Summertime’s almost here. Time to fire up the grill, throw on steaks and burgers, and have a great time with your friends.

But what do you serve alongside your barbecued meat? You don’t want to heat up the house cooking side dishes. That’s one of the reasons you’re barbecuing.

Fortunately, some side dishes can be cooked right alongside the steak.

Marinated vegetables

Summer vegetables are cheap, and taste fantastic when marinated and grilled. Bell peppers, squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms cook well. Cut them into coins and toss them in a resealable plastic bag.

You can marinate them with anything you like, from Italian salad dressing to Balsamic vinegar. Let the veggies marinate for at least two hours. 24 hours is the best. Grill them 8 to 10 minutes, until shriveled and lightly blackened.

Corn on the cob

Why not toss a few ears of corn on the grill, too? Cook them right in the husk for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before husking.


No barbecue is complete without a green salad. The versatile salad can be as simple as a bowl of lettuce with dressing. Or it can be a complex Italian affair with cheese, croutons, cherry tomatoes and olives.

Mexican salads are delicious in summer. Like salsa with more vegetables, they start with black beans and build in corn, avocado, diced tomatoes, onions and a few jalapenos.

Don’t forget fruit salads. These can be a few cans of pineapple and mandarin oranges mixed with vanilla yogurt, or an ensemble of bananas, pineapple, and melon balls. Fruit salads add a welcome note of coolness to the meal’s aftermath.

Melon slices

One of the delights of summer is slices of fresh melon eaten right off the rind. Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew all qualify.

Potato salad

A delicious cold dish you can prepare earlier in the day. Toss potatoes and pickle relish with mayonnaise and boiled egg slices, or use your secret family recipe.

Chips and salsa

Chips and salsa are a great appetizer to set out for guests to nibble while the other food cooks. Make your own salsa with grilled tomatoes, peppers and onions and serve it to your guests. A jar from the grocery store works well if you’re in a hurry.


Pork and beans make great companions to burgers or hot dogs. Baked beans go well with everything. If you’re trying to cook as little as possible, open a couple of cans and zap them in the microwave. Or cook up your own beans from scratch.

Grilling dinner is fun, whether you’re cooking for guests or yourself. Most side dishes are easy to throw together and guests are happy to eat them up.


  1. Our Best Barbecue Side Dish Recipes – Southern Living
  2. Eat Your Spinach for Stronger Eyes
  3. 16 Great Barbecue Side Dishes | Real Simple

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