I usually leave the grilling to Alex when we're at home and to my dad when we're Up North, but I'm happy to contribute a side dish or three to the meal. Here are 10 of my favorite barbecue-ready side dish recipes. Whether you're hosting the gathering or attending and don't want to show up empty handed, there's a recipe for every cookout here:
1. Honey Balsamic Grilled Carrots & Onions - Talk about a show stopper! Those gorgeous grilled veggies pack tons of flavor and can be prepped a day ahead of time, so all you have to do is throw them on the grill a few minutes before it's time to eat.
2. Pesto Pasta Salad - This super easy pasta salad comes together quickly and can easily feed a crowd. And the flavors of bright pesto, fresh veggies, and creamy mozzarella are total crowd pleasers too.
3. Tangy Apple Red Cabbage Slaw - This sweet and tangy spin on coleslaw is a great alternative to the traditional recipe. And it's a perfect compliment to barbecued pork, ribs, or sausage!
4. Caramelized Onion Smashed Potatoes - These rustic smashed potatoes get a boost of flavor from fresh herbs and sweet caramelized onions. They're delicious served alongside any grilled protein.
5. Heirloom Tomato Salad - This simple salad is a colorful addition to any table thanks to an assortment of fresh heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market. It only requires a few standard ingredients beyond the tomatoes and fresh herbs, but the amazing flavor just screams "summer!"
6. Potato, Corn & Green Bean Salad - This recipe is a summery variation of my Oma's traditional German potato salad. Potatoes and onions in a light vinaigrette are complimented by green beans and corn-- two of summer's best veggies!
7. Tricolor Caprese Salad - Avocado is a delicious addition to this traditional caprese salad. It's a tasty side dish, but hearty enough to serve as a main course for any of your vegetarian guests too.
8. Orzo Salad with Corn, Arugula & Tomatoes - This simple orzo salad tastes like summer: sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, peppery arugula, and salty Parmesan all tossed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette. It's the perfect balance of flavors.
9. Baked Chinese Five Spice Fries with Sriracha Ketchup - These fries get their color from the beautiful purple-red potatoes that I picked up at the farmer's market. You can use any kind you'd like though because the real stars of this recipe are the vibrant Five Spice seasoning and the sriracha ketchup for dipping.
10. Sweet Corn, Tomato & Roasted Pepper Salad - This simple salad is a perfect complement to any grilled meal. It's fresh and light and full of summer flavor.