The sun is up; the sky is blue, it’s veggie season, and summer, too!
By far, one of the best parts of this time of the year is fresh summer produce.
The joy these colorful fruits and veggies bring is priceless. To me, they’re what makes the warmest season of the year enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a refreshing dish to bring to a summer barbecue, potluck, or picnic, look no further. From crisp salads to grilled fruits, I’ve got you covered!
Guaranteed to transform any party from mediocre to marvelous, these 25 summer sides are true show-stoppers.
1. Baked Beans
First on our list is well-loved comfort food. Rich, thick, and mouthwatering, baked beans make an awesome side dish to almost any entrée.
Since they’re so hearty, they’re great for potlucks and large gatherings!
Flavored with brown sugar and bacon, you get all the flavors you can ever ask for in baked beans: sweet, savory, and a hint of smoky.
Here’s another picnic or cookout must have: corn on the cob. It’s sweet, crunchy, and a treat to eat. The lovely golden yellow color is to die for as well!
When it comes to corn, you really can’t go wrong with grilling. It’s the best way to bring out the natural sweetness of corn even further.
Then you just rub that charred beauty with a little bit of butter for maximum flavor.
Crisp and colorful fruits and veggies drenched in a creamy mayo dressing — this broccoli salad is the epitome of summer.
From broccoli to cheese to bacon, this salad has it all. It’s refreshing, delicious, and nutritious, to boot. It’s the perfect salad for any summer meal.
Warning: this red potato salad is insanely addictive!
I highly suggest you make this stunning side in bulk. There’s no way it won’t disappear in minutes once you serve this to friends and family.
It has tender potatoes, sweet onions, eggs, and bacon with a creamy mayo dressing kicker. It’s a sure winner!
When you hear BLT, your mind automatically goes to sandwiches. But in this recipe, we’re using the same three ingredients to make the most delicious pasta salad.
Yup, this salad has the combo of bacon, lettuce, and tomato… and rotini, too! For the dressing, we’re going for ranch for that insanely creamy flavor.
You may not be a fan of salads, but I doubt you can say no to this one.
Creamy, delicious, and delightful, this classic side dish will bring life to any summer party!
Macaroni noodles, bell peppers, and celery are coated with a thick mayo-mustard dressing. The ingredients may be simple, but the flavor is in a league of its own.
It’s such a nostalgic dish, too. One bite is enough to bring back happy childhood memories!
This salad combines all the elements of Mexican cuisine in one dish.
Loaded with corn, cotija cheese, and creamy dressing, this dish is literally Mexican street corn in salad form. And oh, how I love it. It’s so much easier to eat!
It’s also super easy to customize. Whether you want it spicy, cheesy, or creamy, the choice is yours.
This creamy and nutritious cucumber salad is the perfect summer side dish!
Even those who don’t like vegetables will fall in love with this salad. It’s cucumbers and red onions in sour cream sauce!
I can already imagine how crisp, tangy, and refreshing this side dish is.
Here’s another cucumber side dish that’s packed with flavor and texture.
This salad is made with cucumbers, peppers, onions, and a balsamic dressing. Crisp, creamy, colorful, and refreshing, it’s perfection in a bowl.
Crunchy ramen noodles in a salad may sound weird, but trust me, it works.
If you’re looking for a creative way to add an Asian spin to your summer meal, this is the recipe for you.
In this salad, we’re putting together ramen, coleslaw, almonds, and scallions in one bowl.
The key is to use uncooked ramen for that crispy goodness! It’s what makes this salad extra special.
I have two requirements for coleslaw: it has to be creamy and crunchy. That’s why I like how they make it at KFC!
I love it so much; I found a copycat recipe for it. That way, there’s no need to drive to the nearest KFC for my favorite side dish.
This recipe comes together in under 10 minutes. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Sweet and juicy watermelon is already excellent enough as it is. But when you grill it, you’re taking it to a whole new level of awesome.
All you need to do is to coat it in a simple balsamic dressing and pop it on the grill. Wait for a few minutes, flip it over, then wait again.
Sure, it takes a bit of work, but I promise you, the flavor is worth it.
13. Grilled Peaches
For the ultimate summer flavor, you can’t go wrong with grilled peaches. Sweet and juicy golden fruit charred to perfection? That’s the stuff!
