Last Updated October 12th, 2022 at 09:41 am by Lisa
These are the best side dishes to make during cookout season! This ultimate list has 30+ Cookout Side Dish Recipes that will inspire you to create the yummiest food for family gatherings, summer picnics, outdoor cookouts, backyard barbecues, or church potlucks.
Bring the most delicious recipes and best Summer side dishes that will delight everyone for July 4th, Labor, or Memorial day bbq parties, and take you right into Fall for tailgates and game days...
30+ Cookout Side Dish Recipes
Take a peek at my ultimate Cookout Menu chock full of everything you need to host a fantastic party including cookout food ideas and all the best grill recipes. There are grilled meat recipes, tips on juicy burgers, spiral grilled hot dogs, condiments, drinks, desserts, and more! Plus tons of creative ideas on how to host a fun party with everything you will need, and inspirational cookout ideas to plan your Summer BBQ party.
BBQ Potato Salad Recipe
Classic potato salad is one of the most popular bbq side dish recipes, but how about one loaded with flavors like bbq sauce, bacon, and cheddar cheese? It is super creamy with secret ingredients in place of the mayo. Every time you make this new twist on a classic mix-up a double batch. This simple side dish goes fast! Get the printable recipe card at the end of this post! 🥔🥓🌿🧀
Classic Cookout Side Dish Recipes
These are warm side dishes and easy BBQ sides to make at the last minute.
This Mexican Street Corn Recipe (aka Elotes) has fresh corn grilled and brushed with a creamy cilantro sauce. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese and chile powder, and garnish with cilantro. Cut the kernels off and make an incredible Mexican street corn salad! 🌽🌿
Cowboy Baked Beans have crispy applewood smoked bacon and hamburger cooked in a slow cooker or in the oven with a little brown sugar and other delicious ingredients. This perfect side dish recipe is one of the best cookout sides to make ahead for a large hungry crowd or for your next family dinner. 🤠🥫🥓
Grilled Corn cooks fast, in 10 minutes! Fresh sweet corn can be prepped the day before a cookout with endless flavor options for guests. You can also cut the corn kernels off and make a spicy corn salad! 🌽🔥
Summer Salad Side Dishes
Creamy Bacon Potato Salad is one of the best BBQ side dishes. Loaded with crispy bacon and blue cheese. An awesome side for summer cookouts and potlucks. This is one of the best picnic food ideas because it has no eggs or mayo. 🥔🥓🍃
Dig your fork into this icy cold Wedge Salad with a Pistachio-Avocado creamy dressing. The mild flavor of green salads compliments sizzling grilled steaks, chicken, or shish kabobs at cookouts or dinner parties. And you can make it heartier with chopped bacon, diced chicken, or hard-boiled eggs. 🥬🥑💚🍃🥣
Broccoli Salad with crisp green apples, crunchy broccoli, and grapes creates one of the best summer salads ever. Tossed in one of my favorite creamy sauces, made with just 3-ingredients! You can use regular oranges, small mandarin oranges, or pixie tangerines in the dressing. 🥦🍇🫐
An easy Pasta Salad with fresh herbs, bell pepper, and cheese. This delicious side dish is mayo-less and made with olive oil, vinegar, fresh basil, and red onion. Perfect to serve at outdoor picnics or cookouts. 🧺🌿🥣
Put this easy 7 Layer Salad Recipe together up to a day ahead, it has fresh tomatoes, boiled eggs, and veggies. Make it the night before, and have it ready to go to your party chilling in your fridge overnight complete with the dressing on top. 🥗🍅🥚
The BEST creamy summer sides, this Macaroni Salad recipe has chopped eggs, creamy mayo, pickles, and PICKLE JUICE! A favorite old-fashioned beloved recipe that some people eat as their main course it's that good. 🥣💛🌿
Easy Salad Potluck Dishes
Whip up this easy Taco Salad recipe loaded with all the best Mexican food toppings like crunchy Fritos, grated cheese, creamy sour cream, and Catalina dressing. Plus get my two secret ingredients for the best taco meat! 🌮🥗
A colorful Pizza Salad loaded with our favorite pizza toppings like mini pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms, tangy pepperoncinis, juicy cherry tomatoes, and little balls of buffalo mozzarella cheese. 🍕🥗
The original Cobb Salad became famous in Los Angeles at the Brown Derby restaurant served with (red wine vinegar) vinaigrette French dressing loaded with chopped tomato, cubed chicken, crumbled bacon, diced avocado, chopped eggs, and topped with Roquefort cheese. 🍅🥓🥚🥗
Party Food Sides
These are the best Fried Green Tomatoes, one of the most famous Southern recipes of all time, and a great way to use up green tomatoes. Each slice has a crunchy crust to dip into a creamy remoulade, buttermilk ranch dressing, or comeback sauce. 💚🍅
Bake these Cheddar Cheese Jalapeño Corn Bread Muffins made with just 3 ingredients, and are super soft, fluffy, and cheesy. Serve hot with a big slather of honey butter for dinners like bowls of chili, pork chops, fried chicken, or BBQ ribs. 🌽🍞
Frozen Dinner Rolls (aka Bread Rolls) are beautiful and easy to make. Brush store-bought frozen rolls with melted butter, and add toppings you love. Try parmesan cheese, seasonings, and fresh herbs. Then bake to a golden brown. 🍞🌿🧀
