15+ Picnic Side Dishes for Outdoor Summer Meals
Get outside and enjoy warm summer weather with a traditional picnic lunch or dinner. These picnic side dishes can all be made ahead of time and transport well. Plus, they're delicious and celebrate the best flavors of the summer season.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe
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.
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.
Corn on the Cob with Seasoned Salts
Corn on the Cob with Seasoned Salts Recipe
This delicious corn on the cob can be grilled ahead of time, and then wrapped in tin foil to keep warm.
Marinated Watermelon Tomato Salad
Marinated Watermelon Tomato Salad Recipe
If you're tired of your usual watermelon salad, give this fantastic new recipe a try. Tomatoes and melon soak up the tangy lime-ginger-mint vinaigrette, making them extra juicy and flavorful. Goat cheese crumbles add a nice creamy note to the salad, but crumbled feta works well too. Serve this salad immediately after it is made so the fresh herbs stay bright and perky.
Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing
Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing Recipe
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.
Sour Cream and Onion Dip
Sour Cream and Onion Dip Recipe
Serve this creamy dip with carrot and celery batons, sliced bell pepper, or pita chips.
Tortellini Caprese Bites
Tortellini Caprese Bites Recipe
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.
Watermelon-Cucumber Salad Recipe
For a refreshing summer side, serve lemony Watermelon-Cucumber Salad to go along with your favorite grilled dish.
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
Smoky Red Lentil Hummus Recipe
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.
Layered Cornbread Salad
Layered Cornbread Salad Recipe
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
White and Green Bean Salad Recipe
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
This "all-in-one" side dish features potato salad with the addition of garden-fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, radishes, and green beans.
Tropical Fruit Salad
Escape on a tropical getaway with this colorful salad bursting with grapes, bananas, pineapple and mango.
Caprese Pasta Salad
This Caprese Pasta Salad recipe is made up of delicious mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. We love the way our Basic Vinaigrette complements this refreshing summer side or main dish, but you can always customize the recipe if you prefer a milder taste.
Chill out on hot summer days with the fresh flavors of this cool tomato-cucumber salad.
Summer Coleslaw is not your average slaw. This version of coleslaw is extra crunchy with snow peas, radishes, and hazelnuts.