25 Summer Side Dishes | Skinnytaste

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Keep it light and fresh with these easy summer side dishes. Made with seasonal ingredients, these sides are colorful, flavorful, and perfect for hot summer days!

Veggie Kabobs for an easy summer side dish

I don’t know about you, but in the summer months, a lot of times I spend more time thinking about sides than I do about my main dishes! So often we’re throwing chicken or shrimp on the grill, which means planning dinner is all about choosing fresh, seasonal side dishes to go with those simple proteins.

Below you’ll find a list of 25 summer side dishes that we keep on frequent rotation in our home. They’re light and flavorful, with all those summer fruits and veggies we just can’t get enough of this time of year.

Greek Orzo Salad

Greek Orzo Salad Recipe

Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a backyard barbecue, pasta salads are a summertime staple and this Greek-inspired version is going to be your go-to. In addition to the briny olives and feta, I add garden tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers to bring in fresh summer flavors.

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Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.

Caprese Salad

This might just be THE quintessential summer salad. Tomatoes are paired with mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar to create a simple side dish with the perfect balance of sweetness, acid, and creaminess.

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grilled corn on the cobb

Grilled Corn on The Cob

Boiled corn is good, but grilled corn is even better! Adding a smoky element to sweet summer corn really takes it to the next level. Dress it up with seasonings or just enjoy it as-is for the easiest summer side dish.

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A low-carb faux "potato" salad made with cauliflower instead of potatoes, perfect for Keto or if you're just looking to eat less carbs.

Low Carb Potato Salad

A low-carb faux “potato” salad made with cauliflower instead of potatoes, perfect for Keto or if you’re just looking to eat less carbs.

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Baby Red Potato Salad

Red Potato Salad Recipe

Although potatoes aren’t exactly a vegetable we associate with summer, potato salad is a summertime staple for pairing with hot dogs and burgers. This lightened up version has just enough mayo to make it creamy without overwhelming the potatoes.

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Grilled Vegetables with Yogurt Mint Sauce is so colorful and delicious. An easy summer side dish made with asparagus, zucchini, squash, red onion and bell peppers.
Cole Slaw

Homemade Coleslaw

This homemade coleslaw recipe is the perfect side to pair with anything you’re grilling this summer! Serve it as a side dish with sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, and more.

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Black Bean, Avocado, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad
Macaroni Salad

My Favorite Macaroni Salad

So many macaroni salad recipes are calorie bombs, laden with mayo and sugar, but this one breaks the mold. It manages to be creamy without being heavy, and the tomatoes add some summery flavor.

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Mexican zucchini in a black cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

Skillet Mexican Zucchini

Not every night is a grilling night! When you’re cooking inside, you’ll love this Mexican-inspired zucchini recipe. It’s livened up with some jalapeño, but don’t worry—melted cheese helps balance the heat.

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Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

Panzanella is an Italian salad that combines day-old bread with sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, cucumbers, red onion, and olive oil. If croutons are your favorite part of a salad, this one’s for you!

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I love making this mayo-less summer pasta salad with arugula, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, capers, fresh shaved Parmesan cheese and a splash of balsamic and oil.

Summer Pasta Salad with Baby Greens

For a pasta salad without mayo, this recipe is one of my absolute favorites. Arugula and spinach add bulk without carbs, while sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and Parmesan make it delicious without having to load it up with mayonnaise.

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Veggie Kabobs with BBQ Sauce

Veggie Kabobs

Another classic summer side dish! The thing I love about these veggie kabobs is that they’re easy enough for a weeknight, but they’re also always a hit when you’re entertaining. No one can resist all those colorful grilled vegetables!

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Ripe, end-of-summer garden tomatoes make the best, juiciest tomato salad, perfect served with a rustic loaf of bread!

Tomato Salad

If your garden has given you more tomatoes than you know what to do with, this tomato salad is the answer. I love making it with colorful heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

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This light 5-ingredient zucchini carpaccio salad is this perfect summer side dish. You can serve this as an appetizer, side dish or even as a light lunch for 2.

Zucchini Carpaccio

Every time I make this recipe, I remember how delicious zucchini is when it’s raw. This side is light and elegant, and it’s another that’s easy enough for a weeknight (just 5 ingredients!) but fancy enough to serve to guests.

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Sautéed Zucchini with Plum Tomatoes
bowl with watermelon, feta and arugula

Watermelon Feta Salad

Watermelon really shines when it’s paired with something savory: Kalamata olives, flaky salt, or, in this easy summer side dish, feta. You only need 4 ingredients to make it!

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Grilled Corn Salad with Cojita

Grilled Corn Salad with Cotija

In my opinion, Mexican street corn is even tastier without the mayo—and this grilled corn salad proves my point! With sweet summer corn, Tajin, and cotija, it’s loaded with flavor.

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These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.

Baked Eggplant Sticks

Eggplant is often overlooked when it comes to summer vegetables, but this easy side dish puts it in the spotlight. Serve grilled burgers with a side of these eggplant sticks instead of fries.

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Cucumber Salad with yogurt
Ratatouille with Farro

Ratatouille with Farro

Ratatouille is made with a bunch of summertime favorites, including  tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant. Here, I pair it with farro to make a delicious side that doubles as a meatless main.

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Corn Salsa with chips

Corn Salsa Recipe

Here’s the plan: serve this corn salsa as a side dish for dinner—you can eat it with a fork like a cold salad or spoon it over grilled chicken—and then scoop up the leftovers with tortilla chips the rest of the week.

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black beans, chickpeas, avocado salad

Fiesta Bean Salad Recipe

We all need that back-pocket bean salad recipe and this one is mine. The cumin-lime vinaigrette infuses the black beans and chickpeas with so much flavor.

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Green Beans with Garlic and Oil

String Beans with Garlic and Oil

Green beans might be a pain to prep, but they’re so worth it—especially in this garlicky side dish recipe! It goes with just about anything and leftovers are fantastic served cold straight out of the fridge.

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Grilled Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad

Grilled Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad

Grilled vegetables make this orzo pasta salad something special. You can customize this recipe with whatever you pick up at the farmers’ market or the vegetables you happen to have growing in your garden.

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