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100 Killer Summer Side Dishes

Make the most of fresh summer produce with some amazing potato salads, pasta salads, grilled veggies and more. Dinner isn't complete until without a few of these summer side dishes!

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Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you’re really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Ribbon Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Zucchini, cucumbers and carrots are peeled into “ribbons” for this citrusy salad. We like to serve it for parties and special occasions. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Patio Pintos

Any time Mom had the gang over for dinner, she made these pinto beans. Once she made a batch for my cousin’s birthday, and he ate the entire thing. —Joan Hallford, Fort Worth, Texas
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

I often bring this special salad to potlucks, and everyone goes crazy for the sweet and crunchy combination. Be sure to add the pretzel mixture right before serving to keep it crispy. —Beth Olby, Ashland, Wisconsin
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Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Grilled Nectarine & Cheese Crostini

At our house, we love the summer tastes of sweet grilled nectarines and fresh basil over goat cheese. I can usually find all the ingredients at the farmers market. —Brandy Hollingshead, Grass Valley, California
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Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota
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Bacon Avocado Salad

Everyone in my family loves this bacon and avocado salad—even the younger kids! I serve it at pretty much every get-together I've hosted, and at this point, the recipe's been shared too many times to count. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Fresh Artichokes with Lemon-Yogurt Dip

Artichokes are at their best when you prepare them simply, without a lot of fuss or seasonings to overdress them. Many people dip the petals in melted butter or mayonnaise, but I think you'll love my tangy lemon-yogurt dip. —Jill Haapaniemi, Brooklyn, New York
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Grilled Veggies with Caper Butter

We enjoy the tart, peppery taste of capers. No one likes a bland veggie, and caper butter helps peppers, squash and zucchini shine. —Danyelle Crum, Indian Trail, North Carolina
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Crunchy Ramen Salad

For potlucks and picnics, this ramen noodle salad is a knockout. I tote the veggies in a bowl, dressing in a jar and noodles in a bag. Then I shake them up together when it's time to eat. —LJ Porter, Bauxite, Arkansas
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Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

I combined two recipes to create this side with broccoli and pasta. The splash of lemon adds nice flavor. Instead of toasted almonds, you could also sprinkle servings with grated Parmesan cheese. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

Capturing the fantastic flavors of summer, this refreshing, beautiful watermelon-cucumber salad will be the talk of any picnic or potluck. —Roblynn Hunnisett, Guelph, Ontario
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Nectarine Arugula Salad

Here's a summer salad that brightens any supper. The homemade dressing with a hint of berries is perfect with arugula, nectarines and blue cheese. —Christine Laba, Arlington, Virginia
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Grilled Pattypans

Just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients are all you’ll need for this scrumptious side dish. Hoisin sauce and rice wine vinegar give grilled pattypans Asian flair. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Tossing the cooked potatoes with stock and wine right after you drain them infuses them with flavor. The liquid absorbs like magic. —George Levinthal, Goleta, California
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Corn on the Cob with Lemon-Pepper Butter

Roasting fresh-picked corn is as old as the Ozark hills where I was raised. My Grandpa Mitchell always salted and peppered his butter on the edge of his plate before spreading it on his corn, and I did the same as a kid. Today, I continue the tradition by serving lemon-pepper butter with roasted corn—it's a favorite! —Allene Bary-Cooper, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Red Cabbage With Bacon

If you’ve braised, marinated or served red cabbage raw, try it steamed, then toss with bacon and a tangy sauce. We serve it with pork or chicken. This is how to cook cabbage with bacon. —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Fingerling Potatoes with Fresh Parsley and Chives

We use seasonings like adobo, Sazon, fresh parsley and minced chives when we grill potatoes. We have even smoked the potatoes in our portable smoker before grilling. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

My colleagues and I made a pact to eat healthier, and we took turns sharing dishes. I'm happy to report that, thanks to recipes like this crisp and tangy salad, we all trimmed down. —Teresa Jordan, Springville, Utah
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Grilled Brussels Sprouts

