27 Side Dishes You'll Want to Make All Summer Long

Herbed Tomato Gratin

From refreshing salads to mouth-watering grilled veggies, these side dishes are the perfect summertime companion to any meal. Featuring fresh corn, tomatoes, summer squash and more seasonal vegetables, these healthy sides will steal the show. Trust us, you'll return to recipes like our Parmesan-Rosemary Baked Zucchini Fries and Herbed Tomato Gratin again and again.

01 of 27

Spiralized Zucchini & Summer Squash Casserole

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.

02 of 27

Garlic Butter Campfire Corn

Garlic Butter Campfire Corn

This flavorful corn couldn't be easier to prepare. Just cover the ears of corn in a quick garlic-and-chive-flavored butter and wrap in foil and they're ready to throw on the grill at home or over coals at the campsite.

03 of 27

Summer Vegetable Tian

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This pretty vegan layered casserole is so simple to make. Its only seasonings are salt and garlic-infused olive oil, which you make by sizzling a clove of garlic in olive oil for about a minute. This dish is lovely warm or room temperature. Serve with crusty bread as a vegetarian entree or alongside roasted meats as a side dish--don't forget a glass of chilled rosé.

04 of 27

Herbed Tomato Gratin

Herbed Tomato Gratin

Vegetable gratin recipes often have a crunchy breadcrumb or crouton topping. But summer tomatoes are too gorgeous to hide, so we tucked crusty cubes of bread underneath them instead. Plus, the bread soaks up all the juicy tomato goodness. If you can't find marjoram, fresh basil or oregano makes a good substitute.

05 of 27

Grilled Cauliflower with Feta

Grilled Cauliflower with Feta
Caitlin Bensel

The tiny bits of red bell pepper add a nice sweet crunch to these grilled cauliflower wedges with a feta cheese and olive oil drizzle. Keeping the core of the cauliflower intact helps the wedges stay sturdy while grilling.

06 of 27

Ensaladang Mais (Grilled Corn Salad)

Ensaladang Mais (Grilled Corn Salad)
Jenny Huang

The Spanish introduced the cultivation of corn to the Filipino island of Cebu in the 1700s. This propelled the vegetable to staple status not just in that province, but throughout the country. Yana Gilbuena features this dish in her pop-up kamayan dinners showcasing her culture's cuisine.

07 of 27

Parmesan-Rosemary Baked Zucchini Fries

Parmesan-Rosemary Zucchini Fries
Jason Donnelly

These fries are great as an appetizer with a dipping sauce, such as ranch dressing or marinara sauce, or alongside just about anything from burgers to fish. Have an air fryer? You can use that too!

08 of 27

Tomato, Peach & Feta Salad

Tomato, Peach & Feta Salad
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

This juicy salad is the perfect snack in the height of summer when tomatoes and peaches are at their best.

09 of 27

Ensaladang Ubod (Hearts of Palm Salad)

Ensaladang Ubod (Hearts of Palm Salad)
Jenny Huang

Ubod, or hearts of palm, are the edible pith of the coconut tree. Yana Gilbuena, who's toured the world sharing her culture's cooking, considers this ingredient to be a great example of how Filipino cuisine honors a plant by using as many parts as possible.

10 of 27

Cherry Tomato & Strawberry Bruschetta

Cherry Tomato & Strawberry Bruschetta
Leigh Beisch

These topped toasts get a sweet-salty punch from the addition of strawberries and ricotta salata—a firm, saltier version of ricotta cheese. Look for it with other specialty cheeses at the supermarket, or substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino.

11 of 27

Spicy Tomato & Seaweed Salad

Spicy Tomato & Seaweed Salad
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

Adjust the heat in this spicy tomato salad by using a milder pepper or just using a little less of a hot one. Sesame oil, tamari and seaweed add lots of umami and nutty flavor to a fresh tomato.

12 of 27

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob
Andrea Mathis

This grilled corn on the cob is a real summertime treat. It's basted with a spicy butter blend and grilled to perfection in about 20 minutes. This recipe is easily doubled to serve a larger gathering. This recipe is part of our Juneteenth Family Cookout Menu.

