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    The 30+ BEST Cookout Side Dishes

    Are you planning a backyard cookout and scrambling for side dish ideas? You’ve come to the right place!

    Our delicious list of Cookout Side Dishes are sure to please every palate. From creamy homemade slaws to healthy salads and pasta salads, fresh seasonal fruit salads it has all the regular get together favorites. Plus some very quick sides that you can make in advance before you fire up the grill, there is plenty of outdoor party food ideas here. Go through all of them and make your cookout party success that everyone will talk about for days.

    cookout side dishes pin

    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…

    Get the Recipe

    2. Fried Green Tomatoes

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    3. Rainbow Pasta Salad

    closeup of 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…

    Get the Recipe

    4. Grilled Zucchini

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    5. Tabbouleh Salad

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    7. Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

    pile of 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!

    Get the Recipe

    8. Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

    cucumber tomato 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…

    Get the Recipe

    9. Watermelon Salad

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    10. Steak Fries

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    11. Ratatouillie


    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!!

    Get the Recipe

    12. Wedge Salad

    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

    13. Green Beans Almondine

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    15. Balela Salad

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    16. Mexican Street Corn Salad

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    17. Caesar Salad

    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…

    Get the Recipe

    18. Peach Salsa

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    19. Tortellini Pasta Salad

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    20. Maque Choux

    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…

    Get the Recipe

    21. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    22. Arepas


    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.

    Get the Recipe

    23. 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

    24. Chakalaka


    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!

    Get the Recipe

    25. Greek Salad

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    26. Creole Slaw

    creole coleslaw

    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!

    Get the Recipe

    27. Cowboy Caviar

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    28. Cheese Grits

    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…

    Get the Recipe

    29. 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.

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    30. Creamed Corn

    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.

    Get the Recipe

    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!

    Check out these other great recipe collections!
    Pasta Salad Recipes
    Salad Recipes
    Potluck Ideas
    Fruit Salad Recipes
    Macaroni Salad Recipes
    Party Appetizers
    Summer Dinner Ideas
    Summer Desserts

    featured image for cookout side dishes post

    30+ BEST Cookout Side Dishes

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes

    This collection of easy Cookout Side Dishes will help all of your summer gatherings be the best ever!


    • 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.

    Did you make this recipe?

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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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