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    The 25+ BEST Cold Side Dishes

    Are you looking for something unique and delicious to serve as a side dish at your next gathering? With summer coming on, Cold Side Dishes are the way to go.

    They’re quick to put together and don’t require using the oven or spending too long in a hot kitchen.

    Whether it be homemade macaroni salad, chilled salads with fresh herbs, cold pasta dishes or veggie-packed slaws, there are endless possibilities with cold sides.

    Plus, most can be easily prepared ahead of time so all you have to do is pull them out when dinner starts!

    cold side dishes pin

    Cold Side Dishes

    1. Classic Coleslaw


    There are a lot of Coleslaw recipes out there, but this is the best hands down! Just a quick chop and mix is all it takes to make this iconic side dish.

    This Classic Coleslaw is essential for all your upcoming cookouts and potlucks. It’s creamy and crunchy, and goes with all of your summertime favorites.

    All it takes is a few tips and tricks to make it perfect every time…

    Get the Recipe

    2. Greek Salad

    greek salad

    Horiatiki, a classic Greek Salad recipe, holds a special place in our hearts during summertime.

    Imagine the crunch of fresh cucumbers, the sweetness of cherry tomatoes, the tangy bite of red onions, the briny delight of olives and capers. And let’s not forget the creamy feta and the simplicity of the herb dressing.

    Just these ingredients, meticulously combined, yield extraordinary results. It’s a culinary masterpiece that embodies the essence of summer.

    Get the Recipe

    3. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

    How many of you know that Macaroni Salad, aka Mac Salad, is an iconic staple side dish in Hawaii?

    It’s just made in a very unique Hawaiian style. Soft and tender macaroni becomes plump and luscious when drenched in a very unique dressing for hours.

    It’s so easy and great for all the cookouts and BBQs coming your way.

    Get the Recipe

    4. Caesar Salad

    caesar salad

    Nothing beats the simplicity of a Caesar salad! Elevate it with homemade croutons for that extra touch of deliciousness.

    The key to a truly outstanding Caesar lies in the dressing. Enjoy this timeless and classic salad that never fails to satisfy.

    Get the Recipe

    5. Pineapple Salsa

    pineapple salsa

    Ahh, summer. That time when fresh produce is at its peak. That means it’s time for some great salsa!

    This Pineapple Salsa is sure to satisfy those cravings for something refreshing, sweet, and just a little bit spicy.

    There’s really nothing to it… Just chop, mix, and enjoy!

    Get the Recipe

    6. Farro Salad

    farro salad

    This Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables is one of my new favorite side dishes.

    It’s so refreshing, and goes great with those summer burgers. If you are looking for a great summer salad idea, this is it!!

    Get the Recipe

    7. Tabbouleh


    If you’re looking for a new salad recipe, we have just the one… Tabbouleh!

    This famous Levantine salad is bursting with herby flavors from plenty of fresh parsley, veggie power from tomatoes and cucumber, and it has a hearty bite from bulgur wheat.

    And once you drizzle on that easy homemade dressing… perfection!

    Get the Recipe

    8. Rainbow Pasta Salad

    closeup of rainbow pasta salad

    Impress your guests at the next cookout with a vibrant and delightful Rainbow Pasta Salad. Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but it’s guaranteed to leave everyone wanting seconds.

    The addition of feta cheese adds the perfect finishing touch, enhancing the flavors to create a truly remarkable salad.

    Get the Recipe

    9. Cowboy Caviar

    cowboy caviar

    This colorful, no-cook, hearty side dish will take care of all your get togethers.

    Make a giant bowl of Cowboy Caviar, throw in some tortilla chips and the entire party will be scooping this till it disappears.

    It’s one of our favorite cold side dishes!

    Get the Recipe

    10. Wedge Salad

    sides for pot roast: wedge salad

    This Wedge Salad recipe is a real classic, and for good reason!

    Bright, crispy lettuce, homemade blue cheese dressing, sweet cherry tomatoes, and don’t you dare forget the bacon!

    It’s the perfect side dish for a huge variety of mains, and it’s one of the easiest salads you’ll ever make.

