20+ Sides for Hot Dogs to Make This Summer
Side dishes for hot dogs don't have to be lazy (or particularly difficult). Instead of serving bags of chips at your next cookout, try one of our easy hot dog sides. From tried-and-true essentials (like Classic Potato Salad, Quick Pickled Slaw, or Grilled Corn on the Cob) to new favorites (have you tried our Creamy Cucumber Salad?! It sounds weird, but it's absolutely delicious), look no further for sides for hot dogs that are sure to impress.
Quick Pickled Slaw
This light, healthy slaw recipe is mildly acidic and full of flavor. The veggies will soften slightly but retain their crunch that will add texture to any meal. This bright slaw is the ideal summer side to pair with kebabs, pulled pork, fried catfish, or any classic warm-weather main dishes.
Classic Potato Salad
No need to rush to the store—we’ve got the perfect potato salad recipe right here. Creamy and rich, with hints of tangy vinegar and crunchiness from fresh vegetables, this classic potato salad is hearty and perfectly delicious. Russet potatoes are the ideal here, because they break down a little and make the potato salad creamier.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Cool, herbaceous, and refreshing, this creamy cucumber salad is the perfect accompaniment to any number of summer entrees, including barbecue pulled pork, grilled chicken, smoked brisket, and more. If you can’t find English cucumbers, simply use regular cukes, but peel them first.
Classic Grilled Corn on the Cob
Fresh, grilled corn on the cob is a hallmark of warm and sunny summer days. Paired with grilled hamburgers, smoked pork or other grilled vegetables, grilled corn is an important part of your outdoor meals. For a pretty presentation and to make handling hot ears easier, use the husks as handles.
Super-Crispy Oven Fries
These unbelievably crispy oven fries cut the grease and calories of a standard French fry and taste way better. While this process isn't as fast as a deep fryer, the extra time is worth it. You can even parboil the potatoes ahead of time and wait until it's closer to serving time to bake them.
Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks
Serve these crispy zucchini fries to kick off a meal or as part of a fun appetizer spread, along with cured meats, cheeses, and olives. Any jarred marinara sauce will work for dipping, but our test kitchen prefers Rao’s brand. If you’re not a fan of marinara, substitute Alfredo sauce or pesto.
Poblano Mac and Cheese
Are you ready for the cheesiest Mac and cheese in your life? With a cheese pull so long you could play double dutch with it? This poblano mac and cheese might just be the only mac and cheese you’ll ever make again. If you’re not a fan of heat, use a bell pepper instead of a poblano to cut down on the spiciness.
Using fresh broccoli instead of bagged broccoli slaw makes for a sweeter, more flavorful end product. Look for refrigerated sauerkraut either in the deli or by the tofu in your local grocery store (canned lacks probiotics).
Air-Fried Dill Pickle Fries With Ranch Breadcrumbs
Pickle spears are one of those foods that’s meant to be fried, and sticking them in the air fryer makes for a fun finger food. The combination of juiciness and crunch remains fantastic, while the ranch breadcrumbs bring in so much flavor you won’t need a dipping sauce.
Street Corn Salad
Mexican street corn salad, also known as esquites, combines the fresh flavors of summer in a bright, citrusy and irresistible dish. This summery side gets a pop of sweetness from the fresh corn kernels and a creamy, salty component from the crumbled cotija cheese. With just a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, the flavorful ingredients come together in one balanced bowl. This simple salad is easy to whip up for a last-minute cookout, and it can easily lighten up any heavy summer meal.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Everyone will gobble up these spicy grilled sweet potato fries topped with honey and salty queso fresco. Serve them as a fun appetizer or alongside burgers or your favorite grilled protein. Microwaving the sweet potatoes before they hit the grill ensures the fries will be tender throughout and helps them cook up quickly.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Basil Salad
Brandon Boudet, chef at Little Dom's, in Los Angeles, serves this salad in late summer and fall. You can cut up the vegetables a little ahead of time, but dress them fairly close to serving or they'll get soupy.
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Our super easy Black Bean and Corn Salad utilizes pantry and freezer staples like balsamic vinegar, canned black beans, and frozen corn into a dish that works as an appetizer or a dip. Orange bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeño add some serious flavor to a black bean, whole kernel corn, and vinaigrette base
Grilled and Dilled Corn on the Cob
Look no further for a fun twist on a classic summer side dish. This creamy, savory dill topping perfectly compliments sweet corn on the cob. It'll be a backyard cookout favorite in no time.
Zesty Pickled Okra
You may love it fried or cooked into a Creole or Cajun dish but consider pickling your next batch of okra. When picking okra at the grocery store or farmers’ market, choose the smaller pods, as the bigger ones can be tough, dry, and woody.
Corn, Tomato, and Basil Salad
While corn and tomatoes are at their peak later in the summer, you can enjoy this simple salad all season long. White miso--the kind that's lowest in sodium--adds a powerful umami punch to the mix, enhancing the meaty flavor that tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese provide. Salting the tomatoes and letting them stand draws out their juices so they'll meld with the dressing when you combine all the components.
Sweet-Spicy Refrigerator Pickles
This lively mix of sweet peppers, red onion, and jalapeño makes a tasty addition to burgers and sandwiches, and is just as good eaten straight from the jar. Fresh lemon slices and thyme give the vegetables a lovely bright flavor and rice wine vinegar makes the brine crystal clear.
Microwave Sweet Potato Chips
When the chip craving strikes, look no further than these healthy, homemade chips. Pro tip: You'll need a mandoline to slice the potato thin enough to crisp.
Spicy Grilled Watermelon
This bold and beautiful grilled watermelon recipe features a kick of heat, balanced with bright lime and salty cotija cheese. With a bit of cilantro for a pop of freshness and color, this summery side dish is ready for your next cookout. For a more dynamic spice experience, we love Tajin seasoning.
Lemon Dill Potato Beet Salad
Tender cooked beets add color and sweet flavor to your usual potato salad. We recommend using golden (yellow) beets in this recipe because red beets will turn the entire dish a bright shade of pink. A tangy sour cream-yogurt dressing flavored with fresh dill and lemon brings these two root vegetables together in perfect harmony.
Baked Zucchini Chips
Opt for oven-baked zucchini chips as a light, yet tasty alternative to fries or chips. This baked zucchini chip recipe is a fun and easy way to use up summer zucchini, and it’s one your family will request time and time again.