Elevate Your Backyard Cookout with These Scrumptious Side Dishes
As the warm weather arrives, backyard cookouts once again become a popular way to spend time with loved ones. Summer is the perfect season for friends and family to gather, indulging in mouthwatering food and refreshing drinks while lounging on the patio. Although the main course tends to steal the spotlight, side dishes are essential in providing a well-rounded experience. A thoughtfully selected assortment of side dishes can elevate your cookout, offering guests a delightful medley of flavors and textures.
With Memorial Day just around the corner, it’s time to step up your BBQ game. What truly distinguishes one cookout from another is the array of side dishes served. While burgers and hot dogs are a staple at these events, and some may prepare them better than others, it’s the side dishes that truly make the meal memorable. Here are ten popular side dishes to consider for your next backyard cookout, guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your guests.
- Coleslaw: A Timeless Classic
Coleslaw is a refreshing, crunchy side dish that pairs perfectly with grilled meats. Made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a tangy, creamy dressing, this versatile dish can be tailored to suit your preferences. For a twist, try adding apple slices for a touch of sweetness or using a vinegar-based dressing for a lighter option. Here is a great sugarless RECIPE.
- Potato Salad: A Comforting Favorite
Potato salad is a comfort food staple at cookouts, made with boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, onions, and various seasonings. Experiment with different types of potatoes, herbs, and even add-ins like bacon or pickles to make it your own. See Our 5 Favorite Potato Salad RECIPES
- Grilled Vegetables: A Healthy and Flavorful Choice
Grilling seasonal vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms enhances their flavors while adding a touch of smokiness. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss on the grill alongside your main course for a simple yet delicious side dish. Great grilled asparagus RECIPE
- Baked Beans: A Sweet and Savory Delight
Slow-cooked with bacon, molasses, and brown sugar, baked beans are a sweet and savory cookout staple. Serve them warm in a cast iron skillet for a rustic presentation that will impress your guests. RECIPE
- Corn on the Cob: A Summer Essential
Corn on the cob, whether grilled or boiled, is a quintessential summer side dish. Serve with melted butter and a sprinkle of salt, or get creative with toppings like chili-lime seasoning, garlic herb butter, or crumbled cotija cheese. See this Mexican Street Corn RECIPE
- Pasta Salad: A Crowd-Pleasing Option
Cold pasta salads are a popular choice for outdoor gatherings, as they can be prepared ahead of time and customized with a variety of vegetables, cheeses, and dressings. Try a Mediterranean-inspired version with olives, feta cheese, and a lemony vinaigrette, or a zesty Italian-style pasta salad with pepperoni, mozzarella, and a tangy dressing. Italian Tortellini RECIPE
- Watermelon: A Refreshing Treat
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing quite like the sweet, juicy taste of watermelon. Serve it sliced or cubed for a simple, hydrating snack that will keep guests feeling refreshed.
- Deviled Eggs: An Elegant Classic
Deviled eggs are a sophisticated yet easy-to-make side dish that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Experiment with unique flavor combinations like smoked salmon and capers or bacon and cheddar for a modern twist. RECIPE
- Caprese Salad: A Simple Sophisticate
A caprese salad, featuring sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic glaze, is an elegant and flavorful side dish that requires minimal effort. Choose the freshest ingredients for the best results. RECIPE
- Guacamole and Chips: A Festive Starter
Homemade guacamole, crafted from ripe avocados, lime juice, and seasonings, is a delicious and satisfying side dish when paired with crunchy tortilla chips. Set out a bowl as guests arrive to keep them satisfied while the grill heats up. RECIPE