days ahead; wash and trim the crudités a day in advance, and store them in ziplock plastic bags lined with paper towels.
Grilled Corn Salsa
This flavorful corn salsa features fresh corn that's been charred on the grill, then cut from the cob and mixed with red onion, lime juice and zest, and jalapeños. For best results, prepare this salsa at least one day ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend.
Layered Cornbread Salad
Make this crowd-pleaser up to one day ahead. By layering the salad in Mason jars, this dish is both eye-catching and easy to transport to any gathering.
White and Green Bean Salad
This simple and healthy bean salad features fresh green beans and canned white beans tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings.
Texas caviar makes a perfect side for barbecue but is equally delicious as a starter salad or a dip for tortilla chips.
Veggie Potato Salad
Caprese Pasta Salad
Summer Coleslaw is not your average slaw. This version of coleslaw is extra crunchy with snow peas, radishes, and hazelnuts.