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No summertime cookout is truly complete without a tempting array of best side dishes.

From timeless favorites like potato, macaroni, and tomato salads to a variety of dips and breads, setting up an enticing spread ensures that your guests will indulge.

They always enjoy success at summer cookouts: deviled eggs, mac, and cheese, corn on the cob, slaw, avocado, olive, red onion, bell pepper, dill, and different grilled vegetables including grilled potatoes.

I always aim to offer a mix of sweet and savory options, allowing everyone to customize their plates according to their tastes.

This list of 30 cookout delicious sides for your next picnic will have you prepared for any event, ensuring your guests are satisfied from noon to midnight.

1.  Keto Fried Cabbage with Bacon

Transform your meal with this Tender Keto keto-fried cabbage with Bacon, a dish that proves simple ingredients can yield extraordinary results. This low-carb and keto-approved recipe can serve as a side for the next cookout. 

The cabbage becomes incredibly tender and is infused with the rich, savory flavor of bacon, making it a must-try for anyone looking for a flavorful and easy-to-prepare dish.

2. Refreshing Keto Watermelon Salad with Feta

Enjoy the delightful combination of sweet and salty with this Refreshing Keto Watermelon Salad with Feta.

The crisp watermelon paired with creamy feta cheese creates a superb balance of flavors, enhanced by the addition of fresh mint and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

This salad is a fantastic choice for summer potlucks, offering a refreshing, tangy taste that’s sure to impress at any gathering.

3. Pasta Salad with Canned Sweet Corn

Elevate your summer cookout with this Cowboy Pasta Salad, a creative blend of Tex-Mex flavors and classic pasta salad.

Featuring the savory tastes of taco salad fused with the hearty addition of pasta, this dish includes canned sweet corn for a touch of sweetness.

It’s quick to prepare, and ready in under 30 minutes, making it an ideal, flavorful simple side dish for your next picnic or BBQ. This pasta salad is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, offering a unique twist on traditional favorite summer sides.

4. Baked Beans – Classic Side Dish for Cookout

Baked beans are the quintessential cookout side dish recipe, beloved for their sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. They’re incredibly easy to make, typically in one pot, and a single batch can feed a crowd. 

Most of the cooking is hands-off, done in the oven, making baked beans not only delicious but also convenient. They’re a perfect addition to any family gathering and are sure to be a staple at your events for years to come.

5. Amazing Black-Eyed Pea Salad With Hot Sauce Vinaigrette

Black-eyed peas are more than just food; they are a symbol of luck and prosperity, deeply rooted in African cultural and spiritual ceremonies and cherished in African-American communities, particularly as a New Year’s dish in Hoppin’ John.

This Black-Eyed Pea Salad elevates the humble pea with a bold hot sauce vinaigrette, making it a flavorful, nutritious addition to any meal and a nod to its rich heritage.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad With Hot Sauce Vinaigrette

6. Classic Coleslaw Recipe

This classic coleslaw is the ideal barbecue side dish, offering a cool, crunchy, and refreshing complement to any protein.

Whether paired with slow-cooker pulled pork, citrusy grilled chicken, or any other barbecue favorite, this coleslaw enhances meals with its simple yet satisfying flavors.

It’s easy to prepare and serves as a versatile accompaniment that’s essential at any barbecue.

7. Cucumber Salad – Favorite BBQ Side Dish

This Cucumber Salad is the epitome of a favorite side dish. Cool, easy, and delightfully crunchy, it complements just about any barbecue fare, from grilled chicken to hot dogs and pork chops.

If you’re a cucumber lover, this salad is sure to become a new favorite. The recipe couldn’t be simpler: just chop cucumbers and onions, then toss them with a zippy dressing for a refreshing addition to your BBQ spread.

8. Upside-Down Tomato Cornbread – Best BBQ Side!

Celebrate the bounty of summer with this stunning Upside-Down Tomato Cornbread. Featuring beautiful juicy tomatoes arranged on top of savory cornbread, this dish not only looks impressive but also packs incredible flavor.

Perfect alongside ribs, brisket, or chili, this cornbread elevates any barbecue setup. If you find yourself with leftovers, repurpose them for a delicious breakfast alongside eggs and bacon, or incorporate them into a hearty breakfast bake.

9. Super Simple Beer Bread

Super Simple Beer Bread is as straightforward as it gets, with only five ingredients and no need for proofing or resting. Just mix the ingredients, pour them into a greased loaf pan, and bake.

The choice of beer can subtly or significantly influence the flavor, so you might opt for a light beer for a mild taste or a stronger one for more depth.

This bread is an excellent, hassle-free option for any meal, a perfect side for those who want homemade bread without the effort.

10. Better-Than-Dominos Garlic Bread – Great Side to a BBQ

Garlic bread is a classic side that enhances any BBQ. This homemade version promises to outshine even the best that Domino’s has to offer. It’s loaded with a rich garlic butter that’s both flavorful and aromatic.