Clean, Cool and Light Sides
A healthier Tuna Salad loaded with crunchy celery, creamy avocado, basil, capers, kalamata olives, pepperoncini's, and sun-dried tomatoes. Roll it up in a tortilla wrap, scooped in colorful red or green pepper bowls, or put it inside lettuce leaves for low carb lunches! 🐟🫑🍅🫒
Chilled Cucumber Soup (aka White Gazpacho) is a refreshing Summer recipe with yogurt, grapes, green apples, topped with almonds and crab. This cold soup recipe includes lots of other garnish topping ideas for you too! 🥒🍇🥣
Vegetable Sides and Coleslaws
Mango Jicama Slaw has sweet juicy mangos, crunchy jicama, and crisp green cabbage. And a sweet tangy mango-lime vinaigrette is one clean slaw salad and goes great on fish tacos or with grilled fish! 🥭🥗
Coleslaw with an easy vinegar dressing (and no-mayo that you find in most classic creamy slaw recipes), is great on pulled pork sandwiches, with grilled hamburgers, or BBQ chicken. This coleslaw recipe works as an easy summer side dish for picnics and cookouts. 🥬 🥕
Vegetable Spring Rolls with a peanut ginger dip sauce for a healthy vegetarian or vegan lunch. These have a rainbow of gorgeous fresh veggies and are crunchy light and fresh! 💜🍃🌈🥑🥕🌱
Chip & Dip Easy Side Ideas
Grab a bag of chips or some veggie crudites, and dip away! Crudités with Green Goddess Dip is an easy appetizer. 🥒🥕🫑🥦 Cut the fresh produce into sticks and serve veggie cups with a purple cabbage "bowl" for a unique relish tray at your party.
Onion Dip aka California Dip or Sour Cream Dip is the easiest dip ever, with only 2 ingredients! Made in minutes, serve with potato chips and assorted cut veggies. French onion dip is an easy appetizer with caramelized onions and fresh simple ingredients.🧅🥣
Authentic Guacamole has fresh lime juice, and grated onion - one of my top guac secrets. Grab a few room temp ripe tomatoes for the chopped tomato as they add great flavor, with dashes of hot sauce, and spices to add just a little heat. 🥑🧅🌶🍅
Avocado Salsa (aka Taco Sauce) is great to drizzle on Mexican foods like tacos, burritos, and taquitos or served with tortilla chips as a dip. 🥑🧅💚
Summer Dessert Recipes
Every good party needs cookout desserts to go with all the main dish items. These are fresh takes on what to make for sweet side dishes!
Have you ever tried grilled desserts? Bake a Grill Baked Blueberry Pie Recipe outdoors on your gas or charcoal grill. It works just like an indoor oven and keeps your house cool on scorching hot days. Top with ice cream or cool whip for an amazing summer dessert! 🫐🥧🔥
Peach Cheesecake Pie is a 30-minute no-bake easy recipe with a crisp graham cracker crust, sweet cream cheese filling, and juicy summer peaches. Just grab 5 simple ingredients at the store. 🍑🥧
A real fresh Strawberry Cake and no artificial ingredients like food coloring or jello made with sweet juicy summer strawberries and topped with amazing strawberry buttercream frosting. 🍓🍰
Bake a patriotic American Flag Cake with red, white, and blue marbled cake inside and bakery-style frosting. 🎂🍰🇺🇸
Cookout Foods FAQ
Buy platters that stay chilled for up to two hours, they also can be heated in the winter for parties and holiday celebrations!
Pack up leftovers for guests to take with them, and keep chilled until people head home.
-If serving outside, plan out to keep food protected from flying insects with food tents, and chill salads especially if they have meat, eggs, or mayonnaise.
-Keep dishes out of the direct sun if possible.
-For outdoor parties, make sure to get food back in the fridge after about an hour on hot days to keep it safe.
30+ Cookout Sides - BBQ Potato Salad
- 4 pounds Russet potatoes (6-8 medium potatoes)
- ½ cup BBQ sauce your favorite brand
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (not hot)
- 4 whole green onions sliced thin
- 1 cup crumbled bacon 10 strips bacon
- 4 ribs celery diced
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Heat a large pot of water on the stove. Wash the potatoes, and cut into 1" pieces. Boil the potato about 20 minutes until fork tender. drain and place into a large bowl.
- While the potatoes are boiling, mix the sauce. In a medium bowl, mix BBQ sauce, sour cream, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
- Toss the sauce in with the cooked potatoes, then add the chopped green onions, diced celery, crumbled bacon, and grated cheddar cheese.
- Keep refrigerated, and tastes even better the next day!
how to keep cookout sides cold?Buy platters that stay chilled for up to two hours, they also can be heated in the winter for parties and holiday celebrations! Pack up leftovers for guests to take with them, and keep chilled until people head home.
what are the best ways to keep food safe at cookouts?If serving outside, plan out to keep food protected from flying insects with food tents, and chill salads especially if they have meat, eggs, or mayonnaise.
Keep dishes out of the direct sun if possible.
For outdoor parties, make sure to get food back in the fridge after about an hour on hot days to keep it safe.