No-Cook Side Dishes
There are better things to do during the summer months than to stand in a hot kitchen preparing food. That's why these handy no-cook side dishes guarantee you less time in the kitchen, and more time to enjoy the outdoors. Simply find the freshest ingredients and assemble; it's that easy.
Shrimp and Marinated Peach Salad with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette
Achieve bold and bright flavors within minutes in this colorful, summery-toned salad. The Old Bay Seasoning delivers a kick of signature spice and a beautiful red hue to cocktail shrimp. Plump and juicy peaches are marinated in olive oil and dill to create a delicately sweet and herbaceous base for the salad. And blue cheese adds a sharp, creamy, and delightfully funky element that partners well with the a caramelized shallots in the vinaigrette. Despite its impressive appearance, this summer salad is simple to assemble, but do so right before you plan to serve it for peak freshness.
Caesar Brussels Sprouts Salad with Almonds
Sturdy shaved Brussels sprouts hold the crunchy almonds and a garlicky Parmesan vinaigrette without wilting. Serve with roast chicken or lamb.
Grape and Cucumber Gazpacho
This riff on Spain's classic tangy-sweet "white" gazpacho is made with Persian cucumbers, which are tender enough to use peel and all. (If you can't find them, substitute peeled English cucumbers.) The drizzle of olive oil at the end brings the flavors together, so use the best oil in your pantry.
Sun Gold Tomato Caprese Salad
We use young heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes to balance the intense sweetness of Sun Golds with a little acid and umami depth, but other red cherry tomatoes will work well also.
Smoked Salmon Salad in Cucumber Cups
Substitute gravlax or even flaked canned salmon in this appetizer if you prefer salmon that has not been smoked.
Green Gazpacho with Corn and Radish Salad
Green (unripe) tomatoes have more vitamin C and calcium than the more popular ripe red ones, and they are rich in B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They make a deliciously tart, tangy addition to a chilled gazpacho.
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Great Green Fruit Salad
All green everything—that’s the theme of this vibrant, eye-catching fruit salad. Honeydew melon, Granny Smith apples, Bartlett pears, green grapes, and avocado are unified with a delicious honey-Dijon dressing to create what may very well be our favorite fruit salad of all time. A perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tangy, this monochrome masterpiece is sure to become the talk of your table and likely a new go-to for any level of entertaining. Though we find it to be a delicious addition to such a refreshing, dynamic dish, feel free to leave out the jalapeño if you want to skip the touch of heat.
Green Goddess Dressing
Green Goddess Dressing RecipeThe smooth texture of the Green Goddess becomes romaine-friendly and creamy to perfection with more parsley and fresh lemon. Because these fresh herbs are readily available, make this tangy, peppery dip year-round.
Sesame, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad
Serve a slice of summer with a tomato and cucumber salad. The vinaigrette is made with salty soy sauce, but berfore serving, sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt to add texture to the fresh tomatoes.
Creamy Tahini Hummus
The key to achieving this rich hummus’s creamy texture is an unexpected pantry staple: baking soda. Simmering dried chickpeas in a baking soda solution helps the legumes break down faster and more efficiently, resulting in an impossibly smooth spread. While 1/2 cup may seem like a generous measure of tahini, this is what will give your hummus its signature deeply toasty flavor—so don’t cut yourself short. We especially love Soom brand tahini, as this is a high-quality product made from single origin sesame seeds. Better than anything you’ll buy in your grocery store deli, this velvety and delicious homemade hummus is perfect served with warm, fluffy pita and crudite, or spread onto sandwiches.
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.
Shaved Mango-and-Cabbage Salad
A slightly firm, underripe mango will shave more easily.
Shaved Cucumber Salad with Pickled Blackberries
"This salad was inspired by a basket of onions, blackberries, cucumbers, and mint that showed up in the kitchen one day," says Sarah Steffan, executive chef of The Dogwood restaurant at Blackberry Farm. "Soak the onions in salted water and ice to crisp them up and mellow them out."
Herb and Onion Salad
The bright, robust flavors in this all-herb salad are so refreshing with a rich steak or salmon, you may never go back to lettuce. The recipe comes from Matthew Dillon of Bar Sajor restaurant in Seattle.
Shaved Zucchini and Parsley Salad
This 5-ingredient side features shaved zucchini, flat-leaf parsley, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese. It pairs well with grilled meats and sandwiches.
Balsamic Carrot Salad
Perk up sliced carrots with the addition of white balsamic vinegar, cilantro, and oregano. Not only is this bright side dish great for picnics and cookouts, it's also a great source of vitamin A, which really is good for your eyes.
Shaved Vegetable Salad with Toasted Almonds
This no-cook side dish looks impressive, but all it takes is a sharp vegetable peeler to transform a few favorite veggies into an inventive salad.
Snappy Pea-and-Herb Salad
Serve this fragrant side with just about any grilled meat; it plays well off smoky, charred flavors. Toss in feta cheese and shrimp to turn it into a main.
Tropical Fruit Salad
Escape on a tropical getaway with this colorful salad bursting with grapes, bananas, pineapple and mango.
Summer Fruit Salad
Add some savory flavor to your sweet fruit salad with avocado, arugula, and cilantro and mix with a bottled poppy seed dressing.
You've never had slaw like this before! Add fresh mango to a simple mix of coleslaw, lime juice, and mayonnaise for an effortless summer side.
Look for mini multicolored tomatoes at the supermarket. Toss them with strawberries for a surprising combo to serve with grilled salmon, chicken, or pork.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Create 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.
Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with Tarragon
Side dishes don't get any easier than this one. All you need to do is slice up the tomatoes and drizzle with a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and tarragon.
Gazpacho is a chilled tomato soup filled with other vegetables such as peppers, onions, cucumbers and green peppers. Serve it as a side dish alongside a sandwich for cool, summertime meal.
Fresh Squash Chips
Offer a healthy side dish option at your next cookout by serving thin slices of summer squash instead of chips. Serve these fresh veggie "chips" with your favorite dip.
Green Machine Salad
There's enough acidity to keep the apples from turning brown if made up to three hours ahead. Use a vegetable peeler to transform asparagus into thin ribbons, a technique that also works well with carrots.
Avocado-Hearts of Palm Salad
This avocado and hearts of palm salad gets some great flavor from garlic, lime juice, and cilantro.
This slaw gets it's spicy kick from seeded serrano chili.
This colorful and bright cole slaw is a perfect addition to any spread.
Spiced Marinated Tomatoes
Marinated tomatoes are a great choice for summer entertaining because you can marinate up to two days ahead. This spiced-up version features jalapeño pepper, ginger and cumin.
Marinated Vegetable Salad
Combine an assortment of colorful vegetables and stir in chickpeas and olives for a hearty vegetable salad that's easy to make and easy to take if you're headed to a picnic or potluck supper.
Heirloom Tomato and Zucchini Salad
This light and refreshing summer salad features gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and garden-fresh zucchini. An easy red wine vinaigrette ties everything together.
Add Mediterranean flavor with kalamata olives, feta cheese, parsley and rosemary. Once you've served this as a side dish, you can toss the leftovers with pasta for a main-dish pasta salad.