Fresh peaches topped with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Oh… my… God. They’re sweet, refreshing, and absolutely amazing.
Enjoy as-is or take them over-the-top with a scoop of ice cream. Heaven.
Sweet and creamy grape salad: this dish makes an excellent side or dessert to any summer meal.
My friends and family are so obsessed, it’s one of my most requested summer sides! How can anyone say no to it?
Green and purple grapes and pecans in a creamy and cheesy dressing? It’s a match made in heaven.
Want a smart way to sneak in some veggies into your kids’ meals? These zucchini fritters are the way to go!
I’m telling you, they’re so good, kids won’t even be able to tell they’re made with zucchini.
They’re crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and creamy and savory all over. They’re just like pancakes, but much healthier!
This unique side dish places the spotlight on green tomatoes! Sure, red tomatoes are more popular, but green ones also have that star quality.
Firm tomatoes coated in cornmeal and deep-fried until golden — this dish is a certified crowd-pleaser.
Dip this in your favorite creamy sauce, and you’ll have an addictive treat!
17. Fried Zucchini
Want to enjoy the flavors of summer while achieving that beautiful beach body at the same time? Say no more, it’s fried zucchini to the rescue.
Coated with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, these fried zucchini sticks taste nothing short of amazing. And yes, they’re low-calorie too!
There are three ways to prepare this dish: through a frying pan, an air fryer, or the oven.
Opt for methods 2 and 3 for a healthier approach. Don’t worry, they’ll be just as crisp and tasty.
No one can argue about how perfect classic French fries are. They’re one of the most iconic sides there is! For me, however, sweet potato fries are much better.
They may not be as popular, but I just love the combination of sweet and savory flavors that sweet potato brings.
These fries are coated with olive oil, cinnamon-sugar, and then baked until crisp and golden. The flavor and texture will absolutely blow your mind!
Any sauce-filled meal could benefit from some moist and buttery cornbread. Whether it’s sloppy Joes or chili, this cornbread makes the perfect pair.
Crisp on the edges and tender in the center, this cornbread recipe will definitely knock your socks off. It’s such a cinch to make, too!
It’s so easy, you don’t even need a mixer.
20. Beer Bread
Beer in bread? Sure!
This bread recipe calls for beer and honey, but no yeast. It’s so rich, tender, and buttery, you won’t believe how easy it is to make.
All you need is to mix 5 pantry staples and bake. It’s ready in under an hour!
If you’re feeling a little creative, you can also season your bread with your favorite herbs and spices. Shredded cheese makes it even more fantastic!
Hot dogs, cheese, and crescent dinner rolls. Three ingredients and an oven are all it takes to make one heck of a lip-smacking side dish.
These fun finger foods are not just incredibly tasty, but they come together in just a few minutes!
They’re the perfect side for an impromptu party! Serve with ketchup and mustard for the ultimate summer side!
22. Corn Pudding
How about a Southern side for that summer meal? Corn pudding is sweet, creamy, and oh-so yummy.
Loaded with sweet corn and milk, this thick custard is the stuff of dreams.
It’s the sweet side dish you didn’t know you needed. One bite will have you begging for more!
23. Mac & Cheese
Winter, spring, summer, or fall — it doesn’t matter. Mac and cheese is the side for all seasons.
Ridiculously creamy, cheesy, and hearty: it’s the ultimate comfort food.
When making mac and cheese for my family, I always go for the Trisha Yearwood recipe.
Out of all the mac and cheese recipes out there, this one’s a clear standout.
There’s just something about it that’s so cozy and heartwarming. It’s so easy to make, to boot!
24. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a scrumptious side dish that absolutely no one can say no to. They taste so heavenly, it’s sinful!
While they’re full of flavor, they’re also very easy to make. It’s just a matter of mashing together hard-boiled egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper!
Ripe tomatoes flavored with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and the freshest herbs and spices? It’s the healthiest, most refreshing summer side dish ever!
Whether big or small, the size of the tomatoes doesn’t matter in this dish. It’s the dressing and aromatic herbs that give it flavor.
It’s the easiest side dish to make, too. Just throw in all the ingredients together, toss, and voila! It’s ready to serve!
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