Summer Side Dishes

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!

summer side dishes photo collage

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Pasta Salad Recipes

photo of pasta salad

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

GREEK TORTELLINI SALAD | This salad is loaded with fresh Mediterranean flavors like Kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese along with a tangy vinaigrette.

photo of a BLT Pasta salad

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.

close-up photo of orzo pasta salad

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 with Roasted broccoli in a bowl with two serving spoons

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.

tongs holding the noodles.

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.

a bowl of pasta salad

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.

TACO PASTA SALAD – from Gonna Want Seconds | This crowd-pleaser has all of the flavors of tacos but in the form of a cold pasta salad.

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

overhead photo of a avocado shrimp salad

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.

a bowl of corn salad.

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.

photo of a radish and green apple salad in  a serving dish

RADISH AND GREEN APPLE SALAD – Girl Gone Gourmet | A light and refreshing radish and green apple salad with a fresh orange dressing.

close-up photo of a the salad in a serving bowl

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.

photo of a bowl of fruit salad

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.

EASY BROCCOLI SALAD – from The Recipe Rebel | Make this crunchy, crisp broccoli salad ahead to make things easy!

WATERMELON SALAD WITH FETA AND MINT – from Laughing Spatula | This salad is refreshing and great with lots of grilled main dishes like chicken and pork.

Tomato Salads

summer side dishes: white bean tomato salad on a white plate with a bowl of lettuce

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.

CUCUMBER TOMATO AVOCADO SALAD -from A Southern Soul | This is summer in a bowl with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and creamy avocados!

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.

CUCUMBER SALAD – from I Wash, You Dry | This summer classic is filled with sliced cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and thinly sliced onions, then tossed in a light and refreshing vinaigrette dressing. 

PANZANELLA SALAD – from Two Peas & Their Pod | This Italian Salad is made with lots of juicy tomatoes and other veggies plus bread that soaks up all the dressing and juices. It’s a summer classic.

SUMMER HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD – from Jo Cooks | This salad is simple but bursting with bright summer flavors. It’s the perfect way to showcase all of those amazing summer tomatoes.

Hot Side Dishes

overhead shot of baked black beans.

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 VINAIGRETTEAverie 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 CORNNumber 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.

JAZZED UP BAKED BEANSPersnickety Palate | This is a super easy side that starts with canned beans and ends with a side dish everyone will love!

CHARRED SUMMER SQUASH SALAD – from Italian Food Forever | This grilled summer vegetable salad has a tangy balsamic dressing and can be served warm or at room temperature.

Potato Salads

Green bean potato salad on a plate with a napkin

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.

ALL AMERICAN POTATO SALADJessica Gavin – Culinary Scientist | Jessica shares all her tips and tricks for making an amazing American-style potato salad you’ll want at all your summer get-togethers.

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!

Happy Cooking!


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