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Lifestyle

27 Easy Recipes for Summer BBQ Side Dishes

Summers are all about BBQs, picnics, and other get-togethers that involve a lot of yummy food. There will be instances where you will be the guest, enjoying all sorts of culinary delights, and others where you will play the hostess with the mostess, wowing your guests with your cooking and baking skills. You’ll want to be prepared with an array of easy to make, and yet delicious, side dishes that you can either bring with you to a party or serve your guests at your own event.

That’s why we put together 27 fabulous sides that will shine when paired with barbecue, picnic fare, and most other summery offerings. And of course, we are including links to recipes for each, so that you can start trying them out for yourself. Enjoy!

Watermelon Blueberry Salad

The fabulous warm weather that comes with the summer season means that refreshing, hydrating fruit salads will be in high demand. Feel Good Foodie has a delicious recipe for a watermelon blueberry salad, which is mixed with lemon, honey, and mint.

Check out the recipe here!

Elotes/Mexican Street Corn

Photo: Isabel Eats

Corn is a big summer staple, and of course, we had to include arguably its best version out there — elotes, a.k.a. Mexican street corn. Isabel Eats provides a delicious recipe, where grilled, boiled, or steamed corn is covered with mayo, cilantro, cotija cheese, and chipotle chili powder.

Check out the recipe here!

Cowboy Caviar

Photo: Salty Side Dish

This next dish comes with a name that is sure to start a funny conversation at your next summer shindig. Cowboy caviar, a.k.a. Texas caviar is a tasty dip made with a variety of beans and vegetables, spices, and other yummy ingredients. Salty Side Dish has an easy-to-make recipe, complete with tips and plenty of visuals.

Check out the recipe here!

Easy Pasta Salad

Photo: Dinner then Dessert

Pasta salads are also easy to make and are classic side dishes for BBQ and picnics. There are so many different types you can make but this version from Dinner then Dessert is colorful, features a flavorful creamy Italian dressing, and is so simple to assemble, it says so in the title!

Check out the recipe here!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Photo: Fit Foodie Finds

If you love baked potatoes then you’re going to love this revamp of the classic, perfect for your next barbecue. Fit Foodie Finds‘ loaded baked potato salad has all the stuff you like about baked spuds but puts it all together in a to-go friendly salad.

Check out the recipe here!

Balsamic Garlic Grilled Mushroom Skewers

Photo: Closet Cooking

It’s important to have some healthy vegan or vegetarian options so that everyone at the summer party will have something delicious to eat. A great option is Closet Cooking’s appetizing balsamic garlic grilled mushroom skewers! They’re super easy to prepare, and you just throw them on the grill!

Check out the recipe here!

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Photo: Damn Delicious

If there is one thing people flock to Red Lobster for, it’s those incredibly delicious cheddar bay biscuits. Why not be the hero of your next barbecue by making this simple dupe by Damn Delicious? They’ll be perfect to pair with those creamy salads and other usual summer food dishes.

Check out the recipe here!

Mediterranean Bean Salad

Photo: The View from Great Island

Bean salads are much healthier than most of the cream-based potato and pasta salads you see on the dinner table during the summer, and they’re also just as easy to make. This Mediterranean bean salad, by The View from Great Island, has so many delicious yet healthy ingredients, like garbanzo beans, Persian cucumbers, olives, cherry tomatoes, and basil.

Check out the recipe here!

Jalapeño Corn Coleslaw

Photo: Barefeet in the Kitchen

Is it really a BBQ if there isn’t coleslaw there? It’s just one of those staples you have to have on the picnic table. The trick is to make sure it’s not drowning in mayo and good in flavor. Barefeet in the Kitchen brings both the flavor and the heat with a jalapeño corn coleslaw you’ll want to learn how to make this summer.

Check out the recipe here!

5-Ingredient Strawberry Salsa

Photo: Gimme Some Oven

Chips and salsa always save the day. You can snack on them as an appetizer or throw them on your plate as a side, and the best part is most folks enjoy them. If you’re hosting a party, or are bringing food as a guest, you’ll want to try making this summery, unique strawberry salsa from Gimme Some Oven. It only has 5 ingredients!

Check out the recipe here!

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Photo: It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Chips and dip are a staple at any great party. Luckily, there are so many different kinds of delicious dip you can easily make. One is this easy vegan spinach and artichoke dip by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. You get all the ooey gooey-ness of a dairy version, but without all the cheese, milk, and extra calories. It’s perfect if you know there are going to be vegan or health-conscious people in attendance.

Check out the recipe here!

Shrimp Avocado Corn Salad with Summer Vinaigrette

Photo: Eatwell101

A good summer salad is light, fresh, and refreshing. A great example is Eatwell101‘s shrimp avocado corn salad with summer vinaigrette. It features yummy ingredients like tomatoes, corn, shrimp, avocado, and parsley, tossed with some olive oil and lemon juice. Jalapeños add just a bit of unexpected heat to the dish.

Check out the recipe here!

