Join us for an adventure in flavor!

    The 35+ BEST Summer Side Dishes

    The days are getting long, and the temperatures are starting to rise… time to fire up the grill and find something refreshing to eat!

    This collection of easy Summer Side Dishes has plenty of great dishes to bring to all of those cookouts, potlucks and pool parties.

    From salads to pastas, grilled veggies to refreshing drinks, and more, this list of summer sides will keep you covered all summer long.

    Go through all of these amazing summer side dishes, and have fun this summer!

    the best summer side dishes.

    The Best Summer Side Dishes:

    1. Cherry Tomato Confit

    We’re starting this list of summer side dishes with a real beauty. Bunches of cherry tomatoes, heavy glugs of olive oil, a handful of garlic cloves, a few herbs… Cherry Tomato Confit!!

    Luxuriously soft, melt-in-your mouth, juicy and bright flavor bombs. Welcome this summer delight into your life.

    Get the Recipe

    2. 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. Perfect side for all those upcoming cookouts.

    Get the Recipe

    3. Rainbow Pasta Salad

    Basic, simple, easy, quick and yet so satisfying and delicious… Make this colorful pasta for your everyday easy lunches, as a side to some Italian meal or a quick fix for all the potluck parties or get togethers.

    You can’t get easier than this Rainbow Pasta Salad. We love the final touch of feta in there…

    Get the Recipe

    4. 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

    5. 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.

    Get the Recipe

    6. Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad with Pesto

    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.

    It has buttery delicious flavors, thanks to avo and mozz, and is surely going to be your favorite this coming summer.

    Get the Recipe

    7. Chakalaka (South African Vegetable Dish)

    Chakalaka! This is one of the most popular side dishes in South Africa, and is essential to their barbecue parties.

    A quick and simple preparation of veggies, beans, aromatics and spices, this versatile dish is one of our favorite summer side dishes.

    Get the Recipe

    8. 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

    9. Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

    These healthy and tasty alternatives to your basic French fries are sweeping restaurants across the country. Now you can make them in your own home with this easy recipe!

    They’ll go great alongside those summer burgers.

    Get the Recipe

    10. 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.

    Get the Recipe

    11. 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.

    Get the Recipe

    12. Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Gỏi Gà Bắp Cải)

    This Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Gỏi Gà Bắp Cải) is one of the most popular Vietnamese side dishes. It’s sweet, salty, spicy, sour, and refreshing.

    What makes this salad stands out are the different textures and flavors.

    Get the Recipe

    13. Moroccan Couscous

    Give regular couscous a colorful makeover by adding a bunch of veggies and earthy Moroccan spices.

    This Moroccan Couscous is not only an ideal dish next to any of your chicken, beef or fish dishes

    Get the Recipe

    14. Mediterranean Pasta

    This Mediterranean Pasta is super quick, like 20 minutes quick, and has great flavors the whole family will love.

    This can be served hot or cold, making it a great make ahead option for burger night.

    Get the Recipe

    15. Balela Salad

    Balela Salad is a Middle Eastern style chickpeas Salad. This hearty, refreshing salad is bursting with zesty flavors.

    So easy, so delicious, nutrient dense and satisfying. It is perfect for all of your summer get togethers.

    Get the Recipe

    16. Israeli Couscous Salad 

    Vibrant, bright and light fresh flavors! A melody of textures! Do you sometimes crave for some good starchy carbs in your salad? This Israeli Couscous Salad has it all!

    Colorful veggies and Levantine flavors like Kalamata olives, feta, and pine nuts along with nutty chewy pearled couscous and tossed with a fresh lemon Dijon vinaigrette. It’s a salad chameleon at its best!! 

    Get the Recipe

    17. Latkes

    Crispy fried latkes are a fun and delicious alternative to your regular french fries. Give them a try on your next burger night!

    Get the Recipe

    18. Caponata – Sicilian Eggplant Relish

    You will love the combination of savory, sweet and sour flavors in this creamy eggplant Caponata with onions, tomatoes, olives and raisins!

    It’s a perfect make ahead dish, as it store beautifully in the fridge for a few days.

    Get the Recipe

    19. Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

    This Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans) are the most flavorful beans simmered in a tomato, sofrito and sazon based broth with potatoes and olives.

    These hearty beans are the definition of comfort food when served over a bed of warm rice. It’s a classic staple with every Puerto Rican dinner.

    Get the Recipe

    20. Espinacas con Garbanzos

    Spanish Spinach and Chickpeas (Espinacas con Garbanzos) is a must try Andalisiam tapas dish that’s easy to make at home.

    This traditional spinach and chickpea stew is popular in Seville, Spain.

    Get the Recipe

    21. Cherry Tomato Gratin

    This Cherry Tomato gratin is the newest star on your party spread. It’s the perfect combination of easy, tasty and pretty.