During a beach vacation, in an effort to cook our entire meal outside on the grill, I made our not-so-simple veggie choice into a simple grilled side dish. For spicier sprouts, season with red pepper flakes —Tiffany Ihle, Bronx, New York
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Strawberry Kale Salad

This fresh, zingy salad is super easy and always a crowd-pleaser! The sliced strawberries and fresh mint give it an extra summery feel, and crumbled bacon and toasted almonds add the perfect amount of crunch. —Luanne Asta, East Hampton, New York
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Corn Spoon Bread

This slow-cooked spoon bread is more tender than corn pudding made in the oven, and the cream cheese is a nice addition. —Tamara Ellefson, Frederic, Wisconsin
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Pennsylvania Dutch Cucumbers

My mom's side of the family was German and Irish. Settling in Pennsylvania, they adopted some of the cooking and customs of the Pennsylvania Dutch. This is a Dutch dish Mom loved, and today it's my favorite garden salad. It tastes delicious alongside a plate of homegrown tomatoes. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan
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Basil Tomato Tart

I received this tomato tart recipe from a good friend of mine. It is a great way to us up fresh tomatoes from the garden. It reminds me a lot of pizza.—Connie Stumpf, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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Garden Bounty Panzanella Salad

My sister gave me fresh tomatoes and basil, so I made a bread salad known as Panzanella. The longer it sits, the more the bread soaks up the seasonings. —Jannine Fisk, Malden, Massachusetts
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Wheely-Good Pasta Salad

Red pepper pieces accent this yummy side dish, and the pasta wheels really drive the theme home. —Amber Kimmich, Powhatan, Virginia
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Herbed Butternut Squash

This is just one of many ways I prepare butternut squash for my two girls. It’s a winter staple in our house. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Yellow Squash and Zucchini Gratin

This gratin is the perfect way to use up an abundance of summer squash. It's easy to prepare, takes just 10 minutes in the oven, and serves up bubbly and delicious. —Jonathan Lawler, Greenfield, Indiana
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Festive Tomato Wedges

Since I have a large vegetable and herb garden, many of the ingredients in this recipe are truly "homegrown". I found this simple recipe in a magazine years ago and it quickly became a favorite at family picnics. I have five married children and seven grandchildren, and they all love to come home for some of "Mom's cooking". —Wilma Purcell, Alma, Illinois
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Simple Lemon Parsley Potatoes

For a simply delicious side dish, I often prepare these potatoes. I like the fact that there are few ingredients and they take such little time to prepare.—Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
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You're-Bacon-Me-Crazy Potato Salad

It isn't a summer cookout without potato salad, but the stuff from the deli just isn't our thing. I toyed with many recipes until I developed this one. Now if I even mention grilling or barbecuing, it's my family's top request for a side. —Paul Cogswell, League City, Texas
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Watermelon and Spinach Salad

Summer's the perfect time to toss up this watermelon salad. You'd never expect it, but spinach is awesome here. Eat it and feel cool on even the hottest days. —Marjorie Au, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Pressure-Cooker BBQ Baked Beans

I was under doctor's orders to reduce the amount of sodium I was eating, but I just couldn't part with some of my favorite foods. After many experiments I came up with this potluck favorite—now everyone's happy! —Sherrel Hendrix, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
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Khmer Pickled Vegetable Salad

I grew up as a missionary kid in Cambodia, and most of my favorite foods have a Southeast Asian background. Locals love eating this pickled salad for breakfast, but I like it as a side for lunch or dinner, especially with chicken satay. —Hannah Heavener, Belton, Texas
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Heirloom Tomato Salad

This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases my guests. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Two-Berry Fluff Salad

Two-Berry Fluff Salad

This fluffy salad is a welcome treat on warm Texas afternoons. Because there's a blueberry orchard near our home, we often pick up berries to use in this recipe and others. When blueberries and strawberries aren't in season, you can substitute frozen berries with equally good results. —Karen Wenzel, Conroe, Texas
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Black-Eyed Peas & Ham

