4 Cookout-Ready Sides

Four simple-to-prepare summer sides to perk up your cookout with freshness, color & flavor!

Today I’m sharing a set of four sides I love with you all. I came up with this group of sides a while back when we were grilling chicken and burgers—I wanted to step it up from fries and fruit salad, but didn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. I also had just gotten this spiralizer and loved how pretty it made everything. (I also recently got this smaller version just because it was a bit easier to deal for a really quick spiral). This group of sides will perk up your cookout with an infusion of fresh produce, colorful ingredients, and fantastic summer flavors. Best of all, they are simple to prepare, so add them to your summer lineup!

Spiralized Beet Salad

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword beets, Cookout, picnic
Prep Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes


For the vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

  • 2 medium red beets, peeled and spiralized
  • 2 medium golden beets, peeled and spiralized
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • 2 ounces fresh ricotta, crumbled
  • ¼ cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped



  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, Dijon and shallot. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


  1. Place the red beets in one medium bowl and the golden beets in another. Toss each with half of the dressing and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Divide the mint and parsley leaves between the bowls and toss to incorporate. Transfer to a bowl or platter, layering the red and golden beet mixtures together. Garnish with the crumbled ricotta and chopped pistachios, and serve.

Creamy Yogurt Cucumber & Radish Salad

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Cookout, cucumber, picnic
Prep Time 20 minutes


  • 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3-4 English cucumbers, either sliced thinly or spiralized
  • 6-8 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced finely
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. 1. Toss the cucumbers and radishes in a medium to large bowl. Mix the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, dill, mint, salt and pepper together in a small bowl then add to the cucumbers and radishes and toss to coat. Add more salt and pepper as desired and garnish with more mint and dill. 

  2. 2. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to let the flavors set.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Peas

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta salad, pesto
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes


For the pasta

  • ¾ lb. fusilli pasta
  • ¾ lb. bow tie pasta
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ cups good mayonnaise
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • cup pine nuts
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto

  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan



  1. 1. Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.


  1. 2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignoli, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Cookout, feta, picnic, watermelon
Prep Time 20 minutes


  • 1 lb watermelon
  • 8 ounces feta cheese cubed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh mint leaves to taste
  • 1 handful fresh microgreens
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. 1. Cut the watermelon into bite-sized cubes.

  2. 2. Cut the feta into half-inch cubes.

  3. 3. Gently toss the watermelon and feta with the olive oil, fresh mint and microgreens.

  4. 4. Loosely arrange the watermelon and feta on a large platter or in a bowl and garnish with more mint and microgreens.

Hope everyone has a great summer week and upcoming 4th!

Bon Appétit!

2 comments on “4 Cookout-Ready Sides

  1. Sarah Minerva

    These are beautiful and great ideas for sides. I’ll have to try a couple of them!

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