10 Easy Summer Sides

Summer is in full swing and potlucks, picnics, and family gatherings abound! But what should you bring? Do you pick up a bag of chips or tray of cookies on your way or do you throw together something at home? I usually make something unless I’m super crazy low on time but I keep staples in the house that allow me to whip up a side dish or dessert on the fly.

But these dishes have me thinking that I may need to change my staples up a bit! These dishes all look so fresh and filled with the flavors of summer that I really want a buffet filled with just these foods! I know Micah is gagging at the thought of most of these dishes (he is NOT on board with peppers, onions, or chunks of tomatoes) but he doesn’t need to eat them – more for me! 

As with all of my round-ups, these are not my pictures or recipes. Click on the recipe name or the photo to be taken to the original site. Thanks!

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1. Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad

Tomatoes and cucumbers are about the only thing I can handle growing right now. They seem to take on a life of their own and don’t require much tending to from me. That’s a good thing since I either have a black thumb or just become super forgetful and never thing about my garden until it’s too late. 

2. Summer Corn Salad

I love, love, love sweet corn. And this is such a simple dish that it really lets the corn shine. 

3. Asian Sesame Cucumber Salad

Do you have a spiralizer? I’ve wanted one for a while but I’ve yet to actually jump on the bandwagon. I love the idea but I’m not sure it would get as much use as I imagine in our home. But this salad looks divine…

4. Italian Tortellini Salad

I have a deep connection with tortellni. It speaks to me on many levels. Cheese and pasta intertwined? I’m not sure there is a better pasta out there. 

5. Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad

I’m fairly certain that spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorite dips of all time. It’s rich and creamy but totally healthy because of the veggies… right? Add in some pasta and I’m in!

6. Watermelon Feta Basil Salad

Pairing the saltiness of feta with the sweetness of watermelon is always a great idea to me so this is right up my alley. 

7. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Who loves Caesar salad? This girl. The Parmesan with a good amount of garlic and pepper and the way it all comes together is magical. 

8. BBQ Ranch Pasta Salad

Does this look amazing or what? BBQ sauce is probably my favorite condiment and my next favorite might possibly be ranch. Those are the two I use most often. Put them together over pasta, veggies, cheese, and corn chips? Hooo, baby! 

9. Grilled Corn with Cilantro Lime Butter

Have you ever grilled your corn? It’s such a different experience than plopping it in some boiling water. I highly recommend trying it when you get a chance! Topped with some cilantro lime butter is nothing but amazing. 

10. Thai Slaw with Peanut Dressing

By now all of you know my intense love for peanut butter and that it’s not limited to desserts. This slaw is so bright and beautiful it looks like you are eating the rainbow! 


What is your favorite dish to bring to a potluck or picnic? Any food you save just for picnic type gatherings? Do you have a new recipe to share with me?


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