10 Favorite Cookout Side Dishes

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.

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 great for dipping pieces of bread.

This sweet and spicy dip is the perfect side for any game-day get-together or outdoor celebration. It features shredded chicken, cream cheese, Honey Sriracha Seasoning Mix, and green onions for a mouthwatering modern take on a classic summertime favorite. Plus, you can serve it up hot or cold in the 5-qt. (4.7-L) Serving Bowl

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 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.

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 onions, and spiralized seedless cucumbers scattered over the top.

There’s no better way to cool down on a hot summer day than with a bowl of creamy fruit salad. From fresh berries to ripe bananas, this refreshing fruit salad brings all the best flavors of summer right to your table. And, with our Cup Slicer, you can make this recipe at a moment’s notice for a delectable snack, side dish, or healthy dessert. 

This delicious recipe is a fresh twist on a summer potluck classic—the ambrosia salad. Traditionally made with marshmallows, fruit, and whipped topping, our version takes the decadence one step further with the addition of cream cheese filling, shredded coconut and pretzels. Make this showstopping dessert in the 8″ (20-cm) Square Pan With Lid, which you can take with you and easily store leftovers for later.

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 turn this side dish into a main course meal. Then, freeze the leftover pesto to use in future meals.

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.

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.

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.

21 Responses to 10 Favorite Cookout Side Dishes

  1. Joan June 10, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

    Fresh tomato, cucumber and feta is the one I will try this summer. Thank you

    • Mary rodgers June 28, 2018 at 7:10 pm #

      I will also but instead of feta I will use mozzarella

      • Arleen OBriant July 11, 2018 at 10:22 am #

        Mozzarella sounds awesome Mary. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will try that one also.

      • Melinda June 7, 2019 at 12:21 pm #

        Oh I like that suggestion! I don’t do feta.

    • Phyllis Arnold July 14, 2022 at 9:15 am #

      I do this with mozzarella balls. Just an idea

  2. Cyndi June 28, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

    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!

  3. Connie Kerr June 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm #

    Thanks for the recipes! Yes, I want to try the tomato, cucumber & feta salad, sounds so good!!

  4. Sharon Sutton June 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    Oh yes ? thanks I will do the tomato and cucumber ? salad

  5. Kim Banker June 28, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    The Korean potato salad looks delicious. I watched the video earlier today and I can’t wait to make it!

  6. Lori Summers June 28, 2018 at 3:58 pm #

    I wish we could have more common recipes that didn’t have crazy things in them!

  7. Judy Phelps June 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    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.

  8. Sonya Tourdot June 28, 2018 at 9:24 pm #

    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!

  9. Valerie June 28, 2018 at 11:36 pm #

    I’m gonna try the pickled radishes; have been really enjoying vinegar sides lately!

  10. Jean Rieke June 29, 2018 at 6:19 am #

    I would like a more specific recipe with amounts, etc.

    • Kim June 29, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

      Did you click on them? They will take you straight to the full recipe! Yay!! ?

    • Mary Petersen June 7, 2019 at 8:57 pm #

      Click on the picture, and it comes up. Ingredients and directions.

  11. Connie Lubbert June 29, 2018 at 4:51 pm #

    I want to pickle some daikon! I’ll add sliced carrot, too.

  12. Donna Bockelman June 30, 2018 at 8:08 am #

    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.

  13. Clara Tomas July 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

    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

  14. tricia August 31, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

    Yes Sangria counts as a side dish it goes great with any of the other sides.

  15. Linda Felipe July 20, 2023 at 7:22 pm #

    Fresh tomato , cucumber, and feta salad is the one I’ll try first. Sounds so delicious 😋

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