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57 Cookout Side Dishes for Memorial Day and Beyond

You’ve already planned out your Memorial Day menu (hello, over-the-top hot dog bar), but why stop there? Summer is all about outdoor eating, and the barbecues, picnics and potlucks are about to pile up on your calendar. Instead of settling for the same old potato salad, try one of these 57 cookout side dishes—like grilled watermelon skewers or mini peach tarts—that are sure to please.

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cookout side dishes grilled peach and halloumi salad with lemon pesto dressing recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Grilled Peach And Halloumi Salad With Lemon-pesto Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Vegetarian, make ahead, special occasion–worthy

Spread it out on a big platter and it’ll wow everyone at your next backyard bash. (Peaches are special like that.)

cookout side dishes grilled corn with spicy aioli recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Grilled Corn With Spicy Aioli

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Under 500 calories, <10 ingredients, vegetarian

It’s not as if corn on the cob needs improvement; we just can’t help playing with our food. The combination of smokiness from the grill and spiciness from the sauce will blow your usual butter and salt away.

cookout side dishes caprese salad with grilled zucchini recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

3. Caprese Salad With Grilled Zucchini

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, low carb, gluten free

This is what we like to call “summer on a plate.” Bonus points if you’re working with zucchini that you grew in your own backyard.

cookout side dishes burrata salad with stone fruit and asparagus recipe
Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Heath Goldman

4. 20-minute Burrata Salad With Stone Fruit And Asparagus

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Make ahead, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, under 500 calories

It’s practically no-cook (just five minutes!), feeds a crowd and won’t wilt when you set it out in 90-degree weather.

cookout side dishes watermelon feta skewers recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

5. Grilled Watermelon-feta Skewers

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, low carb, gluten free, high protein

Rather than just chopping up the ingredients and tossing them with dressing, our flavorful take on this summer staple begins on the grill.

cookout side dishes mini peach tarts with goat cheese and honey recipe
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

6. Mini Peach Tarts With Goat Cheese And Honey

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

These have just the right amount of sweetness and spice, plus they look really impressive even though they’re shockingly easy to make. (That’s the magic of store-bought puff pastry.)

cookout side dishes avocado and black bean pasta salad recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

7. Avocado And Black Bean Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, make ahead, kid-friendly

As much as we adore a mayo-based salad, it’s not always the best choice when the temps are pushing 90 degrees. This pasta salad is dressed with olive oil for a hot weather–ready treatment.

cookout side dishes roasted poblanao and corn guacamole recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

8. Roasted Poblano And Corn Guacamole

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Low sugar, gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free

It’s just the right balance of sweet, spicy and zesty—and it’s filled with delicious goodies. Pass the tortilla chips, please.

cookout side dishes light and tangy coleslaw recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

9. Light And Tangy Coleslaw

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Make ahead, no cook, crowd-pleaser

No one wants a bowl of gloppy, store-bought slaw at the end of a picnic table. Here, we lay off the mayonnaise and use a zesty vinegar base instead. The result? A lighter and more flavorful take on a classic.

cookout side dishes corn fritter caprese recipe
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

10. Corn Fritter Caprese With Peaches And Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: High protein, vegetarian, kid-friendly, special occasion–worthy

Be still our corn-loving hearts. The only thing you have to cook is the fritters, so it’s surprisingly simple to make.

cookout side dishes zesty chargrilled broccolini recipe
Simon Pask/The Happy Balance

11. Zesty Chargrilled Broccolini

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <15 minutes, low carb, <10 ingredients

If you already have the coals fired up for burgers, why not make your whole meal on the grill?

cookout side dishes kale brussels sprouts caesar slaw recipe
Ana Cuba/The Modern Cook’s Year

12. Kale And Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

Wanna know a secret? This slaw can be completely plant-based if you leave off the blue cheese. The super creamy dressing is made from a base of soaked nuts and seeds.

cookout side dishes blt pasta salad recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

