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14 Summer Side Dishes You Can Bring To Your Next Cookout

Hosting a summer cookout? Get a head start on your cooking with these make-ahead side dishes.

Summer entertaining can be challenging. From shopping to cooking, it’s easy to get overwhelmed before the guests even arrive

So we rounded up 14 side dishes that are totally make-ahead friendly to help ease some stress. From lemony couscous to simple pasta salads, these recipes will help you get a head start on cooking.

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1. Greek Pasta Salad

iambaker.net

Pasta salad is a great make-ahead side option. You can prepare it several days in advance and store it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. When ready to eat, just give it a quick toss to redistribute the dressing.

Get the recipe: Greek Pasta Salad

2. Smoky Bacon and Blue Cheese Corn Salad

houseofyumm.com

Fresh corn, smoky bacon, and creamy mayonnaise combine into one salty-sweet salad that makes the perfect side dish for a summer barbecue.

Get the recipe: Smoky Bacon and Blue Cheese Corn Salad

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3. French-Style Potato Salad

minimalistbaker.com

This recipe ditches the heavy mayonnaise-based dressing for a light and zesty one made with mustard and apple cider vinegar.

Get the recipe: French-Style Potato Salad

4. Tropical Rock Shrimp Ceviche With Pineapple, Mango, and Lime

soletshangout.com

Ceviche can last in the fridge for a day or two after mixing, making it the perfect make-ahead side dish. Serve it with chips, crispy tostada shells, or all by itself.

Get the recipe: Tropical Rock Shrimp Ceviche With Pineapple, Mango, and Lime

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5. Cowboy Caviar

budgetbytes.com

You can prepare this simple bean salad up to four days in advance — just make sure to give it a good stir before serving.

Get the recipe: Cowboy Caviar

6. Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad

budgetbytes.com

This bright and lemony couscous salad is made with just seven ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes. Feel free to add crumbled feta or additional veggies, or keep it super simple.

Get the recipe: Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad

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7. Hoisin Snap Pea and Red Cabbage Slaw

cookincanuck.com

Snap peas and cabbage are hardy vegetables that can stand up to dressing, so you can assemble this salad ahead of time without worrying that it'll get soggy.

Get the recipe: Hoisin Snap Pea and Red Cabbage Slaw

8. Broccoli Crunch Salad

fedandfit.com

Feel free to use store-bought poppy seed dressing instead of making your own if you're short on time.

Get the recipe: Broccoli Crunch Salad

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9. Cold Noodles in Peanut Sauce

thecozycook.com

A simple five-ingredient dressing coats these noodles in a sweet and salty dressing that is delicious both hot and cold.

Get the recipe: Cold Noodles in Peanut Sauce

10. Caprese Salad

thecookierookie.com

This salad gets dressed in a tangy reduction made by simmering honey and balsamic vinegar together until thick — but you can use store-bought balsamic reduction (also called glaze) to save you some time.

Get the recipe: Caprese Salad

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11. Lemon Orzo Asparagus Salad

letsdishrecipes.com

Ground turmeric gives this orzo salad a subtle earthy flavor and bright orange color while fresh lemon and garlic keep it bright.

Get the recipe: Lemon Orzo Asparagus Salad

12. Jalapeño Popper Potato Salad

spicysouthernkitchen.com

Everything you love about jalapeño poppers in a summery make-ahead side. If you're sensitive to heat, just reduce the amount of peppers to tone down the spice level.

Get the recipe: Jalapeño Popper Potato Salad

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13. Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Pepperoni, and Olives

iowagirleats.com

Pepperoni might not be the first thing you think of when making pasta salad, but it should be! The saltiness helps the other ingredients pop and adds a nice meaty flavor.

Get the recipe: Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Pepperoni, and Olives

14. Lemony Lentil and Chickpea Salad With Radish and Herbs

cookieandkate.com

To keep this salad as fresh as possible, hold off on adding the herbs until the last minute to prevent them from browning.

Get the recipe: Lemony Lentil and Chickpea Salad With Radish and Herbs

Looking for more summer recipe inspiration? Check out these posts:

31 No-Fuss Grilling Recipes For Every Night This Month

25 Vegan Recipes To Grill This Summer

14 Grilled Chicken Recipes That Aren't Boring Or Bland

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