Are you planning a backyard cookout and scrambling for side dish ideas? You’ve come to the right place!
Our delicious selection of Cookout Side Dishes are sure to please every palate.
From creamy homemade slaws to unique twists on pasta salad to fresh seasonal fruit salads – each recipe showcases an array of flavors so everyone around the table can enjoy a tasty treat.
It’s time to heat up those grills and save yourself some stress with our delectable collection of cookout side dishes!
Cookout 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…
2. Fried Green Tomatoes
If you’re from the South, these Fried Green Tomatoes are a must in the summertime!
Well seasoned and super crispy on the outside, with a tender and succulent inside, they’re perfect as an appetizer or side dish, or even just an anytime snack.
Fried Green Tomatoes isn’t just the name of a movie from the early 90’s, they’re one addictive treat that you just have to try!
3. Rainbow Pasta Salad
Make this colorful pasta for your next cookout. You can’t get easier than this Rainbow Pasta Salad.
The crowd will surely be going back for seconds when they try this great salad. We love the final touch of feta in there…
4. Grilled Zucchini
It’s summer, that means it’s time to fire up the grill. And have we found the perfect side dish for the season, Grilled Zucchini!
Your favorite summer squash has never been more delicious. A little bit of seasoning is all it takes, then let your grill work its magic.
Once you try it, we bet you’ll be pairing it with just about everything!
5. Tabbouleh Salad
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!
6. Macaroni Salad
This Macaroni salad is loaded with chopped veggies and hard boiled eggs in a creamy delicious, sweet and tangy dressing.
It’s so easy and great for all the cookouts and BBQs coming your way.
7. Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
These easy baked sweet potato fries are a great way to bring the joy that comes with sweet potato fries to your own home.
They are gluten-free, vegetarian, and perfectly seasoned. If you need a finger-food side, definitely give these fries a try!
8. Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
This evergreen salad is a no brainer hit at every BBQ party. Reason? It’s super simple, quick, fresh and delicious.
Its buttery delicious flavors, thanks to avo and mozz, are surely going to be your favorite this coming summer…
9. Watermelon Salad
Have some pool side party or BBQ get together coming up? Make this super easy and quick fruit salad, which is refreshing and inviting to every single person.
This vibrant Watermelon Salad is just what you need on any hot summer day.
Our watermelon salad recipe is a perfect balance of sweet, juicy watermelon chunks, fresh mint leaves, tangy feta cheese, and a hint of lemon and honey for an added zesty kick.
10. Steak Fries
These easy baked Steak Fries are a breeze to make, and go with just about anything. They may be the perfect side dish.
You’ll love these tasty potato wedges, which are perfectly seasoned, then baked to crispy perfection.
Pair them up with your favorite burger at your next cookout!
Ratatouille sounds fancy, but at its core it’s just a simple, hearty and rustic dish out of the South of France.
This classic Provencal dish is a medley of summer vegetables accentuating all the Mediterranean flavors.
Melt in your mouth chunks of beautifully cooked eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash in a tomato sauce spiked with fresh herbs with a good dose of olive oil. That’s Ratatouille for you!!
12. 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.
13. Green Beans Almondine
These green beans are covered in almonds toasted in marvelous melted butter. The buttered almonds are topped with parsley and lemon juice.
So simple, yet such a huge upgrade over your regular green beans. YUM!
14. Bacon Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread
Do you need a new cornbread recipe? Put your Jiffy mix away, this made from scratch (but still easy) loaf is packed with flavor.
It starts with bacon, how can you go wrong? Add in some cheese and jalapeño and your barbecue has a new best friend!
15. Balela Salad
Let us present you Balela deliciousness!! So colorful, so easy, so refreshing… 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?
It’s one of our favorite cookout side dishes.
16. Mexican Street Corn Salad
This Mexican street corn salad is a great way to get the classic flavors of elote served salad-style. It’s creamy, cheesy, and filled with corn, red onions, cilantro, mayonnaise, and more.
It will go great with all of your favorite grilled meats.
17. Caesar Salad
If you want to master your salad game, this easy Caesar Salad recipe is a MUST!
Perhaps the most famous and popular salad on the planet, Caesar is so simple, yet so tasty. All you need is lettuce, croutons, parm cheese, and an awesome dressing. We have it for you!
Once you add this recipe in your arsenal, you’ll always have the perfect side dish for anything…
18. Peach Salsa
What to do with all the peaches life gives you when they are in season? Simple… make this Peach Salsa.
It’s fresh and sweet, it’s addictively delicious and it’s colorful and pretty to take it to all your summer potlucks and poolside parties.
19. Tortellini Pasta Salad
This gorgeous Tortellini Pasta Salad is one dish that looks as great as it tastes. It’s so quick and easy, yet such a crowd pleaser.
Whether you’re hosting a pot luck or hunkered down with family, everyone will love this one!
20. Maque Choux
Give your corn a Louisiana style makeover with this Cajun Maque Choux! Corn is sautéed in bacon grease with Cajun or Creole seasoning, along with other flavor enhancers.
This recipe is perfect for summer, when corn season is at its peak. It will become the new star side dish at your cookouts and potlucks.
It’s sweet, it’s savory, and it’s just a little bit spicy…
21. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is the light and tasty side dish you need this summer. A simple mix of quinoa, a few veggies, some Mediterranean staples, and a zesty lemon dressing is all it takes.
It’s a perfect dish for those sultry grilling nights when you have some chicken or pork chops over the fire.
And it’s a great alternative to the usual old pasta or potato salads at potlucks. Give this one a try tonight, and see how easy these flavors come together.
Once you try this easy homemade Arepas Recipe, you’ll see why they’re a staple in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine!
These delectable little cornbread patties are the perfect snack, or accompaniment to a huge variety of cookout mains.
23. 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.
Chakalaka! If your grilled meats need a new sidekick, this famous South African vegetable dish is the answer!
Typically used as a topping for their grilled meats, it goes great with chicken, beef or even seafood.
It’s a great addition to your collection of cookout side dishes!
25. Greek Salad
This traditional Greek Salad recipe, known to the locals as Horiatiki, is one of our summertime favorites!
Crisp cucumbers, sweet cherry tomatoes, red onions, briny olives and capers, creamy feta, and a simple herb dressing. That’s all it takes. And the results are top notch.
The next time those fresh salad cravings hit, go the Greek way… the Horiatiki way!
26. Creole Slaw
Our 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!
27. Cowboy Caviar
Is this a salsa? Or a salad? Or a dip?? Cowboy Caviar… This colorful, no-cook, hearty appetizer 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.
28. Cheese Grits
Cheese Grits… the ultimate Southern side dish! This creamy and comforting delight is a staple in the south, and deserves a spot in every cook’s repertoire.
They go great with so many things, and can be enjoyed with any meal of the day. You can cook them up in no time with quick cook grits, or simmer stone ground grits low and slow for the ultimate treat.
Grits are also very forgiving. With a few simple tips, you’ll have them perfected every time…
29. 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.
It’s a smashed cucumber salad. Yes, you heard it right, you smash that cucumber a little before tossing it with a dressing that is sweet, tangy, and tad bit spicy.
30. Creamed Corn
Another cookout classic, this decadent creamed corn is a great side dish any time of year. Skip the canned stuff, this is so much better and takes under 15 minutes.
We love it paired with barbecue or burgers.
So there you go, plenty of great cookout side dishes to choose from. Which one will you try first?
Pin or bookmark 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!
- 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
- Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrot and dressing.
- Taste and adjust sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper to your liking.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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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