28 Vegetable Sides That Are Perfect for Summer
Make the most of summer produce with these vegetable side dishes. From zucchini to corn to cucumbers, these side dishes are bright, fresh and delicious. Recipes like Grilled Summer Vegetable Panzanella and Zucchini & Squash Casserole are healthy, seasonal and the perfect accompaniment to any summer meal.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Panzanella
This grilled vegetable salad is filled with summer zucchini and eggplant that are marinated in an herby dressing. Crusty country-style bread helps soak up the flavors. The optional feta cheese adds a briny finishing note. To keep sodium in check, reduce the amount of salt in the salad if you opt to use the feta.
Zucchini & Squash Casserole
Pesto adds fresh herbal flavor to this zucchini and squash casserole. This easy summer casserole is perfect for when you have a bounty of fresh garden zucchini and summer squash.
Master this simple grilled eggplant recipe and you'll have the foundation for all sorts of healthy summer dishes. Serve the eggplant slices as a side with grilled chicken, fish or meat; add grilled eggplant to a salad; stuff it into sandwiches; chop it and top pizza with it; stir it into pasta dishes or grain bowls--the possibilities are almost endless.
A refreshing accompaniment to a main course of meat or fish, this cucumber-yogurt salad also makes a tasty filling for pita bread. If the cucumbers are grated instead of chopped, this mixture can be served as a dip.
Zucchini & Tomato Casserole
The combination of sweet tomatoes and zucchini with melted cheese in this zucchini-tomato casserole tastes like a summer-fresh pizza. It's the perfect easy side dish for any summer meal.
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Pesto Butter
If Mexican street corn took a trip to Genoa, it might come back slathered in pesto butter like this grilled corn on the cob recipe. This Italian flair works because the flavors of basil and Parmesan have a natural affinity with corn.
Classic Zucchini Casserole
This comforting zucchini casserole with buttery crackers and cheese is the perfect recipe for your bumper crop of zucchini. Fresh thyme is lightly floral while fresh ground pepper adds kick to this creamy summer casserole.
Grilled Eggplant Salad
This easy grilled eggplant salad is the healthy side dish you'll want to serve all summer long. It comes together in just 25 minutes and can be served warm or at room temperature, so it's equally suited to casual parties and weeknight dinners. The combination of eggplant, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, red onions and fresh herbs makes for a salad that's full of bright flavors and colors. Serve it with grilled chicken or fish or as part of a vegetarian mezze platter with dips like hummus and pita bread.
Charred Green Beans with Mustard Vinaigrette & Hazelnuts
Our go-to trick for this crunchy, mustardy vegan side dish: Use a grill basket--it lets you cook all the things that would ordinarily fall through the grill grates, no skewering required. Pick one up from the hardware store or order one online for less than $15.
String Beans & Summer Squash
In this summery recipe for summer squash and green beans, cooking the string beans and summer squash in a little seasoned broth adds flavor with minimal effort. Try any fresh herb you have on hand and swap yellow summer squash for zucchini if you prefer.
Balsamic Roasted Zucchini with Feta
We've got a great way to use up your garden zucchini! Zucchini softens while roasting and soaks up the flavor of balsamic vinegar. The sweet flavors are complemented by salty feta cheese sprinkled on just before serving. It's an easy summer side you'll come back to again and again.
Oven-Roasted Corn with Smoked Paprika Butter
This healthy corn on the cob recipe is easily doubled or tripled when you have guests over. If you don't want to turn on your oven, grill the foil-wrapped corn over medium-high heat, turning a few times, until tender, about 10 minutes total.
Tropical Cucumber Salad
Combine cucumber, avocado and mango with a salty-sweet dressing for a taste of the tropics.
Panzanella with Tomatoes & Grilled Corn
Grilled corn adds a note of sweetness to this tangy panzanella salad.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad
Enjoy this healthy and simple grilled vegetable salad recipe alongside anything else you feel like throwing on the grill. Or toss it with pasta and plenty of Parmesan and call it dinner.
Easy Grilled Peppers
The method for making these grilled bell peppers is simple, straightforward and pretty much fail-proof. The dressing turns these easy grilled peppers into a delightful appetizer or tasty addition to a simple sandwich, but feel free to skip dressing them if you need plain grilled peppers for another recipe. Alternatively, you can also skip the grill and roast the peppers instead.
Carrot salads are refreshing, and this one--with cucumbers, red onion and a zesty cilantro-chili vinaigrette--is sure to become a new favorite. It's excellent served with grilled fish.
Olive Oil-Braised Summer Squash
Zucchini or any other kind of summer squash will work in this easy vegetable side dish. Serve with grilled chicken or fish for a quick and healthy dinner.
Spiralized Zucchini & Summer Squash Casserole
If you don't have a spiralizer to make this healthy zucchini noodle casserole (aka zoodles), use a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips of the squash and zucchini, stopping when you reach the seedy center. Just a few minutes under the broiler gives these ricotta-and-basil-filled nests a light golden top.
Grilled Summer Vegetables with Shallot-Herb Vinaigrette
Enjoy the summer's vegetable bounty with this easy grilled vegetable recipe. Pile any leftovers on crusty baguette with melted fontina or mozzarella for lunch the next day.
Green Beans & Tomatoes with Sizzled Garlic
Capers, juicy tomatoes, and chopped fresh parsley make this vegetable side dish flavorful enough for a special meal, but easy enough for everyday.
Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin
Don't skip salting the cucumbers in this quick cucumber salad recipe--just 10 minutes pulls out some of their excess moisture, concentrating the flavor and keeping the salad from being watered down. Serve as a healthy side dish at a summer cookout alongside burgers and hot dogs.
Roasted Baby Zucchini with Lemon Labneh
This easy vegetable side dish shines alongside roasted or seared steak, chicken, shrimp or firm fish, such as cod or salmon. Sumac lends punchy, fruity, sour-lemon notes to this fast and simple recipe. Find ground sumac spice online, in specialty markets and in well-stocked grocery stores.
Cheesy Summer Squash Casserole
This yellow squash casserole is a great rendition of the classic—it’s still super cheesy, but much healthier for you. Look for medium or even small yellow squash, as large ones tend to water out more. Be sure to remove as much water as possible after boiling the veggies and before assembling the squash casserole so it doesn’t get soupy.
Roasted vegetables are a popular choice because they are so easy to prepare. In this recipe, eggplant, mushrooms, sweet pepper and red onion are drizzled in a simple sage vinaigrette and roasted until tender.
Three Sisters Succotash
In this easy succotash recipe, corn, squash and beans--known as the three sisters--are as delicious married in the pot as they are harmonious in the garden. Succotash, from the Native American word msiquatash, referred to a winter stew made from corn and beans, but now also describes various vegetable blends, such as this delightful summer garden mix. If you find lovely patty pan squashes, you could use those instead of regular zucchini or summer squash.
Cheesy Sweet Peppers and Corn
If you like cheese, you'll love this vegetable side dish. Sweet peppers--both red and green--and sweet yellow corn are slow-cooked, topped with a creamy, blue cheese sauce and sprinkled with shredded cheddar. It's decadently delicious!
Sliced cucumbers tossed with rice-wine vinegar make for a refreshing and simple summer salad.