With summer just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start planning for all the summer side dishes that are perfect for warm weather. I’ve gathered 30 of the best summer side dishes including pasta salads, potato salads, baked bean dishes, and more. You’ll want to try them all!
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Pasta Salad Recipes
ITALIAN PASTA SALAD | This easy pasta salad is a great way to kick off the start of the season. It has a tangy homemade dressing and all the Italian-inspired ingredients like pepperoni, olives, mozzarella cheese, and rotini pasta.
GREEK TORTELLINI SALAD | This salad is loaded with fresh Mediterranean flavors like Kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese along with a tangy vinaigrette.
BLT PASTA SALAD | Another pasta salad, but this time one inspired by a classic BLT. Fresh tomatoes, chopped spinach, and crispy bacon tossed together with pasta and a simple mayo-based dressing.
ORZO PASTA SALAD | This orzo pasta salad is another great make-ahead side dish. It’s full of fresh veggies, chickpeas, and tender orzo pasta with a simple dressing holding it together. Plus, it goes with practically everything making it a great option for potlucks and BBQs.
TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD – Girl Gone Gourmet | Tortellini pasta salad with roasted bacon broccoli, fresh cherry tomatoes, and a lemon dressing is a small batch side dish that can easily be scaled up to serve more.
COLD SESAME NOODLE SALAD | Easy sesame noodle salad that’s ready in less than 30 minutes! This is a great side dish for the summer and so, so easy to make. It has lots of noodles, rotisserie chicken, cabbage, and green onions tossed together with a quick and easy Asian-style sesame peanut sauce.
PESTO PASTA SALAD | This one is loaded with fresh asparagus, spinach, and peas. Add some chicken, pesto, and ziti and you get a summer-fresh pasta salad that is ready in 30 minutes.
MACARONI SALAD WITH SMOKED MOZZARELLA AND PROSCUITTO – from Foodie Crush | Leave the gloppy pre-made macaroni salads in the deli section at the store and make this amazing pasta salad instead. I love the combination of smoked mozzarella and prosciutto and there’s just enough dressing to hold it all together.
JALAPENO POPPER MACARONI SALAD – from The Chunky Chef | Take the flavors from jalapeno poppers and combine them in a creamy, cold macaroni salad for a must-make summer pasta salad. Pretty sure this will win any crowd over!
Side Salad Recipes
AVOCADO SHRIMP SALAD | Quick and easy avocado shrimp salad with a zingy cilantro-lime dressing, bell pepper, fresh corn and lots of creamy avocado. It’s a no-cook, 20-minute recipe you can make on repeat all summer long.
BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD | Fast and fresh black bean and corn salad with a zippy lime dressing. This is a great summer side dish for all the potlucks, BBQs, block parties, or anytime you want a light and delicious salad.
RADISH AND GREEN APPLE SALAD – Girl Gone Gourmet | A light and refreshing radish and green apple salad with a fresh orange dressing.
SUMMER CRUNCH CHOPPED SALAD | This chopped salad is loaded with veggies, tender rotisserie chicken, and all the crunchy add-ins like crispy bacon and sunflower seeds. All of it is tossed in a simple homemade honey-mustard dressing.
FRUIT SALAD | This easy fruit salad is made with fresh berries and a zingy citrus-mint dressing. It’s a fresh no-cook side dish that goes with all the summer dishes.
CILANTRO COLESLAW – from Simply Scratch | When I look at this colorful slaw all I can think is this is a recipe to have on repeat through the summer. It’s the perfect cool and crunchy salad to serve alongside all your favorite summertime dishes.
THREE BEAN SALAD – from Culinary Hill | This classic summer salad made with green beans, yellow wax beans, and kidney beans is the perfect make-ahead summer side dish. Mix it up the day before, chill it, and it’s ready to go when the guests arrive.
WHITE BEAN TOMATO SALAD | This salad can pull double-duty as a main dish (add some leafy greens and a simple dressing) and as a side dish. Inspired by one of my favorite simple Italian dishes, Caprese salad, this warm-weather no-cook dish is a great one to pass around the summertime table.
TOMATO HERB SALAD – from Taste and Tell | Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest impression. A bowlful of summer tomatoes tossed with summer herbs might just be the easiest and most delicious thing you make all summer.
Hot Side Dishes
BAKED BLACK BEANS – Girl Gone Gourmet | These smokey-sweet baked black beans are mostly a dump and stir operation. They start on the stovetop, finish in the oven, and belong next to all the summer hot dogs and hamburgers.
GRILLED VEGETABLES WITH BASIL VINAIGRETTE – Averie Cooks | During the summer, when produce is at its peak, it’s best to keep things simple and let all the fresh veggies shine on their own. Grilling vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, and cauliflower brings out their natural sweetness and when you add a pop of brightness with a vinaigrette, people will line up to get a big helping of this summer side.
GRILLED MEXICAN STREET CORN – Number 2 Pencil | Once you try Mexican street corn also known as elote, you may never go back to plain sweet corn on the cob again. This summer corn side dish treat is easy to make and guaranteed to stay in your side dish rotation all summer long.
GREEN BEAN POTATO SALAD – Girl Gone Gourmet | A mayo-less potato salad with green beans and a simple Dijon vinaigrette. Serve it warm, at room temperature or cold. Whichever way you decide it’s go-to summer side dish favorite.
ROASTED SWEET POTATO SALAD – from Averie Cooks | Make this salad ahead and serve it cold with all of the summer main dishes. It’s a mayo-free potato salad with a tangy honey-Dijon dressing – sounds so good!
CREAMY SOUR CREAM POTATO SALAD | Creamy homemade potato salad flavored with fresh herbs is always a winning side dish. In the time it takes to cook the potatoes you can make the dressing and then you just toss and serve. It’s my favorite easy potato salad recipe.
Are you ready to start planning your next summer cookout, potluck, or block party? I hope you’ve found some new summer side dish recipes to try!