    Get the Recipe

    11. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

    quinoa salad

    Indulge in the refreshing flavors of summer with our Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.

    This delightful side dish combines a medley of quinoa, fresh vegetables, and Mediterranean essentials, all tossed in a tangy lemon dressing.

    It is the ideal accompaniment for those warm evenings when you’re grilling chicken or pork chops over an open flame.

    Get the Recipe

    12. Mango Salad

    mango salad

    Summer is here, and so are mangoes. How about some great refreshing Mango Salad to celebrate the sunny days.

    It’s bright and cool, where the sweetness of mangoes is well complimented with a tad bit of tang and a little heat.

    It’s a quick fix, where only three main ingredients get tossed with a spicy, sweet and savory dressing.

    Get the Recipe

    13. Asian Cucumber Salad

    asian cucumber salad

    How about some refreshing, crisp and crunchy salad loaded with bold, umami flavors?

    This Asian Cucumber Salad is a perfect appetizer or side dish for all your Chinese or Thai mains, or just something to munch and cool off on any summer day.

    Get the Recipe

    14. Watermelon Salad

    watermelon salad

    Beat the summer heat with our refreshing Watermelon Salad. This recipe combines the sweetness of juicy watermelon chunks with the coolness of fresh mint leaves and the tanginess of feta cheese.

    Plus, a touch of lemon and honey adds an extra burst of zestiness. Try our perfect balance of flavors today.

    Get the Recipe

    15. Japchae

    If you love Korean food, Japchae is already well on your radar. For the rest of you, let me introduce Korea’s most beloved dish, celebrated on special festive occasions and get togethers… Japchae!!

    It’s a beautiful, stunning and colorful stir fry with chewy, slippery and fun sweet potato glass noodles (dangmyeon), tons of veggies and tender beef strips.

    The secret to the best tasting Japchae is perfectly balanced sweet and savory japchae sauce.

    Get the Recipe

    16. Creole Coleslaw

    creole coleslaw

    This creamy Creole Coleslaw is a great variation on that classic potluck side dish. Your traditional slaw gets a zippy upgrade.

    We love Creole cuisine here at GypsyPlate. This coleslaw recipe shows how their seasonings can really spruce anything up.

    Bring this to your next get together and guests will be asking for your secret slaw recipe!

    Get the Recipe

    17. Mexican Street Corn Salad

    elote salad

    Introducing the showstopper of every cookout and potluck: Mexican Street Corn Salad!

    Tired of the same old pasta and potato salads? Prepare to be amazed by the incredible flavors that can be achieved with just a handful of simple ingredients.

    Join the trend and give this easy salad a try – discover why Mexican street corn is causing such a sensation worldwide. Get ready to gather a crowd!

    Get the Recipe

    18. Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad with Pesto

    cucumber tomato salad

    Spring and summer demand colorful, light, refreshing salads. So here it is our Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad, but with major flavor bender… delicious basil pesto dressing.

    This one is there for you to brighten up any meal of the day. Dig into it with your scrambled eggs and toast first thing in the morning, or along with your favorite sandwich for lunch, or use it as a topping for your taco night.

    Its buttery delicious flavors, thanks to avo and mozz, are surely going to be your favorite this coming summer…

    Get the Recipe

    19. Israeli Couscous Salad

    israeli couscous salad on a blue platter

    Experience a symphony of vibrant flavors and delightful textures with our Israeli Couscous Salad.

    Indulge in the perfect combination of starchy carbs and fresh ingredients, creating a hearty and satisfying meal that you’ll crave all day long.

    Don’t be surprised if you find yourself going back for seconds, or even thirds. Elevate your salad game with this truly irresistible dish.

    Get the Recipe

    20. Spanish Summer Salad (Pipirrana)


    Here to celebrate tomato season this summer is a tribute to all those luscious summer tomatoes, ripening on the vines in warm sunshine.

    Mixed with just a few more cool crunchies, and you have yet another colorful popular traditional dish, pipirrana, all the way from the south of Spain.