Cajun Corn Salad

Photo: Will Cook for Smiles

Corn is in season during the summer is so easy to mix with different flavors, so it’s no surprise it’s often the star of BBQ and picnic side dishes. This recipe by Will Cook for Smiles, gives the corn salad a Cajun twist, with cayenne pepper, paprika, onion, thyme, oregano, and more.

Check out the recipe here!

Quick and Easy Baked Beans

Photo: Food.com

Baked beans are a campfire classic and a tasty yet easy side dish you can include at any summer outing. This recipe by Food.com is quick and easy, ready in about 45 minutes, and will make for a perfect side.

Check out the recipe here!

Easy Skillet Cornbread

Photo: Pink When

It’s important to have some kind of bread at a BBQ or other summer gathering, to sop up all those delicious barbecue sauces, dressings, and dips. Fresh, warm cornbread would be the perfect culinary solution. Check out this easy one-skillet recipe by Pink When.

Check out the recipe here!

Mexican Macaroni Salad

Photo: The Pioneer Woman

We love classic dishes that are given a revamp using different flavors and creating fusion dishes implementing various cultures. So, in addition to the Cajun corn salad, we also had to include this delish Mexican macaroni salad by The Pioneer Woman.

Check out the recipe here!

Parmesan Roasted Zucchini

Photo: Crazy for Crust

While it’s so much fun to indulge in the creamy, loaded-with-fat, pretty-sure-this-isn’t-healthy options at a summer BBQ or picnic, it’s good to also have a variety of healthy fare to balance it all out. Crazy for Crust has a delicious-looking parmesan roasted zucchini recipe and she even suggests cutting them thinner for some fun zucchini fries!

Check out the recipe here!

French Fries on the Grill

Photo: The Spruce Eats

For those who want “real” French fries, we have a cool, easy recipe for those as well! This recipe by The Spruce Eats allows you to drop your fries with a variety of delicious toppings right on the grill. Genius and time saving!

Check out the recipe here!

Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw

Photo: Cooking Classy

Summertime is the perfect time to add refreshing, sweet fruit to otherwise savory dishes, like coleslaw. Why not try a new recipe for the iconic side dish? This one has been called the most popular slaw recipe on Pinterest — pinned over 327,000 times. Cooking Classy‘s apple cranberry and almond coleslaw is tried-and-true, and sounds delicious!

Check out the recipe here!

Cucumber Caprese Salad

Photo: Ann’s Entitled Life/Yummly

Another refreshing summer salad you’ll want to bring to the next summer potluck is this cucumber Caprese salad by Ann’s Entitled Life. It only takes 20 minutes to make, is only 260 calories, and only contains 10 ingredients. Easy, delicious, and healthy!

Check out the recipe here!

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Sweet Honey Balsamic Dressing

Photo: The Endless Meal

This delicious-looking salad contains grilled peach and arugula salad with goat cheese and sweet honey balsamic dressing. Just reading that makes us want to make this delicious-sounding elevated summer salad! You can get the recipe, which also features candied curry pecans, blueberries, and avocado, from The Endless Meal.

Check out the recipe here!

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Photo: Loving It Vegan

If you want to go a bit healthier with your side dishes, replace mayo and other creamy sauces with greek yogurt. Another tip is to swap potatoes for cauliflower. It is possible to make a mashed cauliflower that will have you swearing up and down it’s actually mashed potatoes. We like this easy recipe from Loving It Vegan.

Check out the recipe here!

Italian Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad

Photo: My Food Story

Pasta salads are a warm-weather party staple and there are so many different options, that there is bound to be one (or several) out there you’ll love to make, time and time again. We’re betting this Italian antipasto tortellini pasta salad will be one of them. My Food Story came through with a recipe that features a variety of delicious ingredients, such as tortellini pasta, bell peppers, mozzarella, black olives, and brown sugar.

Check out the recipe here!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Photo: Lil’ Luna

Mac and cheese is a timeless BBQ side and comfort food most folks in the states grew up enjoying. When it comes to mac and cheese — the cheesier, the better! This recipe by Lil’ Luna is not only cheesy, but it also features a crunchy panko crust.

Check out the recipe here!

Three Pepper Salad

Photo: The Bewitchin’ Kitchen

Sometimes you want to make an easy side dish that is delicious but takes practically no time to put together. We got you. The Bewitchin’ Kitchen has a three pepper salad that is not only super simple to make but also makes for a perfect side for grilled food.

Check out the recipe here!

Classic Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Remember, how we mentioned that Greek yogurt is a perfect, healthy substitute for mayonnaise in those summer salads? Here is a perfect example! This classic Greek yogurt chicken salad by Fit Foodie Finds has all the creaminess you’d want and expect from a proper chicken salad but in a much healthier way. It also has cranberries, apples, lemon juice, garlic powder, red onion, and honey, which means it’s also packed with flavor.

Check out the recipe here!

Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Rum Sauce

Photo: House of Yumm

Whether you include it as an appetizer, a side, or as dessert, you’ll definitely want to try making these great grilled pineapple skewers with coconut rum sauce by House of Yumm. They’re easy to make, look delicious, and just scream summer party!

Check out the recipe here!