13. Blt Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, make ahead

It combines all the crunchy, savory, creamy ingredients of the classic sandwich—minus, well, the bread (because pasta is way more fun).

cookout side dishes slow cooker baked beans recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

14. Slow Cooker Baked Beans

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Slow cooker recipe, one pot, crowd-pleaser

If a backyard barbecue is thrown and there are no baked beans on the menu, did it really happen? (The answer is no.)

cookout side dishes rainbow vegetable skewers recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

15. Rainbow Vegetable Skewers

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Kid-friendly, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser

With one ingredient each, these skewers will grill to perfection (unlike mixed kebabs, which always cook unevenly).

cookout side dishes chilled cucumber salad recipe
Erin McDowell

16. Chilled Cucumber Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, low carb, keto friendly

During the dog days of summer, turn to this chilled number. It basically makes itself in the fridge, so you won’t even break a sweat.

cookout side dishes carrot pigs in a blanket recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

17. Carrot Pigs In A Blanket

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Vegetarian, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

We serve this ever-so-slightly sophisticated version of the classic with a side of green goddess dressing for dipping—swoon.

cookout side dishes magic pepper salad with pine nuts and capers recipe
Alexandra Stafford

18. “magic” Peppers Salad With Pine Nuts And Capers

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: High protein, Mediterranean diet-friendly

The caramelized vegetables can be used in countless ways, from pasta salad to bruschetta and free-form tarts (hence the “magic”).

cookout side dishes salami artichoke and ricotta pasta salad recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

19. Salami, Artichoke And Ricotta Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, ready in <30 minutes

Our favorite Italian flavors come together for one simple yet satisfying dish. Even better, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes.

cookout side dishes minty fresh zucchini salad with marinated feta recipe
Aubrie Pick/Kitchen Remix

20. Minty-fresh Zucchini Salad With Marinated Feta

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Make ahead, no cook, under 500 calories

Zucchini is typically reserved for cooking, not raw preparations. But one bite of this zesty marinated no-cook salad and you’ll never look back.

cookout side dishes summer millet salad recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

21. Summer Millet Salad

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Make ahead, kid-friendly, low sugar

Not all salads need to include tender lettuce, especially if you’re serving them on a hot summer day. This grain salad will hold up to the heat—if it lasts that long.

cookout side dishes corn and tomato salad recipe
Photo: Tyler Mauk/Styling: Anne Mauk

22. Corn And Tomato Salad With Feta And Lime

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly

When corn is in season, make a beeline for your local farmers market and grab as many ears as you can carry (then make this 20-minute salad).

cookout side dishes pearl couscous with chickpeas eggplant peaches recipe
Eleisa Johnson/The Peach Truck Cookbook

23. Pearl Couscous With Chickpeas, Eggplant And Peaches

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Vegan, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

This seasonal side dish is great cold, warm or at room temperature, and you can make it up to one day ahead.

cookout side dishes cold sesame cucumber noodles recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

24. Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, ready in <15 minutes, vegetarian

The marinated tofu and tangy homemade dressing ensure this side dish is packed with flavor, without turning on the oven.

cookout side dishes molly baz cook this book green beans with garlicky pistachio vinaigrette recipe
Taylor Peden and Jen Munk/Cook This Book

25. Green Beans With Garlicky Pistachio Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead

Cold green beans? Yep, it’s true, and it’s oh-so-refreshing. The veggie gets a quick blanch to tenderize it before being doused in an irresistible vinaigrette.

cookout side dishes melon salad with chili powder mint lime and flaky sea salt recipe
Amanda Frederickson/Simple Beautiful Food

26. Melon Salad With Chili Powder, Mint, Lime And Flaky Sea Salt

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients

Forget the boring fruit salad of your childhood. This one is spicy, herby and versatile to boot.

cookout side dishes roasted sweet potatoes with sriracha and lime recipe
Amanda Frederickson/Simple Beautiful Food

27. Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Sriracha And Lime

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, under 500 calories

Consider it an elevated alternative to French fries.

