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Home / Recipes / 5 Make-Ahead Summer Sides for Picnics, Barbecues & More

5 Make-Ahead Summer Sides for Picnics, Barbecues & More

August 08, 2019

Whether you’re gearing up for a picnic, a pool party or a barbecue, incorporating make-ahead side dishes into your menu is a solid strategy. From old go-tos like potato salad and panzanella to new favorites such as farro salad, here are five delicious side dishes to go with hamburgers, steak, grilled chicken and any other favorite summer standbys.

Farro with Fresh Corn and Sugar Snap Peas

Pleasantly chewy farro grains are delicious in side dishes and salads year-round. Try them with sweet corn and sugar snaps, just barely cooked so the bright essence and crunch won't be lost. Farro holds exceptionally well, making it ideal picnic fare.

Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato & Sourdough Crouton Salad

A riff on a panzanella, this pretty salad is a nice accompaniment to a warm bowl of pasta. Store tomatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator, since cold temperatures turn tomatoes mushy and mealy. If it isn't tomato season, choose cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/4 lb./625 g, halved), which tend to be flavorful all year round and make a great substitution in this salad.

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad

Combining sweet, salty and spicy flavors, this salad is great for a picnic or a backyard barbecue. The recipe calls for a seedless watermelon, although it may contain some small seeds; remove them with a knife.

Orzo Salad

This salad of rice-shaped pasta is perfect for summer entertaining. It is large enough to feed a hungry crowd and is even more delicious the next day when the flavors have blended together.

Potato Salad with Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Relish
We recommend this twist on the classic potato salad, dressed with a flavor-packed olive relish. It's delicious as a side dish alongside barbecued meat but hearty enough to satisfy on its own.