Grilling Series · Spring/Summer

25 Side Dishes to Take to a Cookout

Summer is just around the corner; pools are filling up and grills are heating up. There is nothing better than being invited to a cookout! Whether it is a graduation party, Mother’s Day or simply a family Sunday, grilling out is the best bet. But when someone else is hosting and doing the grilling, it is only polite to bring a dish of your own. Sometimes, the tasteless, deli potato salad just doesn’t cut it. Without further ado, I have devised a list of tasty 25 Dishes to Take to a Cookout!

1. Twice Baked Loaded Potato Casserole 

This is everything you want in a casserole and more. Its a loaded baked potato in casserole form, and it is absolutely delicious. Tender potatoes with crispy, salty bacon and sharp cheddar cheese. Just when you think it can’t get any better cream cheese and sour cream comes in to pull everything together. Topped with scallions. Yum!

2. Black Bean and Corn Relish with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This recipe ties in with the Flavor of the Month, cilantro. If you are going for a fresh Tex-Mex feel, this is your dish! Sweet, luscious, corn marries beautifully with black beans and red onions, finished off with a tangy dressing of lime and cilantro. Surely a crowd pleaser!

3. Tex Mex Corn Dip

Fire-roasted corn dip with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, cilantro and spices, all mixed up for a smoky, sweet and spicy treat! 

4. Italian Pasta Salad

Meaty, tangy, zesty and tasty; this pasta salad is loaded with Italian cured meat, mozzarella, artichoke hearts and pepperoncini peppers.

5. Easy Fruit Tray

This is beautiful and so easy to do. It is a halved and hollowed out watermelon serves as your bowl with all kinds of delicious fruit. This leaves a fancy presentation and no dishes are dirtied, or left at someone else’s house.

6. Deliciously Deviled Eggs

Tender white eggs filled with a tangy and creamy mustard mixture topped with paprika. Stick with the classics.

7. Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Salad

This is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes. There are so many different flavors to this dish, and they marry so well! Sweet whole shrimp, mixed into orzo pasta, along with feta, dill, lemon, red onions, and cooling cucumber. Served cold and lasts a long time if kept chilled. 

8. Greek 7 Layer  Dip

This is everything you want in a dip. This is slight turn on the classic Mexican 7 Layer dip. It features hummus, Greek yogurt, dill, garlic, lemon, and feta with cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, and my favorite, KALAMATA OLIVES! 

8. Best Guacamole Ever

This is seriously the best guacamole I have ever had. It is chunky, yet smooth, spicy, yet sweet, and it never disappoints. 

9. BLT Dip

I made this for the first time just a few days ago, and it tasted so much like a BLT, that it almost came across like it wasn’t real. I ate this with a toasted baguette to mock toasted bread. OMG! So good!

10. Fresh Pineapple Salsa

This is a really fresh and tasty way to present salsa. Not only does this make a good side dish, but if your cookout involves grilled chicken, fish or pork, feel free to use this as a garnish as well on top of the meat. 

11. Broccoli Salad

I love broccoli salad. This keeps the crunch, keeps the sweet, but with the addition of cheddar cheese and red onion, it elevates this dish and packs a delicious punch. 

12. Sweet Mustard Coleslaw

This coleslaw is great on the side, or even on a hot dog or hamburger. 

13. Hawaiian Baked Beans

A new take on baked beans, these are Caribbean influenced with the addition of Cajun spices. Sweetness from the pineapple and heat from the Cajun spice makes a perfect combination.

14. Stuffed Plum Tomatoes

This is so easy and so delicious that you might want to double the recipe. These tomatoes are stuffed with Parmesan, mixed herbs and breadcrumbs. Simple, yet scrumptious!

15. Classic Chicken Salad

This is actually a fresher take on a chicken salad with fresh dill, green onions, fresh lemon, juicy grapes, and crunchy almonds and celery, with a base of mayo, sour cream and a splash of half and half.

16. Classic Macaroni Salad

I just love the green and red peppers in this salad. Its a classic macaroni salad with a fresh crunchy twist!

17. My Mom’s Mustard Potato Salad

My mom and grandmother make this for every single holiday, besides Thanksgiving of course. Easter, Christmas, Fourth of July, Birthdays, whatever the occasion may be, potato salad is on the menu! There is a very good reason behind this, it is absolutely delicious!

19. Mac and Cheese

This is not Kraft macaroni and cheese. This is cheesy, melty, and nutty mac and cheese with Havarti and Gouda. Yum!

20. Collard Green Dip with Bacon

As a southern girl, I love my collard greens and bacon goes great with anything, next to sweet tea, that is! This everything you want in your collard greens elevated with white wine and Parmesan cheese. Don’t knock it until you try it.

21. Grilled Corn Sidekicks 

if you know that the cookout you are attending is serving grilled corn on the cob, bring a lime butter with an ancho chile rub courtesy of Tyler Florence to dress it up. You can also try cilantro and sesame, garlic and old bay, Jamaican style sweet corn, spicy sriracha, or Tuscan herb.

22. Mini Caprese Bites – 

These are so easy to make and are so versatile. I added a classic version with cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil and fresh take with plums instead of tomatoes. A mini bite on a toothpick is perfect to take to a cookout!

23. Corn Muffin with Poblano Cups

My mom used to make Mexican cornbread with soup beans, and these are like a mini version of these, but with poblano peppers instead of jalapenos. So tasty!

24. Southern Sweet Tea

This is how to make REAL southern sweet tea!

25. Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This salad has sweet peppers, avocado, tomatoes, artichokes, olives and feta cheese. Do you need anything more? Yum!!


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