95 Summer Side Dishes You’ll Love

No cookout is complete without a few summer side dishes! Make the most of the season's freshest produce with some amazing potato salads, pasta salads, grilled veggies and more.

The sun is out, and great food is in! We have everything you need for feasting—from easy summer appetizers, like layered hummus dip and antipasto kebabs, to our best barbecue recipes that will be the star of any cookout.

Summer recipes should celebrate the best of the season—from fruity cocktails to tomato pie and delicious no-bake summer desserts. Need more summer side dishes to complete your meal? We’ve got ’em below!

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Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

Turn grilled summer corn into a favorite appetizer by slathering on a cream cheese mixture, then rolling the corn in panko and chopped grilled jalapenos. If you want to go really big, add some cooked and crumbled bacon.
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Three-Bean Baked Beans

A can of pork and beans, butter beans and kidney beans mixed with ground beef and bacon will be the hit of your barbecue. The sauce is sweet and tangy all at once. We have lots more baked bean recipes for your next potluck.
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Macaroni Coleslaw

This two-in-one salad makes every summer picnic complete. Simply combine macaroni with bagged coleslaw, add a creamy dressing, and you’re good to go. Buy too much chopped cabbage? Here are some crave-worthy recipes to make with a bag of coleslaw mix.
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Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

You’ll love the creamy, fruity punch of this classic Midwestern salad. The best way to serve the sweet and crunchy combo is by adding the pretzel mixture right before serving so it stays crispy.
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Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Make this patriotic salad for all the big summer holidays, from Memorial Day straight to Labor Day. Make sure to toss the cooked potatoes in stock and wine while still warm so they get infused with lots of flavor. Make the most of the season with some of our other favorite summer salads.
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Pennsylvania Dutch Cucumbers

This cool and creamy cucumber salad tastes great along other fresh garden side dishes, like lightly dressed tomatoes plucked straight from the vine. Make sure to salt the cucumbers to draw out some of the moisture and strain well before mixing in the sour cream and vinegar. These Labor Day side dishes let you do your day off the right way.
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Grilled Nectarines with Burrata and Honey

Think of this as your new favorite caprese salad. By grilling the peak-season nectarines (or any stone fruit), you get some caramelization, which pairs nicely with creamy burrata and honey. Here’s a little more about what burrata is and how it’s made.
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Yellow Squash and Zucchini Gratin

You’ll have a plethora of summer squash and zucchini this summer, so put it to good use in this gratin. It’s quick and easy and only needs a quick spin in the oven to get nice and bubbly.
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Grilled Veggies with Caper Butter

Grilled vegetables like peppers and summer squash are delicious on their own, but when you add this caper butter, they’ll really shine. Mix and match whatever veggies you have on hand.
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Corn Spoon Bread

Since corn doesn’t get knee-high until the Fourth of July, you can use frozen for side dishes like this slow-cooker spoon bread. Combine corn kernels with creamed corn, cream cheese and instant cornbread mix for a delicious side for barbecue, grilled chicken or even burgers.

Plan to cook your patriotic meal ahead of time with these Fourth of July slow-cooker recipes.

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Din Tai Fung Chilled Cucumber Salad

The famous Taiwanese chain restaurant is known far and wide for its soup dumplings, but the cool, sweet and spicy cucumber salad is a sleeper hit. This copycat version cracks the code to its deliciousness in only a few ingredients. You’ll want it at every cookout!
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Southern Mac and Cheese

You can never go wrong with Southern-style macaroni and cheese. This super creamy version is made with three kinds of cheese with a secret hit of mustard for depth. Check out these other mac and cheese recipes for even more inspiration.
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Black Bean and Corn Salad

This fresh and nutritious salad is colorful, thanks to the corn and all the vegetables, and light enough for even the hottest summer days. It makes a perfect summer side dish, or a great salsa appetizer served with chips.
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Bacon Avocado Salad

Really easy and really fresh, everyone will go ga-ga for this simple, flavorful salad. (It has bacon!) Make sure to chop the avocado and tomatoes about the same size so it’s easier to eat.
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Ribbon Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Ribbons of zucchini, cucumber and carrots tossed in a delightful citrusy vinaigrette feels like the epitome of summer. It’s pretty enough for a special occasion but also perfect for any night of the week.
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Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

