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10 Favorite Cookout Side Dishes

You can do better than a bag of potato chips this summer. We’ve got fresh, seasonal salads; quick pickles; pasta dishes and the best dips. Here are 10 summertime sides ready for your picnic table or patio.

A quick take on the classic Greek salad, this version highlights delicious summer produce, including sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and colorful bell peppers. The dressing, a simple combination of Italian seasoning, vinegar, and good olive oil, is great for dipping pieces of bread.

This sweet and spicy dip is the perfect side for any game-day get-together or outdoor celebration. It features shredded chicken, cream cheese, Honey Sriracha Seasoning Mix, and green onions for a mouthwatering modern take on a classic summertime favorite. Plus, you can serve it up hot or cold in the 5-qt. (4.7-L) Serving Bowl

Bring what everyone loves about tacos to an easy-to-transport salad. The grilled chicken and black beans make it hearty enough to be a meal or a zesty summer side salad. Serve it at a cookout in an insulated bowl, so the lettuce and veggies stay crisp and chilled outside from the time the party starts until the table is cleared and the burgers and sides are replaced with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.

While potato salad might seem like a distinctly American dish, it’s commonly eaten as a side dish in Korean cuisine, possibly introduced by American soldiers during the Korean War. Spiralized red potatoes meet a rice-wine vinegar and mayonnaise dressing for an unusual take on the potato salad we know in the U.S. This version gets extra flavor from honey, chopped green onions, and spiralized seedless cucumbers scattered over the top.

There’s no better way to cool down on a hot summer day than with a bowl of creamy fruit salad. From fresh berries to ripe bananas, this refreshing fruit salad brings all the best flavors of summer right to your table. And, with our Cup Slicer, you can make this recipe at a moment’s notice for a delectable snack, side dish, or healthy dessert. 

This delicious recipe is a fresh twist on a summer potluck classic—the ambrosia salad. Traditionally made with marshmallows, fruit, and whipped topping, our version takes the decadence one step further with the addition of cream cheese filling, shredded coconut and pretzels. Make this showstopping dessert in the 8″ (20-cm) Square Pan With Lid, which you can take with you and easily store leftovers for later.

Put your herb garden to good use with this dish, which combines a classic basil pesto with creamy avocado. Combine the pesto with spiralized carrot, squash, and zucchini noodles, and add summer’s favorite tomatoes and crisp-tender broccoli. Add chicken to turn this side dish into a main course meal. Then, freeze the leftover pesto to use in future meals.

Elote, a popular Mexican street food that consists of a fresh ear of corn coated in cheese and delicious spices, has been turned into a dip that’s the perfect summer side dish. Grill the corn, fresh jalapeno, and onion for maximum flavor, then chop and combine with the rest of the ingredients and warm for a creamy, spicy, satisfying side.

A bright salsa made with ingredients straight from the garden is perfect with chips, yes, but it’s also great on grilled chicken or fish. Combine tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and seasoning, then chop roughly together until it’s at your desired chunkiness.

Does sangria count as a side dish? We think so! This adults-only beverage is made for hot summer evenings on the porch. Combine raspberries, tequila, triple sec, and sparkling wine for this refreshing sipper; the recipe starts with a warm sugar syrup, so be sure to leave time for chilling in a pitcher.

This post has been updated since its original publication in April 2016.

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