Every New Year's Day we have these slow-cooked black-eyed peas to bring good luck for the coming year. —Dawn Legler, Fort Morgan, Colorado
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Pasta with Asparagus

Many terrific recipes change hands at my ladies' bridge group's monthly get-togethers. That's where I discovered this zippy, tempting dish. The garlic, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes create an irresistible taste combination. —Jean Fisher, Redlands, California
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Broccoli Salad Supreme

People can't get enough of the sweet grapes and crunchy broccoli in this colorful salad. I appreciate its make-ahead convenience. —Terri Twyman, Bonanza, Oregon
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Pineapple & Coconut Carrot Salad

Pineapple & Coconut Carrot Salad

I enjoyed a salad like this at a tropical-inspired restaurant. I tried to get the staff to give me the recipe but had no luck. So I went home and created my own! I will sometimes drain a can of mandarin orange slices and toss those in as well. —Shirley Turpin, Williams, Minnesota
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Garden Risotto

With asparagus, spinach and peas, this simple side adds spectacular flavor and tons of health benefits from green veggies. Add some Parmesan cheese, and you've got one delectable dish! —Kendra Doss, Kansas City, Missouri
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Almond-Apricot Chicken Salad

Here's a one-of-a-kind pasta salad that combines tender chicken, sweet apricots and crunchy vegetables. Plus, the lemony dressing can't be beat. —Susan Voigt, Plymouth, Minnesota
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Marinated Cauliflower Salad

I often serve this as an appetizer alongside a meat and cheese tray. But it can also be a side dish. —Stephanie Hase, Lyons, Colorado
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Honeyed Carrots with Citrus-Basil Gremolata

I love the scent of fresh basil. It's even better when paired with fresh citrus peel! In this recipe, the carrots are sweetened with a touch of honey, then topped with a lively citrus-basil gremolata. —Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida
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Bow Tie & Spinach Salad

With pasta salad, it’s easy to change up ingredients. We like to add grilled chicken and pine nuts, and sometimes we substitute black beans for the garbanzo beans. —Julie Kirkpatrick, Billings, Montana
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Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad

This salad is great with a grilled steak for a Tex-Mex meal, and most of it can even be prepared out in the backyard. Poblanos and cayenne make it pop. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Garden Tomato Salad

For as long as I can remember, Mom made a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers. Now I make it whenever beautiful tomatoes are in reach. —Shannon Arthur, Upper Arlington, Ohio
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Summertime Slaw

As a change from mayonnaise-laden slaw, I created this refreshing alternative. It uses many of the garden vegetables I grow, so it's also economical. I serve it at our family reunion each Fourth of July, and it's always a big hit at get-togethers. —Sharon Payne, Mayfield, Kentucky
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Salami & Provolone Pasta Salad

Everyone needs a perfect pasta salad that’s easy to make, especially on busy nights when your family wants a dish that’s fast, light and cool. This is just the thing. —Jill Donley, Warsaw, Indiana
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Heirloom Tomato Pie

My green-thumb neighbors like to share produce with me. I return the delicious favor by baking tomato pies for all. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
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Roasted Fresh Okra

If you have picky eaters who worry about texture, roasted okra is marvelous. It's OK to crowd the pan. Okra shrinks as it cooks. —Anna Katsoulis, Greenville, North Carolina
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Slim Greek Deviled Eggs

When you're in the mood for some good finger food, try this sinfully delicious variation on deviled eggs. They are a cinch to make and a popular contribution to any potluck or brunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grilled Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

This cool noodle salad makes a great casual one-bowl dinner or a perfect dish for a potluck or buffet. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida
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Juicy Watermelon Salad

This fruit salad has such a surprising yet fabulous mix of flavors that friends often ask for the recipe. Combine seedless watermelon varieties in yellow, red and pink for a colorful twist. —Heidi Haight, Macomb, Michigan
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Spicy Grilled Eggplant

This side goes well with any meat you might also be grilling. Thanks to the Cajun seasoning, the zesty eggplant gets more attention than an ordinary veggie. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Lemon Mushroom Orzo

