The summer is the best time to host parties, go for picnics, camping trips with your family and testing new recipes out with your friends.
These coming recipes for side dishes will be a helpful step in the right direction to having a fun party with even better food. These recipes are a sure staple at any summer gathering or potluck!
Each recipe mentioned within this article is so easy to prep and can be done by anyone – even entrusting kids to help, with adult supervision when using sharp kitchen utensils or the oven or stove top.
17 Easy Summer Side Dishes
1. Grilled Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is an easy thing to make when you already have the grill fired up – it only takes a few minutes to get a nice toasty coloring on the corn – whether you cook it with the husk off or on! You can then season it with whatever you feel like. It’s also only 117 calories in a single serving!
This recipe on Spend With Pennies is a perfect guide to follow for barbecuing your corn and even answers some questions you may have while completing the process.
2. Vegetable Kebabs
Vegetable kabobs are a great way to make sure you get all your servings of veggies while getting to eat them in a mess free and fun way. These are also a good one to just pop on the barbecue while it’s already hot and have prepped any raw food. Vegetable kabobs are only 128 calories.
This article on Brand New Vegan presents a fun way to make vegetable kabobs that ensures you get a proper serving of vegetables no matter how many kabobs you eat, while also making sure it’ll be appropriate for anyone with dietary restrictions – vegan or non-vegan!
3. Grilled Peach Salad
Grilled peach salad is a staple in the South at summer parties next to the grill full of steaks, and hot dogs, and fish fries. It’s easy to just throw together the ingredients, and to give it some extra flavor – grill the peaches for a few minutes on the grill. Grilled peach salad is a dish with 144 calories.
This recipe from Love & Lemons talks about the recipe they developed for grilled peach salad – it’s very simple and to the point. It’s easy to follow and delicious to boot.
4. Caesar Salad
Caesar salad is a classic salad that everyone eats for lunch – and it’s nice cause you can modify it any way you want – it can be vegan, vegetarian, or put any kind of meat in it for protein. It’s perfect at a summer picnic or party as a nice refreshing side dish. Caesar salad is a recipe with only 94 calories.
This recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen features her salad recipe, a bit of back story, how you can prep the salad ingredients ahead of time, and an easy modifications to make that you may desire.
5. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad in this article is just a different way of making a fruit platter – throw it in a bowl, add a yummy topping (sweet or savory!), and done. Easy and quick recipe everyone will enjoy – unless there is a fruit allergy among the group. Fruit salad is a recipe with 124 calories. Of course, all calorie counts can vary based on serving sizes and modifications to the recipe.
Kristine’s Kitchen has a great fruit salad made with a honey and lime dressing that doubles as a side dish and a dessert. Kristine also makes sure to include some tips and tricks to ensuring your fruit salad is the perfect quality to serve to your friends and family.
6. Macaroni Salad
If a barbeque is happening, it is a sure thing that macaroni salad will be found with the appetizers or sides. For some, it’s store bought – but for yours, it’s guaranteed to be best if it’s homemade. Macaroni salad is made up of simple veggies like peppers and celery, macaroni pasta noodles, and a yummy mayo dressing. This salad is a bit higher in calories hitting 244 calories.
Sugar Spun Run is a site with more than just desserts – it also contains what they consider a classic and easy macaroni recipe. There’s a rundown of the weeks events, some of their other favorite recipes that are similar to the macaroni salad, and a fun video to watch of them making the macaroni salad themselves – so you know it’s tested and true.
7. Potato Salad
Potato salad is another staple recipe at any and all barbeques – and there are so many different ways you can prep it. You can add your favorite potatoes – baby reds, goldens, Idaho russet, even sweet potatoes if you’re daring! Some people also love mustard potato salad. This potato salad is one of the highest calorie dishes on the list with 357 calories.
Foodie Crush has an article on what they believe to be the best potato salad, where they talk about their history, and the potato salad and the ways they and their matriarch’s modified and changed the recipe over time to be the best.
8. Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes are a popular thing to serve guests and it allows for a ton of personal modification so everyone is happy with what they get – not to mention it means dirtying up less utensils and baking dishes because you can just pop them on the grill before or after cooking up your main course. It’s a little better for those calorie counting from the other potato dishes at 161 calories per serving.
Hey Grill Hey has a great recipe for making perfect baked potatoes on the barbeque along with some extra tips and tricks to ensure they come out perfect. They also made sure to include lots of accompanying pictures so it’s easier to follow the recipe!