13 of 27

Marinated Charred Green Beans

Marinated Charred Green Beans
Jason Donnelly

Grilling green beans before tossing them in the marinade softens them up, helping them to absorb more of the flavor. Serve them as is or toss into a green salad.

14 of 27

Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin (see serp, not skillet)
Antonis Achilleos

This easy cauliflower gratin uses one pot to steam the cauliflower and then make the cheesy sauce, cutting down on dishes. Just 20 minutes in the oven is all it takes to crisp up the breadcrumb crust. Serve this family-friendly gratin alongside roast chicken, pork or steak.

15 of 27

Zucchini, Spinach & Gouda Bake

Zucchini, Spinach & Gouda Bake
Eva Kolenko

The addition of flour and baking powder gives more leavening power to the eggs, making this dish a bit more tender and fluffier than a quiche.

16 of 27

Cantaloupe Salad with Lime, Pepitas & Cotija

Cantaloupe Salad with Lime, Pepitas & Cotija
Jennifer Causey

This refreshing cantaloupe salad is tossed with tangy lime and garnished with crunchy pepitas and salty cotija cheese. Chili powder and cumin add a Southwestern spin. Enjoy as dinner side or light lunch.

17 of 27

Bulgur & Butter Bean Salad

Bulgur & Butter Bean Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette
Eva Kolenko

The pleasantly sweet-and-sour pomegranate molasses in the tangy vinaigrette here is made by reducing pomegranate juice into a syrup. Look for it at well-stocked grocery stores and Middle Eastern markets.

18 of 27

Loaded Zucchini Bites

Loaded Zucchini Bites
Brie Passano

These low-carb zucchini bites have all the toppings of a loaded baked potato, without the potato! Melted cheese, bacon, chives and a dollop of sour cream make these bites perfect for game day or anytime you're craving comfort food.

19 of 27

Grilled Snap Peas with Chile-Miso Butter

Grilled Snap Peas with Chile-Miso Butter
Jason Donnelly

Miso, chile-garlic sauce and vinegar lend serious savory flavor to the compound butter used to coat the charred peas.

20 of 27

Summer Squash "Noodles" with Tomatoes & Mint

Summer Squash “Noodles” with Tomatoes & Mint
Jason Donnelly

Find squash "noodles" with other precut fruits and veggies in your supermarket's produce section if you don't want to spiralize them yourself.

21 of 27

Sautéed Scallions & Garlic (Mock Wild Ramps)

Mock Ramps
Joy Howard

You can use this easy mixture of sautéed scallions and garlic in place of wild ramps—which can be hard to find and pricy—in just about any dish. Add the mixture to omelets and sauces, stir-fry it with rice and the protein of your choice, serve it with steak, fish or chicken and chop it up and add it to compound butter. Read more about ramps.

22 of 27

Radish, Celery & Cucumber Salad

Shaved Radish, Celery & Cucumber Salad
Eva Kolenko

It's worth using that special bottle of olive oil and seeking out Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is bolder than basic Parm, for this simple salad. Use a mandoline to shave the veggies if you have one.

23 of 27

Balsamic Roasted Zucchini with Feta

overhead shot of balsamic roasted zucchini on a sheet pan

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.

24 of 27

Heirloom Tomato & Summer Vegetable Salad

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Allowing the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving means the raw vegetables get a chance to soak up the tangy-sweet dressing in this healthy side dish recipe. Serve with grilled chicken, steak, mushrooms or tofu.

25 of 27

Garlic-Parmesan Hasselback Zucchini

Garlic-Parmesan Hasselback Zucchini

Using the hasselback technique--cutting partially into a whole fruit or vegetable every 1/2 inch or so--gives you an easy way to sneak lots of flavor into this healthy zucchini recipe. To bake the zucchini instead of grilling, place in a foil-lined 8-inch-square baking pan and bake at 425°F until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

26 of 27

Cucumber-Yogurt Salad

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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.

27 of 27

Green Salad with Peaches, Feta & Mint Vinaigrette

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This healthy side salad recipe follows one of the essential formulas for great salads: tossing bitter greens with sweet fruit, crunchy toasted nuts and salty cheese. Melons are a good alternative to the stone fruit later in the summer, or try dried apricots during the winter months.

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