cookout side dishes watermelon almonds dill recipe
Kristin Perers/Round Ours

28. Watermelon Salad With Almonds And Dill

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

Bring on the savory fruit salads! This one combines watermelon, radishes, shallots and cider vinegar for a tangy treat.

cookout side dishes 7 layer dip recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

29. 7 Layer Dip

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, crowd-pleaser

It’s a potluck favorite for good reason: Namely, that it’s delicious.

cookout side dishes smoky barbecued corn recipe
Kristin Perers/Round Ours

30. Smoky Barbecued Corn

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Under 500 calories, <10 ingredients

Lightly charred and slathered with Mexican street corn toppings, it’ll make you never want to eat plain boiled corn again.

cookout side dishes roasted broccoli and bacon pasta salad recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

31. Roasted Broccoli And Bacon Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, make ahead

Honestly, we’d eat this as a main course or a side dish, it’s that tasty. Must be the bacon.

cookout side dishes spring crudites recipe
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Sarah Copeland

32. Crudités With Romesco Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Low carb, make ahead, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

This easy appetizer can do double duty as a stunning centerpiece. Make an extra batch of the sauce and serve the leftovers on sandwiches, with seafood or as a dip.

cookout side dishes sweet spicy cornbread recipe
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

33. Sweet And Spicy Cornbread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, one pan

If you can’t find Fresnos, jalapeños will work—slice the peppers thin so you get a little bit of heat in every bite. (And don’t forget honey for drizzling.)

cookout side dishes avocado tahini dip recipe
Gentl and Hyers/Open Kitchen

34. Avocado Tahini Dip

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <15 minutes, crowd-pleaser, no cook

Toss all the ingredients in a food processer and voilà, instant snack.

cookout side dishes tomato salad grilled halloumi and herbs recipe
Aubrie Pick/Great Tastes

35. Tomato Salad With Grilled Halloumi And Herbs

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <15 minutes

It’s like a gourmet caprese salad will halloumi instead of mozz. Grill the cheese right next to the steaks, easy peasy.

cookout side dishes vietnamese style summer rolls recipe
Infraordinario Studio for Dalcò Edizioni S.R.L.

36. Vietnamese-style Summer Rolls

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Gluten free, vegetarian

They’re refreshing, gluten free and will make you look like a pro chef with very little effort.

cookout side dishes avocado radish and walnuts with carrot miso dressing recipe
Nassima Rothacker/California: Living + Eating

37. Avocado, Radish And Walnuts With Carrot-miso Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, ready in <30 minutes

Let’s shake up the definition of a salad, shall we? This one substitutes avocado for the usual greens, which we think is pretty smart.

cookout side dishes black fig tomato salad recipe
Matt Russell/Provençal

38. Black Fig And Tomato Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients

When the ingredients are at their peak, a ten-minute salad is guaranteed to taste like a million bucks.

cookout side dishes sweet corn tomato zucchini grain salad with peach dijon vinaigrette recipe
Healthfully Ever After

39. Sweet Corn, Tomato And Zucchini Grain Salad With Peach-dijon Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, ready in <30 minutes, special occasion–worthy

The edible flowers are an optional decorative touch, but they take this side dish from delicious to absolutely showstopping.

cookout side dishes citrus shrimp and quinoa salad with feta recipe
Allison Day/Modern Lunch

40. Citrus, Shrimp And Quinoa Salad With Feta

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Make ahead, under 500 calories, ready in <30 minutes

If you’re cooking it ahead of time, it will hold in the fridge for up to two days, you genius you.

cookout side dishes cherry tomato galette recipe
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

41. Cherry Tomato Galette With Garlic And Herbs

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, under 500 calories

Sweet, roasted cherry tomatoes and a beyond flaky crust? This is the savory galette of our summertime dreams.

cookout side dishes creamy avocado zoodles recipe
Laura Edwards/The Yoga Kitchen Plan

42. Zoodles With Avocado And Mango Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, under 500 calories, no cook, gluten free