Lemon Mushroom Orzo

Sometimes I serve this side dish chilled and other times we enjoy it hot. It has a pleasant tinge of lemon and a nice crunch from pecans. —Shelly Nelson, Akeley, Minnesota
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Chip-Crusted Grilled Corn

For my version of Mexican street corn, I roll the ears in crushed chips. For extra pizazz, try different chip flavors like ranch dressing and jalapeno. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Farmers Market Orzo Salad

Orzo is a tiny pasta shaped like rice. We use it as a base for veggies, lemony vinaigrette and cheeses such as mozzarella, feta or smoked Gouda. —Heather Dezzutto, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Mom's Super Stupendous Potato Salad

In college, my best friend and I debated whose mom made the best potato salad. Turns out they were almost identical! Even though I've since tweaked our recipe, it still takes me home again. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pesto Pasta & Potatoes

Although this healthy pasta dish is pretty simple to begin with, it's made even easier because you can throw the green beans and pasta into one big pot to cook. —Laura Flowers, Moscow, Idaho
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Creamy Coleslaw

For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This creamy coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois
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Spicy Grilled Broccoli

My kids eat this spiced broccoli without cheese; it’s that good. It transports easily to the beach, the park or tailgate parties and also works on an indoor grill. —Kathy Lewis-Martinez, Spring Valley, California
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Marinated Mushrooms & Artichokes

I marinate mushrooms and artichokes in fresh tarragon, thyme and seasonings so they turn out tart, tangy and irresistible. —Marcia Doyle, Pompano, Florida
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Sriracha Veggie Slaw

I wanted to rev up coleslaw to serve with seafood or pulled pork barbecue. Nothing adds zip like a squirt of Sriracha and a shower of chopped cilantro. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

Here's the dish everyone looks for at our parties, so we always double the recipe. It was handed down from my mother-in-law and has been a family favorite for years. —Stacy Novak, Stafford, Virginia
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Turkey and Pasta Ranch Salad

This easy pasta salad is loaded with fresh veggies, and the classic ranch dressing makes it appealing to kids. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Honey-Lemon Asparagus

Everyone who tastes my glazed asparagus takes a second helping, so I usually double the recipe. For another option, try using a root vegetable like turnip or parsnip. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Mango Barley Salad

I made this fresh, colorful mango salad on the fly and it was a big hit! The bright flavor is perfect for a spring or summer picnic, served right away or chilled. —Dan Wellberg, Elk River, Minnesota
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Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Gorgonzola Spread

My husband first tried this recipe with plain potatoes. They were so yummy; we experimented with sweet potatoes. Dipped in Gorgonzola spread, they’re irresistible. —Kristen Minello, Macomb, Michigan
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Roasted Red Potato Salad

I got this roasted potato salad recipe from my sister-in-law and I've made it numerous times at the request of friends and co-workers. It's quick and easy, which is just what I need in my busy life. I learned how to cook from the two best cooks I know—my mom, Arline, and my Grandma Etta. —Ginger Cusano, Sandusky, Ohio
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Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes

This garlic and basil linguine is a perfect way to use up your late-summer tomato harvest. It makes a great light supper when paired with a salad, or you can make it heartier with some chopped chicken. —Susan Jones, Downers Grove, Illinois
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Creamy Roasted Garlic & Spinach Orzo

This side dish brings instant comfort. I first made it without spinach so my husband and daughter would like it. The next time, I added spinach for the extra health benefits. They still devoured it, so in my book that's a win-win. —Dawn Moore, Warren, Pennsylvania
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Grilled Herb Potatoes

Every year my father and I plant a garden together. After an especially great growing season, we had plenty of produce to eat! We like to use fresh herbs from our garden but dry is just as tasty in this dish. —Bernadette Bennett, Waco, Texas
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Grilled Mushroom Kabobs

