13 Superb Summer Side Dishes

You’ve grilled up some steaks and now you’re looking for the perfect accompaniments to the meal. You have plenty of options from grains to coleslaw to colorful vegetables cooked various ways to supplement your meal. Plus, don’t forget about keeping hydrated.

13 Superb Summer Sides


Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad

Melissa Belanger / A Teaspoon of Happiness

Melissa Belanger / A Teaspoon of Happiness

Keep cool at your next cookout by eating this tangy salad. This is a simple salad to put together, but just requires you to get started on it early.

Lightened-Up Potato Salad with Dill and Greek Yogurt

A potato salad is a classic side dish to a great grilled meal. Lighten it up by substituting yogurt for the mayonnaise that traditionally goes into this salad. There are only a few ingredients making it simple to put together all based on your personal preferences.

Summer Succotash with Bacon and Croutons

succotash with bacon, croutons

Photo: Deb Perelman / Smitten Kitchen

The middle of summer, when the tomatoes, corn and shelled beans are at their prime you’ll want to put this together. It is the perfect time to make this summery salad. Omit the bacon (maybe add in fried tofu cubes instead) and you’ve got yourself a vegetarian friendly option as well.


Honey Coleslaw with Sweet Potatoes and Sunflower Seeds

Sweeten your coleslaw with the addition of sweet potatoes for a unique take on a traditional side dish. The sunflower seeds add a salty crunch to the slaw.

Spicy Mango Coleslaw

Kick it up a notch with this spicy slaw. The heat from the Sriracha complements the sweetness of the mango, plus the cabbage gives it a good crunch.

Red Cabbage Coleslaw

Traditionalist at heart? This coleslaw has all the flavor of a traditional coleslaw but without all the heavy dressing. 


Summer Farro Salad


Photo: Erin / Naturally Ella

Farro is an ancient grain full of protein. You can mix in different cheeses and vegetables to make this salad uniquely your own.

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

Macaroni is another classic side dish served up during a grilling session. Dress it up by adding some crunchy bacon and velvety avocado all mixed together in a creamy lemon-thyme dressing.

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

Photo: Kristin / Iowa Girl Eats

Photo: Kristin / Iowa Girl Eats

Orzo is a pasta from the Mediterranean which lends itself for a variety of side dishes. This particular dish is sure to be a crowd favorite. Think of this dish as a grown up version of mac and cheese.


Pineapple Sangria


Photo: Erin / Erin’s Food Files

Bring out the tropical flavors with this pineapple sangria. This is a great alternative to the typical white wine sangria and will have your guests coming back for more and more.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Juicy strawberries, fresh basil, and tart lemons are the base to this strawberry basil lemonade that is sure to please everyone and keep them hydrated.

Raspberry Cordial


Photo: Courtney / NeighborFood

Anyone who grew up reading Anne of Green Gables will know how important this summer drink is and now you can make your own and invite your bosom friends over for a sip.

Aqua Fresca

Take summer’s basic necessity, water and add in different flavor combinations.  It is a healthy alternative to drinking soda. All the flavor, but less sugar.

What are some of your favorite dishes to accompany a grilled meal?

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