The combination of melon and cheese is undeniably delicious. For parties and potlucks, turn that classic appetizer into a salad with fresh herbs, baby spinach, tiny fresh mozzarella balls and a zippy honey-mustard dressing.
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Succotash is a classic southern dish of vegetables and beans stewed with tomato and ham hocks. This version has it all: Lima beans, corn, okra and herbs.
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Lattice Corn Pie

Pie for the main meal and not dessert? Absolutely! This Pennsylvania Dutch specialty uses only a few ingredients—including corn and potatoes—and a pre-made pie crust. Serve it alongside any meat dishes, or make it a meal with its own side salad.
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Fresh Artichokes with Lemon-Yogurt Dip

Once you get the art of trimming an artichoke down—it’s easy, trust us!—you’ll want to serve a pile of these at every summer gathering. They’re fun to eat chilled with a tangy lemon-yogurt dip.
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Crunchy Ramen Salad

Ramen noodles, sunflower seeds and almonds give this salad its crunch, while cabbage and bell peppers add freshness. Going to a potluck? Keep the veggies and noodles separate, with the dressing in a jar, then shake it all together when it’s time to eat.
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Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

This summer side dish can be served warm or at room temperature, which means it works both for a sit-down dinner inside or at a backyard afternoon cookout. A splash of lemon adds a little zip to the broccoli and couscous, and the almond slivers bring some texture.
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Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

There are so many fresh summer flavors in this simple salad. Watermelon and cucumber are hydrating, making it good for hot days, plus they taste great together. Mint and balsamic vinegar elevate the fruit’s natural sweetness.
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Nectarine Arugula Salad

A fruity raspberry and Dijon mustard vinaigrette lends a zesty punch to sweet nectarines and peppery arugula. You want a salty cheese, like blue or gorgonzola, for contrast, but you could also use feta.
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Grilled Pattypans

We love this sweet, Asian-inspired sauce for grilled pattypan squash. It comes together with a few pantry ingredients, like apricot preserves, hoisin sauce and rice wine vinegar.
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Red Cabbage With Bacon

While you steam shredded cabbage, a quick and easy way to soften the hearty vegetable, you can brown the bacon. When it’s all ready, combine with a tangy cider vinegar sauce for a delicious side dish for bratwurst, burgers, grilled chicken and more.
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Mix salad greens with lots of julienned vegetables, chickpeas and feta cheese for a light yet filling summer salad. Make the salad more of a main dish by adding protein like shredded chicken.
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Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

This is a good summer side dish recipe that uses up leftover rotisserie or grilled chicken. Just combine with spiral (or your favorite shape) pasta, crisp romaine lettuce and Caesar dressing.
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Grilled Brussels Sprouts

The best part about summer is cooking everything on the grill, even side dishes. These Brussels sprouts get tender and a little charred, and taste great with some extra spice from red pepper flakes.
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Strawberry Kale Salad

Thanks to sliced strawberries and fresh mint, this salad is a perfect summer side dish that everyone will love. Crumbled bacon and toasted almonds add a nice crunch.
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Basil Tomato Tart

Not quite a pizza and not really a pie, this tomato tart sits comfortably in between the two. Use a store-bought pie crust for ease, and lots of basil for fresh garden flavor.
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Garden Bounty Panzanella Salad

This is the best way to use up day-old bread and every vegetable from your garden. Make this salad early enough to let it sit a beat before serving so the bread soaks up the vinaigrette.
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Wheely-Good Pasta Salad

No kid, young or old, can resist a pasta wheel. This quick and easy salad comes together in no time thanks to bottled dressing, sliced olives and simple chopped bell peppers.
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Grilled Nectarine & Cheese Crostini

Let your grill do most of the work for this delicious summer side dish or appetizer. Use it to toast the bread slices and also the nectarines, then assemble right at the table. Tangy goat cheese complements the sweet stone fruit and fresh basil well.
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Red raspberries and raspberry vinegar add a nice fruity punch to regular coleslaw. Be careful not to mix the berries in too much; you don’t want them to disintegrate altogether.
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Festive Tomato Wedges

Sometimes all a good garden tomato needs is a splash of olive oil, a dash of vinegar, and a few snips of fresh herbs. That’s all it takes to make this quick salad a perfect summer side dish.
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Potatoes Romanoff

This creamy potato casserole is a great way to use up leftover baked potatoes; or simply cook cubed red potatoes as the recipe suggests. It’s a great summer side dish for grilled steak and fresh green beans.
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Watermelon and Spinach Salad