Grilled Mushroom Kabobs

Earthy grilled mushrooms taste like flame-kissed goodness. The balsamic vinegar adds just enough tanginess to the savory side. —Melissa Hoddinott, Sherwood Park, Alberta
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Garden Pesto Pasta Salad

My family and I live on a homestead in the Missouri Ozarks and produce much of our own food. In the summer, when the garden is bursting with fresh vegetables and it’s too hot to cook, I like to use the season's veggies for pasta salads and other cool meals. —Sarah Mathews, Ava, Missouri
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Sweet & Sour Squash Salad

This salad goes over really well with all ages, and it's a good way to get kids to eat summer squash. —Opal Shipman Levelland, Texas
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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews—and ( always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
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Southern Green Beans with Apricots

Southern Green Beans with Apricots

Green beans and apricots have become a family tradition. Enhanced with balsamic vinegar, this dish will make your taste buds pop. —Ashley Davis, Easley, South Carolina
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Grilled Loaded Potato Rounds

My go-to recipe for outdoor potlucks is an awesome potato side. I prep everything and grill at the party. Pass with sour cream, cheese, bacon and chives. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Minty Sugar Snap Peas

Fresh mint adds a lively touch to cooked sugar snap peas. It's also nice on green beans or carrots. —Alice Kaldahl, Ray, North Dakota
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Dijon Veggies with Couscous

Coated in a tangy Dijon sauce, these tasty veggies and fluffy couscous make for a delightful side. —Juliana Dumitru, Fairview Park, Ohio
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Dilly Potato & Egg Salad

Everyone has a favorite potato salad, and this is mine. As a young bride, I was eager to learn how to cook and make things that my husband would love. I combined my mom's and his mom's recipes, and this is the delicious result. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Grilled Cajun Green Beans

This is a perfect way to use up your garden's green beans. The Cajun flavor makes it different from your regular green bean recipe. —Shannon Lewis, Andover, Minnesota
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Lime and Sesame Grilled Eggplant

When I lived in Greece, I fell in love with eggplant. My recipe's seasonings have an Asian theme, but the dish still makes me think Greek. —Allyson Meyler, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Homemade Potato Chips

Forget buying a bag of potato chips at the grocery store when you can make these at home. This quick and easy recipe will delight everyone in the family. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Quick & Easy au Gratin Potatoes

On holidays, a friend serves these creamy, cheesy potatoes when we gather together to celebrate with lifelong friends and grown children. —Carol Blue, Barnesville, Pennsylvania
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Guacamole Tossed Salad

The fresh blend of avocados, tomatoes, red onion and greens in my salad gets additional pizazz from crumbled bacon and a slightly spicy vinaigrette. —Lori Fischer, Chino Hills, California
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Salsa Rice

It's a snap to change the spice level in this popular rice side dish by choosing a milder or hotter salsa. It's a delicious way to round out burritos or tacos when the clock is ticking. —Molly Ingle, Canton, North Carolina
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Grilled Spicy Corn on the Cob

During a family picnic, we added jalapenos and hot pepper sauce to our homegrown corn. Now we spice up the ears every chance we get. —Bernadette Walker, Waco, Texas
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Herb-Vinaigrette Potato Salad

This is a great way to celebrate early produce from the garden. To add some more crunch, sprinkle with croutons. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma
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Sicilian Steamed Leeks

I love the challenge of developing recipes for my garden leeks, a delicious underused vegetable. This Italian-flavored dish is a family favorite. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Mango and Jicama Salad

This pretty salad has become part of my regular summertime rotation because of its freshness and versatility—it's great with everything from grilled chicken to seafood! Try it with coconut-flavored vinegar for a fun tropical twist. —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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White Ale Potato Salad

Take this one outside! My grown-up recipe uses beer instead of mayo, so you don't need to worry about keeping it cool. It's a really popular recipe on my blog, girllikestoeat.com. —Jenny MacBeth, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Leeks au Gratin

Leeks are too delicious to stand only as an enhancement. Here, they're the star of a side dish, with a bit of French flair. —Chuck Mallory, Chicago, Illinois

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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