You can do better than a bag of potato chips this summer. We’ve got fresh, seasonal salads; quick pickles; pasta dishes and the best dips. Here are 10 summertime sides ready for your picnic table or patio.
1. Fresh Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad
A quick take on the classic Greek salad, this version highlights delicious summer produce, including sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and colorful bell peppers. The dressing, a simple combination of Italian seasoning, vinegar, and good olive oil, is is great for dipping pieces of bread.
2. Cool Veggie Pizza
The best part about this fun side dish? You can customize it to whatever toppings your family likes best. Start with quick store-bought crescent dough rolled into a circle. Cook it on a pizza stone to ensure crispness. Then top it with dill-spiked cream cheese and mayonnaise and whatever summer veggies you want: chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, yellow squash, broccoli. Choices abound.
3. Southwestern Salad
Bring what everyone loves about tacos to an easy-to-transport salad. The grilled chicken and black beans make it hearty enough to be a meal or a zesty summer side salad. Serve it at a cookout it in an insulated bowl, so the lettuce and veggies stay crisp and chilled outside from the time the party starts until the table is cleared and the burgers and sides are replaced with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.
4. Korean Potato Salad
While potato salad might seem like a distinctly American dish, it’s commonly eaten as a side dish in Korean cuisine, possibly introduced by American soldiers during the Korean War. Spiralized red potatoes meet a rice-wine vinegar and mayonnaise dressing for an unusual take on the potato salad we know in the U.S. This version gets extra flavor from honey, chopped green onion, and spiralized seedless cucumbers scattered over the top.
5. Quick Pickled Radishes
An excellent side dish when it’s paired with heavier grilled meats, like short ribs or barbecue, quick pickled vegetables bring a bright, light flavor to the table. Here, a brine of vinegar, water, sugar and salt is microwaved, then poured over a bowl of sliced daikon radishes and placed in the fridge to chill. The simple recipe can be used with lots of veggies, including turnips.
6. Greek Cucumber Noodle Salad
Update a traditional Greek salad by turning the refreshing cucumbers into noodles. Strain the cucumbers (a salad spinner works great) so the dressing doesn’t get watered down. Combine the noodles with onion, tomato, artichoke, feta, and a light vinaigrette before serving in an insulated bowl that will keep the salad cool on warm summer days.
7. Creamy Avocado Pesto Primavera
Put your herb garden to good use with this dish, which combines a classic basil pesto with creamy avocado. Combine the pesto with spiralized carrot, squash and zucchini noodles, and add summer’s favorite tomatoes and crisp-tender broccoli. Add chicken to make turn this side dish into a main course meal. Then, freeze the leftover pesto to use in future meals.
8. Mexican Street Corn Dip
Elote, a popular Mexican street food that consists of a fresh ear of corn coated in cheese and delicious spices, has been turned into a dip that’s the perfect summer side dish. Grill the corn, fresh jalapeno, and onion for maximum flavor, then chop and combine with the rest of the ingredients and warm for a creamy, spicy, satisfying side.
9. Fresh Tomato Salsa
A bright salsa made with ingredients straight from the garden is perfect with chips, yes, but it’s also great on grilled chicken or fish. Combine tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and seasoning, then chop roughly together until it’s at your desired chunkiness.
10. Raspberry Tequila Sangria
Does sangria count as a side dish? We think so! This adults-only beverage is made for hot summer evenings on the porch. Combine raspberries, tequila, triple sec, and sparkling wine for this refreshing sipper; the recipe starts with a warm sugar syrup, so be sure to leave time for chilling in a pitcher.
This post has been updated since its original publication in April, 2016.
Fresh tomato, cucumber and feta is the one I will try this summer. Thank you
I will also but instead of feta I will use mozzarella
Mozzarella sounds awesome Mary. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will try that one also.
Oh I like that suggestion! I don’t do feta.
I do this with mozzarella balls. Just an idea
Yummm! I will definitely try the tomato & cucumber salad but loved the way they said to customize! I always customize since I have picky eaters. I will replace the feta with cubed Mozzarella cheese. Thanks for the ideas!
Thanks for the recipes! Yes, I want to try the tomato, cucumber & feta salad, sounds so good!!
Oh yes ? thanks I will do the tomato and cucumber ? salad
The Korean potato salad looks delicious. I watched the video earlier today and I can’t wait to make it!
I wish we could have more common recipes that didn’t have crazy things in them!
Haven’t had the vegetable pizza in a long time! I always liked it. Thanks for reminding me about it.
Also the pickled radishes, and some other vegetables I can think of, sounds good. Will have to try it.
Love that we offer so many recipes to our customers and for ourselves – lots of variety! Products are awesome and if more people would understand what all they could have with Pampered Chef there would be happier people in the world!
I’m gonna try the pickled radishes; have been really enjoying vinegar sides lately!
I would like a more specific recipe with amounts, etc.
Did you click on them? They will take you straight to the full recipe! Yay!! ?
Click on the picture, and it comes up. Ingredients and directions.
I want to pickle some daikon! I’ll add sliced carrot, too.
I have tried most of these receips as l like variety in side dishes .l of my favorite is cucumber, tomatoe & feta salad .l had that a couple days ago in fact.Thanks for posting these.
Thanks for reminding me of the tomato salad.
I use mozzarella cheese and onion with zesty Italian dressing. I like
the idea of the peppers in it.
Have a Happy Fourth of July
Yes Sangria counts as a side dish it goes great with any of the other sides.