9. Potato Wedges
Potato wedges are an amazing treat – and easy to make tons of batches at one time, and fun for the kids to dip and play with too – because why not be treated to fun food if you can’t play with it? There are tons of ways to dress up these potato wedges – garlic butter, barbeque, spicy, maybe even just some traditional olive oil and salt. These are the lowest calorie potato recipe on this list at 123 calories per serving.
Cookie and Kate are a cute duo with a lovely recipe for baked potato wedges. These potatoes she makes are crisp and full of flavor and easily baked in the oven.
10. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a bit high calorie at 260 calories, but they are so easy to make and you can easily pass them off as a side with hamburgers and hot dogs, and let them double as a dessert with a sweet dipping sauce.
A recipe from Gimme Some Oven takes the savory route, dousing them in a yummy garlic seasoning and baking them in the oven till crisp. This page also includes an easy to follow along visual video if reading isn’t an easy task.
11. Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry muffins are a filling and tasty appetizer or side dish for some extra carbs with some of the highest calories on this list at 467 calories. They are super easy, and can be customized to fit your diet – organic, vegan, dairy free, sugar free, etc.
Smitten Kitchen makes the prettiest blueberry muffins while also keeping it a traditional muffin recipe. This is a recipe she tests and perfects every year so it’s worth taking a look back every now and again to see how your perfect blueberry muffins can continue to do the impossible – improve perfection.
12. Sweet Yeast Rolls
Rolls are a perfect side for a barbeque or perfect to use for making mini sliders at a picnic. You can eat them plain, toasted with butter, or even make a full sandwich out of them. These sweet carb-filled rolls are only 130 calories.
This article from Just A Pinch talks about the author finding the perfect dough. It’s a nice versatile dough that can be used for anything from dinner rolls to pretzels – and it’s a legit blue ribbon prize winning recipe.
Cornbread is a Southern staple, no matter the meal, and only 94 calories per serving! It is a relatively easy dish to make for anyone who wants to be involved and can be paired with basically anything – soup, steak, and potatoes.
Bless This Mess Please, a real Southern pleasing page, has what they say is the best cornbread recipe and it’s quick too if you find yourself lacking enough sides to feed your entire extended family. This recipe talks about any accommodations or changes to traditional corn bread recipes if missing ingredients have turned you away from other people’s recipes.
14. Baked Beans
Baked beans are a food that can always be found by the pound at barbeques and potlucks. They’re something quick and easy to toss from a can into a pan to heat up, or even mix in with some macaroni and cheese for a little extra taste. These baked beans are high in calories with 392 calories per serving.
The Chunky Chef has a sweet recipe for baked beans, and they are relatively easy to make – just prep the bacon however you like, heat your oven, and allow your beans to cook for two hours and go clean up your home before the party.
15. Garlic Parmesan Zucchini
If you’re still looking to get in some tasty vegetables, try this garlic parmesan zucchini. It has a popular flavor (with garlic and parmesan by the bucket) and is healthy and can be cooked in a healthy way (no deep frying necessary!) Even better, its only 140 calories per serving – a perfect amount if you have a heavy entrée dish.
Look at Cooking Classy’s recipe for roasted garlic parmesan zucchini squash and tomatoes. Their recipe can be prepped and then reheated ahead of time, or prepped in less than half an hour right then if you want them quick. Just pop those veggies and seasonings onto a sheet pan, and bake for half an hour and relax.
16. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a traditional appetizer at most gatherings and can also be utilized as a side dish for those who love eggs and are looking to load up on calories, as they have 200 calories per serving.
This recipe from Downshiftology has the traditional and easiest to follow deviled eggs, along with other links and stories to other recipes involving eggs and cook outs that you can also utilize.
Coleslaw is another Southern staple dish that can be found in almost all restaurants in the South, and any barbeque places. While some people may not be a huge fan of it’s main ingredient, cabbage, a coleslaw done right won’t taste like you’re filling up 291 calories worth of vegetables and mayonnaise.
Inspired Taste has what she thinks is the perfect recipe and a great copycat recipe for a restaurant known for their coleslaw sides. This recipe is simple, easy to follow, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
These 17 dishes are perfect to make your summer barbeque a sure hit, and will shine next to your perfected main entrees.
Now, these are recipes from mommy bloggers and if they are sure to be perfect – they should be shared with your friends if they are a success story.
17 Easy Summer Side Dishes
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Vegetable Kebabs
- Grilled Peach Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Fruit Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Potato Salad
- Baked Potatoes
- Potato Wedges
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Blueberry Muffins
- Sweet Yeast Rolls
- Baked Beans
- Garlic Parmesan Zucchini
- Deviled Eggs
- Select your favorite recipe from the list above.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prepare and enjoy in 30 minutes or less!