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The 50 Best Sides for Burgers That Will Complete Your Meal

There's nothing more classic than a big, juicy burger with a side of fries. But let's shake things up a little, shall we? There are other options out there, after all, and some are lighter, more refreshing or easier to make ahead than standard frites. If you're looking for more ideas on what to serve with your favorite summertime foods, we're here to present the 50 best sides for burgers—from pasta salads to roasted vegetables—that will not only satisfy your craving, but also save you time, impress your guests and make hosting even easier.

90 Easy Summer Dinners That Everyone Will Love


1. Grilled Sweet Potatoes with a Dilly Dip

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

Made mostly of sweet potatoes and Greek yogurt, this quick recipe is way more elegant and impressive than regular spuds. (Just look at those char marks.) If you don't like dill, substitute parsley, cilantro or any other soft herb you prefer.

2. Corn Fritters with Elote Dip

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, vegetarian, kid-friendly

Skip hum-drum corn on the cob with butter in favor of these crispy, zesty fritters that are just as easy to make (and they taste like all the best parts of an elote to boot). Make a second batch of the citrusy dip for taco night.

3. Cacio e Pepe Zucchini

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, vegetarian

When in doubt, you can't go wrong with the black pepper-Parmesan treatment, whether it's on meat, pasta or cacio e pepe zucchini. This recipe makes for a great way to use up your farmers market haul of summer zucchini. Feel free to swap in broccoli or yellow squash if those are more your speed.

4. Caesar Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, less than 500 calories, beginner-friendly

Crisp, cool lettuce salad or creamy pasta salad? You shouldn’t have to choose, and now you don’t.

5. Strawberry, Basil and Arugula Salad with Lots of Black Pepper

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

This dressing practically makes itself, no bottles or blenders needed. The secret is letting the vinegar and strawberries macerate while you prepare the greens.

6. Green Beans with Garlicky Pistachio Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, beginner-friendly, less than 500 calories

These are not the mushy green beans you’re used to. A quick blanch followed by a dip in ice water, and they’ll be crisp, crunchy and satisfying.

7. Crispy Halloumi ‘Fries’ with Roasted Tomato Dip

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, high protein

This takes the meaning of “cheeseburger” to a new level. Think mozzarella sticks, but with the volume turned up.

8. Spicy Broccoli Sauté

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, less than 500 calories, <10 ingredients

A juicy burger in one hand and a forkful of crisp-tender broccoli in the other: You could say we’re all about balance.

9. Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Horseradish and Sea Salt

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, less than 500 calories, special occasion–worthy

French fries are always a hit, but you can do better than a bag of frozen spuds. The creamy horseradish sauce really takes things over the top.

10. Zesty Chargrilled Broccolini

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

Toss them on the grill just as the burgers are finishing up, and they’ll be perfectly al dente when they reach the table.

11. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carb, less than 500 calories, crowd-pleaser

A big old burger can feel heavy with all those fried, creamy, carb-y sides, so add some veggies to balance things out.

12. Avocado and Black Bean Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Pasta salad is to burgers as peanut butter is to jelly. This version combines all our favorite Tex-Mex flavors.

13. Corn and Tomato Salad with Feta and Lime

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

It’s time to take things off the cob. We love the way the corn caramelizes in the pan, and a hint of fresh lime juice brightens everything up at the end.

14. Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Strawberries

  • Time Commitment: 21 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, make ahead, less than 500 calories

Think of this as fancy pasta salad. The strawberries sound out of place, but they actually complement the miso dressing really well.

15. Pearl Couscous with Chickpeas, Eggplant and Peaches

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, vegetarian

What to do with a surplus of summer peaches? Serve them at every dinner possible. This dish strikes just the right balance between sweet and savory, and it’s great served cold, warm or room temp. Talk about versatile.

16. Kale and Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carb, less than 500 calories, no cook, ready in <30 minutes

It’s like coleslaw but elevated. It’s hard to believe, but the dressing is actually completely plant-based.

17. 20-Minute Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus

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

This salad combines all our favorite seasonal produce into one bountiful side dish (lettuce need not apply).

18. Joanna Gaines’s Peach Caprese Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, no cook, less than 500 calories

We have nothing against ripe summer tomatoes, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up with your salads.

19. Black Bean Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, no cook, make ahead, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

This dreamy salad works great as a dip, so feel free to break out a bag of tortilla chips on the side.

20. Grilled Watermelon Feta Skewers

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, low carb

Sweet watermelon and tangy feta cheese is the new tomato and mozzarella. Just think of it as a deconstructed salad.

21. Zucchini ‘Fries’

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

Fact: You’re never going to make french fries as good as your favorite fast food joint does. Instead, try this recipe for zucchini “fries,” which hits all the salty, crispy, savory notes you crave.

22. Slow Cooker Baked Beans

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

A classic cookout side, without any of the fuss. Throw them in the Crockpot before lunch, then get back to the pool. By dinnertime, these beans will have baked themselves.