    You’ll want to gobble it up before the guests arrive!

    Get the Recipe

    22. Tortellini Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

    This Tortellini Pasta Salad with Prosciutto is the best pasta salad ever! One bite and you will be in heaven.

    Cheese tortellini, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, basil and Italian basil vinaigrette make a the ultimate salad. This can serve as a side, or a main dish for lunch or a light dinner.

    Get the Recipe

    23. Mango Salsa

    You gotta try mango salsa in the summer time when you see some juicy, ripe mangoes. All you doing is chopping and mixing a few ingredients. Life can’t get easier than that… right?

    Great for get togethers and potlucks alongside plenty of tortilla chips. Or use it as topping for tacos or over baked chicken or fish like our baked salmon with mango salsa.

    Get the Recipe

    24. Sicilian Pasta

    This Sicilian Pasta is a 20 minute meal bursting with flavor from olives, capers, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and great flavor enhancers.

    This is one of our favorite summer sides!

    Get the Recipe

    25. Creamed Corn

    After you try this easy Creamed Corn recipe, you will never, ever go back to canned. Made with fresh summer corn, it’s so creamy and full of flavor.

    This side dish is addictively good.

    Get the Recipe

    26. Dirty Rice

    Dirty Rice is a famous dish in Creole and Cajun cuisines. White rice gets a “dirty” color from bits of meat and a generous dose of seasonings.

    It’s a super delicious recipe that’s packed with flavor. And although it’s usually served as a side dish, we love it as a main.

    Get the Recipe

    27. Tostones

    Tostones are crispy, savory, salty, golden coins of pure deliciousness. Popular throughout the Caribbean, twice-fried plantains are a snack that will make you feel like you are walking on sunshine.

    Once you know all the tricks, they will come out perfectly every time. Serve this Latin side dish with homemade avo-cilantro sauce.

    Get the Recipe

    28. Green Bean Almondine

    You need to try this green bean almondine. The green beans are covered in almonds toasted in marvelous melted butter. The buttered almonds are topped with parsley and lemon juice.

    Get the Recipe

    29. Arroz con Gandules

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    Along with pernil (roasted pork), this is the national dish of Puerto Rico. It’s such a great side dish to have in your repertoire, as it goes well with so many things.

    Get the Recipe

    30. Corn Casserole

    This easy 5 ingredient Corn Casserole is a great southern style side dish, and takes next to no effort. Seriously, just mix up the ingredients, then stick it in the oven.

    It’s a great side for your BBQ ribs or chicken!

    Get the Recipe

    31. Quick and Easy Pico de Gallo

    Easy, fresh and delicious. This Pico de Gallo whips up in 10 minutes and is great with chips as an appetizer, or as a condiment to many of your favorite Mexican dishes.

    Try this fresh pico next time you have a get together.

    Get the Recipe

    32. Tomato Cucumber Raita

    This traditional Indian dip is just what you need when you have a fiery main course. It will cool your palette when you are eating those spicy tikkas and curries.

    Get the Recipe

    33. Farro Salad with Roasted Veggies

    This Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables is one of my new favorite summer sides. If you are looking for a great salad idea, this is it!!

    It’s a great make ahead dish, perfect for meal prep. And it goes great with a variety of proteins .

    If you’ve never cooked with farro, this is the recipe you need to try…

    Get the Recipe

    34. 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.

    Get the Recipe

    35. 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 is perfect for get togethers and potlucks.

    Get the Recipe

    36. 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 summer, 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.

    Get the Recipe

    37. 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

    We hope you enjoy these delicious Summer Side Dishes as much as we do. There’s such a big variety, which will you make for your next cookout?

    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!
    Summer Appetizers
    Summer Dinner Ideas
    Summer Desserts
    Grilling Recipes
    Cherry Tomato Recipes
    Pineapple Recipes
    Hamburger Recipes
    Potluck Ideas
    BBQ Side Dishes

    featured image for summer side dishes post.

    The 35+ BEST Summer Sides

    This collection of Summer Side Dishes has plenty of great dishes to bring to all of those cookouts, potlucks and pool parties. We love this easy coleslaw:


    • 16oz coleslaw mix
    • 3/8 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp Creole mustard
    • 2 Tbsp Creole seasoning
    • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar


      1. In a large bowl, mix together mayo, mustard, Creole seasoning, vinegar and sugar until well combined.
      2. Add in coleslaw mix and toss well.
      3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

      Did you make this recipe?

      Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

      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.

      Get griddling! Try these Blackstone Recipes!

      Never miss a recipe!

      Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

        Search by Cuisine

        Travel a word of flavors with GypsyPlate. Sort our recpes by regions:

        GypsyPlate logo.
        Skip to Recipe