Whether you’re hosting your neighborhood’s hottest summer block party or are having a few friends over for a backyard barbecue, you won’t want your food to disappoint. While BBQ staples like hot dogs and burgers are classic, bland side dishes like chips or potato salad can leave grill party guests feeling bored and unsatisfied.
However, even the yummiest barbecue recipes won’t reach their highest potential if cooked with defective equipment. When it comes to bringing your A-game to your next outdoor gathering, grill quality is a must. Once you snag top-of-the-line outdoor cooking accessories from a retailer like this, it’ll be time to decide what tasty treats you’ll be dishing up.
When you’re ready to get your grill on, try out these cookout-friendly side dishes that will have your guests coming back for seconds (and thirds).
Mexican Street-Style Corn
Nothing says “summertime dinner” like grilled corn on the cob. This delicious twist on a Mexican favorite is easy to make and pairs with just about any barbecue entree. Ambitious chefs eager to present an authentic Mexican dish will need grilled corn, Mexican crema, cilantro, garlic, chipotle, lime, and cotija cheese. If you’re short on time, you can simplify the recipe by coating your corn with lime juice, cheese, salt, and tajin.
This watermelon salad is not your mother’s traditional dish. You’ll wow your guests with this vibrant play on a summertime staple, and the sweetness of the salad will keep kids coming back for more. Fill a large serving bowl with fresh watermelon cubes, sliced cucumbers, mint, feta cheese, lime juice, and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and you’ve just booked your taste buds a one-way ticket to the Mediterranean coast.
Pasta Salad with a Twist
A cold, refreshing pasta salad on a hot day perfectly accompanies most cookout dishes and is incredibly easy to prepare and store before your backyard bash. Ditch your dull pasta salad recipes and shake things up by offering guests a bruschetta pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, basil, and garlic, or embracing a gluten-friendly cold zucchini noodle dish drizzled in ponzu sauce. The opportunities are endless, and the final product is delicious.
When pigs-in-a-blanket meets its green match, you know you’re in for a treat. Help your fellow barbecue attendees get their veggies in by serving up a simple but elevated platter of roasted asparagus wrapped in salty prosciutto or bacon. If you’re trying to throw together a last-minute barbecue, you’re in luck. This dish will be ready to serve in less than 20 minutes and requires very few ingredients, so you can spend less time cooking and more time soaking up the sun with your family and friends.
Grilled eggplant stacks
Take your grill game to the next level and give this meatless medley of vegetarian-friendly goodies a try. Toss a few eggplants on the grill and top them with the vegetable, sauce, and cheese of your choice. This minimal-effort-required grilled eggplant option will satisfy plant-based and carnivore guests alike with its chargrilled flavor and meat-like texture.
If you’re already hungry, you’re not alone. Serve any of these crowd-pleasing recipes, and your side dishes will undoubtedly stand up to the heat.