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Looking for summer side dishes using the best produce of the season? We’ve got your back: here are all the recipes you need.

Summer side dishes

Summer is all about gathering: potlucks, cookouts, and simple relaxed patio parties. There’s a magic in the air when vibrant heirloom tomatoes and massive bags of corn on the cob appear in the farmers markets. So what to do with all this beautiful summer produce? When tomatoes, corn, blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers and zucchini abound: make these summer side dishes!

Each of the recipes below are a tried and true recipe that Alex and I have made time and time again. And we’re not joking when we say: summer is the most exciting time to be in the kitchen! With so much produce to taste and try…what are you waiting for? Pair with grilled dinner ideas to make up a meal. Let’s get to these summer side dishes, shall we?

Ready for our top summer side dishes?

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Corn salad

25 Summer Side Dishes: Corn Salad & More!

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


This easy corn salad is fresh and full of tangy flavor, with bursts of bright tomato and basil! The classic summer salad for BBQs and picnics. You can also make it grilled! Go to Grilled Corn Salad.


  • 6 cobs corn (about 5 cups kernels, or 3 15-ounce cans corn)
  • ½ pint (1 cup) cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook the corn: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (This takes about 15 to 20 minutes, so plan accordingly.) Shuck the corn, removing the silk. When the water is boiling, place the corn cobs in the pot. Boil covered for 4 minutes, until bright yellow. Run under cool water until cool enough to touch. (Alternate method: Roast the corn in the oven or use canned corn.)
  2. Cut the corn: Find a bundt pan, or large rimmed baking sheet or pan. Place the corn into the hole in the bundt pan or hold the corn vertically inside the baking sheet, then use a chef’s knife to slice down and remove the corn from the cob (the sides of the pan catch the kernels that fly when cutting; more details here.)
  3. Chop the vegetables: Meanwhile, dice the cherry tomatoes. Finely chop the red onion. Chop the basil.
  4. Mix in the dressing: In a large bowl, mix together all vegetables with the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste, and optional feta crumbles. Stores refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Summer side dishes

Need more summer side dishes?

In case these didn’t strike your fancy, here are a few more summer sides we love:

Drink up!

Here are a few summer fruit forward drink recipes to pair:

Last updated: June 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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