You’ve got the main course, now what goes with it? These Cookout Side Dishes are perfect for your backyard barbecues and summer picnics. Or just serve them up for your next family dinner!
How to Pair Sides with Main Dishes
Having the right side dish to compliment your entrees is crucial to the success of your meal. No one wants to have just a steak, they want a baked potato to go with it! That said, these cookout side dishes serve a few purposes:
- Round out the nutrition. Having a plate full of grilled meat might taste delicious, but it isn’t the most nutritious way to eat. Sides, like vegetables, starches and grain, are a great place to bring in other nutritious elements that might not be part of the main dish recipe.
- Balance the flavors. My grilled chicken marinade has an incredible flavor, but it can be tedious to eat the same flavors over and over. Pair hearty meats with something light, like a garden salad, or something spicy with something mild.
- Balance the textures and colors. Yellow food can seem bland when that’s all that’s on your plate. Likewise when all the food is soft. Pair crunchy with creamy, green with yellow and more. I mean, who doesn’t love a good pairing like crispy grilled cheese and creamy tomato soup?
The Best Cookout Side Dishes
We’ve got these delicious sides labeled for summer, but they are perfect year round. Who says you can’t have Red Potato Salad in December or Baked Beans in January? Certainly not me, so enjoy these favorite cookout side dishes all year long, whether you’re cooking out or in! Bonus, some of these recipes serve double duty as a cookout side dish or an appetizer, like this Summer Cheese Plate!
- Grilled London Broil
- Crockpot Ribs
- Grilled Steak Marinade
- Turkey Burgers
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- Grilled Chicken Marinade
- Pulled Chicken
What are your favorite sides to bring to a cookout? Let us know in the comments!