Watermelon, cucumber and cantaloupe will cool down even the hottest of days. Toss all three with fresh spinach and a zesty vinaigrette that has a touch of ginger and lime.
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Khmer Pickled Vegetable Salad

Serve this quick pickled vegetable slaw with any grilled meats, like chicken satay or pork skewers. If you don’t like daikon radish, try jicama—it has the same great juicy crunch.
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Two-Berry Fluff Salad

This cloud-like mix of fruit and creamy ingredients is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. If blueberries and strawberries aren’t in season yet, use frozen berries. To make a fully patriotic meal, here are some red, white and blue desserts to add to the table.
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Black-Eyed Peas & Ham

While black-eyed peas are a traditional good luck dish in the new year, they make a fantastic side dish year-round. Made with ham and served with or without rice, it’s a great side dish for any summer potluck.
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

The secret to this sweeter-than-usual macaroni salad is condensed milk. Apple cider vinegar cuts through the sweetness and creates a tangy dressing.
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Pineapple & Coconut Carrot Salad

The fresh ginger and orange zest make this carrot salad quite punchy, while pineapple and shredded coconut take it on a tropical island tour. Serve this with things like grilled huli huli chicken or teriyaki pork skewers.
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Garden Risotto

Go green with this risotto chock-full of spinach, asparagus and peas. Risotto takes a bit of time and calls for a watchful eye, but the effort is always worth it.
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Vegan Quinoa Salad

You don’t have to eat only a plant-based diet to appreciate the deliciousness in this fresh veg-filled salad. Toasting quinoa before simmering it adds a nice toastiness to the summer side dish.
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Tomato Cobbler

This savory dish is a great way to use up summer tomatoes. Made with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, seasonings and just a little bit of sugar, the topping is almost crisp-like but still cobbler-esque. Here’s more about the difference between cobblers and crisps.
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Marinated Cauliflower Salad

You’ll want to serve this snappy salad alongside charcuterie boards or grilled meats or seafood. Let the vegetables marinate overnight to get the full flavor effect.
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Bow Tie & Spinach Salad

The best part about pasta salad is that it’s a completely adaptable side dish. Don’t like chickpeas? Use black beans. Forgot to grab broccoli? Add more peppers. Choose the right dressing, and you’ll end up with a side dish that has some pizzazz.
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Mango Barley Salad

Dress up cooked nutrient-rich barley with fresh mango, cilantro and a delightful Dijon mustard and honey vinaigrette. Because it’s just as good served warm as it is chilled, it’s a great summer side dish for picnics or backyard barbecues.
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Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad

By grilling most of the vegetables for this salad—including potatoes, corn and poblano peppers—you get a deeply flavored side dish that will make any Tex Mex-inspired meal really pop. If you don’t like cilantro, feel free to leave it out.
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Garden Tomato Salad

One of life’s simple pleasures is a bowl of cucumbers and tomatoes fresh from the garden (or farmers market) tossed with onion, olive oil and vinegar. If you really want to make it sing, use good salt for seasoning this salad, like a good flaky sea salt.
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Summertime Slaw

Leave the creamy coleslaw for another day. This lighter version, made with cabbage, bell pepper and carrots, is easy to whip up—and it’s more hot-weather tolerant than mayonnaise for hot summer gatherings.
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Salami & Provolone Pasta Salad

Make an antipasto-style pasta salad with cubes of hard salami and provolone. All you need is your favorite bottle of Italian dressing to pull the almost no-cook dish together.
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Heirloom Tomato Pie

A savory crust made with cheddar cheese and butter, topped with an herb-filled cream cheese filling sets the stage for what might be the best use of heirloom tomatoes. Make sure to salt the tomatoes ahead of time to pull out extra moisture so the pie doesn’t get too soggy. We have an abundance of fresh tomato recipes to help with your garden haul this year.
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Roasted Fresh Okra

There are so many ways to enjoy okra outside of gumbo. Roasting it helps dry out the texture inside (no sliminess!) and the outside becomes slightly caramelized and sweet. If you need more tips on how to cook okra, we can help.
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Greek Deviled Eggs

By adding a bit of feta cheese and lemon juice to the yolks, these deviled eggs have a lot of flavor. Top with kalamata olives, and you have a new variation for your next potluck or brunch.
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Chinese Chard with Almonds

Chard is a great hearty green that deserves to be the star of the show. Here it’s spiced with hoisin and five spice blend for an Asian-inspired summer side dish.
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Juicy Watermelon Salad