Before baking, taste the garlic butter to ensure it has a strong garlic presence, as the flavor will mellow in the oven. For an extra twist, consider adding blue cheese to the mix, offering a savory depth that pairs beautifully with the garlic.

11. Best Homemade Lemonade – Best BBQ Drink!

Nothing says “summer in the South” like a big pitcher of homemade lemonade. This refreshingly tangy, sweet, and ice-cold drink is the perfect way to stay cool on a hot day.

When preparing, be sure to thoroughly clean the lemons since they’ll be mashed with sugar to release all their juicy goodness.

Adjust the sugar to your taste and according to the natural sweetness of the lemons you use, ensuring the perfect balance of flavors.

12. Pineapple Pretzel Fluff – Easy Cookout Dessert

Pineapple Pretzel Fluff offers a delightful twist on traditional cookout desserts. This unique treat features a pretzel base instead of the usual graham crackers, providing a salty crunch that contrasts beautifully with the sweet filling.

The filling, a creamy blend of crushed pineapples, Cool Whip, and cream cheese, is irresistibly smooth and tangy. Serve it as a faux cheesecake in small dishes or alongside cannoli dip with cookies and fruit for dipping.

13. Easy Pureed Fruit Sorbet

Indulge in a refreshing and simple dessert with this Easy Pureed Fruit Sorbet. Made only with pureed fruit and a basic simple syrup (water and sugar), this sorbet is astonishingly easy to make and delightfully delicious.

Choose from a variety of fruits like raspberry, mango, pineapple, or peach. Simply start with frozen chopped fruits, blend with simple syrup, freeze, and enjoy whenever you desire a cool, sweet treat!

14. Cannoli Dip – Creamy Picnic Dessert

Experience the essence of a classic Italian bakery with this Cannoli Dip, mimicking the real, smooth, and addictive filling of a cannoli.

Made with sweetened ricotta cheese, ensure the ricotta is well-drained and the ingredients are whipped until smooth for the perfect consistency.

Serve this creamy delight with cookies or sliced fruits for a dessert that’s not too sweet but utterly irresistible at any gathering.

15. Easy and Delicious Strawberry Banana Popsicles

Create your own delightful popsicles with this simple and delicious Strawberry Banana Popsicles recipe. Blend milk, yogurt, strawberries, bananas, and a touch of honey for a naturally sweet treat.

Pour the smooth mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. Once you discover how easy and tasty these homemade popsicles are, you’ll be inspired to experiment with more flavors, like mango puree and coconut milk, for a tropical twist.

16. Healthy and Delicious Caprese Skewers

These Caprese Skewers offer a refreshing and simple appetizer, perfect for any gathering, especially during the warmer months.

They consist of cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, and basil leaves, all drizzled with just a touch of red wine vinegar to enhance but not overpower the flavors.

Quick to assemble in under 10 minutes, these skewers can also be lightly grilled to add a subtle smoky flavor. Let them rest in their juices before serving to allow the flavors to meld beautifully.

17. Cheesy Pizza Rolls

Cheesy Pizza Rolls are a surefire hit at any BBQ, providing a delicious and somewhat nutritious option amidst the usual party fare. They are especially great for ensuring kids eat something substantial along with their snacks.

Using store-bought dough makes this easy recipe; just fill the dough with your favorite pizza toppings, roll them up, and bake. These rolls are not only tasty but also fun for everyone to enjoy. It will decorate your cookout menu!

18. Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

Achieving the perfect crispiness in homemade sweet potato fries can be challenging, but with the right technique, you can enjoy restaurant-quality fries at home.

Start by soaking the cut sweet potatoes in cold water for about 45 minutes to remove excess starches, which helps in crisping them up during baking.

After draining, dry them thoroughly before tossing them with a mixture of cornstarch and spices like black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and a hint of cayenne pepper for some heat.

When baking, spread them out on the tray to avoid overcrowding and flip halfway through to ensure even crisping. This method will give you the crispy sweet potato fries you crave.

19. Delicious Pan-Fried Zucchini

For a healthier option at your next BBQ, try these Delicious Pan-Fried Zucchini bites. While they are fried, they’re a much lighter alternative to more traditional fried snacks like onion rings.

The preparation is simple and economical, requiring only egg and flour to create a crispy crust.

These zucchini bites offer a tasty way to enjoy vegetables, providing a crispy texture that’s sure to satisfy your craving for something golden and delicious without the guilt.

20. Parmesan Oven Baked Sun-dried Tomatoes

These Parmesan Oven Baked Sun-dried Tomatoes are a delightful treat, combining the sweetness of tomatoes with a savory, crunchy topping. They are incredibly easy to prepare, taking only about five minutes to assemble.

Use a deep baking dish to keep the tomatoes upright while adding a topping of breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan, minced garlic, herbs, and a touch of salt and pepper.