23. Sweet Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Grain Salad with Peach-Dijon Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, less than 500 caloriies

It takes only a few minutes to whip up this beauty, and it uses plenty of fresh, ripe produce.

24. Melon Caprese Skewers

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, kid-friendly

You'll want to make this melon, prosciutto and mozzarella side all summer long.

25. Crispy Mushrooms

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, low carb

We toss cremini mushrooms in olive oil, garlic salt and a little vinegar, and then slow roast them in the oven. The ’shrooms get nice and crispy, making them the ideal side to munch before you dive into that burger.

26. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser

Spread it out on a big platter, and it’ll wow everyone at your next backyard party.

27. Zoodles with Summer Vegetables

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: less than 500 calories, ready in <30 minutes, gluten free

Give guests a lightened-up “pasta” salad option at your Fourth of July cookout. You can buy pre-cut zoodles in the produce or frozen food section of most major grocery stores, or cut them yourself using a spiralizer.

28. Grilled Watermelon Steaks

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly

These grilled watermelon steaks are hefty, smoky and perfectly seasoned.

29. Loaded Baked Potato ‘Chips’

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, low sugar

Mini, bite-size baked-potato slices topped with all the fixings will be a hit with the whole family.

30. Make-Ahead Farro and Brussels Sprout Salad

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, less than 500 calories

Buh-bye, lettuce. Brussels sprout leaves win out for their irresistible crunch and magical ability to never wilt, even when they’re dressed ahead of time.

31. Roasted Peach and Arugula Salad

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

This tangy summer salad fits right into your backyard barbecue menu.

32. Turnip Fries

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: low carb, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

Two things we love: 1) Turning other vegetables into fries and 2) Baking them in the oven instead of, well, frying them.

33. Pimento Cheese-Stuffed Shishito Peppers

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, special occasion–worthy, low carb

Presenting charred shishitos like you’ve never seen them before. Just think of these pimento-cheese-stuffed peppers as a trendy, classed-up version of jalapeño poppers. Finger food at its finest.

34. Mexican Street Corn Dip

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, less than 500 calories

Mexican street corn, grilled and coated with creamy cotija cheese, is a summer delight. All you need are a few fresh cobs of corn and a handful of simple ingredients to whip up a dip that boasts street food flavor.

35. Summer Millet Salad

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead

When it comes to summer cooking, grain salads certainly have an edge over green salads—you can make them ahead of time and they’ll never wilt.

36. Grilled Corn with Spicy Aioli

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser

Forget butter: You’ll be sold on corn with spicy mayo for life. It's an easy—and absolutely delicious—upgrade.

37. Light and Tangy Coleslaw

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, no cook, make ahead, dairy free

Never fear: This isn’t the gloppy, flavorless mush you grew up with. Crunchy with a vinegary kick, it’s—dare we say it?—the perfect summer side.

38. Chilled Cucumber Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: dairy free, gluten free, make ahead, no cook

Add something light and fresh to your plate (you know, to balance out that double cheeseburger with fries).

39. Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Feta and Pistachios

  • Time Commitment: 27 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

The pistachios add crunch, the feta is creamy and the asparagus is just plain delicious.

40. Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

If you’re lighting the grill for your burgers, throw some corn on the fire, too.

41. Cauliflower ‘Tater’ Tots

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, less than 500 calories

Say goodbye to regular tater tots. These guys trade spuds for cauliflower and are just as ideal for dipping. What more could you ask for?

42. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

Because sometimes you do need a side of fries. And did we mention there’s actually no frying involved?

43. BLT Pasta Salad

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

It combines all the crunchy, savory, creamy ingredients of the classic sandwich—plus pasta, because why not?

44. Jalapeño Avocado Mac and Cheese

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

Having mac and cheese and a burger is the epitome of summertime living. This is next-level comfort food.

45. Avocado Potato Salad

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

This has everything we love about traditional potato salad but uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo to lighten things up.

46. Creamy Broccoli Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, no cook, make ahead

This broccoli salad has it all: hunks of cheese, cashews, onion, dried cranberries and the most obsession-worthy creamy dressing.


47. Homemade Potato Chips

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

Fun fact: You can make chips at home without a deep fryer (or a culinary degree). Just cook them in the broiler until they’re crispy and golden.

48. Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly

This is the picnic side everyone silently stands near the table for, waiting to dig in. Plus, the roasted cauliflower will make you feel semi-virtuous as you go back for seconds (and thirds).

49. Ranch Potato Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Once you get a taste of from-scratch ranch dressing, you'll never want the bottled stuff again. This one is rich and creamy, thanks to a generous dose of buttermilk. (It sure beats boring, gloppy mayo, no?)

50. Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

This picnic-ready side, which consists of just nine ingredients (including cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and all the mini mozz balls) is portable, satisfying and a breeze to prepare ahead. Just make it the night before your cookout and pop it in the fridge until dinnertime.