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48 Skinny Side Dishes for Your Summer Cookout

Eating healthy this summer doesn't have to be hard—just look to these skinny cookout side dishes for inspiration. Each of these salads, slaws, grilled veggies and other sides have less than 200 calories per serving.

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Slow-Cooked Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got tired of fixing just plain squash and cheese. I decided to jazz it up a bit. This was a huge hit with the family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Corn Okra Creole

This dish is representative of my area of the country, and particularly the Texas-Louisiana border. The okra, corn and Creole seasonings are all popular here. —Ruth Aubey, San Antonio, Texas
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Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers star in this make-ahead dish that offers a fresh take on traditional vegetable sides. Bubbly cheddar cheese adds a down-home feel. —Barbara Smith, Salem, Oregon
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Lemon Garlic Mushrooms

I baste whole mushrooms with a lemony sauce to prepare this simple side dish. Using skewers or a basket makes it easy to turn them as they grill to perfection. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Quinoa with Peas and Onion

Even picky eaters will love this protein-packed dish. If you have freshly shelled peas on hand, substitute them for the frozen. —Lori Panarella, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
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Easy Grilled Squash

This is grilled butternut squash recipe is one of my favorite ways to cook with fresh produce. I usually make it when I am grilling steak or chicken. —Esther Horst, Monterey, Tennessee
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Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

My niece introduced me to this colorful recipe some time ago. I make it when I have buffets or large gatherings because it can be prepared hours ahead. This is a wonderful way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia
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Faux Potato Salad

Cauliflower in potato salad? You bet, along with carrots, olives and other yummy surprises. —Mike Schulz, Tawas City, Michigan
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Grilled Zucchini with Onions

Wondering what to do with all of your garden-grown zucchini in the summer? Give it a sizzle and a little heat with this healthy side. It’s also an easy recipe to double or triple for summer cookouts. —Alia Shuttleworth, Auburn, California
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Basil Grilled Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a comforting and cherished Midwest dish. It's amazing when grilled, and my recipe adds a few unexpected ingredients to make it taste even more like summertime. —Caitlin Dawson, Monroe, Ohio
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Golden Zucchini Pancakes

If your garden is overflowing with zucchini this time of year, make these incredible pancakes to use it up. We squeeze the zucchini well before using to remove excess moisture. —Terry Ann Dominguez, Silver City, New Mexico
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Rainbow Veggie Salad

Every salad should be colorful and crunchy like this one with its bright tomatoes, carrots, peppers and sassy spring mix. Toss with your best dressing. —Liz Bellville, Jacksonville, North Carolina
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Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

I created my own cauliflower recipe in honor of my grandma, who taught me to love this delicious and healthy vegetable. She cooked with it all the time.—Lidia Haddadian, Pasadena, California
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Tomato Avocado And Grilled Corn Salad Exps Thjj18 153635 C02 01 4b 3

Tomato, Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad

With ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and grilled corn, this bright salad tastes just like summertime! —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Grilled Brussels Sprouts

During a beach vacation, in an effort to cook our entire meal outside on the grill, I made our not-so-simple veggie choice into a simple grilled side dish. For spicier sprouts, season with red pepper flakes —Tiffany Ihle, Bronx, New York
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Garden-Fresh Rainbow Chard

Chard, a member of the beet family, is prized for its green leaves and colorful stalks. Stir up these good-for-you greens with garlic and red onion. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Garden Cucumber Salad

If you like cucumber salad like I do, this one’s a cool pick. It’s a mix of fresh veggies, feta and Greek seasoning and so refreshing when the sun’s beating down. —Katie Stanczak, Hoover, Alabama
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Grilled Vegetable Platter

The best of summer in one dish! This pretty grilled vegetable recipe is meant for entertaining. Grilling brings out their natural sweetness, and the easy marinade really kicks up the grilled vegetables' flavor. —Heidi Hall, North St. Paul, Minnesota
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Parsley Smashed Potatoes

I love potatoes but hate all the work involved in making mashed potatoes from scratch. I came up with a simple side dish that was made even easier thanks to my slow cooker. Save the leftover broth for soup the next day! —Katie Hagy, Blacksburg, South Carolina
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Berry-Beet Salad

Here's a delightfully different salad that balances the earthy flavor of beets with the natural sweetness of berries. If you prefer, substitute crumbled feta for the goat cheese. —Amy Lyons, Mounds View, Minnesota
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Edamame Corn Carrot Salad

I came up with this easy salad while brainstorming light, protein-filled recipes. My vegetarian and vegan friends are especially big fans. —Maiah Miller, Monterey, California
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Eggplant Fries

My kids love this snack—and I like that it's healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there's no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California
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Colorful Quinoa Salad

My youngest daughter recently learned she has to avoid gluten, dairy and eggs, which gave me a new challenge in the kitchen. I put this quinoa salad together as a side we could all share. We love it for leftovers, too. —Catherine Turnbull, Burlington, Ontario
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Yellow Squash & Watermelon Salad

I always enjoy taking this healthy option to parties and potlucks, and people really seem to appreciate it. No oil is necessary for this salad; the lemon juice combines with the feta to lightly coat the bright, fresh ingredients. —Camille Parker, Chicago, Illinois
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Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