For a different texture, substitute panko breadcrumbs and garlic salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the topping is golden and crispy, and enjoy a burst of flavor in every bite.

21. Crispy Sausage Rolls

Celebrate a British favorite with these Crispy Sausage Rolls, a staple at any gathering where comfort food is appreciated.

The rolls feature flaky and buttery puff pastry enveloping rich pork sausage meat, creating a combination that’s hard to resist. These are a step up from traditional pigs in blankets, offering a fuller flavor and more satisfying bite.

Serve them with Heinz tomato ketchup for an authentic British experience that promises to be a hit at your next event.

22. Crunchy Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pepitas

Revive your salad game with this Crunchy Green Salad that promises to stay fresh till the last bite.

Forget about the days of wilted lettuce—this salad brings a vibrant mix of crisp greens, sweet apples, tart cranberries, creamy goat cheese, and a zesty mustard vinaigrette.

It’s a perfect light side that complements heavier dishes like a juicy burger, providing a balance of sweet, savory, and crunchy elements that make every forkful exciting.

23. Quick Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes might be simple, but they are a beloved classic for a reason. This recipe elevates the humble baked potato with a genius brining step that infuses the skin with flavor, allowing it to crisp up beautifully in the oven.

Baked at high heat for 45 to 60 minutes, these potatoes emerge fluffy inside. Be sure to slice them open immediately after baking to release steam and maintain their perfect texture.

24. Rice Krispies Treat Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches With Honey And Peanut Butter

Take Rice Krispies treats to a whole new level with these Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches, bound together with honey and peanut butter.

Fill them with your choice of ice cream—chocolate and peanut butter for a decadent treat, or perhaps something lighter like raspberry ripple for a fresh twist.

Once assembled and frozen, dip the sandwiches in chocolate and sprinkle with a hint of sea salt for an irresistible dessert that’s sure to impress at any gathering.

25. Easy to Make Chocolate Covered Cherry Pie Pops

These Chocolate Covered Cherry Pie Pops are as delightful to make as they are to eat. Start with store-bought pie dough and your favorite can of pie filling—cherry works beautifully for a classic taste.

Cut the dough into pairs of circles or fun shapes, spoon-filling onto one side, then brush the edges with milk and seal them with a fork. Insert lollipop sticks before baking.

Once baked and cooled, dip each pie pop in melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles for a charming, portable dessert that’s perfect for gatherings.

The lollipop sticks, a bit of milk, and some sugar are simple additions that help make these treats special.

26. Cookout Favorite Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes bring a vibrant and fun twist to any BBQ spread. Incorporating strawberry yogurt into the batter not only enhances the flavor but also ensures a moist crumb, similar to the effect of adding sour cream.

For outdoor settings, consider a slightly firmer frosting to ensure it holds its shape in the heat.

These cupcakes are a delightful sweet treat that pairs wonderfully with savory dishes, allowing guests to enjoy a bit of dessert alongside their main meal without waiting until the end.

27. Fantastic Green Beans

Revamp your green bean experience with these Fantastic Green Beans, guaranteed to erase any memories of past bland servings.

The secret is in the cooking method: steam the beans instead of boiling them to preserve their texture and flavor, then sauté them in a divine garlic butter for a final touch.

This method enhances their natural flavor while adding a satisfying crispness. Keep an eye on them during the sautéing process to achieve a slight crisp without burning the garlic, creating a side dish that’s simple yet significantly elevated in taste.

28. Quick Collard Greens with Bacon

This Quick Collard Greens with Bacon recipe captures the essence of the traditionally slow-cooked dish in much less time. Begin by sautéing the greens with bacon, stirring frequently, until they wilt and absorb the flavors of garlic and salt.

Finish by squeezing a bit of lemon juice over the top before serving to enhance the flavors with a touch of brightness. This method ensures you enjoy all the deep, savory tastes of collard greens without the long cooking time.

Quick Collard Greens

29. Jalapeño Popper Grilled Corn Salad Recipe – Best Cookout Side Dish

This Jalapeño Popper Grilled Corn Salad is a delicious side dish that’s sure to be a hit at a classic cookout.

It combines the smokiness of grilled corn with the spicy kick of chopped jalapeños, rich cream cheese, crispy bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese for a creamy, crunchy, and slightly spicy salad.

The combination of flavors and textures makes this dish irresistibly delicious. Make sure to prepare a large batch because this salad will disappear quickly!

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

30. Classic Potato Salad with Cheddar Cheese

Elevate your BBQ with this Classic Potato Salad with Cheddar Cheese.

The addition of eggs, mustard, and pickles not only provides a wonderful texture but also enhances the flavor with a tangy kick, perfectly balancing the richness of the mayonnaise and cheddar cheese.

Start with a small amount of mayonnaise and add more gradually to achieve the perfect creamy consistency. This salad is an excellent complement to any BBQ fare, providing a familiar yet distinctively flavorful side dish that guests will love.

The Best Potato Saladа for BBQ