Blitz the creamy raw coconut milk sauce in your blender and drizzle it over zucchini noodles. In 15 minutes, you’re done.

cookout side dishes joanna gaines peach caprese recipe hero
Amy Neunsinger/Magnolia Table

43. Peach Caprese Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, special occasion–worthy, <10 ingredients

As much as we love tomatoes, there’s another seasonal produce vying for the spotlight, and it pairs just as well with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar.

cookout side dishes pesto zoodles recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

44. Pesto Zoodles

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly, low carb

Pesto makes everything taste special, including zucchini noodles. Toss on some fresh Parmesan and you’re golden.

cookout side dishes strawberry and arugula salad recipe
Katherine Gillen

45. Strawberry, Basil And Arugula Salad With Lots Of Black Pepper

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, low carb, under 500 calories, vegetarian

You don’t need a blender or even a whisk to make the homemade dressing, which comes together as the berries marinate in vinegar and honey.

cookout side dishes grilled cheese crostini recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

46. Grilled Cheese Crostini

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, under 500 calories, special occasion–worthy

It’s like fancy grilled cheese for adults, no?

cookout side dishes mango guacamole recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

47. Mango Guacamole

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients

We know mango sounds like an unusual ingredient to use in guacamole. But it adds a burst of tangy sweetness that melds delightfully with creamy avocados.

cookout side dishes no cook rainbow bruschetta recipe
Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Heath Goldman

48. Rainbow Heirloom Bruschetta

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: No cook, ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

It’s quick, easy and on the table in 15 minutes, but so much more chic than onion dip.

cookout side dishes vegitarian sushi cups recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

49. Vegetarian Sushi Cups

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: Kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Normally we’d say sushi and hot weather do not mix, but when the former is fish-free, we say go for it.

cookout side dishes spicy corn carbonara recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

50. Spicy Corn Carbonara

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

It’s luscious and creamy but not heavy, which is ideal on a summer evening.

cookout side dishes bruschette with mixed heritage tomatoes and burrata recipe
Lizzie Mayson/The Italian Deli Cookbook

51. Bruschette With Mixed Heritage Tomatoes And Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <30 minutes, special occasion–worthy

Toast, but make it pinkies-out. Your guests will be drooling at the first mention of burrata.

cookout side dishes zucchini ricotta galette recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

52. Zucchini Ricotta Galette

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Under 500 calories, low carb, crowd-pleaser

Cut it into thin slivers to serve it as a side dish or appetizer.

cookout side dishes grilled caprese skewers with halloumi and sourdough recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

53. Grilled Caprese Skewers With Halloumi And Sourdough

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Under 500 calories, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Homer Simpson says you don’t win friends with salad, but we might disagree, thanks to this salad-on-a-stick number.

cookout side dishes zucchini chips recipe
Photo: Eric Moran/Styling: Erin McDowell

54. Easy Zucchini Chips

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, low carb

Nothing against a bag of store-bought potato chips, but these crispy bites are a little more special. It is a party, after all.

cookout side dishes zoodles with summer vegetables recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

55. Zoodles With Summer Vegetables

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, under 500 calories, gluten free, dairy free

You just took a trip to the farmers market and have enough zucchini, cherry tomatoes and corn to feed you for a week. We know exactly what to do with it.

cookout side dishes cold soba noodle salad with strawberries recipe
Gentl and Hyers/Open Kitchen

56. Cold Soba Noodle Salad With Strawberries

  • Time Commitment: 21 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes

The combination of strawberries and a savory-spicy salad might sound unusual, but it totally works. The lightly sweet miso dressing ties it all together.

cookout side dishes caesar pasta salad recipe
Robert Bredvad/The Secret Ingredient Cookbook

57. Caesar Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Make ahead, under 500 calories, crowd-pleaser

Crisp, cool lettuce and creamy pasta salad: It’s the best of both worlds in one dish. Plus, you can make it up to two days in advance.