I combined two recipes to create this side with broccoli and pasta. The splash of lemon adds nice flavor. Instead of toasted almonds, you could also sprinkle servings with grated Parmesan cheese. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Watermelon Tomato Salad

Watermelon and tomatoes may seem an unlikely pair, but they team up to make a winning combination in this eye-catching salad. —Matthew Denton, Seattle, Washington
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Company Green Salad

I partially put this salad together and take the remaining ingredients (candied nuts, seeds, rice noodles and dressing) to mix in at the potluck. Works perfectly every time. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Texas Tabbouleh

I used to live in Texas and since moving away, missed those classic Tex-Mex flavors that were always such a big part of my meals. I decided to create a fresh and healthy salad that reminds me of traditional pico de gallo. My friends especially love it because it's so different; it's always a pretty popular dish at our gatherings. —Tammy Davis, Arlington, Virginia
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Cherry Tomato Salad

This recipe evolved from a need to use the bumper crops of delicious cherry tomatoes we grow. It's one of my favorite cherry tomato recipes, especially at cookouts. —Sally Sibley, St. Augustine, Florida
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Campers' Coleslaw

Crispy and crunchy, this old family slaw recipe makes a refreshing side dish for picnics and parties. —Kimberly Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
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Parmesan Potato Wedges

Parmesan Potato Wedges

I recommend serving these Parmesan potato wedges alongside a salad for a light lunch or serving them as a side dish with a chicken or beef entree. —Beth Ask, Ulster, Pennsylvania
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Smoky Cauliflower

The smoked Spanish paprika gives a simple side of roasted cauliflower extra depth. This is definitely a favorite. —Juliette Mulholland, Corvallis, Oregon
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Garden Bounty Panzanella Salad

My sister gave me fresh tomatoes and basil, so I made a bread salad known as Panzanella. The longer it sits, the more the bread soaks up the seasonings. —Jannine Fisk, Malden, Massachusetts
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Italian Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

For an Italian twist on salad, I mix greens with red onion, mushrooms, olives, pepperoncini, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Add tomatoes and carrots if you like. —Deborah Loop, Clinton Township, Michigan
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Spicy Grilled Eggplant

This side goes well with any meat you might also be grilling. Thanks to the Cajun seasoning, the zesty eggplant gets more attention than an ordinary veggie. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad

Take this colorful dish to the buffet at a family gathering, or enjoy it as a great meal all by itself. —Brenda Gleason, Hartland, Wisconsin
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Grilled Herb Potatoes

Every year my father and I plant a garden together. After an especially great growing season, we had plenty of produce to eat! We like to use fresh herbs from our garden but dry is just as tasty in this dish. —Bernadette Bennett, Waco, Texas
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Sliced Tomato Salad

I got this recipe from my grandmother. It's a perfect platter to serve with burgers or hot sandwiches. —Kendal Tangedal, Plentywood, Montana
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Spring Green Risotto

Once a week I create a new recipe for my blog, An Officer and a Vegan. I first made this risotto when I needed something cheerful and comforting. It would be fantastic with asparagus, zucchini or summer squash, but use whatever veggies are in season. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Radish Asparagus Salad

Lemon zest and mustard in the dressing add the perfect punch to crisp asparagus and crunchy radishes in this fresh spring salad. My family loves it! —Nancy Latulippe, Simcoe, Ontario
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Mango Barley Salad

I made this fresh, colorful mango salad on the fly and it was a big hit! The bright flavor is perfect for a spring or summer picnic, served right away or chilled. —Dan Wellberg, Elk River, Minnesota
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Spinach-Orzo Salad with Chickpeas

The first version of this salad was an experiment in mixing together some random ingredients I had on hand. It was a success, and several people at the party asked for the recipe...which meant I had to re-create it! It's healthy, delicious and perfect for warm-weather days. —Glen White, Kissimmee, Florida
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Vibrant Black-Eyed Pea Salad

My black-eyed pea salad reminds me of a Southern cooking class my husband and I took while visiting Savannah, Georgia. People go nuts for it at picnics and potlucks. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania
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Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Salad

Tomato wedges give this salad a juicy bite. It's a great use of fresh herbs and veggies from your own garden or the farmers market. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

Capturing the fantastic flavors of summer, this refreshing, beautiful watermelon-cucumber salad will be the talk of any picnic or potluck. —Roblynn Hunnisett, Guelph, Ontario
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Spring Greek Pasta Salad

For a light meal, we toss rotini pasta with cucumber, zucchini and sweet peppers. Make this cucumber pasta salad into a main dish by adding grilled chicken. —Christine Schenher, Exeter, California
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Grilled Potatoes & Peppers

My husband, Matt, grills this recipe for both breakfast and dinner gatherings. Besides the company, the potatoes are one of the best parts! —Susan Nordin, Warren, Pennsylvania
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Artichoke Tomato Salad

For a little zip, crumble feta over the top of this artichoke salad. Add shredded rotisserie chicken for a beautiful main dish. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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