It’s true that a simple piece of watermelon is one of the best parts about summer, but this salad shows the fruit’s versatility. Combine watermelon with feta cheese, onion and peppery arugula for a standout sweet, savory and refreshing side dish.
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Spicy Grilled Eggplant

Eggplant is a perfect vegetable for the grill. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with spices and herbs, or in this case Cajun seasoning, and you’ve got a winning side dish for any grilled meats. Or serve it in sandwiches with dressed greens and other grilled vegetables.
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Chip-Crusted Grilled Corn

Grill husked corn, slather it with a cilantro-infused sour cream sauce, and roll in the crushed chips of your choice—tortilla chips, barbecue potato chips or jalapeno-flavored ones. A little extra grilling afterward helps seal in the flavor.
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Farmers Market Orzo Salad

Orzo is a great base for this veggie-packed pasta salad. Use everything from the farmers market that you love, like summer squash and cherry tomatoes, plus feta, mozzarella or smoked gouda.
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Gluten-Free Potato Salad

Keep this red potato and hard-boiled egg salad gluten-free with a creamy mayonnaise, sour cream and Dijon mustard dressing. Apple cider vinegar adds a nice hit of acid, while celery gives it a bit of crunch.
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Creamy Coleslaw

The dressing for this coleslaw is as easy as opening a bag of pre-shredded cabbage. Just mix together mayo, sour cream, sugar, salt and a few seasonings and you’re done.
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Marinated Mushrooms & Artichokes

Marinate fresh mushrooms with artichokes, fresh herbs and a few seasonings for a tangy side dish for grilled meats, fish, burgers and more. You’ll want to use water-packed canned artichokes for this recipe, not marinated ones.
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Sriracha Veggie Slaw

Sriracha can rev up just about anything, including this crisp vegetable coleslaw. It’s a great topper for pulled pork sandwiches or any other barbecue.
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Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

Since you boil the potatoes before slicing and adding to a slow cooker for this recipe, you want spuds that holds their shape. Yukon gold to the rescue! Make a tangy bacon and onion dressing, then throw everything in the slow cooker for the perfect summer side dish.
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Turkey and Pasta Ranch Salad

You can easily leave out the turkey in this recipe to make it more vegetarian-friendly, but the extra protein adds some extra heft otherwise. Slice summer squash and zucchini in thin rounds for an extra-pretty presentation.
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Grilled Loaded Potato Rounds

Pre-bake potatoes before slicing and throwing on the grill for some char flavor. Then set out a DIY toppings bar with things like sour cream, chives, cheese and chopped bacon, so guests can build their own loaded potato rounds.
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Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Gorgonzola Spread

Giving your sweet potatoes a start in the microwave means less time (and charring) on the grill. Their natural sweetness really comes out, especially paired with a creamy gorgonzola dipping sauce.
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Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes

Simple side dishes like this are what summer is all about. Use up your tomato harvest, along with a lot of fresh basil and garlic, in this flavorful and easy recipe that’s great for potlucks and easy-breezy weekend backyard barbecues.
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Creamy Roasted Garlic & Spinach Orzo

When you roast garlic, it becomes sweet and lacks that bitter bite when raw. It adds so much flavor to this creamy orzo dish. The recipe calls for reduced-fat cream cheese and milk, but there’s so little, the real deal dairy won’t hurt.
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Grilled Herb Potatoes

Grilling potatoes and herbs in foil packets allows all the flavors inside to meld together perfectly. Just make sure you don’t leave it on the hottest part of the grill or it could burn.
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Grilled Mushroom Kabobs

If you’re grilling steaks this weekend, you want these earthy flame-kissed mushroom and onion kabobs on the side. Balsamic vinegar adds sweet tanginess that’s hard to beat.
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Sweet & Sour Squash Salad

A little sugar and vinegar added to ranch dressing mix makes this sweet and sour squash salad a hit with everyone. Use the freshest zucchini and summer squash you can to really make this side dish sing.
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Chili-Lime Grilled Pineapple

Need something unique for your cookout? Chili powder and a hit of lime juice adds a zippy contrast to the natural sweetness of grilled pineapple. It’s the perfect summer side dish for grilled pork chops!
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Southern Green Beans with Apricots

Dried apricots and bacon give some pop to fresh green beans. That sweet and savory balance is a great side for everything from burgers to grilled chicken.
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Grilled Cauliflower Wedges

