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Summer Side Dishes That’ll Make You Crave Seconds

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Summer Side Dishes That’ll Steal The Show – These are our favorite BBQ side dishes that make any cookout or barbecue even better!

Collage of images of healthy summer side dishes from One Lovely Life

There are SO MANY yummy things to eat in the summer! From an abundance of fresh fruit to popsicles and frozen treats, to grilled dinners, and more, it’s probably my favorite culinary season of the year. But you want to know what I get EXTRA excited about at cookouts, 4th of July celebrations, and barbecues? The SIDES.

Just like at Thanksgiving (where I’m ALL about those sides!), summer side dishes are a total joy. Fresh salads? Check. The best of summer fruit? Check. Side dishes that constantly steal the show? Check-check-check.

In honor of your next barbecue or weekend grill sesh, here are some of our most delicious, most irresistible summer side dishes…

Close overhead view of a white bowl of honey lime fruit salad with green grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.


This fresh, colorful salad is ALWAYS a crowd favorite. I can’t count how many times I’ve brought it for a potluck or party or dinner and it’s GONE in a flash. The fresh lime dressing ties the flavors together beautifully and makes everything sing. The perfect summer side dish for sure!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles from One Lovely Life


These refrigerator dill pickles went viral last summer for good reason–they’re simple, they’re delicious, and they’re SUPER fresh. Feel free to toss one on a sandwich or burger, but you can usually find me sneaking these straight from the jar.

Overhead view of a white crock of settlers baked beans with bacon on a white background


Full disclosure: these aren’t a health food.

Also full disclosure: THEY👏ARE👏WORTH👏IT.👏

I call these the BEST baked beans ever, and it’s because they truly are the best I’ve ever tried. Made with smoky bacon and a sweet-tangy sauce that makes them unforgettable, our settlers baked beans are definitely a sumemr side dish worth making a few times every summer!

Peach Berry Fruit Salad from One Lovely Life


If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying peach season, try a batch of this peach berry fruit salad. It’s EXCEPTIONAL. The colors, the flavors, the dressing with a little tiny hint of fresh mint? Perfect. Promise.

Serve it as a side dish or serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream & some angel food cake and call it a light dessert!

Broccoli Bacon Salad from One Lovely Life

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Is broccoli salad one of your favorite summer side dishes, too? Our broccoli bacon salad has all of the flavor you love in the classic, made with a slightly lighter dressing that still captures those sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors I crave in a good broccoli salad recipe. This one is always a BIG hit!

Overhead view of a bowl of vegan broccoli salad with poppy seed dressing, grapes, and smoked almonds

Vegan Broccoli Salad

Yes, another broccoli salad! If you’ve got vegan or vegetarians at your table (or simply LOVE a good broccoli salad!) this Vegan Broccoli Salad recipe with poppy seed dressing is another delicious option. With sweet grapes and smoky almonds, it’ll still hit all the flavor notes you want it to, just without the bacon! And that poppy seed vinaigrette is sweet and tangy in all the right ways. YUM.

Close up image of 12 flavors of paleo deviled eggs on a white background

12 Flavors of Deviled Eggs

At almost every major holiday or special food eating occasion, these 12 flavors of deviled eggs get SUPER popular. I’ve got an incredible Classic Deviled Egg recipe + 12 other amazing flavors to try. I won’t tell you how to live your life, but I will say that some of my favorites are Dill Pickle, Peppered Bacon, Curry, and Buffalo if you need somewhere to start. But YUM. I love every single flavor!

Overhead view of a glass mixing bowl of healthy taco pasta salad on a white background

Taco Pasta Salad

This fully-loaded taco pasta salad is one of my favorites for a crowd. The ratio of goodies to pasta is right in that sweet spot (so you’ll have some goodies in every bite!). This summer side dish is also hearty enough to stand in as a main dish if you’ve got vegan or vegetarian guests in the group. SO GOOD!

Watermelon Star Sparklers + Lime Yogurt Dip from One Lovely Life

Watermelon Star Sparklers

Probably the cutest summer side dish I’ve ever made! These adorable fruit skewers feel so fun and patriotic in the summer and my kids love helping to make them. Keep them red and blue with watermelon + blueberries, or mix in strawberries, pineapple, grapes, and more to make them your own. Don’t miss our easy lime yogurt dip if you want a little something to go with them!

Overhead view of a glass bowl of German Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing

German Potato Salad

If you’re a bacon lover, this German Potato Salad recipe is for you. It’s based on Michael’s family recipe, which uses smoky bacon and a tangy vinegar-based dressing instead of the American-style mayo potato salads. I love the bright salt-and-vinegar vibes it channels, and the hit of fresh herbs to finish it off. SO GOOD.

Overhead view of a white bowl of strawberry spinach salad and a fork on a white background

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This Strawberry Spinach Salad is amazing any time of year, but spring and summer are its sweet spot, when the berries and spinach are fresh and in season. I love our tangy-sweet dressing that ties it all together!

Front view of a bowl of Confetti Quinoa Salad in a white bowl on a white background

Confetti Quinoa Salad

Another summer side dish that can work as a vegetarian & vegan-friendly main dish, this confetti quinoa salad is made from a base of protein-packed quinoa and a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies that give it beautiful color and flavor. The happy lime dressing makes it taste so fresh and light! This one is often at the table for my extended family get togethers!

PSST! Love a good quinoa salad? Try one of these other faves that are perfect for summer:

Close up view of Thai Cucumber Salad with Tangy Dressing from One Lovely Life

Thai Cucumber Salad

You won’t BELIEVE how much amazing flavor you can coax out of so few ingredients! This Thai cucumber salad has such incredible flavor, I find myself coming back for seconds and thirds. It’s fresh, light, and has just the right balance of savory, sweet, and tangy, with a little kick at the end. SO GOOD.

Mixed Berry Salad from One Lovely Life

Mixed Berry Green Salad

This berrylicious salad is perfect when the weather warms up. Everything in this berry green salad is in season in the summer and the fresh, delightful flavor is perfect with almost any favorite main dish. (You can even toss in some grilled chicken to elevate it from side dish to main dish!)

Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is another one of my favorite summer side dishes, and this is such a fun twist. Orzo (a small rice-shaped pasta) makes a terrific, and slightly unexpected base for pasta salad, and the fresh colors and Mediterranean flavors make this Orzo Pasta Salad one of my favorites in the summer. The lemony dressing makes every bite a total delight!

Close up view of Cherry Berry Fruit Salad with Lime Mint Dressing

Cherry Berry Fruit Salad

One more summer fruit salad recipe that needed to be included. This one is GOOD. I love how bright and colorful the fresh berries and cherries are! This is another that can easily work as a side dish, or make a light dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or spooned over ice cream. You’ll dream about that dressing!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of pineapple guacamole with a chip dipped inside

Pineapple Guacamole

I wouldn’t be doing my civid duty if I didn’t remind you about this pineapple guacamole. It’s everything you love about classic guacamole with a little tropical twist that practically screams “summer!!!!” With some salty tortilla chips on the side, this amazing guacamole is a summer dream come true.

Prefer Salsa Over Guac? Try Our…

Collage of images of healthy summer side dishes from One Lovely Life

What are your favorite summer side dishes?


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