Summer Side Dishes That’ll Steal The Show – These are our favorite BBQ side dishes that make any cookout or barbecue even better!
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…
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!)
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!
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!
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.
What are your favorite summer side dishes?