    Get the Recipe

    21. Tortellini Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

    tortellini pasta salad

    You love this Tortellini Pasta Salad with Prosciutto!

    Cheesy, soft tortellini along with heirloom cherry tomatoes bursting in all colors. Throw in some creamy, buttery, melt in your mouth mini mozzarella balls, sweet red bell pepper and briney kalamata olives.

    Get the Recipe

    22. Thanksgiving Kale Salad

    close up of thanksgiving kale salad

    Experience the ultimate holiday delight – a green oasis amidst the savory indulgence!

    Delight your senses with the creamy, nutty roasted butternut squash, vibrant cranberries, and a touch of sweet maple syrup.

    Prepare to fall in love with this irresistible combination of your favorite holiday flavors!

    Get the Recipe

    23. Zucchini Carrot Salad with Catalina Dressing

    spiralized carrots and zucchini mixed with catalina dressing in a white bowl garnished with slivered almonds and mint leaves

    Looking to shake up your salad routine? Try our spiralized zucchini carrot salad topped with homemade Catalina dressing, toasted almond slivers, and fresh mint leaves.

    The spiralized veggies take on a whole new look, and the Catalina dressing is absolutely delicious. Once you try this crunchy, flavorful salad, you’ll be hooked.

    Don’t miss out on this tasty twist on a classic salad.

    Get the Recipe

    24. Mango Salsa

    closeup of mango salsa in a metal bowl

    Introducing the ultimate crowd-pleaser: a colossal bowl of Mango Salsa.

    Juicy mangoes, crisp peppers, and tomatoes blend together with a zesty lime kick and a hint of jalapeño heat. Get ready to wow your guests with this winning cold side dish.

    Get the Recipe

    25. Fall Pasta Salad

    Who says pasta salad is just a summertime potluck thing? Our Fall Pasta Salad is brimming with all the best flavors of autumn.

    Roasted veggies, crisp apples, sweet dried cranberries, and so much more. This is one of those salads where every bite brings a new combination of flavors.

    Give this one a sure try when the temperatures start to drop. Hint, hint, this fall pasta salad would be a great surprise on holiday spreads…

    Get the Recipe

    26. Tomato Cucumber Raita

    tomato cucumber raita in a brick colored bowl

    This Tomato Cucumber Raita is a delicious, crunchy and refreshing side dish or snack. It’s ideal to serve as a salad accompaniment with almost any meal.

    This traditional Indian dip will cool your palette when you are eating those spicy tikkas and curries. Then again, you just might like it so much that you make it your go-to summer cool-down dish.

    Get the Recipe

    27. Peach Salsa

    peach salsa

    Discover the ultimate way to savor the bounty of summer with this mouthwatering Peach Salsa!

    Bursting with freshness and sweetness, this irresistible delight is bound to captivate your taste buds.

    Not only will it leave you craving for more, but its vibrant and eye-catching appearance makes it the perfect addition to any summer gathering or poolside get-together.

    Get the Recipe

    28. Balela Salad

    balela salad

    This hearty colorful salad comes from many Middle Eastern countries and is bursting with flavors and textures.

    Chickpeas, black beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, parsley, mint… what’s not to like!!

    This one is perfect for your next potluck, party or get together.

    Get the Recipe

    So many great cold side dishes to try. Which one will you choose to wow your crowd?

    Save or pin this collection of great recipes so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new easy recipes for you!

    Check out these other great recipe collections!
    Potluck Recipe Ideas
    Pasta Salad Recipes
    Macaroni Salad Recipes
    Coleslaw Recipes
    Cold Appetizers
    Cold Lunch Ideas

    featured image for cold side dishes post

    25+ BEST Cold Side Dishes

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes

    Whether you're hosting a backyard BBQ or looking for the perfect accompaniment to your favorite main course, check out these delicious Cold Side Dishes!


    • 3 cups green cabbage, shredded
    • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
    • 1 cup carrot, shredded
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • salt, to taste
    • pepper, to taste


    1. Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.
    2. In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrot and dressing.
    3. Taste and adjust sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper to your liking.
    4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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