10 Summer Side Dish Ideas to Provide Inspiration for Your Seasonal Menu

Posted: June 21, 2022 2:28 pm

Ahhh, summer is officially here, ushering in loads of fresh produce that makes for the perfect side dishes for those long days. Regardless of if you are hosting a barbecue for a dozen of your friends or enjoying a quiet night at home, these 10 side dishes are the perfect complement to all of your meals.

Grilled Cream Corn

This is no ordinary cream corn recipe. This grilled cream corn dish is smokey and creamy, delivering everything that you want in a summer side dish. The recipe starts with corn on the cob cooked straight on the grill to impart a rich smoky flavor and a gorgeous char. The cut kernels are then mixed with milk, flour, butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper for a creamy side dish that goes well with a variety of grilled meats. Sprinkle the herb of your choice for the perfect finishing touch.

Grilled Zucchini

One of the best things about summer cooking is the simplicity. You do not need to overthink your side dishes when the fresh flavors speak for themselves. This grilled zucchini recipe is the perfect example of this. Fresh zucchini is marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. A homemade lemon salt is used to bring out the flavor in the vegetables and add another taste of summer. You can prepare this zucchini on an indoor or outdoor grill, making it extremely versatile.

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad


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Get in your greens with this fun grilled romaine caesar salad. This salad includes crispy pancetta, grilled lemon and grilled baguette slices used in place of standard croutons. A homemade caesar dressing could not be easier to make in the food processor. If you do not like anchovies, feel free to use Worcestershire sauce in its place. You can serve this salad cold or hot depending on your personal preferences. Make it a meal by adding some grilled chicken or salmon to the top of the lettuce wedges. Freshly grated parmesan cheese makes another great topping idea.

Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad

Do you have some tomatoes from your garden that you need to use up? Be sure to try this crisp tomato cucumber feta salad recipe, guaranteed to add a splash of color to your next meal. This refreshing salad combines some of the best tastes of summer, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion. The homemade dressing is made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and ground cumin. Feta cheese and a bit of cilantro finish it all off. It is a good idea to hold off on dressing the salad until just before you plan to serve it so that the vegetables do not get soggy.

Coconut Rice

This coconut rice recipe makes a great side for grilled chicken or your favorite Asian entree. The recipe calls for canned coconut milk to provide the sweetness. Using a full-fat version of this milk will translate to a greater depth of flavor. Note that you will need to rinse the rice thoroughly so that it does not get gummy during the cooking process. For a more authentic Asian experience, add some pandan or kaffir lime leaf. Finish this rice off with a sprinkling of toasted coconut.

Roasted Parsnips

Looking to break out of the rut of ordinary potatoes? Try these mouth-watering roasted parsnips that are packed full of flavor thanks to the addition of plenty of herbs and spices. You will toss the parsnips in a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper, and marjoram. It is important to cut the parsnips uniformly so that they cook evenly. Flipping those beauties halfway through the roasting time and giving them enough space to breathe will ensure the perfect crispy texture.

Bruschetta Pasta Salad

This flavorful bruschetta pasta salad is the absolute best way to lean on some of the most beloved produce of the summer season. Orecchiette pasta is mixed with tomatoes, red onion, basil, parmesan, and mozzarella for a taste that is reminiscent of your favorite bruschetta recipe. The pasta salad comes together with the addition of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and garlic powder. You will want to refrigerate this pasta salad for at least one hour before serving in order for all of the flavors to blend together.

BLT Stuffed Avocados

For a side dish worthy of guests, consider these picture-perfect BLT stuffed avocados. Avocados are halved and topped with a mixture of grape tomatoes, chopped baby spinach leaves, bacon, and a dressing of mayonnaise and sea salt along with fresh lemon juice. Feel free to substitute low-fat plain Greek yogurt for a lighter option. If you want to turn this side dish into a full meal, simply add some cooked diced chicken to the top of the avocado and serve them with crusty bread and a fruit salad.

Creamy Grape Salad

This creamy grape salad is both tangy and sweet, sure to please all of the people gathered around your dinner table. Combine green and red grapes with a dressing consisting of cream cheese, sour cream, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract. This goodness is topped with toasted pecans to add a layer of crunch to the texture. Serve this salad as a side dish or as a dessert.

Burrata, Basil, and Peach Panzanella Salad

To file under elegant side dishes is this burrata, basil, and peach panzanella salad. This summer fruit salad looks beautiful plated on a large serving platter on your summer dinner table. Bread crumbs are doused in a basil vinaigrette before being toasted to perfection. Arrange this toasty goodness on the platter and layer with fresh sliced peaches, burrata cheese, and basil. It could not be easier to whip up this beautiful side dish.

Welcome the official arrival of summer with these 10 tasty side dishes that harness the best flavors of the season.

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