Cut a head of cauliflower in big wedges, leaving the core intact so they don’t fall apart on the grill. The sweet pop of pomegranate seeds balances out the spice from turmeric and red pepper flakes.
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Orzo Vegetable Salad

Invited to a last-minute potluck? Because orzo is so small, it cooks and cools fast, so you can pull this veg-packed salad together in no time. The lemony dressing is super easy to make, too.
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Minty Sugar Snap Peas

It’s easy to overcook sugar snap peas, so just give them a few minutes in a pan to get crisp-tender. Toss with fresh mint and a little bit of butter for a simple summer side dish that goes with everything.
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Dijon Veggies with Couscous

Roast mushrooms, zucchini and red bell pepper in a tangy Dijon mustard sauce, then toss with couscous for the quickest oven-to-table dish ever. You can easily swap in other veg to your liking, just adjust roasting time if needed.
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Dilly Potato & Egg Salad

Chopped dill pickles is the secret everyone needs to amp up their potato salad game. They bring a little sourness and a bit of crunch to the party, but don’t try to steal the spotlight.
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Lime and Sesame Grilled Eggplant

Eggplant is one of the easiest vegetables to prepare all summer long. Slice into big planks, dress with an Asian-inspired marinade before hitting the grill, then top with a spicy honey drizzle before serving.
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Homemade Potato Chips

Sure, you can buy bags and bags of chips for your barbecue. Or, you can impress everyone with your homemade potato chips! The best chips are made with non-sprouted firm russet potatoes for their high starch content.
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Rainbow Fruit Salad

Layer your favorite summer fruits—everything from watermelon to kiwi, pineapple and fresh berries—in a pretty clear bowl for a table-ready showstopper. The creamy topping is the icing on the fruit-bowl cake.
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Guacamole Tossed Salad

This salad is almost like guacamole, except the avocado is left in chunks and not mashed. Toss with tomatoes, red onion, bacon crumbles and crisp greens in a spicy vinaigrette.
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Salsa Rice

If you want a spicier rice, choose a higher heat salsa; more mild, pick something without as much pep. This is an easy, quick and super adaptable side dish for any meal.
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Lemon Rice Salad

Made with long grain and wild rice, plus crisp vegetables like cucumbers and celery, this lemon-scented salad can be made ahead of time. Keep the pecans on the side until serving so they stay nice and crunchy.
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Sicilian Steamed Leeks

Do not let leek season pass you by! The underused garden vegetable makes a delicious side dish whether grilled, sauteed or, like in this recipe, steamed. The tomato, orange, caper and olive relish is a great pairing for the mild leeks.
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Mango and Jicama Salad

Super colorful and versatile, this salad goes great with grilled proteins like chicken or seafood. It’s simply dressed with a light vinaigrette made with ginger, lime and honey.
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White Ale Potato Salad

For a perfect outdoor potato salad (no mayo!), dress warm potatoes in a dressing made with white ale, Dijon, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The alcohol isn’t cooked out, so you might want to keep the kiddies away from this one.
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Sweet Pea and Radish Salad

Radishes can be used in a variety of ways that go beyond typical leaf lettuce salads. Here, they’re sliced thin and combined with sweet peas, dill Havarti cheese and a creamy herb dressing.
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Summer Squash Side Dish Casserole

There is that point every summer when all you can think is, “So…much…summer squash!” Turn the abundant vegetable into a quick casserole by mixing with breadcrumbs, a little egg and cheese. Super easy and delicious for a late-summer gathering.
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Amish Broccoli Salad

There isn’t a salad that bacon can’t make better. This broccoli and cauliflower combo tastes better the next day, so make the night before your party to let the creamy sweet dressing and flavors come together.
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Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickling green tomatoes is a wonderful way to use your garden’s bounty. Use them on salads, as a burger topping, or skewered with a few olives for the perfect Bloody Mary garnish.
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Grilled Peach Couscous Salad

This grilled peach and couscous salad has some serious pizzazz thanks to the zesty vinaigrette. Add cucumbers, tomato and red onion for a full-flavored summer side dish.
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Zucchini Patties

Make sure to pat your shredded zucchini dry of excess water before adding it to the binding mixture (biscuit mix, cheese and eggs). It will help keep them from falling apart when you fry them.

Lesley Balla
As an associate editor at Taste of Home, Lesley helps track food and cooking trends, and writes and updates digital content. When not at her desk, you'll find her whipping up something with finds from the farmers market, discovering new restaurants, or hiking and roadtripping with her husband and pup Pucci.