Our Best Sides for Your Next Summer Cookout
Why head inside to cook when you can create a full three-course meal directly on your grill? In the summertime, the last thing you want to do is add extra heat to your home by using your stovetop burners and cranking the oven. Creating a menu that can be made entirely on the grill is a smart way to stay cool; and because you can grill everything from appetizers to desserts (even cocktails!), you won't have to sacrifice any refined element of your meal with proper planning.
These sides are classic choices for an old-fashioned barbecue dinner; we're sharing our secrets to a perfectly grilled ear of corn, delicious riffs on coleslaw, and a savory-sweet cornbread that bakes directly on the grill in a cast-iron pan. Maybe you're grilling an entire rack of barbecue ribs for a crowd, or throwing marinated chicken thighs on a hot grill for a weeknight dinner in a flash. Whichever barbecue recipe you choose, we have sides that are perfect for any occasion.
Taking a more nuanced approach to fish night? We also have fresh, light, and healthy sides that pair beautifully with scaled-back fish fillets and lean cuts of protein. Nearly any in-season fruit or vegetable make for a delicious companion on the grill; charring them over an open flame lends a unique flavor that you can't recreate anywhere else. Simply toss with an easy vinaigrette for a quick slaw or top with savory cheeses or sauces for a side dish that could be eaten all on its own.
From hearty salads to rich, starchy sides, these are our very best recipes for side dishes that will go with whatever you choose to grill for dinner.
Grilled Oysters with Compound Brown Butter
Dill, Potato, and Egg Salad
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Cast-Iron Honey Cornbread
Grilled Green Tomatoes with Creamy Basil Sauce
Here's a genius way to use those unripened green tomatoes: Cut them into thick slabs and char them on the grill until they're softened and slightly sweet. Drizzle the grilled tomatoes with a creamy sauce easily made in the food processor with fresh basil, garlic, lemon juice, and prepared mayonnaise.
Cucumber Salad with Herbs, Kumquats, and Sumac Dressing
Eggplant, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad
Test Kitchen's Favorite Potato Salad
There are a few key steps to our food editors' favorite potato salad—evenly cutting your potatoes so they cook evenly, placing the potatoes in cold water then boiling, and using a starchy, creamy spud like russets or Yukon golds. The result is a creamy, flavorful potato salad.
Grilled Peas with Toasted Coconut
Tomato and Avocado Salad
Tabbouleh with Watermelon
Asian Cabbage Slaw
Peppery Greens with Meyer-Lemon Dressing
Mini Pickle Biscuits
Cucumber and Jicama Slaw
Skillet Corn, Edamame, and Tomatoes with Basil Oil
Marinated Zucchini with Mint
This recipe is an easy way to use up your zucchini surplus! Thinly sliced zucchini is roasted until it's browned and sweet, then marinated in a dressing of minced garlic, olive oil, and white-wine vinegar. Top with torn fresh mint leaves just before serving. Try this salad paired with grilled lamb kebabs.